Funny, it is exactly the absurdity of it all that comes to me when I try to think of existence without God. That, to me, is the truly absurd. As God is not a subject for scientific proof (not a god), I think Eliot's response as CR stated it  --  we must find Him within our own experience --  to be a pretty good answer.

Ken A

On 5/30/2012 10:38 AM, Carrol Cox wrote:
The absurdity of belief in immortality. And see Canto 12.

That felt absurdity is what gives force to Dickinson's poem which I quoted
some awhile ago: "That scalds me NOW" (emphasis mine).


-----Original Message-----
From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
Of Ken Armstrong
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 6:51 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Why did T.S. Eliot believe in God?

  As well, a complementary and bigger question might be why did Pound 
and others find Eliot's belief in God incomprehensible. As my old Eliot 
prof. wrote, Eliot wrote poetry of belief in an age of unbelief. What 
could cause such an age?

Ken A

On 5/29/2012 10:57 PM, Peter Montgomery wrote:
I would highly recommend Barry Spurr's BOOK "Anglo-Catholicism, 
Anglo-Catholic in Religion: T. S. Eliot and Christianity" It is a 
transformation of his doctoral thesis produce with the blessing of his 
doctoral supervisor and of Mrs. Eliot (if memory seerves).

I am curious about your definition of "god" that you wish to 
understand Eliot's
belief in. His arrival in belief was, as has been mentioned, a long 
and winding road. As I remember, when he got to the querstion of 
becoming a budddhist or hindu, he felt that culturally he could not 
make the jump. The quote
(for which I cannot provide a source. I read it long ago, and more 
recently saw
a more recent poet refer to it) is roughly, that if ne is a weaterner, 
one cannot make the leap to another religion, and vice versa. In 
effect he could not abandon his roots.

That he had strong mystical leanings I think one cannot deny. Barry 
Spurr even provides an example of his having a mystical experience 
after receiving communion. As a Catholic and an Anglican I seriously 
doubt that he made
a distinction between belief in God and mystical expeience. He seems 
to have thought that mystical experience is experience of God.

You are right to present the matter as being a serious surprise and 
even let down for his contemporaries. It seems many saw TWL as a kind 
of atheist manifesto. In fact Ithink many still take it in that way. 
He was certainly seriously punished by his coontemporaries for his so 
called juump. His response was
again a quote the source for which I cannot supply, but it went 
something like:
In an age in which everyone is trying to escape, a person going in the 
opposite direction will seem to run away.--- That's not quite right, 
but close.
Eliot's work was so broad and deep, it is hard to hang on to every bit 
of it.

Again, I am interested in your definition of the being in which you 
say Eliot believed.

----- Original Message ----- From: John Angell Grant
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 10:19 AM
Subject: Why did T.S. Eliot believe in God?

Why did T.S. Eliot believe in god?

Pound and others found Eliot's belief in god incomprehensible.

Can anyone steer me to the scholarship on this issue, the issue of why 
Eliot believed in god?

Thanks in advance for any ideas.