Re: Fruits of Detachment/deadness
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "holderlin66"
"Steiner warned, since the 15th
century, we had to deal with this Deadness and be able to understand
our two brains and the gift of detachment and Ahrimanic gifts and
Ahrimanic deadly murder when the soul finally loses to deadness."
Now for those who thinking losing to deadness and having this
deadness in the soul is still something you do not understand, here,
ready at hand, if we only observe and listen, someone can instantly
tell us what this slow deadening of the soul is like. However you
also must be able to discern with equal clarity that there is a
creeping Ahrimanic potential as long as these inner concepts are not
understood. The relationship to Deadening the Soul leads to
astonishing places of danger to all of humanity. We happen to be on
this Road Most Traveled by..and some of us are on this road Less
A Passion for Life
by Butler Shaffer
Political systems do far more than diminish the material quality of
our lives or deprive us of our liberties. To the degree of their
power over us, they help to deplete the passion for living that gives
meaning to our experiences here on earth. One sees a reflection of
this inner emptiness in the zombie-like behavior of men and women who
have long been accustomed to tyrannical regimes, or in the looks of
detachment in the eyes of concentration camp prisoners. We have all
seen newsreel footage of persons being liberated from Nazi
imprisonment. One would think that being freed from months or years
of dehumanized captivity would have brought looks of joy into their
faces. Instead, we saw expressions of the deeper costs of tyranny
that go far beyond the calculation of the dead: the breaking of the
Statists do not want us to think in terms of how their practices
erode our sense of being human. While they are not comfortable with
our awareness that their systems resulted in the deaths of some two
hundred million persons in the twentieth century alone, they can live
with such information. After all, these are only collective
statistics, abstractions which, like references to "gross domestic
product," "rates of unemployment," or the "Dow-Jones industrial
average," cloud the costs individuals always pay at the hands of the
state. Such information may be an embarrassment to statists, but it
poses no significant threat, for it is too disconnected from personal
experience to rouse individual souls from their slumbers.
To speak of the dehumanization or spiritual depletion of the lives of
individuals is so alien to most of us that few can even begin to
envision the meaning of such concerns. Our institutional masters have
trained us to regard the depletion of our income, or savings, or
other material factors as the only "costs" to which we ought to
devote our attentions. Sadly, even many of my free-market,
libertarian friends seem stuck on the proposition that a laissez-
faire economic system would be sufficient for a free, peaceful, and
To be free to make decisions regarding our own lives and property,
and to be able to enter into voluntary agreements with others is, of
course, essential to an individually meaningful life. Having a daily
supply of food and water is equally essential to our lives, but
hardly sufficient for living well. I shall forever recall George
Orwell's description of the institutionalized "tinny stew" fed to the
humanoids in his 1984, as exemplary of the ways in which the state
feeds but does not nourish its conscripts. How reminiscent is
this of the cafeteria offerings in government schools, prisons, or
military establishments? Can one find any correlation between being
adequately fed so as to sustain the conscripts' usefulness to the
state and the pursuit of a meaningful life as a human being?
The problems we experience at the hands of the institutions to which
we subject ourselves do not derive from the malevolence or ambitions
of power of those purporting to be "authorities" over us. Rather,
they are the consequences of our acknowledging them to have such
authority! Most of our problems originate within our own minds, and
we are generally too frightened of the specters we might discover
therein to want to search out the root cause of our difficulties.
Like the man who searched beneath a streetlight for the car keys he
lost a block away "because the light's better here," most of us opt
for the quick-and-easy explanations that target institutional flaws.
It is so much easier for us to think of ourselves as victims of the
state, than as having suffered the consequences of our own thinking.
So many of us live dispirited lives because we have given up on
ourselves, and look for direction and meaning in life by attaching
ourselves to external agencies or purposes. In the course of doing
so, we emasculate our emotions and feelings as hindrances to the
sense of "responsibility" we believe we have to such external forces.
We repress our inner voices with drugs, alcohol, or programs to help
us "adjust" or "adapt" to our servitude. Not wanting our children to
be left out of the system, we accede to their being
labeled "hyperactive" or suffering from "attention deficit disorder,"
when their only offense has been to pursue the self-directed
exploration that is the essence of life. Like their parents before
them, children must learn to become serviceable to their masters and
to live according to agendas set by others. Dispositions for
autonomous thinking or behavior must be smothered, whether by fear,
intimidation, or the on-campus drugs against which school systems are
not at war!
