The Four Quartets: The Epigraph
Time, Eternity, and Immortality in T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets    

Terry L. Fairchild
Maharishi University of Management
Fairfield, Iowa, U.S.A.

(Originally published in Modern Science and Vedic Science Volume 9, NO. 1, p. 51-101)


The Four Quartets are regarded by many to be the greatest philosophical poem of this century. Eliot's previous epic, The Wasteland, has had a more lasting influence, but the latter poem is a fuller, more mature treatment of Eliot's spiritual vision. The Four Quartets considers the relationship between life in time, a life of bondage and suffering, and life in eternity, freedom, and happiness. Prior to the composition of the Four Quartets, Eliot had converted to Anglicanism, but the basis of the poem remains Eastern with the Bhagavad-Gita as the primary source of inspiration. Because Maharishi's Vedic Science is the most comprehensive discussion on the relationship between life in time and life in eternity, between ignorance and enlightenment, and because its practical methodologies-the Transcendental Meditation technique and the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi-program-provide the means for living life in eternity, it exists as the most appropriate body of knowledge for elucidating the full scope of Eliot's masterpiece.

Time is the moving image of eternity — Plato
The mystery of dismemberment is life in time — Joseph Campbell
Time is a conception to measure eternity — Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

The Four Quartets: The Epigraph
Burnt Norton
East Coker
The Dry Salvages
Little Gidding
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