Monday, 25 November 2019

The Luciferic Ahrimanic double-whammy that has (partly or wholly) destroyed all institutions (including churches)

One of Rudolf Steiner's most valuable insights was that evil has an older Luciferic and a more modern Ahrimanic form.

Luciferic evil is instinctive, short termist, selfish and psychopathic - for example the lust which desires other people merely for sexual exploitation, or the sadism that desires torture, or the power that desires to humiliate and crush. This is the evil of Caligula or Nero, of Ghengis Khan, of the post-war African dictators such as Charles Taylor.

The Ahrimanic evil is more modern; it is the despair-inducing, soul-destroying, utterly-demotivating Iron Cage of totalitarian bureaucracy - where all is a single system and all Men are merely cogs to serve it. This is the evil of late Soviet communism, of The Borg, of the overpromoted-middle-manager, Head Girl Type (e.g. the-3-Ms - Merkel, May, Macron) that increasingly runs large organisations, corporations and Western nations.

These evils synergise - especially when Luciferic liberation - such as the middle sixties style sexual revolution feeds the vast arrays of spies, informers, officials, inquisitors and controllers that is the realm of modern sexuality - enforcing their inverted value system with bribes, threats and coercion.

The modern era emerged from what Steiner termed the era of the 'Intellectual Soul' - and example of which is the medieval world of Western Europe, with its institutions of religion, law, education and the like. These institutions were simple bureaucracies but with a 'light touch, and considerable space for individualism, eccentricity and indeed selfish psychopathy...

But when Christianity receded then was excluded, these institutions became compromises which pleased neither the Luciferic libertarians, nor the totalitarian Ahrimanic powers. 

Think of the education system of the the first half of the twentieth century. It was regulated and hierarchical, it had rules and certificates and exclusion - but the period of education was relatively short, and there was space for considerable personal judgement and large variation in philosophy and practice between institutions.

Schools and colleges were regarded as suffocatingly oppressive and controlling by the little Lucifers of the sixties counter-culture. This began the destruction.

And then the Ahrimanic systemisers found more and more evidence of their bureaucratic incompleteness. Human judgement meant the possibility of individual corruption, variations meant that some institutions must be deficient or wrong. The pressure was irresistible to bring all institutions under a single 'true' ideology and to close off all loopholes, fill all the gaps in the systems...

Same applies to churches. They became a compromise that satisfied nobody. On the one hand they were institutions of patriarchal dictatorship; on the other hand they were economically and economically 'unaccountable' - what was going on in them? Nobody knew. Who controlled what they did, lost of mostly unidentified people, What were the details of their operations? Unrecorded...

The response was a massive programme of incremental monitoring and control of every aspect of decision-making - and the integration of this with the national (eventually multi-national) System.

There is no functional coherence to this pincer movement of institutional destruction - the only coherence is destruction. There is not coherence or direction to the end result of this crude mixture of psychopathic irresponsibility and totalitarian control - except the evil ethic of value-inversion.

But the end result is that nobody supports the actual compromise of any existing institution - always they want more Luciferic license, and/or more Ahrimanic 'accountability'.

Hence, all institutions, of every kind, have-been or are-being destroyed... With no end in sight, and no end possible even in principle - since in our secular, hedonic-despairing, God-eliminated society there is no higher value that might be able to transcend the destructive paradox.


Sunday, 24 November 2019

The metaphysical evil of modern environmentalism

Modern environmentalism is anti-human, its underlying assumption is that if it wasn't for the activities of man - then there would be no environmental problem.

This applies pretty much across the board, and goes back even to the early (1970s) environmentalism (or 'ecology' as it was called then) - when the emphasis was medievalism/ de-industrialisation, anti-consumption, self-sufficiency, voluntary simplicity. In general, Man was intrinsically a problem and therefore ought to tread-lightly (as possible, with as few feet as possible) on the earth.

More recently, with the Global-Warming-climate-change-emergency-revolution mob; this has become a kind of self-hatred combined with that generalised loathing of people that surfaces among even the most mainstream of environmentalists - such as Sir David Attenborough.

I mean that barely suppressed desire to clean the planet of all people - starting-with, but ultimately not-confined-to, climate-change deniers... 

This assumption of Men versus The Environment is even accepted by the opponents of mainstream Green activists - but they simply take the opposite stance that Man is more important than the environment.


But the lesson of the philosophical understandings of Rudolf Steiner and Owen Barfield is that Man co-creates the environment. The environment has no independent existence separate from Men's conceptualising of it. As Steiner summarised in Philosophy of Freedom, we know nothing of percepts without concepts, there is no objectivity without common concepts.

As Barfield said, in the Saving the Appearances (1957) - that which is unrepresented in unknown. The most we could know or say without Man is that there is something-else, but what that something might be?... Well, it would not be 'the environment' as we know it.

Without Man thinking, there would be no environment. If Men were destroyed, the environment would also be destroyed.

Therefore, mainstream environmentalism is incoherent - and always has been. Its motivational chronic anti-Man animus is revealed for the evil it is.


Saturday, 9 November 2019

Limitations of Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom

Rudolf Steiner's The Philosophy of Freedom (PoF; 1894) played a very important role in my personal development - indeed, it was perhaps vital. Nonetheless it is ultimately wrong and can cause serious problems if not (after understanding it) one fails to discard or transcend it. .

This is because PoF explains itself in terms of an abstract, simplified, and grossly incomplete model of human thinking. It is A Model (Percept + Concept = united by Thinking).

And any model is false - because simplified compared with complex reality; and false because abstract when reality is 'animistic' (about Beings and their Relationships).

The PoF is, in fact, Ahrimanic in structure: it divides the world into categories of percepts and concepts, and suggests that these are united in thinking. Yet the world is not really divided into percepts; not is thinking objectively divisible into concepts.

Therefore if we begin in Ahrimanic materialist alienation; if we then understand PoF which tells us how it works, and how to escape it...

But if we stop at that point; assume the validity of PoF and try to live by the model of PoF - then we will be stuck in just another kind of abstract materialism: we will loop back into the demonic traps of Ahriman.

We will just create yet-another bureaucratic religion - as happened with Rudolf Steiner's Anothroposophy: which consists merely in learning stuff (studying the scriptures of The Doctor) and doing Anthroposophic stuff (education, medicine, agriculture etc) according to the usual Ahrimanic vocabulary/ lexicon, blueprints, flow charts, recipes, rules and regulations...); as defined by the usual Ahrimanic hierarchy or authority and temple structure with sacred places and rituals...

The Philosophy of Freedom does not, therefore, in itself give us freedom, not even a little bit - unless it is seen as a first step; as a ladder that is ascended then discarded. We need an alternative to Ahriman, not merely a different kind of Ahriman; nor a reaction back to seek an impossible to Luciferic unconscious instinct - or Original Participation...

We need, in other words, to move forward to what Steiner called the Intuitive Soul and Barfield called Final Participation - and this entails something qualitatively different-from the analysis, theories and methods of Steiner's Anthroposophy, and different too from the philosophical abstractions of Barfield.

They are perhaps essential - at least for some people such as myself, but they are a starting-point merely.  


Friday, 8 November 2019

Moving forward to the new synthesis

When beauty, truth and virtue become separated, they pretty soon die.

