Musing on T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets and on transforming trauma into gold

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Re-reading some of the nuggets from "Four Quartets" by T.S. Eliot, I am struck by the depth of trauma embedded in the poetry and the transmutation that poetry can effect...

He has created "Gold" from the dross...

I do not know much about gods;but I think that the river is a strong brown god-sullen, untamed and intractable . . .”

to..

Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.”

...“I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

“A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)”

“At the still point, there the dance is.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

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I READ THIS POEM AGAIN WITH NEW EYES, NEW SOUL AND AS IF FOR THE FIRST TIME.

THE IDEA OF A NEW KIND OF FAITH BURNED THROUGH., AS IF ONE MUST GIVE ONE'S SELF OVER TO THAT COMPLETELY! WELL.....MUSTN'T ONE???!!UUDIE HARTE

It seems so, doesn't it? I too, have been re-reading "Four Quartets" in pieces with new eyes. Somehow, the shadow of his war experience and the fall into the depths of the dark night is so evident; and yet, as is this illumination that arises from the darkness; the transcendent arises from a complete surrender. I think we find ourselves there once again on this planet.

"..there is yet faith; but the hope, and the love and the faith are all in the waiting...wait without thought...
so the darkness shall be the light and the stillness, the dancing"...

It is the waiting without thought, I find to be the most difficult. Thoughts are like wild beasts that stalk us in the forests of the psyche...perhaps, the imagination is what returns us to the light.?

This poem has held me through the death of my husband ... it has so much depth ... "we die with the dying" it says somewhere...I read it like a prayer 

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