Life without rhetoric
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 possession of 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 a level 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.
Massimo Scaligero presents matter as petrified thought, the original power of which is unnoticed, lost, and reflected back as an entity in its own right. This reflected entity is in fact dead matter which, having no life, takes on the symbology of death.
This reflected entity will remain a symbol of entropic death until it is de-crystalised and re-infused with living thinking. Scaligero writes in The Logos and the New Mysteries.
That matter moves or evolves is the tragic “error of thought” of the obtuse, but dialectical and logical human being. It is superstition, blunder, and obscure faith. In truth, matter opposes movement. It resists and contradicts all evolution. It is the symbol of death. It evolves only if it dies to itself, if it disintegrates or is annihilated by the super-material powers that rule it, and that, by inverting its inner polarity, edify life by means of it. (54)
Until matter’s resistance is overcome, then our relationship to it will be one of worshipper to idol. We will continue to make a “mythical entity” out of matter.
Matter exists, but one should be forewarned that it exists where it is perceived and not beyond. It does not have an “inner” of its own, or a “profound”. The profundity is always an inner dimension, or a relation of thought. One must be careful not to make a mythical entity, or a modern, dialectical, logical superstition out of matter. (54)
© John Dunn.
I think that at this point in The Logos and the New Mysteries Massimo Scaligero is nailing home the point he has repeatedly made, i.e. that the living thought that arises simultaneously with sensory perception, is lost to us and seemingly presented back to us in the form of ‘reality’. We then treat this reality as that which must be ‘known’.
We should instead be seeking the lost inner content of ‘reality’ which arises in the simultaneous thought-pairing with perception. Only by this means will we break through the barrier at which science remains stuck.
In perceiving, we indeed have the sensory datum, but simultaneously inserted within it, (we have) the internal datum, which rises before us as a concept. Yet, we ignore it…. The concept that we form of an object, or of a phenomenon, is the attempt to reconstitute the inner content, present within perception, by means of conscious thinking.
It is this content, which, thanks to perception, normally gives the impression of being before reality. But we make the mistake of considering this reality to be founded upon itself and to be opposite thinking and, therefore, in need of being known, as such. (p.57)
This ‘reality’ that needs to be ‘known’ delineates the activity of science and the limits of science. We need to get beyond it to the inner truth and our initial role in its true manifestation.
Thought manifests to us objectively, just like the sensory content. The experience of this ‘manifesting’ of thought within the ‘perceiving’ is the true sense of sensory knowledge. It leads the research beyond the limit at which science has been arrested. (p.58)
Scaligero ends this part of the book with a question, which is - if we are to get beyond the ‘modern idolatry of matter’ and seek instead its internal structure:
…we have to wonder to which other type of perception must we resort to perceive it, beyond the aspect of it that manifests as form, size, colour, sound, and, so on in ordinary perceptions… (59)
© John Dunn.
After asking the question about the internal content of perception, i.e. which other type of perception must we resort to perceive it?, Massimo Scaligero suddenly changes gear to discuss the three-dimensionality of experience. What? Are we moving into geometry? I quote from The Logos and the New Mysteries:
The experience of the living content of perception allows us to know the secret of the three dimensions.
This ‘living content’ is that aspect of perception that shapes the world in which we live, but is lost at the moment it is thought, leaving a world reflected back to us that we believe is shaped materially even before we enter into it. This is the idolatrous faith in matter which we encountered in the earlier thought blogs.
Of the dimensions, Scaligero continues:
…only one is sensory. The other two are internal, as suprasensory structural relations of the first, constituting its previously mentioned living content.
Developing the discoveries made by Ruldolf Steiner in The Philosophy of Freedom, Scaligero makes the point that without the living content of thought, perception would be one-dimensional, experiencing the world notionally, somehow, as line only, if there could ever be such a thing as a one-dimensional world. Volume and spaciality are given to the world by us, by our living thought. We shape the world, but we do not know it. One cannot help but see the influence of Giovanni Gentile upon Scaligero here.
© John Dunn.
The secret of life
Now Massimo Scaligero moves us on the heart of the matter.
He writes about a spirit that descends, a spirit that needs physical manifestation.
In all forms of life except the human, the spirit must out of necessity conform to physical laws.
Scaligero seems to link the spirit to the human ‘I’.
The human ‘I’ seems to be at once spirit and not spirit.
I human ‘I’ contradicts the necessity to conform to physical laws since the spirit floats freely inside and out side of it.
It seems that the human being is not fully incarnated, i.e. is not a wholly physical and material entity.
And yet by not grasping its own role in the shaping of the world, and by confronting the material world as a ready-made reality, the human being conforms to the physical laws of material ‘reality’.
This gives the sense of a freedom that might be had, but remains ephemeral, and just out of reach.
Nevertheless, throughout The Logos and the New Mysteries up to this point, Scaligero has drawn our attention to the fleeting ‘moment of the spirit’s incarnation’, that moment which adds dimensionality to the world in the flash of first perception, that moment that is lost, to pass unnoticed, which leaves us to inhabit the world as though it exists on its own account, needing mythological laws,such as Darwinian evolutionism, to account for its apparent self-sustaining existence.
However (and Scaligero makes a massively cosmic claim here, drawn from Rudolf Steiner’s The Philosophy of Freedom), if we could grasp that shaping moment, ‘the moment of the spirit’s incarnation’, we would hold ‘the secret of life’.
I leave you with Massimo Scaligero’s own words from The Logos and the New Mysteries:
In the living forms of earthliness, the spirit conforms to this (extraterrestrial) necessity. It descends there on condition of adapting itself to the laws of the physical manifestation. The necessity also conditions the internal forces that are later incarnated for the animal and human structure. The human “I” cannot but contradict such a necessity, since the spirit is free outside of it and, nonetheless, operative within it. The inner life of the human being - animic and spiritual - is but minimally incarnated, but not even disincarnated, like it is in its sublime, but reflected, suprasensory reality. However, in being reflected, despite bearing the overcoming of nature’s necessity, it undergoes this necessity. And this is the sense of its ephemeral freedom
Nonetheless, we have seen that there is a moment of the spirit’s incarnation in the pre-dialectical flash of thinking, just as there is the essential content of perception. Whoever could experience the moment of the spirit’s incarnation would have secret of life, which, from the spirit’s a-dimensional world, enters the three-dimensional world. (p.61)
© John Dunn.
Massimo Scaligero has spent much of the The Logos and the New Mysteries up to this point labouring the view that the living thought that arises simultaneously with sensory perception is lost to us and seemingly presented back to us in the form of ‘reality’. We then treat this reality as Nature, i.e. that which must be ‘known’.
