Unless the seed fall into the ground and die....

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Chokh Raj 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 10:35 AM
  Subject: Re: Eliot on Charles Williams' mysticism

        " a deity of whom most human beings seldom see more than the shadow" --

        "the Vision...towards which creation strives" --

        "a lifetime's death in love" -- 

        "On montrera mon cénotaphe
        Aux côtes brulantes de Mozambique."


        --- On Thu, 3/25/10, Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

          It is a complex subject. I suspect your puzzlement is a pose.
          For some people the word mysticism takes in the whole field of occult
          For others the meaning is more focussed on communication with the deity.
          Eliot was interested in and explored the whole range, not as a personal
          pursuit, but for understanding. He is at ease in dealing with the whole

          "The Dry Salvages" is all about mystical experience in all sorts of
          It even has a very wry, humourous opening:
          "I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
          Is a strong brown god...." There are other metaphorical uses of god in the

          I think the following gets down to defining pop mysticism in contrast
          to the real thing:

          "To communicate with Mars, converse with spirits,
          To report the behaviour of the sea monster,
          Describe the horoscope, haruspicate or scry,
          Observe disease in signatures, evoke
          Biography from the wrinkles of the palm
          And tragedy from fingers; release omens
          By sortilege, or tea leaves, riddle the inevitable
          With playing cards, fiddle with pentagrams
          Or barbituric acids, or dissect
          The recurrent image into pre-conscious terrors-
          To explore the womb, or tomb, or dreams; all these are usual
          Pastimes and drugs, and features of the press:
          And always will be, some of them especially
          When there is distress of nations and perplexity
          Whether on the shores of Asia, or in the Edgware Road.
          Men's curiosity searches past and future
          And clings to that dimension. //But to apprehend
          The point of intersection of the timeless
          With time, is an occupation for the saint-
          No occupation either, but something given
          And taken, in a lifetime's death in love,"//


          ----- Original Message ----- 
          From: "DIana Manister" <[log in to unmask]>
          To: <[log in to unmask]>
          Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 4:46 PM
          Subject: Re: Eliot on Charles Williams' mysticism

          > Dear Peter,
          > What a curious variety of definitions of mysticism! //They range from
          > spiritualism to divine Love.// I'm puzzled.
          > Diana
          > Sent from my iPod
          > On Mar 24, 2010, at 7:35 PM, Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
          > wrote:
          > > "It would be easy, but not particularly profitable, to classify
          > > Williams as
          > > a "mystic." He knew, and could put into words, states of
          > > consciousness of a
          > > mystical kind. and the sort of elusive experience which many people
          > > have
          > > once or twice in a life-time. (I am thinking of certain passages in
          > > The
          > > Place of the Lion, but there is no novel without them.) And if
          > > "mysticism"
          > > means a belief in the supernatural, and in its operation in the
          > > natural
          > > world, then Williams was a mystic: but that is only belief in what
          > > adherents
          > > of every religion in the world profess to believe. His is a
          > > mysticism, not
          > > of curiosity, or of the lust for power, but of Love; //and Love//, in the
          > > meaning which it had for Williams-as readers of his study of Dante,
          > > called
          > > The Figure of Beatrice, will know -- //is a deity of whom most human beings
          > > seldom see more than the shadow//. But in his novels he is as much
          > > concerned
          > > with quite ordinary human beings, with their struggle among the
          > > shadows,
          > > their weaknesses and self-deceptions, their occasional moments of
          > > understanding, as with //the Vision of Love towards which creation
          > > strives//. "
          > >
          > > Intro to ALL HALLOWS EVE, 1948.
          > >