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W. B. Yeats's A VisionExplications and Contexts$
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Neil Mann, Matthew Gibson, and Claire Nally

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780983533924

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780983533924.001.0001

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date: 22 February 2017

“The Spiritual Intellect’s Great Work”

“The Spiritual Intellect’s Great Work”

A Discussion of the Principles and A Vision’s Account of Death

Chapter:
(p.55) “The Spiritual Intellect’s Great Work”
Source:
W. B. Yeats's A Vision
Author(s):

Graham A. Dampier

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780983533924.003.0003

This essay explores the role played by the Four Principles of W. B. Yeats’s A VisionCelestial Body, Spirit, Passionate Body, and Husk—in the discarnate states of the soul after death and before rebirth. It sets out by defining the afterlife as a process in which the soul is systematically purified of the effects of life, which contaminates, imprisons, and bewilders the incarnate spirit. The essay then elucidates what the Principles are and explains how they interact to constitute corporeality by forming the Four Faculties. It discusses the movement of the Principles through the geometry of A Vision, before analyzing the six discarnate states of the soul. It draws on Yeats’s Vision Papers to present a more detailed exposition of each discarnate state and concludes with an analysis of Yeats’s The Man and the Echo.

Keywords:   incarnate spirit, A Vision, four principles, Vision Papers, W B Yeats

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