Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Brett Salazar
Last updated: August 20, 2019
man made, and can be avoided if he is more mindful of man’s shared life force with nature.
Lawrence makes this point clear in his Hardy essays. Those who are submissively experiencing their share with the cosmic life-flow will naturally receive benevolence from nature. In Annable’s case, there are, as I have observed, at least two revolutions. The foremost is what we have just analysed. Annable is dead, but the cosmos are vibrantly moving on as ever, swarming with life, with a universal Existence–Consciousness-Bliss. This is for Hindus, as Nahal puts it, the is-ness of things—things as they are, disregarding of how we would like them to be p. 62. This reality of being in itself is called in Taoism Suchness (tathata), a name vaguely meaning ultimate reality.
This absolute reality allows no conventional reasoning. Death and birth, sad or glad, tough or good whatever it is, it does not affect nature at all. It is nothing but sickness. Annabel’s death is a natural cycle or a completion of life, the same as any other creature’s life process.
The suchness of reality is non-human, and nature in its indifferent manner urges the other lives on earth moving on ceaselessly. The second revelation this Annable episode tells us is of nature’s immorality and indifference. According to the traditional Chinese view, the universe is in all essentials a sinless organism. It is not only sinless, but also totally empty of any ethic and morality in man’s mind. Man’s ethical laws are often in conflict with the demands of the rest of life in the universe. Nature is as it is, never deliberately kind of deliberately unkind. It would not show its sympathy for Annabel’s death. Regardless of human tragedy, the birds go on singing and the golden sunshine shoots through the woods.
Neither would naturally be sweeter because of man’s intellectual exertion Lawrence argues: This Nature sweet and gross business is just another effect of intellectualizing. But an attempt to get to all natures succumb to a few laws of the human psyche. The angelic and pure sort of laws Lawrence: p. 31. Baruch Hockman in Another Ego expresses his deep impression of a strong sense of nature’s life pervading in The White Peacock, and says that this nature’s life is alternatively felt to be a tender mother and a cruelly indifferent stepmother p. 28.
The Indian thinker Sri- Aurobindo points out that man’s Ethical law do not apply to sinless nature. We have to recognize, he says, If we thus view the whole, not limiting ourselves to the human difficulty and the human standpoint, that we do not live in an ethical world. It is because: Material Nature is not ethical, the law governs it is a coordination of fixed habits which take no cognisance of good and evil, but only of force that creates, the force that arranges and preserves, a force that disturbs and destroys impartial, non- ethical, according to the secret Will in it, according to the mute satisfaction of that Will in its own self-formations and self- dissolutions p.
90. Therefore, man’s destination in this vast world, living or dying, is determined without purpose by the secret will of nature. Nature’s destructive force as one of its fixed habits is indifferent to man’s fate. This theory reminds us of Richard Jefferies’ similar perception. Having spoken lovingly of the grass, the bees, and yellow wheat, he suddenly feels, All nature… has no concern with man, and there is nothing human in nature or the universe. He characterises the secret will of nature as force without a brain, claiming, All nature, the entire universe we can experience, is absolutely indifferent to us.
The trees care nothing for us pp. 52,54-5. Nature has no mind. Lawrence a devoted reader of Jefferie’s work, shares with him the same view of the characteristic indifference of nature. Lawrence says in the study of Thomas Hardy:What matters if some are drowned or dead, and others preaching or married…
..What matters, any more than the withering heat, the reddening berries…….? The Heath persists. Its body is strong and fecund, it will bear many more crops besides this. Here is the sombre, latent power that will go on producing, no matter what happens to the product Lawrence on Hardy and Painting, J.
V. Davies, Ed.,p. 27. It is because, to borrow an ancient Chinese saying, Heaven and earth are not benevolent. They are not sympathetic because they take in no idea. Human beings will die, his judgment and will, his preaching will not at all bear upon the workings of the eternal productive power of nature. The great Tao will never be disturbed or modified by any mechanical force originated from human beings.
In Lawrence’s words, though the will of man would put down the blossom yet in bud, over and over again the primal impulsive body or nature’s powerful fecundity of Egdon Heath will not be touched. It will lead on producing all that was to be made, eternally Ibid., P.
30.To Hardy and Lawrence, if human beings are aware of their place in nature, they will realize the uselessness to exert man’s will and any mechanical force upon it. They will not sweep away by nature, if they live intuitively and spontaneously according to the rules of natural laws. Lawrence, contrary to the western anthropocentric view, asserts that we are not the authors of the world p.
451. Thus mankind is bound to sustain his life and fate intermingled with nature:…. I see the valley Fleshed all like me With feelings that change and quiver: And all things seem to tally With something in me…. Lawrence: pp.
xxxiii-xxxiv. In psychoanalysis and the unconscious and Fantasia of the Unconscious. Lawrence raises the point time and again that man is embedded in the matrix of nature and is living in the rhythm of the cosmic spirit. Lawrence sees, as well, that in some deep way woman, sex and nature are connected Dolores Lachapelle: p. 53.
In Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Lawrence presents a particular tender and warm scene in which the spring flowers. The newborn pheasant chicks and the deep woods suggest a sympathetic yet mysterious background to comic’s love affair with Mellors. In the short story Love Among the Haystacks, Maurice, the young brother, stays alone at the Hayfield before going to meet Paula there. Having washed in a stone washbasin, he senses his soul is full of the admiration of nature. The flowers, the meadow-sweet particularly haunted him… Things never had looked so personal and full of beauty, he had never known the wonder in himself before Lawrence: p.