Indeed (as I have implied before, in my books on the corruption of science, and the decline of genius) - when there is a move from the unity of the traditional Christian religiousness (with residues of Original Participation) to a concentration of life-energies upon just-beauty (artistic romanticism), just-truth (science and the Wissenschaftlich factual-systematic academic subjects) or just-virtue (some types of Protestant) - then there is at first an enhanced achievement in that specialised field.

The exceptional productivity of first generation atheists (i.e. childhood traditional Christians, who become atheist and then channel their religious energies into 'their subject') provides a misleading, ultimately false, impression of a wonderful future of enhanced attainment from rejecting religion and specialising in some narrower aspect of Culture. 

Thus, first-generation atheists who become commited artists, scientists and ethicists (such as 'fundamentalist' Protestants, or the existentialists) may achieve genius-level work, when they have been brought-up as traditionalists, and assimilated and retained a unified thought structure from that.

But with the next generation, brought-up as atheists, and without any coherent unity of world-view, the specialised art, science and religion withers and begins to die - because separate organs cannot live independently of the whole organism.

Art for arts sake, science-as-religion, purely ethical philosophy (or Christianity indifferent to beauty and truth) are all non-viable; and will sustain in-name-only, only by assimilating to mainstream secularity - bureaucracy and the mass media...


OK, but what then? Above all others, Owen Barfield pointed the way forward; perhaps because he was born in 1897; yet (ahead of his time, in this respect) he was brought-up in a thoroughly secular fashion - as an atheist, in an atheistic leftist radical household. Therefore Barfield could not revert to a childhood Original Participation religiousness; but in seeking to overcome the fragmentation and death of Life, he could only move forward.

Barfield was able to move forward, because he had extreme appreciation and ability in all three of the main specialised capacities (art, science, ethics). He had an intense appreciation of poetry and music and great ability as a writer; a brilliantly philosophical rigour; and an two-sided sensitivity to contemporary ethical collapse (he saw both the profound faults of the past, and the utter inadequacy of contemporary 'solutions').

Then, Barfield had the intellectual honesty to recognise that the prevalent situation was unacceptable and non-viable - it was, in a word, evil. The only possible answer to this gathering, unavoidable crisis and denied-decline into damnation, was that the separation of life into 'watertight compartments' must be overcome. A new synthesis was required.

Barfield had also the rare insight that going-back was simply not an option. Barfield argued that a reversion to earlier forms was undesirable, because it was precisely analogous to an adult trying to become a child; and for the same reason it was anyway impossible.

Since an atavistic reversion to past unity was not going to happen, and the present disunity was evil and unsustainable; we simply must move forward to a new kind of unity. 


Barfield saw that the broken threads of Culture must be rewoven, if we personally and socially were to avoid an incremental descent into hell-on-earth; but rewoven in a new and unprecedented way. Specifically, re-woven in full consciousness and with full choice.

Past unity was essentially traditional, hence unconscious and unexamined; the future unity could only be freely chosen, and as such conscious.

Future unity - which he called Final Participation - was not something that would happen-to us, but something we must each make-happen. So, if we did not make that choice and effort, it will not happen. We must know what we are doing, and then do it.

Moving on to a new unity and synthesis of Good is - unavoidably - up to each of us, personally: starting now.   


References: Owen Barfield's main books on this theme are are probably Romanticism Comes of Age, Saving the Appearances, World's Apart, and Unancestral Voice. All are equally good, although all take sustained effort to understand - each has a different character. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Symbolism has broken down in Christianity; and the church is symbolism

I believe that symbolism has all-but broken down as a way of attaining the transcendental, especially the divine. I would see symbolism as including creeds, rituals, icons, scripture and all holy writings, spoken language (forms of words,  in ceremony,blessing, prayer etc.), priesthood: the church itself (all churches that are regarded as having an essential role or authority in some aspect of Christianity).

Indeed, as soon as symbolism was understood, it was already breaking-down - because when symbolism really works (as it did up towards the end of the Middle Ages) it is regarded as reality, not symbolism.

The symbol is not seen 'literally' (that is a modern distortion) - rather the literal symbol and the transcendental reality are seen as inseparably one.

But when I was first a Christian, I sought the fullest kind of symbolic Christianity. And I was shocked and dismayed that there was no single church or denomination which took symbolism seriously and thoroughly - none at at all; not a single one.

Some were strict about ritual, but not about language; some about scripture but not about words of prayer or particular 'translations' of scripture; some about vestments but not about ceremony - none at all try to provide a thoroughly consistent symbolism.

As I say, at first I was dismayed and felt lost. Then I recognised that this was an implicit (albeit not self-aware) manifestation of the actual, objective, loss of the power and necessity of symbolism.

I now regard this as a consequence of the developmental-evolution of consciousness in Western Man, and part of the increase in self-consciousness and separation from The World; our sense of losing the spontaneous, unconscious sense of being 'in' the world, including 'in' the divine world.

(The complete loss of Original Participation and the advent of the Consciousness Soul.)

In a world without symbolism; the only possible replacement would seem to be the primacy of intuition and the necessity and possibility of direct and unmediated knowing - developing to the new situation of Final Participation: loving participation in the divine creation.

So, my argument is that the fact that no existing Western church will take symbolism seriously is evidence that symbolism has become impossible, ineffectual - and we are faced with either being stuck in our present alienation, or else (as I advocate in Romantic Christianity) moving forward to a different form of consciousness: intuitive direct knowing, Final Participation.

Friday, 18 October 2019

Keri Ford on the links between Steiner and Barfield


Keri Ford has done a really excellent 23 minute analysis of the relationship between Rudolf Steiner and Owen Barfield. For me, this matter is of first rank important in my own life and thought, and describes the unavoidable current crux of our civilisation; so I am delighted to have such a concentrated consideration of made available in this format.

One interesting and original aspect is that Keri draws upon Barfield's unpublished, semi-autobiographical novel English People - written from 1927-9 (which is available free online) - to demonstrate the point of contact between these two thinkers, and the way in which Steiner worked-upon Barfield in a manner analogous to Barfield's intense appreciation of lyrical poetry.

Near the beginning of the video, Keri also tackles the 'elephant in the room' about Steiner, that ultra-detailed and systematic bizarreness of 'objective description' of past, present and future which confronts anyone who tries to read Steiner.

Keri frames it very helpfully in terms of Steiner describing history as he observes it 'from the inside'; and that what we need to do is first acknowledge the validity of this project, and only then address Steiner's attempt - not by wholesale rejection - but by trying to do better.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

RUP in another guise: The problem of residual abstraction (maths, geometry, physics) in philosophical/ theological thinking

This is a really, really Big problem! What is more, it affects the very best and most important thinkers and writers in my pantheon of influences for Romantic Christianity - Steiner, Barfield, Arkle...

The problem is that the understandings and explanations of such people are/ remain rooted in abstract phenomena - despite that these are intending to advocate a personal, 'animistic', 'anthropomorphic' metaphysics.


Their basic idea is that reality is a matter of Beings in Relationships... That the ultimate entities are Beings (alive, conscious, purposive) and that what holds things together and provides structure is the relationships of these Beings.

Yet ni advocating a metaphysics of Being and Relations; these authors fall back, again and again, into abstraction; into the use of examples drawn from physics, geometry and mathematics.

eg. Steiner in Philosophy of Freedom develops his argument wholly abstractly, in terms of categories of percept and concept, and his example is the geometrical figure of the triangle.

Barfield uses physics as his primary mode of explanation; the rainbow is his most famous example; and he calls his new way of thinking 'polarity' which he describes relationships between beings in abstract-mathematical-physics ways - using magnetism and electricity as explanations.

