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T.S.Eliot and the Logos

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dookie On 25 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#1New Post! Jun 25, 2020 @ 10:58:28
Those with long memories will be well acquainted with my liking for Quotes. As A.A.Milne once said, and I quote:- "A quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business. "

Well, that may be so, but I still like to reflect upon the various words and thoughts of others. The following I like because it seems to justify what others have called my mixing of apples and oranges. It seems to assert that apples and oranges are fine to mix in certain circumstances. The quote comes from some book about the poet T.S.Eliot and his famous poem "Four Quartets".....

" Eliot feels no compunction in alluding to the Bhagavad Gita in one section of the poem and Dante's Paradiso in the next. He neither asserts the rightness nor wrongness of one set of doctrines in relation to the other, nor does he try to reconcile them. Instead, he claims that prior to the differentiation of various religious paths, there is a universal substratum called Word (logos) of which religions are concretions. This logos is an object both of belief and disbelief. It is an object of belief in that, without prior belief in the logos, any subsequent religious belief is incoherent. It is an object of disbelief in that belief in it is empty, the positive content of actual belief is fully invested in religious doctrine.
"

I just love that word "empty" in the words above, which link Eliot's thought to our "eastern" friends who are not so keen on the opposites being eternal and absolute, that they in fact arise from a "ground" or "source" that is "beyond" them.

The source is "empty", yet can be the "object" of Faith, even Trust, and is above the world of opposites. Eliot's words suggest that we can be in the world of diversification, yet either lost in a muddle of self-assertion, ungrounded - or, if such faith and trust has been given, making choices in each unique moment, the choices not grasped at as a means of justification.

"What are the teachings of an entire lifetime?"........"An appropriate statement"

Oh to be appropriate now that springtime's here.

Anyone else happy to waffle and offer a few words?
dookie On 25 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#2New Post! Jun 27, 2020 @ 20:59:00
@dookie Said



Anyone else happy to waffle and offer a few words?



Well, apparently not.

Essentially my post was about being grounded in true Trust in Reality-as-is; infinite compassion, infinite wisdom, infinite potential.

Finding oneself spontaneously expressing compassion as ones own "appropriate statement", momentarily in time and space - irrespective of knowing oneself as a bigoted, selfish, spiteful and fearful human being - reinforces my Faith that such IS the true reality in which we "live and move and have our being."

Well, back to the Pure Land of grandchildren and the kitchen sink.
Jennifer1984 On about 20 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#3New Post! Jun 28, 2020 @ 06:26:03
I will freely admit that I like quotes even though some academics and other writers argue that being impressed by the words of others is - they say - a sign of low intelligence. "He wrapped himself in quotations as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple robes of emporers (Rudyard Kipling)

I though, suggest that some contain pearls of wisdom that can be used even if only for no other reason than, in the fast paced world of forum discussion, they come in handy when you're trying to make a quick reply on a subject that might be quite complex. Brevity is the soul of wit (Shakespeare, Hamlet.)

I like Shakespeare.


For me, certain questions should be taken into consideration before using a quotation:

Is it relevant?

Is it appropriate?

Does the use of it get to the heart of the matter?

The user might ask themself other things too, but those are the main three.

The "mixing of apples and oranges" tends to confuse matters a little. A bit like leading the reader to a fork in the road that has a signpost saying "take this road" at both junctions. The reader has to make a choice. Do they follow the left hand path or the right..?

If one follows the left hand path, regardless of what benefits they gain from taking that road, they'll inevitably wonder what they might have found had they gone the other way. If they wanted to turn around to take the other path, they'll inevitably wonder what they have lost by turning when they did.

As for Logos, I see it as a scientific concept. It's an argument that applies to logic and reason. If I cite scientific data and methodically work through that process, or I accurately quote historical events that are relevant to a topic, then this to me is Logos.

Quotations can be useful in this process, but only if the proper questions are asked and satisfied before use.
dookie On 25 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#4New Post! Jun 28, 2020 @ 07:49:25
@Jennifer1984 Said

I will freely admit that I like quotes even though some academics and other writers argue that being impressed by the words of others is - they say - a sign of low intelligence.

The "mixing of apples and oranges" tends to confuse matters a little.



Hi, irrespective of intelligence level (I identify as a "foolish bombu" ) for me it is nothing to do with being "impressed". Rather they are windows into the minds and lives of others. I am blessed (?) with becoming "empty" when actually reading any quote, completely non-judgemental, totally open to another way of seeing our world. Only afterwards do the words - possibly - settle, and then I just "take what I need and leave the rest".

Mixing apples and oranges is fine, and follows from "touching base", finding Trust in Reality, as I said. Confusing if one hasn't. They testify to the beauty of difference, the wonderful diversity of the world we live in. Apples, oranges, bananas and more.

A quote to finish, from Thomas Merton in his introduction to his rather loose translation (the looser the better I would say) of Chuang Tzu....

"..... the “way” of Chuang Tzu is mysterious because it is so simple that it can get along without being a way at all. Least of all is it a “way out.” Chuang Tzu would have agreed with St.John of the Cross, that you enter upon this kind of way when you leave all ways and, in some sense, get lost."
Jennifer1984 On about 20 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#5New Post! Jun 30, 2020 @ 09:11:14
@dookie Said

Hi, irrespective of intelligence level (I identify as a "foolish bombu" ) for me it is nothing to do with being "impressed". Rather they are windows into the minds and lives of others. I am blessed (?) with becoming "empty" when actually reading any quote, completely non-judgemental, totally open to another way of seeing our world. Only afterwards do the words - possibly - settle, and then I just "take what I need and leave the rest".

Mixing apples and oranges is fine, and follows from "touching base", finding Trust in Reality, as I said. Confusing if one hasn't. They testify to the beauty of difference, the wonderful diversity of the world we live in. Apples, oranges, bananas and more.

A quote to finish, from Thomas Merton in his introduction to his rather loose translation (the looser the better I would say) of Chuang Tzu....

"..... the “way” of Chuang Tzu is mysterious because it is so simple that it can get along without being a way at all. Least of all is it a “way out.” Chuang Tzu would have agreed with St.John of the Cross, that you enter upon this kind of way when you leave all ways and, in some sense, get lost."



I'm all for the beauty of difference. Diversity is the very essence of life on this planet. As a budding (should that be 'embryonic'?) biologist at school it was one of the first Eureka moments in my education when I realised how life on the land varies more and evolves faster than life in the oceans because the sea is too unvarying and stable an environment for species to have a need to evolve further once they have achieved a state where their continued existence as a species is assured.

As humans we have taken diversity to extreme lengths by learning how to affect the environment to suit our (short term) aims. Our bodies are still diversifying (evolving) but that's a slow process. Diversifying the planet enables us to do more than survive as a species. You know the rest.

Philosophy I'm not so good at. I have a comfort zone with quotations. I'm happy to use them in a bespoke kind of way. There's no "one size fits all".

Perhaps I should finish with a quotation too:

We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities... still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.

Charles Darwin
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