These days researchers are obsessed with making models as an aid to understanding reality. But there is a danger here in that in concentrating on the models the actual living world around us is lost sight of. And the same can be said regarding the metaphors that are in frequent use. How true to reality is the mind picture evoked by the metaphor.Continue reading
The methods of modern research involves dissecting and focusing in on finer and finer details. We would be forever blind to these finer details if it weren’t for instruments such as the microscope and the telescope. These tools allow specialists to focus in on the parts and gain a tremendous amount of knowledge in narrow fields.
But if researchers don’t look beyond these isolated islands of existence they will settle for a fragmented view of reality. And this causes problems for building theories about development and evolution of life. Researchers begin by looking at the parts to try to understand how they “build” bodies. Viewing things from this perspective it was expected that humans would have many more genes than turned out to be the case.. This is the type of error produced by this way of thinking Initially they did not understand the way in which the organism used its genes because they approached it from the wrong direction. Genes are in reality never isolated from the context of networks, cells and organisms.
Jaap van der Wal argues that we have become accustomed to thinking the human organism is made by a process of cells multiplication. But there is another more realistic way of thinking about it. From conception to adulthood a human being has always been a complete organism with a form and function suited to its environment. A machine is assembled from parts and it can only function as intended when all the parts are in place. Organisms are not like this. Where the organism is concerned the cell or cells of which it is composed serve the whole organism throughout its existence. It is not gradually built from parts. Machines are always built from the parts to the whole but organisms are never anything but complete wholes.
It is time to start paying more attention to how the whole determines the parts within it and luckily this view is becoming more prevalent.
John 8:32 …the truth shall make you free.
Following Peterson’s advice, I write below what I believe to be true.
Our existence provides us with the potential to become free spirits. Nature has taken us up to the point where we then become responsible for our future development as individuals.
Individual animals are constrained to follow the nature of the species to which they belong. Humans have moved beyond this restriction, over and above the species nature, we have formed tribes and societies which establish laws and custome designed to govern the behaviour of the individuals within. Modern societies make it possible for each person to express their individuality. They allow more freedom and give more rights to their individuals than are bestowed upon them by being members of the species.
Look up at the dark clear moonless night-time sky. What do we see? Points of light arranged against a deep dark background. I propose that in the points of light we see physical substance, matter, and in the darkness we are looking into the encompassing ethereal realm.
There are certain fundamental processes in the universe, one of which is expansion and contraction. Goethe observed this in plants and in crystallisation out of solution we see a contraction of a substance into its solid state.
Likewise the points of light we see in the night sky are processes of matter condensing out of the surrounding ethereal space. The ethereal creates a void in which matter forms and cosmic space which is void of matter is actually filled with etheric activity.
The processes of expansion and contraction are taking place at all levels, as above, so below. Our physical eyes allow us to see the stars and other heavenly bodies but it takes more than physical senses to see the etheric.
Modern science has increased our knowledge of the external world a great deal, but even it has reached the point where it finds it impossible to exclude ourselves from the picture.
Modern natural science is the science of the quantitative, Goethean science is the science of the qualitative.Continue reading
There has been a lot of talk here lately about Christians and Jews. here is a short sketch of my views on Christianity and Christ.
IMO Christ did not come to found a religion, although it was inevitable that his followers would organise themselves into what would become the various factions and sects that is the Chrstian religion.
His descent, passion and resurrection was a turning point in the evolution of the Earth. It was a turning point in the transition from group consciousness to individual consciousness. His prescription was one that anyone can follow whether they are Jewish, Muslim, atheist, Christian, agnostic or whatever other human invented category they align themselves with.
There was a lecture given by George Adams entitled, “The Lost Tapes – Potentization & Peripheral Forces” which is read in this video.
This lecture was given to the British Homeopathic Congress in London in 1961. It begins on the theme of homeopathy, but this is just one narrow area of the subject matter of the lecture. He discusses projective geometry in general and how it applies to the natural world.
He talks about the rise of projective geometry:
At the time while physicists and astronomers were busily applying the ancient geometry of Euclid to their problems modified by the newer analytical methods of Descartes, Leibniz and Newton. While this was going on a new form of geometry was arising among the pure mathematicians. A new form of geometry which while including the Euclidian among its other aspects. A new form of geometry was arising which is far more comprehensive than the Euclidian, far more beautiful and far more profound. I refer to that school of geometry which is known variously as projective geometry, modern synthetic geometry or the geometry of position. In the seventeenth century the truths of this new synthetic geometry were beginning to be apprehended by the astronomer Kepler, also by the mystical philosopher Pascal, also by Pascal’s teacher Girard Desargues, a less known but a very important historical figure.
For those who are sceptical of a reductionistic view of evolution where blind forces and accidental mergings are purported to account for the observed diversity of life, here is an alternative theory. This approach begins from a standpoint that assumes mind and consciousness to be primal as opposed to the above view which treats lifeless physical substance and forces and nothing more as the originator of life.
The primal mind and consciousness I will call spiritual, the physical substance and forces I will call material.
In my opinion the material is condensed out of the spiritual. So I am just giving an explanation of evolution to be considered and not trying to pass anything I say below as fact. Continue reading
Many years ago Michael Cremo and Richard L. Thompson wrote a book entitled Forbidden Archaeology. Cremo discusses it here
They claim that humans in their modern anatomical form have existed for millions of years and that “knowledge filtration” occurs where the evidence supporting the dominant theories of the time pass through with ease whereas contradictory evidence is filtered out.
