Another form of prayer, called cataphatic, honors and reverences images and feelings and goes through them to God. This form of prayer also has an ancient and well-attested history in the world of religions. Any sort of prayer that highlights the mediation of creation can be called cataphatic. So, praying before icons or images of saints; the mediation of sacraments and sacramentals; prayer out in creation - all these are cataphatic forms of prayer
Gregory A. Boyd
That one body may act upon another at a distance through a vacuum, without the mediation of any thing else, by and through which their action and force may be conveyed from one to another, is to me so great an absurdity, that I believe no man, who has in philosophical matters a compentent faculty of thinking, can ever fall into it.
It's a very teenage idea - this idea that thought is ruined when we give over to television shows and glossy magazines and what they are telling us to do. The alternative, I believe, in is pitiless censorship. Because we owe each other the best effort we can to see one another without that mediation.
I was deluding myself that the song was almost not important, but I think the real thing that was happening was almost like self-hypnosis or mediation. The guitar lick was the transcendental key that unlocked my brain. It freed me. And then it all became easy. It's funny now, because I've had times when it wasn't easy.
Mediation and reconciliation work is about a profound quest for justice and social transformation. But at the same time, they are about service, solidarity, about exploring and rediscovering the human spirit that has been lost or shattered through human conflict, cruelty, ignorance and greed...
I think nonviolence and the mediation of conflict by means of respecting civility must be promoted. But being the kind of beings we [peoplep] are - wrestling with greed, and wrestling with fears and security, anxieties, wrestling with hatred that's shot through all of us - wars are here to stay.
But for me I think it's just about taking that time of reflection and contemplation. That's probably my process in every decision that I make: to make sure that I spend time just with myself, and really times of silence and mediation to go through that process; and music is a big part of that as well.
Concern for the symbol has completely disappeared from our science . And yet, if one were to give oneself the trouble, one could easily find, in certain parts at least of contemporary mathematics... symbols as clear, as beautiful, and as full of spiritual meaning as that of the circle and mediation. From modern thought to ancient wisdom the path would be short and direct, if one cared to take it.
Where constraint breaks people, and mediation makes fools of them, the seduction of power is what makes them love their oppression. Because of it, people give up their real riches for a cause that mutilates them; for an appearance that reifies them; for roles that wrest them from authentic life; for a time whose passage defines and confines them.
Nature doth thus kindly heal every wound. By the mediation of a thousand little mosses and fungi, the most unsightly objects become radiant of beauty. There seem to be two sides of this world, presented us at different times, as we see things in growth or dissolution, in life or death. And seen with the eye of the poet, as God sees them, all things are alive and beautiful.
Henry David Thoreau
Some relate . . . that the eagle tries the eyes of her young by turning them to the sun; which if they cannot look steadily on, she rejects them as spurious. We may truly try our faith by immediate intuitions of the Sun of Righteousness. Direct faith to act itself, immediately and directly on the incarnation of Christ and His mediation; and if it be not the right kind and race, it will turn its eyes aside to anything else.
Called on the people of New Hampshire . . . to confess before God their aggravated transgressions and to implore His pardon and forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ . . . [t]hat the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be made known to all nations, pure and undefiled religion universally prevail, and the earth be fill with the glory of the Lord.
The very hope of experimental philosophy, its expectation of constructing the sciences into a true philosophy of nature, is basedon induction, or, if you please, the a priori presumption, that physical causation is universal; that the constitution of nature is written in its actual manifestations, and needs only to be deciphered by experimental and inductive research; that it is not a latent invisible writing, to be brought out by the magic of mental anticipation or metaphysical mediation.
In organized groups such as the army or the Church there is either no mention of love whatsoever between the members, or it is expressed only in a sublimated and indirect way, through the mediation of some religious imagine in the love of whom the members unite and whose all-embracing love they are supposed to imitate in their attitude towards each other. ... It is one of the basic tenets of fascist leadership to keep primary libidinal energy on an unconscious level so as to divert its manifestations in a way suitable to political ends.
