Inauguration

I have issued the inaugural post at the renewal of Theoria-press. https://theoriapress.substack.com/p/theoria-and-theory I would like to welcome all readers—under this first New Moon of Spring—to the inauguration of this journey. This journey is, in many ways, a continuation of the path that was traversed at the WordPress site. But this also represents a new beginning. In…

Grafting to Substock

Dear readers, You will forgive me for finally getting fed up with the WordPress interface. For this reason, I have opted to go in search of “greener pastures” at Substack. I don’t foresee encountering any reason to remove posts from this site, but I don’t expect to keep publishing here any longer. I anticipate that…

New Publication: The Redemption of Thinking

The Redemption of Thinking: A Study in Truth, Meaning, and the Evolution of Consciousness, 2020. Truth and meaning: what is their relation? Shall ever the twain be one? This dissertation attempts to show how the ascendancy of a particular method of inquiry since the seventeenth century has forfeit meaning in the pursuit of truth. At…

New publication: Scattered Leaves

I have published a collection of poetry called Scattered Leaves that is now available in Kindle and in print. “Anthology” means “collection of flowers” or “bouquet” in Greek and this is how I saw this volume. Together with my philosophical work, I have always written poetry as another mode of striving to articulate the truth…

Ten Questions on The Redemption of Thinking

Tim Nadelle kindly interviewed me over questions related to The Redemption of Thinking and the interview has been published on the website of the Anthroposophical Society in Canada, for anyone with interest.

Miscellany: on love

To be in truth and to be in love: I wonder if we can learn something about how we should think of love from how we think of truth, and, conversely, how we should think of truth by how we think of love. To begin with the first thing: we understand that the truth is…

Miscellany: On complementary modes of perception, ethics, freedom, and other topics

On “top-down” versus “bottom-up” perceptual modes: This dichotomy seems to be another facet of the same polarity that it is possible to encounter in myriad contexts under such diverse rubrics as deduction/induction, left-brain/right-brain, and, transposed into the key of seventeenth century European Enlightenment schools, rationalism/empiricism. People tend to pit these modes of cognition as antitheses…

Waves of Thinking Lap the Shore of Consciousness

Thinking issues forth from the I and joins in identity with every object. On its return, it stamps the inverse, frozen, and summary image of this gesture into the nervous system. This impression shocks the sleeping I awake as it flashes up as representations in consciousness. But could the I remain awake and go together…

Miscellany: On freedom and authenticity

I understand the inclination to equate freedom with arbitrariness but I don’t think it’s right. Suppose someone is attempting to communicate his thoughts on freedom to another person. It is simply not the case that it would be an exercise in freedom not to conform to standards of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. In this way,…

The Archetype of Reversal: On Light and Thought

“The intellectual light dwelling in us is nothing else than a kind of participated image of the uncreated light…” —Thomas Aquinas On the trans-temporality of thought: What is the duration of a thought? If the duration is infinitesimal, then how do we become conscious of it? If the duration is infinite, then how does one…

Miscellany: On issues surrounding vaccination mandates

On corporate capture of regulatory and legislative bodies:  I don’t think it is remotely controversial to propose that our regulatory and legislative agencies subsist in a state of capture by corporate interests—specifically Big Pharma, in this case. We have repeatedly observed an analogous phenomenon in the “Military Industrial Complex” that Eisenhower famously warned about in…

On Theoria, the persistence of vision, and the consummation of dialectic

In traditional analog television sets, the visual image is generated by a single point of light. The process is called “raster scanning.” The term comes from the Latin word for “rake” and refers to the linear pattern that the point traverses to travel across the screen. From a single scanning point, the raster scan on…

On the radix of ethics

O radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os  suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare. Love flows from an unconditional affirmation of what is. A garden springs from soil that is fertile and ethics has its original ground in love. The Law is always downstream of…

Miscellany: On light, beauty, sense-perception and other topics

On the mystery of cognition: Thinking/cognition weaves together what perception through the senses scattered asunder: namely, the “what” from the “how,” essence from appearance, form from matter. This oscillation between sense and intellection, looking and seeing, outer and inner, exitus et reditus, is the heartbeat of perception and the heartbeat of Creation. On light, beauty,…

Does time pass?

Many people conceptualize time as something that moves. Hence we employ expressions like “time passes slowly” or “time flies” to designate various experiences of “the flow of time,” or we invoke clichés like “time is a river.” “Scientifically-minded” persons would be liable to point out that these are designations of subjective time and that real…

Miscellany: On Babel, art, Barfield, and Girard

On Babel: Most disagreements are fought over words and not meanings. I think it is tempting to mistake the feeling of familiarity with a word that hearing it pronounced or reading it may bring, with actually having grasped its meaning. The words then function like mercenaries in proxy-disputes; conflicts that are vicarious. I think words…

On diálogos (διάλογος, “dialogue”) as Communion

In the best conversations, people collaborate and offer themselves in service of the conversation rather than just to prove a point. One person will stand in for another when he falters or goes searching his pockets for the right word but comes up empty-handed. Bona fide dialogue can only be described as a spiritual ascent…

Miscellany: On ethics, revolution, and viriditas

On ethics, idealism, and revolution: It is easy to imagine that we could cause harm to others without becoming harmful ourselves, but this is obviously false. Instead, the connection is self-evident and concealed only by our proclivity to think in abstract categories. For this reason, we should always include ourselves in our concept of “the…

Rudolf Steiner on Higher Cognition

Rudolf Steiner articulates three capacities of higher cognition, whose “seeds slumber in every soul” but which spring to life only in a few in whom, either by personal initiative or by dint of circumstance, these latencies become reality. Steiner designates these three capacities by the terms Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition, respectively. I will briefly comment…

Miscellany: On censorship in the time of Corona and other topics

To out-Plato Plato: Before Plato, the Greek conception of morality was basically “help your friends, harm your enemies.” Plato transformed this to “harm no one.” His reasoning was that you make yourself worse by becoming the kind of person who does harm to others. Jesus transformed the Platonic doctrine in a radical way such that…

Miscellany: mind in science, Genesis, deontology & utilitarianism, etc.

On the limits of the scientific method and the imminent paradigm shift: Francis Bacon’s elimination of formal causality (eide, logoi) from the purview of science leads to a sort of “blindsight” amongst scientists, and by extension, most of us living today, who defer to such scientists to establish our theory of reality. In the same…

Miscellany: Left & Right, the Euthyphro dilemma, the scapegoat mechanism, etc.

On the philosophical underpinnings of the political Left and Right: The topic is complicated by the fact that “Left” and “Right” are political designations and thus subject to all of the capriciousness of ideological fashion. That being said, I think a few points can be worth considering.  Historically, RIGHT is meant to refer to the…

A Brief Reflection on the “Placebo Effect”

“Placebo effect” has become a term of tacit dismissal today. The word is largely invoked in a context that contrasts it with “active” or “effective” treatment, the implication being that the placebo effect exerts none of these influences. Of course, the claim is empirically false—as the existence of the term “placebo effect” in the first…

Miscellany: involution, evolution, and “the experience machine”

On the twice two-fold of evolution; “casting off,” “enfolding,” ontogeny, and phylogeny: Evolution seems to be a two-fold movement: at once (1) “casting off” and also (2) “enfolding.”  The first is demonstrated in the human phylogeny in the human being having successfully “shed” all other forms of life—icthyoid, saurian, mammalian, hominoid—before finally incarnating into human…

Elements of an Ethics Textbook (6): Self, Society, Nature

In this final section, I have included a diversity of readings that are intended to encourage both a concentration, a synthesis, and an expansion of the view of ethics that we have developed to this point. From the utilitarian outlook, measuring morality as it did by evaluating the consequence of a given action, we proceeded…

Elements of an Ethics Textbook (3.1): Seven Reservations with Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism has a straightforward and immediate appeal to many people; after all, why wouldn’t we wish to reduce suffering and maximise pleasure? In fact, there are a number of reasons to harbor reservations against the utilitarian doctrine. These include, but are not limited to seven of which I will attempt to present below. First, pace…

Miscellany: On beauty, science, and revolution

On Beauty: Beauty is a revelation of the soul to the senses. The sky can be seen with the eyes but the beauty of the sky can only be seen with the heart.  Beauty is not something subjective, but the approach of the essence of things in the form of sensory appearance. The soul is…

Miscellany: on education, art, science, music, and the Tower of Babel

On music: Music is among the great springs of joy among this vale of tears. The German philosopher Freidrich Nietzsche famously asserted that “without music, life would be a mistake.” You seemed somewhat tentative in your designation of music as art. On the contrary, some of Nietzsche’s earlier contemporaries considered music to be the purest…

Miscellany: On “The Danger of Fact-ist Politics” and other topics

On “The Danger of Fact-ist Politics”: You observed that many public are treating beliefs as evidence and conflating certainty with truth. Naturally, I share your exasperation with this sort of posturing and ostentatious displays of conviction that is misplaced at best and likely often altogether feigned. Moreover, I couldn’t agree more with your identification of…

Miscellany: “Science,” “citizens,” “consumers,” and other topics

Is science exclusively abstract and reductionistic in principle or could it also be integral and creative?  I have treated this topic much more thoroughly in my dissertation but here are a few brief remarks. Any answer will depend on our theory of science, which is itself subject to transformation. It will also depend on which branch…

Video Lecture: Science and Religion (3) and Philosophy

Dear friends, Some readers may be interested in a lecture on the relationship between religion and science as a continuation from this lecture and this one. It was recorded for the sake of my students in a Critical Thinking course at Alaska Pacific University. I welcome any comments or thoughts on the subject. Warmly, Max

Video Lecture: Science and Religion (1) Self and World

Some readers may be interested in a lecture on the relationship between religion and science as a reflection of the self-concept and world-concept. It was recorded for the sake of my students in a Critical Thinking course at Alaska Pacific University. I welcome any comments or thoughts on the subject. Warmly, Max

