Pantheism and the Pathetic Fallacy

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Pantheism and the Pathetic Fallacy

Postby obnoxion » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:49 am

Pathetic fallacy is attributing human emotion or manner to things such as animals, trees, stones and natural phenomenon. The term is coined by John Ruskin, the Brittish art critic, and pertains to literature and art. Now, when Dante writes that the spirits falling from the bank of Acheron are like dead leaves fluttering from a bough, it is not pathetic fallacy but an apt comparison. But when Samuel Coleridge writes of a red leaf that is the last of his clan and dances as often as he can, this would be a pathetic fallacy, as leaves might seem to dance, but they do not actually dance. After Ruskin, such Victorian poet as Lord Tennyson began to pay closer attention to this, and replaced this projection with more percision. Tennyson, it seems, was inspired by the scientific virtues of his day, but we cannot atribute, I think, these Victorian preferences to Dante's verse.

Perhaps the pathetic fallacy was in some ways an indulgence of the Romantic Era. But as the Romantic Poets were mostly Christian Pantheists, I am interested, to what degree might the pathetic fallacy (emotional projection) be poetic license, and to what part authentic pantheistic religious experience.
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Re: Pantheism and the Pathetic Fallacy

Postby Cerastes » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:19 pm

obnoxion wrote:Perhaps the pathetic fallacy was in some ways an indulgence of the Romantic Era. But as the Romantic Poets were mostly Christian Pantheists, I am interested, to what degree might the pathetic fallacy (emotional projection) be poetic license, and to what part authentic pantheistic religious experience.
Perhaps people with a pantheistic view on the world are more likely to project their emotions on nature. With a purely materialistic view on nature there will not be any dancing leaves. Therefore drawing a line between poetic license and religious experience is a bit challenging. It could possibly be a mixture of both- or more precisely a causality. One feels the connection with nature and is looking for a way to express it in a poetic way so it becomes understandable for the rest of the world. However, this only works with well-known emotional schematics. Things that are already connected with certain human emotions- like the Harmony, Elegance and Playfulness that is connected with dancing.
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Re: Pantheism and the Pathetic Fallacy

Postby Smaragd » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:19 am

When challenged by these thoughts I've tried to defend the pantheistic point of view by the simplicity of the basic powers of death and rebirth making structures from simple ingredients. Therefor the complexity is no reason to draw impenetrable walls between human experience and other natural phenomena. Roughly: in my simple mind the pathetic fallacy is not a poetic license when it assosiates through the structures of the writers pantheist world view or mind by honest intuition. (btw. I'm not sure I can make difference between mind and world view.) It's like penetrating the whole structure with a lightning, passing information (sympathy-to-assosiation) between these complex and simple and again complex similarities. By honest I mean seeking to turn the Hieroglyphic Key with the work.

The critic next hit straight to the word 'structure' leading to nihilistic paths that just bore me to death.
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Re: Pantheism and the Pathetic Fallacy

Postby RPSTOVAL » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:44 am

Person 1: "Nature is God"
Person 2: "Nature exists but you're just a fucking idiot"

That's how the conversation usually goes. Person 1 accepts the surreal and magical aspect inherent in nature and Person 2 is hung-up over ontology. Person 1 knows God isn't a person floating in the sky, person 2 is caught up bitching about how there is no proof for a person floating in the sky. They may as well be both talking to themselves.
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Re: Pantheism and the Pathetic Fallacy

Postby Cerastes » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:48 pm

RPSTOVAL wrote:Person 1: "Nature is God"
Person 2: "Nature exists but you're just a fucking idiot"