The institutional order particularly the state requires us to
live externalized lives, in which our attentions are drawn to the
pursuit of values beyond ourselves: wealth, fame, status, power, or
the approval of others. To be an externally-directed person is to
give up on one's sense of being; to admit to the unworthiness of
one's very soul; to seek meaning in others rather than oneself.
Ultimately, it is to embrace the mass-mindedness that inheres in
every collectivist system. The contest between collectivism and
individualism has always been, at its core, a struggle for the human
To live well means more than simply staying alive or being
comfortable. Our pet animals enjoy that status. If life is to be
experienced as our nature has prepared us, we must learn to live with
passion; with a sense of focused, self-directed energy. The study of
economics reminds us that life is a subjective process of learning,
making choices, taking actions. The search for truth and the
principled life occurs within each of us, or not at all. We are
volitional, choosing beings; what the poet Seamus Heaney called "the
hunters and gatherers of values."
To live with passion is to live an internally directed life that
exhibits a fiery, creative, exploring spirit. When we live this way
rather than as numbers in faceless computers we see through the
cruel and brutish ways by which we cooperate with others in degrading
and destroying our lives. This is not some theoretical proposition,
but reflects ways in which humans have occasionally transcended their
bleak and dispirited conditions and experienced life as inner,
The Enlightenment was one of the most dramatic and creative of these
epochs. In his study, Peter Gay observed that this period consisted
of a "loose, informal, wholly unorganized coalition of cultural
critics, religious skeptics, and political reformers" in Europe and
North America. Its participants insisted on a number of conditions,
the most important of which was "freedom in its many forms freedom
from arbitrary power, freedom of speech, freedom of trade, freedom to
realize one's talents, freedom of aesthetic response, freedom, in a
word, of moral man to make his own way in the world."
And what of that greatest of all periods for the advancement of the
material well-being of mankind, the Industrial Revolution? In
contrast with collectivists - who feign concern for the welfare of a
humanity that they insist on keeping in abject, but equal, scarcity
inventive souls discovered the creative potentials of the
marketplace. In the words of the noted English historian, T.S.
Ashton, "England was delivered, not by her rulers, but by those who,
seeking no doubt their own narrow ends, had the wit and resource to
devise new instruments of production and new methods of administering
The anti-business zealots, Marxists, and lesser socialists have
always been unable to see the correlation between the spiritual and
material dimensions of life implicit in the Industrial Revolution.
This is a sad reflection of how far our abstract thinking is removed
from the pursuit of those means that exalt and nourish both the body
and spirit of mankind. Are we to believe that any of this was brought
about by men and women marching in lockstep to the beat of statist
drummers? What political leader or agency ever produced anything that
truly advanced the well-being of humanity? When have the collective
efforts of externally-directed oafs - their minds carefully scripted
to vocalize the establishment line ever produced through opinion
polls, "town meetings," bumper-sticker slogans, or talk-show
babblings, any value or insight that improved the condition of man?
The tenacity with which some plead the case for liberty is an
expression of the spirited passion for life. That the autonomous
spirit of individuals not be restrained by others is central to what
it means to live in wholeness as a human being. There is a life force
within us all that statists insist on channeling into behaviors that
serve their ends. Thus, young men are induced to believe there is
something ennobling about fighting and dying in wars, or strapping
bombs to one's body and killing innocent "others." Young adults grow
up thinking that participating in government programs to compel
people to do things they do not choose to do, is a form of "social
What is worse, we have been taught to repress our passion for life,
or to confuse "passion" with "excitement." Rather than regarding our
feelings and emotions as warning signs to apprise us of the folly or
danger of a present course of action, we have been told to deny such
voices. We are admonished to "stay calm" and not "get emotional,"
particularly at a time when our emotions ought to be in communication
with our rational judgments.
When those with ambitions for power conspire to command, plunder, and
destroy the lives of others, it is time to "get emotional;" not in
reactive, violent ways that pose no serious threat to their
intrigues, but through introspective means that awaken the inner
spirit. No more than when we are in the midst of muggers and rapists
ought we to "stay calm," like contented cows, amongst those who seek
to ensnare us in their schemes with lies, distortions, and threats.
Such people are telling us, by their conduct, that they are unable to
share with us a life of integrity, and it is integrity, or wholeness,
upon which a focused life depends.
