O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
The word for recreation in Daniel Matt’s translation of Zohar 1.4b-5a is ‘innovation’; an innovated word of wisdom is ‘a new mystical insight, which rises higher than other new interpretations’ of Torah (ZP I.25). Here the meaning cycle takes the form of ascending and descending. Continue reading Interpretation as (re)creation
When a man desires ardently to know the truth, his first effort will be to imagine what that truth can be. He cannot prosecute his pursuit long without finding that imagination unbridled is sure to carry him off the track. Yet nevertheless, it remains true that there is, after all, nothing but imagination that can ever supply him an inkling of the truth. He can stare stupidly at phenomena; but in the absence of imagination they will not connect themselves together in any rational way.
Philosophy, as the process of inquiry, is a science, a quest for truth. An expression or formulation of a theoretical system, as a product of this process, is an art form, at least from an artistic point of view. Continue reading Truth and Beauty
If the natural world is ‘the primary revelation of the divine,’ the ‘primary scripture’ as Thomas Berry says (1988, 105), then language is the secondary scripture (and written texts are tertiary). However, many of the mystical branches of scripture-based religions have seen this order in reverse. Continue reading Creation and transformation
No Evangelist has the slightest interest in writing a biography of Jesus. The Jesus about whom a biography can be written is dead and gone, and survives only as Antichrist. The Evangelists tell us not how Christ came, but how he comes: they are concerned not with a vanished past but with the imagination’s ‘Eternal Now.’ The timid will protest that we are here in danger of dissolving the reality of Christianity into a vaporous allegory; Blake’s answer is that the core of reality is mental and present, not physical and past. Past events do not necessarily dissolve in time, but their existence in the eternal present depends on imaginative recreation.