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Re: Walter de la Mare's anthology BEHOLD, THIS DREAMER!
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 16 November, 2019 03:45AM
Knygatin Wrote:
> It seems to me the
> lecture in essence is a defense of the Bible (and
> other old spiritual traditions), ...

I meant religious traditions, of course. Because religion and spirituality are not the same thing, far from it.

One of my favorite Maxfield Parrish paintings is called "The Village Brook". This beautiful artistic vision tells a great deal of the relative comparison between religious institution and actual genuine spirituality. True spirituality is pagan and unbound by the rigid walls of institution. [The Village Brook] [The Village Brook, detail]

Re: Walter de la Mare's anthology BEHOLD, THIS DREAMER!
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 16 November, 2019 12:01PM
Knygatin Wrote:
> I am sorry that I don't have the patience to
> listen to all of his full speech. But I have
> listened some more, and also what he says in and
> around 40 minutes. I suppose this lecture is a
> Christian gathering of people. It seems to me the
> lecture in essence is a defense of the Bible (and
> other old spiritual traditions), and making an
> argument for poetry being supportive of and deeply
> connected to Christianity (and Judaism).
> I do agree with him that we have lost our sense of
> direction and lost much of true knowledge
> simultaneously with the vast amounts of
> information now flooding us, and that scientific
> research and the gathering of proof doesn't
> necessarily lead to increased wisdom. And I also
> agree that spirituality and poetry can offer gifts
> of insight (or at least heighten or refine
> sensation) that scientific explanations may be
> incapable of giving (because of using too rough or
> crude instruments in approach, to be able to
> explain reality and knowledge on more subtle
> levels).
> I believe science, psychology, spirituality,
> poetry, and art, are all important methods of
> understanding reality, but need to be balanced
> together.

Malcolm Guite was speaking to a Temenos gathering of some sort. Temenos isn't a Christian organization. But your second and third paragraphs sound to me like you were picking up some key points Guite was making -- and that they are relevant to de la Mare, to whose Behold, This Dreamer! I mean to return soon; however, I've been reading a couple of novels -- Vodolazkin's The Aviator and Lindsay's Voyage to Arcturus -- and some 16th-century stuff, and have been away from it just lately.

But I hope sometime you can return to this lecture and give it a complete listening. Barfield is outstanding for the way he really makes a case for language, poetry, imagination as vital to our understanding of ourselves and the cosmos. He is not just a soft-hearted admirer of poetry, but a tough-minded reasoner who could have backed Lovecraft into a tight corner rather quickly (and I don't say that in contempt of HPL; but Lovecraft was limited in that he didn't, apparently, have much contact with people who were ready, willing, and able to challenge him on his own ground; rather, his interlocutors tended to be younger men who, even if they didn't agree with him, were at least not as fluent in argument as he was). It's interesting to consider that Barfield and Lovecraft were contemporaries (born 1898 and 1890 respectively) and that both zeroed in on key philosophical matters. Barfield eventually (1950s) became a member of the Church of England, but throughout his adult life during HPL's own lifetime was not religiously affiliated, so far as I recall. But one may dismiss the biographical stuff and just say that these two were thinking about some of the same sorts of things, only Barfield addressed a vital factor -- the perceiving consciousness -- that Lovecraft tended to take for granted, even though this immediately involved him in inconsistencies.

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