Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Wed May 12, 2021 4:08 pm





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 65 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
The Secret Garden: Chapters 19, 20 and 21 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Internet Sage

Silver Contributor

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 340
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA, Earth.
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 7 times in 2 posts
Gender: Female

Post 
Oh goody! I get to "correct" you some more. :laugh2:

Tom said, and I paste:
Quote:
I misread the passage you quoted, because I was focused on Burnett's interest in spiritualism, which isn't relevant here.


Are you sure you didn't just have an alternate reading which might have been equally valid? The cool thing about literary passages, dreams and poetry is that there are multiple correct readings. I think spiritualism is probably relevant throughout the book and I would like to know what you read, on a less personal, more symbolic level?


_________________
"Where can I find a man who has forgotten the words so that I can talk with him?"
-- Chuang-Tzu (c. 200 B.C.E.)
as quoted by Robert A. Burton


Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:40 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Likes the book better than the movie


Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 825
Location: Wyse Fork, NC
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
GentleReader9 wrote:
Are you sure you didn't just have an alternate reading which might have been equally valid? The cool thing about literary passages, dreams and poetry is that there are multiple correct readings. I think spiritualism is probably relevant throughout the book and I would like to know what you read, on a less personal, more symbolic level?


Yes, I think I made a mistake in supposing the "One of the strange things about living in the world . . ." passage was spiritualistic, because nature is speaking to her and not the dead, even in memory. It's her assurance of personal immortality. There's no seance nor clear sight.

Quote:
"Archie! Archie! Archie!" it said, and

again, sweeter and clearer than before, "Archie! Archie!"

He thought he sprang to his feet not even startled. It was such a real voice and it seemed so natural that he should hear it.

"Lilias! Lilias!" he answered. "Lilias! where are you?"

"In the garden," it came back like a sound from a golden flute. "In the garden!"


Although it occurs in a dream, I did consider this purple passage to be spiritualistic, because it implies that we are visited by the dead more than just in memory.

Quote:
The cool thing about literary passages, dreams and poetry is that there are multiple correct readings.


Well, a teacher might say so who wants to get a response from students, and everybody has to start somewhere. I'd prefer to say that there are multiple tolerable readings, because some readings are more insightful than others, are more aware of the psychology and cultural background of the author and more sensitive to use of language. I read Walden through three times and didn't detect a single pun. But now that I have been corrected by others, my reading has improved :)
So correct me all you can.

Tom



Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:25 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Almost Awesome

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 900
Thanks: 123
Thanked: 204 times in 162 posts
Gender: None specified

Post 
I think there might be a blurry line here between what is personal experience in a straightforward sense, that is, what our senses tell us is happening around us and, on the other hand, spiritual experience. What Burnett describes of Colin's experience is personal experience but could it not be his spirit prompting him to experience an eternal moment, giving him access to forever lived in that moment, a moment that would otherwise be just an average moment in time like any other?

Whether this is Burnett's meaning or not, I think spirituality is threaded throughout this book and that she intends the characters to be moved by and to experience spirituality in many different ways. The hovering presence of Mrs. Craven, for example, the way her "spirit" binds the story and the characters together is an indication of this. The characters go about their personal experiences within this spiritual context.



Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:15 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
All Star Member


Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 138
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
I would like to think of Mrs. Craven in a "guardian angel" type of sense. She knows that her family is suffering and she is nudging them back to life. I guess you could say that it is spiritual. It was still pretty much a magical book in my opinion.


_________________
If you obey all of the rules, you miss all of the fun.
--Katherine Hepburn


Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:14 am
Profile Email YIM
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Likes the book better than the movie


Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 825
Location: Wyse Fork, NC
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
giselle wrote:
What Burnett describes of Colin's experience is personal experience but could it not be his spirit prompting him to experience an eternal moment, giving him access to forever lived in that moment, a moment that would otherwise be just an average moment in time like any other?


This one I had to think about, but yes, I think everyone, religious or not, has a natural hunger for spiritual life.