Scaligero argues we:
…had to undertake earthly experience, for which the whole story originated based on the drama of losing the primordial Logos. We had to undertake the experience of earthliness until conquering egoic consciousness and the freedom correlated to the vision of the world devoid of the Divine, or of the Logos. (63)
It seems that we had to undertake Earthliness until we the conquered the false notions of freedom that a de-spiritualised world makes us feel; as though there were some purpose in this de-spiritualising of life through which we had to pass, to make good a happy Fall.
However Scaligero and others who are aware of this spiritual void:
…discover that the spirit can repermeate this nature only by destroying it and rebuilding it. (64)
This destruction of nature must be the overcoming of that which was shaped by thought, but which is reflected back to us as ready-made material nature devoid of any thought (or spiritual) content, i.e. devoid of our own content.
This destructive act is committed by people who are newly conscious of that which is lost, i.e. the shaping thought content of nature.
This consciousness empowers the:
…investigator to wilfully deepen this process of destruction of the vital nature, thereby radicalising the “void” and opening the threshold to the re-edifying spirit. (64)
© John Dunn.
Re-ascension of the light
Massimo Scaligero makes the point in The Logos and the New Mysteries that the ‘process of destruction of the vital nature’ (64), examined in the previous Thought Blog, must occur to:
...overcome the animal-human limit to restore to Nature the connection with the lost principle.
Only then can we:
…retrace the cosmic dimension of the fall into matter, insofar as it connects (within itself) to the inner cosmic Impulse, namely, to the principle from which Nature has become alienated.
Consciousness of the principle from which Nature is alienated:
…enables the Logos flash of lightning to strike the vital-animal nature… (64)
The lightning strike is the destructive act upon reflected nature, described in an earlier Thought Blog as ‘thought petrified’, i.e. that which appears to be ready-made and devoid of our own shaping content.
Scaligero moves on to a new metaphor, describing reflected nature, or matter, as:
...light solidified in its denying of itself. Each disintegration of matter is a moment of re-ascension of the light, physically imperceptible. (65)
The word re-ascension was unlikely to have been chosen lightly by Scaligero.
© John Dunn.
Birth of the “I”
Scaligero seems to be arguing that with consciousness and will the human “I” can reverse the ages-old process in which the shaping force of thought has been reflected back to us and falsely understood by us to be self-sustaining nature, or matter.
The human “I”, like self-consciousness and freedom, becomes the bearer of the process of disintegration and reintegration, indicating within itself a direction opposite to that of the vital-physical nature, which attracts the light of the spirit to itself for its own animal-vital processes. The “I” within the vehicle of pure thinking inverts such a direction and tends to destroy those processes. (65)
In addition to being a destroyer, thought becomes a rebuilder… Logos edifies life. (65)
This is the difficult part - possibly impossible for one who has spent nearly all his life immersed in ultra empiricism. Yes I can read Scaligero’s argument logically and indeed understand it logically, but what he seems to be demanding is that we embrace his position wholly and internally, to live as though the Logos shines through us
This logical fact must become inner experience. In that way, it coincides with the splendour of the Logos, which annihilates the obscurity of human nature.… human nature. (65)
Scaligero is not demanding that we suppress our humanity, he is in fact making the case for exactly the opposite position. Our human nature is currently obscured and as such we are all leading sub-human lives.
On the contrary, Scligero believes that we are now at a stage of our development (and I question his Steinerian leaning towards evolutionism, but will leave that aside for now), when that which obscures our fully human nature, i.e. reflected nature, can be annihilated.
This act of annihilation is the only true revolutionary goal, and is contrary to the obscurity that determines the ethical level of human culture and socioeconomic processes.
Our truly revolutionary act of annihilation will lead to nothing short of a discovery of the “I” of Dantesque proportions, the discovery of the “I”in the Logos. Discovery of the “I” must come first.
We seek the Logos because, obscurely, we seek the principle that delivers us from evil, from error and from destruction, but we cannot find it as long as we ignore our own “I”, which bears the force of the Logos within it. The birth of the “I” as self-consciousness, in modern times, has no other purpose - namely, not to be bound to pysychophysiological nature, not to become a kind of epiphenomenon of it but, rather, to achieve independence from it to move from one’s own suprasensory foundation or from the principle that has the power to destroy and re-edify life. (66-7)
© John Dunn.
Individuality and freedom
Massimo Scaligero associates the reversal the ages-old petrification of thought with allowing ourselves to bear the force of the Logos. As such, the goal of our times should be that of incarnating the Logos. I quote from The Logos and the New Mysteries:
…that the Logos becomes flesh is the image of an event to which the transcendent process of thinking - rather than of feeling or of the will- is connected in modern times. (68)
Feeling, the will and all things mystical are thrown out:
With the spiritual mystically revived through the help of the Kabbalah and hermetic-alchemical symbols, yoga, occultism, and magic do not escape the sphere of feeling that undergoes the captivity of reflected thought. Essentially operating behind the revivification of traditional spiritualism is the impulse that tends to impede the living experience of the Logos. (69)
Scaligero is making the point that the Kabbalah and other mysticisms are just as much a part of the reflected, ready-made world as anything considered to be materialistic or otherwise mundane to the apparently spiritual mind.
The conscious discovery of the thought that shapes our world, the thought that is lost almost at the moment of its inception, only to be reflected back to us as material ‘reality, or Nature, is the discovery too of the Logos. It is the discovery of the Logos inside of the ‘I’. Scaligero calls this a rediscovery, as though the identification of the Logos with thought was once something we had and later lost. This is all tied up with his learning from Rudolf Steiner, something that cannot be delved into much deep for now.
The influence of Evola is apparent too, in the way that Scaligero emphasises the individuality of experience in a deification of the ‘I’, which is Logos incarnated and resurrected.
The Divine becomes human; the human reconnects with the Divine, within Christ. Whoever treads the path of initiation - whoever recognises or fails to recognise the Christ - knows, at a given moment on the path, that there is no initiation without such a teacher. (71)
'Without such a teacher' - I think that Scaligero means by this that, whilst the experience of a connection, or reconnection, with the Logos is an individual experience, it is not something the individual will experience without external guidance. There must be an encounter. Christ is that guidance, but we must ensure that our understanding of the Christ phenomenon is fully expanded cosmically. This is:
…certainly not the mystical, or gnostic, Christ or the Christ limited to a religion but, rather, the cosmic Christ, the metaphysical principle of absolute individuality and freedom. (71)
© John Dunn.
Massimo Scaligero raises the issue of duality. In his terms this refers to man’s subjection to the reflected world of material ‘reality’, i.e. the thought petrified, the world that man himself does not understand that he has shaped in thought.
However, that very same shaping force of thought is one with the Logos.
