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Life without rhetoric

Monday, 1 February 2021 at 13:08

Scaligero on Dr John Dunn. Massimo Scaligero comments on how a state of disenchantment is a necessary precursor to freedom. This applies at an individual and the wider human level. There is no freedom without awareness of error, and in advocating this point, Scaligero is rehearsing once more the Christian tradition of felix culpa, (happy fall) and the concept of Luciferic hindrance held by Rudolf Steiner.

The move towards the freedom that not even the angels possess has to occur in a world of error, where freedom can only ever be ‘rhetorical’.

In coining the term ‘rhetorical’, Scaligero is probably echoing Carlo Michelstaeder’s employment of the word, where to live ‘rhetorically’ is to be subject to the conventions of social life, in which man overpowers nature and himself for his own pleasure, as opposed to what Michelstaeder termed ‘persuasion’, in which man lives in full possessionof himself. It has to be said that there is a Kierkegaardian, even Heideggerian, existential element here, which might apply back to Scaligero. We will have to see as we progress through The Logos and the New Mysteries, from which I quote below.

If the pure relation controlled thinking, we would completely realise truth; we would not know error, nor consequently evil, but we would not be free. Each of us would be an impeccable spiritual automaton, namely that to which, today, certain mystagogues and kabbalists belatedly tend without hope, unconsciously opposing the secret impulse of the Logos on Earth…

…The preliminary process of freedom takes place for us in accordance with a de-spiritualised vision of things, that of the mineral “appearing,” at alevel in which duality separates subject from object, thought from life, substance from form.

It is a rhetorical freedom, devoid of the vital lymph, because it emerges from reflected thought’s adherence to the alterity… (p. 43)

© John Dunn.

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