The cause of Sense, is the External Body, or Object, which presseth the organ proper to each Sense, either immediately, as in theTaste and Touch; or mediately, as in Seeing, Hearing, and Smelling: which pressure, by the mediation of Nerves, and other strings, and membranes of the body, continued inwards to the Brain, and Heart, causeth there a resistance, or counter- pressure, or endeavor of the heart, to deliver it self: which endeavor because Outward, seemeth to be some matter without.
I had written the sentence, 'You mustn't think that the evolution that gave rise to us was the only evolutionary possibility on this planet... that cultural developments could be shaped through the mediation of another animal species. If the biological conditions were favorable, some civilization not inferior to our own could arise in the depths of the sea... Would it do the same stupid things mankind has done? Would it invite the same historical calamities? What would we say if some animal other than man declared that its education and its numbers gave it the sole right to occupy the entire world and hold sway over all creation?
My goal was that the reader wouldn't have to be trained in literature or even in science fiction to receive the tale in its simplest, purest form. And, since a great many writers and critics have based their entire careers on the premise that anything that the general public can understand without mediation is worthless drivel, it is not surprising that they found my little novel to be despicable. If everybody came to agree that stories should be told this clearly, the professors of literature would be out of a job, and the writers of obscure, encoded fiction would be, not honored, but pitied for their impenetrability.
Orson Scott Card
Names generate meaning in a short amount of space "" they provoke thoughts, questions. That's something I like doing. Of course, you have to be careful. Sometimes it can alienate the reader, it can be another level of mediation, to make a character carry the great burden of a metaphoric name. The character can be a device before he or she becomes a person, and that can be a bad thing for a writer who wants to offer up a kind of emotional proximity in the work. It's a constant struggle, the desire to be playful and the desire to communicate on some very stark emotional level.
When I immersed myself in prayer and united myself with all the Masses that were being celebrated all over the world at that time, I implored God, for the sake of all these Holy Masses, to have mercy on the world and especially on poor sinners who were dying at that moment. At the same instant, I received an interior answer from God that a thousand souls had received grace through the prayerful mediation I had offered to God. We do not know the number of souls that is ours to save through our prayers and sacrifices; therefore, let us always pray for sinners.
Mary Faustina Kowalska
My foot slips on a narrow ledge; in that split second, as needles of fear pierce heart and temples, eternity intersects with present time. Thought and action are not different, and stone, air, ice, sun, fear, and self are one. What is exhilarating is to extend this acute awareness into ordinary moments, in the moment-by-moment experiencing of the lammergeier and the wolf, which, finding themselves at the center of things, have no need for any secret of true being. In this very breath that we take now lies the secret that all great teachers try to tell us... the present moment. The purpose of mediation practice is not enlightenment' it is to pay attention even at unextraordinary times, to be of the present, nothing-but-the-present, to bear this mindfulness of now into each event of ordinary life.
Via the mediation of the Enlightenment, this movement had changed from a hobby among a tiny literate elite and their secretaries, an ostentatious amusement among princely and mercantile art patrons and their masterly suppliers (who established a first 'art system'), into a national, a European, indeed a planetary matter. In order to spread from the few to the many, the renaissance had to discard its humanistic exterior and reveal itself as the return of ancient mass culture. The true renaissance question, reformulated in the terminology of practical philosophy - namely, whether other forms of life are possible and permissible for us alongside and after Christianity, especially ones whose patterns are derived from Greek and Roman (perhaps even Egyptian or Indian) antiquity - was no longer a secret discourse or an academic exercise in the nineteenth century, but rather an epochal passion, an inescapable pro nobis.
I remain 'torn' (between a 'hyberbolic' ethical vision of forgiveness, pure forgiveness, and the reality of a society at work in pragmatic processes of reconciliation). But without power, desire, or need to decide. The two poles are irreducible to one another, certainly, but they remain indissociable. In order to inflect politics, or what you just called the 'pragmatic processes', in order to change the law (which, thus, finds itself between the two poles, the 'ideal' and the 'empirical' - and what is more important to me here is, between these two, this universalising mediation, this history of the law, the possibility of this progress of the law), it is necessary to refer to a ''hyperbolic' ethical vision of forgiveness'. Even if I were not sure of the words 'vision' or 'ethics' in this case, let us say that only this inflexible exigence can orient a history of laws, and evolution of the law. It alone can inspire here, now, in the urgency, without waiting, response and responsibilities.
