Finding My Monkey

Any topics primarily focused on metaphysics can be discussed here, in a generally casual way, where conversations may take unexpected turns.

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maybe_my_monkey
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Finding My Monkey

Post by maybe_my_monkey »

Hi findingblanks,

So here we go. I'll get right to it.

I just finished reading Jung's 'The Red Book: A Readers Edition'. I've read some of Jung's work and the little I have understood I find very powerful. I've also read four or five of Kastrup's books, including Decoding Jung's Metaphysics. I also find his work powerful. Both of them provoke me in a positive and intense manner. I am not learned in either of their works to a competent degree but I have many questions they both provoke in me.

My initial question is this:

Could you comment on whether you view the Seven Sermons to the Dead as a metaphysical commentary? If so, in what way? It appears quite clearly to me as if it is. Moreover, could it be considered that there a parallels between Jung's Pleroma and Kastrup's M@L in its most primitive ontic 'ground state'? Could there also be a parallel between Schopenhauer's 'Blind, instinctive will' and Jung's Abraxas?
findingblanks
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Re: Finding My Monkey

Post by findingblanks »

Oh my goodness! I love this, but was thinking you were going to talk about the aspects of what was being discussed in the other thread, the old long one about Steiner and Shp. You are a much bigger brainer than I am, so I'm probably gonna have to ask you questions to even get my bearings....

Because my blunt answers will probably match yours. Yes, from my very limited knowledge of Seven Sermons, I'd have to say it is metaphysical to some extent. Let me go refamiliarize myself :)

Yes, I'd be shocked if we don't find interesting overlap between Jung's Pleroma and Kastrup's MaL. Obviously we will find differences, but, like you, I have no objection noticing similarities.

I LOVE your idea of looking at Abraxas (Jung's) in relation to Schop's blind will. I guess a first good starting point is for us to figure out how much meta-consciousness Jung may have ascribed to his Abraxas...? You have any idea?
findingblanks
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Re: Finding My Monkey

Post by findingblanks »

By the way, for wider context, once we have common ground and really start digging in, it'll be Eugene Gendlin's work that will be my tacit frame in how I think about these topics. I don't know if you are familiar with his philosophical work but that certainly won't be necessary.
maybe_my_monkey
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Re: Finding My Monkey

Post by maybe_my_monkey »

findingblanks wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:10 pm Oh my goodness! I love this, but was thinking you were going to talk about the aspects of what was being discussed in the other thread, the old long one about Steiner and Shp. You are a much bigger brainer than I am, so I'm probably gonna have to ask you questions to even get my bearings....

Because my blunt answers will probably match yours. Yes, from my very limited knowledge of Seven Sermons, I'd have to say it is metaphysical to some extent. Let me go refamiliarize myself :)

Yes, I'd be shocked if we don't find interesting overlap between Jung's Pleroma and Kastrup's MaL. Obviously we will find differences, but, like you, I have no objection noticing similarities.

I LOVE your idea of looking at Abraxas (Jung's) in relation to Schop's blind will. I guess a first good starting point is for us to figure out how much meta-consciousness Jung may have ascribed to his Abraxas...? You have any idea?
I just spent the better part of an hour answering this and then when I went to post it, I'd been logged out.....so I hit the back button and it was all gone. Cue painful learning event called 'Write it in notepad then copy and paste to forum.' It's midnight here now, bedtime, work tomorrow...
maybe_my_monkey
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Re: Finding My Monkey

Post by maybe_my_monkey »

findingblanks wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 10:50 pm By the way, for wider context, once we have common ground and really start digging in, it'll be Eugene Gendlin's work that will be my tacit frame in how I think about these topics. I don't know if you are familiar with his philosophical work but that certainly won't be necessary.
No, never heard of him. I'm not particularly well read in these areas. I read a certain amount and then do a lot of pondering, so it's a matter of a lot of natural questions which arise for me. Then it's a case of whether I can make sense of it in a relatively straightforward manner without it becoming a PhD thesis.
findingblanks
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Re: Finding My Monkey

Post by findingblanks »

Okay, I'll be interested in know what topic you find most interesting as such. In the meantime, I'm super sorry you lost all that you typed. I've done that and it is horrid. Yeah, typing in Google Doc or a notepad is good idea.

I'll be curious to know if you find yourself pulled more directly into a given ontology. I'm obviously an idealist. But I clearly differentiate myself from idealists who put too much stock in the effects of their belief systems and who, in my opinion, cherry-pick to form conclusions about the horrors of materialists and all of that.

