Topic 2- E in nature

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Experiences in nature

English poet William Wordsworth wrote poetry near the ruin of Tintern Abbey 'And I have felt a presence that disturbs me with joy of elevated thoughts, a sense of sublime, of something far more deeply interfused whose dwelling is the light of setting suns.' -----> Lines reveal powerful RE that poet underwent expressed in poetic form.


  • Sense of powerful presence. Presence implies some kind of personality.
  • Presence found in the world.
  • Presence produces elevated thoughts like good, enhancing thoughts and mental states.
  • Disturbing bc power and goodness that exposes unholiness of those who Ed it.
  • Awe-inspiring
  • Presence linked to physcial bodies but not limited to it

Wordsworth's case = presence other to himself, not merged nor identified with it. Pantheist (God and world identical), later converted to roman catholicism.

Hindu faith = traditionally great importance placed on forests, so holy men retreat to forests to meditate, felt forest enviroment was conductive to meditation.

Not totally different from E in nature, but occur in desert places. For example:

  • The story of Elijah feeling from Jebezel is a classic tale of man in crisis. He goes to Horeb, the mintain of God, where he awaits presence of god. Fire, wind and earthquake come but God not present within, when gentle breeze comes Eliah realizes God is within this one.  -----> tale expresses a biblical belief that presence of God can be encountered in the solitude and silence of the desert. This certainly derives from RE of various biblical chara, known + uknown, who underwent this kind of E.
  • Seeking solitude common phenomenon in Rlife. Mohammed was one of many hanifim who chose to reflect in the solitude of the desert to come nearer god. Mohammed was distinct that, unlike others who kept RE quite, he went out to spread the message of ethical monotheism to his pagan comatriotsand thus launched Islam. 

Experiences in solitude

Silence and solitude makes desert Rplace that it…


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