Epistemic Fusion gave birth out of my own thinking and my interactions with 8th 9th and 10th graders. Their science and social science textbooks depict an onslaught of a mechanistic, scientific and rationalistic worldview. All these world views are presented as half baked formulas. I wondered how to maneuver and not ruffle the feathers of their already established Theo-centric worldview. I became a tight-rope-walker not disturbing their water of faith and let them adjust to both the worldviews. This I call as Epistemic Fusion a term I got from Foucault’s epistemic rupture.
In this essay, I would like to focus on the various forms of poetry and not the types about which there is plenty of narratives.
The forms of poetry are nature poems, sentimental poems and cathartic poems.
What are nature poems? Poems describing the soul of nature are nature poems. The emotion of the poet penetrates into the inanimate world and re-echoes nature as a personification. Visual imagery of nature is transmuted as an echo of the poet’s soul. Objects are rendered with beatific nuances. Here are some examples. Stones breathe with a soul. The brook murmurs with passion. Flowers blossom in the nectar of verse. Mountains echo a music in pulchritude. Rivers wander into erotic depths. The sky resonates as a twinkling ornament. Butterflies dance as a musical symphony. Thunder roars with rage. Waves frolic in mirth. Oceans shudder in orgasmic ecstasy. The flower that blossomed is a delicate heart. Lightning streaks pink with desire. Ecstasy you are a gorgeous fruit. Wind has the soul of art. Mist is a mystic’s beard. Birds are gay when they are dancing with nature’s tunes. Trees radiate sparkling voices in splendor. Radiance you are a twinkling eye of the night. Green trees are a banquet of nature. Birds sing in good cheer. Honey is the nectar of music. The chorus of rain is heavenly music.
The next classes of poems are sentimental poems. They are resonances of the soul. They speak with beatitudes of the heart. Sentiments can be happy or sad. The wellness of my soul is like the waves the heart. She has a sculpture of adorable music. Soul bursts with joy. Her body is a fountain of music. I adorn her body with a fountain of poems. Desire is a gladiator of the body. Poems are spoken with love. It is angst that plagues the heart. Worms have eaten my body up. I am contaminated with poison of hate. Misery weaves an ornament of poison around me. Profligacy falls on me as a dirty object. Let the dead sleep serene. Death is a bitter pill to taste. Dawn is rising in my sentiment of faith. Hope, you are a rock that stands firm. My heart is a shady tree. Leaves, you are clothes of the body. The body is a fountain of joy. God gives pardon the humble soul. Please cling on to the harvest of achievement. Loose not hope as it comes to you like a running brook. Soul is thrilled with cosmic wonder. Pain, you are an enemy cast into hell. Angst, you are a diabolic fiend. Rage, plunder not the mind.
The Third Class of Poems are cathartic poems. They can be visceral or cerebral or both. Some examples are given here. Reading the Sermon on the Mount is a beatific experience. Watching Macbeth cleanses the soul. The mirror that lies in the heart is one of stained glass. Feelings rebound with hope. Faith is a sun that never sets. The mind thinks like a sword. I want to let my heart speak true words of hope. My heart is a mystic wandering in the ocean of faith. Cruel words are opium for the soul. I have found a ray of hope in God Christ. Passion should not abide in adultery and fornication. Satan is a thief of the heart. Envy you are a poisonous fang. I have a mind that does not fear death. God—Jesus, I am your adored devotee. Unleash your feelings with gusto. I would like to live an art of poetry. God will eradicate from my mind, ill will and sloth. God make me temperate in my desires.
I have created a new branch of knowledge called Value epistemology. Value epistemology has its mirroring in an ontology (Being) that is constructive. There are two types of ontology: one being constructive ontology and the other being destructive ontology.
Camus and Sartre are philosophers who have espoused a philosophy of ontological destruction. For them life is chaotic and absurd and having no meaning. They also celebrate a being going into a fallen pit of anarchy. Let’s take Camus Myth of the Sisyphus. In it a man is condemned by the Gods to roll a boulder all the way uphill only to find that it rolls down. The man is forced to repeat this meaningless chore again and again. I would like to ask Camus: is life absurd? Is it chaotic! Camus’ philosophy is an incoherent one. If we follow Camus philosophy we won’t be able to live a life meaningfully. Aren’t we living in a society where we celebrate the meaning of life? We are not beings living in isolation. We are living in a community of shared meanings— or should be live as egotistic individuals. Is life marked the absence of reason and passion? We are beings living in three states—Catharsis, Angst and Ecstasy. Meaning of life is existentially realized.
What does Sartre have to say of Ontological Existentialism? Sartre’s Philosophy also celebrates the meaning of the absurd. Life for him is coherent mass of nothingness. We navigate our life by negating the meaning of existence. Is life chaotic and absurd? Is the choice we make to free ourselves meaningless one? Sartre goes on to say that: we are condemned to be free. How can we say that freedom is our condemnation? Was Sartre a psychological victim of World War II? Why is there so much negative theology in ontological philosophy?
