Yes I am a super busy guy... but you don't need to give me a pass!AshvinP wrote: ↑Sat Aug 28, 2021 2:31 pmSoul_of_Shu wrote: ↑Sat Aug 28, 2021 1:07 pmYou realize you're going to be lambasted for misrepresenting Barfield. I would suggest that we are all to some extent or another 'conditioning'-centric, in that we all are interpreting through a conditioned mindset, which predisposes us toward certain views, for example, your own view that Barfield is ethnocentric, or that your guru Almaas is a cut above the rest ... Let anyone who is without conditioning cast the first stone
I am tempted to give Adur a pass here, because it seems he is a super busy guy and doesn't follow any of the other threads and has not read my essays on these things, and I presume he has not really looked into Steiner or Barfield yet. That being said, I am going to paste my comment to Justin here (who actually read Saving the Appearances and still grossly misrepresented Barfield) and I really hope Adur will reflect on it and therefore, equipped with more insight from people who are clearly more familiar with Barfield, stop misrepresenting the "spiritual evolution" Barfield, Cleric, and myself (and Scott when he comments) are all speaking of.
Ashvin wrote:Although this particular point should be evident from the concept of "the evolution of consciousness" itself. He is in no way "applauding scientism", but recognizing the natural unfolding of these new conscious modes from earlier ones. Original participation was not destined to last forever and it is indeed counter-productive for modern society to long for a return back to the mother's womb, so to speak (I discuss this a lot in last mythology essay in connection with Prometheus-Epimetheus and Genesis accounts in the Old Testament).
If you take the view that socioeconomic events determine or even take equal share in determining modes of consciousness, which I have seen you argue for previously, then you will continue to completely misunderstand Barfield's sentiments. It's not as if he fails to express similar if not even more critical sentiment with the rationalism and logical positivism of the modern age, because he does that at length too. All of these intellectual or over-mystical worldviews, if clinged onto by the abstract intellect, inhibit spiritual growth and therefore the realization of "final participation" (which is not used by him to indicate the absolute end of spiritual evolution or anything similar).
Barfield does not think "collective practices", by which you mean socioeconomic and political arrangements, had anything to do with the 'liquidation' of OP or the metamorphoses into scientific mode of consciousness. These things all followed as naturally in his view as a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. It did not at all depend on what "collective practices" the caterpillars adopted. Once we internalize his actual view, we realize how silly it is to read him as "applauding" these developments in isolation, like he is glad that a bunch of people got together and decided to do away with OP and mechanize the world with materialist science. That is simply an absurd reading of Barfield.
Does he applaud the holistic Wisdom of this overall metamorphic progression of the Spirit? Yes, of course - he was a Christian-Anthroposophist and they tend to think the incarnation of Christ in the world, i.e. the Spirit taking on flesh, was a positive development. Does he applaud the Hope that our current "dark night of the soul" in rationalism, scientism, etc. will give rise to our future spiritual freedom? Yes, of course. That is what is meant by "scoured the appearances clean of the last traces of spirit". He does not think it's good because the spirit is gone forever, rather because it was only through that scouring of the appearances that the Spirit can really take root within the souls of individual humans, and grow from the bottom-up to meet itself from the top-down. Like Steiner, he envisions man becoming Spirit-Man in the millennia to come
I tried to explain in my reply to Soul_of_Shu what I meant when I said Barfield was ethnocentric. I find Barfield's writings quite inspiring, but I don't think pointing at what I perceive as limitations in his thinking is misrepresenting him.
I don't even think this perceived ethnocentricity is a big problem. There is no denying that there is a "spiritual evolution" in the Western civilized world, of which I am part. I just prefer to have a more inclusive and pluralistic view of human evolution. I firmly believe that many different views can coexist peacefully, and even enrich each other. When Western civilization hopefully reaches the next stage of "final participation", I hope that there will still be people left on Earth living in "original participation", or in whatever spiritual development they find for themselves... That is my dream.