Monday, 1 January 2018

Polarity and Primary Thinking: Not Process but Provenance

I have belatedly realised (such things always take me a t-herribly long time) that the modern world is being duped - wholesale - by the fake assertion that process is the ultimate source of validity; whereas in fact provenance is the basis of truth...

Allow me to explain... The (modern, fake...) idea is that 'understanding' of something is a matter of being able to describe it in terms of process; and that correct understanding has happened when process leads to predictable outcomes.

So - the modern activity of professional bureaucratic research that calls-itself 'science' claims that valid results are what come-out-of this process of research, and what comes out of this process is intrinsically valid. Science is regarded as The Process.

But, it would be truer to say (although still an abstraction) that science is what comes-out-of scien-tists; that is, out-of individual human creative-beings whose motivation is scientific. Science is what-(real) scientists-do.

Other examples would be my current obsessions of Primary Thinking and Polarity. I have been having difficulties explaining these, including to myself (especially polarity...). And these difficulties are related to my trying to do this explaining in terms of process - which is an abstraction.  I should instead have been trying to understand them in terms of their provenance.

Yet my explicit metaphysical foundation is that ultimate reality is personal, not abstract - my bottom line is that reality is made up of beings (variously alive and conscious beings). Abstractions are therefore merely models - therefore (being models) always simplified and always incomplete and always not-true... no matter how expedient or useful in limited circumstances.

So, trying to explain Primary Thinking in terms of process is always and necessarily wrong - in reality primary thinking is the thinking of that-which-is-primary: i.e. the thinking of our real self, which is a divine self (a son or daughter of God): a self that is in part existent from eternity.

The thinking of this real self is primary thinking - and the validity of the 'products' of divine thinking comes from that provenance: that is from thinking's origin in the real self. Thought that originates-from the real self is valid, and that provenance is what makes thought valid...

And polarity... I have (following Coleridge and Barfield) tried to explain it abstractly, that is as a model... but polarity so-considered is a process; a process consisting of opposed by inextricable centrifugal (feminine) and centripetal (masculine) elements... and so on. And all processes are abstractions, hence wrong.

So, in the end, polarity has not really been understood. And nobody can make a machine or any other model that 'does polarity'... Only beings do it.

Polarity is an abstract model of creativity, and creativity is done by beings.

The ultimate creativity is to create creators - that is, to pro-create, to have offspring. Thus the ultimate reality, of which polarity is merely an abstraction, is the fertile dyad of man and woman; of two complementary beings.

Other types of creativity (literary, scientific artistic etc) are inextricable from the inclusion of beings - a poem without a person to read/ a symphony without someone to hear it... is not a creative product but merely ink marks on paper.

All creativity entails beings. (And beings entail life and consciousness - of some type and degree.)

That is, creativity is also (like polarity, like primary thinking) a matter of provenance, of source and origin...

So, to return to Primary Thinking - we cannot explain it as a process, indeed that is its nature to be inexplicable as a process - else it would not be primary (and instead 'the process' would be primary).

We know primary thinking by knowing that we do it - more exactly, that we have been-doing it: that our real self has-been-thinking. We cannot look-within the process of primary thinking - because primary thinking is what eventuates-from our real self. We know primary thinking by recognising that it has-eventuated - we recognise primary thinking as a product-of our real self, thinking...

Therefore, the deepest understanding is not of (inevitably incomplete and biased) abstract models of processes; but knowledge of the nature of the beings that constitute reality.


Aside: All this is why and how Christians can correctly regard love as primary in God's creation - which would not make sense if ultimate understanding of creation was of the nature of physics or mathematics. Love is primary because beings are primary - thus ultimate reality is alive, conscious, purposive.  


2 comments:

  1. Very good! When I finally acknowledged the thinking being that I myself am I was shocked at how I could have been so blind to it for so many years. Your insight here helps to explain why this is. I long prided myself on my scientific thinking. But this scientific thinking expects an explanation of thinking in terms of - a process - and where it cannot find this process it imagines it. This scientific attitude cannot see the being that thinks because this being is the provenance of science itself; it is hidden by its own activity. It takes a special effort of good will to place oneself in a position to see this being. I long knew that I could think about thinking, but thought nothing of it. It took an exerted effort of good will (it felt more like acceptance at the time) to actually SEE its being - and once that happened my thinking itself was transformed. In other words, alfa-thinking all too readily thinks about thinking - but it does so casually; it treats thinking as an external process taking place just like the movement of the sun across the sky - no wonder it cannot find freedom in it. Steiner's philosophy of Freedom broke this spell for me, and helped me muster the will power required to see why alfa-thinking is not applicable when contemplating thinking itself, but must transform itself first.

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  2. Thanks Ama - as Barfield recognised with his valuable notion of RUP, it is terribly hard to recognise and dispense wit the bad metaphysical assumptions of modernity. At least I find it so, and for me it is a major priority. This is yet another confirmation of Steiner's deep insight that - from-here - the next step must be consciously willed and wanted, or it simply wont happen (i.e traditional groupish virtues such as obedience and duty will never free us from RUP - we must each individually do it for ourselves).

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