We have seen that a myth could never approached in a purely profane setting. It was only comprehensible in a liturgical context that set it apart from everyday life; it must be experienced as part of a process of personal transformation. None, of this surely applies to the novel, which can be read anywhere at all witout ritual trappings, and must, if it is any good, eschew the overtly didactic. Yet the experience of reading a novel has certain qualities that remind us of the mythology. It can be seen as a form of mediation. Readers have to live with a novel for days or even weeks. It prljects them into another worl, parallel to but apart from their ordinary lives. They know perfectly well that this fictional realm is not 'real' and yet while they are reading it becomes compelling. A powerful novel bcomes part of the backdrop of lives long after we have laid the book aside. It is an excercise of make-believe, that like yoga or a religious festival breaks down barriers of space and time and extends our sympathies to empathise with others lives and sorrows. It teaches compassion, the ability to 'feel with' others. And, like mythology , an important novel is transformative. If we allow it do so, can change us forever.
By the second day, the song lyrics had faded, but in their place came darker irritations. Gradually, I started to become aware of a young man sitting just behind me and to the left. I had noticed him when he first entered the mediation hall, and had felt a flash of annoyance at the time: something about him, especially his beard, had struck me as too calculatedly dishevelled, as if he were trying to make a statement. Now his audible breathing was starting to irritate me, too. It seemed studied, unnatural, somehow theatrical. My irritation slowly intensified - a reaction that struck me as entirely reasonable and proportionate at the time. It was all beginning to feel like a personal attack. How much contempt must the bearded meditator have for me, I seethed silently, deliberately to decide to ruin the serenity of my meditation by behaving so obnoxiously? Experienced retreat-goers, it turns out, have a term for this phenomenon. The call it 'vipassana vendetta'. In the stillness tiny irritations become magnified into full-blown hate campaigns; the mind is so conditioned to attaching to storylines that it seizes upon whatever's available. Being on retreat had temporarily separated me from all the real causes of distress in my life, and so, apparently, I was inventing new ones. As I shuffled to my narrow bed that evening, I was still smarting about the loud-breathing man. I did let go of the vendetta eventually - but only because I'd fallen into an exhausted and dreamless sleep
And now without redemption all mankind Must have been lost, adjudged to death and hell By doom severe, had not the Son of God, In whom the fullness dwells of love divine, His dearest mediation thus renewed. 'Father, Thy word is passed, man shall find grace; And shall grace not find means, that finds her way, The speediest of Thy winged messengers, To visit all Thy creatures, and to all Comes unprevented, unimplored, unsought, Happy for man, so coming; he her aid Can never seek, once dead in sins and lost; Atonement for himself or offering meet, Indebted and undone, hath none to bring: Behold Me then, Me for him, life for life I offer, on Me let Thine anger fall; Account Me man; I for his sake will leave Thy bosom, and this glory next to Thee Freely put off, and for him lastly die Well pleased, on Me let death wreak all his rage; Under his gloomy power I shall not long Lie vanquished; Thou hast given Me to possess Life in Myself forever, by Thee I live, Though now to death I yield, and am his due All that of Me can die, yet that debt paid, Thou wilt not leave Me in the loathsome grave His prey, nor suffer My unspotted soul Forever with corruption there to dwell; But I shall rise victorious, and subdue My vanquisher, spoiled of his vaunted spoil; Death his death's wound shall then receive, and stoop Inglorious, of his mortal sting disarmed.
