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  • Maurice McCarthy
    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
    Message 1 of 14 , Jun 24, 2003
      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
      the eye.

      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
      these words:

      "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.

      Maurice McCarthy


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