Anthony66 wrote: ↑Mon Oct 04, 2021 3:47 am
Is Steiner saying percepts in and of themselves are pure givens, and it is only with the attendant thinking that we can infer their nature? In other words, one doesn't import any presuppositions about their nature. If that is so, how does Steiner understand percepts after the operation of thinking? Do they correspond to BK's ideations of M@L?
I'll add something to what Ashvin already said.
One way to think about it, is that perceptions are like the negative
picture of ideas (knowing, meaning). In other words, everywhere we perceive
something, we have absence, vacuum of ideas. We need to really stir our Imagination here. We can practically imagine how perceptions exercise a specific kind of suction
on our thinking being. It's like perceptions are vacuum sinks that try to suck out the ideal thinking element which will fill the voids. The more the ideal element flows into the voids, the more the balance is restored.
Imagine a perception of a rectangle. It exercises the mentioned suction on our spiritual being. The act of thinking is like flowing our spiritual essence into the void that sucks us in. When we fill it, our essential being ('made of' meaning/knowing/idea) assumes the shape
of that void and we experience it from within
- that is, we experience the meaning of the concept
of rectangle. In this way, the answer to the question "what happens with percepts after the act of thinking" would be that they no longer exist
. Our meaningful essence has filled them and assumed their 'shape' which we experience as knowing from within
To this it might be objected that after we think about the rectangle, even though we experience the concept of it, we still see it quite clearly - the visual stimuli don't at all disappear! The solution to this riddle is that perceptions are very compound
Some time ago, in another context I gave an example
to findingblanks with thinking about a pencil. You may want to take a look at it.
In short, we may say "I look at the pencil but even after I experience the meaning of 'pencil', the perception is still there. If I have filled the perception-void with the concept, why is the perception still there?" The reason is that there are in fact infinite
number of ideas that are being sucked in through the visual perception. The concept of 'pencil' is only one of them. So the visual perception really exercises the suction of all possible ideas, like wood, yellow, paint, graphite, peeled, hexagonal, etc. and of course - pencil. 'Pencil' is only one of them and when we flow our thinking essence into this void it really is filled - yet all other infinity-minus-one voids remain and the perception invites us to fill them with meaning too.
This process takes much more complete form when we observe thinking
. Our thoughts-forms are also perceptions filled in with our thinking essence. In fact, it is our active essence that gives the shape of the already filled
voids of thought-forms. But if this is the case, if thought-forms were voids shaped exactly as our meaning, why do we still perceive them? There shouldn't be any perception of them, as it should have been perfectly filled with meaning?
The reason we can at all speak of thought-perceptions is because even though we think actively and create the primary void filled with the meaning projected in it, this void is part of a more general environment and its 'surface' can never be completely perfect.
Let's try to clarify this. Let's imagine ourselves in a Godly state, where there's nothing but our innerly experienced Cosmic Spirit. If at that stage we were to think the thought 'circle', our spirit would assume the 'shape' of the meaning of 'circle'. Our whole reality would consists of the meaning of 'circle' - there would be no need for thought-perception of it, because we experience the perfect meaning of it - our spirit is one and the same with the idea, the meaningful quality of 'circleness' through and through. There's nothing
that a perception could add
to the idea that we experience as the entire meaning of our Divinity. In fact, if there was a perception of 'circle' this would immediately mean that there's also a question to be asked
. If we have a perception in our Divine mind then this means that there's at least
one more idea present - the idea of perception
. In the first state, our whole Universe was made of the meaning of 'circle'. Now in addition to that, we experience also the idea of 'reflection', something which I have thrust out of myself in order to symbolize the meaning of 'circle' which was previously my complete reality. In certain sense I must suck out
(not in) my own spiritual essence and create a void shaped as circle. If we fill it completely with our spiritual essence everything becomes the invisible meaning of 'circle' again. But we don't allow this to happen. We resist the suction and we keep the void open. Now this void exists for our Divine being similarly to the pencil. We can now experience many other
ideas in relation to it. In certain sense the void tries to suck in from our meaningful essence an infinity of possible ideas that can try to approximate
its shape (every idea except
'circle', which would close the void perfectly). For example, we can try to fill the void with meaningful essence in the shape of a 'hexagon'. It's like saying: "this thing
(we can't address it with its real
concept because that would immediately fill the void perfectly and the perception would vanish) looks to me like a hexagon." The void sucks in our ideal nature into itself and we assume the meaning-shape of a hexagon. Yet, just like the pencil, the perception doesn't completely disappear because the idea that we experience is not a perfect fit. The hexagon fills the circle but there are six sectors of the circle that remain:
Now these sectors will continue to exercise suction on our essential being, which would suggest infinity of other shapes of meaning that could fill the sectors. If we imagine this process even further we can picture how a whole Universe of perceptions and meaning can sprout forth.
Now please don't
take this as the literal mechanism of Creation. It is true that the above analogy contains something fundamentally essential
, something which in the past was known only by Initiates in the deepest secrecy of the Mystery schools, but there are so many, many, many more things to be known for this to become true knowledge.
So in the light of the above we can glimpse at the mystery of idea and perception and also why even our own thoughts are not perfect mirrors of meaning. We do fill voids with the concepts of our human thinking but they don't fit the voids perfectly, there are 'sectors' left and that's why we perceive our thoughts. The thought perceptions basically tell us "we, your thought perceptions, exist only because the meaning that you think doesn't yet fit the Divine Cosmos perfectly. We stand here as 'cut out sectors' testimony that you must keep refining your spiritual essence, such that it can assume better and better the true shape of the Cosmos, with less and less 'sectors' being left out.
It should be noted that this holds true even for simple qualities as, say, 'red'. Even if we imagine that our human consciousness was filled entirely with pure perception of red, when we fill the void with our intellectual concept of 'red', this wouldn't make the redness disappear. The reason is that our intellectual concept of red is very imperfect fit for the red void that tries to suck in our human spirit. It is in fact possible that we reach the point where color is filled nearly perfectly with meaning and practically the perception ceases to exist. This is achievable only through the highest form of cognition - Intuitive consciousness - where we live in color as in a Cosmic Being - we live and experience reality from the meaningful perspective of a Divine being, whose shadow in our human state we perceive simply as the quality of color. The more this Divine perspective becomes a perception, the more it means that the ideal essence through which we try to fill the perceptual voids is imperfect and there's a lot left out, which continues to remind us: "I, the color perception, continue to stand in front of you because your concept of color doesn't yet capture my true essence. Only in the highest of worlds, you're free enough from your human form, such that you can assume the shape of the Divine spiritual essence that can fill me completely, and then you'll know
my Divinity from the inside