Friday, May 22, 2020

A response to Bruce Charlton's recent essay.

I keep coming back to this essay. I think Bruce Charlton is right, this world is self destructing out of a deeper wisdom that it is seriously sick and evil.

But on a personal level, forgetting for a moment the plans of such a wisdom, we are still living in this world, and our lives here and now have a purpose other than to destroy ourselves.

We must still live a worthy life.

Yes, this civilisation is clearly incoherent, dysfunctional, and evil. Therefor it cannot be participated in without extreme rejection of what is true and good.

If that is the case, aside from taking a blue pill, how does one then live in this world?

Is it up to me to conjure a better narrative for life out of myself?

Final participation seems to suggest so.

Owen Barfield said (emphasis mine)

“Not to realize to the uttermost the otherness of God from ourselves is to deny the Father. But equally, not to strive to realize the sameness—to renege from the Supreme Identity—is to deny the Holy Spirit. This, any deeply religious man may feel, whatever terminology he may have learnt to employ. To this a true Christian—or so it seems to me—must add: In no way to relate the former with the past, and the latter with the future of the world, is to seek to deprive history, and perhaps time itself, of all religious significance.”

I understand this to mean; The logos has transformed itself from an outer to an inner origin.

This means that in final participation the rules (the logos) are not given outwardly. They must come from one's own thinking intuition.

Never a better opportunity, then, to reject the outer narratives that are behind the structure of our modern society, and live according to the truth as is revealed by inner intuition.

The difficulty is obviously; what the hell do I know about how to live?! Can my intuition really be the source?

Well, like it or not, you are already doing it. How else would you be able to judge society as being sick and evil, unless there was already some inner datum that told you so?


  1. Part of the problem - which, I think, tends to make people give-up before they have started, is the extreme radicalism of doing this. For example, there are massive (and typically) dominating Ahrimanic qualities and motivations in pretty-much all the organisations and institutions - such as churches and the Anthroposphical Society... (By my understanding, Steiner became extremely Ahrimanic, the more so the longer he lived - and his legacy is very thoroughly en-caged within rigid Ahrimanic structures and ways of thinking.) Thus to live as you describe (and I thoroughly approve as my ideal) likely entails that it will be increasingly outwith any such organisation, and perhaps (maybe unintentionally) subversive to it. In the end, it may entail dissolving almost the whole Systemic (impersonal, abstract) nature and structure of post-agricultural societies (although that currently seems like an impossibly remote occurrence - that is what I envisaged having happened by the time of the society from which the 'Elder' speaks.

  2. I think the "system" will dissolve, like you say, but my reading of the evolution of consciousness is that on dissolution it will be replaced with another kind of "ordering principal" which would easily be able to sustain similar scale societies without all the authoritarian scaffolding we assume is necessary.

  3. @Amo - You are correct: we can't know in advance how society would fall out when Final Participation becomes normal, common, the organising principle. My point is that from where we are now, it seems to be socially-destructive - so far as we can perceive, a life based on intuition would tend to dismantle much that we currently tend to regard as essential. And this may be off-putting, a deterrent to attempting to live by it.

  4. "a life based on intuition would tend to dismantle much that we currently tend to regard as essential. And this may be off-putting, a deterrent to attempting to live by it."
    I agree. It is also off-putting because a life based on intuition requires us to discard the safety and familiarity of convention.
    However, I more than recognise the need to listen to others in order to enhance one's own intuitions.


M aterialists will maintain that we can derive morality from scientific facts and reason.  In response to this claim, one need only ask them...