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Re: Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, Ch. 5

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  • jackstrange11
    ... //////////////////////// The total completion of the world is probably an actual experience to only the highest initiates, but we may experience a gradual
    Message 1 of 15 , Dec 29, 2001
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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...
      >
      > Carol
      ////////////////////////
      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.
      Jack
    • jeff auen
      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,
      Message 2 of 15 , Dec 29, 2001
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        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.

        Starman


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