Arkle's main book, A Geography of Consciousness, uses geometrical and physics graphs, tables and diagrams to explain his 'system' - despite that he explicitly asserts everything is alive and conscious.


This could be regarded as a prime example of Residual Unresolved Positivism (RUP) as described by Barfield - and the fact that Barfield himself was prone to it (as was his Master, Steiner) shows how difficult it is to shake-off. This difficulty is most apparent in Barfield's most deep and rigorous book - How Coleridge Thought - when the clash of perspectives is the source of greatest difficulty in understanding the argument. Barfield seems unaware of how his abstractly-structured schemes are so fundamentally at-odds-with what he is trying to prove using these schemes. The key term 'polarity' is mathematical and derived from magnetism (later electricty) - and as difficult to understand intuitively as most such ideas are.


The problem is so old that it can seem inevitable - it goes back to the ancient Greeks, who nearly always used (the ancient equivalent of...) physics as the basis of their metaphysics - with principles such as fire or water underlying 'everything'.

Another example is that 'form' is taken as primary (as with Plato, Aristotle and Aquinas) - and 'form' is conceptualised in geometric terms and often using geometrical examples. (A modern instance is Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields.)

Whereas the primary reality is actually A Being, not A Triangle; is a Being's motivation, not a force or principle.

This abstraction then leads on to the problem (the error) of regarding Time as... optional. The delusion that Time can be set aside, redefined etc. When a world is seen as abstract as its reality and bottom line - then Time loses its function; indeed Time becomes a nuisance!

Yet, if the world is of Beings, beings exists In Time, and only In Time. In cross-section, there are no Beings - because in a 'zero' timescale there is no Life, no Consciousness - if Life and Consciousness are primary, then there is and always must be Time...

Thus one error leads on to another,


But what this does show is the need for further work for Romantic Christianity; because Steiner, Barfield, Arkle are all in error by using maths/ geometry and physics as their models and explanations.

There us work to be done to restate their arguments in terms that are coherent with the conclusions of their arguments.

The good news is that - when thus restated - the metaphysics and theology of Romantic Christianity becomes something intuitively understandable by a child; rather than requiring advanced training in the natural sciences. 

  

Friday, 4 October 2019

Keri Ford reviews a new book on Owen Barfield


On the one hand, it is good that people are paying attention to Owen Barfield; on the other hand, when Barfield is enlisted to support a mainstream Leftist agenda, something has gone terribly wrong... Keri Ford provides some details.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Understanding the consciousness of Fiver - the shamanic rabbit of Watership Down

[Fiver:] Well, there’s another place - another country - isn’t there. We go there when we sleep: at other times to; and when we die. 

El-ahrairah [the rabbits' god] comes and goes between the two as he wants, I suppose, but I never could quite make that out, from the tales. 

Some rabbits will tell you it’s all easy there, compared with the waking dangers that they under- stand. But I think that only shows they don’t know much about it. It’s a wild place, and very unsafe. 

And where are we really - there or here?

[Hazel:] Our bodies stay here - that’s good enough for me.


I am re-reading Richard Adams's novel of genius, Watership Down, for something like the fifth time in the past decade; and it strikes me as even-better with each re-reading.

One of my favourite characters has always been the seer or 'shaman' rabbit, Fiver; whose trance states and clairvoyant visions guide the chief rabbit Hazel in the big decisions that need to be made.


(The fact that Fiver is meant to be a shaman is confirmed by the heading of chapter 26 which is a relevant quote from Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces. Adams was significantly influenced by Campbell's work on anthropology and mythology, and the two men later became acquaintances - Adams speaking at a celebration of Campbell's 80th birthday that is recorded in The Hero's Journey book and video.)


In the above passage Fiver describes the source of his visions; which is the 'underworld' or what Ancient Egyptians termed the 'dwat' - and which was redescribed in would-be scientific terms by Jung as the Collective Unconscious. The world of gods, the spirit aspect of sleeping mortals, spirits of the dead, and perhaps other beings such as angels and demons.

Rudolf Steiner and Owen Barfield had many interesting things to say about the changing, developing relationship between our conscious and waking minds in our mortal, incarnated (embodied) lives; and this underworld.

The first stage is when men (or rabbits, perhaps) were pure spirits, not incarnated. In this state there is no distinction between the waking Overworld and the Underworld.


The second stage is after incarnation, when there is a distinction between the Overworld inhabited by bodies, and the Underworld which can only be visited by the spirit part of Men (and rabbits) - while 'Our bodies stay here' - i.e. in the Overworld - as Hazel says above. The body

At this second stage there are 'specialists' in crossing to the Underworld, those who modern people term generically shamans - like Fiver. To do this, the spirit must be separated from the body, in a trance, sleep or some other 'altered state of consciousness'. But this crossing generally needs to be done by an act of choice, and perhaps by means of a learned skill; and is a hazardous business.

There is a personal price to pay for most shamans - in terms of such as illness, disability. alienation, social hostility and so forth. Fiver, for example, was a 'runt', smaller and weaker than average male rabbits and of a more nervous disposition.

The first stage seems to be normal when Men lived before agriculture and settled dwellings; as nomadic gatherers and hunters. When men had access to stores of food, they settled and developed specialised occupational hierarchies.

Direct contract with the gods incrementally faded, and a 'professional' priesthood (in charge of myth, ritual, sacred objects, scriptures etc.) displaced shamans.


As the second stage continued in Man's history of consciousness, it became harder and harder to cross this boundary, until (in the past few hundred years) more and more people become unable to cross the boundary, and attain the experiences of the Underworld which are the basis of knowledge of the gods, the dead and other such matters.

Religion became less spirit-experiential until it became almost wholly material-procedural. 

Thus we reach third stage, which is materialism - the assertion that there is no spirit, not Underworld, no gods, and no dead.The fact that extreme changes in consciousness are required to have even a chance of shamanic experiences; means that the content of such experiences are hard to recall accurately; and allows experiences of gods, the dead, clairvoyance etc. to be relegated to the realms of pathology - delusion, hallucination, delirium and the like.


The fourth stage if what Barfield terms Final Participation - it is when experience and knowledge of the Underworld comes directly into the Overworld - during normal, waking consciousness. So, knowledge of the gods, the dead, angels and demons, and so forth are woven-into the stream of conscious, awake-thinking.

An analogy with the shamanic era is that this integration of the Over- and Underworld is an act of choice. The Underworld must be believed, regarded as significant, attended to and taken seriously - all of which stands in stark opposition to the materialism of the third stage era.

When the fourth stage happens during mortal life it is a temporary foretaste and learning experience of post-mortal resurrected, Heavenly life; when this becomes the usual nature of consciousness. But our mortal experience of the fourth stage is probably mainly intended to give us a Heavenly understanding of our mortal situation - so that we can learn the significance of our own lives, and the main phenomena in the world around us.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

The race-illusion of John Cowper Powys - the quest for Original Participation

 Dressed for a pageant in 1939, Petrushka/ Paracelsus... a proto-druid

"We Aboriginal Welsh People are the proudest people in the world"

JC Powys (1872-1963) - opening sentence of Obstinate Cymric (a collection of essays published in 1947)

**

The last twenty-eight years of his life, John Cowper - a good deal of a defiant invalid, resorting nervously to his eternal cigarette and often subsisting on such detestable fare as milk and raw duck eggs [to ease his duodenal ulcer] - lived in almost uninterrupted retirement in Wales. 

