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The End of Empiricist Winter

Wednesday, 14 Nov 2012

A Manifesto for a Spiritual Life and Fulfilment in Community.

The End of Libertarianism. The End of Empiricism.

Surely libertarianism has run its course.

  • To say, as Marx did, that our very subjectivity has been alienated by our exploitation in the world of work, is to suggest that to recover ourselves will require external input.
  • Recovery of the self will, presumably, allow us to see the world anew.
  • Our knowledge of the world will be inextricably mind-dependent again.
  • When was it last mind-dependent?
  • Before the Fall?
  • Was not ‘the Fall’ caused by a desire for access to a ‘knowledge’ of an apparently mind-independent world?
  • Life in all its richness is neither science, nor art, nor even religion. Surely, these are all things external to the self and facets or our desire for carnal knowledge of the bodily world.
  • Surely,life must be, in all its richness, morality and, by necessity, liberty;freedom from the desire for knowledge and possession of the apparently material world.
  • The belief that the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve are born into a complete and finished world – there to labour within the prison of a mind-independent reality – could only ever have been a wicked and stultifying fiction. Surely this is Hell. Surely, this is the ‘reality’ from which Christ has saved us.
  • Christ, the external input.
  • Realism- the belief that men and women could only come to know the world through observation as spectators, means turning away from direct, active and moral engagement. The passivity and non-engagement implicit in this notion is characteristic of most people in modern society. Marx himself encouraged this notion with his philosophical materialism.
  • If there is a pre-existent world into which we are pushed at birth, most of our responsibilities are diminished and progressively wither away. Our life is out of our control. We believe we are the outcome of genes and the environment, products of complexes, abuse and trauma, utterly dependent on external influences. We are vulnerable to manipulation and exploitation.
  • To worship a material reality is to deny volition, action, and morality. It is idolatry.
  • How then to recover Eden? Action! Iconoclasm!
  • Our community will be religious in character and, as a result, pedagogical in terms of its responsibilities to others.
  • Individuals will never escape particularity as long as they remain subject to the current anarchy of feckless influences arising from narrow-minded interests.
  • Individuals are inundated with suborned profit-motivated influences, which prevent a coherent appreciation of collective interests. Not only are individuals morally debauched, cognitively stultified, but the whole environment is physically, intellectually and morally debased.
  • Only by virtue of a shared consciousness in an ethical community will people become receptive to a better way.
  • True freedom and personal fulfilment will result from the identification with such a free and ethical community.
  • The real individual is not the isolated individual, but the spiritual being whose transcendental essence is and can only be communal.
  • For the solitary individual remains nought but an abstract concept. Real existing human beings need a community of selves. Thought and contemplation would be impossible in isolation; for there would be no language, no shared truths and no collective memories for the solitary individual.
  • The sense of community, acceptance of faith, surrender of self, are all dependent on moral choice, education, integrity and commitment – the very conditions of a moral life.
  • In our community, a deep and infinite spirituality will be the foundation of consciousness. Fulfilment will be found in a life that is spiritually led.
  • No community could achieve the necessary renewal of lives whilst remaining agnostic. The conditions that drive our community demand a moral position to be taken on nearly every issue. Ours will therefore be a pedagogical life – one of moral responsibility for the rebirth of individuals.
  • Men and women will identify with their community. Each individual will feel bound to it as though her life is no longer her own, but a spiritualitythat belongs not only to herself, but to herself through others.
  • True freedom will arise only when every individual conceives him or herself at one with the community.
  • Herelies the religious nature of the spiritual enclave and its rejection of agnosticism, based as it is on the presupposition that society is something extraneous to the individual.
  • Our way will be founded on the understanding of reality as spiritual. Life will be simple, and human beings will be accepted as moral entities whose lives transcend the meagre span of material existence to find in a higher spiritual community, not limited by time or space, a higher freedom and fulfilment.
  • For our definition of a moral life can be expressed simply and succinctly in the exhortation: fulfil oneself as a human being!
John Dunn.

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