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John Keats on "Suffering"

  • 15 January 2018
  • Author: CUSA Administrator
  • Number of views: 2367

You probably know John Keats from his famous poem "Ode to a Grecian Urn," but this maybe something new to you. Keats wrote a letter dated May 3, 1819 to his brother George and his sister Georgiana which contains the following idea dealing with suffering, referred to as the "soul-making theodicy." 

"Do you not see how necessary a World of Pains and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a soul?" he writes. “A place where the heart must feel and suffer in a thousand diverse ways! Not merely is the Heart a Hornbook. It is the Minds Bible, it is the Minds experience, it is the teat from which the Mind or intelligence sucks its identity--As various as the Lives of Men are--so various become their souls, and thus does God make individual beings, Souls, Identical souls of the sparks of his own essence--This appears to me a faint sketch of a Salvation which does not affront our reason and humanity."

Dayna Barlow, EGL 7 & 9

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