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The Sublime Paradox

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Molly Gentile

on 11 April 2016

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Transcript of The Sublime Paradox

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


Woah, that's....sublime!
Complementary Paradigms of British Romanticism and Hinduism
Amelia Rose Gentile
How and Why?
Historical Timelines
Europe
India
Transcendent Unification
Originally brought to you by:
Immanuel Kant
and
Edmund Burke
The
Sublime
(Hard to express)
Art
Literature and Poetry
Romanticism
Hinduism
1) Hinduism



2) British Romanticism - Dr. Thurber






3) Luck...
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
sublime
is
limitless
, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has
pain
in the failure, but
pleasure
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
astonishment
; and astonishment is that state of the soul, in which all motions are suspended, with some degree of
horror
. 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."
Immanuel Kant
1724-1804
Edmund Burke
1729-1797
Critique of Pure Reason
On the Sublime and Beautiful
The British Romantic Lens
Aesthetic
Object
Horror
Terror
Transcendence
Sublime
Fleeting
Experiential
Astonishment
Amazement
Super-consciousness
Nature
Engulfing
William Blake
,
The Clod and the Pebble
and
Marriage of Heaven and Hell

William Wordsworth
,
The

Prelude

Percy Shelley
,
Prometheus Unbound

Mary Shelley,
Frankenstein

Samuel T. Coleridge,

Hymn Before Sunrise
,
Kubla Khan
, and
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Wanderer Above the Sea Fog
Mont Blanc
1757
1781
1802
1789
1600
900 CE
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
Rome
The Enlightenment
500 BCE
200
1643 CE
The Upanishads
and
Bhagavad Gita
(added to the Mahabharata)
Panditraj Jagannath,
Ganga Lahari
The Mahabharata
Paradoxes
Responses
to
Nature
Transcendent
Unification
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
William Blake
Responses to Nature
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
"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
, neither
long nor short,

hot nor cold
, neither
bright nor dark
, neither
air nor space
...without movement, without limitation, without inside or outside." (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad)
"Without Contraries is no progression.
Attraction and
Repulsion
,
Reason and Energy
,
Love and Hate
, are
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
Wordsworth- Prelude
Mary Shelley- Frankenstein

Samuel T. Coleridge- The Ancient Mariner
O Lord,
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
O
dread
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,
Thou
, 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!
What next?
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
Ineffable
"I am
delighted
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
Remember Burke:
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,
co-eternal
with the Absolute.
(Swami Krishnanda)
Full transcript