Tom



Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:06 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Internet Sage

Silver Contributor

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 340
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA, Earth.
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 7 times in 2 posts
Gender: Female

Post 
Thomas wrote:
Quote:
I think I made a mistake in supposing the "One of the strange things about living in the world . . ." passage was spiritualistic, because nature is speaking to her and not the dead, even in memory. It's her assurance of personal immortality. There's no seance nor clear sight.


Then a discussion of spirituality (personal spiritual experience) and also of spiritualism (a belief in immortality through contact with the deceased) ensues for the next several posts.

I think both of these are themes in the text, although I would argue that it's possible to take the "ghostly presence" of Mrs. Craven, especially in dreams, to be an expression of the individual's psyche where it connects to universal consciousness; it uses the dream character of a loved one no longer living as a "bridge" or metaphor about the permeable, connected nature of the human Self among selves, the collective Mind among minds. I guess this is a kind of neo-Jungian reading and admittedly brings something of an outside "lens" to the text.

If it is possible to make an eternal contribution to thought, to understanding, to humanity's civility and wisdom -- or to a family's love and interdepent nurturance, within a lifetime that spills over the brim of a single personality to touch and fill others with its love and power, then we do live forever through one another -- the truest, best parts of ourselves do. This can be experienced in dreams, in fleeting impressions, messages felt to be from "beyond the grave" -- or in more mundane forms, like diaries or other writings, or the passing down of an ancient lullabye. Whatever is still held in the living mind and heart is not dead, not lost. It sings in new throats and looks out of new eyes; its whispered tales give new skin the gooseflesh. Like a constant, seasonal wind breathing through new lungs and into every cell, spirit has a tangible referent. Is this magical thinking? Maybe. But it seems to be quite literally and clearly true.

Personal spirituality, a belief in spiritualism -- different, but possibly connected and referring to a concrete social and personal phenomena.


_________________
"Where can I find a man who has forgotten the words so that I can talk with him?"
-- Chuang-Tzu (c. 200 B.C.E.)
as quoted by Robert A. Burton


Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:01 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Internet Sage

Silver Contributor

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 340
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA, Earth.
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 7 times in 2 posts
Gender: Female

Post Storytime: an Interlude.
Just wanted to share a personal "ghost story" tangent. I hope no one minds.

My grandfather, the one from Alabama who marched for civil rights and preached liberal theology from his pulpit -- we'll call him, "Lilburn," used to play a game with me and my siblings. He would put on a strange, wide-eyed facial expression and wave his arthritic hands "spookily" and make a sound like, "woooo-woooo," tiptoe-ing around after us or popping out suddenly with it in dark hallways, intoning, "It's the ghost of your old, dead Granddaddy, a-comin' after you....wooo!" Of course we would scream and run away and it was really fun.

I didn't realize it until years after he had died and I was quite grown up, but the point of this came to me suddenly when I was starting to slip into despair about what my parents and grandparents and ancestors would think if they could see what a mess I had made.... All of a sudden, "Wooo," my old, dead Granddaddy was there, making fun of the idea that there was anything I could do, ever, that would make his ghost come after me in judgment. There was no way I need ever fear his ghost. I felt his promise of eternal, constant, unconditional love instead, and I knew he would laugh at the idea that he might "come after me if I was bad to take me away." The man was a genius.


_________________
"Where can I find a man who has forgotten the words so that I can talk with him?"
-- Chuang-Tzu (c. 200 B.C.E.)
as quoted by Robert A. Burton


Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:17 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Likes the book better than the movie


Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 825
Location: Wyse Fork, NC
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
GentleReader9 wrote:
If it is possible to make an eternal contribution to thought, to understanding, to humanity's civility and wisdom -- or to a family's love and interdepent nurturance, within a lifetime that spills over the brim of a single personality to touch and fill others with its love and power, then we do live forever through one another -- the truest, best parts of ourselves do.


But when you've done the right thing, you have done right eternally, even if know only to you and God.

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Tom



Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:24 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Likes the book better than the movie


Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 825
Location: Wyse Fork, NC
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Storytime: an Interlude.
GentleReader9 wrote:
. . . I was starting to slip into despair about what my parents and grandparents and ancestors would think if they could see what a mess I had made. . .


