That Microscope of Wit

There is a Chinese proverb, just like looking at a leopard through a tube (you only see a single spot). In Pope's Dunciad, his criticism of narrow-mindedness is addressed to critics whose regurgitations cause everyone to fall asleep: whose fixation on themselves neglects God and science: whose fixation on machinery neglects God.
This reminds me of Arnold's introduction to Culture and Anarchy, where he writes of the "totality" of culture - and also of the problem of the machine and religion priding itself above all.
Pope advocates metaphorical vision. In his poem, his satire involves a poet who is visited, like Odysseus, by Athena, who brings him to Hades. But the incurious Cibber forgets what he sees, and can make nothing of his consultation with the dead. Just as he can make nothing of the authors no longer among the living that he consults from his bookshelves.
In The Dunciad, anything man can think of can be destroyed through a lack of creativity. The "microscope of wit" is not able to see the bigger picture, and has no hope of imagining bridges to traverse that broad domain - even if these bridges are but temporary machinations. For is it not the temporal aspect that we all find weakening our utterances, threatening to bind them to one single place and time, one single leopard spot?
George Eliot writes, "Even with a microscope directed on a water-drop we find ourselves making interpretations which turn out to be rather coarse; for whereas under a weak lens you may seem to see a creature exhibiting an active voracity into which other smaller creatures actively play as if they were so many animated tax-pennies, a stronger lens reveals to you certain tiniest hairlets which make vortices for these victims while the swallower waits passively at his receipt of custom." Here we see Eliot doubting the reach of the scientific metaphor. Science must not take over the totality. The whole point of there being a totality is that it contains more than one field.
Children are not born knowing language - let alone science, or religion. These modes of understanding may be germinating in them, quite literally, from the start, but no child begins fluent. To help man into his totality, which includes a spiritual component, it is necessary to maintain culture, which is today under fire from science and technology. All of this is contained in the phrase "the microscope of wit". When we forget our totality, our sight takes on the blinders of technology (the tube, the microscope): we are unable to see for ourselves.
Mystery is inherent inherent in the wider world, sometimes expressed through the goddess Athena, as the elements or limitations we contend with in life - the necessary mothers of creativity, the meaning we scratch away at.

Creative Commons License