The Logos - overcomer of duality - is that with which the ‘I’ , within itself, is one. (72)
Scaligero argues that duality is overcome where the incarnation of the Logos is realised. By ‘realised’ I think that he meant consciously realised. I think this because Scaligero has made the point previously that the Logos has always been incarnated in man and works through thought to shape the world in which we live. The critical issue is that until Rudolf Steiner’s seminal work, The Philosophy of Freedom, we have not been conscious of the workings of the Logos through us.
Only the original force itself can say ‘I am the light of the world’ with regard to itself, since, as the life of the light, it has incarnated at the level of earthliness, or of animal corporeality… Duality is overcome there, where the incarnation of the Divine in the human is realised. (72)
Incarnation is realised in the dawning of consciousness that leaves the ‘I’ with one task.
The ‘I’ is the ‘I’ because it has this original force within it. It has only one task - to be the ‘I’ that it is to be according to the Logos, not according to to the soul’s subjection to corporeality… (73)
‘To be according to the Logos’ is a reawakening, in a sense, a resurrection that followed the incarnation. The death from which the ‘I’ was resurrected was the immersion in the reflected world of material ‘reality’, the ‘I’s’ own shaping power of thought reflected back as the ready-made world of Nature.
The‘I’ died down as a spiritual principle and, simultaneously, the human began to have rational and philosophical, or even cerebral knowledge of it, as well as concrete experience of it only as a physical ego. (73)
Re-birth, whilst made possible by the impulse of the Logos, i.e. the ‘I’s’ encounter with the Logos, demands that a choice be made. ‘To be according to the Logos’ is a ‘free act’ and, being free, can be accepted or rejected. The temptation to reject is that of rejecting the light of the Logos and choosing instead to follow the Prince of Darkness, i.e the Prince of the corporeal world, making an idol of thought petrified.
The primordial force of the ‘I’ became intimately reawakened within the soul by the impulse of the Logos… It was the germ of the initiatory restitution of the principle of the ‘I’. However this restitution requires, within the soul, the free act of the human being to be realised. (73)
© John Dunn.
The source of the ancient faith has dried up and weak subjective feeling is left in its place. Those who might be bothered think they are connecting to something spiritual, but all they feel is a profound sense of nostalgia for something they think is lost and out of reach. The search for truth through the religion of their fathers turns into misplaced loyalty, or even a mind-numbing hobby.
The impulses of asceticism and devotion in whatever form have been corrupted by the spiritual darkness of the corporal world. They lead us away from the Logos, not towards it. The apparently devout and mystical feelings of a modern human being are a parody of the religious practices of old. Only the faculty of thinking holds the potential freedom from this bleak conditioning. Massimo Scaligero expands upon this idea in The Logos and the New Mysteries:
The current task of thinking… is not to comprehend or intuit the Logos - a rhetorical undertaking, conceivable only on the basis of a limited understanding of the dialectical limit of thought. The task of thinking is to incarnate the element of life that lies within it and from which it alienates itself to become dialectical - an element of suprasensory life from which it moves and without which it would not be, even when it takes on the error. The task of thinking is to realise its own intuitive nucleus, in which the Logos is present as an original force. Thought must arise again as magical thinking. (75)
Magical thinking starts when we understand that the way to the Logos does not lie within feeling, but at the source of the thinking by means of which we think.
© John Dunn.
Massimo Scaligero advocates a method for those who would educate that recalls the pedagogical theories of Giovanni Gentile.
The Solar Initiate of the new times has the highest suprasensory vision and traces its path, so that disciples can follow this path with the ‘I’ inthe ‘imaging’ that has been freed and experience their own cosmic history. (77)
The leaders are the Solar Initiates, recalling a passage from Julius Evola from Metaphysics of War:
For the ancient Aryan war had the general meaning of a perpetual fight between metaphysical powers. On the one hand there was the Olympian principle of light, the uranic and solar reality; on the other hand, brute violence, the titanic-telluric, barbaric element in the classical sense, the feminine-demonic substance. The motif of this metaphysical fight resurfaces continually through countless forms of myth in all traditions of Aryan origin. Any fight, in the material sense, was experienced with greater or lesser awareness as an episode in that antithesis. But the Aryan race considered itself to be the army of the Olympian principle: accordingly, it is necessary to restore this conception among Aryans, as being the justification, or the highest consecration, of any hegemonic aspiration, but also of the very idea of empire, whose anti-secular character is basically very obvious.
Evola was an anti-materialist. Opposing the Solar reality is the Lunar civilisation, seen as materialistic and decadent, based upon money and sensuous pleasures. The economy has replaced logic and reason and become our god. Things gradually become so bad that we live and labour in drudgery so that our children can have a better life, that humanity can have a better life. In this we live for a future life, not for this one.We live for an idea, a dream that we will never see fulfilled. We need heroes!
For Scaligero, the Solar Initiates on the path of education are the new Olympian heroes for our time. However, for there to be change, the spiritual daydreaming has to stop. It may have given us consolatory warm feelings of escapism in the past, but the devotions and religious rituals are no longer for our time. They lack ‘the forces to grasp the sense of the will born of self-consciousness at the sensory level’. (78)
In a way, Scaligero, utilising the discoveries of Rudolf Steiner, conceptualised what Evola meant by being anti-materialist and anti-secular - and it was the polar-opposite of daydreaming, i.e. consciousness. Indeed, as we have seen previously, Scaligero held that an adherence to the world of ‘matter’ and ‘reality’ was the idolatrous belief to be overcome by self-consciousness. Reiterating this point he wrote:
The will inherent in self-consciousness is the germ of a new human-cosmic force. (78)
Massimo Scaligero associates freedom with oneness with the Logos. This association relates to the deification objective in Julius Evola’s work.Evola considered absolute freedom to be the principle sign of being ‘God’. ‘The body of the absolute individual is the universe’, wrote Evola in The Path of Cinnabar.
Scaligero wrote in The Logos and the New Mysteries:
The more the ‘I’ realises its free being, the more it is identical to the Logos. Devotion to the Logos is the ultimate sense of human freedom… (78-9)
How to attain oneness with the Logos is therefore the goal; but how do we attain this state of freedom? ‘The spiritual practice of thinking’ might well be ‘the path to the Logos’ (79), but this will first need to recover the ‘current of the will’ (80). Why is such a recovery necessary? Because:
……we are ruled by a cosmic entity that tends to furnish us with experiences of the spirit that satisfy our ego. It also furnishes us with vital forces - of ephemeral consistency - provided that we are not free, but depend on it. This feeling, insofar as it is conditioned by thinking bound to the senses, because of a cerebral path, cannot flow toward the heart. (80)
This all sounds a little woolly at this point, unless you remember that Scaligero considered ordinary thinking about ‘matter’ and ‘reality’ to be in fact, thought petrified, belief-ridden and idolatrous; and all this false thinking is cerebral and logical. Scaligero’s reference to the heart is symbolic of a path of thought that eschews the cerebral. For the heart to rule the head, so to speak, ‘we need the current of thewill as a vehicle’ (80). However:
We cannot… recover such a current, except by taking it away from the luciferic entity’s control (80).
