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Jerry -- thanks.

oooooooooo

Diana --

>he was always asked for miracle stories, which he said were a sign
>along the non-rational path that could prevent enlightenment if the
>disciple got attached to them.
>
>I see a connection here to Eliot's distinction between signs and wonders.

As I understand it, Buddhism says that _any_thing that a disciple gets
attached to could prevent enlightenment.  If so, wouldn't distinguishing
between one object of attachment (sign) and another (wonder) be irrelevant?

oooooooooo

Nancy --

>During and after WWI there was a massive interest in spiritualism,
>seances, and possible "signs" that would allow grieving people to make
>contact with their dead sons and husbands and lovers and brothers.

As you say, Eliot disapproved of the charlatans who took advantage of the
situation, but do you think he believed that communicating with the dead was
nonetheless possible?  I ask because I'm wondering what might be in the mind
of a poet (and this pertains not only to Eliot) who addresses a real, not
fictive, dead person. Is it just a literary convention? Eliot seems to be
trying to communicate with the dead when he doesn't just dedicate his
Prufrock book to Jean Verdenal, but follows the dedication with the passage
from Dante that says: "Now can you understand the quantity of love that
warms me toward you, so that I forget our vanity, and treat the shadows like
the solid thing."

Terry