evolution of consciousness

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findingblanks
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Re: evolution of consciousness

Post by findingblanks »

"But the evolution that Barfield and Steiner are talking about is from lower to higher which would imply that MAL was at some lesser than perfect state in the past and is moving toward a more perfect one..."

Yeah, if you hear a materialist physicist who believes that fundamental reality is necessary and non-contingent talk about the evolution of an organism, you'd probably be embarrassed to say, "Uh, you are contradicting yourself when you talk about evolution because this implies that you believe fundamental reality actual is always changing." Of course not. When the guy is talking about evolution his belief that everything is material doesn't contradict his view that there is an unchanging material reality that is the context in which universes evolve and dissolve. Actually, you don't often see well informed people making this objection against materialists who believe that time is not fundamental while being fascinated by how the universe develops and life evolves.
findingblanks
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Re: evolution of consciousness

Post by findingblanks »

In fact, you can easily find materialist (and idealist) researchers/thinkers who believe that fundamental reality is necessary and unchanging, yet who spend all their time studying and talking about the fundamental laws regulating the constant changing of the universe, including evolution. These are people who believe that reasons points to a necessary and uncaused fundamental reality yet who choose not to make those kinds of metaphysical arguments their focus and, instead, focus on a particular area of the always changing universe. If you notice that none of their books spent any time 'describing' or elaborating the fundamental nature of reality, you haven't spotted a contradiction.

In Steiner you can find when he speaks of the 'father-principle' and this is often the a-causal realm from which 'the son principle' issued forth.

Barfield hardly goes further back than about 2000 years in his research of how consciousness evolved. From his findings there, he simply notes the intrinsic relationship between the evolution of 'familiar nature' and human consciousness. You might not even be able to find an angry essay by Barfield that tries to show idealism is the only way to go. He was mainly writing for people who were at least openminded to that possibility an interested in how language change can give us clues about the 'humanity' of nature and the nature of humanity.
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AshvinP
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Re: evolution of consciousness

Post by AshvinP »

findingblanks wrote: Sat Oct 16, 2021 7:07 pm In Steiner you can find when he speaks of the 'father-principle' and this is often the a-causal realm from which 'the son principle' issued forth.

Barfield hardly goes further back than about 2000 years in his research of how consciousness evolved. From his findings there, he simply notes the intrinsic relationship between the evolution of 'familiar nature' and human consciousness. You might not even be able to find an angry essay by Barfield that tries to show idealism is the only way to go. He was mainly writing for people who were at least openminded to that possibility an interested in how language change can give us clues about the 'humanity' of nature and the nature of humanity.

... let me just quote what I already commented to you months ago on the P-Unbound thread. It was ignored then, so I suspect it will be now as well, but it should help other readers understand where Barfield was actually coming from.


https://www.owenbarfield.org/read-onlin ... of-memory/
Barfield wrote:
Both the sentient soul and the intellectual soul are still contained within the womb of the macrocosm in a way that the consciousness soul is not. But the intellectual soul is for ever being born. It is in process of being born into a world not governed by biological laws, but by those quite different laws that govern the realm of concepts, including the laws of logic. Concepts do not belong to the individual soul; they are one and the same for all. But it is only by uniting itself with them that the soul can become possessed of ‘conceits’; and the conceit has in it the germ both of abstract notions in one direction and of creative imagination in the other.
-The Ventricle of Memory

https://www.owenbarfield.org/read-onlin ... and-hegel/
Barfield wrote:
The whole system of concepts resembles a sheet (Tafel) between the supersensuous world on one side and the sense world on the other. Without it an observer of the sense world would be furnished with no more than incoherent representations (Vorstellugen). As it is, when he brings the inter-locking web of concepts (Begriffsnetz) within him to the sense-perceptions that meet him from without, he finds the sense world in accord with them. But similarly a mind which has, through modern methods of clairvoyance, become open to the world of supersensuous reality finds the web of concepts in accord with that world also. ‘Supersensuous reality casts its rays on the web from this side, no less than sensuous reality does from the other.’