© John Dunn.
The living thought that arises simultaneously with sensory perception, is lost to us and seemingly reflected back to us in the form of ‘reality’. The shaping force of thought is reflected back to us and falsely understood to be self-sustaining nature, or matter. We then treat this reality as that which must be ‘known’ and investigated.
Man is subject to this reflected world of material ‘reality’, i.e. the thought petrified, the world that man himself does not understand that he himself first shaped in thought.
It is the initial living thought that is lost and corrupted, and itself considered to be of material origin in the physical brain, and thus worthy of being ‘known’ and investigated.
The point that Rudolf Steiner asked us to consider is that this pre-corrupted thought, this living thought, this pre-reflected thought or, as Massimo Scaligero (pictured) often describes it, this pre-dialectical thought, did not have a material origin. Thinking is manifested by way of the sensory realm.
For Scaligero in The Logos and the New Mysteries, this living thinking offers the starting point, or ‘germ’, for the descriptive unfolding of our relationship to the Logos.
What has become human as the incarnated Logos can be seen surfacing as an intuitive germ of the thinking that manifests by way of the sensory (realm). This germ can be recognised as the point of confluence between the celestial intelligence and human thinking. It can be realised by the thinking that gives itself to the sensory, without fear of losing itself. (82)
Two critical points arise out of Scaligero’s words above.
Firstly, accepting Steiner’s call to consider the non-material origin of thought, i.e. a celestial origin, then living thinking is where Logos meets man, i.e. is ‘the point of confluence’. The second and fascinating thing to consider is that neither man or Logos can exist, or manifest, without the other.
The Logos is the source of living thought to man. Man is the vocaliser of Logos, i.e. the manifestation of Logos.
© John Dunn.
In The Logos and the New Mysteries, Massimo Scaligero identifies the Logos with the intuitive germ of thinking that manifests by way of the sensory realm.
It is the shaping force of thought that conceptualises the sensory realm (Scaligero followed the teaching of Rudolf Steiner on this matter), that in turn is reflected back to us as having nothing to do with us.
Because we have lost the ‘internal relation’ between the intuitive, shaping, conceptualising source and the sensory realm:
…the correlation of love - which is the correlation of the ‘I’ - is impossible for the soul. (83)
Scaligero describes this as a ‘deprivation’.
Deprivation is the condition of the ‘I’ divorced from the Logos. (83)
A false picture of the world papers over the cracks of this deprivation.
Our false world is:
…the permanent solidification of the spiritual past… We identify with the completed structures of our own animanic-physical beings… (83)
The upshot of all this is that we need to lift the weight of the past from our backs together with the karma that it saddles us with.
This entails a turn to what Scaligero describes as ‘pure thinking’, i.e. ‘pure’, pre-reflected thought, and in this…
…the living content of the advent of Christ is realised, which is the ultimate sense of thinking - our correlation with the Divine, the resurrection of spiritual feeling, by means of which the Divine enters the human being. (84)
© John Dunn.
In the Logos and the New Mysteries, Massimo Scaligero spends the first three quarters of the book labouring the point that we live in a state of fallen thought. This is the state of ‘deprivation’ in which the ‘I’ is divorced from the Logos. That deprived state will not be overcome until the Divine becomes the experience of the ‘I’.
In establishing a direct connection with the suprasensory realm, Scaligero emphasises the power of the will, but that will is nothing unless self-consciousness of our deprived condition is first realised.
This is probably the reason for Scaligeo’s heavy labouring of this fallen condition for over half the book.
This self-consciousness is of immeasurable value. It offers the pathway to the ‘dimension of autonomy’. ‘Passing over it can only be the illusion of whoever cultivates the cushy force, or the simple calm, or the effortless devotion.’
However, having achieved self-consciousness, the will can be directed towards the divine end.
The willed idea, from the centre of its own “forming,” connects the “I” with the Logos, because for it the thinking passes over into the current of the will. The idea, willed from the depths of its own form, frees feeling from the subjective prison and allows it to reconnect with the heart. The harmony of the three forces, thinking, feeling and willing, is the threshold to the New Mysteries. (86)
Self-consciousness amounts to the freeing of the ‘I’, or the resurrection of the ‘I’, and this must come before all else. Normally, the ‘I’ is not distinguished from thought and perception, but the ‘I’…
…that notices the manifesting of thought, truly possesses thought, and within thought it grasps the will. From thought’s rediscovered correlation with the will, there springs the liberated life of feeling - the true bhakti. (88)
© John Dunn.
Life, love and fire
So - Massimo Scaligero finally reaches the crux of the whole book, The Logos and the New Mysteries, by revealing his view, culled from Rudolf Steiner’s Philosophy of Freedom, that our thoughts are not our own. We are, rather, witnesses to thought.
According to Scaligero, only with the above understanding can we experience pure thinking as opposed to the fallen thought that he so laboriously described in the first three quarters of the book.
Pure thinking is to experience the cosmic current of thinking descending into the mental sphere. Without this insight, thought does not serve the spirit, but rather its physical alienation.
Instead, thought must be realised as a given fact. To realise this is to experience the Logos. Julius Evola, a strong influence upon Scaligero’s work, would have recognised this as the near-culmination of his own philosophy of deification. Scaligero wrote:
Thinking reaches us from the spiritual world and becomes for us its fabric of revelation and, simultaneously, a current of life and of love and of fire. In this current, the ‘I’ has the support and image of its own gift. The spiritual practitioner can now know that the essence of such agift is the Logos. He or she can experience the cosmic Christ. (91)
© John Dunn.
Destroy the animal
In The Logos and the New Mysteries, Massimo Scaligero reminds us about the outcome of fallen thought and how this relates to the natural world.
Petrified ideas or ideas confined to mechanical movement necessitated by their archetypal being are forms of nature. We, however, bear within us the principle of the supernatural. We can relive, within our very selves, the original power of the idea. (92)
The idea has again become living because it is recovered by the principle, independent of the human being, or independent of natural necessity (or, as Scaligero often describes it, dialectical necessity). Scaligero seems to be advocating the revival of the cosmic movement, i.e. the cosmic current of thinking descending into the mental sphere, which has become petrified.
It is the capacity for living thinking that distinguishes man from the animals. This however remains a potential capacity. More often than not we fail to destroy the animal.
The human is the human-animal that tends to enslave the idea to avoid the transmutation according to its own original impulse, which is the impulse of cosmic-human love. Human beings are bound to their own dialectics by the hidden terror of having to attain freedom from their own animal nature, that is, of having to overcome ideology, the doctrine that codifies their bondage to instincts. (94)
© John Dunn.
