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Annex to En-joying the World through En-joying Oneself (2011)
The main paper (En-joying the World through En-joying Oneself) discusses the themes Cognitive radicalism, Information and communication constraints, Constrained "deliverance" capacity of governance, Varieties of enjoyment: enjoying the world and the other, En-joying oneself otherwise, Enabling greater enjoyment through cognitive radicalization. These provide a context for the questions raised in this Annex. The main paper concludes with a discussion of Socio-political implications. It also provides a Conclusion and a set of References.
This annex explores the implications of happiness as a dynamic capable -- through "en-joying" -- of encompassing the paradoxes and contradictions characteristic of governance in all its forms, especially the self-governance required by an individual for thrival. It recognizes a degree of complexity with which it is necessary to engage, as summarized separately (Imagining the Real Challenge and Realizing the Imaginal Pathway of Sustainable Transformation, 2007).
Happiness as activity: The term used by Aristotle, eudaimonia, is now translated as "happiness", although for him it is understood to be a particular mode of activity rather than a state of condition. The point may well be argued more generally with respect to other values typically understood as static conditions (Freedom, Democracy, Justice: Isolated Nouns or Interwoven Verbs? 2011; Human Values as Strange Attractors, 1993).
Following Aristotle, the question here might be the ways in which happiness might be considered as an activity -- in the absence of any verb "to happy" and avoiding the limited sense of "to pleasure". The activity framed as its "pursuit" might be better understood as a simplistic projection of an inherent (higher-dimensional, complex) dynamic into a three-dimensional framework.
How might such an understanding fruitfully challenge any globally authoritative metric regarding a "subjective state of well-being", as developed from a psychological perspective (Adrian G. White, A Global Projection of Subjective Well-being: a challenge to positive psychology? 2007)?
Making another happy / En-joying another: It is of course the case that a form of "to happy" is to be found in making another happy, or creating a "happy environment". This is well-recognized in families and communities and might be said to be the original national inspiration for Bhutan.
This might however be contrasted with another, potentially subtler, mode. This could be termed "en-joying" another through some process of "imbuing" joy -- again in contrast with "to pleasure".
Intimate mode of knowing: The commentary on the study by Y. S. Rajan (In Pursuit of Happiness, 2007), mentioned in the main paper, suggested exploring the dynamics of "enjoying" through certain psychoactive symbols which directly evoke a distinctive intimate mode of knowing (Topology of Valuing: psychodynamics of collective engagement with polyhedral value configurations, 2008). This evocative "direct" mode contrasts with the "indirect", detached mode characteristic of the objectivity of science. This may be especially evident in certain forms of poetry such as haiku as described in the light of a meeting of the World Academy of Art and Science (Ensuring Strategic Resilience through Haiku Patterns: reframing the scope of the "martial arts" in response to strategic threats, 2006). A description of this mode is provided in the much-cited classic taoist tale by Chuang Tzu (The Dexterous Butcher):
All I care about is the Way. If find it in my craft, that's all. When I first butchered an ox, I saw nothing but ox meat. It took three years for me to see the whole ox. Now I go out to meet it with my whole spirit and don't think only about what meets the eye. Sensing and knowing stop. The spirit goes where it will, following the natural contours, revealing large cavities, leading the blade through openings, moving onward according to actual form -- yet not touching the central arteries or tendons and ligaments, much less touching bone.
Flow: This traditional understanding is presumably comparable to the notion of flow as the mental condition in which a person is fully immersed in action through a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity -- also phrased as "in the zone". This has been extensively articulated by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (Creativity: flow and the psychology of discovery and invention, 1996; Finding Flow: the psychology of engagement with everyday life, 1998).
As a challenge, it is within such radical reframing that the conventionally promoted "pursuit of happiness" might well be caricatured as somewhat comparable to a greyhound at a racetrack pursuing a surrogate hare -- with little awareness of the circular nature of the track. Or even possibly -- and more challengingly -- to the classic situation of a dog chasing its own tail. Such pursuits are both readily recognized as futile.
Enactivism and "en-joying": Whilst the subject engagement with the environment is not questioned by those who experience it, this has in no way affected conventional framing of the environment with respect to its "development" or its "conservation". This framing has been strongly reinforced by the objectivity of the natural sciences -- irrespective of the sense of "wonder" individual scientists may claim personally to experience. This objective framing is fundamental to corporate and institutional approaches to developmental and environmental strategies. As such it is naturally reflected in legislation and the definition of property and its ownership.