Video Lecture: On the Reality of Thinking

Some readers may be interested in a lecture on the reality and essence of thinking. It was recorded for the sake of my students in a Critical Thinking course at Alaska Pacific University. I welcome any comments or thoughts on the subject. Warmly, Max

Miscellany: On the scapegoat, art, science, and authenticity

On scapegoating in relation to the Passiontide narrative as it is depicted in the Gospel accounts: I am delighted that you chose to take up this topic. It is the probably the most poignant topic and without a doubt the most dangerous one. I will offer a few comments and questions on what you wrote…

Miscellany: Truth in art, beauty in science, and other topics

Time and mind: To the ordinary mind, time is a river that seems to rush past us from the future. And yet, a transcendent stillness of this current is also apprehensible—a simultaneity of its flow from source to delta. Time does not pass; it is the passage. The ordinary mind is the riverbank and time…

Miscellany: On teleology and evolutionary theory, the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, and other topics

On teleology and evolutionary theory: There is an extremely significant point to consider in respect to the premise that the genome is conserved through an individual organism’s interaction with its environment while the epigenome can undergo changes brought about directly by that organism’s action and interaction with(in). This is a straightforward and uncontroversial characterisation of…

Video Lecture: Justice and the Good in Plato’s Republic

Some readers may be interested in a lecture on the ideas of Justice and the Good in Plato’s Republic dialogue. As I indicated in the lecture, I found it exceedingly challenging to span these immense topics with my explanation but it is my hope that something I said may prove to be of value in…

Miscellany: on evolutionary theory, knowledge, and ethics

On evolutionary theory: Let’s take your example of the eye: you rightly pointed out that it is easily intelligible to conceive of the eye as an organ ordered to the purpose of sight. Imagine that you had to arrive at a seeing eye purely by way of chance mutations and without any “foresight,” which is…

Plato’s Republic: In Defense of The Poets

“Beauty is a manifestation of Nature’s secret laws, which would otherwise remain forever hidden.” —J. W. von Goethe [1] Plato notoriously argued for the expulsion of the poets from the Res publica on several occasions in his well-known work. His decision might seem to suggest that art is of little value in the quest for spiritual attainment….

Miscellany: questions concerning the philosophy of science

On gods as “explanations,” health, and science versus philosophy: I wonder about whether the gods and spirits that peopled the cosmology of ancient cultures were really understood to be “explanations” by them or whether this is rather merely an example of another “just-so” story offered by modern anthropologists. You wrote, “Human beings did not look…

Video: The Invention of the Written Word and Plato’s “The Myth of Theuth”

Perhaps some readers will be interested in this lecture on Plato’s delightfully memorable telling of The Myth of Theuth” from the Phaedrus dialogue. It was recorded for the sake of my students in a Critical Thinking course at Alaska Pacific University. I welcome any comments or thoughts on the subject. Warmly, Max

Miscellany: roses and “roses,” Aristotle, coronavirus

I appreciated your portrayal of the manner in which we may be inclined to employ our intellects to slice a concrete being up into conceptual abstractions. As an example: it is an abstraction to imagine the rose irrespective of the thorny stem from which it grows. So “abstraction” means that we represent one aspect or…

Miscellany: On Love

Love seeks to understand, but in a way that is different from the analytical or scientific connotations we might associate with that term. Analysis attempt to arrive at understanding through breaking something into its components parts, and thus everywhere we “murder to dissect,” to quote the poet Wordsworth, or “unweave the rainbow,” as Keats so…

Video Lecture: Love and Wisdom in Plato’s Symposium Dialogue

Some readers may be interested in a lecture on the relation of love and wisdom in the Symposium dialogue. It was recorded for the sake of my students in a Critical Thinking course at Alaska Pacific University. I welcome any comments or thoughts on the subject.

Miscellany: “Happy is he who knows the causes of things”

Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas… fortunatus et ille deos qui novit agrestes.   “Happy is he who can learn the causes of things… also fortunate is he who knows the gods.” —Virgil, Georgics One way to think about the two forms of understanding is that human understanding begins from effects and attempts, piecemeal and…

Video Lecture: On Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”

Perhaps some readers will be interested in this lecture on Plato’s iconic parable from Book VII of Republic. It was recorded for the sake of my students in a Critical Thinking course at Alaska Pacific University. I welcome any comments or thoughts on the subject. Warmly, Max

Miscellany: infants, pigeons, “critical thinking”

On the nature and emergence of critical thinking: One method, or organum, by which to inquire after the essence of something is by via negativa—by inquiring after everything that it is not. In this way, we can seek to understand the essence of thinking that is not critical but naïve. The infant provides perhaps the…

Elements of an Ethics Textbook (5): Virtue Ethics

Together with utilitarianism and deontology, virtue ethics presents the final category in the triumvirate of the most common classifications of ethical theories. Having fallen into the shadow cast by the novel Enlightenment theories of Kant, Bentham, and Mill for several centuries, virtue ethics has nevertheless experienced something of a revival in the latter part of…

Elements of an Ethics Textbook (4): Deontology

Whereas utilitarianism, at least in its classical formulation, presents a strictly consequentialist approach to ethics, deontology offers a very different view. Unlike consequentialism, which measures the moral worth of an action by the fruits that follow from it, deontology considers only the motive of the action itself. Deontology, thus, can be starkly contrasted with utilitarianism,…

Elements of an Ethics Textbook (3): Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is the best known species within the genus of consequentialist theories of normative ethics. Consequentialism, in turn, is often employed as a synonym for teleology within the context of normative ethics. While there is some relation between these terms, I think that it is a mistake to use them interchangeably. The reason I think…

Elements of an Ethics Textbook (2): Normative Ethics

Was the United States justified in dropping an atomic bomb on the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945 on August 6 and 9, respectively? Some have argued that it ensured a more immediate ending to hostilities and thus led to a lower number of deaths than would have hypothetically resulted had WWII…

Miscellany: liberalism, knowledge, ethics

LIBERALISM, according to me, to the best of my ability this afternoon (forgive me but I could not resist): “Liberalism is a philosophical tradition with origins in the work of British Enlightenment philosophers like Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, and Adam Smith together with other European philosophers like Immanuel Kant, Voltaire, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau…

Elements of an Ethics Textbook (1): Introduction

After having taught an Ethics course at Alaska Pacific University for a number of years, I have found myself sufficiently dissatisfied with the commonly available textbooks and ethics readers to write my own. Whether it will end up as anything more than a personal reference and teaching tool is neither here nor there because the…

Miscellany: Enneagrammatic types as ratios and questions about ethics

One further thought I had is that the Enneagrammatic types are likely more meaningful relative to other people. It seems like one person may create a “fulcrum” or point of reference that would help to assign one or another type to another person. By analogy to the diatonic musical octave, any frequency can serve as…

Margaret Fuller’s “A Credo,” composed as a letter to a friend in 1842

Introduction to the text Margaret Fuller is fairly well-known as an American Transcendentalist thinker who was the friend and contemporary of both Emerson and Thoreau. In some ways she was the necessary philosophical mediatrix between these two men, and in a larger sense, she served to close an essential link in the chain of American…

Miscellany: stereotypes, statistics, scapegoats and so on

It occurs to me, as I think it occured to you, that you have hit upon an extremely timely difficulty. I am thinking of the problem of stereotype. One the one hand, generalizations often neglect important individual differences and they can, moreover, serve to foster unwarranted discriminatory behavior, which is a topic you have broached…

Miscellany: on conscience and community

I appreciated that you brought up consciousness in counterdistinction to conscience. I think that achieving clarity on their relation and their difference can help in understanding the nature of each of them. I have come to think of conscience as “diachronic consciousness,” which is to say, “a continuity of consciousness that persists through time.” Inversely,…

Miscellany: on community

I think you made some important observations but I would like you to develop your thoughts a bit further. You wrote that the desire for security is what impels individuals to form communities. This was the view of the philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who is among the philosophical patriarchs of the political tradition out of which…

Correspondences: on conscience and the inner law

Dear F. Thank you for presenting us with this lucid argument for a basic moral law and lawgiver in the cosmos. I think you did an exemplary job depicting the way in which many people’s basic intuitions—even people who, when asked, would profess to believe in no such thing—betray a tacit faith in an objective…

Miscellany: on freedom and scientific determinism

I agree about the American dream; it puts us to sleep in a way. Maybe we should strive to rebrand ourselves as the culture of “American wakefulness.” *** I very much appreciated this “second look” at the issue. I think there is an “aha” moment to be had in this. It will be akin to…

Miscellany: Equality, equity, inalienable rights

…As I have understood these terms, equality is associated with the just dessert of equal opportunity. But as many people have pointed out, there are a thousand sources of difficulty in interpreting and implementing this notion. Not the least of these difficulties is that if everyone is given equal opportunity it will result in colossal…

Miscellany: “Observation and evidence…and theory”

I was especially moved by your conclusion, which I read as an appeal to people to attempt to trace their standpoints “upstream” as it were to discover the original understanding that was their source and which precipitated down into each of these various positions. I have thought of this often: that even if someone disagrees…

Miscellany: “Ethics and technics”

I have been thinking of technology as something that serves to increase our “reach.” Whatever is my armspan, it is greater if I augment it with a stick, and greater still if I augment it with a flying drone. It struck me that, in some ways, technology serves as a means to overcome space. I…

Miscellany: “debate and/or dialogue”

Plato’s Good is the Good beyond Being. This means that it is not juxtaposed and defined against its opposite. Think of this original and ultimate Good as that which allows us to discriminate between good and bad in any particular instance. No round thing is circularity as such, or the form of the circle itself….

