the paradox of the "free gift of grace" 
-- a mystery that "you and I" contemplate till "we" "drown"
-- whereby you cease to be where you are and arrive where you are not (naught)
-- whereby the notions of "profit and loss" are reversed -- whereby to lose is to find
-- whereby "there is nothing else beside"
-- whereby you see into the heart of darkness/light -- the silence -- the silencing of all earthly cravings -- the silent turning towards the still point of thing -- the shantih
-- whereby the magi returning from their tryst with the divine cease to be what they were
-- whereby the utterances of poets/seers like george herbert, john donne, william blake, ts eliot are informed
-- ah, april is the cruellest month, for the tiger springs in the new year, us he devours --
mad ramblings -- inventions of the march hare

--- On Thu, 6/18/09, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Lines to reflect in this context:
We returned to our places, these
But no longer at ease here, in the old
 -- TS Eliot, Journey of the Magi

--- On Thu, 6/18/09, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
And such an early preoccupation with the "Hound of Heaven" !!!

--- On Thu, 6/18/09, Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Lines like those from little Gidding convince me that Eliot had a very rich inner/contemplative life.
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask] href="http:[log in to unmask]" target=_blank rel=nofollow>Chokh Raj
To: [log in to unmask] href="http:[log in to unmask]" target=_blank rel=nofollow>[log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 2:48 AM
Subject: Re: Eliot on Gifts (Was Re: Augustine--Now ON Topic)

Valuable perceptions, Brian. Thanks. I'll continue to dote upon them. And Peter's too.
To me the theological ideal of God's "free gift of grace" is the ultimate ideal we human beings can aspire to emulate.  It does call for a similar if not equal gesture toward God from us as well, perhaps. Here are a couple of poetic utterances expressive of this notion of complete and total "giving" of oneself as a "gift" to God:  
Francis Thompson's  //"Hound of Heaven" //
// A poem introduced to Eliot by his classmate William Tinckom-Fernandez
at Harvard in 1909-10. Eliot is said to have taken it to heart. An echo perhaps 
of its note in 'Little Gidding' //  : 
      (For, though I knew His love Who followèd,
             Yet was I sore adread
       Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside).
    - Francis Thompson (1859-1907), 'The Hound of Heaven'
      Not known, because not looked for
      But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
      Between two waves of the sea.
      Quick now, here, now, always—

      A condition of complete simplicity
      (Costing not less than everything)

       - T.S. Eliot, 'Little Gidding' 

--- On Wed, 6/17/09, Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I see a difference in context between the two poems. TWL is oriented at
finding peace in this life,
while JOTM is oriented to finding salvation in the next I would be glad of
another death. In other
words the waste land that is this life, is not transformable, nor can one
even try to transform it.
Transformation is inot the next life.


----- Original Message -----
From: "O'Sullivan, Brian P" <[log in to unmask]" target=_blank rel=nofollow>[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]" target=_blank rel=nofollow>[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 6:35 AM
Subject: Eliot on Gifts (Was Re: Augustine--Now ON Topic)

//The OT thread on the phrase and concept "free gift" made me want to look at
how Eliot deals with "gifts" and "giving" in his poetry.//

I first thought of "The Journey of the Magi." Eliot leaves gold,
frankincense, and myrrh out of the poem, but the journey itself and the
alienation following it seem to constitute almost a "free gift" of homage,
and of the speaker's whole life. I say "almost" because I realize that one
line--"it was (you may say) satisfactory"--hint that this homage is
satisfaction for a debt or payment for the privilege of witnessing the
Nativity. But this is as dry a hint as possible, and the sense of
satisfaction, at least to me, is overwhelmed by the sense of sacrifice. So
is the magus's expereicne a human counterpart of grace--an act of piety
freely given without expectation of return?

It's an interest post-conversion contrast to the giving in The Waste Land:
"Datta: what have we given?/ My friend, blood shaking my heart/The awful
daring of a moment's surrender/Which an age of prudence can never retract/By
this, and this only, we have existed." Here, the emphasis seems to be on
mutuality, rather than on selfless and lonely generosity; the speaker and
friend shared some intimacy that made both of their existences real. there
is a similarity between the giving in the two poems, though; it both cases,
the act of giving seems to be an oasis in an otherwise empty life.