Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday Vaguely Spiritualist Biophilia Blogging

Toward a partial reply: talking of spirituality is akin to nailing blocks of Jell-o to a wall, if it isn't simply a cloudy way of paraphrasing the claim that the universe revolves around me. That said, I have tried it now and then -- with what success is for others to judge.

I think William Wordsworth took great strides in fleshing out (so to speak) an idea of the spiritual that doesn't rely overmuch on god. He does invoke god and other supernatural entities here and there, but his spirituality is fundamentally grounded in memory, contemplation, the observation of nature, and the appreciation of beauty.

Wordsworth tells us again and again that life can present moments of literary unity which can then, in his case at least, feed the actual creation of literature: ecstatic recognitions of himself in others, echoes of the past in the present, profoundly mood-altering recollections or "inhabitations of memory." He wants us to call to mind, cherish, and renew what we had when, as children, we wandered the woods and tossed stones into a stream. The cultivation, manners, conventions, and necessities of Responsible Adulthood rob us of essential understandings and connections.

Here are a couple of famous examples from Wordsworth on this theme:

Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey

And then there's this, which desperately needs a better soundtrack, and the background story of which may be as fake as a three dollar bill, but elements of which can't be denied.

4 comments:

Domestically Challenged said...

Thank you, Dale.

Domestically Challenged said...

LOL I have to admit I wasn't expecting the reply I recieved on my page...

It seems you have a following of sorts, Dale! Way to Go! You must be doing something right! ;o)~

Dale said...

No, thank you, DC. I hadn't seen the reply on your page until you mentioned it. Hmm ... not sure if I want to bother re-entering that particular fray.

Maybe, maybe not.

All's fair in love, war, and blog commenting. Right?

Domestically Challenged said...

LMAO! Little did he realise I am one of your biggest fans!!! HA!

Too bad I completely suck at verbal (whatever) sparing.... I just know there are many really cool things I could say. Oh well, I'm Me! Nice and polite if anything.