He strove with what stubbornness there was in his fluid make-up to persuade himself he was Welsh! Since the second year of the century he had fallen deeper and deeper under the spell of a race-illusion more harmless than Hitler's but quite as irrational.

However, characteristically, Powys delighted in identifying himself with a conquered race.  

In reality his ancestry for many generations had been predominantly English; and the traces for the Celt in his character and disposition are extremely slight. And his long seclusion among the mountains and his intensive study of Cymric cultures resulted in little or no change in his real outlook.

Edited from John Cowper Powys: Old Earth Man, a critical biography by HP Collins, 1966, page 170.

**

This kind of race-illusion is a sub-species of the life-illusions, or secret fantasy identities, that many - or most people apparently harbour and live-by. The difference (as usual with JCP) is the uninhibited, self-conscious way that Powys wrote about such matters, and his cheerful assertions that that they were indeed illusions - or self-delusions.

My understanding is that these are ways in which people try to cope with that alienation which is intrinsic to the materialism of the modern age. They (we, most likely) elaborate a parallel world, generally of a more child-like, primitive, spontaneous, immersive, unselfconscious, natural or rural kind - some inner attempted version of what Barfield terms Original Participation.

Indeed, Powys pursued this quest for Original Participation with greater and more sustained intensity than any other writer I know of. he was indeed one of the most thorough-going Romantics in history. So his many and varied books (the autobiography, the major novels, essays, philosophy, diaries and letters) give an unsurpassed, and extraordinarily detailed, account of his successes... and the limitations of his success.

Before I was a Christian, I tried (more than once) to grasp and implement Powys's ideas in my own life. But I could not make them work; and Powys himself did not really make them work (as can be seen in his diaries).

This was an important lesson: for me really to be a Romantic, I must be Christian. But/And also - to be a Christian, I must be a Romantic - in a way that includes much of the spirit that drew me to the philosophy of JCP.

The crucial difference is that living-by-illusion, is transformed-into living-towards-reality.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Field of Dreams (1989) and literalising the yearnings for Original Participation

Field of Dreams is a movie I like - I rewatched it recently to check. At the time I first saw it, which was perhaps 1991, it coincided with an awakening of yearning for what I would now regard as Original Participation. In other words, I sought meaning and purpose in life in something like a return to the consciousness of early childhood of early tribal Man.

(Spoiler alert.)

Original Participation is participating in the creative love of the universe by a passive immersion in it; in the way that we all did in early childhood. And this is what the Field of Dreams 'dream' is about - it is about recovering and reliving that child's-perspective; by watching baseball games featuring  long-dead players, in an idyllic situation which literalises a common set of yearnings and fantasies.

That is what I wish to emphasis. Much 'fantasy' is popular because it suggests that 'if only' we could literalise our fantasies, then we would be perfectly happy forever. Of course, they are seldom foolish enough to state explicitly the idea that any kind of external objective situation would really make us perfectly happy forever; but that is what innumerable works of art (novels, plays, movies, tv series) show us.

In Field of Dreams we are shown a man who follows his deepest inner promptings (in the form of an hallucinatory voice), and is rewarded by what looks to be a wholly satisfying life (with his wife and daughter; and an expanding circle of aficionados, who pay him for the privilege and continue to make it possible...) of watching old-time baseball and tending to the ball park where it happens.

This is the theme of so many fantasies; if only fairies, Middle Earth, Hogwarts or whatever were literally true and I could live there - then I would have a wholly-satisfying-life.

Yet, the stark reality is that if we had everything we wanted, exactly as we want it - if our fantasy situation was literalised - it would pretty soon cease to be wholly-satisfying. We would get used-to-it; and probably we would get fed-up of it.

Watching the Chicago 'Black Sox' ghosts play every day, a couple of times a day, while feasting on hot dogs would certainly be great At First... but it is very far from enough!

For post-adolescents the fact is that a literalisation of Original Participation would not suffice, and we only suppose it would suffice because we know it cannot happen. We can daydream that the Field of Dreams would 'make us' perfectly happy forever, because we know it wont happen - this the illusion is maintained, and may harden into delusion.

This is the way in which we - modern Men - are maintained in a state of spiritual paralysis. A bureaucratic, materialistic, totalitarian ('Ahrimanic') machine - such as Hollywood, big business and the mass media - produce multiple ('Luciferic') dreams of passive, immersive Original Participation; which we yearn for but which we know cannot happen... We simply try to spend as much time as possible living 'in' these dreams; in the (shrinking) gaps between serving the machine.

The sixties showed, and the lesson has been confirmed multiple times since; that we are not going to be able to return to Original Participation, that we don't truly want to; and most importantly that even if we did, it would not suffice.

We simply must find a third path into the future - that which Barfield terms Final Participation. This is the state we can confidently hope for in Heaven; but also a state which we can inhabit and cherish for periods of time, and rather imperfectly, here on earth - as part of that learning from experience which is our task.

because, on closer examination; even the daydreams of Original Participation have elements of Final Participation about them; they are often highly conscious, active rather than passive, exist in the realm of thinking rather than inarticulate Being, and are developing situations into which we bring creativity from our-selves.

If we recognise that our goal should not be a state blissful passive immersion; but a process of joyful active creation - and we are most of the way to where we ought to be.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Projecting an earthly mortal society of Final Participation

If I am correct that the development of human consciousness will compel the collapse of civilisation, then it should be possible to say something about the kind of society that would eventually follow. In other words, I will project the nature of a society - here on earth, and with mortal Men - of Final Participation.

The present stage has been called the Consciousness Soul; and it is intensely individualistic compared with the societies of the past. In particular, our evaluations will be, need to be, and ought to be coming from our true selves; by intuition, primary thinking, direct knowing.


In the past, Group Selection of Men was a reality - we lived and died by virtue of our membership of groups; and this groupishness was an objective psychological reality. We could not help but regard ourselves as primarily members of a group - more exactly of nested groups: family, clan, nation etc. 

Groups that evoked the most powerful and courageous motivations would tend to prevail over the long term.

But in the modern era (beginning over the past few hundred years, and especially since about 1800) a new felt and experienced detachment developed (the evolution, from within, according to divine plan; of the Consciousness Soul).

Bottom-up, group-selected groups crumbled, because the mechanism that enabled group selection was removed. Modern groupishness is therefore top-down, necessarily coercive and imposed; it is totalitarian.

Therefore the war for the Consciousness Soul is between totalitarianism imposed-on the CS; and the stage that follows the CS - which is Final Participation. However, totalitarianism is self-destroying; so it will not last. We are concerned with what will come after.   


This means that the future of society will be based upon the cohesion of love: which means real, actual, effective, en-couraging love - of specific persons: family primarily, secondarily real and committed friends (currently so rare as to be almost extinct).

The society that emerges from such a bottom-up situation will presumably be the same in its structure as the societies that came before agriculture and civilisation. Low technology, probably illiterate, without strategic planning, no government, little differentiation of function except for that deriving from individuality, sex and age... Short lifespan, low density population, an immediate return economy of hunting, gathering and making for imminent use. In sum, a society much as (is believed to have) existed in the paleolithic era. 

What would be different is that while past societies were based upon the spontaneous, unconscious, groupishness of Original Participation; a state of 'immersive Being' --- the society of Final Participation would be one based on the experienced conviction that reality is to be found in the universality and objectivity of conscious thinking.

