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Homo religiosus

Friday, 12 July 2019 at 21:25

Tomberg on Dr John Dunn. Valentin Tomberg

These paragraphs from Valentin Tomberg’s Meditations on the Tarotcaught my eye on a reading today. I agree, at this stage of my journey,with the limited sentiments here as far as they go, but I think it is Jung's obsession with pulling everything together under a greater power of ONE that needs further examination, and this small exerpt from Tomberg's monumental work aids the thought processes.

Just as Karl Marx, being impressed by the partial truth (reduced to its simplest basis) that it is first necessary to eat in order to be able to think, raised the economic interest to THE principle of man and the history of civilisation, so Sigmund Freud, being impressed by the partial truth that it is first necessary to be born in order to be able to eat and to think, and that sexual desire is necessary for birth, raised this latter to THE principle of man and the whole of human culture. As Marx saw homo economicus (economic man) at the basis of homo sapiens, so Freud saw homo sexualis (sexual man) at the basis of homo sapiens. Alfred Adler could not follow his master in the attribution of absolute primacy to sex—his experience on many occasions contradicting this doctrine. Thus this founder of another school of depth psychology was led to the discovery that it is the will-to-power which plays the leading role at the foundation of the human being. Adler then advanced the doctrine of homo potestatis — man motivated by the will-to-power —instead of the homo sapiens of eighteenth century science, the homo economicus of Marx, and the homo sexualis of Freud.
However. Carl Gustav Jung, whilst admitting the partial truth of the doctrines of Freud and Adler, was led by his clinical experience to the discovery of a much deeper layer of the psyche than that studied by Freud and Adler. He had to admit the reality of a religious layer, which lies at amuch greater depth than the layers of sex and of the will-to-power. Thus, thanks to the work of Jung, man is fundamentally homo religiosus, areligious being, though he may also be an economic entity, a sexual entity and an entity aspiring to power.
Posted by John Dunn.

Opposition controlled

Wednesday, 10 July 2019 at 21:36

Crowley on Dr John Dunn. The rebels of recent history are members, knowingly or not, of a controlled opposition.

The modern world is obsessed by oneness, wholeness, togetherness - and I mean this at a deeply philosophical level, not only the warm platitudes of media-driven popular culture. The individual is lost in the dark wood of all this inclusiveness; not simply subsumed into the crowd, I mean lost to himself.

Whilst trapped in the darkness we will experience slavery as freedom, in other words the ‘freedom’ to pursue actions prompted by others, human or machine. There are forces that havea political and economic interest in this death of the self, the dehumanisers who do not want you to see the human as a disrupter of equilibria, but rather as a colluder serving the interests of their equilibrium.

The ‘rebels’ of our recent past and present, even a rebel as compelling as Aleister Crowley, are in reality the colluders. Take the following quote from Crowley.

IT IS WRITTEN that 'Love is the law, love under will.' Herein is an Arcanum concealed, for in the Greek Language [Agape], Love, is of the same numerical value as [Thelema], Will. By this we understand that the Universal Will is of the nature of Love. Now Love is the enkindling in ecstacy of Two that will to become One. It is thus an Universal formula of High Magick. For see now how all things, being in sorrow caused by dividuality, must of necessity will Oneness as their medicine... Understand now that in yourselves is a certain discontent. Analyse well its nature: at the end is in every case one conclusion. The ill springs from the belief in two things, the Self and the Not-Self, and the conflict between them. This also is a restriction of the Will. He who is sick is in conflict with his own body: he who is poor is at odds with society: and so for the rest. Ultimately, therefore, the problem is how to destroy this perception of duality, to attain to the apprehension of unity.
- Aleister Crowley, "De Lege Libellum"

Those who would also resist the subsumption of the self into the amorphous, commodified and brutalised herd must fight to save the ‘I’, not lose it in unity - surely...

© John Dunn.

Divine encounter

Sunday, 7 July 2019 at 20:43

Dantis Amor on Dr John Dunn.

Rossetti illustrates LOVE from Dante’s Divine Comedy and La Vita Nuova.

