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It was the latter. She also facillitated a vision of hell.
P.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Diana Manister 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 7:21 AM
  Subject: Re: signs and wonders


  Dear Peter,
   
  Probably for the reasons we have cited, Eliot's passages, such as the one you quote, can be interpreted as mystical experience or as a vision of unity in the world. 
   
  BTW, I'm no expert on mysticism, but I don't think being a mystic always means "a person having a conscious, interpersonal relationship with a spiritual entity." Buddhists for example do not have a personal relationship with God nor do they have a God in the sense of an entity. The Buddha or a guru may be revered, but they are only facilitators for the samadhi or sartori, which is not personal, but rather impersonal. From my reading it seems to be a state of pure being at one with all being.
   
  I wonder if the children of Medjugorje thought of encountering the Virgin as heaven itself, or whether heaven was an experience the Virgin facilitated.
   
  Diana
   
  > Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 21:44:34 -0800
  > From: [log in to unmask]
  > Subject: Re: signs and wonders
  > To: [log in to unmask]
  > 
  > My concern is that we not get derailed by stereotypes.
  > 
  > I have led a fairly active prayer life over not a few decades.
  > I have read about this stuff, attended guidance sessions, listened to
  > endless tapes.
  > I don't have any formal training as a spiritual director or anything like
  > that,
  > and I make absolutely no claim on being a mystic, whatever that is.
  > 
  > One thing I feel very confident about is that if someone goes around saying
  > he or she is
  > a mystic, then one can be fairly certain that such a person is not a mystic,
  > if by
  > mystic one means a person having a conscious, interpersonal relationship
  > with a spiritual entity.
  > 
  > Indeed there are reports of people having spiritual experiences on a regular
  > basis.
  > I believe something like 200 such experiences a year in the US alone get
  > serious
  > attention by the proper authorities.
  > 
  > One bizarre little example, with which no one quarrels happened in a trailer
  > park
  > outside Portland, Oregon. The Virgn Mary appeared in the corner of a
  > painting.
  > It was witnessed by a whole lot (thousands) of people. It was not a hoax.
  > It just came and eventually went. A mystery.
  > 
  > At the other end of the spectrum are the visionaries of Medjugorje in
  > Bosnia.
  > They were not nice little obedient, innocent peasant children who knew
  > nothing.
  > Their parish priest said they were certainly not the people he would have
  > chosen.
  > The only significant characteristic was that everyone knew these six
  > teenagers would not lie.
  > 
  > It started in communist times with the first two doing their favourite thing
  > of
  > sneaking out after supper to go smoke cigarettes and sing pop songs
  > forbidden
  > by the communists. They saw lights which turned out to be the Virgin.
  > Then the manifestations came to four others and they collected as a group.
  > 
  > Put the spiritual dimension aside if you want. These six people have been
  > poked,
  > prodded, measured in and out of their visionary states, as well as being
  > questioned
  > by communist authorities and church authorities. The medical examinations
  > have
  > been done by all the leading authorities in Europe. Whatever it is, it is
  > not a hoax.
  > The visionaries have kept a careful record of everything they have
  > experienced.
  > It seems that the Virgin was hoping they would join religious orders. None
  > of them did.
  > They are all raising families. The most articulate of them says that it is a
  > painful
  > life, because once one has seen heaven, then it is agony not to be there.
  > Both the
  > previous and current Popes advocate that people go there. The phenomenon
  > has been accepted by Rome, just not officially (like sainthood, it takes a
  > long
  > time for the Church to commit itself). One interesting anomally was that
  > when
  > the visionaries were together in the apparition room ( in the local
  > church - later
  > she appeared separately to each of them - and apparently still does) before
  > the
  > apparitions happened, birds would swarm about the place, and then go still
  > during the visions.
  > 
  > So are these people mystics? Does it matter?
  > Mystical experience can be a manifestation of holiness, but there are cases
  > on record
  > of people going on to lead very mediocre, worldy lives, totally unconcerned
  > with
  > their experiences.
  > 
  > All this is by way of preface to suggest that of course Eliot would deny
  > being a mystic,
  > if for no other reason than that he would lose credibility with a whole lot
  > of people,
  > and would look like a nutter to a whole lot of others. I personally find it
  > very
  > hard to believe that he could have created the kind of poetry he did in Ash
  > Wednesday and
  > The Four Quartets without having had some intimate experience of
  > transcendence.
  > It may well not have been visions, &c as the stereotypes suggest; it
  > certainly is consistent with
  > "a deeper communion" as he put it in 4Q. He certainly had the sensibility
  > for it.
  > To me the following has the sura of mysticism:
  > 
  > "We must be still and still moving
  > Into another intensity
  > For a further union, a deeper communion
  > Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,"
  > 
  > P.
  > questioned endlessly over about 20
  > ----- Original Message ----- 
  > From: "Ken Armstrong" <[log in to unmask]>
  > To: <[log in to unmask]>
  > Sent: Monday, March 22, 2010 7:59 AM
  > Subject: Re: signs and wonders
  > 
  > 
  > > Nancy Gish wrote:
  > > > Perhaps he did. I only reported what he did say, that he was not a
  > > > mystic. I no longer remember where I read it because it has been many
  > > > years since I researched Eliot and mysticism at great length, but I
  > > > remember it without doubt. I'm not sure it matters much if he
  > > > experienced it himself or experienced it through literature or
  > > > speaking with others. So much of his work is evoked by reading, which
  > > > is, after all, personal experience.
  > > At the risk of raising everyone's ire except Carrol's, let me
  > > hazard that reading and personal experience are very much not the same.
  > > Again, no professional line here, but a story that Ong repeats comes to
  > > mind about a ship's captain who learns by experience being a poor risk
  > > (so many things capable of wrecking/swamping a vessel). The conversation
  > > here about Eliot could go on and on with no positive conclusion, Eliot
  > > having never said whether he did or didn't have a mystical experience.
  > > For myself, I think mystical experiences are not so rare, even if
  > > mystics, relatively, are, and Eliot more than likely had such
  > > experiences, whether plural or singular. Don't know how that affects
  > > Gerontion or TWL.
  > >
  > > Ken A
  > >
  > > > So maybe he did have


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