If the ancient paleolithic Original Participation society was based on instinct; the future society of Final Participation would be based on intuition.


There seem to be problems with this vision of the future. There is an economic problem, since efficient extraction of food and resources seems to be precluded. Hence the necessarily low density of sustainable population. Problems would be solved on a case by case basis, in accordance with individual circumstances - location, season, personnel etc.

But in FP, there would be no system or formula - answers would Not be the  same every time, nor the same for all people. People would Just Know what specifically to do here and now and for the best; whereas in OP people Just Did what needed to be done; without knowing why. All decisions would be made on this intuitive basis.

To move to this society can be resisted. It is a basic social situation that may (by the collapse of all possible alternatives) be imposed on an unwilling population who deny intuition and who damn themselves.

Or such a society may arise quite naturally from Romantic Christians doing the right things, making the right evaluations on the right basis; and rejecting the side of evil.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

How can Man become divine, while remaining himself?

If Murphy's favourite hammer has had both its head and its haft replaced several times over its long lifetime - is this still Murphy's favourite hammer? Or is it really a completely different hammer?

I think the 'dilemma', here, is between what we feel, as an unexamined intuition ('it's the same hammer'); and the difficulty of framing an abstract philosophical justification for why it is indeed still the same hammer - despite that everything about it has been replaced.

Properly considered, this is a very deep question indeed; and unless we have a 'theory' that explains why it is still the same hammer, then our metaphysics Must Be wrong.

Because what applies to the hammer applies to persons: applies to specific men and women Christianly-considered. We know that nothing makes sense about anything unless we are the same person through time; yet we also know that potentially everything about us may change, probably should change, as we undergo theosis - as we progress towards deity.

Probably, nearly all of our microscopic body is replaced through life; and even the cells that do last 'a lifetime' (neurons, myocytes) were not there at conception. The entire body is presumably replaced at the chemical level. And the mind of a zygote, morula, embryo, neonate, child, adult, senescent person... well this may have transformed wholly and more than once; leaving aside the re-formation of death and resurrection.

One attempted solution that is proposed by Owen Barfield - following Rudolf Steiner, is to posit an eternal and unchanging 'spirit' that persists through all physical and psychological changes. But this, I believe, rules out any fundamental change. If the Spirit is to carry a single identity it cannot change. All change is rendered superficial (i.e. a matter of body and soul, which are aspects of temporary incarnations) - while our core 'spirit' essence is static, by definition  - or else it would not be The Same. This renders theosis trivial - hence I reject it.

There is, however (you will not be surprised to hear) a metaphysical philosophy that can readily explain why Murphy's hammer is still his favourite, and why a person can have literally everything about him (body and soul) replaced (in the process of spiritual progression to full deity) - and yet he or she will still remain the same person.

Mormon theology is based on evolutionary development as a core assumption, which entails that Time is always included in any ultimate analysis, which means (to jump a few steps) that every 'thing' is 'defined' as an uninterrupted lineage, extending through-time.This is one of its great strengths.

So that fact that at two different cross-sectional moments, the same 'thing' may have Nothing in-common, does not matter.

This is an aspect of what I understand by 'polarity' based on process of '-ing'. Or, more simply, a conscious and explicit version of the spontaneous 'animistic' spirituality of children and hunter-gatherers; a metaphysics based on Beings and Relationships in Time


The above is based on a recent post at Junior Ganymede.

Monday, 29 July 2019

Tom Bombadil and Final Participation

If you don't already know them; I would highly-recommend The Letters of JRR Tolkien, edited by Humphrey Carpenter (1981) which are absolutely packed with fascinating and deep reflections.

In Letter 144 (25 April 1954) Tolkien makes a thought-provoking comment about the presence of Tom Bombadil in Lord of the Rings, and his importance to the story - which hits home on a matter I have been reflecting about over the past few years; the matter of the ideal form of human society, and (therefore) the nature of Heaven:

The story (of LotR) is cast in terms of a good side and a bad side, beauty against ruthless ugliness, tyranny against kingship, moderated freedom with consent against compulsion that has long lost any object save mere power, and so on; but both sides in some degree, conservative or destructive, want a measure of control. 

But if you have, as it were, taken a 'vow of poverty', renounced control, and take your delight in things for themselves without reference to yourself, watching, observing, and to some extent knowing; then the question of the rights and wrongs of power and control might become utterly meaningless to you, and the means of power quite valueless. 

It is a natural pacifist view, which always arises in the mind when there is a war. 

But the view of Rivendell [i.e. the Council of Elrond] seems to be that it is an excellent thing to have represented, but that there are in fact things with which it cannot cope; and upon which its existence nonetheless depends. Ultimately only the victory of the West will allow Bombadil to continue, or even to survive. Nothing would be left for him in the world of Sauron.

I cannot, nowadays, shake the thought that it is the true goal of our Christian destiny to 'renounce control' in much the way that Bombadil represents; and that kingship, moderated freedom with consent; and an ideal of the control of the better over the worse - are all mortal expediencies that do not reflect the reality of Heaven.

What is more, the traditionalist ethical ideal epitomised by agrarian (pre-industrial) societies such as all those depicted in LotR (with the exception of the Ents and the Woses of the Druadan forest - since even Bombadil has a garden), seem more and more like mortal expediencies representing a phase in Man's development. The era of 'moderated control with consent' seems like an historic phase now receding.

Such ideals; which we see so inspiringly realised in the High Elves, Numenorean Men of Gondor, and even the Dwarves of Moria - are characterised by great arts and crafts, songs and poetry, courage and nobility, lore and knowledge... All of these ideals have been fading for several or many generations; and there seems waning support - and growing hostility - towards the requisite institutional basis of such a society (royals and nobles, guilds and professions, hierarchy and ritual, apprentices and canons).

In Barfield's terms, traditional society in LotR represents the evolving phase bridging between the unconscious immersive life of Original Participation (Ents and Woses) and the modern, disenchanted, materialist world termed the Consciousness Soul.

This evolution from Original Participation to the Consciousness Soul can be seen in terms of incrementally increasing control. As control increases, and in order to enable control; Man has become detached from nature, from The World; and regards living Nature as merely Things; so much material to be manipulated. Somehow, we have never been able to stop this tendency for increasing control at any intermediate or optimal level; once begun the quest for greater control seem to feed upon itself.

All moderating of the raw greed and lust for domination is, dissolved to mark the triumph of the bad side, ruthless ugliness, mere power and - inevitably - destruction. The spirit of Morgoth, Sauron and Saruman has already prevailed at the highest levels of authority, and the program is being rolled-out with accelerating velocity.

What lies beyond, and after this mortal life, is Final Participation, which is similar to what Bombadil represents. Final Participation is a renunciation of control - in contrast with Original Participation when control was neither sought nor even possible.

Voluntary renunciation of control power, domination, manipulation comes after the fullness of control has been either been grasped or else at least comprehended. My feeling is that this is what Bombadil represents; my notion is that at some point Bombadil had the possibility of power, domination and control - and chose to renounce it.

The tough aspect is that this is also a renunciation of much that we value most - such as arts, crafts, science, canonical accumulation of texts and the like. It is, in a genuine sense, a voluntary renunciation of civilisation.

In a sense this is an impossibility, just as pacifism is an impossibility in time of war (or, as pacifism is dependent upon that which it repudiates). Nonetheless, despite impossibility; what I think we have - at present, here and now - is the situation in which there is an irrevocable and cumulative loss of faith in those compromises (moderated controls) upon which civilisation depends - there is a mass withdrawal of 'consent'.