The ‘I’, the Logos
In The Logos and the New Mysteries, Massimo Scaligero raises the issue of encounter. He describes it as confronting a living being that takes the form of the idea. In the idea is a living being endowed with its own foundation. It is immanent in the act of consciousness.
In the presence of the living idea, we (as investigators) cease to think. Thought serves us only as a pure vehicle or a movement of the life of the ‘I’ that perceives the idea. Within the idea we encounter a living being, that is, an intelligence endowed with the power to act according to an extra-human order, even if it is active within the earthly (sphere) and within the human being. (95)
Scaligero wrote that Plato understood this living being to be within a sphere that transcends the human being; but true to the influence of Giovanni Gentile, Scaligero understood it to be immanent as the culmination of the act of consciousness.
Scaligero builds upon Julius Evola’s philosophy of deification, writing that:
We reach the heart of the world’s objectivity, realising within the idea the radical power of subjectivity, the ‘I’, the Logos. (95)
© John Dunn.
All thought is fallen thought
In The Logos and the New Mysteries, Massimo Scaligero points out that it is out of thought that the initial orientation to the suprasensory realm emerges. It is as though, through thought, we ‘rationalise’ that which is above all earthly activity.
The vision achieved, however, Scaligero wants us to overcome thought itself. Overcome thought? Yes - because the mental picturing that echoes the sensory realm must be overcome if we are to get beyond this human-animal realm. Scaligero seems to be taking up a position which says that all thought is fallen thought. To get beyond this is to engage with the ‘physical-cosmic destiny of things (which) no longer appears petrified’. ‘Time is transcended’ and ‘life continuously reveals itself in the moment of creative perpetuity, independently of human-animal vision, for which the natural cosmos already made, and the past as a condition of time, matter’. (98)
See Thought blog for my other readings of The Logos and the New Mysteries by Massimo Scaligero.
© John Dunn.
Hit by the Grail
Massimo Scaligero takes a new path towards the end of the book, arguing that access to the New Mysteries depends upon the gaining of esoteric knowledge. Once the disciple is aware of the difference between fallen thought and living thought (and he has spent the greater part of The Logos and the New Mysteries emphasising this difference), there emerges the 'condition for an encounter with the masters who bestow initiation and open the passage to the temple of the New Mysteries…’ Encounter with the font of knowledge is essential according to Scaligero, whom he describes as the Master of the New Times. He does not elaborate further at this point, but I can only assume that he is referring to the work of Rudolf Steiner.
The objective is the freeing of the soul from the grip of fallen thought and the realm of nature, which Scaligero identifies with the ‘power of darkness’.
Thanks to the connection of the ‘I’ with its original mysteries and, therefore, (thanks) to the virtue of Resurrection, the current of willing transforms the darkness of matter into light, icy aversion into the warmth of love, thereby allowing the inner force of matter to rise up from the nature of the Earth to that of Water, from this to that of Air, from this to that of Fire. Here, the ordinary impetus of life that, descending into the sensory (realm) becomes desire and aversion, is transformed into the warmth of love. (100)
Having led us to an overtly esoteric path, Scaligero then hits us with the introduction of a familiar term to summarise and collect together the esoteric goal towards which he is directing us - the Grail.
The path of the Grail is one of reintegration, secretly yearned for by every human being in relation to an archetype inconceivable to reflected thought, even when such thought moves with spiritual intent. It is the discovery of what was lost, yet not annihilated, not destroyed, but rather immersed in sleep and in forgetfulness… The path of the Grail is the awakening of life within the circle of the being that exists terrestrially, within the circle ruled by death. (101)
© John Dunn.
Having introduced the Grail as a path, Massimo Scaligero insists that that the only way to the path is through prior knowledge of its existence, which I take to mean through an encounter with the work of Rudolf Steiner and, I believe, more specifically, an encounter with Steiner’s Philosophy of Freedom, which informs much of Scaligero’s writings.
Knowledge of the Grail path for Scaligero equates to a knowledge of the Sprits ofthe Will that have existed since the beginning of creation. He is asking us to overturn the now dominant materialist concept of the prior existence of matter before the emergence of mind. He is asking us to overturn the Darwinian concept of evolution.
The point is this - we don’t know how mind came from matter, but do know how matter comes from mind. The answer is linked to the original act of creation and to all subsequent creative acts.
Evolution (if we must think in terms of time) is the wrong way round. It started with mind, the Word, Logos, God if you must, or Love.
Love and the creative capacity exist within man, in the creative act. It is this which defines us as human.
Scaligero develops this theme The Logos and the New Mysteries by arguing that Eden is within.
Eden is truly enclosed within the soul, a prisoner in depth of the usurpers of the light of life… In those depths only the forces of the only begotten Son of the Father are able to descend as liberators. They are the forces of the higher ‘I’. (102)
Scaligero continues to build on the deification philosophy of his mentor Julius Evola by equating the Son of the Father with the ‘I’. The path to the Grail demands:
…the perennial resurrection of the higher ‘I’. (102)
© John Dunn.
Secret of the solar sacrarium
When the higher ‘I’ (which for Massimo Scaligero in The Logos and the New Mysteries equates to the forces of the only begotten Son of the Father), descends into the world of forces that organise corporeal existence and its physical continuity, it, by default, descends too into the forces of eros. Scaligero points to the possibility of a higher communion between human couples - if they follow the practice of the thinking-Logos.
This passing erotic reference makes sense in the context of comments made later about the limitations of the human-animal.
We must not forget that the human being condtioned by corporeality, as human-animal, cannot be of value except through the dialectics of itself, that is, by means of thought bound to the neurosensory system. It is the human that should be overcome and that is ordinarily overcome only thanks to death. (105)
In short, human-animal only has value to itself and others in the terms of its own limited and fallen thought.
Only when the practice of living thought is achieved will the human move beyond the animal, i.e thinking that is ‘suitable to the “beyond-human” dimension, or to the Logos of the Resurrection, to achieve independence from animal-dialectical corporeality, during life’. (105-6)
For Scaligero, understanding the way of liberation is to discover what he describes as ‘the secret of the solar sacrarium’. One can only assume he means that it is here that the Grail is to be found, i.e. the liberation of thinking (insofar as it is the conscious thought of the present-day human being), that is to say:
…it involves the liberation of the soul, there, where it is crucified by the demand of instincts and passions, by being subjected to the cerebral system - a subjection for which nature, pure in itself, is corrupted as human-animal nature. (106)
© John Dunn.
In The Logos and the New Mysteries, Massimo Scaligero symbolises the wisdom of the mysteries as the Virgin Sophia, who is waiting to be freed from her captor Lucifer’s kingdom. We must assume that in this context Lucifer is symbolic of the fallen human thought that Scaligero has been describing for the greater part of the book until now.