I've attended Rudolf Steiner College, the Goethean Science program back when it was 9 months, and I have worked with Steiner's basic exercises all of those years, influenced by modifications made by Barfield and Klocek. Anyway, as much as I revere Steiner, I also see him as a great example of how complex spiritual 'vision' is and I take him very seriously when he said that his mistakes need to be noticed and understood. Most importantly, I appreciate that he stated explicitly that such corrections of his errors certainly do not require his form of clairvoyance or any at all. The mistakes would be spotted when the sensory world doesn't conform to the researchers claims.

When Steiner's work is phenomenological, it blows the lids off my roots. When it is mixed with various conceptualizations, traditions, assumptions and schemas, I find it fascinating and often problematic.

I love Carl Jung. When I was 20 his autobiography helped me get of some big inner and intellectual hurdles.
findingblanks
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Re: Finding My Monkey

Post by findingblanks »

Okay, I'll be interested in know what topic you find most interesting as such. In the meantime, I'm super sorry you lost all that you typed. I've done that and it is horrid. Yeah, typing in Google Doc or a notepad is good idea.

I'll be curious to know if you find yourself pulled more directly into a given ontology. I'm obviously an idealist. But I clearly differentiate myself from idealists who put too much stock in the effects of their belief systems and who, in my opinion, cherry-pick to form conclusions about the horrors of materialists and all of that.

I've attended Rudolf Steiner College, the Goethean Science program back when it was 9 months, and I have worked with Steiner's basic exercises all of those years, influenced by modifications made by Barfield and Klocek. Anyway, as much as I revere Steiner, I also see him as a great example of how complex spiritual 'vision' is and I take him very seriously when he said that his mistakes need to be noticed and understood. Most importantly, I appreciate that he stated explicitly that such corrections of his errors certainly do not require his form of clairvoyance or any at all. The mistakes would be spotted when the sensory world doesn't conform to the researchers claims.

When Steiner's work is phenomenological, it blows the lids off my roots. When it is mixed with various conceptualizations, traditions, assumptions and schemas, I find it fascinating and often problematic.

I love Carl Jung. When I was 20 his autobiography helped me get of some big inner and intellectual hurdles.
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AshvinP
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Re: Finding My Monkey

Post by AshvinP »

findingblanks wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:40 pm Anyway, as much as I revere Steiner, I also see him as a great example of how complex spiritual 'vision' is and I take him very seriously when he said that his mistakes need to be noticed and understood. Most importantly, I appreciate that he stated explicitly that such corrections of his errors certainly do not require his form of clairvoyance or any at all. The mistakes would be spotted when the sensory world doesn't conform to the researchers claims.

When Steiner's work is phenomenological, it blows the lids off my roots. When it is mixed with various conceptualizations, traditions, assumptions and schemas, I find it fascinating and often problematic.

I love Carl Jung. When I was 20 his autobiography helped me get of some big inner and intellectual hurdles.

This is only partially accurate and incompleteness is how all major observational and theoretical errors are born in the modern age. It is especially the latter which throws people off the most, because we have a hard time distinguishing between pure empirical observation and added theorizing with many assumptions layered onto the observations. When it comes to the dynamics of the spiritual realms, which are only directly perceived by higher cognition, this sort of abstract intellectual theorizing is 100% guaranteed to confuse, mislead, and lead to major errors. This is what most people remaining with intellect (including me) have the hardest time comprehending about spiritual invetigation. Without fail, unless counteracted by the most discplined humility, good will, and precision of thought, the intellectual ego inflates to think it has, on its own, grasped essential spiritual truths and/or spotted "errors" in spiritual truths conveyed by others. It only takes one such ego-inflation to completely derail genuine investigations into the spiritual for an entire lifetime.

Steiner wrote:The observable, however, is something which only needs to be described. That I can do the following for instance, calls simply for a description: here I have a ball which will pass through this opening. We will now warm the ball slightly. Now you see it does not go through. It will only go through when it has cooled sufficiently. As soon as I cool it by pouring this cold water on it, the ball goes through again. This is the observation, and it is this observation that I need only describe. Let us suppose, however, that I begin to theorize. I will do so in a sketchy way with the object merely of introducing the matter. Here is the ball; it consists of a certain number of small parts — molecules, atoms, if you like. This is not observation, but something added to observation in theory. At this moment, I have left the observed and in doing so I assume an extremely tragic role. Only those who are in a position to have insight into these things can realize this tragedy. For you see, if you investigate whether Achilles can catch the tortoise, you may indeed begin by thinking “Achilles must pass over every point covered by the tortoise and can never catch it.” This may be strictly demonstrated. Then you can make an experiment. You place the tortoise ahead and Achilles or some other who does not run even so fast as Achilles, in the rear. And at any time you can show that observation furnishes the opposite of what you conclude from reasoning. The tortoise is soon caught.

