Archive for Centuries of Meditations

The Taste and Tincture of Another Education

Posted in Education, Literature, The Universe and Stuff with tags , on December 17, 2017 by telescoper

This is what a University education meant to the poet and theologian Thomas Traherne (1636-1674), according to his Centuries of Meditations. In this astonishing book describing his own voyage of spiritual discovery, Traherne celebrates, among many other things, the beauty and complexity of creation as a manifestation of the power of God. Even  a non-religious person like myself can find much to appreciate in his words about the wonder of the natural world and the joy of learning for learning’s sake:

Having been at the University, and received there the taste and tincture of another education, I saw that there were things in this world of which I never dreamed; glorious secrets, and glorious persons past imagination. 

There I saw that Logic, Ethics, Physics, Metaphysics, Geometry, Astronomy, Poesy, Medicine, Grammar, Music, Rhetoric all kinds of Arts, Trades, and Mechanisms that adorned the world pertained to felicity; at least there I saw those things, which afterwards I knew to pertain unto it: and was delighted in it. 

There I saw into the nature of the Sea, the Heavens, the Sun, the Moon and Stars, the Elements, Minerals, and Vegetables. All which appeared like the King’s Daughter, all glorious within; and those things which my nurses, and parents, should have talked of there were taught unto me.