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This review is taken from PN Review 65, Volume 15 Number 3, January - February 1989.

SUBLIMINAL CERTAINTIES Peter Redgrove, The Black Goddess and the Sixth Sense (Bloomsbury) £13.95

Multiplying insights and issues first sketched intuitively in the poetic fiction In the Country of the Skin (1973) and later more methodically adumbrated in the course of a pioneering study of menstruation (The Wise Wound, with Penelope Shuttle, 1986), Peter Redgrove has now produced a resounding summation of his reflections upon a truly elective theme, that of the relation between bodily experience and the seemingly non-physical or mystic realm.

Redgrove is by way of being a Nature Philosopher for our time, one who, like the early German Romantics he loves to quote, is equally at home in the realms of poetry and of science, and seeks to reconcile thrilling speculation with documentary demonstration. To some extent, the propositions of The Black Goddess are simple enough. They are: that our sensory receptivity runs a good deal deeper than the rational consensus will admit; that our environment makes fuller sense to us when we tune into our subliminal resources; and that man will achieve an enhanced relationship to the world at large once he is prepared to trust in his Sixth Sense - that creative faculty which synaesthetically embraces all perceptions and all imaginings and is co-extensive with the unconscious mind. Redgrove's claim is that insights derived from 'carnal knowledge' transcend the merely conceptual knowledge of Oedipal rationality and restore contact with that visionary, unitary whole he terms 'the continuum' - a radical and radiant pattern informing all creation.

Invoking certain key authorities such as the 'hardhearted ...

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