On one side this process is being encouraged, top-down, with evil motivation, by those who seek the destruction of civilisation because they believe it will lead to the self-chosen damnation of souls. This is Tolkien's bad side.

On the other side - which constitutes most of the good side; this top-down dismantling is opposed by (broadly) well motivated persons traditional religion and reactionaries of various types. However, it seems likely to me that the society they are fighting For (their positive goals, their alternative to the destructions and inversions of top-down evil) cannot happen.

'Moderated control by consent' is an earlier phase (the long transition-between Original Participation and the Consciousness Soul); a phase now gone, now not genuinely wanted, now irrecoverable. I feel that we either have been, or will be, called-upon to move beyond the incipient or actual absolute totalitarianism of the Consciousness Soul - move on to a Bombadil-like renunciation of power and the desire for control.

In Final Participation we are called-upon to take delight in things for themselves without reference to ourselves, watching, observing, and to some extent knowing; we are called upon to participate in creation directly in thinking - and not via arts and crafts and science.

This will come beyond death, because it is the nature of Heaven. The still-open question is whether it is meant also to come before death; or whether in this world it is impossible to actualise, and instead an ideal that we affirm even as we are overwhelmed by the worldly triumph of control.


Monday, 8 July 2019

The opposite of abstraction is experience

I've been reading Rudolf Steiner and listening to his ideas being expounded; and realise that a fundamental problem is that Steiner tended to end with abstraction. Although he stated that reality consisted of living Beings; these were explained in their nature and effect using abstractions.

The opposite of abstraction - and the nature of reality - is experience (i.e. the experience of Beings) - thus reality is within-time, and happens through time; experience is process not category. 

Abstraction (as in my sentences above) is usually the fate of human discussion and exposition, since these are conducted in language, and language is abstract. We can use language to point-at experience, to describe the context of experience; but of course this will be secondary.

It is perhaps this that makes people sake that mystical experience is ineffable, un-expressible - but that is true of all experience, so the property of ineffability is not distinctive to the mystical. e.g. We cannot capture being-in-love - or any other emotion - in language.

Behind all abstraction, language and any other form of interpersonal communication there is direct, unmediated experience, a 'knowing' that is potentially a shared experience of Beings. And this is going-on all the time, in all of us - but nearly always unconsciously.

In other words, our true and divine self is always there; even when it is never attended-to. Because the real self is not inside us, so much as a perspective on reality. Reality is universally accessible, but each of us has a perspective on it; and we can only come to know reality in a linear and sequential fashion.

So, in a way, the real self is like a peephole opening onto the totality of reality (the underworld, the dwat, the collective conscious and unconscious...). Of course it is more than just a peephole; because the real self is also the source of real freedom; and a producer of (uncaused) thought; and potentially the mans of our participation in divine creation.

But in terms of our ability directly to know, we might imagine it as a peephole through which we can incrementally discover everything there is to know, eventually (but of course, that everything will keep growing, and we may contribute to it)- but always from our unique perspective.

There is an abstraction for you! A crude and simple abstract model of reality - looking through a peephole at the ocean of reality that is always everywhere and within... As such it is certainly false - both ridiculously partial, and seriously distorted. What, then is the point of it?

By my understanding, much of our learning - nowadays in this mortal life - is a matter of becoming conscious of something that is already happening, but beyond our awareness. Thus, the abstraction is helpful if or when it draws attention to some neglected reality that we may then - by experiencing it in our thinking - come to know for ourselves.

However, probably only when we come to know it for ourselves. Abstractions at the level of abstraction - and locked into that level by the need for language in public discourse - are a lethal tyranny for the soul.

And all public discourse, all institutions and organisations, operate solely at the level of abstract language or other symbolism; and so are always partial and distorted - always false. This is a big lesson that we need to learn - it is one of the big lessons of our time.

And our learning is assisted by the fact that our institutions and their leaders are so obviously corrupt and increasingly evil that we are quickly learning that they are wrong - and the abstract laws, rules and guidelines by which they attempt to control us are also wrong.

And if we want to know what is right we can derive it only from that which is validated by direct personal experience. and we are wrong.

 

Monday, 1 July 2019

The objectivity of truth in Final Participation

Yesterday I described how men and women characteristically - but in different ways - tend to regard Truth in a passive and materialist sense, as being That Which Overwhelms. Men by the overwhelming of imposing force, women by the overwhelming of social (especially peer group) consensus.

But that is, of course, potentially to leave out the spiritual aspect of life - the divine aspect; since the overwhelming is mostly (women especially, but nearly always men too) done by 'other people'.

And so we have these 'operational definitions' of truth that are, in practice, very 'relativistic' - in the sense that if lots of people, or just a few powerful/ high status people, decide something - then we are naturally - at a materialist level - inclined passively to accept it as true.

As I say, this is truth as 'that which overwhelms'; such a truth 'comes from outside' each us us - we are 'victims' of truth. If that was all-there-is top truth (in practice) then there could be no truth - because consensus isn't truth, power isn't truth...

If there is to be truth at all - and if that truth is to be something we personally endorse, rather than being compelled to submit-to; then there must be a higher truth that is not psychological but objective; and active, not passive. Because if truth is merely the external coercing, and our-selves submitting - then it would not be something that we personally would want. We would be merely slaves to truth.

(Obviously!) on the other hand, truth can't be something we make-up for ourselves - as a kind of wishful thinking.

Yet for most people these are the only choices - truth is either seen as that which is imposed (which in practice is usually 'other people'), or whatever-I-say (which is truth-as-delusion, since truth is private and unique).

In sum - these are demonic views of truth - with the choice being submission or pride, a hierarchy of coercion - we submit to the truths of those more powerful, and impose our own truth upon those whom we can dominate: i.e. the hierarchy of Hell.

This is another argument for the Goodness of Final Participation. That the truth that is Good, the truth which Saves, the truth which brings us towards being ourselves gods in harmony with the purposes of God - all these are the truth of Participation. They are voluntary truths in the sense that the truth is God's creation, we choose to endorse the purpose and nature of that creation, and because of love we joining our-selves to that ongoing work of creation.

So truth is not compelled but chosen - hence subjective; and truth is also objective and not just a figment of my mind, but has universality. And truth is mine, because I contribute to it; and truth is for anybody else who also chooses the heavenly life of collaborating in the work of creation.

If Time is primary instead of Space (Final Participation)

Transformation - a process in Time - has been described as the underlying principle (or assumption) of nomadic hunter-gatherer life and spiritual belief - a metaphysics to which I believe Man is destined to return, but in a freely-chosen and conscious way (Final Participation)

Most philosophy (and classical Christian theology) assumes that Space is primary, and therefore end-up (when pushing analysis to the limit of metaphysics) by discarding Time.

For instance, Plato had the ultimate reality as a Time-less realm of eternal, archetypal forms. Classical Christian theology follows this by making God outside of Time; in an eternity in which past, present and future are one.

But if, instead, we regard Time as the primary reality, then things look very different. Things exist in Time, which means that their reality stretches back either to eternity or to when they are made. Things are not defined by their cross-sectional 'spatial' properties - because they exist longitudinally, through-Time.

What we see now is a probably-ephemeral property of an entity defined as a self that goes backwards... More exactly, the entity is (in physics terms) a process. Its cross-sectional properties may, probably will, change - but it stays itself because it is lineally related to its earlier selves.

