"Eureka represents what Poe believed were unalterable truths which govern the material and
spiritual universe. How, then, can a reader of Eureka, himself a denizen of the universe, resist attributing the same consistencies
and truths to material and spiritual man, who, according to Poe, exists as a God-like reflection of Poe's grand cosmic scheme.
The obvious answer? He can't resist, for Poe knew that every aspect of man's being is indentured to the Divine Will. This
essay, the second of the series, will discuss the psychological implications of Poe's universal constants.
Eureka we find Poe's explanation that our universe has spun from unity to diversity, that all of creation has been thrown
into the 'unnatural' condition of multiform particulars. In my first essay, Poe is credited for postulating what science later
tagged the 'Big Bang' theory of creation. But Poe's description is decidedly oriented to his own spirituality; for example,
he states that all spiritual and material manifestations of the universe are but individuations emanating from the unity of
the Godhead, and that these spiritual and material individuations long for, and eventually return to, that Divine Unity, which
Poe believed to be the 'natural' condition of the universe. Upon reunification, God recreates the universe in another horrendous
explosion, initiating the next expansion sequence. Poe called this compression and expansion of the universe the heartbeat
It is important for readers of this essay to note Poe's belief that only in dissolution, in death, can
the longing for unity imprinted on all matter and spirit be satisfied. In extension of this premise, this essay focuses intently
upon perverseness, that impetus of mind which describes Poe's obsession, the longing of everything to rejoin within the Godhead,
the tendency of all, including humanity, to seek its demise. And what could be more perverse than a personal quest for dissolution?
Moralists and philosophers who precurse Poe well understood that humans possess creative intelligence. Volume
upon volume regarding the sources and substance of creative genius populate the libraries of literary and philosophical theory.
As humans, we might even revel in the notion that we are supremely creative among all creatures. Yet how comparatively few,
before or since Poe's time, have examined the countervailing coercion of man--the perverse, that primal instinct which betrays
creative genius, that seed of annihilation, which Poe believed, is secreted in every material and spiritual filament of the
cosmos. Interestingly, Poe's belief in the perverse caused him to transcend traditional morality, instead, searching out this
radical impulse, which he believed rules the dark side of human behavior.
Important distinctions must be drawn
here, distinctions required by our living in a culture with an ethic steeped in morality. When Poe speaks of perverseness,
he does not intend narrower denotations of the various forms of the word. He does not mean 'perverted,' as in sexual miscreance.
Though such deviancy may be perverse, it bears little resemblance to the examples of perversity which Poe elucidated in his
-David Grantz www.poedecoder.com