The possibility of an alternative approach, yet to be considered, was discussed separately (Enveloping Development through Cognitive Enactivism: engaging with climate change by changing apprehension of climate, 2009). Enactivism, emphasizing the way that organisms and the human mind organize themselves by interacting with their environment has been notably articulated by such as Francisco Varela (Laying Down a Path in Walking, 1987).
Transforming the moment: en-joying the other: This may of course be understood in terms of "pleasuring" the other, as a notable characteristic of sexual intercourse and celebrated in Hindu tantra:
The traditional Yoga includes expansive guidelines of commands and prohibitions which neglect and control especially enjoyment and sexuality and also give strict moral demands on how to behave in life. A Yogi is thus called "the one renouncing the world". Tantric people on the contrary are often also called Bhogi, or "the one eating or enjoying the world". Tantra rebelled against the existing rules and offered a completely new attitude towards life: the devotion to the body, the senses, the sexuality, the enjoyment and the rejection of all moral value. Tantric philosophy could therefore be called amoral. A tantric is not immoral though. He is not against morality, he just does not care about morality but instead tries to be as aware and awake and conscious as possible in everything he or she is doing. [more]
The transformation is fruitfully explored in the light of Greek understanding of daimon -- the "spirit" featuring in eudaimonia -- and its problematic interpretation as "demon" (Interweaving Demonic and Daimonic Associations in Collective Memory, 2008). Perhaps to be understood as light and dark versions of the daimonic. The original sense of daimon can be traced through to its influence on the Spanish "duende" (Daimon, Djinn, Muse and Duende: variations on a timeless experience, 2007). Transforming the moment is then especially characteristic of the spirit of flamenco -- as described in a review by Stephanie Merritt of Jason Webster's Duende: A Journey in Search of Flamenco (2002):
'Duende' is one of those words that is almost impossible to translate into English, because its meaning relies on a wide frame of reference that even many Spaniards would have difficulty explaining, so intimately is it rooted in Andalusian culture, particularly the music and lifestyle of flamenco. Perhaps the closest rendering would be 'spirit', but duende is far more than this -- it is the essence of flamenco, a moment of transcendence, almost possession, that is produced as the singer, dancer and guitarist merge into each other's rhythm. But its meaning spills over from the music into a way of life, as Jason Webster reveals in his memoir of a search for the elusive spirit of Spain and its music....It is impossible to convey the feel of cante jondo (the 'deep song') in any language.... [more]
As famously described by the Spanish poet, Federico Garcia Lorca (Play and Theory of the Duende, 1933):
These dark sounds are the mystery, the roots thrusting into the fertile loam known to all of us, ignored by all of us, but from which we get what is real in art. . . . Thus duende is a power and not a behavior, it is a struggle and not a concept. I have heard an old master guitarist say: Duende is not in the throat; duende surges up from the soles of the feet. Which means it is not a matter of ability, but of real live form; of blood; of ancient culture; of creative action.
En-joying the other can also be understood in terms of humour and play (Humour and Play-Fullness: Essential integrative processes in governance, religion and transdisciplinarity, 2005; Enacting Transformative Integral Thinking through Playful Elegance, 2010). Provocatively it might be suggested that feminists would approve of any pejorative association of "development" with "he-done-ism".
It can be argued that the current role of play notably lends itself to possibilities in relation to governance (Playfully Changing the Prevailing Climate of Opinion: Climate change as focal metaphor of effective global governance, 2005). Of interest in the case of both is the sense of risk, potentially to be considered as a dangerous form of cognitive radicalization to which politicians may well be highly sensitive, as well as being dependent on it (Extreme Financial Risk-taking as Extremism, 2009).
It could readily be argued that imagining is a process of cognitive radicalization -- a dissociation from the senses and the information which they provide through conventional frames. This is the essence of the creative process. It is in this sense that artefacts engendered by such creativity via various technologies offer a vast array of products (and processes) that are the fruits of the imagination.
Especially relevant to this argument, however, is their function as "re-minders", namely mnemonic devices capable of eliciting the original process of imagination by which they were created. The products are otherwise effectively "frozen" as externalities -- obscuring any implication of the kind of cognitive engagement with any environing reality. Such an argument highlights a need to "unfreeze" categories of relevance to viable governance (Framing the Global Future by Ignoring Alternatives: unfreezing categories as a vital necessity, 2009). Each such "objectification" (typically termed "subjects" in the information sciences) obscures an implicit "subjectification".