An expert is one who has made all the mistakes. Yesterday I became an expert in Moen single-handle faucets. I made about every mistake with such a faucet I am likely to make in the rest of my life, including the gushing experience of forgetting to drain the pipes before pulling the faucet. So now you're an expert in life, and they would be proud.

And not only do you have to clean up your mistakes, probably you (like me and Mary and Colin) inherited a few:

Six at the beginning means:
Setting right what has been spoiled by the father.
If there is a son,
No blame rests upon the departed father.
Danger. In the end good fortune.

Nine in the second place means:
Setting right what has been spoiled by the mother.
One must not be too persevering.

Tom



Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:46 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Internet Sage

Silver Contributor

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 340
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA, Earth.
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 7 times in 2 posts
Gender: Female

Post 
Quoth Thomas fair and true (may he not this day rue):

Quote:
But when you've done the right thing, you have done right eternally, even if know only to you and God.

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.


Aha! Now you're inviting us to talk mystically. And you're telling us something that's literally and absolutely true, too, just in a different way. I try to keep it simple for the people who don't feel safe with "ghosts" walking in their world. May I add you're either very brave or very foolhardy to go this route on this site? You even used the filthy "G" word, may you not come to wish you could just wash your mouth out with soap and have done with it. :laugh:

I believe the type of act you describe has real, felt effects for others, even if they don't consciously know it and it's "known only to you and God." Minds are connected not just by words, but in thought; hearts are connected not just by expressed feelings, but by passion itself; spirits are connected by the quality of deeds, sung and unsung. There is a part of all of us more whole than the sum, a still place of identity with one another's inmost nature in which we know each other deeply and always have. How else could we get such a clear, vivid consensus reality which is so utterly far off-base? :D


_________________
"Where can I find a man who has forgotten the words so that I can talk with him?"
-- Chuang-Tzu (c. 200 B.C.E.)
as quoted by Robert A. Burton


Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:02 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Internet Sage

Silver Contributor

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 340
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA, Earth.
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 7 times in 2 posts
Gender: Female

Post 
Quote:
Six at the beginning means:
Setting right what has been spoiled by the father.
If there is a son,
No blame rests upon the departed father.
Danger. In the end good fortune.

Nine in the second place means:
Setting right what has been spoiled by the mother.
One must not be too persevering.


Huh???

Are you transposing my username (or something graphically like it) onto another text that resembles a Tarot reading? Or is this somewhere in The Secret Garden and I have forgotten it...? Or is it a literacy test to see if I know to what it refers? It sounds so hauntingly familiar, and yet, perhaps I should change my name to LazyReader2, because I would rather just come clean and ask: Huh? Tell me where this comes from if it is anything other than your original poetry.

But first, GR9's fantasy: Thomas Hood is really an agent for some kind of Very Secret Bureau or Society, combing the internet for subtle forms of subversive or usefully creative psychic activity. This Brotherhood, for which he works while feigning retirement (ha-ha, everyone knows you can never retire from these groups) is looking for those with the symbolic proficiency to be taught The Craft. Not only have I just failed the Test of the Prospective Iniatiate, I have threatened to pull his "Hood" and blow his cover. The only thing holding Them back from coming to eliminate me and my big mouth and "cleaning up the site" of my life is the fact that I come off as being so completely crazy that I am no threat. :smile: Please, on that last thing; buy the innocent and sweetly harmless smile. (Whisper to Thomas:) I won't tell anybody. Initiate me even though I don't "get" the code test.


_________________
"Where can I find a man who has forgotten the words so that I can talk with him?"
-- Chuang-Tzu (c. 200 B.C.E.)
as quoted by Robert A. Burton


Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:20 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Likes the book better than the movie


Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 825
Location: Wyse Fork, NC
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
GentleReader9 wrote:
May I add you're either very brave or very foolhardy to go this route on this site? You even used the filthy "G" word, . . .


But I have insurance, because I agree in part with the scientific atheists. God is like the vanishing point of a picture, not in the picture but of it, and nevertheless guiding whatever occurs within the picture.