In a traditional German toilet, the hole into which shit disappears after we flush is right at the front, so that shit is first laid out for us to sniff and inspect for traces of illness. In the typical French toilet, on the contrary, the hole is at the back, i.e. shit is supposed to disappear as quickly as possible. Finally, the American (Anglo-Saxon) toilet presents a synthesis, a mediation between these opposites: the toilet basin is full of water, so that the shit floats in it, visible, but not to be inspected. [... ] It is clear that none of these versions can be accounted for in purely utilitarian terms: each involves a certain ideological perception of how the subject should relate to excrement. Hegel was among the first to see in the geographical triad of Germany, France and England an expression of three different existential attitudes: reflective thoroughness (German), revolutionary hastiness (French), utilitarian pragmatism (English). In political terms, this triad can be read as German conservatism, French revolutionary radicalism and English liberalism. [... ] The point about toilets is that they enable us not only to discern this triad in the most intimate domain, but also to identify its underlying mechanism in the three different attitudes towards excremental excess: an ambiguous contemplative fascination; a wish to get rid of it as fast as possible; a pragmatic decision to treat it as ordinary and dispose of it in an appropriate way. It is easy for an academic at a round table to claim that we live in a post-ideological universe, but the moment he visits the lavatory after the heated discussion, he is again knee-deep in ideology.
The idealized market was supposed to deliver 'friction free' exchanges, in which the desires of consumers would be met directly, without the need for intervention or mediation by regulatory agencies. Yet the drive to assess the performance of workers and to measure forms of labor which, by their nature, are resistant to quantification, has inevitably required additional layers of management and bureaucracy. What we have is not a direct comparison of workers' performance or output, but a comparison between the audited representation of that performance and output. Inevitably, a short-circuiting occurs, and work becomes geared towards the generation and massaging of representations rather than to the official goals of the work itself. Indeed, an anthropological study of local government in Britain argues that 'More effort goes into ensuring that a local authority's services are represented correctly than goes into actually improving those services'. This reversal of priorities is one of the hallmarks of a system which can be characterized without hyperbole as 'market Stalinism'. What late capitalism repeats from Stalinism is just this valuing of symbols of achievement over actual achievement. [... ] It would be a mistake to regard this market Stalinism as some deviation from the 'true spirit' of capitalism. On the contrary, it would be better to say that an essential dimension of Stalinism was inhibited by its association with a social project like socialism and can only emerge in a late capitalist culture in which images acquire an autonomous force. The way value is generated on the stock exchange depends of course less on what a company 'really does', and more on perceptions of, and beliefs about, its (future) performance. In capitalism, that is to say, all that is solid melts into PR, and late capitalism is defined at least as much by this ubiquitous tendency towards PR-production as it is by the imposition of market mechanisms.
What one should add here is that self-consciousness is itself unconscious: we are not aware of the point of our self-consciousness. If ever there was a critic of the fetishizing effect of fascinating and dazzling "leitmotifs", it is Adorno: in his devastating analysis of Wagner, he tries to demonstrate how Wagnerian leitmotifs serve as fetishized elements of easy recognition and thus constitute a kind of inner-structural commodification of his music. It is then a supreme irony that traces of this same fetishizing procedure can be found in Adorno's own writings. Many of his provocative one-liners do effectively capture a profound insight or at least touch on a crucial point (for example: "Nothing is more true in pscyhoanalysis than its exaggeration"); however, more often than his partisans are ready to admit, Adorno gets caught up in his own game, infatuated with his own ability to produce dazzlingly "effective" paradoxical aphorisms at the expense of theoretical substance (recall the famous line from Dialectic of Englightment on how Hollywood's ideological maniuplation of social reality realized Kant's idea of the transcendental constitution of reality). In such cases where the dazzling "effect" of the unexpected short-circuit (here between Hollywood cinema and Kantian ontology) effectively overshadows the theoretical line of argumentation, the brilliant paradox works precisely in the same manner as the Wagnerian leitmotif: instead of serving as a nodal point in the complex network of structural mediation, it generates idiotic pleasure by focusing attention on itself. This unintended self-reflexivity is something of which Adorno undoubtedly was not aware: his critique of the Wagnerian leitmotif was an allegorical critique of his own writing. Is this not an exemplary case of his unconscious reflexivity of thinking? When criticizing his opponent Wagner, Adorno effectively deploys a critical allegory of his own writing - in Hegelese, the truth of his relation to the Other is a self-relation.