28. D. H. Lawrence’s novel Sons and Lovers, Paul Morel, when his consciousness returns after his first love with Clara Dawes by a canal, feels the grass, and the peewit and the warmth of Clara’s breathing all wonderfully connected with the darkness. The natural world around them was all so much bigger than themselves that he was hushed. They had assembled, and included in their meeting the thrust of the manifold grass stems, the call of the lapwing, the wheel of the stars p. 430.
Paul is at that moment, acutely aware of the grace of nature’s potent life force upon his little life. Baruch Hochman writes in Another Ego that, the sense of the insubstantiality of man and nature and of the intertwinedness of man’s life and that of the cosmos is strongly felt in Lawrence’s early poems and novels p. 42. In the beginning chapter of The Rainbow, Lawrence describes the life of the Brangwens as closely “associated with the fields and the horizontal land”. Keith Sagar remarks: “Their moods correspond to the alterations in the conditions.
Their lives are guided by the rhythm of the seasons p. 45. At that place is so much give-and-take between the Brangwens’ life and the instinctive universe. Lawrence writes:So much warmth and generating and pain and death did they know in their blood, earth and sky and beast and green plants, so much exchange and interchange they had with these, that they lived fully and surcharged, their senses full fed, their faces always turned to the heat of the blood, staring into the sun, dazed with looking towards the source of generation, unable to turn round pp. 10-11. In this interchange man’s life becomes part of the life of the universe. And man’s innermost experience, his psychic development, is closely associated with the natural operation of the external universe.
The sheaf – gathering scene in the Chapte V Girlhood of Anna Brangwen is a manifestation of the linkage between psychological and natural rhythms. Will approaching Anna, bearing has load of corn stalks. Lawrence commeted:Into the rhythm of his work there came a pause and a steadied purpose.
He stooped, he lifted the weight, he heaved it towards her, setting it as in her, under the moonlit space. And he went back for more. Ever with increasing closeness he lifted the sheaves and swung striking, ever he did have share, and drew towards her, overtaking her. There was only the moving to and fro in the moonlight, engrossed, the swinging in the silence, that was marked only by the splash of sheaves, and silence, and silence, and a splash of sheaves Ibid., 16.
This passage suggests that man’s instinct and passion are reflected in the rhythm of the work which is synchronizing the rhythm of nature. The repetition of physical actions suggests an underlying coital pattern and suggests a continual recurrence of love and discord between the lovers Scott, Sanders: p. 78. As Scott Sanders puts it in D. H. Lawrence, The World of Major Novels.
Man’s life shares with nature in its cycles of up and down. Lydia, as influenced by the working of nature, has restored her desire for sustenance and for Tom’s courtship after a full point of depression and detachment from the globe:… There was a strange insistence of light from the sea, to which she must attend. Primroses glimmered around, many of them, and she stooped to the disturbing influence near her feet. … The light came off the sea, constantly, constantly, without refusal, till it seemed to bear her away, and the noise of the sea created a drowsiness in her, a relaxation like sleep. Her automatic consciousness gave way a little… She went past the gorse bushes shrinking from their presence, she stepped into the heather as into a quickening bath that almost hurt. … One morning there was a light from the yellow jasmine caught her, and after that, morning and evening, the persistent ringing of thrushes from the shrubbery, till her heart, beaten upon, was forced to lift up its fight in rivalry and answer… she would wake in the morning one day and feel her blood running, feel herself lying open like a flower unsheathed in the sun, insistent and potent with demand Lawrence: pp. 51-4.
Lydia is reawakening from the quickening bath as she is literally plunged in the influences and presences of nature. Her response to the urging of the natural world has arisen along with the process of diminishing her automatic consciousness, and of her gradually yielding to the unconscious and to the potentially life forces within her and close to her. Lydia’s awakening is likened to the development and blossoming of a flower, Sanders comments: By thus depicting psychological processes in conditions of natural ones, Lawrence demonstrates not only a metaphorical resemblance between the two, but an genuine, fundamental connection Scott, Sanders: p. 79. In the opening chapter of The Rainbow serves as a most eloquent example of Lawrence’s romantic vision of nature’s unleashed force and its potent influence determining the Brangwens’ lives:Both heaven and earth were teeming around them, and how should this cease? They felt the sap in spring, they knew the wave which cannot halt, but every year throws forward the seed to begetting, and, falling back, leaves the young – born on the earth. They know the intercourse between heaven and earth, sunshine drawn into the breast and bowels, the rain sucked up in the daytime, nakedness that comes under the wind in atoms, showing the brides’ nests no longer worth hiding. Their life and interrelations were such; feeling the pulse and body of the soil, that opened to their furrow for the grain. … p.
9-10. This heavily sexualised description speaks itself for Lawrence’s vision of the wonder of nature and the interrelationship between man’s life and nature’s power. Heaven and earth and seasons generate life ceaselessly and profoundly. The imagery of the intercourse between them sets constant models for human beings to follow. The ever – lasting lifespan of the world flows into the line of the Brangwens and gives much promise to the people farming on the earth. Sanders Scott in his book D.H.Lawrence, The World of the Major Novels, points out: