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The Sublime Paradox
Transcript of The Sublime Paradox
Sophisticated title... what does it mean?
Sublime- "transformation to purity"
"the threshhold of physiological or psychological response"
"the point at which stimulus is of sufficicent intensity to begin to produce an effect"
Paradox- “a paradox is the placing of two opposite or conflicting ideas in juxtaposition. There is no solution to the paradox, a paradox can only be resolved—or, more truly, dissolved…when the opposites are seen as existing together…at the same place, at the same time. Human mind cannot conceive of this.”
Methodology and Discipline
Complementary Paradigms- viewpoints which combine to enhance one another; cover more ground
Complementary Paradigms of British Romanticism and Hinduism
Amelia Rose Gentile
How and Why?
Originally brought to you by:
(Hard to express)
Literature and Poetry
2) British Romanticism - Dr. Thurber
British Romanticism- Reaction against, challenge to the Period of Enlightenment, the Romantic movement refocused on aesthetics, surface, form, emotional response, and the value of experience
Hinduism- the "oldest" religion in the world; "Hinduism is a categorization of distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid, common set of beliefs."
"Whereas the beautiful is limited, the
, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has
in the failure, but
in contemplating the immensity of the attempt."
"The passion caused by
the great and sublime in nature
, when those causes operate [at their most powerful] is
; and astonishment is that state of the soul, in which all motions are suspended, with some degree of
. In this case the mind is so entirely filled with its object, that it cannot entertain any other, nor reason [about] that object which employs it."
Critique of Pure Reason
On the Sublime and Beautiful
The British Romantic Lens
The Clod and the Pebble
Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Samuel T. Coleridge,
Hymn Before Sunrise
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Wanderer Above the Sea Fog
Burke, On the Sublime and Beautiful
Kant, Critique of Pure Reason
The French Revolution
End of the Enlightenment
Blake, Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Coleridge, Hymn Before Sunrise
Longinus, On The Sublime
(added to the Mahabharata)
The Sublime- Paradoxes
bhāva- experience; mental state, emotion, mood, or ecstasy induced by object of focus
Ātman- inner self, soul
Brahman- conscious, irreducible, infinite, omnipresent, spiritual source of the universe of finiteness and change
Responses to Nature
"The Imperishable is the seer, though unseen; the hearer, though unheard; the thinker, though unthought; the knower, though unknown"
"One of the most important ways in which the incomprehensible manifests itself is with paradoxes or antinomies which evoke the inability of the understanding to form any conception of the ideas of Reason" (Vallins)
"O Mother Ganga,
Who here can speak of the greatness of your form,
Which vanquishes our worldly fears
by its mere beholding,
Which Siva ever holds upon his head,
despite the strong entreaties of the Mountain's daughter,
who grows faint with envy," (Ganga Lahari)
The Ganges River
"The Sages call it Akshara, the Imperishable. It is neither
big nor small
long nor short,
hot nor cold
bright nor dark
air nor space
...without movement, without limitation, without inside or outside." (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad)
"Without Contraries is no progression.
Reason and Energy
Love and Hate
necessary to Human existence.
From these contraries spring what the religious call
Good & Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason.
Evil is the active springing from Energy."
(Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell)
Romantic Works Involving Mont Blanc:
Coleridge - Hymn Before Sunrise
Shelley- Mont Blanc, Ode to the West Wind
Mary Shelley- Frankenstein
Samuel T. Coleridge- The Ancient Mariner
my praises to You from all sides. You are infinite valor and the boundless might. You pervade everything, and therefore You are everywhere and in everything
Coleridge- Hymn before Sunrise, in the Vale of Chamouni
and silent Mount! I gaz'd upon thee,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
Did'st vanish from my thought:
entranc'd in prayer
I worshipped the Invisible alone.
Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,
So sweet, we know not we are listening to it,
, the meanwhile,
wast blending with my Thought
Yea, with my Life and Life's own secret Joy:
Till the dilating Soul, enrapt, transfus'd,
Into the mighty Vision passing
… (Lines 13–22)
Special Thanks to:
Dr. Phukan, Dr. Thurber, Dr. Nelson, Dr. Ortiz, Dr. Pace, Erin Pricket
My Fall Senior thesis peers
The Honors Program
Everyone in attendance today!
Utilize further texts from the Upanishads and Vedas
Explore the necessity of "gazing", "beholding", vision, and sight in the invocation of sublime
Does the sublime work through other sensual exeriences?
Research the more complex relational nature of the sublime in Hinduism; bhakti yoga and kamasutra
by beholding that which has never been seen before, and yet my mind is
tormented with fear
-Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, upon experiencing the divinity and sublime presence of Krishna
astonishment in which motion is suspended
some degree of horror
unique, transcendent experience
moksha- the joining of atman with Brahman
The ultimate freedom which the soul attains in Moksha is one of omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence and immortality,
with the Absolute.