Dear Peter and CR,

Forgive my tardy reply -- I've been AWOL due to a death in my family. 

If transubstantiation isn't magic, nothing is, it seems to me. How do miracles and magic differ?Aside from the fact that miracle is the religious term for feats of magic, such as the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.

The sacrament of the mass comprises a feast for all five senses, from incense to candlelight reflecting from gold objects, to multicolored sunbeams from stained glass windows falling on carved wooden pews, to textures like clerical vestments, stone floors, pillars, to cushioned kneeling platforms. Not to mention the music!

Even a minimal Quaker Meetinghouse has a great deal of beauty of materials and proportions.


Sent from my iPod

On Jul 7, 2010, at 9:09 AM, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I agree with your observations, Diana, and would love to believe them. Personally, I always say, Lord God, thou art my magic !!!

--- On Wed, 7/7/10, Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Some Chrictian practices do see it important to involve alll the sense,
others steadfastly avoid such doings.
Generalities here are dangerous.

You must have an interesting definition of magic.


----- Original Message -----
From: "DIana Manister" <[log in to unmask]" ymailto="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]" ymailto="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2010 11:02 AM
Subject: Re: The Occult in Modernist Writing

Thanks for the excerpt CR. But Christian texts have as much magic,
miracles, emotion and sensual imagery as occult practices, don't you
think? Its  rituals of worship are not abstract. Converting bread and
wine to Christ's body and blood is magical but sensual, for instance.


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On Jul 4, 2010, at 9:03 AM, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]" ymailto="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> the art of echolocation
> By Chad Parmenter
> Yeats Eliot Review, December 22, 2007
> -----
> an excerpt:
> Eliot's use of Yeatsian mysticism changes dramatically in The Waste
> Land. Madame Sosostris, who offers the tarot reading in "The Burial
> of the Dead," shows a Blavatskian connection to the occult, but "[i]
> s known to be the wisest woman in Europe" (line 45). The wry
> undercurrent of this characterization, seen in the gap between "is
> known" and "is," should not be overlooked, but her function in the
> poem holds more holiness than caricature of the occult. Her
> character acts as the confluence of Blavatsky and Jessie Weston,
> whose From Ritual to Romance Eliot credits with "much of the
> incidental symbolism" of the poem (qtd. in Ellmann, Eminent 91).
> Just as Madame Sosostris brings in the tarot figures, noting the
> absence of the messianic Hanged Man, Weston has introduced tarot as
> the poem's most overarching symbology. This contribution, though,
> points beyond her, to Yeats. In Eliot's copy of her book, many of
> the pages remain uncut (Dickey), and the mystery of
> its influence may be solved by her mention of tarot, which invokes
> the presence of Yeats. She quotes his private letter confirming
> tarot suits as elements of the mystical tradition that have
> survived, and thrived (91). Eliot's use of the Hanged Man and
> Phlebas the Phoenician seems to mirror Yeats' stated use of
> mysticism, for the "exposition of intellectual needs" (90). Yeats,
> then, functions as the agent of a magic more comforting and tactile
> than the Christianity represented by the stranger on the road to
> Emmaus, who offers only an indistinct sense of presence:
>   Who is the third who walks always beside you?
>   When I count, there are …
> -----
> "it's interesting to cut yourself to pieces once in awhile, and see
> if the fragments will sprout" ;-)
> CR