The haloed figure of Christ looking down from the top left towards Beatrice

The central angel holding bow and arrow i.e. Cupid, or love, also holds a sundial indicating the number nine, the hour of Beatrice's death.

Rossetti inscribed diagonally the concluding words of Dante's Divine Comedy: 'L'AMOR QUE MVOVE IL SOLE E L'ALTRE STELLE' [the love which moves the sun and the other stars] (Paradiso xxxiii, l.145).

This is an illustration of love as the generating force of the universe.

The crescent moon enclosing the Head of Beatrice is inscribed with lines from La Vita Nuova: 'QVELLA BEATA BEATRICE CHE MIRA CONTINVAMENTE NELLA FACCIA DI COLVI' [that Blessed Beatrice who continuously gazes at Him.’]

The lines carry on into Christ's halo: 'QVI EST PER OMNIA SAECVLA BENEDICTVS' [Who is blessed throughout eternity].

Thus we have an expression of LOVE as a Trinity.

Two separate substances and one sole essence = three. Know this and know why the God of love is revealed to human consciousness as the eternal Trinity - the Loving One who loves, the Loved One who loves, and their Love who loves them: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

To be conscious is to be human. Encounter awakens consciousness and humanises. This is where the magic resides. Human consciousness is magic. Mind is magic in the sense that our consciousness as fully human beings cannot be subject to rational explanation.

© John Dunn.

Religionists and atheists in thrall

Friday, 5 July 2019 at 21:03

Angelus Silesius on Dr John Dunn. To all religionists and atheists who remain in thrall to an externalised pre-existent power, be it called God or Nature, I say this…

…Jesus confronted hollow men such as you, the living dead, people who lived their lives to the letter of the Law to get by in the world. Driven by externalities, these were people who had chosen the world, but who rejected Jesus’ message of the Father’s love. Their god was the god of this world, as it remains for idolaters today. They had suffered the death of the self. They had made a pre-existent idol of their god and the world.

The 17th century mystic Angelus Silesius (pictured above) knew better. He made the remarkable statement which at first may astound people:

I know that without me no God can live; were I brought to naught, he would of necessity have to give up the ghost.
We see from this that Silesius did not worship an entity wholly outside himself.

He recognised the importance of the ‘I’ in any formation of a concept of the Absolute.

Indeed, the Absolute to him was a dialectical entity formed of the ‘I’ and the Logos.

John recognised the same dialectic, introducing the metaphor of Love to describe it.
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16)
Whatever love is, it is dialectical. It is upon love that the mystery turns, i.e., upon the fact that there are no criteria by which love can be defined. This is the wonderful mystery of Love and God.
'God is love' (1 John 4:8, 16)
From these words it becomes evident that to have a 'lived experience' of the love of God is to manifest His love in the individual’s own life. Without manifesting God's love in his own life, such a person cannot know God or ever have known the love of God or experience His presence.

But much, much more than this, it is in the dialectic of Love that the individual experiences something else - the experience of self.

Throughout my journey I have struggled against the Spinozist death of the self. Many of the thinkers I encountered have also been engaged in the same struggle. All have failed - with their theories and philosophies falling prey to the all-subsuming power of Spinozist Oneness, which is itself grounded in Lurianic Kabbalah and Judaism. Without succumbing to the false idols of the religionists and atheists, it seems to me that the only alternative to the death of the self is to be found in the word of God as expressed by Jesus of Nazareth. In the Word, the Logos and the Truth, is to be found the re-birth of the self to new life. This is the resurrection.

© John Dunn.

Truth is anthropomorphic

Monday, 1 July 2019 at 22:01

Rudolf Steiner on Dr John Dunn. Rudolf Steiner (left) on thought and man’s role in its manifestation.

Lines excerpted from the exposition in brief by the translator, Olin D. Wannamaker, of The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception by Rudolf Steiner.

Truth is anthropomorphic. Not only is the world known to us as it appears, but it appears — to thinking contemplation — as it is.

Each personality, working with the one thought content of the world, brings to manifestation in his own consciousness thoughts which are objectively real.