Related issues have been variously addressed by such as the following:
One interesting example is provided by the work of Arthur M. Young (The Geometry of Meaning, 1976) who effectively offers 12 meditations derived from physics which may be variously adapted to preoccupations of dialogue and governance (Typology of 12 complementary strategies essential to sustainable development, 1998). The dynamics of water may be used to give form to another possibility (Enabling Governance through the Dynamics of Nature -- exemplified by cognitive implication of vortices and helicoidal flow, 2010).
An even more radical cognitive possibility is to benefit from the radical nature of nuclear fusion technology -- in effect to "piggy-back" on recognition of the design challenges and solutions, as separately explored (Enactivating a Cognitive Fusion Reactor: Imaginal Transformation of Energy Resourcing (ITER-8), 2006).
Whilst "en-joying" oneself merits continuing consideration as to its subtler and more fruitful meanings, there is a strong case for exploring more complex relationships between "en-joying oneself" and "en-joying the world". The latter, being more accessible through enjoying the "pleasures of the senses", offers a potentially instructive template through which to gain insight into possible understandings of "en-joying oneself" -- whether as suggested by the products of creative imagination or as cultivated in tantra.
Many authors have endeavoured to articulate the intimate relationship between "enjoying" and imaginatively "creating". This is notable in mathematics and with respect to understandings of insight in mathematical maturity (Philip J. Davis and Reuben Hersh, The Mathematical Experience, 1981; Marcus du Sautoy, Finding Moonshine: a mathematician's journey through symmetry, 2008; George Lakoff and Rafael E. Núñez, Where Mathematics Comes From: how the embodied mind brings mathematics into being, 2000). This is especially valued in the case of the most radically original forms relative to those favoured by convention. Appropriately, but curiously, there are an surprisingly extensive number of references to "mathematical joy".
Mirroring: There is a long tradition of seeing the objective "world" as a form of mirror for subjective self-understanding. This is especially developed within Buddhism. The mirroring of one in the other is commonly recognized in the case of interpersonal relationships -- or even in the relationship between owner and pet animal.
Such mirroring may also be understood between worldviews, as remarked with respect to arguments for the "moral equivalence" between opposing ideologies (Mirroring Global Moral Equivalence, 2010) -- and the efforts to deny it (Jeane Kirkpatrick , The Myth of Moral Equivalence, 1986). The situation is curiously evident over time to the extent that the blossoming of security services in democratic countries far exceeds that imagined in the much-deprecated communist regimes during the Cold War. This embodiment of the values of the other can be described in terms of enantiodromia (Psychosocial Energy from Polarization: within a cyclic pattern of enantiodromia, 2007).
Given the role of an "image", formed through perceiving "in a mirror", the role of "speculation" associated with such perception is especially interesting, notably because of the use of forms of mirroring to see into the future through divination (Engaging with the Future with Insights of the Past: Consulting the dead, sacrifice, bone-cracking and divination, 2010). As then, "speculation" is of course fundamental to risk management. Less evident is the significance of the "inversion" which results from use of a mirror -- and speculation.
Externality as a mirror of internality: In that sense, every advance in understanding of the external "world", most notably through what science is able to distinguish and order, is a potential catalyst for new internal understandings of the self. The reverse might also tend to be the case. With respect to the mnemonic arts, the external world may then be fruitfully understood as a form of "memory palace" or a "memory garden", a template for holding and interrelating insights -- given the questionable efficacy of other (collective) memory aids (John Michael Greer, Ars Memorativa: an introduction to the hermetic art of memory). This suggests a radically unconventional cognitive possibility of "turning towards" technology as a mirror, rather than "turning away" from it as some have suggested (Stephanie Mills, Turning Away from Technology: a new vision for the 21st Century, 1997).
Especially interesting is the manner in which traditional knowledge systems embed insight into nature, effectively transforming it into a a form of library, as variously noted by Darrell A. Posey ( Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity, 1999) and Jeremy Narby (Intelligence in Nature: an inquiry into knowledge, 2005; Psychotropic Mind: the world according to Ayahuasca, Iboga, and Shamanism, 2009).
