Agents of Uncertainty: Mysticism, Scepticism, Buddhism, Art by John Danvers

By John Danvers

Via an research of many various examples, Danvers articulates a brand new state of mind approximately mysticism and scepticism, now not as contrary poles of the philosophical spectrum, yet as fields of enquiry with overlapping goals and strategies. triggered through a deep feel of ask yourself at being alive, many mystics and sceptics, just like the Buddha, perform disciplines of doubt as a way to develop into freed from attachment to mounted appearances, essences and viewpoints, and in doing so that they locate peace and equanimity. They improve methods of residing with impermanence and the unforeseen by means of letting move of adherence to dogmatic ideals and by way of postponing judgement. In universal with many artists and poets they act as brokers of uncertainty, actively demanding the exercises and behavior of day by day idea and behavior for you to display the best way to keep a feeling of stability and spontaneity in the middle of life's problems. themes explored comprise: being and self as procedure; mysticism and language; scepticism and dogmatism; Buddhism, interdependence and vacancy; Daoism and impermanence; dialectics of doubt in paintings and poetry. Written in a full of life and obtainable type, followed via drawings and images through the writer, this quantity is geared toward students, artists, lecturers, and somebody attracted to philosophy, faith, paintings, poetry and methods of being.

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Extra resources for Agents of Uncertainty: Mysticism, Scepticism, Buddhism, Art and Poetry (Consciousness, Literature and the Arts, Volume 31)

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In this respect, Murray contends, Eliot is closer to the views held by the Victorines of the twelfth century or by Aquinas in the thirteenth, than to the emotionalism of St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and John Donne in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Murray points out that the latter three figures were described by Eliot in 1926 as “voluptuaries of religion”. (ibid: 5-6) For Eliot religious experience, prayer and poetry are closely interwoven. Eliot’s view seems to echo that expressed by Mallarmé : Poetry is the expression, by means of human language brought back to its essential rhythm, of the mysterious sense of existence: thus it endows our stay on earth with authenticity and constitutes the only spiritual task.

In the Ethics, which was published just after he died in 1677, he argues for a new way of thinking about God, nature and human moral behaviour. He maintains that, “There is only one substance, ‘God or Nature’; nothing finite is selfsubsistent”. (ibid: 594) Individual entities, objects or things are all “merely aspects of the divine Being”, (ibid) whose being is infinite and therefore must include everything. It is only the infinite everything, the universe as a whole, that is “self-subsistent”, the one infinite undifferentiated substance.

In the last stanza of Four Quartets he begins with the wellknown lines: 42 Agents of Uncertainty We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. (Eliot 1959: 59) For Eliot, as much as for Pyrrho or Sextus,[see Part III, p. 93] what matters is the constant balancing of positive and negative, yes and no, this and that. Any assertion or idea needs to be counter-balanced by its inversion, contradiction or negation.

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