Journal of Philosophy of Life

An international peer-reviewed open access journal dedicated to the philosophy of life, death, and nature, supported by the Research Institute for Contemporary Philosophy of Life, Osaka Prefecture University


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A Coleridgean Account of Meditative Experience

Peter Cheyne

Journal of Philosophy of Life Vol.3, No.1 (January 2013):44-67



This paper presents an exploratory account of contemplation and meditative experience as found in Coleridge’s ‘Meditative Poems’ and in the nature writing recorded in his notebooks. In these writings, we see the importance of meditative thinking as an exercise concerned with spiritual transformation towards the true, the good, and the beautiful. Sometimes meditation is used as a practical device to stimulate the imagination. At other times it is used as a method to map and follow a train of thought outside the head, as it were, in the immediate landscape, which process is related to the communing with nature as that Coleridge and Wordsworth pursued. I examine Coleridge’s ‘Meditative Poems’ and notebooks in order to situate his approach to imagination and Idea as applied in his poetic thought.

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