Core: noun, the most important part of a thing, the essence; from the Latin cor, meaning heart.

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 Volume 1.11 This View’s Prose April 22, 2002 

    Negative Capability    

I had not a dispute but a disquisition, with [Keats’ friend Charles Wentworth] Dilke, on various subjects; several things dove-tailed in my mind, & at once it struck me what quality went to form a Man of Achievement, especially in Literature & which Shakespeare possessed so enormously — I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason — Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. This pursued through Volumes would perhaps take us no further than this, that with a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration.


John Keats (1795-1821)


from a letter to his brothers, December 1817
Norton Anthology of English Literature:
The Major Authors
(Sixth Edition) p. 1818


    All Things Reveal Themselves    

Perception is hindered by nothing so much as by impatience and anxiety to attain it, and by trying to recall and dwell upon it when attained. “If the Lord tarry, wait for Him,” and then “He will not tarry, but will come quickly.” To them that wait in quietness, attention, and silence of their own thought, all things reveal themselves, but

None e’er hears twice the same who hears
the Songs of Heaven’s unanimous spheres,

and, if you would receive new perception, you must, as St. John of the Cross says, “Go forth into regions where nothing is perceived,” and seek always, with David, to sing “a new song.” These perceptions are “treasures laid up in heaven.” We need not be anxious about them. “The heart will not forget the things the eyes have seen.”

There was a truly divine epicureanism hidden in the reply of the Greek philosopher to some one who wondered how it was that he seemed to despise the delight of love: “I have tasted that sweetness once.” He that would be worthy of the Beatific Vision must fix his thoughts, not on the beatitude, but on the Vision. “The Vision,” writes St. Thomas Aquinas, “is a virtue, the beatitude an accident,” and the Psalmist says: “So let me behold Thy Presence in righteousness that I may wake up after Thy likeness and be satisfied with it.”


Coventry Patmore (1823-1896)


Magna Moralia XIII
Return to Tradition:a Directive Anthology p. 93
ed. Francis Beauchesne Thornton


    The Defense of Liberty    
    What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling seacoasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage, and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of those around you, you have lost the genius of your own independence, and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
    from Speech at Edwardsville, Illinois, September 11, 1858
Collected Works
Volume III p. 95

 Volume 1.11 This View’s Prose April 22, 2002 

The View from the Core, and all original material, © E. L. Core 2002. All rights reserved.

Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”