Miscellany: “critical thinking”

The example you used makes me wonder about whether it may be useful to distinguish critical thinking from thinking critically. What I mean is that there is one kind of thinking that reflects upon itself and thereby occupies itself with itself as its own object, and another which thinks about ulterior objects which are deemed…

Two Poems

Silver skiesHalf-moon eyesA salt-sea air that waftsAnd caresses golden tressesThe day seeks not itself to saveIt gave itself for us to haveLet us do something brave. “…och du ger honom din längtans lätta slöja som ger fjärran blå.” A line from a poem by Edith Södergran You give him the light veil of your longingThat…

Logic in Arguments About Atheism II

“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.” —Werner Heisenberg As a follow up to the last reflection, I wished to delve a little bit deeper in the question of evidence. How do we recognise evidence…

Logic in arguments about atheism

Part II is here. “A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.” —Lord Francis Bacon of Verulam How can Bacon make such a statement without insulting the intelligence of the likes of Sartre, Camus, Hume, Engel, John Stuart Mill, Nietzsche, John Rawls, Bertrand Russell? Indeed,…

Correspondences: On dualism and its opposite

Dear C. You had inquired about “non-dualism.” I think it can be helpful, in the first place, to designate a number of referents for “dualism” so then we can attempt to grasp what is being rejected. Three meanings of dualism that come to mind are(1) epistemological (i.e. subject-object bifurcation),(2) philosophical-metaphysical (e.g. Cartesian),and (3) moral-metaphysical (i.e….

Poem: “You, lark of the morning”

You, lark of the morningSee how the night descendsThe time has come to fold your wingsAnd let the darkness take you inAnd caress you in its soft embraceFor your voice grows tired,Your face shows sadnessAnd your eyes can’t hideThe weight that’s in your heart,And heaviness has hunger for what lies below. So do not resist,But…

Correspondences: On Realism, Magical Realism, and Psychedelics

Dear M., I have made it about half-way through your dissertation. Obviously, the scope of your thesis encompasses a great deal more than I could intelligently comment on. As I have been reading through it though, I am struck by a question about what the actual difference between (1) Magical realism and (2) Realism as…

Poem: “And is that not the carpenter’s son?”

And is that not the carpenter’s son?Who wends his way through golden fieldsFields of light and morning flameBeset by smoke and whirling ashesOn his way to whence he cameI feel the time is running out,Tides of fire are sweeping inSoon they’ll come to throw us outSoon they’ll come to do us inBut every flower tells…

Correspondences: On Trust and Knowledge

My dear C,  You said a person should never just believe another, and I know this is true. I believe what you say is true, but I do not believe it is true because you say it. Instead, you say it because it is true, and when you say it, your words invite me to…

On Adam & Eve II

Please find another exploration of this topic here. Do you see how it says “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them”? This is ambiguous even in Hebrew since it might very well mean that Man was made in the image…

Poem: “How is it we can smile…”

How is it we can smile and knowThat somewhere children cry?How can we live and knowThat everyone we ever meet will die?In Spring the flowers growWhen Autumn comes they dieThe Winter passes, lo!For I again the flowers spyThe same as yesteryear’s!Which one is the soul:The flowers that dieOr the power that ever reappears?

Correspondences: On Moral Relativism and Scapegoating

Dear T. In respect to understanding moral relativism, I have found it helpful to consult The Big Lebowski (1998). Come to think of it, that movie also embodies the scapegoat mechanism in its nascent form as a kind of “deflection.” Thus the outer “nihilists” appear as the enemy that is correlative to inner apathy (i.e….

Poem: In memoriam

Like leaves, this autumn finds usClutching on the Tree of LifeWe huddle close together on our boughAnd shiver when the winds begin to blowAnd snow comes down the mountainsAnd the river starts to freeze.A lonely ray of sunlight frees itselfFrom the brooding skiesGlancing obliquely over fields of ryeThat only yesterday were peopled for the harvestAnd…

Michaelmas Poem: “Fellowship of the Setting Sun”

Please find a companion poem here. On starry fields of battleThe dragon draws a rattling breathAnd like a gutsy bellowsBelches forth a snaking riverOf yellow sulphur-flameA flame that scorches space’s sinewsScalding the hand that stitches timeAnd torching memory’s hallsSo the burning heavens, groanAnd slowly cease to turnAnd the stream of moments runs awryThe gods, agape,…

Poem: “Autumn’s sentinels”

Fire-fretted, a thousand listening facesTrace the ecliptic of the skyIntent to hear the choirs on highThat sound in tones of golden lightAnd body forth the season’s anthemThere, in noble file standingAt attention, no tone is ever lostFrom summer’s dog-daysTill their death by frostTo autumn’s sentinels.

Plato and the Poets

“Beauty is a manifestation of Nature’s secret laws, which would otherwise remain forever hidden.” —J. W. von Goethe [1] Plato notoriously argued for the expulsion of the poets from the Res publica on several occasions in his well known work. His decision might seem to suggest that art is of little value in the quest…

Is the Earth flat?

The Earth is flat in curved spacetime. It’s more interesting than it sounds since every point on the surface of the Earth is flat relative to everywhere in its vicinity. Otherwise a marble would roll towards the horizon. “The Earth is so big, you can’t see its curvature,” will be the obvious rejoinder. But who…

On “Conscience” and “Conscious”

“Conscience” and “conscious”: most people can use each of these words in a sentence. At the same time, I think they are frequently employed in a vague or imprecise manner and I hope the reflection to follow can contribute to achieve some clarity on their meanings. Etymologically, both words indicate “knowing with” or “knowing together”…

A critique of “Plato was right: Earth is made, on average, of cubes”

The de facto “philosopher-kings” [1] of today have succeeded in damning Plato with faint praise. The publication explains: Science has steadily moved beyond Plato’s conjectures, looking instead to the atom as the building block of the universe. Yet Plato seems to have been onto something, researchers have found. [2] But to regard this finding as…

On communities, hierarchy, and Go(o)d

Each one has its “principality” or “archangel,” so to speak, and we can tell by its frowning countenance when we have violated an ethical norm. And what pleases the Eagle may displease the Serpent, as it were, and be perceived as neutral by the Dove. We can imagine Alaska has an “archangel” as well, and…

On The Book of Job (2)

I have divided this exploration into two parts. Below is the second part. The first part is available here. I have previously considered The Book of Job in a lecture that is available here. At the end of Part I, I set forth the theory that The Book of Job may be read as a…

On The Book of Job (1)

I have divided this exploration into two parts. Below is the first part which introduces the themes of repentance and theodicy. Part II will treat the concept of conversion more thoroughly. I have previously considered The Book of Job in a lecture that is available here. The story of Job is at once ancient and…

On the eucharist of symbolism

Biologists use the term “expiation” to refer to the appropriation of an organ or structure that was designed for one function to serve a new function. Suppose that reading is an expiation of symbolic consciousness. We know what it is to read: we see signs and read meaning. We complete our sight with insight. Put…

Correspondences: On love

Dear M., I appreciated the argument …very much—present perhaps not explicitly but as an undertone—that the realization of love drives human evolution as its telos or final cause. I think it was Novalis who wrote that “Love is the ‘Amen’ of the universe.” The question of an evolution of consciousness or an evolution of inwardness…

On the sublimation of speech

…it immediately struck me that most disagreements are fought over words and not meanings. I think it is tempting to mistake the feeling of familiarity with a word—that hearing it or reading it may bring—with actually having grasped its meaning. The words then function like mercenaries in proxy-disputes, or conflicts that are vicarious. I think words…

More on the spectrum of the will and its translumination by consciousness

One fruit of Goethe’s comparatively unknown scientific work was to develop a phenomenological colour-theory. Goethe’s colour-theory reveals the familiar 7-toned rainbow to be an emergent phenomenon following the marriage a “cool” spectrum with a “warm” one. This is easy to verify in practice provided one has access to a prism and a source of incident…

Moral evolution and the translumination of the will with consciousness

One common theory of the colour is arrived at by attempting to discover the physical correlates of various colours. This is usually achieved by mapping the visible rainbow onto the electromagnetic spectrum. The visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum spans from red, roughly corresponding to a wavelength of 700 nanometers, to violet, at roughly 400….

On Adam & Eve

It fills me with a sort of awe to imagine, in the primeval past, the gradual concrescence of individuality or “who-ness” out of the sea of collective consciousness of which our distant ancestors were crests and troughs. It is a condensation of self-consciousnesses from a solution of instinctual wisdom. Do you think “Adam” refers to…

On virtue, the ethics of dialogue, and biography

It has been very insightfully noted in respect to the exchange between Socrates and Thrasymachus at the outset of Plato’s Republic that: Though Thrasymachus claims that this is offering a definition of justice, what he says is not really meant as a definition of justice as much as it is a delegitimization of justice. This…

On decision and the love of wisdom

Someone may have difficulty motivating himself to make decisions. It is interesting to think of what a decision is. The root of the work gives a hint, since it is related to “cutting” or “striking”. Scissors, excision, and incision are siblings of “decision.” I picture it as a sort of “pruning” in the garden of…

Thesis Disputation: “The Redemption of Thinking: A Study in Truth, Knowledge, and the Evolution of Consciousness with Special Reference to Goethe, Barfield, & Steiner”

New tidings: I successfully defended the dissertation yesterday and CIIS has kindly provided me with a video recording of the proceedings, which I offer below to anyone who has interest: Brief tidings of this slated defense, by me, of a dissertation titled The Redemption of Thinking. It is a “sub-Corona” defense. That is to say…

Poem: “…for spring is here”

See how every bud is swelling Filled with secret power, welling From an unseen source The selfsame origin of the force That animates our wildest dreams And Nature bursting at the seams Exult, exult, for spring is here And perfect love casteth out all fear And yet, my love, behold the moon Our summer dream…

Poem: “Did you ever wonder?”

