Re: [steiner] Re: Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, Ch. 5
- I need to hear, in other people's words, what is the
meaning of 'percept(s) of myself' or for 'percept
subject' as Steiner is using them here...
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- --- In steiner@y..., D F <softabyss@y...> wrote:
> Alright, Jack! Nice hearing from you. I appreciated////////////////////////
> your examples and summaries of the various ideas in
> this chapter...
> Does Steiner give us a sense of when this completion
> of the world is an actual experience. I always think
> about the times I'll have a conceptualization of
> something, like a plant in my house, and then, a day
> or two later, I'll think of it in an entirely
> different way, one which contradicts the previous
> idea. And then I'm like, which concept was
> 'completing' the plant, or is any one...Yea, I get
> that our understandings can deepen and to that extent
> we are deepening the true relationship between concept
> and precept, but we so often have concepts that we
> throw away and completely reevaluate later. When we
> hold them, though, we feel that we are uniting
> something real....Oh, anyway, I'm liking this group,
> thanks, people...
The total completion of the world is probably an actual
experience to only the highest initiates, but we may experience a
gradual mending of the lost unity.
Perhaps we don't actually discard concepts but subsume and
digest them in larger and more unifying concepts. Contradictory
concepts are necessary ingredients of the higher synthesis.
- General comments:There may be a catch here which I may not be seeing. If this paradigm is meant to be a universal model for all human beings and cognition, what if the senses are not receiving impressions accurately and thus observations are faulty from the start. This is, of course, not the norm, but even in everyday life many factors can distort our perception of objects and processes in the world. Fatigue, lack of proper nutrition, certain illnesses, lack of sleep, recreational drugs and alcohol, and medicines, etc. all can impact the nervous system and the ability to carry the impression soul for as a percept. Since there is no concept and percept of the spiritual bodies at this point, we must take for the starting point only the body, its physiology and cognitive processes. Right? So in this case, are the sense totally trustworthy and never deceived? Even in small ways, lack of attentiveness to the external world with the senses can easily distort our impressions. This is down often when a mistake a word or object that is moving and we mix up the perception of it. If it dusk and we are driving and we see what clearly looks like a dog in the road, we instantly "see" a dog in our minds. As we approach the animal it turns out to be bunched up rag dropped from a truck. This has happened to many of us. The original perception is unclear and something in us automatically creates a image and word : dog. Was this thinking and concept making or something else?
Jeff*******Absolutely, Steiner agrees completely with Goethe's view that the
senses are never deceived, but rather the JUDGEMENT of what the senses show
us quite truly is what is deceived. He never sides with that mind-diluting
belief that what we perceive is illusion. What you touch on is the difference
between a 'representation' and a concept. In German it's clear, because the
former is 'vorstellung' while the latter is 'begriff'. You're a little ahead
of the book, that's all; he gets into it in Chs. 5 and 6. The trees appearing
to come together at the end of the avenue are not an illusion or error of the
senses perceiving them, but of the way the raw data are combined into a
'vorstellung' (representation or "mental picture", Michael Wilson translated
it in his 1964 edition). This representation or picture, not what the senses
themselves reveal, is the 'observation' which thinking in concepts must
correct. The error enters in the forming of the representation, not in using
concepts to understand the observed. The 'representation' can be in error,
while the concept is not. He says, we have to keep correcting our PICTURE (vor
stellung) of the world----not our concept of it. We can have other
perceptions which show that how we understood a perception we naively
accepted at first must be in error, and then we correct the PICTURE
(vorstellung) through thinking in concepts about it.
Another example would be the acceptance of the Ptolemaic world-picture
of a flat, stationary earth with the planets moving around us. To our senses
this is absolutely true and what sensation says occurs----for example the
Moon occulting Saturn last night, or the sun 'rising' in the East. It
describes most of what we see perfectly. But closer observation reveals times
when the heavenly bodies appear to move backwards, or retrograde. Those
observations can't match the picture of the planets moving around us only,
and led to the discovery that our earth must move relative to they. The
latter observations could not be reconciled with the 'representation' of the
heavens built up on the former, and only conceptual thinking solved the
problem and corrected the picture we formed.
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