Such an awakening must begin with an understanding of how personal
liberty is the expression of the human soul in society. But it must
go beyond abstract philosophizing. We need to become truly inspired,
in the root meaning of that word, i.e., "to breathe in the spirit,"
or, as I would suggest, to rediscover the spirit that is already
within us. We could reach back into human history to try to find the
source of the spiritual energy that powered the Renaissance, the
Enlightenment, the Reformation, the Industrial Revolution, and other
periods of individually relevant life.
The lessons of history provide insights, but are unable, in
themselves, to affect the transformations of will that must occur
within you and me if we are to reclaim our spiritual sense. Such
changes must begin with a determination that we are individuals
worthy to act within the world for our own purposes, rather than
resources to be acted upon for the ambitions of others.
If we are to become emotional about our own existence, perhaps we
need do no more than rekindle that enthusiasm for life we experienced
as children, when the word "why?" was our response not only to the
unknown but to those who sought to restrain us. Might we rediscover
how to live with such a constant variety of things to do that we lose
all sense of time; and with the awareness that time is too valuable
to either count or kill? Might our work become as joyous as our
childhood play; and might we recapture daydreaming from those who see
it only as "dawdling," rather than a "fine art?" Might we, in other
words, awaken that passion for energized living that we have been
conditioned to keep in repose?"
November 1, 2003
- Final version as submitted - with the wrong date - is appended below.
Apologies to Daniel Bernard. I know I have failed him in not making the text
more understandable. The implications contained are not yet fully clear to
me and so the words cannot but be misty.
In writing RP2 I spent some days considering Joksu's Monads I post on 30th
"This First Secret can be called Father. And what will the manifestation be
like? The best possible, "Ideal Living Picture" of the coming evolution,
"First" Universal Cosmic Christ! This Cosmic Christ is then "reflected" or
"echoed" in the various Solar Logoses; it is like the great "I AM"
resounding and creating itself "across the universe". .... etc
This was in relation to <4> paragraph 2, below "In the beginning
willingness, the possibility of all knowledge and all content, is alone with
itself in its own comprehensive substance from which to make the world.
Putting forth its own ceaseless willingness many willingnesses are created."
I ended up removing the phrase "became his own son" from <6> so as not to
confuse the non-manifesting Father with willingness itself. Since
willingness is manifest then it is Christ and Christ is the creator rather
than the Father who retains his place as the unmoved mover.
Having sent the presentation I then turned to read the Celestial
Hierarchies. (It was not an act of arrogance not to read them first but
because reading and thinking have become rather different things for me,
requiring different kinds of effort, and the three times I tried to read I
could not bear it. So I decided to write first and then compare. Reading
still occurs in the fore-brain whereas thinking, though still in the head,
is no longer so specifically located but there is an accompanying sensation
over both parietal lobes equally. Hence the question about the brain and the
sky.) How disappointed I was. There was nothing like the content I had
expected. The penny dropped immediately. Dionysius was a man living in the
age when human consciousness had not yet evolved to intelligence but was
still striving for it. Intellect was Spirit for him whereas for us
spirituality is of the nature of the will.
The relegation of Truth to the second hierarchy reveals this most clearly.
This was for me the most significant discovery of the writing. Though I had
seen RS write similar things here I rediscovered it for myself, realised a
Best Wishes to All
KARL JASPERS FORUM
Part 2: Cosmology
by Maurice McCarthy
20th December 2003, posted
This is a continuation of 55-C79 placed here because of its content which is
pertinent to Prof. Leslie's recent book (1) and his long term interest in
cosmology and cosmogenesis (2). I have tried to deliver this article as a
stand-alone submission. Though I do not expect it to be acceptable to either
party, in itself it bridges the evident gap between Prof. Müller and Prof.
Leslie's views as discussed in the commentaries to this TA.