The explorations of Arthur M. Young (Geometry of Meaning, 1976), in the light of his original development of the Bell helicopter (as noted above), offer one example. It is then relevant to ask what cognitive radicalization is implied by any technological innovation (as noted above with respect to the internet). What technologies are inappropriately assumed to have no cognitive implications as unconventional "ways of seeing" (****)
The argument has its implications for the issues of global governance, and their comprehensibility by the individual, as previously argued (My Reflecting Mirror World: making Joburg worthwhile, 2002). It may be extended more speculatively in relation to references to the "universe of knowledge" (Being the Universe: a metaphoric frontier, 1999). It may also be taken as a personal challenge in considering those widely presented as the most reprehensible, however they may be appreciated by some: Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Omar Ghaddafi (Looking in the Mirror -- at Josef Fritzl ? 2009).
Vision as constrained strategic metaphor: Strategies of every kind are articulated using optical metaphors, typically with reference to "vision", but also implied by use of "focus", "perspective", (world) "view", and the like -- including the importance of "image". As but one of the senses, vision has its constraints in addition to its advantages -- hence the use of the other senses for survival in nature. This suggests the need for polysensorial strategies, as currently explored in marketing (Strategic Challenge of Polysensorial Knowledge: bringing the "elephant" into "focus", 2008).
As typically used metaphorically, vision itself tends to omit recognition of the need for depth perception through stereoscopic vision, as explored by John A T Robinson (Truth is Two-eyed, 1979) and separately discussed (Transcending One-eyed Global Modelling Perspectives: incorporating under-currents into global circulation of value, 2010). A case has even be made for "poly-ocular vision" offering even greater depth (Magoroh Maruyama, Polyocular Vision or Subunderstanding. Organization Studies, 2004). These arguments point to the potential of forms of synaesthesia, perhaps as speculatively explored in relation to "grokking" (Authentic Grokking: emergence of Homo conjugens, 2003).
Imagination -- stepping into the mirror? Given the preference for simple uses of the vision metaphor, it is appropriate to ask whether more complex possibilities can be associated with it given the sophistication of modern optical systems and the understanding of them. Mirrors of course figure in such systems but often enabling the possibility of light to pass partially "through" a reflecting surface and being refracted by it. Many such possibilities are fundamental to forming an "image" -- however illusory..
Much has been made of the ways of forming an "image" and cultivating it as a key to recognizable "identity" -- processes central to promoting particular strategies and any degree of consensus on their implementation. (Kenneth E. Boulding, The Image: knowledge in life and society, 1956). The role of "imagination" has also proven to be of fundamental importance with respect to creativity -- a form of cognitive radicalization in its own right. The failure of imagination was a key conclusion of assessment of the intelligence failure of 9/11 (****). Perhaps this is also to be construed as a failure of cognitive radicalization? Arguably it is the lack of capacity to form a global "image" supportive of sustainable development and global governance that is a key to understanding of the crisis of the times (***)
Folk tales have long explored the magical possibility of stepping "into" or "through" a mirror into another reality. The question is whether the prevailing strategic optical system calls for a "stepping through" of the mirror by which reality is so successfully framed "objectively" by convention (Stepping into, or through, the Mirror: embodying alternative scenario patterns, 2008). A case can be made, for example, for recognizing a degree of "mirroring" at the global level, notably as a consequence of enantiodromia (Mirroring Global Moral Equivalence, 2010).
"Oneself" ∞ "World" -- mutual implication "through" entanglement and entrainment: Emphasis is placed here on a cognitively challenging process of "en-joying", partly suggested by enactivism, and used in the title En-joying the World through En-joying Oneself . Mirroring implies as mutuality to this process which would attach corresponding meaning to En-joying Oneself through En-joying the World.
A version of the relationship is widely recognized in arguments that it is by changing oneself that one can best change the world as variously discussed:
This recognition has informed various initiatives to "Be the Change".
However the mutuality explored here highlights a meaningful complementarity between Transforming Oneself through Transforming the World and Transforming the World through Transforming Oneself. The relationship is helpful discussed by David Owen (Maturity and Modernity: Nietzsche, Weber, Foucault and the Ambivalence of Reason, 1994, p. 12). Missing is the nature of the cognitive engagement with the context through which this complementarity is appreciated -- as with the transcendence of other binary dilemmas.
The question to be explored is the nature of the cognitive entrainment between "oneself" and "world" as well as the nature of the "action" implied by their entanglement. Such exploration could benefit from insights from physics into quantum entanglement and entrainment.