Did you ever wonder:What is the beginning of the rose?The sap that rises with the lightHow its ministering angel knowsWhich boughs to leave with buds bedight? Whence the swirl of the rose?The whirling arms of a Sufi’s danceA lilting music plainly showsIts argument in the petals’ trance. And what will be the rose’s end?Cast alone…

On Rudolf Steiner’s The Philosophy of Freedom, Part II

In the last section, I noted that the second part of Steiner’s The Philosophy of Freedom forms something like a mirror-image of the first. I likened the first to a consonant and therefore, the second part can be compared, by the same token, to a vowel.[1] The first part concerns the structure of the human being and its…

On Rudolf Steiner’s The Philosophy of Freedom, Part I

In 1894, some one hundred years after the publication of Goethe’s On the Metamorphosis of Plants and Kant’s The Critique of Judgement, the 33-year-old Rudolf Steiner published The Philosophy of Freedom. The purpose of the book was to shed light on the fundamental relation of the human being to the world in which he lives. Steiner’s academic career began…

Video Lecture: Moral Reasoning and Concluding Thoughts

Dear friends, I offer a video of what is likely the concluding lecture for a course that I have had the privilege to teach this semester. I expect it will go down in history as “the Corona-term.” As one might imagine, the onset of isolation procedures just as Spring Break was drawing to a close…

Video Lecture: On AI and Human Freedom

Dear friends, I offer this two part video lecture on themes that are pertinent to Theoria-press, which can be somewhat aphoristically captured in the phrase: “How we can look is what we will see.” This was once the motto of the site, though I have recently changed it to a quote from Plotinus’ Enneads. This…

Is COVID-19 proof that God is wrothful or that he does not exist?

Also published in the current issue of Hermes Magazine. Any concrete experience of suffering tends to invite an argument over the abstract question of God’s character. This question often takes the form of what is called theodicy which is roughly: “why does a God, who is, by definition benevolent/good, omniscient/all-knowing and omnipotent/all-powerful, allow a world…

A Brief Reflection on COVID-19 & 5G

A minority of people think that 5G is the true cause behind the pandemic of COVID-19, while the majority denounce them as “conspiracy theorists.” According to the consensus view, the Coronavirus itself is a sufficient condition to explain the pandemic that has gripped the world for the last months. A separate issue, which I will…

Mythos & Logos (3): The Scapegoat and the Lamb of God

The first part of this study can be found here. In the last piece, I attempted to sketch an outline of Girard’s theory of mimetic desire, its ineluctable progression to collective violence, and its traditional and universal palliative in the application of the scapegoat mechanism. To recapitulate, human beings are relational by nature and therefore,…

Caritas and Biography: Two Exhortations

On occasion, people have been known to examine their lives. If we agree with Socrates, then we will feel that this very act of reflection confers value to its object: “the unexamined life is not worth living.” The life worth living will be an examined one. Clearly, however, there is more to a life of…

Video: Mind & Brain

Dear friends, Below is a video lecture on the topic of mind and brain—two concepts that we know to be different but which we sometimes fail to adequately distinguish. The lecture is for the sake of an undergraduate class that I am currently teaching at Alaska Pacific University…or attempting to continue teaching after the Corona…

Poem: Vision of the Rood

The weary floorboards creak to bear The thoughts I wear so heavy Like a millstone on my neck My brooding head I bow, and sigh And I incline my chin upon my moody breast Downward drops my gaze And falls to land upon those ancient planks That hold my mortal weight The burden I alone…

Mythos & Logos (1): Saturn, Jupiter, and René Girard

On another occasion, I inquired into the seeming paradox of simultaneous narratives of decadence and progress that often confront us in mythology. In some ways, this tension must be expected by anyone who attends to the more intimate levels of his own experience. All around us, order is continually perishing into oblivion, while new forms…

Video: Prometheus & Archetypal Fire

I have recorded a few thoughts in continuation of a theme from earlier videos* and I offer them here by way of the link below: Most notably:   7.1 on Prometheus   And 7.2

An Offering of Video Lectures

Like everyone, I have found myself impelled to undertake things I would not have expected before the Corona phenomenon. One thing this has meant for me is finding new ways to sustain connection and communication with students and also patients (my “day job” is as a Rolfer) by recording video lectures and uploading them to…

Poem:

And I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom goeth before them: and I knew not that she was the mother of them. —The Wisdom of Solomon 7:12 A serpent lurks amidst the coils of fog That gird the mountain’s abysmal ground Surrounded by these subtle mists With lust he eyes his unsuspecting prey And prepares…

Poem: “Dream of Summer”

Lying on our backsCool grass beneath usThe air of summer nightsCaresses our skin, one by oneEach blossom undresses andThe wafting the smell of jasmine,Incense from a thousand ivory censersSanctifies the gentle wind—Blow you gentle wind,And bear that subtle fragranceOver the sleeping andAnd you and I, we peer Between two leaves of a linden tree—Leaves that…

Of silks and wisdom

Beloved, when Adam named the creatures, he gave them garments of speech. One by one, God led them out before Adam’s discerning eye. Like a tailor, Adam measured the creatures in his comprehension, and wrapped each on in the finery of thought. And so bedight, each one again departed. But no cast of thought will…

A million stars, skies without measure hold Dark her eyes, treasure within untold Without fathom like the ocean deep Rich and secret, mysterious like sleep Like sleep, or like the mind behind the mind Like great blue to the one that’s blind.

Why I Support Tulsi Gabbard’s Bid for President

The 2020 Presidential Election is only six months out. Before long, political ads and propaganda will descend on us like swarms of locusts. The sky will soon grow dark and for this reason, I believe it may be especially helpful to review the lay of the land. When election season begins in earnest, we will…

Letter Fragments on the Evolution of Consciousness

Editor’s note: I found a tattered scrapbook from which I was able to save the following fragments from letters addressed to “Monique” by one “Folio.” What I could discern, I have transcribed for the sake of readers for whom these ideas may hold interest. Folio to Monique. In these words that you wrote, there is…

Poem: “But now the starry conferences adjourning”

Deep-furrowed like a brow in mourning The dark has held me fast and tight While majestic beings ponder And deliberate my mortal plight. But now starry conferences adjourning Dispersing with the ebb of night At once the firmament is cleft asunder By the angel of the morning light. And on new born pinions of the…

Poem: “Living tabour, singing chime”

Now to you I sing: O! heart, Ceaseless weaver of the time You also never fail to temperately keep Tireless of foot, lithe of love of rhyme Living tabour, singing chime The skies you sound and also wed The Heavens to the Earth and Oceans deep The limbs your bark, your captain head, The seas…

Poem: “Firstborn of Creation: Light”

Firstborn of Creation: light Longs for death in darkness and rebirth as sight The ancient wind that onetime swirled and sung Through stars and nebulae when worlds were first begun Now wafts as breath and fills this being’s lungs And fire, sacred primordial fire Onetime spanned the ancient sky And smelted gold of Apollo’s lyre…

Sonnet (12): “Therefore, send me…”

“Behold! Upon the Earth the mists arise As faceless legions that emerge in throngs Confounding speech and stifling song And lo! A creature, poor, despised Stumbling, confused by engines of demise Stranded in a season she does not belong Abandoned by her ancient gods since long Departed thence to seek more temperate skies— “Therefore, send…

Two Winter Poems

In the midnight of the world When time reposes in itself And silence swallows up our words The void is pregnant with tomorrow A secret hidden in the darkness A prophecy concealed in lines “Eat the book,” the angel says “And in the darkness read the signs.”     The lamp is hid beneath a…

Sonnet (11): “Lo! I will be with you always”

A dying ember swallowed up by grey A swansong born on golden pinions bright Sings the solemn psalm of fateful night Of the hero who had held our plight at bay, With single hand had mastered winter’s sway Now fallen with the fading of the light A shadow only of his onetime might An echo…

Nine short verses, daughters of the Autumn Muses

The sunlight streams from distant spaces To shower green with golden graces Then the fire-spirits set the fields alight And soon frost-giants descend with night All enchantments withal to wither As ice-fogs plunder hither, thither Now the light longs to rejoin its kind May it find release inside my mind! And there communion too, And…

“Before the world was made I knew her”

Before the world was made I knew her Her joy was my completion and delight She was my only muse and inspiration By her breath the days were numbered The seasons were her days and nights For her the depths and heights were sundered The axis of the world became her spine To join the…

“The Light of the World”

Light in the world             World in the light                         I am in the world; I am in the light                                     And the light is in me                         The light becomes sight in me, and life in me             The life becomes love in me Love in the world  

An attempt to answer a question that I have contemplated for years

“What does it mean that a given community of Jews accepted him as the Messiah (which is the Hebrew word for “the Redeemer” or “the Anointed One,” for which the Greek word is Χριστός or “Christ”) while the rest refused him?” Introduction When we reflect on the concept of history, we find that it is…

Sonnet (9): The Gold of the Alpha & the Omega

The clutching leaves, once green with greed, now fall In solemn showers, Nature’s second gold, Verdure perfected, venerable and old; A onetime fire, held in seasoned thrall Whose ancestor was gold celestial: Daughter of warmth amidst the bitter cold Of light in darkness, neither young nor old Ever budding out of death: renewal A gold…

Consciousness and its Transfiguration (1): Introduction, Preliminaries, Ordinary Consciousness and the First Enhancement

Introduction Awareness is a condition for consciousness and experience as sound is a condition for a piece of music. Consciousness and experience, in turn provide the ground for all other endeavours of human life, including science, knowledge, and philosophy. The results of such an intensification consist in three states of consciousness that transcend the ordinary…

A Vision of Sophia, Michaël, and the Dragon

Behold! Before the Æons were engenderedLong before the worlds were first conceived,The still white Light (Aur) aloneHad infused all primordial space,And there was no vacancy in that unbounded place,But all was filled with infinite and æviternal Light,And many ages past unnumbered, blissful, resplendent. Then there arose within that archetypal LightThe creative will, begetting hot desireTo…

