D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterly, and “The Fall”

 

When I first discovered D. H. Lawrence, my intent was pornographic! And, “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” fulfilled that ambition and would do the same for any young man today of similar inclination! BUT, I’ve since then discovered that it is a fine piece of literature, reflecting DHL’s astute, elegant grasp of the human condition. Here is an observation he made in one of the early versions of “Chatterly”:

Oh what a catastrophe, what a maiming of love when it was made a personal, merely personal feeling, taken away from the rising and setting of the sun, and cut off from the magic connection of the solstice and equinox! This is what is the matter with us. We are bleeding at the roots because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars, and love is a grinning mockery, because poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the tree of Life, and expected it to keep on blooming in our civilized vase on the table. It is a question, practically, of relationship. We must get back into relation to the cosmos and the universe. The way is through daily ritual, and the re-awakening, the ritual of dawn and noon and sunset, the ritual of kindling fire and pouring water.

I think the detachment Lawrence noted here is one dimension of “the fall” of the book of Genesis. We fell, or were banished, from Eden and by the nature of life are cut off from our Source. Thus, one could say that we are “lost.” Being “found”, i.e. “getting saved”, involves rediscovering our body and nature and its connection the universe; and this whole experience is the process of relating again to our Source.

 

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