Relevant insights into entrainment may also be found from use of the concept in biomusicology (the synchronization of organisms to an external rhythm), chronobiology, (the alignment of a circadian system's period and phase to the period and phase of an external rhythm), engineering (the entrapment of one substance by another substance), hydrodynamics (the movement of one fluid by another) and meteorology (as a phenomenon of the atmosphere). Some possibilities of relevance are discussed separately (Enabling Governance through the Dynamics of Nature: exemplified by cognitive implication of vortices and helicoidal flow, 2010).
Mirror test of maturity: The mirror test is widely recognized as offering an indication of self-awareness, since animals either possess or lack the ability to recognize themselves in a mirror. As an instructive exercise a hypothetical analogue can be envisaged as being applied by extraterrestrials to humans (whether individually or collectively) -- in the light of their degree of recognition of the above-mentioned mirroring between "oneself" and "world" (Self-reflective Embodiment of Transdisciplinary Integration (SETI): the universal criterion of species maturity? 2008).
Living in a mirrored reality: The apparent obligation to live in a mirrored reality, between the "world" and "oneself as a world", suggests the exploration of the nature of the cognitive "bridge" between those worlds (Living as an Imaginal Bridge between Worlds: Global implications of "betwixt and between" and liminality, 2011). The question in that discussion is whether the two worlds together point to a context through which to explore the possibilities of living "in between" the divisive choices by which society is currently faced -- at a time when there are many calls for new thinking and reflections on a "new Renaissance". As argued there:
The quest for integrative new thinking has variously focused on interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity, on a global ethic, or on the potentials of the complexity sciences. These aspire to offer bridging explanations transcending conventional modes of understanding. However, whatever such efforts at "transcendence", they significantly fail to address the existential confusion which characterizes the lived experience of many, irrespective of the value attached to such possibilities. That experience is associated with the need in practice to live "in between" such explanations (even despite them) to the extent that they fail to address the experiential complexity of daily life. It is the cognitive quality and potential of that "in between" space which is of concern here, especially in the light of the suffering and creative stimulus which may be associated with it.
Embodiment: The concern with cognitive embodiment is variously developed by authors such as Gregory Bateson (Mind and Nature: a necessary unity, 1979), Henryk Skolimowski (The Participatory Mind: a new theory of knowledge and of the universe, 1995), George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (Philosophy in the Flesh: the embodied mind and its challenge to western thought, 1999), David Abram (The Spell of the Sensuous: perception and language in a more-than-human world, 1997).
The argument is consistent with recognition of authors such as Paul Feyerabend (Conquest of Abundance: a tale of abstraction versus the richness of being, 1999), Sallie McFague (Life Abundant: rethinking theology and economy for a planet in peril, 2000), Steven M. Rosen (Topologies of the Flesh: a multidimensional exploration of the lifeworld. 2006).
In a period in which environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity is escalating uncontrollably, the question is whether there is a way of reframing such "externalities" as of vital cognitive significance to "oneself" otherwise relatively indifferent to the condition of the external "world". In a spirit of "selfishness", notably in relation to lifestyle diseases, there would seem to be unexplored psychological implications in this complementary relationship (Psychology of Sustainability: Embodying cyclic environmental processes, 2002; Cognitive Cycles Vital to Sustainable Self-Governance, 2009).
Potentially this may imply the possibility of challenging forms of cognitive radicalization (En-minding the Extended Body: Enactive engagement in conceptual shapeshifting and deep ecology, 2003; Being the Universe: a metaphoric frontier, 1999). It has implications for "security" in its more general sense (Alternative Approaches to Security: towards well-being and psychological dimensions of sustainability, 2004).
There is a tragically ironic argument in support of such an exploration in that the extinction of a number of species -- such as the rhinoceros and the tiger -- is directly threatened by the significance attached to their body parts for individual health and as aphrodisiacs in the light of the principles of sympathetic magic.
Engagement through aesthetic resonance: A speculative effort effort was made to explore the future role of aesthetics in governance (Aesthetics of Governance in the Year 2490, 1990). Of interest is the role of aesthetics in comprehension of the challenges of governance and how individuals engage with it in the light of their own sense of elegance and harmony. The point was well made by the biologist/anthropologist Gregory Bateson, in explaining why "we are our own metaphor", pointing out to a conference on the effects of conscious purpose on human adaptation that:
One reason why poetry is important for finding out about the world is because in poetry a set of relationships get mapped onto a level of diversity in us that we don't ordinarily have access to. We bring it out in poetry. We can give to each other in poetry the access to a set of relationships in the other person and in the world that we are not usually conscious of in ourselves. So we need poetry as knowledge about the world and about ourselves, because of this mapping from complexity to complexity. (Cited by Mary Catherine Bateson, pp. 288-9)
The argument was recently and regretfully echoed by Australian poet David Campbell (In a Land of Sweeping Plains, Poetry is hardly thriving, The Age, 5 September 2011):
Good poetry can be a still, small voice in a complex world, a reminder that someone has seen into the heart of an emotion or experience and translated it into words that, even if only for an instant, make us pause and think. Surely that moment is worth preserving.
