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Spirit and Matter, God and Chaos, or infinitude Finite Essays

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The Kingdom of Union and Joy can only be attained through the elevation and expansion of spirit which is influenced by its intricate relationship with matter. They reflect, inverse and alter one another depending on the nature of their alliance; and challenge the pervading intuition that one entertains concerning hierarchy, the superior and the inferior, rising and falling. Throughout the poem, the prophetic persona enlightens the reader on the manner to ascend to the spiritual realm via tales on base spirits, on praising and praised bodies -- thus, purveying a dynamic dramatisation of the fall. Mammon and the Son are two spiritual figures that typify the convoluted relation between matter and spirit. In their description, the persona invites the reader to compare the attitudes of these characters towards the material world and the fashion in which they apply their spirits to it.
Mammon is the «least erected Spirit that fell / From Heav’n» (1.679-80). Possessed by a boundless desire for «The riches of Heav’ns pavement, trod’n Gold» (1.682) -- towards which his thoughts are bent -- he already manifests a vertical movement in his heavenly status as he sinks low within the highest realm of the universe. The narrator’s speech transcribes the discontinuity of Mammon’s spiritual rank through the juxtaposition of inversely connotative words such as the sequence least - erected - fell - Heav’n.
Being the classical symbol of greed, he aspires to elevation by means of material abundance. Even when fallen, he persuades himself and his fellow companions of a possible good life in hell provided they exploit its treasures. From thence, directed by Mammon, the crew proceeds to violently abuse the earth who’s centre they «Ransack» and «with ...


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... his «Humiliation shall exalt» (3.313). The Son’s Grandeur shall ensue from his submission as the bounds established on matter shall, in due course, allow for the Kingdom of Union and Joy. While Mammon perceives obedience as a divine deception, the Son rationalises it by coupling subservient actions with gratifying results through grammatical conjunctions. Though, he first «Lie[s] vanquisht», «yield[s]» to Death and «suffer[s], he ultimately will «rise Victorious», «subdue / [His] Vanquisher» and «disarm» him. The Son portrays this outcome as inevitable by overusing conjunctions, such as though - yet - but - then; as well as by the repetitive use of «shall», thus expressing the strength of his assertion (3. 234-65). Therefore, temperance leads to the profusion of spirituality as it mirrors creation and recognises the intimate connection between matter and spirit.



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