Thursday, March 07, 2013

The amazing William Morris and idea 71 The Soul

East London Irony
Wil I Am Morris

William Morris Gallery

I've been threatening (in a positive non confrontational way) to make the trek to East London and find out a bit more about the amazing man who was William Morris, yesterday I did it.
I suppose as West London is my adopted home I feel a little lost when I go as far as Walthamstow and it did seem particularly alien to me. Yesterday morning after checking my directions a few times I travelled via London Underground to Walthamstow Central and took the short walk to the William Morris Gallery.
The gallery was at one time home to the bourgeois Morris family when  it was just a very comfortable house in the Essex countryside.
So things I learnt about Morris were that he was a polymath who was intent on involvement with all he did which included writing, painting, printing and just about everything else (he even served in his own Oxford Street shop). When he got to the age of about 50 he became a committed socialist who was arrested and  imprisoned on more than one occasion, he was what we'd now term an environmentalist.
He died at the tragically early age of 62 but left a great legacy that spanned preservation, the SPAB ( society for preserving old buildings) and books including the seminal News from Nowhere (1890).

So a big man deserves a big Idea and Crofton's number 71 is the Soul

The soul in religion and philosophy is the immaterial aspect or essence of a human being, it is considered to be the home to individuality and humanity. The soul is in essence a faith view on the body/mind dichotomy being defined as that part of the individual which partakes of divinity and  it is believed  by many faiths that the soul will survive the death of the body and will be judged (e.g. in Christianity) to determine the next phase.

Some religions believe that animals too have souls.

Different religions and philosophers have developed a variety of theories as to the soul as well as the relationship of the soul to the body.

In Buddhism the soul is not considered important and in Hinduism the condition of the soul will be used to decide the level at which the reincarnation will take place (if I understand correctly)

The ancient Greek concept of the soul varied considerably according to the particular era and the philosophical school.
The Epicureans considered the soul to be made up of atoms like the rest of the body.

The Platonists thought the soul was an immaterial and incorporeal substance, akin to the gods yet part of the world of change and becoming - The platonic school was influential in the formulation of Christian views on the soul .

Aristotle  had a concept  of the soul that was somewhat obscure, though he did state that it was a form inseparable from the body - this might throw some light on his angle.

This young chap has quite a good go at reviewing some of the major views around soul..