More simply, the ultimate entities are Beings, and Beings are distinguished historically. There need not be any specific thing or things about a Being that remains constant through the changes a Being undergoes in Time. It stays the same being, even if everything about it has changed.

In a system in which Time is primary, the 'units' are Beings, and the principle of their continued reality could be described as continuing-Life; and continuing-Life may entail Transformation.

A Being may transform (like a caterpillar to a butterfly, or a Man to a god) so completely that nothing about it remains unchanged - yet it is the same Being; lineally the same and going back forever without beginning.

So which is primary, Space or Time? It cannot be both although it could be neither. The question is one of metaphysics, hence answerable only by primary, direct personal intuition - each for himself. But unless asked and answered; you will merely passively, unconsciously, be absorbing the metaphysical assumptions of others.

  

Sunday, 16 June 2019

How can a genius of Romantic Christianity affect society more widely?

This question arises when comparing the 'impact' of Rudolf Steiner - who founded an international society and movement; and William Arkle, who died known only to a 'handful' of people and remains almost wholly obscure.

In general, the most valuable kind of genius is one who dicovers something 'simple'; that is, something that was difficult to discover (because, in fact, it was Not discovered until the genius did it) but, once discovered, easy to learn.

This can be seen by technologies such as the bow and arrow, wheel or arch, whose origins are unknown, were absent from many (or all) ancient cultures, and were (I believe we can infer) discovered by specific persons (i.e. geniuses) in particular times and places.

More recent examples would include the technologies of the agricultural and industrial revolutions, which were adopted quickly and widely - oince the intellectual heavy lifting had been done by specific geniuses (who often gained nothing personally from the inventions)


Rudolf Steiner was a genius of Romantic Christianity; but he made many serious strategic errors; and in the end embedded his major (and simple) discoveries in a vast structure of mostly-dubious factual-assertion; which formed the (infallible) scriptures of a bureaucractic Anthroposophical Society; housed in a grandiose headquarters of concrete (in both senses) buildings; engaged in all sorts of formal/ procedural/ bureaucratic institutional activities relating to education, medicine, agriculture, the arts etc.

In sum, Steiner attempted to 'impose' his esoteric message on the world via an organisation, by a stepwise process, that is - by a kind of compulsion - and this is an internally-contradictory, hence ineffectual, strategy.

The outcome is that it is very hard to find the core spirit of Steiner anywhere in the world; except among a handful of individuals who are essentially outside of the Society and institutional structures (and even these Steinerites usually remain captivated by the Ahrimanic distortions of their Master, rather than discarding them).

In sum, that of Steiner which we can perceive is merely the distortion. 


By contrast, except for a few disciples (who have not, apparently, made public their thoughts) anyone who has come to share Arkle's ideas must re-experience them for himself.

In other words, insofar as he has affected people, Arkle can only have influenced other people via imperceptible esoteric and direct spiritual routes. One who would share Arkle's thinking, needs to do so on the 'plane' of ultimate and universal reality - since their is neither System nor Institutions to 'educate' him. 

The question is whether the existence and effect of such esoteric and direct ways of sharing are really-real (or just wishful thinking).


It strikes me that William Arkle, especially in his pictures and his 'simple' prose pieces - such as Letter from a Father, Equations of Being and the Late Prose items - made some very simple spiritual discoveries that therefore could be learned rapidly and applied very widely.

Arkle's core insight is that we can come directly and by experience to know the detailed and personal love of God the Creator for ourselves; which will give us a great confidence and faith in our own lives.

And the fact that we are God's children means that we have a share of his divinity, and this will guide us through - enable us to learn from - all possible experiences that our life brings us.


The point is that all this is knowable for ourselves, once we know about it. It is effective, if we genuinely believe it is true. The insight is very simple, and our life can be very simple.

Of course, in works like A Geography of Consciousness or Hologram and Mind; Arkle also produced works with a great deal of complexity, involving metaphors drawn from physics and engineering.

The underlying message remains simple, and I think these complex works were produced as a form of persuasive rhetoric in response to the typical kinds of questioning of modern intellectuals, who are unable to take-seriously or to believe the truth of anything that is simple and obvious.

These works of Arkles function mostly like the mathematical 'working' done to convince a skeptic, when the actual result may be simple; they provide models or analogies of spiritual truths that strike us as childishly obvious; and by that hope to get past the 'watchful dragons' of the modern skeptical intellect (based upon deep and denied reductionist assumptions and dishonest arguments).


It would seem to me that Arkle 'must have' had a considerable influence on The World; since someone of his spiritual quality could not help but have done so! But not, of course, by the normal, perceptible, means of 'communication'.

Instead, I regard the creative insights of Arkle as having made a permanent addition to the primary thought-world that is the basis of divine creation. Anyone who engages in primary thinking, who has direct intuition, may therefore encounter Arkle's insights for themselves and without ever having heard of Arkle.

As a genius, Arkle was able to think some things for the first time; but now they have been-thought - and these thoughts are available to 'everybody' who would not have had the genius to create them anew from scratch.


Since Love is primary and a part of creation; I would further emphasise that the 'spead' of Arkle's ideas depends upon love. The 'range of effect' is therefore set by the scope of Arkle's love, and the difference made will be initially in realtion to that scope.

For example, when Arkle painted something with love that embodied his genius insights, those things will have been strengthened and sustained by that love - in an objective fashion: they will have been 'Romanticised' in an objective and universal sense. A better known example would be Walter Scott or Wordsworth, who permanently transformed the power of The Scottish Borders and the Lake District (and similar landscapes) to inspire and elevate us - even for those who have never read either.

I am suggesting that - as an example, but much more widely - the Scottish Border and the Lake Distict were objectively changed by Scott and Wordsworth - we who lovingly-experience them now, do so in a way that is qualitatively different from the way such landscapes were experienced 300 years ago - and indeed we cannot recover the way they used to be regarded. And later on Tolkien further modified our experience of landscapes.

The new experience is unlocked by shared love.

This can be explained (to use the terminology of Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom) in terms of the concepts we use to interpret the raw perceptual data and memories of these places - our concepts are, when they are true, drawn from the universal, impersonal store of divine creation - and this store has been modified by the 'final participation' of human geniuses.

This, then, (as a general mechanism) is the main way in which a spiritual genius like Steiner or Arkle affects the world; not by their communications, and certainly not by institutional transmission - but by participating-in, and permanently transforming, the ongoing nature of divine creation - henceforth available to all that are attuned to it. 

Saturday, 15 June 2019

The polarity of our outer and inner guidance

Since we are each, from eternity, unique souls - then there is an unique destiny, a personal destiny, for every individual.

But discovering (and then, of course, following) one's unique destiny is a difficult matter, and many people don't know how to start - or how an unique destiny differs from randomness or arbitrariness.


To make an unique destiny possible requires both internal and external guidance, and it is from the dynamic polarity of their relationship that we can navigate our destined (but not pre-destined) path through life.

Our external guidance is known as the Holy Ghost, and is accessible to all Christians; since the Holy Ghost (according to the Fourth Gospel) was provided by Jesus after his ascension.

Yet if the Holy Ghost had been the only kind of guidance, then our destiny would be 'given' to us; and our task would merely be to consult the Holy Ghost, and then passively to 'follow' its instructions, as best we could.This would be a life a spiritually children (and was indeed our own life as children, and probably the life of all Men in earlier periods of Man's history.)

