"Vale Of Soul Making"???????

The life of John Keats the man: his family, his friends, and his contemporaries.

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"Vale Of Soul Making"???????

Postby Stephen Coote » Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:03 pm

I was wondering if anyone knew of a website that explained the 'Vale of Soul Making' in more simple terms because i do not really understand it. It would take to long to explain on here so if anyone could point me in the right direction it would be very nice of you, thanks.
Stephen Coote
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The vale of soul making.

Postby Saturn » Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:34 am

I'm sorry I don't have a website addess that would explain this idea of Keats, but I would like to offer my own personal explaination.

Keats did not believe (contrary to the common picture of the romantic poets), in an ideal, perfect world - he believed nature would not allow perfectibility. What he did believe is that the soul was something distinct from the intelligence, or the rational part of ourselves. The intelligence is a thing without an identity, able to be moulded into a soul.
The soul has to be formed by three influences which affect us during our lives 1] Intelligence, 2] The human heart,
and 3] The world, or experience; i.e. the soul is created by:

1] our intelllectual life, schooling and education etc.
2] our feelings, represented by the heart, the seat of emotions
and 3] our experience of the world - the school of life .
These three elements of life act on each other and according to Keats the result will be a soul or an identity.

The letter in which Keats discusses these ideas (To George & Georgina Keats Feb-May 1819) also explains that it is neccessary for us to experince the ful range of human emotions 'a World of Pains and troubles' in order to 'school an Intelligence and make it a soul'.
Perhaps this was Keats' own very personal response to the great tragedies in his own life, a need to justify the sorrow which he had experienced; to rationalise human suffering as a neceassary learning experience which would purify the soul for the fulfilment of our life's work, in his own case poetry.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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