Lawrence’s Monism

T E Lawrence in Seven Pillars of Wisdom (p477, Cape 1940 edition)

The conception of antithetical minds and matter, which was basic in the Arab self-surrender, helped me not at all. I achieved surrender (so far as I did achieve it) by the very opposite road, through my notion that the mental and physical were inseperably one; that our bodies, the universe, our thoughts and tactilities were conceived in and of the molecular sludge of matter, the universal element through which form drifted in clots and patterns of varying density. It seemed to me unthinkable that assemblages of atoms should cogitate except in atomic terms. My perverse sense of values constrained me to assume that abstract, and concrete, as badges, did not denote oppositions more serious than Liberal and Conservative.

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