Such a life of obedient passivity is a one-sided caricature, because it never was, nor could be, wholly the case; but this life of child-like obedience to external dictates was surely once regarded as an ideal; wheras now a passively obedient life is Not the task of modern Man.

(Such a life is simply Not An Option. Modern Man is an adolescent in spiritual terms, negatively rejecting of passive obedience; and as adolescents we cannot return to childhood. Our task is freely to choose to develop, to grow-up, into spiritual adults... or else we will remain, as we are: perpetually adolescent.) 

Due to the evolutionary-development of human consciousness since the time of Jesus, our task is now to take an active, conscious path through life - freely chosen. This does Not At All mean that the Holy Ghost has been superseded, but instead that we now have a 'dual guidance system' formed from the interaction of outer and inner.

The inner guidance comes from our real self; the eternal self that is divine; albeit an undeveloped divinity; which is how it can be the creative source of uncaused thinking, primary thinking. A life guided solely by the inner guidance system would be merely egotistic, prideful, rebellious, hedonistic, impulsive - adolescent. 

But outer and inner guidance combine to form a classic polarity; in the sense that the outer guidance is centripetal, constraining, receptive, 'feminine'; while the inner guidance is centrifugal, generative, exploratory, 'masculine'.

This is a polarity because although they can legitimately be distinguished, neither guidance can exist in actual detachment from the other - and this union arises because at a deep level outer and inner are continually-being-produced-consequences of a single, living, conscious, dynamic process.

So our task in this mortal life is therefore actively to work from our own inner motivation, which is in continual interaction with the Holy Ghost. The result is experienced as 'intuition', which is our directly known direction and purpose through life.   

Monday, 3 June 2019

Love and Time = Creation

What Owen Barfield (drawing on Steiner) terms 'polarity' - I have reformulated as Beings in Relationship.

In other words, polarity is described abstractly in terms of a self-generating distinction, a dynamic process - but ultimately I understand this is terms of the Beings that constitute reality having Relationships.

When it comes to Creation - the relevant Relationship is Love.

To put it differently - When Love between Beings acts over Time, there is Creation.


This applies to God - it is God's Love acting through Time, that is Creation. (In other words, the process of love between beings in intrinsically creative.)


However, when Time (process, change) is Not mediated by Love; then we have evil - because any relationship other-than Love is anti-Creation.

So the Good/ Positive situation is of Creation (made by Love through Time).


Not-Love (anything other-than Love) is a negative situation - and is destructive of Creation.

(This is evil and the situation is hell. Absence of Love is hell.)


Not-Time is No-Creation; it would be Stasis; it would be neither Good nor evil; neither Heaven nor Hell - but Just-Be.

(Not Be-ing - just Be, just mere Existence.)

This situation is the Nirvana asserted by 'Eastern Religion'.


Note: This clarifies why Christians should acknowledge the reality and necessity of Time - and should set-aside pre-Christian hangovers and metaphysical errors (common to almost all mainstream, classical Christian theology) about God being outside-of-Time, or a state of Timelessness being the highest state. One would have thought (hoped) that the incarnation of Christ in history would have made this clear - but apparently not. Unless there is Time, there would be no Good, no direction, no Freedom - and no Love. Thus Time is necessary for Christianity; without Time, Christianity is refuted. It is a superiority of Romantic Christianity that it regards Time as necessary and intrinsic. 

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Romantic Christianity and morality

I should first say that Romantic Christianity is for adults, for post-adolescents. It is, in other words, a product of the modern adult consciousness.

It is for all Western adults, because all modern Western adults are Romantic; and all may (if they want it) choose to accept the gifts of Jesus.  

But I need to say this because this means that Romantic Christianity is neither intended-as nor suitable-as as a Christian way of bringing-up children - raising kids is still, essentially, pretty much the same as it was in the era of traditional Christianity. In other words, for pre-adolescents guidance must necessarily be external, and therefore a Christian environment is the key (home, school, church, books, 'media' etc).

But beyond adolescence lies the destiny of a Romantic consciousness, and the new thing needed is that this be a Christian consciousness.


One major concern about Romantic Christianity relates to morality - and in these times and this place, this means primarily sexual morality. Traditional Christianity was pretty clearly defined in relation to sexual morality; and mainstream modernity has as its (perhaps) core value the Sexual Revolution in its various dominating phases.

The Sexual Revolution is, of course, ever 'advancing' its scope (despite the contradictions) via advocating positively divorce, extramarital promiscuity, abortion, feminism, homosexuality, sadomasochism, transexualism and so on 'forward' toward paedophilia and I don't know what next - the stages of dominance of which define modern culture.

Traditional Christianity is clearly against the sexual revolution - on various grounds: for example the teachings of scripture, the authority of the church, the primacy of tradition, the rigorous implications of theology. Now, all of these grounds are 'external' - so Romantic Christianity requires that they must be validated by internal and intuitive understanding and assent.

The problem has often been that the Romantic impulse has, since the time of Lord Byron and Shelley, often been used as a reason to reject traditional sexual morality - by simply claiming that one does not find intuitive confirmation of 'conventional' morality; and that - on the contrary - inner conviction validates unfettered expression of one's own current lusts and desires.

This 'morally relativistic' way of reasoning has become 'official' over the past several years; so that the sexual revolution requires no greater validation than that claim that it would make some person or group unhappy, or simply unfulfilled (here and now) if they were prevented from doing some sexual thing that they currently very much want to do. If, that is, the 'thing' is currently approved-of by the mainstream sexual revolution at that particular point - and this has changed, and reversed, through recent history. For instance, 'Weinstein-type' promiscuous behaviour was strongly supported, positively-media-depicted, and leftist-advocated in the late 1960-70s, when 'hetero'-sex was officially regarded as merely a pleasurable type of physical exercise; not to be taken seriously.

This validation of extended sexuality began by being applied only to 'consenting adults in private' and was presented as toleration; but has swiftly been extended to public situations and to children of any age and it is now necessary that extending the sexual revolution (in officially approved direction) be actively and publicly embraced - and this positive attitude is compulsory. 


It certainly seems (to traditionalist Christians) as if Romantic Christianity is either sure to be distorted to rationalise the sexual revolution (as happens all the time among the mainstream churches, and by 'liberal' Christians'). But then, the fact is that anything can-be/ has-been/ is-being perverted to rationalise the sexual revolution - whenever the motivation to do so outweighs the desire for truth.

The way I think of it is that the intuitions of Romantic Christianity do not merely 'validate' the truth of sexual morality as it is (partially, with some distortions) represented by the various traditional Christianities (which situation would suggest that the intutions are not necessary, because we could take traditional moal codes as a short-cut to where we wanted, ultimately, to go). Instead, what happens is that by Christian intuition we are able to know for our-selves that sexual morality arises-from ultimate and universal reality.

We personally tap-into the very source of morality, in the nature-of-things - that is in God's creation. 


But this direct knowledge of ultimate sexual morality is Not in the traditional form of general laws and rules about collectives of people; instead (as Rudolf Steiner makes clear in Philosophy of Freedom).

What would be (can be) discovered is that morality is on the one hand absolutely specific to each situation, and also absolutely objective - there is always just one right thing to do, and one only.

And this we can know for-ourselves, and can only know for-ourselves - although equally the judgement of what we may say or do is open to the unique and direct evaluation on others who love us*.


*But only those who love us - because only such have the ability to know directly concerning our souls - by contrast, with other strangers and secondhand observers, they will merely be applying general principles to general situations.