Sonnet (8): Harvest Moon

ABOVE the hills, a rising amber face Keeps quiet watch on the descending gloam. A perfect silence falls about the place; The weary workers bend their footsteps home Homewards on their paths, well-wrought, of trodden loam, That wend along through fertile fields of grain; The stalks a-bowed beneath the burthen sweet Of fruit, full-ripe by…

Sonnet (7): Storm-Crow

High-hollow wastelands, plains, and wind-whipped heights, That howl and whisper in the raging nights Of airy voices born of forms unseen That pierce the soul like silver Highland skeans. Above the din stands Storm-crow, Lord of Light Bending elements, contending terrible might, He disputes his nemesis, Faerie-queen. And dancing through the midnight dark demesnes Heedless…

Sonnet (6): The Goldening Hour

At last, how summer’s verdant slumber-shroud Is lifting, Nature’s secret revelation A-shining forth in conflagration Bold-proclaimed, in colours loud Vermillion, orange, and gold that’s proud Exult: the season’s peroration Proclaiming Earth’s transfiguration Beneath the drifting autumn clouds, And further still to subtle vapours high To minds that span the widths of space To silent stars…

Sonnet (5): “Grant me end-of-summer’s silken thread”

Grant me end-of-summer’s silken thread That I may take it in my careful grasp Between my fingers, its sweet strand to clasp And others gather withal this first to wed Then in carful carpet, artful spread To lay withal upon the ageing grass I’ll dream that summertime will never pass Beneath the vaulted sky above…

On Truth (5): The Redemption of Thinking

In following the silver thread of this study, we have compassed many themes including epistemology, consciousness and its evolution, the scientific method, its history and possibilities for its future development. Most fundamentally, however, our inquiry stems from the primordial impulse and Holy Grail of philosophy as, Aristotle expressed it in the first line of Metaphysics:…

On Truth (4): Scientia & Sapientia, and the Causes of Post-Truth

“What science cannot discover, mankind cannot know.” —Bertrand Russell Nihil enim scitur nisi verum, quod cum entit convertitur. “Nothing is known except truth, which is the same as being.” —Thomas Aquinas In the last chapter of this exploration, we suggested that post-truth is the same as post-meaning. In other words, the truth of things is their meaning. From this, it follows…

On Truth (3): Nietzsche, Plato, Cartesius, Kant

Both in the introduction of this theme and the introduction to the dissertation itself, we introduced the subject of truth, or lack thereof. We considered, in the former case, truth in respect to its etymological relation to “tree,” and explored the symbolic resonance between these two concepts. We concluded that, among myriad other connections that…

On Truth (2): Steiner & Barfield

The following is a draft-excerpt from a dissertation that the editor of Theoria-press is presently engaged in writing for a doctoral degree in Philosophy, Cosmology, & Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Comments welcome. The former earned his M.A. in the same program in May of 2017, of which the culminating project was this…

On Truth (1): Introduction, Mythos, Lógos

The following is a draft-excerpt from a dissertation that the editor of Theoria-press is presently engaged in writing for a doctoral degree in Philosophy, Cosmology, & Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Comments welcome. The former earned his M.A. in the same program in May of 2017, of which the culminating project was this…

Two Sonnets (3 & 4), to Sadness

The trees aloft their weighty boughs scarce-hold Each dejected leaf hangs pond’rous, low With heaviness but one who’s sad can know Whose new anticipation is grown old Whose onetime glowing hope is waned and cold Whose soul forsakes the temperate ebb and flow Of reasons, seasons, feelings to and fro The solemn sky itself with…

Sonnet (2), on ‘L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle’

Out of the starless uncreated night The universe began in wonder In arching peals of cosmic thunder And skipping scintillae of violet light Forever in her joy I take delight! She weaves my feelings, over under From forgetfulness, her life to sunder That we may overcome time’s splintering plight For fate now spins us twain…

Owen Barfield (3): Final Participation

The following is a draft-excerpt from a dissertation that the editor of Theoria-press is presently engaged in writing for a doctoral degree in Philosophy, Cosmology, & Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Comments welcome. The former earned his M.A. in the same program in May of 2017, of which the culminating project was this presentation.    -4-…

Owen Barfield (2): Figuration, Alpha-Thinking, & Beta-Thinking

The following is a draft-excerpt from a dissertation that the editor of Theoria-press is presently engaged in writing for a doctoral degree in Philosophy, Cosmology, & Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies. The former earned his M.A. in the same program in May of 2017, of which the culminating project was this presentation.    -3-  Figuration,…

Owen Barfield (1): Participation and its Evolution

The following is a draft-excerpt from a dissertation that the editor of Theoria-press is presently engaged in writing for a doctoral degree in Philosophy, Cosmology, & Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Comments welcome. The former earned his M.A. in the same program in May of 2017, of which the culminating project was this…

Sonnet (1), a Butterfly

A traveler hailed from antique lands of light She lilted in on eddies made of air Exotic gifts from far flung lands to bear Upon my petalled couch did she alight Recounted tales to me of high delight Of distant places wide and passing fair Insouciant spaces, blithe, without a care Enrapt was I to…

Owen Barfield and Final Participation

Participation was a technical term for the Schoolmen of the Middle Ages. The latter, in turn, inherited it along with the rich philosophical lineage that flowed like a river of wisdom through Plato, Aristotle, and the New Testament and Neo-Platonist writers like Paul, Proclus, Boethius, and Dionysius the Areopagite. These philosophers wrote in Greek so…

Exhortations on Myth, Meaning, & Nature, and Some Objections

Ritual is myth transposed into the key of temporality. Or, ordinary activity transposed into the key of eternity, which is the realm of myth. The desire of mimesis (libido imitatio) is the longing to participate the deeds and sufferings of gods, as a child wishes to emulate his mother and father. That inspires the transposition….

Owen Barfield and the Evolution of Consciousness

The inestimable Owen Barfield differentiates three epochs in the evolution of consciousness. The first he refers to as “original participation.” The anthropologist Lucien Lévy-Bruhl meant to indicate a similar condition under the rubric “participation mystique.” Other thinkers refer to the same as “tribal” or “primal” consciousness. Original participation denotes a condition of consciousness in which…

Editorial: On Christianity

I cannot think of a more integral religion than Christianity and I think that it is a deficiency in my notions of value if I am unable to recognise the treasury of wisdom that Christianity contains. It represents the ultimate hieros gamos of Heaven and Earth, the inner and the outer, spirit and matter, God…

Goethean Science (12): Rudolf Steiner and “Goetheanism Come of Age”

No one is better qualified to inform our final chapter of exploration into Goethe’s way of knowing than Rudolf Steiner. While Goethe entertained only a fleeting interest in Kant, Steiner describes undertaking an intensive study of The Critique of Pure Reason even in his youth, even going to far as to exchange its original book…

Goethean Science (10): The Yonder Side of the Kantian Threshold

Kant is, in many ways, the Guardian of the Threshold before modern philosophy, and he confronts us both on our entry into the labyrinth of his thought, and also on our eventual escape to the other side of it. In this antepenultimate chapter, we will attempt this passage according to the principles of Goethean science….

Goethean Science (8 & 9): A Traverse of the Kantian Labyrinth

Having striven to depict Goethe’s intuitive approach to knowledge in the last chapter, we will now attempt to establish to counterpole to this thesis. To accomplish this, we mean to enter the speculative labyrinth of Kantian philosophy. This is something Goethe was never inclined to do. Despite having developed a moderate familiarity with Kant’s work,…

Goethean Science (7): The Archetypal Plant

As part of our method of inquiry into Goethe’s way of knowledge, we have repeatedly invoked contrasting ways of science that the Goethean approach may be made manifest in its similarity and difference. Goethe provides an aperçu into one such contrasting conception of knowledge when he relates his now famous confrontation with the poet-philosopher Friedrich…

Goethean Science (6): the Organism, Evolution, and Kant

When it is said that “all cows are grey at night,” the reason is, of course, that homogenous low lighting conditions fail to provide necessary conditions to perceive nuances of contrast. Similarly, a given philosophical system leaps into sharp relief directly it is juxtaposed against another. Goethe held it to be a fundamental mistake on…

Goethean Science (5): Fact and Theory

So far in our exploration of Goethean science, we have attempted to comprehend “the open secret” (das offene Geheimnis) what we have termed the Goethean maxim: Alles Faktische schon Theorie ist. Everything factual is already theory. One manner in which we have attempted to accomplish this is (i) to counterpose Goethe’s way against the mathematical…

Goethean Science (4): Colours

Thus far in our exploration of Goethean science, we have juxtaposed it against the mathematical science of Newton and the mechanical science of Helmholtz. By considering Goethean science in various contexts, we are attempting to apply the Goethean method to itself. This indeed was Goethe’s conception of science: to read the archetypal phenomenon in changing…

Goethean Science (3): Goethe contra Newton

In the last chapter we compared the approach which these two great thinkers took in their respective studies on colour. We presented the scene of Newton, closing himself in a darkened study to isolate the single ray of light, and of Goethe, striving to follow with his comprehension the generation of colours out of the interplay of light…

Goethean Science (2): Colour Theory

In the first chapter of this investigation, we set forth the following aphorism from Goethe: The highest were to grasp that everything phenomenal is already noumenal. The blue of the heavens proclaim the principle of colour-theory. A man should not look past the phenomena, but allow himself to be instructed by them. [1] We suggested…

Seelenkalender I

“Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ First Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translations into English and Swedish. —Osterstimmung— Wenn aus den Weltenweiten Die Sonne spricht zum Menschensinn Und Freude aus den Seelentiefen Dem Licht sich eint im Schauen, Dann ziehen aus…

Throwing Down the Gauntlet (8): Conclusion and Vision Manifold

The question of morality brings us to the apex of our consideration. The hard problem of consciousness is not merely a quibble for academics to perennially organise conferences around. Instead it is an expression of the deepest spiritual questions of our age, which no “single vision” has the faintest hope of adequately addressing. And twofold…

Throwing Down the Gauntlet (7): D. Dennet, T. Metzinger on the Hard Problem of Consciousness, and a Call for a Science of Sciences

“We’re all zombies. No one is conscious,” Dennett boldly asserted in his 1992 work Consciousness Explained. In his 2017 work From Bacteria to Bach and Back, Dennett reveals that the philosophical ferment which Chalmers’ formulation of “the hard problem” of consciousness initiated, has done little to alter his position. In the book, Dennett contrasts two…

Throwing Down the Gauntlet on the Hard Problem of Consciousness (3): The Physics of Natural Philosophy

In the 4th century B.C., Aristotle had delineated four causes—material, efficient, formal, and final—which he believed together could encompass the necessary conditions for a given phenomenon.* Evidently, “cause” in this sense transcends the common usage of that term, which today refers only to the efficient one in Aristotle’s more comprehensive conception. In this respect, Aristotle’s…

Throwing Down the Gauntlet (2): The Hard Problem in History

The hard problem of consciousness by no means sprang forth fully armed from the minds of contemporary philosophers. Neither Chalmers nor Nagel is the first thinker to pose the question of how immaterial perceptions relate to material objects. Indeed, Chalmers’ formulation adopts essentially the same metaphysical underpinnings that Descartes set forth in the seventeenth century….