However, Scaligero emphasises that a mere understanding of the difference between fallen and living thought is not enough to gain the wisdom of Sophia. Such an understanding only:
…minimally overcomes the condition of captivity and of deafness, precisely in the state of reflectivity. It remains limited to a human perception of itself, non-cosmic, non-extrahuman, as it really is. (108)
Without liberating Sophia, the soul:
…still obeys the power of destitute nature, devoid of Logos. (108)
To get beyond a mere understanding, the proponent of which might be one wrapped in the trappings of “tradition”, one must follow the solar path.
Isis-Sophia is the symbol of the original life that connects the soul with the Divine. “She” is…
…the“feminine” polarity of the soul as the celestial intellect, with respect to the “masculine” polarity of the spirit as will - namely, the soul’s original nature, the intuitive virtue of divine things, which in the beginning expresses itself as the power of love. (109)
Such was Isis-Sophia, i.e. the soul’s light of the light, before her imprisonment by Lucifer.
Yet this light still shines through.
The life of the light truly is what becomes human love in the incarnate soul. (109)
© John Dunn.
Rudolph Steiner privileged humankind as the conduit for the descent of the Logos to the earthly realm as thought.
However, Massimo Scaligero has taken pains in The Logos and the New Mysteries to explain that fallen thought is a condition which believes these thoughts are our own
Fallen thought is separated from the Logos to takes on a seeming life of its own.
Such thought is reflected back to us as a representation of what appears to be a pre-existing world of things and people, i.e. as Nature.
Fallen thought appears to emerge from us as a response to sense perception, when all the time it is the reflecting back of lost thought.
This medium of fallen thought, or reflected thought, in which we exist and have our being, is described symbolically by Scaligero as the realm ‘ruled unopposed by Lucifer’.
He then continues in symbolic vein to explain the reason for Lucifer’s supremacy as being the separation of the feminine attributes of Isis-Sophia, i.e. wisdom, imagination, thinking and mental picturing, from the principle masculine attribute which is that of will.
An androgynous reconnection of the attributes is needed.
There is precedent for this possibility:
Thinking…can arouse the profound will, as is normally the case when simple “mental picturing” arouses the movement of the limbs. (110)
It is this androgyny that will redeem fallen thought to the point of connecting with the Logos and thus becoming living thought, rendering humankind as the unimpeded conduit for the descent of the Logos to the earthly realm.
Living thought is the inner animating force symbolised by Scaligero as the Virgin Sophia.
Sophia alone can feel the Logos, but she must first be liberated.
Until liberated, she will suffer and rejoice illusorily, because the Logos content of each experience is lost.
Liberation comes with the restored marriage between thinking and the will.
We see a tantalising shadow of such liberation in human love, which is always imperfect.
Celestial love is the true meaning of human love. All human love unknowingly moves from its celestial content, but without the hope of realising it, because within the sphere of the psyche it endures the imprisonment of Lucifer, the enchantment of the appearing, which, assumed as reality through reflected consciousness, but wit the power of the ‘I’, or with the spirit’s force that nevertheless lies behind (the scenes), generates irresistible desire, the continuous greed of the ephemeral and its delusion. (112)
© John Dunn.
Thinking = will
Isis-Sophia is the symbol of the original life that connects the soul with the Divine, i.e. the connection that has been lost in fallen thought. It is because of fallen thought that a reconnection with the Divine seems impossible. I quote from
Massimo Scaligero’s The Logos and the New Mysteries:
Isis-Sophia is the soul’s original level which is lost, namely the memory of the spirit, the primordial light of the heart, unseen - the real content of being. This appears to lie beyond thinking, because the real identity of being and thinking is lost. (113)
The will to reconnect is essential:
The will must be willed so that the metaphysical force can incarnate, but it does not have any other arouser and operator than thinking. The will actually moves from thinking, but thinking really moves the will because, in real metaphysics, will and thinking constitute a single force. The secret of the whole spiritual practice is the human realisation of this force. (115)
The willed movement from fallen to living thought, i.e thought which is ‘one with the will’.
Once Isis-Sophia is found, the Logos is found. The Logos virginally fertilises the soul. This moment coincides with the apparition of the solar sacrarium. The presence of the Logos is realised because it is perceived. Even if present, it cannot be realised if it goes unperceived. The organ of perception is the volitional power of thinking, or the current in which thinking is one with the will. (116)
© John Dunn.
In Massimo Scaligero’s journey, which I fear may be eventually reduced to are turn to the One, i.e. it ends up being influenced more by Rudolf Steiner than by Giovanni Gentile (the jury remains out however), there are remarkable references to three figures, two actual, and one a character from Wagner’s great Grail opera.
I quote from Scaligero’s The Logos and the New Mysteries:
…today there appear magical paths that propose the most cushy independence from emotionality, the one that eliminates, within the soul, the element of compassion and of understanding. From this elimination springs an indisputable force, capable of magical heights, which does not, however, come from the ‘I’ but, rather, from its opposite. The danger for the modern esotericist is, in fact, to conquer the cushy force, at the cost of the animic castration, whose symbol in the Grail legend is Klingsor, and whose modern champions were Aleister Crowley and Geoge Gurdjieff. (112)
© John Dunn.
In the final chapter of The Logos and the New Mysteries, Massimo Scaligero recaps yet again, i.e. reiterates the failings of fallen or dialectical thought as he has done for much of the book.
He criticises the esotericists who do not understand these failings, which results in their lack of ‘ability to distinguish the soul’s element of perpetuity from the formal dialectical element’.
To reach the ‘element of perpetuity’ we must rid ourselves of the animal stage and recover the human.
What the human is according to the dialectical consciousness that expresses it, is not the genuine human, but the human-animal that we must overcome. Our presence on Earth has this purpose. (120)
Rudolf Steiner’s contribution to this Earthly purpose of man was to discover that thought is not a human production. Scaligero elaborates upon Steiner, stating that:
To perceive thinking is to perceive life, namely the creative light, the magical force. (121)
The thinking perceived i.e. the element of life and creativity, is the ‘element of perpetuity’ the failed esotericists could not see.
The thinking that Scaligero equates to the ‘element of perpetuity’ is then described as ‘immortality… the timeless antecedent of thought’.
Scaligero’s next step will be to consider the relationship of living thought to the Logos, i.e. the cosmic leap.
© John Dunn.
So Massimo Scaligero’s claim is that we experience a relationship of sorts to the Logos at the very inception of thought, ‘as the flaming light, endowed with creative power… This light of fire is continuously extinguished in dialectical consciousness.
