Awhile back our online book club read Poetic Knowledge: The Recovery of Education by James Taylor. In it, he posited a three-stage development of and three-prong aspect of poetic – that is, not logically deduced – knowledge. He called the final stage “connatural,” which was a difficult term to grasp, but to make it simpler and parallel, I will use the word “internalized.” So, the three stages and aspects of non-rationally-attained knowledge are intuitive, intentional, and internalized.
Applied to homemaking and housekeeping, the final stage of internalized knowledge is a dance; we dance the dance of our routines because it makes us happy and satisfied. We simply couldn’t leave the dishes undone at night or the bed unmade in the morning, because it would be jarring and incongruous with who we are.
What tripped me up most is that poetic knowledge, according to Taylor, is the starting point, not the end point. He says we do not begin with rational analysis and end up at the poetic mode. However, I think that is precisely the route I have been trying to take all these years:
- Read the homemaking books.
- Read the cleaning books.
- Write up schedules and routines and lists.
- Think it all through.
- Think, think, think.
- List, list, list.
Then supposedly I would work those systems and those habits until reaching the unconscious stage, the poetic “oneness with order” that is the fruit of all the analysis and effort. This has been my mode. And even though I’ve never worked the systems and the lists and the habits to the point of internalizing them, I have always considered this a fault of my will and personality, not a fault with the approach.
And it’s not that it hasn’t gotten me anywhere. It just hasn’t taken me as far as I thought it all promised me it would.
It’s slowly dawning on me, however. The threads are coming together: synchronicity at work.
First, Taylor lays out the three levels of poetic knowledge: first intuitive, then intentional, and finally that grows and matures and blossoms into “connatural” or internalized. So, we will use that as our outline and I will attempt to weave the threads that I have seen.