0-D is the proposition that the origin of knowledge is an undefined content
confronted by an indefinable activity. Consideration of this stand-off leads
to the law of explanation, that the content can only be understandable if it
is inherently structured by the act, i.e.
c + a => k iff c = f(a) .......... E
("an action 'a' upon a content 'c' yields explanation ('k' for knowledge)
if, and only if, the content is a function of the act." 55-C79) and this
implies that if there is a world then 'a', the act of knowledge, is the
world creator. Strictly speaking all language or symbol or art form used to
characterise 'c' and 'a' is erroneous - but we must use words to
communicate. 'c' is best described as a meaningless and therefore
qualitatively homogenised manifold when compared to the distinguished
manifold which we have in everyday perception. 'a' is more difficult as we
cannot rightly yet distinguish thinking and perceiving, the only two ways in
which we know anything. "Act of knowledge" is too abstract, it gives nothing
to hold onto, and "Active mind" now has a too-differentiated a meaning or
has manifold implications but in "willingness to understand" we have a vague
but singular term and this singularity is necessary because there are no
reasons why it should be a one or more than one, except that by E it must
exist without relation to any other because it precedes 'c'. It is the
hyper-singular and hyper-manifold, the One of Parmenides combined with the
Flow of Heraclitus in an unchanging movement of its own willingness, and it
is that which structures one and many into definite beings. So far as it is
possible to justify the branding or characterisation of that which is
inherently beyond all then this is attempted next.
In the case of human knowledge the equation E becomes subjectively qualified
or 'a' must reduce itself to distinctively human
c + a.h => k iff c = f(a.h) ..... H
Human consciousness is a reductive phenomenon, in an anti-materialist sense
of those words. Human reality, however its independence is constituted, is
therefore always in correspondence to human consciousness. The same remark
would apply to any being's reality. This, then, is a justification of the
term "willingness to understand", or simply "willingness" as I shall call
it, as a label for the act of knowledge - because our world content analyses
to an undifferentiated, meaningless manifold then the corresponding activity
is willingness. This willingness is so accepting that it imposes no
preconceived values before understanding.
If the content confronting human willingness is a reality then
c = reality = f(a.h) = truth and percept
This states the correspondence theory of truth. Truth is a consciously
created structure or function, whereas percepts are unconsciously structured
by us (according to the subjectivity of our nature) so that they, at first,
present themselves to our minds as simply given. Without this division
knowledge, as we experience it, could not occur. The conscious human act of
knowing reality is to re-create its inherent truth thereby restoring the
wholeness of reality, that which our subjectivity tore into two pieces by
the act of perception. Perception does not yield reality on its own. What
distinguishes different perceptual activities is what they eliminate from
willingness. Human consciousness, the state of our possessing knowledge, is
necessarily a dual phenomenon.
Another profound implication of H is that it is impossible to know that to
which we are not genuinely related so that there may be percepts to which
there is no explanation. (This is a reversal of my previous opinion.) On the
other hand knowledge is illimitable because every new percept or concept
adds to it.
The task of this submission to the forum is begin from 'a', from
willingness, and allow it to lead us it to 'a.h' or human intelligence as we
would recognise it in our everyday lives. We have a known beginning in the
analytic necessity of willingness and a 'known' ending in everyday
experience, a spatio-temporal world filled with perceptual content.
In the beginning willingness, the possibility of all knowledge and all
content, is alone with itself in its own comprehensive substance from which
to make the world. Putting forth its own ceaseless willingness many
willingnesses are created. Each is distinguished and has the others for
content. Unlike the original content of E, or H for humanity, these contents
are auto-relational and are so because in the very core of each, in their
utmost being, is the willingness to accept content. Each knows the others so
immediately and so completely their knowledge is absolute, so that the only
word to describe it is "love". In their absolute knowledge thinking and
perceiving have not separated but instead there is conperceptuality or
intuition. They just know immediately and fully. Their relation is of
absolute harmony. Yet in this divine realm all relations are necessarily
beings and beings are all conscious relationals simply because it is the
realm of conperceptuality. Therefore harmony is the second class of
existence. The relation between love and harmony objectifies their ground as
the class of beings which is will. The seat of god is the product of love
With breath-taking drama we are plunged into the Celestial Hierarchies of
Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite (3). As if by magic a religio-philosophic
speculation of a kind unpopular in the scientific community for centuries is
thrust upon us. Yet either these beings exist as the preconditions of human
intelligence or else humanity can never know ultimate answers (0-D as the
root of *all* knowledge has failed) and we must retreat into pragmatism for
ever more. Do you want the blue pill or the red pill?
On the other hand this orthogonal development, since it descends to
perceptible spatio-temporal experience or reality, should (and does,
eventually) end up by leading to observable and measurable predictions. Some
may be observable this century. If this did not happen then it fails to meet
the standards we are accustomed to in our finest knowledge and therefore it
should be rightly dismissed as fantastic and idle.