I have read and reread existential Philosophers like Camus and Sartre and I have developed a new branch of existential ontology called constructive ontology. Constructive Ontology creates a new meaning that life is creative and having a purpose. We have to live a life in Valueblelization (from Value and Realization). Valueblelization means a creative living with celebration of sharing meanings in empathic harmony. For Valueblelization to occur an individual is a purposeist from (Purpose and ist). We have to authenticate ourselves in a democratic empathy of sharing meanings.
Summarizing I can say that the Philosophy of Camus and Sartre is destructive and rereading them I have made ontology a constructive one.
I have discovered some tools for the methodology of literary criticism. They are:
a) Philosophical Etymology
b) Cultural Anatomy
c) Psychological Pharmacology
d) Ontological Nebula
What is philosophical Etymology? Philosophical etymology is a cross examination of literary and cultural meanings in the light of Philosophy. It seeks to give newer shades of meaning to older thoughts. Let’s look at some examples. The school of structuralism coined that all language is made up of signs. A sign consists of the signifier and the signified. The signifier is a visual tangible thing and the signified is an idea. Let’s use an example: I blossomed in her garden. Here blossomed is figurative and an idea and hence it is the signified. Garden forms the signifier.
Postmodern Philosopher Derrida developed the idea of Binary Divide. A Binary Divide is a text that privileges some and marginalizes others. Let’s look at an example. It is said in an advert: Wanted only Native Speakers to Teach English. This narrative privileges Native Speakers over English spoken by the colonized people. Using the Binary Divide we can deconstruct texts.
From Derrida I have developed an idea called Binary Fusion. Binary fusion is a text that promotes equality. Let’s look at an advert. We do not discriminate people on the basis of gender, color or orientation. This text contains a Binary Fusion. Let’s look at another example. Black Culture, Black Gospel, Jazz and Blues are universally epitomized binary fusions of culture. A literary interpreter can analyze texts and bring out notions of marginalization and privilege and also write a narrative of Binary Fusion.
Then comes Kristeva’s texts of the semiotic and the symbolic. A semiotic text omits grammar and punctuation. Such a kind of text can be found in streams of consciousness narratives, in drama, film and music. A symbolic text on the other hand adheres to the strict conventions of language. Doing a literary analysis we can classify texts into semiotic and symbolic elements.
Form a Marxian point of view we can analyze texts by looking at class values like the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Do texts privilege the Blue Blood or monitor the interests of the working class. Does the text promote the interests of the Capitalist society? What is the dialectic materialism embedded in the text. This refers to political and historical problems created by Social tremors. The narrator can find out how various social institutions have contributed to the writing of literature.
Philosophical Etymology also takes a look at Feminist Theology. Do social, cultural, political and historical institutions promote gender equality and support Feminism. How are the roles of a working mother enacted in s society? Does the intrusion of masculinity affect the reading of texts? To what levels of subversion are meanings of the feminine in a text?
Psychological Pharmacology looks at the theories of Freud, Lacan and Jung. From Freud we have the three states: ID (passion and the libido), Ego (language and culture assimilated from parents) and Super Ego (the laws of the society). While doing textual interpretation the author can find out how these mechanisms are working in a text. Texts can also be phallic and vaginal that is texts promoting the language of the feminine and the masculine. Is the language of the text phallic or vaginal?
Next I would like to take the theories of Lacan into consideration. Prominent are the Mirror Stage and the Gaze. The Mirror stage consists of the child’s entry into Language. Mirror stage can be a psychoanalytic tool to gauge level of subversion in a text. It’s an analysis of psychological symptoms in a work of literature. Gaze for Lacan has sexual connotations. What kind of gaze is present in a text? Gazes can be feminine, masculine and gay.
Next I would like to take Jung’s theories into account. Jung has classified the psyche into archetypes (personality types). Some archetypes are the Wizard, the Witch, the lover and many more. We can analyze how and why and for what these archetypes are created.
Ontology a study of being comes from Existential Philosophy. Here I take the traditional ontology and the ontology created by me into consideration. Traditional Ontology, the one espoused by Sartre and Camus is destructive as it condemns life to be absurd and chaotic. Constructive Ontology created by me states that meaning of being lies in Valueblization (from Value and Realization). We can analyze texts and examine whether texts are favoring destructive ontology or constructive ontology.
What Cultural Functions does a text serve? For who is the narrative intended? Which cultural institutions are prominent? Is there a culture clash or a culture divide?
I have developed ideas on interpreting art and they are surface level meanings, aesthetic appreciation and literary, cultural and Philosophical Interpretation.
I take paintings of Belgian Surrealist Paul Delvaux, Picasso and the paintings of Gauguin and Van Gogh.
Paul Delvaux Call of the Night
On the surface level, there is barren land, nude female bodies having hair of vegetation, hills and trees without branches.
To appreciate it from an aesthetic angle as a pure work of art, it is an elegant craft of displaying the contours of the naked feminine. The tone of color used is a rich nuance, producing an aesthetic effect. Everything is serenely placed as rhythm of light and color.
