Thursday, September 23, 2004

SUBLIME Ramblings (Engl 300)

According to "A Handbook to Litterature" Harmon/Holman (p. 501), the definition of Sublime is:

Sublime = Characterized by nobility and grandeur, impressive, exalted, raised about ordinary human qualitites---these were asserted to be the essential qualitites of great art in the treatise On the Sublime by Longinus (A.D. 50). Longinus regarded the sublime as a thing of spirit, a spark leaping from writer to reader, rather than a product of technique. He lists five sources of the sublime, the first two of which---great thoughts and noble feelings---are gifts of nature, and the last three of which----lofty figures of speech, diction, and arrangement----are products of art.

The Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary (Delux Edition 2001) defines Subline as:

Sublime: 1. elevated or lofty in thought, language, etc.
2. ipressing the mind with a sense of grandeur or power; inspiring awe, veneration, etc.
3. supreme or outstanding
4. complete; absolute; utter
--the greatest or supreme degree.

Another definition brought up in class discusion ---Ecstasy.

Also, according to the Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary...

Ecstasy 1. rapturious delight.
2. an overpowering emotion or exaltation; a state of sudden, intense, feeling.
3. the frenzy of poetic inspiration.
4. mental transport or rapture from the contemplation of divine things.

Bliss and Delight are all effects from the sublime exstacy of an experience that causes us to become overpowered by the feelings and effect of such an experience, that we are temporarily altered to a higher (different) state of mind/being. Quite easily, you could say that if you experience such a thing or event, that you are out of your mind.

Am I Dreaming?

NEO: You ever have the feeling that you're not sure if you're awake or still dreaming?

CHOI: All the time. It's called mescaline and it is the only way to fly.

I believe there are two types of people in regards to sublime. There are those who seek the sublime for enlightenment, and then there are those who seek the sublime for the sheer feeling of ecstasy, albeit an artificial euphoric feeling. You have the "real" and then you have the "unreal". True enlightenment comes when you go beyond the sublime and manage to maintain yourself on that transcended level, whereas there are others who fool themselves by taking drugs or what may so that they can simply have the sensation for a little while, when truly, their minds have not fully awaken, but have an organic craving for the sensation of the sublime.

The above quote from the movie the "Matrix" made me think of that.

I suppose then, the trick is becoming comfortable with the realization and distinction between the two realms of the real and nonreal. Just like Neo, how can you tell when you are dreaming? How do you know if you are in the real world, or if you took the blue pill, and are indeed just living according to the illusion? Enlightenment I suppose is one way in breaking from the phobia of not knowing, and this gives you eyes and the sight to see the truth. Salvation would be then to conquer both realms so that you can exist simultaneously in all realms/realities/unrealities, and be free in mind and spirit. Thus becoming vast and containing multitudes, just like Professor Sexson. Also, it probably means you are dead, and either are in Heaven or Elysium.

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