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), on 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,…