Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose

By Kenneth Burke | Go to book overview

right and left hand. Our contemporary mystic poet, Hart Crane, seems to have revealed a similar sense of the abyss in his choice of the bridge as his key symbol. Socially, the division was observable in his unhappy conflict between homosexual and heterosexual leanings. And it may be more than a coincidence that this symbolist ended his life symbolically, by plunging into the great abyss of mid-ocean. In any event, it is conceivable that a purely subjective sense of the abyss could be converted downwards by actually going into high places and gazing from them, thus bringing the experience within the negotiable realm of factual objects. The curative effect of such a process might account for the almost mystical exaltation we have noted in the descriptions of mountain climbing—and conversely, it might justify us in looking for an "abyss-motif" behind the cult of flight.


VI
MEANING AND REGRESSION

Pure, or Unmixed, Responses

THE thought that piety responds to analogies of situation or relationship, and not merely to analogies of objects may throw some light upon the phenomena of regression which psychiatrists note as so

-193-

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Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Permanence and Change - An Anatomy of Purpose *
  • Contents 7
  • Part I- On Interpretation 11
  • I- Orientation 11
  • II- Motives 30
  • III- Occupational Psychosis 54
  • IV- Style 71
  • V- Magic, Religion, and Science 82
  • Part II- Perspective by Incongruity 95
  • I- The Range of Piety 95
  • II- New Meanings 106
  • III- Perspective as Metaphor 118
  • IV- Argument by Analogy 128
  • V- Secular Conversions 164
  • VI- Meaning and Regression 193
  • Conclusion 207
  • Part III- The Basis of Simplification 214
  • I- Causality and Communication 214
  • II- Permanence and Change 227
  • III- Secular Mysticism in Bentham 237
  • IV- The Ethical Confusion 247
  • V- The Search for Motives 275
  • VI- Occupation and Preoccupation 303
  • VII- The Poetry of Action 316
  • Conclusions 336
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