An NBC broadcast narrated by Charlton Heston based on the book can be viewed here
At the end of an interview given in the making of the film, Thompson had this to say:
In the following video Alexander Tsiaras calls the development of the human heart magnificent oragami as the heart forms with cells developing at a rate of one million per second.
It is generally believed that the heart acts as a pressure pump forcing an inert fluid through the lungs and through the bodily tissues and organs. There is evidence that this is not the case and that it is more accurate to view the heart as an organ which regulates the dynamic activity of the blood. Continue reading
Darwinism is incomplete because it only takes account of matter and ignores spirit.
Evolution is a process of matter ascending and spirit descending. It is a process whereby physical substance goes through process that prepares it to accommodate the descending spirit. The continuity of living matter is sustained by hereditary and it takes on various forms due to adaptive radiation. But these forces come from the earth and they tie organisms to the environment and lead only to specialization. They take organisms down ever narrowing paths. The fossil record is a tableau of forms that are frozen in their specializations, evolutionary dead ends. These earthly forces radiate from the centre.
The spiritual forces work in the opposite direction drawing the living substance outwards, emancipating it from the earthly forces. Through these forces organisms separate out from the earth as a plant grows towards the sun. Emancipation is evident in such things as inner temperature control, freeing of the upper limbs to perform creative functions rather than them being used for locomotion or support and taking responsibility for care of offspring.
It is only in the human form that the self-conscious ego can occupy physical substance as a material individual. This is the place on earth where matter and spirit meet. In as much as each of us know ourselves, we know the spirit within. And this is only possible because our form has been prepared in such a way that it can accommodate our ego, the spirit within.
The physicist Arthur Zajonc provides us with his view of science that gives me hope for the future
Science can lead us away from reality into abstractions. It is too easy for the model to take over from the reality it is supposed to represent. The lived experience of the phenomenal world often takes a back seat. Zajonc gives us a couple of examples where the model dominates. The genetic code is one, and the neuroscience of the brain as a representative of the mind is another. If we are not careful our models become idols and the living reality is forgotten.
From a radio documentary featuring Arthur Zajonc he gives his views on Goethe’s science:
If you look at the actual practice that he undertakes it is I think faithful to the core principles of science, namely, it is empirically grounded, it proceeds from one methodical experience to the next, and it comes to a kind of insight, a moment of aperçu, of discovery.
He thinks that all good science proceeds in the way Goethe describes. It begins with insight. An example of which is Newton connecting a falling apple with the movement of the moon.
Continuing a discussion I and one or two others were having in the thread vincent-torleys-disappearing-book-review it is of little surprise that those responding to what I said, along with many of the posters here, regard consciousness as a product of matter. I believe that it is the other way round. As with Owen Barfield and John Davy, I came to this conclusion many, many years ago, and for me like them, Rudolf Steiner was a big influence in solidifying this view. Here is an extract from an article about Owen Barfield from Richard A. Hocks
Barfield’s precoccupation with the history of consciousness is different from even the most saturated analyses of the past, such as Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis. Barfield maintains that, in any thoughtful consideration of evolution, it is both more reasonable and more illuminating to hold that mind, or consciousness, precedes matter rather than the reverse–though not individualized mind or self-consciousness. Not only does the origin of language point toward this supposition but also the content of the great myths, indeed even the very archetypes that a thinker like Jung explores so deeply yet without ever considering that that they might inhabit the world “outside” the human head–or a vast collection of human heads. In other words, evolution for Barfield begins with mind as anterior to matter, as a given “field” out of which, as it were, matter compresses. Barfield’s thesis herein does not merely challenge the Darwinian argument; in a sense it turns that argument on its head: for not only does mind precede and bring matter into being, and a form of intentionality replace chance-ridden natural selection, but the very same physical evidence used in support of the received position is never directly challenged or discredited, but interpreted differently…
Here are some words from John Davy (pseudonym, John Waterman) who gives an overview of Steiner’s thoughts on the evolution of physical life better than I ever could:
The evolution of man, Steiner said, has consisted in the gradual incarnation of a spiritual being into a material body. It has been a true “descent” of man from a spiritual world into a world of matter. The evolution of the animal kingdom did not precede, but rather ;accompanied; the process of human incarnation. Man is thus not the end result of the evolution of the animals, but is rather in a certain sense their cause. In the succession of types which appears in the fossil record-the fishes, reptiles, mammals, and finally fossil remains of man himself-the stages of this process of incarnation are reflected. Continue reading
It is here proposed that the evolution of life was destined to produce self consciousness out of physical matter just as surely as self-consciousness is destined to be produced by the build up of matter from the human zygote.
Our external vantage point allows us to see the process whereby an individual human matures from the point of conception We are in a position to witness all the stages in the life of individual humans. Activities such as birth, death, growth and decay go on all around us. Conversely on the grand scale of things, taking life as a whole, we are in the middle of evolving life and so we don’t have an overall, clear picture of the process.
In this video Sean B. Carroll states that:
…living things are occupying a planet whose surface is always changing. Hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, tectonic movement, ice ages, climate changes whether local or global, all of these keep changing the environments that species are in, they are running to keep up and most of the time they fail. So we have to think about earth’s history to understand life’s history. We have to understand what’s going on at any particular place to appreciate what’s going on with any particular species.
The same could be said for the cells in your body. Their environment is always changing and most of them do not survive as you change from embryo to adult. From an individual cell’s point of view there may not seem to be any direction.Some live some die, some change slowly, others change dramatically. But from the higher perspective of the whole body there certainly is direction.