When, however, you theorize about the sphere, as to how its atoms and molecules are arranged, and when you abandon the possibility of observation, you cannot in such a case look into the matter and investigate it — you can only theorize. And in this realm you will do no better than you did when you applied your thinking to the course of Achilles. That is to say, you carry the whole incompleteness of your logic into your thinking about something which cannot be made the object of observation. This is the tragedy. We build explanation upon explanation while at the same time we abandon observation, and think we have explained things simply because we have erected hypotheses and theories. And the consequence of this course of forced reliance on our mere thinking is that this same thinking fails us the moment we are able to observe. It no longer agrees with the observation.

As for Jung's depth psychology, there is definitely a lot of useful overlap with Steiner's framework there. But, based on my comparisons so far, and with aid of books like the one quoted below, it is a very complex and deep relationship that should be investigated carefully. It is clear to me that Jung was pointing pretty strongly to a spiritual reality ('collective unconscious') behind the phenomenal world, especially in his later works when academic intellectual besmirching was not so much of a concern for him anymore.

Steiner and Jung never had any immediate exchange of ideas during their lifetime, although they were contemporaries for half a century (from 1875, Jung's birth year, to 1925, Steiner's death year), and lived in close proximity to each other. The Anthroposophist and the depth psychologist each speak a language that is by nature foreign to the representative of the other discipline; but aside from the technical differences in their fields, there are definitely other factors that reinforced their distance. Steiner mentioned psychoanalysis and analytic psychology in some of his lectures. He also occasionally spoke of Jung as a scientist, but never did so in the thorough and detailed manner that would have been desirable. This occurred at a time when Jung's psychology was just beginning to distinguish itself from Freud's older psychoanalysis and to come into its own. Jung on his part mentions Anthroposophy several times and refers to Steiner without showing any interest in him. One gets the impression that the circumspect depth psychologist Jung ignored the essence and significance of Anthroposophy. One can conclude this because Anthroposophy is mentioned on occasion in one breath, without any differentiation, with the Anglo-Indian Theosophy of H.P. Blavatsky or with Christian Science. This is surprising and unfortunate, especially since Jung outlived Steiner for three and a half decades, and could have had occasion to observe the activities of the Anthroposophical Society from nearby.
...
There is another fundamental problem to which Jung and Steiner both referred frequently—a characteristic fear that seizes people when they are faced with the supersensible. “We are used to thought patterns founded on sense observation and experimentation, and we fear falling prey to nebulous, fantastic ideas when they are not anchored in what we can learn from our sense impressions, our way of measuring and weighing things.” Steiner points out that people shy away from the complete rethinking that is required if one wants to attain accurate spiritual-scientific knowledge.“Out of unconscious fear they accuse Anthroposophy of being fantastic, when in reality Anthroposophy wants to proceed in the realm of the spirit just as cautiously as natural science does in the physical world.” Jung acknowledges the fear that appears in the face of the unconscious when he says: “Fear and resistance are the signposts that stand beside the via regia to the unconscious, and it is obvious that what they primarily signify is a preconceived opinion of the thing that they are pointing at.”

Wehr, Gerhard. Jung and Steiner
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
maybe_my_monkey
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Re: Finding My Monkey

Post by maybe_my_monkey »

findingblanks wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:40 pm Okay, I'll be interested in know what topic you find most interesting as such. In the meantime, I'm super sorry you lost all that you typed. I've done that and it is horrid. Yeah, typing in Google Doc or a notepad is good idea.

I'll be curious to know if you find yourself pulled more directly into a given ontology. I'm obviously an idealist. But I clearly differentiate myself from idealists who put too much stock in the effects of their belief systems and who, in my opinion, cherry-pick to form conclusions about the horrors of materialists and all of that.

I've attended Rudolf Steiner College, the Goethean Science program back when it was 9 months, and I have worked with Steiner's basic exercises all of those years, influenced by modifications made by Barfield and Klocek. Anyway, as much as I revere Steiner, I also see him as a great example of how complex spiritual 'vision' is and I take him very seriously when he said that his mistakes need to be noticed and understood. Most importantly, I appreciate that he stated explicitly that such corrections of his errors certainly do not require his form of clairvoyance or any at all. The mistakes would be spotted when the sensory world doesn't conform to the researchers claims.

