2009 | 100 | 3 | 7-42
Article title

SACRIFICE, EVOLUTION AND PERSPECTIVE IN THE MYSTICAL OEUVRE OF JULIUSZ SLOWACKI. A COMPARATIVE STUDY (NORWID, KRASINSKI) (Ofiara, ewolucja i perspektywicznosc w tworczosci mistycznej Juliusza Slowackiego na tle porownawczym; Norwid, Krasinski)

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Norwid characterized Slowacki's long poem 'Król-Duch' (King-Spirit) as a 'phenomenological epic'. In this respect, 'Król-Duch' continued the inspired prayer 'Genezis z Ducha' (Genesis from the Spirit). On the level of humanity, being consists in creating intellectual categories that allow grasping the primeval forms of nature as rudimentary stages in the growth of self-consciousness. Due to this concept, a man grasps being as a spiritual whole developing towards infinity. However, this idea engages us into fundamental aporia. The intellect, having emerged from more 'primitive' stages of being, can never judge about the ultimate meaning of the process in which it partakes. That would be the privilege of almighty and omniscient God. However, the assumption that the ultimate sense of reality is guaranteed by a perfect and eternal being would leave no room for the individual creativity of the self. The idea of individual creativity cannot be severed from the concept of freedom since beings are free to succeed, i.e. they can either develop into higher, more complicated organisms, or fail. A success in the evolutionary process cannot be achieved without self-sacrifice. From our human perspective, this willingness has been embodied by Jesus Christ, the God-man. Slowacki's tendency to treat the Scriptures, and particularly the Gospel, as a symbolic form of a particular stage of being could not be approved by Cyprian Norwid, who tried to remain faithful to the Letter of the Christian revelation. However, it seems quite probable that due to Slowacki's perspectivism Norwid started to seek traces of the Gospel in all aspects of being (even the most material and 'base'). Yet, in Norwid's case, this awareness does not imply an ontological relationship between the lower stages of being and Christ the God-man. It just means that the human self realizes 'here and now' its own potential 'Christhood'.
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  • Arent van Nieukerken, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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