Coleridge's Writings: Vol. 4: On Religion And Psychology by John Beer

By John Beer

Of the entire wide-ranging pursuits Coleridge confirmed in his profession, faith used to be the private and such a lot long-lasting; and Beer demonstrates during this publication that none of his paintings might be totally understood with out taking this into consideration. Beer finds how Coleridge used to be preoccupied by means of the lifetime of the brain, and the way heavily this topic used to be intertwined with faith in his considering. The insights that emerge during this assortment are of soaking up curiosity, displaying the efforts of a pioneer to reconcile conventional knowledge, either inside and out orthodox Christianity, with the questions that have been turning into glaring to a delicate enquirer.

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In the country, all around us smile Good and Beauty—and the Images of this divine καλοκ0γαθ2ν [beautiful and good] are miniatured on the mind of the beholder, as a Landscape on a Convex Mirror . . God love you, my very dear Sir! —The finely-fibred Heart, that like the statue of Memnon, trembles into melody on the sunbeam touch of Benevolence, is most easily jarred into the dissonance of Misanthropy. 2 . . many idle flitting phantasies Traverse my indolent and passive brain As wild and various, as the random gales That swell or flutter on this subject Lute!

2 A Religion of Life? During the years after he settled in Bristol Coleridge not only busied himself with religious and philosophical studies, but also began to feel his way as a poet of nature. His most successful venture in this field, the poem ‘The Eolian Harp’, composed at the time of his marriage and celebrating a visit to the honeymoon cottage which he shared with Sara Coleridge, begins with an effective early attempt at nature-description: 1 . . ) And watch the clouds, that late were rich with light, Slow sad’ning round, and mark the star of eve SereneIy brilliant (such should Wisdom be) Shine opposite!

Length be unable to disguise from itself the unequivocal fact of its own Shame & Remorse—& this once felt, & distinctly acknowleged, Spinozism is blown up as by a mine. Spinoza remains an ambiguous figure for him to the end. In 1832 he declares17 If you admit Spinoza’s premiss, it is in vain to attack his conclusions. His logic is an adamantine chain! 18 so shalt thou see and hear The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible Of that eternal language, which thy God Utters who from eternity doth teach Himself in all, and all things in himself.

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