When Steiner's work is phenomenological, it blows the lids off my roots. When it is mixed with various conceptualizations, traditions, assumptions and schemas, I find it fascinating and often problematic.

I love Carl Jung. When I was 20 his autobiography helped me get of some big inner and intellectual hurdles.

I'll try again with the answer to your question tonight when I get home from work because it is an area that holds a great deal of interest for me. I'll make sure to do it offline first though, that's for sure. Short answer for now; no, I don't see Jung as ascribing meta-consciousness to Abraxas at all, pretty much the opposite.

In terms of ontology, I find idealism (Kastrup's take on it for sure) is where I'm drawn. It makes a shocking form of sense to me when I put it next to other ideas from the East and with Jung's work. I suppose I'm more drawn to the general than the specific in many ways, in the sense that I just need the pointing finger and then I'll do the rest. I'm not certain of much at all and prefer it that way, it leaves the space open and I've no desire to wall myself in. Materialism is understandable given the arc of development, especially in the West, from the Reformation into Modernity and today. I see it more as a phase, a necessary consequence and painful one. No need to beat people over the head about it, we're all ignorant to one degree or another, it's very democratic.

I think I need to ask myself why I am not drawn to Steiner, there are some unexamined biases in me regarding him and that is not giving him a fair shout.

I love Jung too, his work (as much of it as I have read) and words are eloquent and wise but more importantly, beautifully terrifying. I'm not at all taken by philosophies/religions that focus almost exclusively on love and light and pink fluffy morality. It's where I love Jung the most in that he embraced the dark and terrifying, the brutal and eviscerating.
maybe_my_monkey
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Re: Finding My Monkey

Post by maybe_my_monkey »

findingblanks wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:56 pm Okay, I'll be interested in know what topic you find most interesting as such. In the meantime, I'm super sorry you lost all that you typed. I've done that and it is horrid. Yeah, typing in Google Doc or a notepad is good idea.
So to answer your question whether Jung ascribed meta-consciousness to Abraxas. I would read it as no, not at all. It strikes me that the Pleroma is consciousness itself although that word has no meaning in the manner in which Jung expresses how we can't even talk about Pleroma. "In the pleroma there is nothing and everything. It is quite fruitless to think about the pleroma, for this would mean self-dissolution.".

But Abraxas seems to me to be blind instinctive will, hence my question regarding Schopenhauer. Though I don't know enough about him, other than having read Bernado's book about Schop's metaphysics. So maybe Schop meant something else but I see it (blind, instinctive will) as a good fit for Abraxas. When I look at excerpts from the Seven Sermons, see below and where highlighted, it suggests a kind of 'blind, instinctive will':

Sermon II

This is a god whom ye knew not, for mankind forgot it. We name it by its name Abraxas. It is more indefinite still than god and devil.

That god may be distinguished from it, we name god Helios or Sun. Abraxas is effect. Nothing standeth opposed to it but the ineffective; hence its effective nature freely unfoldeth itself. The ineffective is not, therefore resisteth not. Abraxas standeth above the sun and above the devil. It is improbable probability, unreal reality. Had the pleroma a being, Abraxas would be its manifestation. It is the effective itself, not any particular effect, but effect in general.

It is unreal reality, because it hath no definite effect.

It is also creatura, because it is distinct from the pleroma.

The sun hath a definite effect, and so hath the devil. Wherefore do they appear to us more effective than indefinite Abraxas.

It is force, duration, change.


Sermon III

Hard to know is the deity of Abraxas. Its power is the greatest, because man perceiveth it not. From the sun he draweth the summum bonum; from the devil the infimum malum; but from Abraxas life, altogether indefinite, the mother of good and evil.

Abraxas is the sun, and at the same time the eternally sucking gorge of the void, the belittling and dismembering devil.

The power of Abraxas is twofold; but ye see it not, because for your eyes the warring opposites of this power are extinguished.

Before it there is no question and no reply.

It is the operation of distinctiveness.



Where Jung writes "Had the pleroma a being, Abraxas would be its manifestation" I feel as if I could substitute as this "Had the pleroma a dream, Abraxas would be its manifestation." Instinctive, like a dream, but not meta-cognitive because it is indefinite yet distinct from its' origin, "It is the effective itself, not any particular effect, but effect in general."

Yet, "It is the operation of distinctiveness." it is that out of and within which distinction arises/unfolds. A blind, instinctive will as it were.

So that's where I am at with it and I'd be interested to hear your view on Abraxas and how it might sit within idealism and certainly Schop's notion. No need for a detailed technical analysis, the general will do fine. I like to start simple and see the broad strokes before I stick my head underwater :-)
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