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Somewhere in the book of Revelation, early on I think,
the following statement is made: Be thou either hot or cold.
I thou art neither hot nor cold, I will vomit thee out of my mouth.

P.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 11:03 AM
Subject: Re: Eliotists


> I think Eliot is clearly referring to negative and positive ways of
mysticism--love of the created world and a mysticism of immanence, or
rejection and the negative way.  Neither is like indifference--neither
caring or acting--which is what lands people in the vestibule of Hell, not
even worth damning.  Both detachment and attachment, in Eliot's phrases, are
to "self and to things and to persons"--not to God or to good or to
engagement where it is necessary.  One could be "detached" in a theological
sense and still hide a fugitive from Nazis.  One could be "attached" in a
theological sense and still focus on, say, one's community rather than a
world-wide problem.  Choices are unavoidable, I presume.  But I do not think
one can read these lines in the terms of conventional or individual meanings
of "attachment" or "detachment" because of the context in the poem.  It
follows the Dantesque scene of his own firewatching in WWII--one assumes
attachment to his own country.  It pre!
>  cedes the section on Little Gidding itself and the lines from Julian of
Norwich, a cloistered nun sealed up in a wall with only a window.  Little
Gidding was a kind of lay monastic life but one of community; Julian was a
recluse (though she did have visitors at the window).
>
> Whether one accepts these as the only options is a quite different issue.
It is possible to be emotionally deeply attached or detached and still make
judgments that call for engagement rather than allowing evil to prevail.
> Cheers,
> Nancy
>
> >>> Alex Freer <[log in to unmask]> 04/20/08 7:53 AM >>>
> On Saturday 19 April 2008 23:17:42 Carrol Cox wrote:
> > Translated into terms of human action, this seems to be a perfect excuse
> > to ignore massacres & other horors -- after all they are merely things
> > and/or persons.
>
> If detachment is:
> "disconnecting, separation, standing apart or aloof from objects or
> circumstances"
> then it is surely a positive trait in the field of human action. After
all,
> the "massacres" of the world have occurred while good men remained aloof,
> which is the point I believe you made, yet that is the passive condition
for
> said massacre. The active condition is something much more disturbing, a
very
> self-assured, emotional and prejudicial attachment to the events and
people
> concerned. It cannot be said that the perpetrators of genocide had true
> objectivity towards their victims, therefore they were not "standing
apart"
> from circumstances, but rather being consumed by them.
>
> At worst, then, detachment can only be as bad as attachment in a general
> sense, and each has its problems and advantages in specific circumstances.
>
> On Sunday 20 April 2008 00:51:14 Kate Troy wrote:
> > Attachment,  I believe, Carrol, is
> > a good thing in general, in that it often brings feelings  of warmth and
> > friendship.
>
> In the field of human emotion, attachment is of course a marvellous thing.
I
> would try to draw a distinction between emotion and action. While it is
true
> that the two are intrinsically linked, I should like to think that we
might
> aspire to be connected emotionally to people and objects, and aspire to be
> apart from circumstances and without prejudice in our actions. I recognise
it
> is not a goal that may be fully achieved, but that does not denigrate the
> struggle.
>
>
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