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Eliot was very attracted to mysticism and used it in his poems. He also
said he was not himself a mystic. I think this is not a thought but an
experience that at some time he must have felt or possibly read (it's
all over mystic literature in one way or another), but he did not have
any single answer to his views on this either. He said different things
at different times, and like any intelligent person, he changed and
evolved over his life. 
Nancy


>>> P 11/09/12 7:47 AM >>>
Kirsch needs to study Eliot a bit more.

"I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing."

That is the thought of a pragmatist?

P. M.



Chokh Raj wrote:


Now this is quite intriguing as regards Eliot on Christ. What say you,
Peter?




What makes a whole lot of big sense to me is Eliot's pragmatist approach
to Christianity. 

To quote from Kirsch's review of Letters (Vol. 3): 




Eliot, a product of the Harvard of William James, suggests that he is
drawn to Christianity as a pragmatist – that is, because it “works” for
him, not because he is convinced of its truth as a proposition. //
Elsewhere, he writes: “The Christian scheme seemed the only possible
scheme which found a place for values which I must maintain or perish .
. . the belief, for instance, in holy living and holy dying, in
sanctity, chastity, humility, austerity.” This well describes the
austere spirit of Eliot’s life and work in the years covered by this
volume and will only become more apt in the years to come ...




http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/culture/2012/06/letters-t-s-eliot-volume-iii-1926-27-review





CR 







From: "Materer, Timothy J." 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Thursday, November 8, 2012 12:11 PM
Subject: E's Religion



The TLS review is not available on line, but in looking I came across
Adam Kirsch's review of V. 3.
http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/culture/2012/06/letters-t-s-eliot-volume-iii-1926-27-review

Below is an excerpt with some acute remarks about Eliot's religion. I
too had been struck by what he wrote to Aldington and also his review of
Murry's book on Jesus. Is Kirsch on the right track? For me, it rather
fits with one of Eliot's key ideas from Bradley, "degrees of truth."




But there is a remarkable admission, so quick you could easily miss it,
in another letter to Aldington. “I agree with you about Christ and I do
not disagree with anything else,” Eliot writes. The editors supply what
Aldington had written: “Moreover, I don’t really like the gospels, and I
don’t much like Christ. I really think Paul was more interesting. He
appears to have been a man; I have suspected that . . . Christ is an
invention.” Just at the time Eliot is about to enter the Church, we find
him apparently saying that he does not believe Christ existed and in any
case that he doesn’t “like” Him.

Add to this what Eliot tells John Middleton Murry, an intellectual
sparring partner who was one of his few real confidants: “You assume
that truth changes – you accept as inevitable what appears to me to be
within our own power. I am, in a way, a much more thoroughgoing
pragmatist – but so thoroughgoing that I am sure there is nothing for it
but to assume that there are fixed meanings, and that truth is always
the same.” Eliot, a product of the Harvard of William James, suggests
that he is drawn to Christianity as a pragmatist – that is, because it
“works” for him, not because he is convinced of its truth as a
proposition. 


On Nov 7, 2012, at 10:47 PM, Chokh Raj wrote:


Oops, I'm so sorry for the typo, it's Gabriel Josipovici. -- CR




From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] a review in the Nov 2 Times Literary Supplement of The Letters
of TS Eliot, Vol. 3 by Gabriel Josopovici. Here's a link to the Contents
page:





http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/multimedia/archive/00303/Contents_31_02_12__303256a.pdf






Thought this might interest you.




Regards,

CR