To call willingness the creator is one sense an error. Time has not yet come
into being. It is better to use Plotinus's word "emanator". Nor does the
emanator know anything. It is almost an insult to think that the emanator
needs to know anything. If their were something foreign or mysterious in any
way to the emanator it would be, in a sense, its equal. Hyper-ignorant and
beyond knowledge willingness emanates beings whose very existence is
absolute knowledge of each other in their most essential ground, which is
willingness itself. There is one condition which would allow the emanator to
become a knower - namely if it descended itself, became its own one-begotten
and in this manner joined each of the ranks of being in turn in order to
know their condition through their own experiences.
Notice here that, by H, since there is no human consciousness, not even
anything resembling it, then it is utterly impossible for us to know whether
or not these beings have had a temporal development such as we have. If they
did have one then it has no relation whatever to our own experience and it
is in theory, in principle, only possible for us to know that which conforms
The divine classes are the great constants of the universe. The fates, the
lords of karma who ensure reharmonisation of discordance. The beings below
them are "contained" by their nature so that these lower but sublime beings
are a condition upon the existence of the divine something like the lower
orders of nature are conditions upon our own being. Living in a material
world demands that we accomodate ourselves to it, so too the divine ranks
accomodate what is not quite of their own nature as the graded intensity of
the chain of being descends toward the human.
Just as there was no necessity for the first emanations to occur so too
there is no necessity for the divine hierarchies to emanate further. They
can emanate because their essence is that of the original willingness. It is
by the same grace that they do so. The expression or emanation of absolute
knowledge is wisdom. The beings of wisdom form the next class of being. The
great difference at these sublime levels is that harmony is lost.
Harmony cracks into reciprocation so that relation begins to separate from
being. This constitutes the origin of truth in the sense we are familiar
with. Truth actually is the relation between the beings of wisdom, hence
their name. Equally the origins of perception, as distinct from conception
are here. In this sublime separation of matter and form it is possible for
design and intelligence to begin to appear too. Intelligence, "choosing
between", of beings or realisation of their relations is akin to design, the
projection of relation into a matter. The image of the emanator as a whole
(headed by willingness, with a heart of love and a life of harmony in a body
or seat of divine will) is beyond any need of design but has the grace to
allow all things to live in its warmth. For their function of dominating
design the beings of wisdom are called the celestial house-masters.
Wisdom has been placed into the cosmos, into the order of what is, and the
reciprocation between its beings subtends all alteration and change as such.
The beings of movement form the next rank of existence. With movement time
is in its first conception. As these beings strive to greater truth and
harmony they form a condition upon the divine classes who cannot bear
disharmony in what *is* only through they themselves. Law and necessity
equally make their appearance. The beings of movement constitute the good,
the striving for truth, and also here are the roots evil as disharmony
deepens. Evil is not evil to the divine but only to us. Evil is disharmony
from a lower, more subjective point of view - one which does not see that
the emanator gave rise to both what is called good and what is called evil.
This lower view has no grip on divine harmony.
As disharmony increases the relations between beings become more and more
tenuous until they become related only by their separation, which means by
space itself. Wisdom combined with time gives rise to space in the same
movement as it grants full independence to beings. This is reality or
thinghood and its independence is the power of form. The irreducibility of
all perceptual form and the measurability forms comes back to these beings
prior to any emanation of matter. The beings of form are the realisation of
the beautiful and the ugly.
Having reached spatio-temporal reality filled with perception and
independent, objective being we can easily see human-like being in the
"space", or better the counterspace, between here and now. The cosmos does
not call for explanation but, rather, the willingness to explain calls
forth the cosmos. Thus objective reality proceeds from the subjective and
not vice versa. We just got things the wrong way around.
We have not reached humanity as such but only the first beginnings of
humanity and there is still a huge gap to descend to matter and coordinate
to temporal development. At this point I elect to break off because it is a
suitable occasion to produce a systematic presentation of the forms of
(1) Infinite Minds by John Leslie, OUP 2001. For an introductory preamble
(2) Leslie, John, "Cosmology and Theology", The Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy (Fall 1998 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). The Summer 2003
Edition has a dynamic content so this is the permanent archive:
(3) There is an English translation of the Celestial Hierarchies in the
archive of Arthur Versluis's electronic journal "Esoterica" at:
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