Re the comparison of the T. S. Eliot of TWL with the  post-conversion TSE 
of 4Q,  I think CR and  Nancy are "right on," to  borrow a phrase from my 
youth. The post-conversion concept of "the death of the  Self" seems to me to 
represent the death of the "Ego," a necessary  happening before spiritual 
rebirth, as per TSE -- a movement away from  the "We live as if by our own wisdom" of 
Heraclitus toward the common Logos.  Another example in literature of the 
"the death of the Self, or Ego" is the  soliloquy of KING Lear to the storm:
Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have  drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!
You sulphurous and  thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving  thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking  thunder,
Smite flat the thick rotundity o' the  world!
Crack nature's moulds, an germens spill at  once,
That make ingrateful man!
Rumble thy bellyful! Spit, fire! spout, rain!
Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters:
I  tax not you, you elements, with unkindness;
I never gave you  kingdom, call'd you children,
You owe me no subscription:  then let fall
Your horrible pleasure: here I stand, your  slave,
A poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man:
But yet I call you servile ministers,
That have with  two pernicious daughters join'd
Your high engender'd battles  'gainst a head
So old and white as this. O! O! 'tis  foul!
Now that's that I call "the Dark Night of the Soul."

Ken Wrote:

Where exactly is the death of the Self in TSE? And  do you mean Self 
instead of self  (or what is the distinction)? My  thought is that TSE, pre- 
or post-conversion, would be more inclined to turn  the self toward God than 
to extinguish it.

Ken A.
CR Wrote:
To Eliot, the death of the Self is ancillary  to spiritual rebirth.
One has first to arrive at the stage of what Saint John of the Cross
called The Dark Night of the Soul. Here's how 'Burnt Norton' 
describes it :
 Descend lower, descend only
Into the world of perpetual  solitude,
World not world, but that which is not world,
Internal darkness,  deprivation
And destitution of all property,
Desiccation of the world of  sense,
Evacuation of the world of fancy,
Inoperancy of the world of  spirit;
This is the one way, and the other
Is the same, not in  movement
But abstention from movement; while the world moves
In appetency,  on its metalled ways
Of time past and time future.
Nancy Wrote:
One could say that the "self" has been eaten by the leopards in AW  and
therefore is dead though some voice is remaining, but the negative  way
of St. John of the Cross does call for the death of self--in the  sense
of becoming nothing through the removing of sense in the dark night  of
the senses and of any self in the dark night of the soul, so that  god
can enter.  It is in any case present in 4Q, however you read it  in
relation to the rest.

On the other hand, Eliot admired mystics; he  never claimed to be on, so
the context  matters.

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