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Observations placeholder

Eliot, T S - Four Quartets - 09 The Dry Salvages II

Identifier

004881

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

The following poem offers some intriguing extra thoughts about the indexing of perceptions.  Indexing can certainly take place from this life, from memory as 'meaning'.  In effect once we have made meaning from memory we can use the meaning to access the perceptions.  But TS Eliot hints at longer perceptions and also possibly perceptions long past – ancestral, evolutionary , that are also accessible via meaning.  Possibly if past lives are accessible during sleep for example, there is no reason why we should not learn from them and also index them – 'false memories' almost in that they do not belong to this life.

A description of the experience

T S Eliot – The Dry Salvage

It seems as one becomes older
That the past has another pattern and ceases to be a mere sequence
Or even development; the latter a partial fallacy
Encouraged by superficial notions of evolution
Which becomes, in the popular mind, a means of disowning the past
…..........
The sudden illumination
We had the experience but missed the meaning
And approach to the meaning restores the experience
In a different form, beyond any meaning
We can assign to happiness.  I have said before
That the past experience revived in the meaning
Is not the experience of one life only
But of many generations – not forgetting
Something that is probably quite ineffable
The backward look behind the assurance
Of recorded history, the backward half look
Over the shoulder, towards the primitive terror

The source of the experience

Eliot, T S

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References