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KristyR
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Re: God

Thanks a lot CallMeLeo, I'll be back after I think about this some more!
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saltydog
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Re: God



CallMeLeo wrote:

CallMeLeo wrote:

IlanaSimons wrote:
In part 3, James looks at Dad and sees this: "He rose and stood in the bow of the boat, very straight and tall, for all the world, James thought, as if he were saying, 'There is no God.'â Â

So...what about God? How would you describe Woolf's spirituality, based on this book?


I think for Woolf and in TO THE LIGHTHOUSE there is a kind of spiritual connection to everything and everyone, although Mrs. Ramsay rejects calling that connection "God".

The children are raised on philosophy; Mrs. Ramsay "reverences" Mr. Ramsay's intelligence and is "exalted" by nature and poetry; and Mr. Ramsay "worships" her beauty. Mrs. Ramsay cannot accept the traditional God because he allows evils in the world.


Here, KristyR, are some passages I found for you that might help. Mrs. Ramsay ruminates more about life and God before and after this quote, but I think that would have been too much to put here.


...and pausing there she looked out to meet that stroke of the
Lighthouse, the long steady stroke, the last of the three, which was
her stroke, for watching them in this mood always at this hour one
could not help attaching oneself to one thing especially of the things
one saw; and this thing, the long steady stroke, was her stroke. Often
she found herself sitting and looking, sitting and looking, with her
work in her hands until she became the thing she looked at--that light,
for example. And it would lift up on it some little phrase or other
which had been lying in her mind like that--"Children don't forget,
children don't forget"--which she would repeat and begin adding to it,
It will end, it will end, she said. It will come, it will come, when
suddenly she added, We are in the hands of the Lord.

But instantly she was annoyed with herself for saying that. Who had
said it? Not she; she had been trapped into saying something she did
not mean. She looked up over her knitting and met the third stroke and
it seemed to her like her own eyes meeting her own eyes, searching as
she alone could search into her mind and her heart, purifying out of
existence that lie, any lie. She praised herself in praising the
light, without vanity, for she was stern, she was searching, she was
beautiful like that light. It was odd, she thought, how if one was
alone, one leant to inanimate things; trees, streams, flowers; felt
they expressed one; felt they became one; felt they knew one, in a
sense were one;




_____________________________________________________________________________________

I believe you may have found the key passage in TTL that reflects Woolf's spirituality. It appears Mrs. Ramsey felt innateate need for a belief in "something" and in this situation she first feels that "something" as "The Lord" but almost immediately rejects that, feeling she was trapped into it. I think Wooreiteratestes this when James says, "There is no God."

In what I've read about Woolf it does not appear she fecompelledled to participate in any organized religion in spite of a family tradition of Scottish Calvinism. But she did show an interest in some of the less traditional approaches to spirituality, i.e., Jung's psychology, some of the eastern religions, etc. So I believe she was always searching for that "spiritual" connection - but, I don't believe she found it!

Salty Dog
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IlanaSimons
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Re: God



saltydog wrote:
In what I've read about Woolf it does not appear she feel compelled to participate in any organized religion in spite of a family tradition of Scottish Calvinism. But she did show an interest in some of the less traditional approaches to spirituality, i.e., Jung's psychology, some of the eastern religions, etc. So I believe she was always searching for that "spiritual" connection - but, I don't believe she found it!

Salty Dog





This last stream of posts on religion have been so good, I think. She threw out the old paternal God, wanting to find some binding force in art.



Ilana
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Water

Woolf so often uses the metaphor of water: Characters sink deep as they think deeply about themselves and others.
Does the metaphor work for you? Why?



Ilana
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KristyR
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Re: God



IlanaSimons wrote:


saltydog wrote:
In what I've read about Woolf it does not appear she feel compelled to participate in any organized religion in spite of a family tradition of Scottish Calvinism. But she did show an interest in some of the less traditional approaches to spirituality, i.e., Jung's psychology, some of the eastern religions, etc. So I believe she was always searching for that "spiritual" connection - but, I don't believe she found it!

