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Sensible Transcendental: Recovering the Flesh and Spirit of Our Mother(s)

  • Zeena Elton
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Postmetaphysical Thought book series (PSPMT)

Abstract

I begin with a very personal account of the unfolding of the ‘gift’ of Luce Irigaray’s ‘sensible transcendental’.1 When my mother was dying I held her body close: hands upon her hands, and flesh upon flesh. As my mind screamed ‘don’t leave me’, my body enveloped hers, immersed in the still warmth of her body. We were body to body for a last goodbye between mother and daughter, so close that I felt as if we were one, alone together in a surprising spiritual dimension where our hearts, perhaps even our souls, merged. In these moments a lifetime happened. There were no tears, the world was flashing past. It was a handing over from mother to daughter, from woman to woman: the weaving of a female genealogy between life and death. In this space opened up a vast room for love, pain or suffering, and for joy and peace, with no end and no beginning. A perception beyond logos, an experience of body and emotion where there was both the sensory and the spiritual, woman to woman intimately connected by their bodies and breaths. But as the warmth slowly receded from her body I felt the spirit leaving her living body, so that only a cold shell resembling my mother remained. Yet, a spiritual gift from mother to daughter had passed between us, enveloping our bodies and emerging from her body in death. I then experienced with all my being that the spirit lives in the body, the spirit is of the body: the living body entails transcendence.

Keywords

Ideal Observer Christian Tradition Daughter Relationship Spiritual Journey Patriarchal Tradition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Zeena Elton 2015

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  • Zeena Elton

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