By William Rowlandson
Jorge Luis Borges used to be profoundly attracted to the ill-defined and shape-shifting traditions of mysticism. besides the fact that, earlier reviews of Borges haven't fascinated about the writer's shut curiosity in mysticism and mystical texts, particularly within the Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). This e-book examines the connection among Borges' personal recorded mystical reports and his appraisal of Swedenborg and different mystics. It asks the fundamental query of no matter if Borges was once a mystic by way of analysing his writings, together with brief tales, essays, poems and interviews, along scholarly writings on mysticism through figures resembling William James. The publication locates Borges in the scholarship of mysticism by way of comparing his many assertions and recommendations as to what's or isn't a mystic and, in so doing, analyses the effect of James and Ralph Waldo Emerson on Borges' studying of Swedenborg and mysticism. the writer argues additional that Swedenborg constitutes a much richer presence in Borges' paintings than scholarship has hitherto stated, and assesses the presence of Swedenborg in Borges' aesthetics, ethics and poetics.
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Extra info for Borges, Swedenborg and Mysticism
We also encounter it among the mystics. Plotinus says that to pass from one life to another is like sleeping in dif ferent beds in dif ferent rooms. ” Let’s try to expand on those truly wise words: if all Being were revealed to us – the Being rather than the world – at a single instant, undoubtedly we would be annihilated, killed. Thus, as Blake says, “time is the gift of eternity”; that is to say, eternity allows us all those experiences in succession. Thus, we have days and nights, hours and years.
16 Borges paid particular attention to this deeper area of consciousness, suggesting in two particular texts that 16 ‘[Y]ou know there are these peculiar faculties of the psyche, that it isn’t entirely confined to space and time. You can have dreams or visions of the future, you can see around corners, and such things. Only ignorance denies these facts, you know; it’s quite evident that they do exist, and have existed always. Now these facts show that the psyche, in part at least, is not dependent upon these confinements.
Para mí el budismo no es una pieza de museo: es un camino de salvación’ (1989: 254) [‘What I have said tonight is fragmentary. It would have been absurd if I had expounded a doctrine to which I have dedicated some years – and of which I have actually understood little – with the intention of displaying a museum piece. Buddhism is not a museum piece; it is a path to salvation’] (trans. Smith). It is likewise perfectly commensurate with a reading of Borges’ works on Buddhism to include a meditation session.
Borges, Swedenborg and Mysticism by William Rowlandson