Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose

By Kenneth Burke | Go to book overview

structive character of guilt, since piety is a system‐ builder, impelling one to go farther and farther in search of appropriate materials that will go with his concerns, while the attempt to socialize this material for purposes of communication leads one far beyond the character of the initial stimulus.

Variations of the stigmatic situation as a vocational incentive can be imagined ad lib. Mann, Gide, Proust, and Joyce seem outstanding examples in the cultural movement now coming to a close.


VII
THE POETRY OF ACTION

The Mystic's Sterilization of Combat

WE HAVE previously considered that troublous graded series whereby action emerges purely and simply as combat. The mystic, it seems, has often attempted to find disciplines whereby the combative aspect of action may be completely sterilized, so that the practitioner may enjoy the gratifications of attainment without the by-product, conquest. In the West, for instance, with its great respect for "climbing," the first stage of initiation into the state of mystic unity is usually reached through the postures of prayer, with its deliberate mimetics of humiliation. In a society stressing advancement,

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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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