- Hi to all,
I am new to the list and have been studying RS for about 14 years. My main
interest is philosophical and especially his epistemology or theory of
knowledge (GA001 to 4) - the prefaces to Goethe's scientific work, The
Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception, Truth and
Knowledge and the Philosophy of Freedom plus the various places where I have
found important additions to this material - such as the opening chapters of
Occult Science. I am at work in the North Sea oil fields in the Moray Firth
so that all emails from here will have attached a company restriction at the
bottom which is added at the gateway in Hoofddorp. Please ignore it.
With these words, more than any others that I know of, Isaac Newton expelled
the soul from reality:
"I. Absolute, true and mathematical time, of itself and from its own nature,
flows equably without relation to anything external ...
II. Absolute space, in its own nature, without relation to anything
external, remains always similar and immovable."
Once these words are accepted then the world may carry on with or without a
human being who becomes quite unnecessary to it. They lead to the
materialism of the mid-19th century. For the last 15 years science has
turned its eyes to the problem of consciousness and it is almost universally
accepted that materialism of that sort cannot explain it. They have hit the
door of the threshold and the soul is marching back into reality.
Opportunities are now arising everywhere that idealists may assist this
The astrophysicist Metod Saniga has produced a purely mathematical theory
which appears to describe every psych(patho)logical - his word - perception
of space and time. It even carries the panoramas which occur just before
birth and at or near death. (Though he does not realise the first.) It has
the beginnings of a theory of how the etheric forces rise into consciousness
and is produced by an algebraic form of projective geometry.
Last December's Scientific American carried an article about the theory of
how space and time are created from nodes on a mathematical network by
Fotini Markopoulou-Kalamara. She places a human being on each node to create
a community of people with overlapping but different space-time realities.
If we compare Steiner's definitions of space and time from GA001
percept = an "existent" in experience
concept = a relation between existents
idea = complex concept
space = the idea of separation between *independent* existents (if one is
annihilated the other will remain)
time = mutually exclusive relation of dependence between existents (Monday,
He goes on to show that there can only be 3 dimensions without destroying
the independence of the existents. Now if we combine space and time we get,
not another form of separation but, a relation of mutually dependent
existents - i.e. a comm-unity! Thus our space and time are derived from the
*loss* of spiritual community, its diremption into two different ideas.
This week's New Scientist has a cover story of "Universal Law" (from a
single rule springs all reality) It describes the work of Ed Fredkin
describing how the world we live in can be created by swarms of bits
(computer information). Now when the late Claude Shannon defined
"information" in the 1940's he was working for Bell Telephones so his
definition left out the content of the message. This was fine and noble
because the duty was to convey the message accurately without intruding into
privacy. His definition is now endemic but information without meaning is
senseless. What will happen if someone puts content back into the definition
for Fredkin. The world would then be made from meaningful messages. But who
from and to whom? Joel Henkel is on the case.
Information technology is the lynch pin of so-called cognitive science - the
brain generates "object files" etc. Yet one of their best philosophers,
David Rosenthal, is the main proponent of a theory of consciousness - that
it derives from "higher order thinking" (HOT). He is at times startlingly
close to RS but does not quite get it e.g. what makes a perception conscious
is the addition of a thought but he prevaricates over what simply "seeing
something" means. "Some philosophers think that simple seeing must contain a
conceptual component." Disastrously he said, very slowly and carefully such
that the few and simple words carried his whole world outlook, " ... a
thought is an attitude toward a content."
The philosophy of perception battles between the Direct Realists (mainly
philosophers) and Representationalists (neurologists and cognitive
scientists) They do not understand they both have partial views.
Ramachandran and Smythies proudly acclaimed Kovacs et al.'s binocular
rivalry experiment "an empirical refutation of direct realism"
(zeus.rutgers.edu/~ikovacs/PNAS96.pdf - I've probably not got the address
right but its from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in
the USA 1996) thereby demonstrating that they have no adequate theory of
knowledge. Picture A is of monkey faces, B is of dense jungle, C is a
patchwork of each and D the "inverse" patchwork. If C is presented to left
eye and D to the right then what you see alternates between A and B. So R&S
claim "we do not see the real world but what the brain computes to be most
probable" (Smythies has championed the Representationalists for 50 years or
more.) But this would only be true if it were impossible for the subject of
the experiment to move into the position of the experimenter and so see both
C and D at the same time with two eyes.