Salty Dog





This last stream of posts on religion have been so good, I think. She threw out the old paternal God, wanting to find some binding force in art.


Like the light from the lighthouse, which was always searching, so was she searching for spirituality? I don't understand the idea of a "binding force in art". Do you mean she was seeking to achieve a connection to the world through her writing?
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Re: God

Thanks for making me be clearer. I was thinking that the traditional Christian God is a force that knows us all. He knows our thoughts, and He gives us a community, in a common purpose.
I think Woolf saw art as serving a similar purpose. The artist--like all of us--sends out the searching (lighthouse) beam, in an effort to understand other people's heads. This effort carries on all the time, through our discussions, our books, and our family dinners; and it echoes above the Earth (as in the "Time Passes" section of To the Lighthouse). It's the sound of human imagination--our efforts to understand each other. So though Woolf did not believe in a traditional Christian God (which is higher than one human mind but knows human minds), she did believe in this ongoing conversation, as a life force that art perpetuates. The written and spoken record of human communication is bigger than any one of us, shows the trace of many heads, and gives us a common purpose.
What do you think?




KristyR wrote:


IlanaSimons wrote:


saltydog wrote:
In what I've read about Woolf it does not appear she feel compelled to participate in any organized religion in spite of a family tradition of Scottish Calvinism. But she did show an interest in some of the less traditional approaches to spirituality, i.e., Jung's psychology, some of the eastern religions, etc. So I believe she was always searching for that "spiritual" connection - but, I don't believe she found it!

Salty Dog





This last stream of posts on religion have been so good, I think. She threw out the old paternal God, wanting to find some binding force in art.


Like the light from the lighthouse, which was always searching, so was she searching for spirituality? I don't understand the idea of a "binding force in art". Do you mean she was seeking to achieve a connection to the world through her writing?





Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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KristyR
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Re: God



IlanaSimons wrote:
Thanks for making me be clearer. I was thinking that the traditional Christian God is a force that knows us all. He knows our thoughts, and He gives us a community, in a common purpose.
I think Woolf saw art as serving a similar purpose. The artist--like all of us--sends out the searching (lighthouse) beam, in an effort to understand other people's heads. This effort carries on all the time, through our discussions, our books, and our family dinners; and it echoes above the Earth (as in the "Time Passes" section of To the Lighthouse). It's the sound of human imagination--our efforts to understand each other. So though Woolf did not believe in a traditional Christian God (which is higher than one human mind but knows human minds), she did believe in this ongoing conversation, as a life force that art perpetuates. The written and spoken record of human communication is bigger than any one of us, shows the trace of many heads, and gives us a common purpose.
What do you think?




KristyR wrote:


IlanaSimons wrote:


saltydog wrote:
In what I've read about Woolf it does not appear she feel compelled to participate in any organized religion in spite of a family tradition of Scottish Calvinism. But she did show an interest in some of the less traditional approaches to spirituality, i.e., Jung's psychology, some of the eastern religions, etc. So I believe she was always searching for that "spiritual" connection - but, I don't believe she found it!

Salty Dog





This last stream of posts on religion have been so good, I think. She threw out the old paternal God, wanting to find some binding force in art.


Like the light from the lighthouse, which was always searching, so was she searching for spirituality? I don't understand the idea of a "binding force in art". Do you mean she was seeking to achieve a connection to the world through her writing?





