Purity s Shadow

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Johannes Kieding Honors English 200-CC1 Professor Dunning Fall 2008 Research paper Due: 12/18/08 Purity’s Shadow I am large. I contain multitudes. -Walt Whitman I wished the two girls to have some sign on their person as a warning to every young man that no evil eye might be cast upon them. What mark should the girls bear so as to sterilize the sinner’s eye? This question kept me awake for the night. -Gandhi As the green Earth darkens when turning away from the sun, so too the human soul forms a shadow as it turns toward one thing and neglects another. The mere fact of our selective attention – the gravitating movement to focus on ‘this’ and not ‘that’ – suggests the origin of the darker regions of the soul. The analogy of a…show more content…
That science has allowed us to live in great material comfort but failed to provide true peace of mind points to the incomplete truths of scientific “objectivity.” Dr. Habib Davanloo, psychiatrist in the psychoanalytic vein and referred to as “Freud on steroids,” admits the one-sidedness of his clinical interventions. In the doctor’s often-successful attempts to liberate patients to experience their feelings and impulses, the demand to use techniques that forego objective truth often arises. Arriving at a simpler, emotional truth, Dr. Davanloo means, sometimes requires ignoring the fact that the objective truth is never black and white, is never “pure” (Unlocking the Unconscious, 257). When either sun or moon takes over, the light of consciousness, and thus truth in its entirety, becomes compromised. Scientists and poets make good examples of the two halves of the equation of truth. The clinicians and the scientists, guided by the light of the sun, can attain breath-taking insights and bristling clarity into their areas of study. They are concerned with pure, objective truth, albeit a one-sided truth. The poet, on the other hand, guided by the moon’s soothing light that leaves room for darkness, flinches at the scientific means of insight, sensing that electricity, not direct sunlight, illumines the specialist’s eye. To the lyrical thinker, the expert’s lights are too blinding, sterilizing what could hatch and sprout in different arms, in the
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