Let’s look at the painting from a literary, cultural and philosophical point of view. The painting depicts dream and reality juxtaposed together. Is barrenness of the terrain showing contrast with the sexual awakenings of the woman (the woman are veiled with hair)? Does the woman covered with veil, initiating others into the realm of sexuality. Is the light held the buxom woman an invitation to do the poetry of the bed?
Gauguin’s Spirit of the Dead Watching
On the surface level, there is a nude young girl and man hooded in black.
An aesthetic appreciation we understand how vividly is the brilliant use of color, the dark and light shades forming an ambient tapestry of a picture of art.
From a cultural point of view, we find Gauguin celebrating the culture of Tahiti. As a philosophical art, Gauguin ponders on the questions of immortality, life after death and the soul. From a psychoanalytic point of view we find that the man is obsessed with a younger woman.
Van Gogh’s Cultivator
On the surface level it is a painting in agrarian settings were a farmer is sowing the field.
As an aesthetic appreciation we understand the brilliant exposition of color, light and shade forming metaphors of a painting of art.
From a cultural point of view we can understand that Van Gogh was influenced by the Parable of the Seed in the Bible. Philosophically speaking there’s harmony of man with nature both being metaphoric as friends.
From a surface level of meaning we can see a distortion of animal and human figures embedded in the canvas.
As aesthetic appreciation, we can follow the ingenuity of Picasso to create a new school of painting called Cubism. Art is shown to create an aversion in the mind. Looking at it we are overcome with a feeling of catharsis.
From a Cultural Point of View we can understand Guernica to show the bombing of a town called Basque and the horrors.
Kierkegaard asks the foremost question: is believing in love possible? Is it physically tangible? Is it an emotional product of the mind?
Kierkegaard talks of two forms, one being spiritual and eternal and the other being spatial and temporal. Divine affection of God is spiritual and erotic passion is earthly, historical and temporal.
Affection of Christianity is non temporal and non-historical. He is using Plato’s concept of forms. Divine affection is an ideal kind of love. I would love to merge Platonism with the thoughts Kierkegaard. Divine passion resides in the Father and the Holy Spirit and can be seen, heard, loved and felt with Jesus the son.
Again Kierkegaard goes on to expostulate that human affection is embraced by the divinity of Christ. He uses a metaphor to illustrate the point: ‘the quiet lake is deep down fed by hidden springs’.
It is a divine emotion that can be seen, felt, touched and heard by the heart. Love is based on the maxim of experiential sharing.
When we try to experience God’s feeling for us we must be in a state of fear and trembling, in other words, being overwhelmed.
Kierkegaard makes a bifurcation of love. There are three forms: and they being: erotic, that of camaraderie and biblical that being love they neighbor. Christ has also said to care for our neighbor.
Neighbor exhorted in the Bible refers to the other. The other is historical entity. Loving the other as a divine injunction is not an easy task. Kierkegaard illustrates the parable of the Good Samaritan.
In his treatise: Works of Love, Kierkegaard exhorts us to love God and love our neighbor. Loving God is the highest form of love.
The author exhorts the poet to glorify God and also pay compliments of celebration friendship and Eros. We can show our love to God by glorifying, adoring and praising him.
Kierkegaard also talks from the Gospel of Luke: When you are calling for guests for a wedding banquet, call not the rich and the noble, but call the poor, the blind, the maimed and the lame. In doing so we are doing God’s Will in Heaven.
Again he goes on to say: ‘Love is the fulfillment of law’. The law here refers to the 10 commandments. With Christ, even if we sin, we have the option to repent and get forgiveness from God.
The Love shown by Christ, by dying on the cross to save us from our Sins—becomes a Binary Fusion of glorifying both the marginalized and the privileged, whereby all are called as invitees to enter the heavenly realm and live eternally with Christ.
In another context, the apostle Paul says: ‘love is the sum of all commandments’. We adhering to love have to obey God’s commandments. We have the option of our sins being forgiven by praying to God in true repentance.
Kierkegaard in his narrative expostulates: love is a matter of conscience. What is conscience? It is the hidden throne of God dwelling in the mind of man. It is be conscience that we obey God and we honor our neighbors. We have to love God with a pure heart.
Love exhorts us to shed of our envy, doubt and deception. Love hopes all things, by love we conquer our sins. By loving God and making a prayer of repentance we can develop a harmonious relationship with God
I have developed degrees of aesthetic appreciation and they being surface level of meaning, atheistic appreciation and interpretation.
On a Surface Level of meaning we find man with awkward posture, very stiff, very macho.
As an aesthetic artifact we appreciate the fine grandeur of the body resembling ancient Greek Gods, handsome, fierce, quite disturbing for the human eye.
Interpretation can be made culturally and philosophically. The Thinker is an art, defiant one, showing the brilliant triumph of reason, able to cope with any adversity, a superman (Zarathustra) described by Nietzsche, being driven recklessly to celebrate the age of reason and yet being passionate in a poetic way with beauty.