Eliot's understanding of poetic epistemology is a version of Bradley's theory, outlined in our second chapter, that knowing involves immediate, relational, and transcendent stages or levels. The poetic mind, like the ordinary mind, has at least two types of experience: The first consists largely of feeling (falling in love, smelling the cooking, hearing the noise of the typewriter), the second largely of thought (reading Spinoza). The first type of experience is sensuous, and it is also to a great extent monistic or immediate, for it does not require mediation through the mind; it exists before intellectual analysis, before the falling apart of experience into experiencer and experienced. The second type of experience, in contrast, is intellectual (to be known at all, it must be mediated through the mind) and sharply dualistic, in that it involves a breaking down of experience into subject and object. In the mind of the ordinary person, these two types of experience are and remain disparate. In the mind of the poet, these disparate experiences are somehow transcended and amalgamated into a new whole, a whole beyond and yet including subject and object, mind and matter. Eliot illustrates his explanation of poetic epistemology by saying that John Donne did not simply feel his feelings and think his thoughts; he felt his thoughts and thought his feelings. He was able to "feel his thought as immediately as the odour of a rose." Immediately" in this famous simile is a technical term in philosophy, used with precision; it means unmediated through mind, unshattered into subject and object. Falling in love and reading Spinoza typify Eliot's own experiences in the years in which he was writing The Waste Land. These were the exciting and exhausting years in which he met Vivien Haigh-Wood and consummated a disastrous marriage, the years in which he was deeply involved in reading F. H. Bradley, the years in which he was torn between the professions of philosophy and poetry and in which he was in close and frequent contact with such brilliant and stimulating figures as Bertrand Russell and Ezra Pound, the years of the break from his family and homeland, the years in which in every area of his life he seemed to be between broken worlds. The experiences of these years constitute the material of The Waste Land. The relevant biographical details need not be reviewed here, for they are presented in the introduction to The Waste Land Facsimile. For our purposes, it is only necessary to acknowledge what Eliot himself acknowledged: the material of art is always actual life. At the same time, it should also be noted that material in itself is not art. As Eliot argued in his review of Ulysses, "in creation you are responsible for what you can do with material which you must simply accept." For Eliot, the given material included relations with and observations of women, in particular, of his bright but seemingly incurably ill wife Vivien(ne).
Jewel Spears Brooker
Faut-il regretter le temps des guerres "e sens" ? souhaiter que les guerres d'aujourd'hui "retrouvent" leur sens perdu ? le monde irait-il mieux, moins bien, indifferemment, si les guerres avaient, comme jadis, ce sens qui les justifiait ? Une part de moi, celle qui a la nostalgie des guerres de resistance et des guerres antifascistes, a tendance e dire : oui, bien se»r ; rien n'est plus navrant que la guerre aveugle et insensee ; la civilisation c'est quand les hommes, tant qu'e faire, savent e peu pre¨s pourquoi ils se combattent ; d'autant que, dans une guerre qui a du sens, quand les gens savent e peu pre¨s quel est leur but de guerre et quel est celui de leur adversaire, le temps de la raison, de la negociation, de la transaction finit toujours par succeder e celui de la violence ; et d'autant (autre argument) que les guerres sensees sont aussi celles qui, par principe, sont les plus accessibles e la mediation, e l'intervention - ce sont les seules sur lesquelles des tiers, des arbitres, des observateurs engages, peuvent esperer avoir quelque prise... Une autre part hesite. L'autre part de moi, celle qui soupe§onne les guerres e sens d'eªtre les plus sanglantes, celle qui tient la "machine e sens" pour une machine de servitude et le fait de donner un sens e ce qui n'en a pas, c'est-e -dire e la souffrance des hommes, pour un des tours les plus sournois par quoi le Diabolique nous tient, celle qui sait, en un mot, qu'on n'envoie jamais mieux les pauvres gens au casse-pipe qu'en leur racontant qu'ils participent d'une grande aventure ou travaillent e se sauver, cette part-le , donc, repond : "non ; le pire c'etait le sens"; le pire c'est, comme disait Blanchot, "que le desastre prenne sens au lieu de prendre corps" ; le pire, le plus terrible, c'est d'habiller de sens le pur insense de la guerre ; pas question de regretter, non, le "temps maudit du sens". (ch. 10 De l'insense, encore)