A Mystical Philosophy: Transcendence and Immanence in the by Murdoch, Iris; Murdoch, Jean Iris; Woolf, Virginia; Woolf,

A Mystical Philosophy: Transcendence and Immanence in the by Murdoch, Iris; Murdoch, Jean Iris; Woolf, Virginia; Woolf,

By Murdoch, Iris; Murdoch, Jean Iris; Woolf, Virginia; Woolf, Adeline Virginia Stephen; Lazenby, Donna J.; Woolf, Virginia; Murdoch, Iris

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Conversations with Meister Eckhart is an imagined dialog with this thirteenth century mystic, round such topics as detachment (which he famously positioned above love), spirituality, God, the soul and soreness. yet whereas the dialog is imagined, Eckhart’s phrases should not; they're authentically his own.

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Extra resources for A Mystical Philosophy: Transcendence and Immanence in the Works of Virginia Woolf and Iris Murdoch

Sample text

Where ‘the mystic’s apparent insight into a higher reality and a hidden good’94 remains outside that ‘marriage with the world’95 which the empiricist doctrine ensures, the consequence is but ornamental illusion. 96 The balance Russell initially advocates between the scientific and mystical temperaments in the pursuit of knowledge becomes rather the declaration that science without mysticism is acceptable (even preferable), while mysticism without science will merely ‘bring forth, out of [the soul’s] own depths, the mad dance of fantastic phantoms .

Woolf ’s story not only responds to the aesthetic temperament of Fry’s theory, but also to aspects of Bell’s depiction of significant form. ’169 Bell identifies as common to all great art an appeal that ‘is universal and eternal,’ namely an emotional appreciation of significant form which simultaneously transcends the specificity of individual taste, which is itself interpreted as the particular instantiation of a universal appreciation of form. The observer of art, the artist, responds to an instant and inexplicable emotional impulse (we recall Russell’s definition of the mystical temperament) which reveals a more general appreciation of the significant form which inspired the subjective emotion.

Goldman’s attempt to reduce the sense of ‘mystical’ content in Woolf ’s novels (especially in To The Lighthouse and The Waves where she is keen to unveil a rational light), also sits uneasily with Woolf ’s comments about mystical impulses which inspire her work. During her composition of The Waves, Woolf writes that ‘I am ill so often . . If I could stay in bed another fortnight . . ’ Then she adds, ‘I believe these illnesses are in my case – how shall I express it? – partly mystical. Something happens in my mind.

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