Calendar of the Soul LII

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Fifty-second Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Wenn aus den Seelentiefen Der Geist sich wendet zu dem Weltensein Und Schönheit quillt aus Raumesweiten, Dann zieht aus Himmelsfernen Des Lebens Kraft in Menschenleiber…

Calendar of the Soul LI

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Fifty-first Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Ins Innre des Menschenwesens Ergiesst der Sinne Reichtum sich. Es findet sich der Weltengeist Im Spiegelbild des Menschenauges, Das seine Kraft aus ihm Sich neu…

Calendar of the Soul L

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Fiftieth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Es spricht zum Menschen-Ich, Sich machtvoll offenbarend Und seines Wesens Kräfte lösend, Des Weltendaseins Werdelust: In dich mein Leben tragend Aus seinem Zauberbanne, Erreiche ich…

Calendar of the Soul XLIX

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Forty-ninth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Ich fühle Kraft des Weltenseins: So spricht Gedankenklarheit, Gedenkend eignen Geistes Wachsen In finstern Weltennächten, Und neigt dem nahen Weltentage Des Innern Hoffnungsstrahlen. ∇∆ The…

Calendar of the Soul XLVIII

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Forty-eighth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Im Lichte, das aus Weltenhöhen Der Seele machtvoll fliessen will, Erscheine, lösend Seelenrätsel, Des Weltendenkens Sicherheit, Versammelnd seiner Strahlen Macht, Im Menschenherzen Liebe weckend. ∇∆…

Calendar of the Soul XLVII

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Forty-seventh Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Es will erstehen aus dem Weltenschosse, Den Sinnenschein erquickend, Werdelust. Sie finde meines Denkens Kraft Gerüstet durch die Gotteskräfte, Die kräftig mir im Innern leben….

Mythos and Lógos in the Five Ages

One of the great Puranas of the Hindu tradition, the Śrimad Bhāgavatam, describes the decay of Dharma through the four ages or yugas. Readers unfamiliar with the term “Dharma” find themselves in an unfortunate situation, since it lacks a corresponding translation in English. “Tao” or “Lógos” might be adequate translations, but they too are without…

Calendar of the Soul XLVI

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Forty-sixth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Die Welt, sie drohet zu betäuben Der Seele eingebor’ne Kraft; Nun trete du, Erinnerung, Aus Geistestiefen leuchtend auf Und stärke mir das Schauen, Das nur…

Calendar of the Soul XLV

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Forty-fifth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Es festigt sich Gedankenmacht Im Bunde mit der Geistgeburt, Sie hellt der Sinne dumpfe Reize Zur vollen Klarheit auf. Wenn Seelenfülle Sich mit dem Weltenwerden…

De transcendentibus & the Purpose of Philosophy

On Truth: Truth is primordial. “Is true” is not a predicate like “is bipedal” or “is dark blue” or anything else. Instead, the assertion of a proposition and the assertion of its truth are the same assertion. We do not assert “spring follows winter” and also that “spring follows winter is true” because that would…

Calendar of the Soul XLIV

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Forty-fourth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Ergreifend neue Sinnesreize Erfüllet Seelenklarheit, Eingedenk vollzogener Geistgeburt, Verwirrend sprossend Weltenwerden Mit meines Denkens Schöpferwillen. ∇∆ Behold! The shimmering weft of senses Made manifest by…

Calendar of the Soul XLIII

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Forty-third Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. In winterlichen Tiefen Erwarmt des Geistes wahres Sein; Es gibt dem Weltenscheine Durch Herzenskräfte Daseinsmächte; Der Weltenkälte trotzt erstarkend Das Seelenfeuer im Menscheninnern. ∇∆ In…

The Tower of Babble: True Communication

In earlier posts, we considered meaning as truth, and communication as participating a common meaning. We also considered the nature of babble, which is the lack of such participation. Perhaps no exchanges so frequently exemplify the latter as the typical debate between the religious man and the atheist. In the most basic sense, no dialogue…

Calendar of the Soul XLII

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Forty-second Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Es ist in diesem Winterdunkel Die Offenbarung eigner Kraft Der Seele starker Trieb, In Finsternisse sie zu lenken Und ahnend vorzufühlen Durch Herzenswärme Sinnesoffenbarung ∇∆…

The Tower of Babble: A Brief Reflection on Words & Meaning

It is evident that words are not identical with what they mean. People can (1) mean different things with the same word, or (2) mean the same thing with different words, or even (3) use words without meaning anything in particular by them. (1) “Liberal,” for instance, can indicate a left-wing political orientation, moral laxity,…

Calendar of the Soul XLI

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Forty-first Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Der Seele Schaffensmacht, Sie strebet aus dem Herzensgrunde, Im Menschenleben Götterkräfte Zu rechtem Wirken zu entflammen, Sich selber zu gestalten In Menschenliebe und im Menschenwerke…

Calendar of the Soul XL

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Fortieth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Und bin ich in den Geistestiefen, Erfüllt in meinen Seelengründen Aus Herzens Liebewelten Der Eigenheiten leerer Wahn Sich mit des Weltenwortes Feuerkraft. ∇∆ And in…

“Quid est veritas?” (4) Legibility, Intelligibility, Lógos

Being that can be understood is language. —Hans-Georg Gadamer (Truth and Method, 1960) In the last chapters we strove to understand the post-truth phenomenon, which we discovered to be a symptom of nihilism in one of its manifold expressions. We strove furthermore to establish the threefold identity of being, truth, and meaning. We discovered a…

Christmas, “Et incarnatus est…”

Christmas is the season of a miracle. The term “miracle” implies an event that the laws of nature cannot account for. In our time, it is often imagined that the laws of nature, as theoretically codified in by disciplines like physics, chemistry, astronomy, and biology, can account for everything in nature. We presume that everything…

Law & Love

Originally posted on The Lizard-press:
At no other time in recorded history has mankind possessed such power for general annihilation. Technological advancement enables a myriad human activities, including those of genocide & self-destruction. Naturally we must appreciate modern dentistry & spaceships as wonderful conveniences. Nevertheless, the destructive potential of technology dictates that this enterprise is a…

Calendar of the Soul XXXIX

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Thirty-ninth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. An Geistesoffenbarung hingegeben Gewinne ich des Weltenwesens Licht. Gedankenkraft, sie wächst Sich klärend mir mich selbst zu geben, Und weckend löst sich mir Aus Denkermacht…

“Quid est veritas?” (3) Ignorance & Intelligibility

Nihil enim scitur nisi verum, quod cum entit convertitur (“Nothing is known except truth, which is the same as being.”) —Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica) “What science cannot discover, mankind cannot know.” (1) —Bertrand Russell (Religion and Science) In the last chapter of this exploration, we suggested that post-truth is the same as post-meaning. In other…

“Quid est veritas?” (2) Scepticism, Nihilism, and Lógos

In the first part of this inquiry, we introduced the subject of truth (or lack thereof). We considered truth in respect to its etymological relation to “tree,” and explored the symbolic resonance between these two concepts. We concluded that, among myriad other connections that the resonance between “truth” and “tree” might disclose, that both of…

Calendar of the Soul XXXVIII

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Thirty-eighth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Ich fühle wie entzaubert Das Geisteskind im Seelenschoss; Es hat in Herzenshelligkeit Gezeugt das Heilige Weltenwort Der Hoffnung Himmelsfrucht, Die jubelnd wächst in Weltenfernen Aus…

“Quid est veritas?” (1) Introduction and Mythos

A dismissal of truth appears to be the order of the day. In 2016, for example, the illustrious Oxford English Dictionary selected “post-truth” as its word-of-the-year. The OED’s choice expresses the prevailing spirit of the time, since the former’s descriptivist approach entails that its selections are meant to reflect, and not to dictate, language usage. Since language is the…

Calendar of the Soul XXXVII

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Thirty-seventh Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Zu tragen Geisteslicht in Weltenwinternacht Erstrebet selig meines Herzens Trieb, Daß leuchtend Seelenkeime In Weltengründen wurzeln, Und Gotteswort im Sinnesdunkel Verklärend alles Sein durchtönt. ∇∆…

Where do laps go when people stand up?

