Midterm Exam


  • Metaphysical conceit and explain the metaphysical conceit(s) in John Donne’s “Holy Sonnet 14.”

Metaphysical conceit alludes to the metaphysical poets of the 17th century. Notably, metaphysical conceit is like a bridge between one’s spirituality and the object in physical world. For instance, in Donne’s Holy Sonnet 14, the poet compares the souls of two lovers to draftsman’s compass. 

  1.  In your own words, explain the concept of a limit-experience and how it relates to mysticism. A limit experience is a type of experience that breaks or separates a subject from itself. The proponents of limit experience including Georges Bataille and Michael Foucault hold that ultimate experience of life lies challenging the formal rules until one reached to place that is beyond the rules. Further, the proponents argued that two extremes of life can co-exist in complete rhythm. For instance, established that pleasure and pain can coexist together.
  • Provide and explain one example of a limit-experience from our course readings thus far.

An example of limit experience is the ecstasy of St. Teresa, where Teresa describes a mystical vision of the angel of the lord plunging a flaming spear into her heart.  Notably, although the event is spiritual, Teresa’s description of it is also intensely bodily, mingling pain and pleasure. She states that, “The pain thereof was so intense, that it forced deep groans from me; but the sweetness which this extreme pain caused in me was so excessive, that there was no desiring to be free from it; nor is the soul then content with anything less than God.”

  • In your own words, define Alan Watts’s idea of “Beat Zen” and explain how it relates to constructivist interpretations of mysticism.

The idea of Beat Zen is that there is an illusion underlying everything on the universe. For instance, Watt taught that a person who truly believes in God would not try to thrust that idea on anyone else. The idea is that people should be able to discover their own spirituality without getting forced. Notably, the Beat Zena idea relates to the constructivist interpretations of mysticism in that nature gives us our own perception of the world and ourselves so that nobody can condemn our sense of self-importance. 

  • In your own words, define the two elements of what Ellwood calls “split-level reality,” and provide and explain an example of each from our course readings

Split-level reality is the understanding that human beings have double existence. For instance, that human beings have a body but also in the body is a soul that lives on once the body ceases for existence. 

  • In your own words, define sanctification and explain its significance to the narrative of Sojourner Truth

Sanctification refers to the act of declaring something holy. For instance, in Christian religion the act sanctification of bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Sanctification can also refer to the act of making something that is morally unacceptable to appear morally acceptable. A perfect example would be sanctifying marriage between persons who are related by blood. In the narrative of Sojourner Truth, she makes attempts in convincing people that women, whether black or white should be treated as equal to men. She makes the statement at a time when women get considered as sub humans in comparison to men and in particular white men.