I see what you mean. Now that you put it into words, I'm surprised I didn't notice it before. Art and literature are woven into almost every page and every discussion in this novel. Even things that we may consider mundane, picking out jewelry or a bowl of fruit are described in such a way as to make them seen wondrous. The ongoing conversation, showing the trace of many heads, giving us a common purpose seems appropriate on this forum doesn't it? People who have never met, coming together to discuss literature, some of it hundreds of years old, all approaching it from different perspectives and contributing in one way or another. Pretty amazing isn't it?
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Re: God



KristyR wrote:
I see what you mean. Now that you put it into words, I'm surprised I didn't notice it before. Art and literature are woven into almost every page and every discussion in this novel. Even things that we may consider mundane, picking out jewelry or a bowl of fruit are described in such a way as to make them seen wondrous. The ongoing conversation, showing the trace of many heads, giving us a common purpose seems appropriate on this forum doesn't it? People who have never met, coming together to discuss literature, some of it hundreds of years old, all approaching it from different perspectives and contributing in one way or another. Pretty amazing isn't it?




Nice comment! I was actually going to include "the Internet" in my list of ways, like family dinners, that the human mind creates a voice that rises, like God's mind, above the Earth. I think that's so right--24/7, human voices are chattering, trying to know other human voices.



Ilana
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CallMeLeo
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Re: Water


IlanaSimons wrote:
Woolf so often uses the metaphor of water: Characters sink deep as they think deeply about themselves and others.
Does the metaphor work for you? Why?


Are you saying, Ilana, that water/ocean is a metaphor for the vastness of the human conscious?
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Re: Water

Well phrased, CallMeLeo.
Woolf uses water to symbolize the ambiguity we deal with in deep thinking.

Men in the novel are often trying to instate clear points--to find that crystal clear diamond in the sand (Paul with Minta's brooch; recovering her fading family history and affirming the Now), or to state unbudging facts (Mr. Ramsay saying something definitive about the rain).
When, in Part 3, the Ramsay’s are sailing with the Macalister’s, the Macalister boy tells the story of a ship that sank and sticks a finger out, into the wash, to say, "That was where she sunk." He speaks something clear and simple inside the story of suffering.

Women more often sink into the depths of thought.

e.g. in part 1: Mrs. Ramsay is trying to figure out her husband, "as one passes in diving now a weed, now a straw, now a bubble...sinking deeper...deeper and deeper without knowing quite what it was, with her eyes closed."

She can't nail the details about who they are, or how much they know each other.

And in Part 3, Lily is trying to figure out the Ramsay’s and "she seemed to be standing up to the lips in some substance, to move and float and sink in it, yes, for these waters were unfathomably deep."

I’d love to know more about how you read water as a symbol in this book.



CallMeLeo wrote:

IlanaSimons wrote:
Woolf so often uses the metaphor of water: Characters sink deep as they think deeply about themselves and others.
Does the metaphor work for you? Why?


Are you saying, Ilana, that water/ocean is a metaphor for the vastness of the human conscious?





Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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CallMeLeo
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Re: Water

The text you quoted does not inspire comfortable or comforting images, but one of drowning and being in over one's head. In water we are solitary, closed off from others just as our thoughts are closed off. Sounds are muffled. Which brings to me this image: the text, heavy with the innermost thoughts of these characters, are like muffled sounds through water, and the actual spoken word in text, voiced through air, as something almost jarring and intrusive.

The water imagery is also very poignant in light of the manner of VW's death.




IlanaSimons wrote:
Well phrased, CallMeLeo.
Woolf uses water to symbolize the ambiguity we deal with in deep thinking.

Men in the novel are often trying to instate clear points--to find that crystal clear diamond in the sand (Paul with Minta's brooch; recovering her fading family history and affirming the Now), or to state unbudging facts (Mr. Ramsay saying something definitive about the rain).
When, in Part 3, the Ramsay’s are sailing with the Macalister’s, the Macalister boy tells the story of a ship that sank and sticks a finger out, into the wash, to say, "That was where she sunk." He speaks something clear and simple inside the story of suffering.

Women more often sink into the depths of thought.

e.g. in part 1: Mrs. Ramsay is trying to figure out her husband, "as one passes in diving now a weed, now a straw, now a bubble...sinking deeper...deeper and deeper without knowing quite what it was, with her eyes closed."