Next he raises the question: Whence does it come, this web of concepts? And again he answers with a simile. He compares it to shadow – the shadow of a hand for instance. The shadow could not come about if the hand itself were not there. The shadow-shape resembles its archetype, but it has this peculiarity: that it is, properly speaking, nothing. It is brought about by substituting for light the absence of light, by effacing the light. ‘In just the same way concepts come about through the fact that behind our thinking soul there stands the supersensuous world.’ Concepts, too, are properly speaking only an effacing of supersensuous reality. And it is because they are like (ähnlich) the supersensuous world they efface (as the shadow is like its archetype) that man in his concepts can divine something (eine Ahnung bilden) of that world. The shadows arise at the point where supersensuous perception meets the sensuous. But they no more are the supersensuous world than the shadow of a hand is a hand.
- Rudolf Steiner and Hegel

https://www.owenbarfield.org/read-onlin ... l-impulse/
Barfield wrote:
According to Rudolf Steiner, this gradual emergence of man from the old participation in nature, or in the Cosmic Intelligence which is the spirit of nature, has been the deep concern of Michael. Indeed one way of presenting the history of the Michael impulse – we might call it the Graeco-European way – is to trace the final coming into being of the Intellectual Soul in the Middle Ages, as it is reflected, for instance, in Christian and Arabian scholastic philosophy. We can watch Aristotle’s two great cosmic principles – the Nous Poieticus and Nous Patheticus – changing into the Intellectus Agens and Intellectus Possibilis of scholastic philosophy and, in doing so, we can grasp something of the nature and magnitude of Michael’s hope. For it is Michael’s hope that the Cosmic Intelligence shall gradually become embodied in the human personal intelligence – giving man an intellectual soul at once detached and not detached from its cosmic origin.
...
Let us now revert to the present moment – nearly eighty years after the beginning of this present Michael epoch. We are feeling to the full the effect of the Scientific Revolution, inasmuch as we experience nature, as a system of multitudinous objects and events, independent of, and wholly detached from us and from each other. It is a system in which we have no participation, except through the contacts of the senses. This is the effect of the Scientific Revolution
...
We hear a good deal about a ‘collective unconscious’; but no-one seems to have realised that the culmination of materialism simply forces the conclusion that the familiar world we all agree that we see and hear around us is – apart from its foundation in the mysterious ‘particles’ – a ‘collective conscious’. In other words, that we do still participate in the very structure of the world of nature; but we have lost the old awareness of our participation.
- Israel and the Michael Impulse

Also this may be of interest:
Barfield wrote:Interesting attempts have been made to arrive at the relation between thinking and perceiving by imagining them actually divided from each other. You may remember Williams James's supposition of a confrontation between, on the one hand, the environment... and, on the other, a man who possessed all the organs of perception, but who had never done any thinking. He demonstrated that such a man would perceive nothing, or nothing but what James called "a blooming buzzing confusion". Well, he was only expressing in his own blunt way the conclusion which always is arrived at by all who make the same attempt, whether philosophers, psychologists, neurologists, or physicists. Unfortunately it is also a conclusion which is commonly forgotten by those same [people] almost as soon it has been arrived at; or certainly as soon as they turn their minds to other matters - such as history or evolution - but which I personally decline to forget. I mean the conclusion, the irrefragable consensus, that what we perceive is structurally inseparable from what we think.
...
The distinction between [perceiving and thinking] is... rather easy to lose sight of, once we begin to reflect or philosophize, for this reason: that the single experience we call "consciousness" - our inwardness at any given moment - is not composed either of perceiving alone or of thinking alone, but of an immemorial and inextricable combination of the two. Indeed it is better to call it an interpenetration rather than a combination. We soon learn, once we begin to reflect, that what we have been accustomed to refer to in everyday speech as "perceiving" - as for instance when we speak of perceiving a chair... or for that matter a neuron or chromosome - is in fact perception heavily laced with thinking, with habitual thought, with mental habit.

If we go ahead and study the relation between the two - thinking and perceiving - in terms of real interpenetration, what sort of results do we get? We shall find in the first place, I think, that it is not a fixed relation but a variable one; variable in terms of the predominance of the one ingredient over the other. The example of this that comes most readily to hand is the difference poetry and prose... we can hardly fail to observe that in general in the language of poetry the perceptual element is proportionally higher than in prose; while in prose the intellectual element predominates over the perceptual...

If we continue the survey, we shall find... the like variable predominance, when we compare language as a whole in its earlier stages with language in its later stages; or the earlier state of any one language with its later stages. In the earlier stage the perceptual element is relatively greater; in the later stages the intellectual element. That is not so much in the use that is made of the words as it is in the meanings of the words themselves. Thus, in our historical survey of consciousness, we find ourselves looking backward down a perspective which reveals more and more of perception and less and less of thought. And if, along this path, we allow our fancy to approach the kind of consciousness that would be all perception and no thought, what do we come to?

― Owen Barfield, History, Guilt and Habit (1979)
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
findingblanks
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Re: evolution of consciousness

Post by findingblanks »

But, Jim, you already knew that ;)
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