By Terry L. Fairchild, Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, U.S.A.
The Four Quartets has been called the greatest philosophical poem of this century. Eliot’s earlier epic, The Wasteland, has maintained a more lasting influence, but the latter poem is a fuller, more mature treatment of Eliot’s spiritual vision. The Four Quartets considers the relationship between life in time, a life of bondage and suffering, and life in eternity, freedom, and happiness. Prior to the composition of the Four Quartets, Eliot had converted to Anglicanism, but the basis of the poem remains Eastern with the Bhagavad-Gita as its primary source of inspiration. Because Maharishi Vedic Science is the most comprehensive discussion on the relationship between life in time and life in eternity, between ignorance and enlightenment, and because its practical methodologies—the Transcendental Meditation technique and the Transcendental Meditation-Sidhi program—provide the means for living life in eternity, it exists as the most appropriate body of knowledge for elucidating the full scope of Eliot’s masterpiece.
Read the complete essay: time-eternity-and-immortality
An early reminder that we’ll be reading and discussing more of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets in our March session. On March 23 we will focus on “The Dry Salvages” and “Little Gidding.” Please bring your own favourite excerpts, interpretations and comments for discussion about these challenging poems.