She can't nail the details about who they are, or how much they know each other.

And in Part 3, Lily is trying to figure out the Ramsay’s and "she seemed to be standing up to the lips in some substance, to move and float and sink in it, yes, for these waters were unfathomably deep."

I’d love to know more about how you read water as a symbol in this book.



CallMeLeo wrote:

IlanaSimons wrote:
Woolf so often uses the metaphor of water: Characters sink deep as they think deeply about themselves and others.
Does the metaphor work for you? Why?


Are you saying, Ilana, that water/ocean is a metaphor for the vastness of the human conscious?




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Whales

Very nice, Leo: could this be the way whales communicate with each other?


CallMeLeo wrote:
The text [Ilana] quoted does not inspire comfortable or comforting images, but one of drowning and being in over one's head. In water we are solitary, closed off from others just as our thoughts are closed off. Sounds are muffled. Which brings to me this image: the text, heavy with the innermost thoughts of these characters, are like muffled sounds through water, and the actual spoken word in text, voiced through air, as something almost jarring and intrusive.

The water imagery is also very poignant in light of the manner of VW's death.
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Re: Whales

Yes. Nice observation: speaking through water is like drowning. Woolf definitely recognized how hard it is to think deeply and come out smiling.



pmath wrote:
Very nice, Leo: could this be the way whales communicate with each other?


CallMeLeo wrote:
The text [Ilana] quoted does not inspire comfortable or comforting images, but one of drowning and being in over one's head. In water we are solitary, closed off from others just as our thoughts are closed off. Sounds are muffled. Which brings to me this image: the text, heavy with the innermost thoughts of these characters, are like muffled sounds through water, and the actual spoken word in text, voiced through air, as something almost jarring and intrusive.

The water imagery is also very poignant in light of the manner of VW's death.






Ilana
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CallMeLeo
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Re: Whales

[ Edited ]
Could be, pmath. Luckily they don't drown in their attempt to communicate as VW's characters do. :smileyhappy:

pmath wrote:
Very nice, Leo: could this be the way whales communicate with each other?


CallMeLeo wrote:
The text [Ilana] quoted does not inspire comfortable or comforting images, but one of drowning and being in over one's head. In water we are solitary, closed off from others just as our thoughts are closed off. Sounds are muffled. Which brings to me this image: the text, heavy with the innermost thoughts of these characters, are like muffled sounds through water, and the actual spoken word in text, voiced through air, as something almost jarring and intrusive.

The water imagery is also very poignant in light of the manner of VW's death.


Message Edited by CallMeLeo on 04-25-200702:44 PM

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Re: Water-thoughts


IlanaSimons wrote:smileyembarrassed:I’d love to know more about how you read water as a symbol in this book.





Generally water is a symbol for the feminine. One can also experience freedom and connectedness in water, not just isolation as Leo said. The image of whales is neat, pmath, water calls forward our playfullness. Maybe that is the fascination with water, the many facets; from gentle to killing. Water is also a vast distance (my thought at the beginning of The Voyage Out). Sailors, rough as they could be also knew that the sea (nature, weather) was their master. They had to accept the limits. (i.e.Hemingway Old Man and The Sea. Captain Ahab refused, driven by his obsession and that was his sure death. The main idea in both books: the man actually doesn't win.--It sounds like a thesis.) :smileyvery-happy:

Water demands respect. Water is life. No woman (nature), no life. Nowadays we think that we can construct the woman as we wish her to be. Wrong. Too much emphasis was given to the seed (phalos) instead of the soil (holding, mysticism). Both are needed because the conditions need to be in total balance for a new life to happen, develop and thrive. A meeting of both is required.

Consequently, the feminine force should be respected, it is a power to count on but it can also drown you. Any man knows that intuitively and hence his archetypal fear of the Mother. Water is a power that is not apart of us (H20) but that is a part of us; our nature that we want to govern instead of cooperating with it. Think of the attempts to control the feminine by starving her out of our bodies, and all she ever needs is a room of her own, an acknowledged, respected free space).