Daniel Dennett's "Freedom Evolves" (2003) may be summarised like this: It is
not true that humanity can have no freedom (DD calls himself a "naturalist",
the modern "materialist" whose point of departure is process or dynamics
rather than matter as such.) It is not true because human beings are not
made from matter but from a *flow* of matter (as long as you eat, drink,
breathe etc). What happens to the matter may therefore continue completely
determined but yet play no role in determining the substantive form which is
a human being.
Nilsson and Pelger made a beautiful computer simulation of light creating
Creation v Evolution: Creation out of nothing means no material to be
designed and so no design is possible. It is therefore creation out of
absolute ignorance - exactly as demanded by evolution. It may remain an
article of faith that the Father has pre-knowledge of everything, provided
that it is realised that Christ is the Creator.
Last year the philosopher John Leslie produced a "Philosophical Cosmogeny"
describing the plausibility of an axiological creation account. Axiology is
the study of value, i.e. an ethical philosophy. There has been little like
it since Plato.
Elsewhere I was asked why it is that I seek certainty in knowledge, after
all you never know if the bus or train is going to turn up. I replied with
"I hear what you say but I have more in mind a concern for the whole of
humanity and the direction of civilisation. Both in economics and in
communication the world is increasingly a single whole, and I would say this
in spite of the recent and ongoing conflicts. This being so is contrasted
with highest achievements of humanity in the sciences where everything falls
asunder into works so separate that they are unintelligible to each other.
Each posits its own theory of knowledge as if knowledge were more than one
thing. This I cannot accept. There may be different kinds of objects of
knowledge but knowledge itself is something to do with a relation between
Man and world; knowledge is, or should be, one thing. If the integrity of
humanity is splintered at the very highest level then what hope do we have
on the streets? The responsible use of the freedoms of the modern world is
something which can only be set by example and not by law. Individual
freedom turns on knowledge and so I see it as the greatest gift we could
possibly give to the children of the world to restore their confidence in
the idea of knowledge, trusting that they in turn will be able to divert the
present perilous course of society and do so through free acts of
Lastly may I highly recommend Joe Sachs translation of Aristotle's On the
Soul (De Anima). There is nothing I know of in Aristotle that contradicts
RS, in fact I was moved to the core to hear the words of RS "echoed" so long
ago in the past. Sachs strips out the Scholastic vocabulary. This is his
translation of Book III, Ch. 5 - the most heavily argued lines in the whole
of Western Philosophy: is "knowing-at-work" (the energeia nous in Greek or
actual mind in Scholastic vocabulary) godly or subjective. It is Christ =
Krishna = thinking, that which facilitates or allows both all reality and
all knowledge of reality. The Creator.
"But since in all nature one thing is the material for each kind (this is
what is in potency all the particular things of that kind), but it is
something else that is the causal and productive thing by which all of them
are formed, as is the case with a craft in relation to its materials, it is
necessary in knowledge too that these distinct aspects be present; the one
sort is knowledge by becoming all things, the other sort by knowing all
things, in just the way light reveals, for in a certain way light makes the
colours that are in potency be at work as colours. This sort of knowing is
separate, as well as being without a quality of its own and pure, since it
is by its thinghood a being-at-work, for what acts in knowledge is always
distinguished in stature above what is acted upon, as a governing source is
above that it produces. "
"Knowing, in its being-at-work, is the same as the thing it knows, and while
knowledge in potency comes first in time in any one knower, in the whole of
things it does not take precedence even in time. This does not mean that at
one time knowing-at-work is knowing and at another it is not knowing, but
when separated it is just exactly what it is, and this alone is deathless
and everlasting (though we have no memory, because this sort of knowing is
not acted upon, while the sort that is acted upon is destructible), and
without this nothing knows."
A call to arms then. Raise up your gifts of study, creativity and worship.
The struggle for the salvation of angels is in full swing.
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