What Scaligero has called variously ‘fallen thought’, or ‘dialectical thought’, or ‘reflected thought’, he argues has opposed the Logos. His insight about thought, in The Logos and the New Mysteries, is that:
…there, where it is not yet reflected and it has its intuitive moment, it moves as the light of the Logos. (122)
The logical consequence of this is that we must grasp the light before it flickers out.
The secret to healing the human being lies in perceiving the light of fire, of which thought pre-dialectically burns. (123)
Grasp the moment of thought’s inception, he seems to be saying, and we can be re-born into the light of the Logos.
From the moment the Logos incarnated and defeated death, we have had the possibility to think according to the Resurrection, insofar as the flaming light of the Logos lights up within each thought that we think. But to perceive this light, we must overcome the darkness of dialectical thought. (123)
I’m with Scaligero to this point in the book; but it would appear that after this he begins to fall prey to Spinozistic pantheism. It is as though he sheds the influence of Giovanni Gentile to rely wholly upon Rudolf Steiner.
It seems that when the individual ‘perceives this light’, he is reconnecting with the whole. It is a return to an origin of sorts. It is a Judaised return from exile. This is to be pursued further, but one quote from Scaligero will suffice for now.
The error of thought is not to know that it continuously connects the particular with the universal… The particular does not exist outside the universal, except for fallen thought… (pp.123/4)
© John Dunn.
Error into truth
Massimo Scaligero continues to emphasise, almost to the end of the book, the necessity of connecting with living thought, i.e. the thought before it falls, i.e. the pre-dialectical stage of its creative direction. With the right technique, he argues in The Logos and the New Mysteries:
The universal in thought can connect its own substance with the power of the form, so that the particular, the error, the psychic content, can dissolve and the forces engaged in them converge again toward their centre of life. (126)
By dissolving the particular, we are left with:
…one centre, the higher ‘I’, or Logos, which is avoided through a dependence on the values of reflected vision. (126)
This interests me, and also re-opens the channels of influence from Julius Evola and Giovanni Gentile. Yes, there is connection with the One, i.e. the Logos, with all the inherent dangers of sliding into a Spinozistic pantheism, but the danger of this potential slide is mitigated when Scaligero uses the term ‘higher “I”’ coterminously with Logos.
However, such a connection with the higher ‘I’ is not a one-off event.
Our dependence on the values of reflected thinking:
…cannot be overcome simply because they are perceived as illusory. The magic of thinking must bring about their conversion, the continuous transformation of error into truth. (127)
© John Dunn.
The open door
Let’s remember that Massimo Scaligero’s mission is to recover the content of ‘living thought’ at its inception, before it is almost immediately degraded into what he variously describes as ‘fallen thought’, or ‘dialectical thought’, or ‘reflected thought’. He writes in The Logos and the New Mysteries:
This content can be willed from within, or permeated by the thinking will, which transforms its substance by rediscovering its pure force. (128)
Scaligero believes that the will can enable us to connect with the content of ‘living thought’ which brings with it the transformative force of the Logos. Such willing and such connection he describes as magical.
The direct magic of thinking is “its grasping” the direction of the Logos within itself, the elevating of itself to its own pre-dialectical moment. (129)
Such willing, with the resultant magic, is for Scaligero the insertion of the “I” into the process of thinking.
The corollary of this is that in normal everyday accepted modes of thought the “I” is absent. What Scaligero seems to be driving at here is that the connection to pre-dialectic, or ‘living thought’, before it falls, is not only a connection to the Logos, but also to the “I”.
This connection to the Logos and the “I” is tantamount, for Scaligero, to an encounter with the ‘source of life’. Now human thought…
…can be born one with the Logos, realising, beyond the death of dialectics, the human-divine synthesis, which prepares for the restitution of the “primordial state”, namely the resurrection from the death of dialectics. (129)
Scaligero walks a fine line between Spinozistic pantheism and the resurrection and deification of the “I” à la Julius Evola. Where Scaligero loses the influence of Giovanni Gentile is in his acceptence of the evolutionary model of Rudolf Steiner.
The following and profound quote by Scaligero maintains the ambiguity.
He describes the achievement of ‘living thought’ as:
...an event-model that in a germinal way realises, within the soul, the reintegration of the human being, to which the Logos has opened the door through incarnation, death and Resurrection. (130)
© John Dunn.
Again the theme in Massimo Scaligero’s The Logos and the New Mysteries returns to the overcoming of the human-animal.
No resolution of what in human evil has the power of radicalness except by the…
…lightning-bolt Logos of thinking, whose force on Earth arises from fulfilling the divine task at the roots of the human being - namely, the victory over death, the Resurrection. (131)
One can only assume that by resurrection Scaligero means the victory over reflected or dialectical thought.
The lightning-bolt Logos of thinking is kindled from the death of dialectical thought… (131)
Resurrection as the instilling of ‘living thought’ is linked by Scaligero to the capacity for creation in some way.
Thought’s true being can be experienced as one with the uncorrupted feeling of the soul. From the resurrection of thought, the purity of feeling is restored; creative faith is resurrected. Isis-Sophia, the Virgin of the Light, is reintergated as the burning life of the soul… (131)
Resurrection as now understood bgins as a disentanglement of thought from cerebralism. ‘This disentanglement is an act of freedom’ writes Scaligero.
Until now we have only had a dialectical freedom…
…reiterating, with respect to the sensory, the tendency to depend on past suprasensory revelation. (133)
Whereas real freedom…
…demands the action of the pure individual element - the decision of direct contact within the soul with the source of the initiative and courage. It is a decision for the sake of the human community, since the Logos, through the individual act, surfaces in the world and tears the human away from animal nature. (133-4)
© John Dunn.
Living thought at one with the Logos, as I believe that Massiomo Scaligero understands it, cannot be achieved by the type of thinking…
…that used to see the Logos outside of itself, but rather that of thinking that draws on the light of life of the Logos within itself, thereby ceasing to be dialectical. (134)
However, Scaligero has returned to the interior Logos very late in this book (The Logos and the New Mysteries). It is as though he is making an attempt to redeem himself in the eyes of his mentor Julius Evola, whilst struggling to maintain a devotion to the Spinoza-infected Rudolf Steiner. He continues:
Thinking that still sees the Logos outside itself is identical to what today sees and thus deifies matter outside itself. (134)
Yes, yes, yes, at last he has said it. The implication of these words is that to accept anything as pre-determined prior to the experiencing of it - be it the Logos, or the material world into which we are born - is nothing short of idolatry.
He has rejected Steiner with this statement and said YES to Evola and Giovanni Gentile instead, but it is only ‘admitted’ in the last few pages of the book.