That leads us back to patriarchal values and patriarchal style of society we live in: so many subtle nuances that we, women, no longer even notice them, question them, instead we try to adjust and accept them thus unconsciously violating our true nature.

This constitues a sick circle, an unhealthy inversion, also a Catch 22: Drowning as a symbol for VW's suicide (if I dare to go that far)= returning home to the feminine?
The feminine can exists only as the darkness of death because the light dimension was not acknowledged. (Here you can study the Inanna myth or Persephone etc.)

Hemingway shot himself. Are there gender specific modes of suicide for writers? :smileytongue:

ziki
Thank you all for being here :smileyhappy:
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? speaking through water



IlanaSimons wrote: speaking through water is like drowning.




How do you mean?

ziki
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? communicate (leo)



CallMeLeo wrote:
Could be, pmath. Luckily they don't drown in their attempt to communicate as VW's characters do.



Isn't it rather so that they drown in their inability to communicate?

ziki
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Re: God


IlanaSimons wrote:
Thanks for making me be clearer. I was thinking that the traditional Christian God is a force that knows us all. He knows our thoughts, and He gives us a community, in a common purpose.
I think Woolf saw art as serving a similar purpose. The artist--like all of us--sends out the searching (lighthouse) beam, in an effort to understand other people's heads. This effort carries on all the time, through our discussions, our books, and our family dinners; and it echoes above the Earth (as in the "Time Passes" section of To the Lighthouse). It's the sound of human imagination--our efforts to understand each other. So though Woolf did not believe in a traditional Christian God (which is higher than one human mind but knows human minds), she did believe in this ongoing conversation, as a life force that art perpetuates. The written and spoken record of human communication is bigger than any one of us, shows the trace of many heads, and gives us a common purpose.
What do you think?







Hmmmm....she threw out the patriarchal God, but didn't find anything to replace him with?
Is that the main idea...and then she was searching for something to fill the hole? Did I get it right?

What can fill the hole if not a phallos? This is really tricky because a woman cannot recreate herself in isolation, it takes a dialog, indeed. Same goes for a man BTW, but he is used to dominating the world by direct means. A woman becomes dominating just when she is desperate, hollow, forgotten, lost to herself and thus imitates.

I agree that art is a communication, a dialog, and that she (VW) could recreate herself in that process, entering into communion with a force bigger than herself. A force that often becomes perceptible in working with arts (different disciplines). Perhaps she didn't succeed in bringing it to a completion for herself but that is not so strange. Neither does it matter. She pulled her straw to the stack. It is a process that will take several generations and the call will be placed to both genders, both will need to find the "Third God" and learn how to serve him together. If not, the humanity is doomed.

ziki
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Re: God-sacredness


KristyR wrote: Art and literature are woven into almost every page and every discussion in this novel. Even things that we may consider mundane, picking out jewelry or a bowl of fruit are described in such a way as to make them seen wondrous.



It is not about art-writing, and getting a Pulitzer for it. It is more about the art of living and in that realm nothing is mundane, nothing! All becomes sacred and if She sees-feels that sacredness and makes it visible also to others, lives it day in and out no matter what, all around is/are transformed. This is absolutely essential!

If she uses a brush or a broom doesn't matter, the attitude is what makes the difference. Women lost this ability to manifest this sacredness long ago, or let's be more hopeful: it is repressed and dormant in them. :smileyhappy:

ziki
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CallMeLeo
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Re: ? communicate (leo)


ziki wrote:


CallMeLeo wrote:
Could be, pmath. Luckily they don't drown in their attempt to communicate as VW's characters do.



Isn't it rather so that they drown in their inability to communicate?

ziki


"Inability" is more appropriate. Thanks, ziki. :smileyhappy:

Leo
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