In implied criticism of the rhetoric of Barack Obama, a lead editorial in the Financial Times (Accursed poetry of economic anguish, 3 September 2011) argued that:
When world markets offer nothing but depressing news, investors must turn to non-material values for solace. Poetry, for instance: what better to articulate the angst of accursed investors? As the last hopes for a sustained recovery are being crushed, market participants see an economic sky that, as Baudelaire said, "pours a day more gloomy than the nights".... The power of words is strong; there was always a risk of talking ourselves back into recession as bad news discourages activity and spawns further bad news. But positive talk, however poetic, is no help either unless it is matched by actions. Today, we have neither.
Embodying felicity: The future possibilities of cognitive radicalization in reconciling the policy issues of economic development and the environment have been well-articulated by the mystical poet Thomas Traherne (1637 - 1674). A poem to any transcendental felicity is cited by Elsa-Brita Titchenell (Thomas Traherne: his search for felicity, Sunrise magazine, August/September 1976):
You never enjoy the world aright, till the Sea itself floweth in your veins,
till you are clothed with the heavens, and crowned with the stars:
and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world,
and more than so, because men are in it who are every one sole heirs as well as you.
... young Traherne resolved to seek above all else the felicity he now knew was attainable through the affinity he sensed within himself with all divine manifestation... Traherne seized upon this vision and, excluding all self-interest, determined to pursue the path of growth toward ever more sublime apprehensions.... To love the world, just as it is, arouses an inner effervescence, a bubbling source of delight in the whole of nature's mystery, and this is abundantly expressed in his subsequent work. [writings available on The Traherne Association website]
Infinite en-joyment: The Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore was the first non-European Nobel laureate, awarded the 1913 Prize for Literature, most notably for his poetry. His 150th Birth Anniversary is celebrated in 2011. The final chapter of his philosophical work, Sadhana: the realisation of life (1913), is entitled The Realisation of the Infinite. In it he cites the following lines from the Upanishads of relevance to the above argument:
Know everything that there is in the universe as enveloped by God.
Enjoy whatever is given by him and harbour not in your mind the greed for wealth which is not your own.
...that none could live or move if the energy of the all-pervading joy did not fill the sky.
Of further relevance to the argument, Tagore notes:
This makes it clear that it is really the infinite whom we seek in our pleasures....That we cannot absolutely possess the infinite being is not a mere intellectual proposition. It has to be experienced, and this experience is bliss....
There must be a complete idea that animates a poem....The progress of our soul is like a perfect poem. It has an infinite idea which once realised makes all movements full of meaning and joy. But if we detach its movements from that ultimate idea, if we do not see the infinite rest and only see the infinite motion, then existence appears to us a monstrous evil, impetuously rushing towards an unending aimlessness....
For joy is knowledge in its completeness, it is knowing by our whole being.... Such knowledge is immediate and admits no doubt. It is the same as knowing our own selves, only more so.
Missing from this articulation are the forms of terror with which such cognitive radicalization has been explicitly associated -- by others spiritually inspired by the sublime (Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, 1757; Kari Elise Lokke, The Role of Sublimity in the Development of Modernist Aesthetics, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 1982). The terrifying consequences of engaging with the sublime might well be said to be "awefull".
Unity in creativity: The development of Tagore's reflection is to be found in his subsequent work (Creative Unity, 1922) whose introduction includes:
The quality of the infinite is not the magnitude of extension, it is in the Advaitam, the mystery of Unity. Facts occupy endless time and space; but the truth comprehending them all has no dimension; it is One.... Life's tragedies occur, not to demonstrate their own reality, but to reveal that eternal principle of joy in life, to which they gave a rude shaking....The joy of unity within ourselves, seeking expression, becomes creative; whereas our desire for the fulfilment of our needs is constructive.... It reveals in its form a