The Hammer and the Anvil

We are getting hammered by cascading crises at our “end of history”, aren’t we?

Despite Fukuyama’s discredited thesis (mostly the production of wishful thinking), there is nonetheless the sense of an ending. It brings to mind a piece I posted long ago in the old defunct Dark Age Blog — the predecessor to the present Chrysalis — about our being seemingly stuck between the Hammer of God and the Anvil of the Earth. Jean Gebser, of course, enjoins us not to focus too much attention on the ending of things as much as on the beginning — on the seedlings sprouting amidst the ruins and detritus of the old order. The path of the hammer and the anvil is the form of a transition to a new consciousness structure as long as do not succumb to the “maelstrom of blind anxiety”, as he put it, that attends this transition, but which is unfortunately everywhere in evidence today. And that is why I retired The Dark Age Blog and launched The Chrysalis.

I regret, now, that this earlier post is no longer accessible.

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The Wings of Perception: Castaneda, Blake, Gebser

For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern” — William Blake

“Unfolding the wings of perception” is a lovely phrase, I came across it in one of Castaneda’s books. This was essentially what Castaneda’s teacher, who he calls “don Juan”, was attempting to teach him and which don Juan described as “seeing“. We may say that this “seeing” is what Blake knew of when he wrote that “A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees”. It is the seeing of the Seer — a mode of perception that is direct and immediate, which is to say not mediated by the personal or “collective representations”. It is the mode referred to as “insight”.

What hinders us here? What are the impediments and obstacles to our “unfolding of the wings of perception”? It’s pretty clear that this unfolding (or “e-volution”) is also the reality of what Jean Gebser calls “diaphaneity” or “the transparency of the world” in his The Ever-Present Origin.

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Jean Gebser on Technology and Technics

One of the principal manifestations of the “deficient mode” of the current “mental-rational consciousness”, according to Jean Gebser, is that the human sense of responsibility is not commensurate with the increasing power of human technology, which produces a very dangerously unbalanced situation. Today, we will examine that particular deficit in the sense of power and responsibility.

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