THE FORM OF TRANSFORMED VISION:
COLERIDGE AND THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
Mercer University Press, 1987
From the Foreword by Owen Barfield:
“We take it for granted today that we ourselves are a part of nature, and that our only approach to nature is through the senses. If we would turn to the Creator of nature with the same confidence, the same faith, with which we turn to nature herself, we must first learn how to see through nature to the supernatural. And that, as Coleridge never tired of demonstrating, means in the first place turning inward. It involves in particular learning to become aware not only of the product of thought but also of the activity of thinking that preceded it, turning our attention from what we think and towards the activity of thinking. It is there, if Coleridge was right, that we shall eventually find our own ultimate Being, and through that the Divine Source of both our personal selves and nature.
“It is easy, of course, to speak of turning attention from ideas or thoughts to the activity of thinking. It is another matter to achieve it. For it involves not just cerebration but mental training. It was for this reason that Plato refused to accept as a pupil anyone who had not first thoroughly studied mathematics. If an analogy is sought, it may perhaps be found in the long preparation that once preceded initiation into the Mysteries. The preparation was long and arduous; the enlightenment that followed, if all went well and if the gods were gracious, was swift or even instantaneous.
“It is by some such standard that Professor Cutsinger would have us measure any disproportion we may feel between the meticulous, unhurried, superabundantly documented exegesis of Coleridge’s thought which constitutes the bulk of his book, and the propounding of its primary theological purpose. Enlightenment, that is to say the transformation of theory into vision, if and when it comes, will speak for itself.”