I believe that Scaligero is torn between each of his influences by the end of the book. Only on the next page he writes:
In truth, the purpose of the Logos on Earth is not only to lead humanity back to the Divine… but, above all, also to overcome nature within the human being. (135)
Is the Divine something that was there once and is now lost and has to be found again? Even asking the question presents the Logos as something outside of ourselves. It exists to be found again. It is presupposed.
With this in mind, let us move on the Scaligero’s offering up of the Event of Christ as some sort of allegory for the journey the individual must undertake. The Nativity to the Resurrection follows a path of sensory events in which we must discover the suprasensory content, which in turn refers to the cosmic content, described by Scaligero, predictably by now, as…
…the true content, not graspable by dialectical thought, but only by the thinking that overcomes sensory maya, which nevertheless overcomes dialectics, both idealistic and materialistic. (136-7)
Scaligero ends the passage by saying:
True thinking lies beyond the maya of what is normally realised as thought… (137)
For me Scaligero has two pages to extricate himself from his own confusion. For now, we must leave the Logos as a pre-existent entity waiting to be rediscovered, and ‘true thinking’ already lying beyond the maya somewhere.
© John Dunn.
The flash of lightning that shines
At the end of The Logos and the New Myseries, Massimo Scaligero suddenly introduces the concept of ‘determination’.
Sensory experience strengthens thinking, because it leads from the undetermined to the determination, thanks to which the cosmic power of the undetermined indeed limits itself; yet it penetrates the human. (138)
So it is thanks to sensory experience, which is ‘determined’, that the ‘highest forces’ have descended into humanity, i.e. have incarnated.
It is as though the ‘highest forces’ (one assumes here that Scaligero means the Logos, or the Christ), which are ‘undetermined’, needed to be channelled through their opposite to become manifest.
However, all through the book, Scaligero has warned of the danger of getting stuck at the level of the ‘determined’.
We must ‘overcome the limit of the determination, which is dialectics’. Instead we ‘must discover, as living thinking, the power of the undetermined in which flows the real content of the human being’. (138)
Thinking must cognise its own death to restore immortality to the human being. Self-awareness and will have the function of giving the force of its annihilation (i.e.the annihilation of dialectical thinking) to thinking, where the lightning flash of the Resurrection is dynamically inherent. This flash is thinking’s identity with the Logos, from which the power of the undetermined originates within the determination. For this reason, it is the flash of lightning that shines and resolves the materiality of the Earth. (138-9)
‘Thinking must cognise its own death’ - there must be an awakening. How?
Scaligero seems to be saying that we can learn to cognise, for example, through the reading of his book. Once our plight is understood (almost in a scientific way) we can take possession of the dialectical thought to which we are in thrall and control the mental sphere. Once in control, we can open a passage to the Logos which has incarnated into the ‘determined’ world of materiality and dialectical thinking.
Such an awakening is therefore at once a death; but from awakening and death comes rebirth, a resurrection to thinking’s identity with the Logos, the Christ within.
Scaligero has achieved a resolution.
© John Dunn.
The Logos and the New Mysteries
I have been reading Massimo Scaligero's The Logos and the New Mysteries over recent weeks. During this time I collected my thoughts about this book and posted them on the 'Thought blog'. My plan is now to pull all the separate blog entries about Scaligero's work into one sustained piece and post this as a single entity onto 'Thought pieces'.
I was disappointed with the ending to this book, or rather the ending that never arrived.
I thought that he was strong on the analysis of the problem, i.e. our bondage to sensory perception and the physical view of reality as a presupposed idol; but his proffered alternative was a small part of the work, rushed in at the very end of the book. Nevertheless he has added a piece to my own construction of an alternative, which has drawn upon some of the thinkers that we have both shared as influences, e.g. Julius Evola, Giovanni Gentile and Rudolf Steiner.
I will announce on the home page the completion of the single entity offering of the Scaligero reading.
© John Dunn.
Scaligero on free thought
I’m still getting to grips with what Massimo Scaligero defined as free thought. Consideration of this passage from The Logos and the New Mysteries will, perhaps, contribute to some level of understanding.
…free thought has its potential moment in the coincidence of the original connectivity with the object’s calculable or logical structure, which is not its reality. Thought loses this moment. It thus loses the possibility of an essential reality, since it believes that the relation pertains to the object or to the phenomenon, and not to its own power of synthesis. Thought fails to see within itself the relation that is immediate to it. It transfers this relation outside of itself. It undoubtedly exists within the object, but it is one with its principle, which we can encounter only within the inner life of thought. (p.39)
Posted by John Dunn.
No nature apart
The object nature cannot be separated from the object man. What we find within a supposedly transcendent nature is, in fact, what we have put there.
Nature as object, separated from the subject man, is what Massimo Scaligero described as dead thought, i.e. the thinker’s thought reflected back to himself as though it were a thing-in-itself. The thinker thereby appears to be mere a spectator of the world about him, with no contribution to make to its ongoing existence. His own thought is lost to the world, appearing to originate in the stimulus of something (nature) outside of him.
This aspect of Scaligero’s thought originated in his reading of Giovanni Gentile, as I hope the following passage from Gentile’s The Theory of Mind as Pure Act will show.
…in the whole chain of evolution, however long we imagine it, the first link is always presented as together with all the others even to the last: that is, even to man who is more than nature and therefore, by his intervention alone, destroys the possibility of conceiving nature in itself as an evolution. This amounts to saying that an indispensable condition of understanding nature, as we understand history, in its movement, is that the object be not detached from the subject and posited in itself, independent, in its unattainable transcendence. As transcendent object it can only be effectively posited as object already thought and thereby it is shown to be immanent in the thinking, but considered abstractly in a way which separates it from the thinking itself. And then it is obvious that what we find within the object is what we have put there.
© John Dunn.
Steiner and Gentile synthesised
Massimo Scaligero (pictured) described as dead thought the thinker’s thought reflected back to himself as though it were a thing-in-itself. It only appears to be a stand-alone reality. The truth however is that this reality does not stand apart, it is in unity with the thought that thinks it. Here lies the difficulty. The unity has to be discovered, explained and pointed out. Rudolf Steiner and Giovanni Gentile separately discovered the unity and separatelty, in their own distinct ways did the pointing out. In many respects, Massimo Scaligero's writing is a synthesis is of Steiner's and Gentile's work. I quote from Scaligero's The Logos and the New Mysteries in support of my observation.
Thought or the concept constitutes, above all, a pre-dialectical unity with the object to which it refers. Such unity, however, is not conscious. The spiritual practitioner has the task of realising it. The reality of the physical phenomenon includes, with the same inevitability, its sensory manifesting and its intuitive content. The phenomenon’s greater or lesser capacity of penetration depends on the possibility of being aware of such content.
In my opinion, the awareness to which this quotation refers stems ultimately from an exposure to the works of Steiner and Gentile, or the synthesis that Scaligero made of their ideas.
© John Dunn.