Where do laps go when people stand up? The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein famously concluded the Tractatus Logico Philosophicus with the enigmatic phrase “Whereover a man cannot speak, thereover must he remain silent.” It is well-known that Wittgenstein later denounced the tenets of his own early work, of which the Tractatus was its culmination. Nevertheless, through…

Enchantment and Liberation: Concerning Colours and the Evolution of Consciousness

“The foal that kicked its mother” is the colourful manner, according to Diogenes Laërtius testimony in Lives of the Philosophers, in which Plato once charaterised his former student following the latter’s departure from the Academy and subsequent founding of his own school, the Lyceum. Diogenes’ testimony is almost certainly false. Nevertheless, the history of Western…

Calendar of the Soul XXXVI

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Thirty-sixth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. In meines Wesens Tiefen spricht Zur Offenbarung drängend Geheimnisvoll das Weltenwort: Erfülle deiner Arbeit Ziele Mit meinem Geisteslichte, Zu opfern dich durch mich. ∇∆ In…

Quantum Mechanics: Fact and Theory, Physics and Philosophy

From this thou mayest conjecture of what sort The ceaseless tossing of primordial seeds Amid the mightier void- at least so far As small affair can for a vaster serve, And by example put thee on the spoor Of knowledge. For this reason too ’tis fit Thou turn thy mind the more unto these bodies…

Calendar of the Soul XXXV

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Thirty-fifth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Kann ich das Sein erkennen, Daß es sich wiederfindet Im Seelenschaffensdrange? Ich fühle, daß mir Macht verlieh’n, Das eigne Selbst dem Weltenselbst Als Glied bescheiden…

What is Life? (3.3) Life as Zoë

In the last chapter of this inquiry, we explored life as psyche. We introduced Aristotle’s delineation of the animate soul into to aisthetikon, to orektikon, to kinetikon, and also conceived of an emotive soul as the active interplay of these three functions. We furthermore considered these soul-faculties in respect to their nature and to their…

Calendar of the Soul XXXIV

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Thirty-fourth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Geheimnisvoll das Alt-Bewahrte Mit neu erstandnem Eigensein Im Innern sich belebend fühlen: Es soll erweckend Weltenkräfte In meines Lebens Außenwerk ergießen Und werdend mich ins…

What is Life? (3.2) Life as Psyche

In the last piece, we established the soul, or psyche, as an organic body’s life. We also conceived of gradients of this principle, and recognised it to consist, in essence, in degrees of immanent causation. Finally, we briefly considered the most fundamental aspect of the soul, “to threptikon,” which name we adopted from Aristotle’s nomenclature…

What is Life? (3.1): Life as Bios

The soul is a breath of living spirit, that with excellent sensitivity, permeates the entire body to give it life. Just so, the breath of the air makes the earth fruitful. Thus the air is the soul of the earth, moistening it, greening it. —Saint Hildegaard von Bingen In the last pieces, we explored various…

Calendar of the Soul XXXIII

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Thirty-third Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. So fühl ich erst die Welt, Die außer meiner Seele Miterleben An sich nur frostig leeres Leben Und ohne Macht sich offenbarend, In Seelen sich…

What is Life? (2) Diachronic Traverse of Starting Points

In the first part of this inquiry, we weighed whether it would be possible to define life in terms of physics, chemistry, and Darwinian evolution. After considering various examples from scientific literature, we concluded that they fall short by (1) mistaking the medium in, by, or through which life appears and acts for the phenomenon…

Calendar of the Soul XXXII

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Thirty-second Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Ich fühle fruchtend eigne Kraft Sich stärkend mich der Welt verleihn; Mein Eigenwesen fühl ich kraftend Zur Klarheit sich zu wenden Im Lebensschicksalsweben. ∇∆ I…

What is Life? (1) An Evaluation of Several Possible Approaches to This Question

Technological advances over the last centuries have extended the horizon of possibility for scientific achievements in many fields of human inquiry. In light of such advances, many people today hold that both the synthesis of artificial life, and the discovery of extraterrestrial life, are within the scope of possibility for the near future. For many…

Calendar of the Soul XXXI

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Thirty-first Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Das Licht aus Geistestiefen, Nach außen strebt es sonnenhaft. Es wird zur Lebenswillenskraft Und leuchtet in der Sinne Dumpfheit, Um Kräfte zu entbinden, Die Schaffensmächte…

Calendar of the Soul XXX

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Thirtieth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Es sprießen mir im Seelensonnenlicht Des Denkens reife Früchte, In Selbstbewußtseins Sicherheit Verwandelt alles Fühlen sich. Empfinden kann ich freudevoll Des Herbstes Geisterwachen: Der Winter…

Narcissism, Idolatry, & Self-Knowledge

Ours has been called “The Age of Narcissism.” Nobody who can at once participate in, and reflect upon, contemporary society will have any uncertainty as to what this phrase is meant to communicate. Every year sees the release of new means for consumers to capture their likenesses in technological reflection. From social-media to selfie-sticks, the…

Calendar of the Soul XXIX

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Twenty-ninth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Sich selbst des Denkens Leuchten Im Innern kraftvoll zu entfachen, Erlebtes sinnvoll deutend Aus Weltengeistes Kräftequell, Ist mir nun Sommererbe, Ist Herbstesruhe und auch Winterhoffnung….

The Metamorphosis of the Idea: Goethe & Science

With the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Nietzsche announced the death of God. In the great panorama of history, Nietzsche’s admonition in the end of the nineteenth century appears as the counterimage of John the Baptist’s storied enunciation of God’s first advent in the flesh, which the former had issued nearly two thousand…

Calendar of the Soul XXVIII

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Twenty-eigth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Ich kann im Innern neu belebt Erfühlen eignen Wesens Weiten Und krafterfüllt Gedankenstrahlen Aus Seelensonnenmacht Den Lebensrätseln lösend spenden, Erfüllung manchem Wunsche leihen, Dem Hoffnung…

Calendar of the Soul XXVII

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Twenty-seventh Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. In meines Wesens Tiefen dringen:Erregt ein ahnungsvolles Sehnen,Daß ich mich selbstbetrachtend finde,Als Sommersonnengabe, die als KeimIn Herbstesstimmung wärmend lebtAls meiner Seele Kräftetrieb. ∇∆ In stations…

Towards a Science of Archetypes

“Where no gods are, spectres rule.” —Novalis Characteristic of the ontology general to the modern scientific worldview is a reduction of its conception of reality to one of pure quantity. As a methodology, modeling the world according to its measurable aspects has demonstrated incontrovertible utility. Nevertheless, likely enthused by the success of such model, the…

Calendar of the Soul XXVI

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Twenty-sixth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Natur, dein mütterliches Sein, Ich trage es in meinem Willenswesen; Und meines Willens Feuermacht, Sie stählet meines Geistes Triebe, Daß sie gebären Selbstgefühl Zu tragen…

The Speculative Theodyssey of A. N. Whitehead: (3) Metaphysics

In the previous posts, we attempted to penetrate such initially obtuse concepts as prehension, actual occasion, eternal object, ingression, concrescence, and God in his consequent and primordial nature. With the modicum of acquaintance we may have gained with these several players, we may now proceed to investigate that manner by which they collaborate, through prehensile…

The Speculative Theodyssey of A. N. Whitehead: (2) Epistemology

We will recapitulate the quote from A. N. Whitehead that we concluded the first part of this consideration withal: Let us…assume that each entity, of whatever type, essentially involves its own connection with the universe of other things. This connection can be viewed as being what the universe is for that entity either in the…

Calendar of the Soul XXV

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Twenty-fifth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Ich darf nun mir gehören Und leuchtend breiten Innenlicht In Raumes- und in Zeitenfinsternis. Zum Schlafe drängt natürlich Wesen, Der Seele Tiefen sollen wachen Und…

Calendar of the Soul XXIV

SEELENKALENDAR “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Twenty-fourth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Sich selbst erschaffend stets, Wird Seelensein sich selbst gewahr; Der Weltengeist, er strebet fort In Selbsterkenntnis neu belebt Und schafft aus Seelenfinsternis Des Selbstsinns Willensfrucht….

Calendar of the Soul XXIII

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Twenty-third Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Es dämpfet herbstlich sich Der Sinne Reizesstreben; In Lichtesoffenbarung mischen Der Nebel dumpfe Schleier sich. Ich selber schau in Raumesweiten Des Herbstes Winterschlaf. Der Sommer…

Calendar of the Soul XXII

SEELENKALENDAR “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Twenty-second Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Das Licht aus Weltenweiten, Im Innern lebt es kräftig fort: Es wird zum Seelenlichte Und leuchtet in die Geistestiefen, Um Früchte zu entbinden, Die Menschenselbst…

Calendar of the Soul XXI

SEELENKALENDAR “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Twenty-first Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Ich fühle fruchtend fremde Macht Sich stärkend mir mich selbst verleihn, Den Keim empfind ich reifend Und Ahnung lichtvoll weben Im Innern an der Selbstheit…

Calendar of the Soul XX

SEELENKALENDAR “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Twentieth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. So fühl ich erst mein Sein, Das fern vom Welten-Dasein In sich, sich selbst erlöschen Und bauend nur auf eignem Grunde In sich, sich selbst…

Calendar of the Soul XIX

SEELENKALENDAR“Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year∇ Nineteenth Week of the Year ∆Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Geheimnisvoll das Neu-Empfang’neMit der Erinnerung zu umschliessen,Sei meines Strebens weitrer Sinn:Er soll erstarkend EigenkräfteIn meinem Innern weckenUnd werdend mich mir selber geben. ∇∆ New-received, in mystery,Imagination spins a…

Calendar of the Soul XVIII

SEELENKALENDAR “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Eighteenth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Kann ich die Seele weiten, Dass sie sich Selbst verbindet Empfangnem Welten-Keimesworte? Ich ahne, dass ich Kraft muss finden, Die Seele würdig zu gestalten, Zum…

Calendar of the Soul XVII

SEELENKALENDAR “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Seventeenth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Es spricht das Weltenwort, Das ich durch Sinnestore In Seelengründe durfte führen: Erfülle deine Geistestiefen Mit meinen Weltenweiten, Zu finden einstens mich in dir. ∇∆…

Calendar of the Soul XVI

SEELENKALENDAR “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Sixteenth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Zu bergen Geistgeschenk im Innern Gebietet strenge mir mein Ahnen, Dass reifend Gottesgaben In Seelengründen fruchtend Der Selbstheit Früchte bringen. ∇∆ ‘Cease not to mind…

Calendar of the Soul XV

SEELENKALENDER“Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year∇ Fifteenth Week of the Year ∆Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Ich fühle wie verzaubertIm Weltenschein das Geistesweben:Es hat in SinnesdumpfheitGehüllt mein Eigenwesen,Zu schenken mir die Kraft:Die, ohnmächtig sich selbst zu geben,Mein Ich in seinen Schranken ist. ∇∆ Spellbound…

Calendar of the Soul XIV

SEELENKALENDAR “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Fourteenth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. An Sinnesoffenbarung hingegeben Verlor ich Eigenwesens trieb, Gedankentraum, er schien Betäubend mir das Selbst zu rauben, Doch weckend nahet schon Im Sinnenschein mir Weltendenken. ∇∆…

Calendar of the Soul XIII

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Thirteenth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Und bin ich in den Sinneshöhen, So flammt in meinen Seelentiefen Aus Geistes Feuerwelten Der Götter Wahrheitswort: In Geistesgründen suche ahnend Dich geistverwandt zu finden….