That's how the conversation usually goes. Person 1 accepts the surreal and magical aspect inherent in nature and Person 2 is hung-up over ontology. Person 1 knows God isn't a person floating in the sky, person 2 is caught up bitching about how there is no proof for a person floating in the sky. They may as well be both talking to themselves.
That’s the reason why I stopped having this kind of conversation.
Quite often atheism is associated with a high education or intelligence. In some cases this might be true because blind, dogmatic belief can be a barrier for learning. But if one identifies with being an intelligent, educated person s/he tends to turn atheism into a dogma without even thinking about other possibilities. Ironically this leads to a dogmatic view on “god” and causes the exact same mental barrier that is usually blamed on religious people. (->god is an old man who is sitting on a cloud in heaven)
I assume that this kind of pigeon-hole thinking is in many ways the enemy of intuition. It leads to a very simplified view on the world but it provides safety because walking off the beaten path is always a risk.
Smaragd wrote:The critic next hit straight to the word 'structure' leading to nihilistic paths that just bore me to death.
I don't understand this sentence but I would like to.
How does the word "structure" lead to nihilicstic paths?
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
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Re: Pantheism and the Pathetic Fallacy

Postby Smaragd » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:12 pm

Red Bird wrote:
Smaragd wrote:The critic next hit straight to the word 'structure' leading to nihilistic paths that just bore me to death.
I don't understand this sentence but I would like to.
How does the word "structure" lead to nihilicstic paths?
The critique towards (seeing) structures tend to lead towards nihilistic paths. Actually I thought about this sentence just few days ago, and feel important to see through the half baked thoughts. First of all, it's obvious anything that is build will crumble down and be destroyed, but there are also metaphysical structures that we often use in occult workings. I'm not sure how much those structures are subject to change, let alone the powers that stream through them. Actually it is hard to make difference between the power and the structure. The language we use of them changes, and maybe the receivers create paths they individually need to reach for those powers emanating from beyond time. Those smaller paths will change over time too. What I'm trying to say is even though a structure built is going to be destroyed, it may hold purpose for the time it stands. Gosh, this is very basic stuff, maybe I've underestimated the critique and have no idea what they have been going on about, or maybe it has been just political 'smash the system' thingie.

I'm certainly not versed enough when it comes to poetry and its intricacies, but I can see throwing critique at the Pathetic Fallacies can be actually a violent act on these individual paths of thought and connection forming; a pantheist might be in the delicate process of trying to build and find ones path to these powers (this is one reason why occultism is still "secret" in these days of no visible burnings at the stake). It is impotent nihilism to think these fantastic paths through illusory winking streams, staring flocks of butterflies etc. have no hope reaching anything meaningful and real, and it might be underestimating the coherency of the pantheists sense/intuition of the immanent.
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Re: Pantheism and the Pathetic Fallacy

Postby Cerastes » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:13 pm

Smaragd wrote:The critique towards (seeing) structures tend to lead towards nihilistic paths. Actually I thought about this sentence just few days ago, and feel important to see through the half baked thoughts. First of all, it's obvious anything that is build will crumble down and be destroyed, but there are also metaphysical structures that we often use in occult workings. I'm not sure how much those structures are subject to change, let alone the powers that stream through them. Actually it is hard to make difference between the power and the structure.
Oh, then I just read it wrong.
Somehow this sentence popped up in my mind too because it didn't make sense to me.
Ironically, it did not fit in the structure.

Actually I think the only way to understand those things is by finding structures. There are very too many details to sense them all. I just noticed that metaphysical structures would be an interesting idea for new topic later on. But since it is very complex and highly associative I’d first need more coffee, sleep or some additional synapses for this discussion. (Coffee might again be the best solution)
Smaragd wrote:I'm certainly not versed enough when it comes to poetry and its intricacies, but I can see throwing critique at the Pathetic Fallacies can be actually a violent act on these individual paths of thought and connection forming; a pantheist might be in the delicate process of trying to build and find ones path to these powers (this is one reason why occultism is still "secret" in these days of no visible burnings at the stake). It is impotent nihilism to think these fantastic paths through illusory winking streams, staring flocks of butterflies etc. have no hope reaching anything meaningful and real, and it might be underestimating the coherency of the pantheists sense/intuition of the immanent.
I don’t really like the phrase “pathetic fallacy” in this case because indeed, I don’t think it is a failure to see the leaf dancing. However is is a failure to measure pantheistic sense/intuition by linear logical scales. Also I’d like to make a difference between emotional projection and emotional connection since the second one is essential for pantheism.

