Meta-Post: Wordplay and Metaphysics

I think the most apt title I’ve come up with for any of my posts is “Wordplay with a side of Metaphysics.” That pretty much sums up my tendency to examine layers of meaning created by word association (often ironic in Shakespeare) and to talk about the spiritual implications of the text. A quick glance over the diction in my posts reveals my fondness for words like “subtle,” “illusion,” “truth,” “reality,” and “nature”–often presented in different relationships with one another. That’s an important aspect of the way I talk about literature too. I often try to chose a few representative words and set them up in relation to one another as a kind of paradigm of the play that I can reflect on at a distance. It’s this act of stepping back to more consciously observe how I feel about the relationships in the piece that helps me come to a deeper understanding of the work as a whole and how I engage with it. When we get caught up in the drama of a play we often lose our sense of “I”–like at the movie theater when we forget that we’re just watching a series of frames flashing over a screen–and so we lose sight of our relationship to what we’re observing and its broader meaning. But through mindful reading and the creation of a relational paradigm I can look more objectively at my experience of a work of art or anything in life really. In fact, this is my approach to looking at my own nature as well, which speaks to the spiritual-scientific content of my posts. For our next essay assignment, I’ll be elaborating on my reading of Measure for Measure in which I talk a bit about how the Sermon on the Mount resonates with the play. In that vein, I plan on talking about the work in light of Plato’s Gnosticism as well as Christian esoteric thought. In my post, I used an analogy that relied on Vedanta, but in elaborating my ideas in the essay I plan on synthesizing concepts of esoteric science in my interpretation of Shakespeare’s work. With all of that said, the most difficult part about writing a truthful and intelligent response is avoiding self-deception. Ideas sometimes arise in me which strike me as quite clever and because of my fondness for them, I overlook their inherent falsity or, in other words, I deceive myself into seeing the false as true and the true as false–that’s when the relational paradigm comes in. It helps me step outside of the system of the play and its relation to my own biases so I can see, in quiet contemplation, how my consciousness engages with the play.

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