“Know Thyself”: Essence and Affordances

Here is your anthropos! The notorious Cynic, Diogenes of Sinope, cried out these words as he cast a plucked chicken onto the floor of the Academy. Following Diogenes’ exclamation, a farcical account of this event presents Plato begrudgingly appending the differentia “…with flat nails” to his provisional definition of the human being as “the featherless…

Calendar of the Soul XII

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Twelfth Week of the Year (Johannesstimmung/Mood of St. John) ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Der Welten Schönheitsglanz, Erzwinget mich aus Seelentiefen Des Eigenlebens Götterkräfte Zum Weltenfluge zu entbinden; Mich selber zu verlassen, Vertrauend nur mich…

Calendar of the Soul XI

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Eleventh Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Es ist in dieser Sonnenstunde An dir, die weise Kunde zu erkennen: An Weltenschönheit hingegeben, In dir dich fühlend zu durchleben: Verlieren kann das Menschen-Ich…

Philosophy and its Opposite

“All philosophy begins in wonder (θαυμάζειν, thaumazein).” This phrase, resounding from the earliest philosophers of Ancient Greece, describes the original conditions of soul that gave birth to the discipline of philosophy. With the enunciation that all philosophy begins in wonder, these “lovers of wisdom” gave voice to the spirit with which they approached their work….

Calendar of the Soul X

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Tenth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Zu sommerlichen Höhen Erhebt der Sonne leuchtend Wesen sich; Es nimmt mein menschlich Fühlen In seine Raumesweiten mit. Erahnend regt im Innern sich Empfindung, dumpf…

The New Copernicanism

The threefold relationship between truth, knowledge, and reality is a question at the very heart of philosophy and science. Theoria-press shares the essential concern of these disciplines. To approach this relationship from diverse perspectives has been the motive behind many prior investigations undertaken at Theoria-press, and the same also impels the present consideration. Every soul…

Calendar of the Soul IX

SEELENKALENDAR “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Ninth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Vergessend meine Willenseigenheit Erfüllet Weltenwärme sommerkündend Mir Geist und Seelenwesen; Im Licht mich zu verlieren Gebietet mir das Geistesschauen, Und kraftvoll kündet Ahnung mir: Verliere…

Latent Order and “The Advancement of Learning”

Among the characteristically mystical dicta of Heraclitus which scholars have preserved through the millennia, one may discover the following fragment recorded by the Roman theologian Hippolytus in the third century: Latent order is the master of obvious order. According to the nature of experience in the most basic sense, our knowledge will be the measure…

Calendar of the Soul VIII

SEELENKALENDAR “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Eighth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Es wächst der Sinne Macht Im Bunde mit der Götter Schaffen, Sie drückt des Denkens Kraft Zur Traumes Dumpfheit mir herab. Wenn göttlich Wesen Sich…

Calendar of the Soul VII

SEELENKALENDAR “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Seventh Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Mein Selbst, es drohet zu entfliehen, Vom Weltenlichte mächtig angezogen. Nun trete du mein Ahnen In deine Rechte kräftig ein, Ersetze mir des Denkens Macht,…

Reading the World-Word & intellectio divina

In all of your rambling, though you travel every path, you will never reach the boundaries of the soul, so great is its Lógos. When Heraclitus issues the characteristically inspired dictum above, he lends his voice to the Lógos whose order it is that this pre-Socratic Ephesian should be amongst the first to declare it….

Calendar of the Soul VI

SEELENKALENDAR “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Sixth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Es ist erstanden aus der Eigenheit Mein Selbst und findet sich Als Weltenoffenbarung In Zeit- und Raumeskräften; Die Welt, sie zeigt mir überall Als Göttlich…

Calendar of the Soul V

SEELENKALENDER “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Fifth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Im Lichte, das aus Geistestiefen Im Raume fruchtbar webend Der Götter Schaffen offenbart: In ihm erscheint der Seele Wesen Geweitet zu dem Weltensein Und auferstanden…

Calendar of the Soul IV

SEELENKALENDAR “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Fourth Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Ich fühle Wesen meines Wesens: So spricht Empfindung, Die in der sonnerhellten Welt Mit Lichtesfluten sich vereint; Sie will dem Denken Zur Klarheit Wärme schenken….

Excerpts: Rudolf Steiner on Theoria

Wenn der eine, der ein reiches Seelenleben hat, tausend Dinge sieht, die für den geistig Armen eine Null sind, so beweist das sonnenklar, daß der Inhalt der Wirklichkeit nur das Spiegelbild des Inhaltes unseres Geistes ist und daß wir von außen nur die leere Form empfangen. Freilich müssen wir die Kraft in uns haben, uns…

A Contemplation of Enfolded Butterflies: Emotion

Of all of the nebulous uses of language, perhaps none are so obscure as the deployment of the words “feeling” and “emotion.” Community depends on common meaning. In the Confucian spirit of “Rectifying the Names,” therefore, I wish to offer a brief reflection following an investigation of emotion on its own terms, and a consideration…

Calendar of the Soul III

SEELENKALENDAR “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Third Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Es spricht zum Weltenall, Sich selbst vergessend Und seines Urstands eingedenk, Des Menschen wachsend Ich: In dir, befreiend mich Aus meiner Eigenheiten Fessel, Ergründe ich…

A Circuit Through the Cloud of Unknowing

In the now infamous & unforgettable answer to a question at the U. S. Department of Defense news briefing in February 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stated: Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know….

Calendar of the Soul II

SEELENKALENDAR “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ Second Week of the Year ∆ Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translation into English. Ins Äussre des Sinnesalls Verliert Gedankenmacht ihr Eigensein; Es finden Geisteswelten Den Menschensprossen wieder Der seinen Keim in ihnen, Doch seine Seelenfrucht In sich muss…

The Sound Hypothesis: Appendices

Appendix: Towards a Rectification of Names Confucius advocated “The Rectification of Names” as the foundation of an healthy society: A superior human, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve. If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance…

The Sound Hypothesis: Apollo’s Lyre

To be clear, it is by no means the intention of this consideration to contest any of the quantitative observations by admirable men and women of the scientific endeavor in general, nor in the field of neuroscience in particular. In the first place, I am not possibly qualified to dispute findings of neurology with a…

The Sound Hypothesis: Observation & Theory

The views in the preamble were offered in an attempt to provide a general portrayal of scientific materialism as a world-conception. To recapitulate, according to this view, only what is measurable and without quality is real. The world’s qualitative and immeasurable aspects—the very form and substance of concrete experience itself—“are consigned to the trash heap”…

Lectio Divina: Reading in the Lumen Gloriae

Reality is a reunion of the What and the How in the theatre of human consciousness after a provisional separation as an accident of the human sensory organisation. Every essence clothes itself in accidents as a condition for its appearance to the senses. The latter appears outwardly and invokes the former, which appears inwardly. The unassuming activity of reading this very sentence exemplifies…

Face to Face with Invisible Honeybees

We are the bees of the Invisible. Passionately, we plunder the honey of the visible, in order to gather it in the great golden hive of the Invisible. These are the words of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, from a letter to his friend Witold Hulewicz, 1925. It has been a life dream of mine…

The Signs of the Times (3): New Sunrise of the Lógos

Conspectus, in brief: to modern consciousness, the world appears to consist in material entities entirely under the government of the laws of physics and chemistry. Such a world is utterly bereft of soul and spirit. Silent are the gods who once spoke to human hearts, ever since scientific investigation has revealed them to be coinages…

The Signs of the Times (2): Sunrise of the Idols

Where no gods are, spectres rule. —Novalis The most precise investigations of folklore place the following fateful event in the autumn of 1666: it was one sultry English afternoon in that season when the infamous imaginary apple was loosed from its imaginary bough and proceeded to knock the celebrated Sir Isaac Newton about the sconce…

The Signs of the Times (1): Twilight of the Gods

…ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not read the signs of the times? —Matthew 16:3 “Dubito ergo cogito, cogito ergo sum:” René Descartes’ famous dictum (captured in this gloss by the critic Antoine Léonard Thomas of the Father of Modern Philosophy’s 1644 Principia Philosophiae) is, in an important sense, the…

But Now Face to Face: Philosophy as Letters & Spirit

Does not Sophia (“Wisdom”) call, and does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries… They are all straight to one who understands and right to those who find…

Calendar of the Soul I

SEELENKALENDAR “Calendar of the Soul”—Rudolf Steiner’s 52 Verses for the Year ∇ First Week of the Year ∆  Below is Dr Steiner’s original verse followed by my translations into Swedish and English. OSTER STIMMUNG Wenn aus den Weltenweiten Die Sonne spricht zum Menschensinn Und Freude aus den Seelentiefen Dem Licht sich eint im Schauen, Dann…