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Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Samuel J. Sackett
The purpose of this thesis is to examine D. H. Lawrence’s rejection of what he called “mental consciousness”, a term which he used when he referred to the intellect. He was very concerned by the effect which he felt civilization had on man’s personality. Man’s total reliance on the intellect has warped his mind to the extent that he no longer recognizes the truth about himself. Lawrence sought to find this truth through his philosophy of “blood consciousness”. Understanding, he said, is not dependent upon cumulative knowledge, but rises from the depths of man’s own conscious being. There should be a polarity between the mental and instinctive facets of consciousness. Man has come to rely too much on reason for adapting thought and action to his desired end, and has forgotten the other seat of consciousness, or the half of life which belongs in the darkness. This thesis explores Lawrence’s concept of blood consciousness in the areas of philosophy, psychology, and religion. Because of Lawrence’s revolt against total reliance on cumulative knowledge, he has been called irrational and anti-intellectual. But this is not entirely true; he did not wish for mankind to revert to savagery; he did not wish to overthrow all reason; he did not wish to become a fascist dictator; nor was he a nihilist. Nor does Lawrence’s philosophy in itself lead “straight to Auschwitz” as Bertrand Russell had feared. While it is true that Lawrence, in the role of poet and prophet, over-reacted, and is not to be judged as a systematic thinker, he has helped man to an awareness of the primitive aspects of his personality in order that he might achieve his creative being. He had reminded us that we are not creatures of the mind alone, that our unconscious in is not ugly, and that religion should be a reflection of our inner life.
Copyright 1965 Eleanor I. Davidson
Davidson, Eleanor I., "D. H. Lawrence and Mental Consciousness" (1965). Master's Theses. 903.