What it means to be a human being

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

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What it means to be a human being

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Mon Jun 07, 2004 7:40 am

I think Keats was an example of where humanity needs to be psychologically. I think this because I know Keats knew what it meant to be a human being.
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Postby keatsisababe » Mon Jun 07, 2004 9:36 pm

And what, exactly, does it mean to be a human being? I didn't know there were any psychological prerequisites. Please enlighten me as to where this place we all need to be psychologically is, so i can go there so i dont feel left out.
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Don't take my word for it

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:59 am

If you want to understand what I mean I can only suggest you read John Keats. If you don't come to the same conclusion that I do, there is nothing I can do to convince you. Everyone thinks for themselves.
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Postby shadow » Wed Jun 09, 2004 1:16 pm

It seems to me that Keats must have known what it meant to be human more than anyone; his life was cut short and he lived with the knowledge that it would be. With that knowledge hanging over you, how could you not feel every emotion and experience every sight, feeling, smell, taste and sound that much more intensely? I really believe that the magic of Keat's poetry lies in his attention to life. He knew he wouldn't have it for long, so he paid far more attention to it. If that's not knowing what it is to be human, I don't know what is.
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Do some more reading

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Wed Jun 09, 2004 7:11 pm

Do some more reading and you'll know more about Keats.

"Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter,"(Keats, Ode On A Grecian Urn).

Keep in mind he was a doctor, and he had a sense of what the human mind is.
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Postby Matt » Thu Jun 10, 2004 12:38 pm

I cant beleive that people are even discussing this ridiculous theorem.

Do you not realise that people are different?! How can you even debate over whether Keats knew what it was 'really like to be a human being'. We all know what its like to be human beings because we are human beings! For Gods sake. Its just that we all have different lives and so being human is different for all of us.

And to say that Keats truly knew what being a human being meant is rubbish. He knew no more than the rest of us.

Perhaps you meant that he because of the ominous tragedy which was catching up with him, he knew the value of life whereas others may take it for granted. Or perhaps not.
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Keats on what it means to be human

Postby Saturn » Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:57 pm

I sort of agree with both MonroeDoctrine and Matt.

I think what MonroeDoctrine was really saying was that Keats, like many great artists, was able to express, in his works and correspondence, more eloquently and succinctly than any of us what the human experience involves.
Also his medical knowledge perhaps gave him a better realisation of how the body works, and tragically, how it fails.

It's true, each individual human experience (as similar as many people's lives seem) is unique, and therefore there is no uniform ideal picture of what a human life should be about.

Here's one of his most profound thoughts about life:
"A Man's life of any worth is a continual allegory - and very few eyes can see the Mystery of his life..."
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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What I meant!

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Fri Jun 11, 2004 2:54 am

Although every human being is different what is written in the constitution of the United States is true: all men are created equal.

The idea that all men were created equal doesn't mean we're all the same because of some genetic trait (like a Nazi would argue) but there is something about the nature of man that makes that statement true.

Keats had a sense of what the nature of man is! Now one can notice that every creature has a capability to take a certain type of action: dogs take dog actions, cats take cats actions, chipmunks pretty much take rodent actions, birds do their bird thing and this list can go on ad infinitum. Now "Humans" take human actions!

Now what kind of human actions do human beings perform? Besides the typical biological functions of the body human beings can actually discover the Universe around them through science (i.e. can know God, or attain wisdom). The capability to discover the universe is unique to human beings, hence that is why human beings are exploring Saturn's moons with NASA. Let us face it, squirrels aren't exactly the living processes that are doing it!

I am asserting that Keats' understanding of this capability of man was his view of what it means to be human and that it is the same view in the United States constitution.

"More Happy love, more happy, happy love!
Forever warm and still to be enjoyed,
forever panting and forever young,
all breathing human passion far above," (Keats, Ode On A Grecian Urn).
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Note

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Fri Jun 11, 2004 3:07 am

Note: That to assert that love is forever warm and breathing is a bit anomalous since love is a human idea! Love is not something one can directly grasp with the senses, it is an idea. By the way why does Keats discuss this human passion as being an eternal process? Maybe he's thinking beyond the senses.
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