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20369Re: [existlist] Miguel de Unamuno - The Tragic Sense of Life

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  • yeoman
    Jun 1 2:04 PM

      I can see what Unamuno is getting at. "Love" is not
      something by itself, like a commodity that might be passed
      between persons. Rather, it is the way in which we react
      within ourselves to the object of our love. If feeling warm
      inside could be taken as the characteristic of love [it is
      more complicated than that], then when two people love each
      other, then each produces this warmth as a reaction. That
      is why falling out of love creates such a turmoil, since it
      results in a loss of something within ourselves. We were
      happy and felt that happiness ... now it is gone. But to
      have this feeling of warmth, depends upon the assumption
      that the other person is feeling the same. We look into her
      eyes to get a confirmation that she too is feeling this
      warmth. This is something that has developed within the
      human species through evolution.

      That is why we have gods. When we look out onto a beautiful
      sunset, we may appreciate its beauty. But appreciation is
      only one sided, if we believe that the sunset is due simply
      to the refraction of light at longer wavelengths. If we are
      to "love" the sunset, then something inside of us tries to
      formulate a person in the sunset [a god] in order to really
      love it. Love is two sided.

      Similarly hate is two sided. If we have pain then in order
      to hate our condition, we personify the cause. It is not
      some virus producing an inflammation, but due to a god, or
      perhaps a Satan. Or even ourselves, in which case the
      reaction is against ourselves [our stupidity for causing the
      pain] and this internal response to something which is
      internal can easily spiral into the abyss of depression.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Zithromax" <zithromax@...>
      To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, June 01, 2003 4:20 PM
      Subject: Re: [existlist] Miguel de Unamuno - The Tragic
      Sense of Life

      > Thanks for the cool link Ed. I haven't read the fiction
      book yet. The essay doesn't completely jive with my take on
      Unamuno's thoughts from Tragic Sese of Life. Firstly, my
      recollection is that Unamuno says that words are "dead as I
      write them" and seeking immortality through recognition is a
      sort of vanity and vexation of spirit in the Ecclesiastical
      sense (though I can't find a quote at the moment). So I am
      not sure I can see him struggling to find recognition in
      Spain, rather I see him struggling to share his ideas.
      Beyond the biographical section I wasn't sure that the
      essay's author understood Unamuno's take on the immortal
      soul in the same way he presents it in Tragic Sense of Life.
      There, he presents the afterlife as a reunification with
      God, but he does seem to reject the idea of heaven and hell.
      I'll have to read back over those sections.
      > I'll throw out this quote from Tragic Sense of LIfe, that
      I think is representative of Unamuno's passionate and poetic
      writing ; even in other languages (English):
      > "Conciousness (conscientia) is a participated
      knowledge, is co-feeling, and co-feeling is com-passion.
      Love personifies all that it loves. Only by personalizing
      it can we fall in love with an idea. And when love is so
      great, and so vital, so strong and overflowing, that it
      loves everything than it personalizes everything and
      discovers that the total All, that the Universe, is also a
      Person possessing a Consciousness, a Consciousness that
      which in its turn suffers, pities, and loves, and therefore
      is a consiousness. And this Conciousness of the Universe,
      which love, personalizing all that it loves, discovers, is
      what we call God. And thus the soul pities God and feels
      itself pitied by Him, Sheltering its misery in the bosom of
      the eternal and infinite misery, which, in eternalizing
      itself and infinitizing itself, is the supreme happiness
      > God then, is the personalization of the All ; He is
      the eternal and infinite Consciousness of the Universe -
      Consciousness taken captive by matter and struggling to free
      himself of it. We personalize the All in order to save
      ourselves from Nothingness ; and the only mystery really
      mysterious is the mystery of suffering.
      > Suffering is the path of consciousness, and by it
      living beings arrive at the possession of self
      concsiousness. For to posess concsiousness of oneself, to
      posess personality, is to know oneself and to feel onself
      distinct from other beings, and this feeling of distinction
      is only reached through an act of collision, through
      suffering more or less severe, through the sense of one's
      own limits. Concsciousness of oneself is simply
      concsiousness of one's own limitation. I feel myself when I
      feel that I am not others ; to know and feel the extent of
      my being is to know at what point I cease to be, the point
      at which I no longer am."
      > Cheers,
      > Zith
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