Quote:
I believe the type of act you describe has real, felt effects for others, even if they don't consciously know it and it's "known only to you and God."


And here, again, I agree with the scientific atheists in wanting communication by a physical connection, only I think that communication is of an order of subtlety greater than atheists usually consider it.

Quote:
Minds are connected not just by words, but in thought; . . . .


Well, words and their allusiveness, and body language, and facial tension, and complexion changes, and expressive situations reveal the inner person. We don't need telepathy -- just better attention, and a tolerance for our own mistakes in reading.

Quote:
There is a part of all of us more whole than the sum, a still place of identity with one another's inmost nature in which we know each other deeply and always have.


But also, "As one face is like another so one mind is like another."

Tom



Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:49 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Internet Sage

Silver Contributor

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 340
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA, Earth.
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 7 times in 2 posts
Gender: Female

Post 
Quote:
God is like the vanishing point of a picture, not in the picture but of it, and nevertheless guiding whatever occurs within the picture.


One of the cooler thoughts to which I have been exposed of late. Elope with me, Thomas. Tell me metaphors under an exotic moon.... Or rather, a moon in, but not of, an exotic landscape framing it. Or something. See why I need you? I am lost without your skill with words. Pity me enough to spend hours telling me your poetic notions...wait, you already do. And I still get to live freely and independently. :hmm: Okay, don't elope with me; just keep posting the good stuff.


_________________
"Where can I find a man who has forgotten the words so that I can talk with him?"
-- Chuang-Tzu (c. 200 B.C.E.)
as quoted by Robert A. Burton


Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:04 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Likes the book better than the movie


Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 825
Location: Wyse Fork, NC
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
GentleReader9 wrote:
. . .is this somewhere in The Secret Garden and I have forgotten it...?

GentleReader, I apologize for not giving the source: it is from the first two lines of Hexagram 18 of the I Ching. Don't you remember now?

Quote:
This Brotherhood. . .


There is a Brotherhood, but just two members -- Sakis Totlis (once an active member of BookTalk) and myself. I joined BookTalk because I was looking for Sakis and wanted to read his profile. Sakis is the author of the book The True Eye of the Tiger, available for free on the Internet. Unfortunately, Sakis has met with difficulty and is no longer available for email discussion, but I have his permission to publicize his book. One cannot retire from these groups because the search for truth becomes an obsession. What Sakis and I have done, working independently, is to apply gestalt principles to this wonderful ancient text.

Quote:
Initiate me . . .


The only requirements are sincerity and imaginative freedom.

Quote:
Elope with me, . . .


The nicest thing a woman ever said to me.

Tom



Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:31 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Internet Sage

Silver Contributor

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 340
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA, Earth.
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 7 times in 2 posts
Gender: Female

Post 
Thomas clarified:
Quote:
it is from the first two lines of Hexagram 18 of the I Ching. Don't you remember now?


Thank you! Actually that explains a lot. I have used the I Ching a few times with another person who was more into it, but not recently and it was never my divinatory method of choice. You have no idea how wierd it was to read just those lines, with no context, knowing they sounded strangely familiar, but not recalling where they might be from. Usually I remember where things are from, but that one was too peripheral to be anything more than a disorienting echo.

I will look for Sakis Totlis' book, perhaps not today, but soon, and let you know what I think.


And as for this,
Quote:
Quote:
Elope with me, . . .

The nicest thing a woman ever said to me.

Tom


Hey, what's wrong with you ladies out there? Do you mean to say I'm the only one who ever wanted to elope with Thomas? I doubt it. They're just more appropriate than I am and don't say these things. ;-)


_________________
"Where can I find a man who has forgotten the words so that I can talk with him?"
-- Chuang-Tzu (c. 200 B.C.E.)
as quoted by Robert A. Burton


Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:02 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 65 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Community Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Book Discussion Leaders

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
Banned Books
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Coming Soon!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Coming Soon!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
Promote your FICTION book
Promote your NON-FICTION book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2021. All rights reserved.

Display Pagerank