Coleridge on the Symbol - Coleridge the relation between...

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Coleridge: the relation between imagination and religion i) Enthusiasm and principles Nothing great was ever atchieved without enthusiasm. For what is enthusiasm but the oblivion and swallowing- up of self in an object dearer than self, or in an idea more vivid?..In the genuine enthusiasm of morals, religion, and patriotism, this enlargement and elevation of the soul above its mere self attest the presence, and accompany the intuition of ultimate PRINCIPLES alone. These alone can interest the undegraded human spirit deeply and enduringly, because these along belong to its essence, and will remain with it permanently. Notions, the depthless abstractions of fleeting phenomena, the shadows of sailing vapours, the colorless repetitions of rain-bows, have effected their utmost when they have added to the distinctness of our knowledge. For this very cause they are of themselves adverse to lofty emotion, and it requires the influence of a light and warmth, not their own, to make them chrystallize into a semblance of growth. But every principle is actualized by an idea; and every idea is living, productive, partaketh of infinity, and (as Bacon has sublimely observed) containeth an endless power of semination. Hence it is, that science, which consists wholly in ideas and principles, is power..Hence too it is, that notions, linked to arguments, reference to particular facts and calculations of prudence, influence only the comparatively few, the men of leisurely minds who have been trained up to them: and even these few they influence but faintly. But for the reverse, I appeal to the general character of the doctrines which have collected the most numerous sects, and acted upon the moral being of converts with a force that might well seem supernatural!
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  • Fall '13
  • Montwieler
  • Romanticism, free agency, undegraded human spirit

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