Thinking is an organ of perception. As the eye perceives light and the ear perceives sound, so does thinking perceive concepts, ideas. There is one world of ideas, but many minds. — The external is merely the form; the inner is the real nature.

In place of the determining law (in inorganic Nature) and the evolving type (in organic Nature), we have the single personality, who determinesinstead of being determined.

Human action is determinedby human thinking. Hence a personality will act freely or under compulsion according as he knows the reality in his own intuitions or accepts dogmas dictated from without. The World Fundament has poured itself out into the world. Its highest form is manifested in human thought. Thus the Guiding Power of the world lives in human thoughts. Hence man is in harmony with this Guiding Power when he acts according to his own true intuitions. History also is determined by the thoughts of individuals.

In both science and art, the human spirit masters the sensible characteristics and brings to manifestation the innermost reality.

Posted by John Dunn.

Thought - the last member

Saturday, 29 June 2019 at 21:04

Goethe on Dr John Dunn. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1828

I am grateful to Joel A. Wendt for isolating these quoted lines from Rudolf Steiner’s Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe’s World Conception.

"It is really the genuine, and indeed the truest, form of Nature, which comes to manifestation in the human mind, whereas for a mere sense-beingonly Nature's external aspect would exist. Knowledge plays here a role of world significance. It is the conclusion of a work of creation. What takes place in human consciousness is the interpretation of Nature to itself. Thought is the last member in a series of processes whereby Nature is formed."


"Man is not behaving inaccordance with the purposes of the Guiding Power of the world when he investigates one or another of His commandments, but when he behaves in accordance with his own insight. For in him the Guiding Power of the world manifests Himself. He does not live as Will somewhere outside of man, He has renounced his own will in order that all might depend upon the will of man. If man is to be enabled to become his own lawgiver, all thought about world-determinations outside of man must be abandoned.”

So, from the above...

“Thought is the last member in a series of processes whereby Nature is formed.”

In saying this, Goethe was a precursor of Vladimir Vernadsky and the theory of evolutionary movement from the biosphere to the higher level of the noosphere.

“…thought about world-determinations outside of man must be abandoned.”

The implications of this are that world-determinations outside of man are revealed to be idols, or external objects of worship which must be abandoned.

Man must take upon himself both crown and mitre, which is what Dante did in the Divine Comedy.

There is a tension in Goethe’s remarkable insight which must be dealt with - and I look forward to reading more of Rudolf Steiner to see if the answer might be found there. The tension is between:

1) man being an instrument of nature by which… ‘human consciousness is the interpretation of Nature to itself’

2) man achieving freedom, by which man behaves ‘in accordance with his own insight’.

© John Dunn.

Truth and Knowledge

Thursday, 27 June 2019 at 22:07

Rudolf Steiner on Dr John Dunn. I’m grappling with an essay by R. H. Brady on Rudolf Steiner’s Truth and Knowledge.

Rudolf Steiner

In an earlier blog I commented that Steiner discovered that it is the shape in which the world is first given, rather than the shape it attains through theorising activity, that is subjective.

But what the human mind, through theorising activity, can bring into being is the phenomenal world in its intelligible fullness. That is objective.Only the human mind can do this.

The following quotes from Brady’s essay explore Steiner’s understanding that the cognitive ability of man holds the possibility of true freedom.

The act of cognition makes the not-self intelligible and the self conscious. It is a free act, for to be active in this manner the I must create the category of cognition through self- determination. Yet consciousness must still grasp itself, and unless the I also grasps its own self-determination, its role as creator of the idea of cognition remains hidden from it.

The I must realise the idea of its own cognitive activity in order to realise its freedom — to grasp that the “laws of logic” are its own intentions, and knowledge its own creation.

If the I can objectify ideas other than those of cognition, this will alsotake place through self-determination, for nothing in the world could demand it.

...the task of thinking is not thrust upon us by an enigmatic universe, but isour own free creation, and the manifest intelligibility of the world isa human product.

...the law is not something given, lying outside the object in which the eventappears, but is the content of the object itself engaged in living activity. The object in this case is our own I. If the I has really penetrated its deed with full insight, in conformity with its nature, then it also feels itself to be master.
© John Dunn.
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