Thanks for the explanation, your comments are very inspiring.
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Re: Pantheism and the Pathetic Fallacy

Postby Kavi » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:35 pm

Smaragd wrote:
Red Bird wrote:
Smaragd wrote:The critic next hit straight to the word 'structure' leading to nihilistic paths that just bore me to death.
I don't understand this sentence but I would like to.
How does the word "structure" lead to nihilicstic paths?
The critique towards (seeing) structures tend to lead towards nihilistic paths. Actually I thought about this sentence just few days ago, and feel important to see through the half baked thoughts. First of all, it's obvious anything that is build will crumble down and be destroyed, but there are also metaphysical structures that we often use in occult workings. I'm not sure how much those structures are subject to change, let alone the powers that stream through them. Actually it is hard to make difference between the power and the structure. The language we use of them changes, and maybe the receivers create paths they individually need to reach for those powers emanating from beyond time. Those smaller paths will change over time too. What I'm trying to say is even though a structure built is going to be destroyed, it may hold purpose for the time it stands. Gosh, this is very basic stuff, maybe I've underestimated the critique and have no idea what they have been going on about, or maybe it has been just political 'smash the system' thingie.

I'm certainly not versed enough when it comes to poetry and its intricacies, but I can see throwing critique at the Pathetic Fallacies can be actually a violent act on these individual paths of thought and connection forming; a pantheist might be in the delicate process of trying to build and find ones path to these powers (this is one reason why occultism is still "secret" in these days of no visible burnings at the stake). It is impotent nihilism to think these fantastic paths through illusory winking streams, staring flocks of butterflies etc. have no hope reaching anything meaningful and real, and it might be underestimating the coherency of the pantheists sense/intuition of the immanent.
"The critique towards (seeing) structures tend to lead towards nihilistic paths."
This notion is something I have also made. Although I have been able of seeing structures, patterns and objects and reanimate them back to life.
It is like closing your eyes, so that you could see everything better.
Most of the times the meaning, spirit and life is forgotten in our daily lives because of not really opening eyes.

Maybe this really didn't hit home, but at least I gave my thoughtful cents on this topic. :)
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Re: Pantheism and the Pathetic Fallacy

Postby Cancer » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:27 pm

Attributing redness to the leaf is already unscientific, because trees lack eyesight.
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Re: Pantheism and the Pathetic Fallacy

Postby Smaragd » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:18 am

Cancer wrote:Attributing redness to the leaf is already unscientific, because trees lack eyesight.
The whole Pathetic Fallacy thing sure sounds like the critique is trying to bring scientific objective authority in the subjective worlds. Well, atleast such notions can point past errors in these areas that get finer and finer.
As a sidenote: trees lack eyesight, yet the colour of their flowers seem to be there to attract pollinators.
Kavi wrote:This notion is something I have also made. Although I have been able of seeing structures, patterns and objects and reanimate them back to life.
It is like closing your eyes, so that you could see everything better.
Most of the times the meaning, spirit and life is forgotten in our daily lives because of not really opening eyes.
The closing eyes might be seen also as a black aspect work. Stripping structures and seeing the pure lifeforce without its veils, but behind the curtains there's more abstract structures that humanity can not happen without.
Red Bird wrote:Ironically, it did not fit in the structure.
:D
Red Bird wrote:I don’t really like the phrase “pathetic fallacy” in this case because indeed, I don’t think it is a failure to see the leaf dancing. However is is a failure to measure pantheistic sense/intuition by linear logical scales. Also I’d like to make a difference between emotional projection and emotional connection since the second one is essential for pantheism.

Thanks for the explanation, your comments are very inspiring.
Your's too! Although I don't have nothing to add here, I agree with your sharp notions.

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