Alright… I confess it. I fibbed. After promising some relief just yesterday from the daily bombardment of postings, here I am once again. But I did say, after all, that I would cease for a spell unless something of significance transpired, and that occurred sooner than I expected. Two events worth commenting upon, in fact: the resignation of Minister Peter Mackay from the Conservative government, and the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the inquiry into the Indian Residential School system.
A last summation on this subject of the egregore before I give the blog and its long-suffering readership a rest, while I also get caught up on personal matters… like the house-cleaning, my medical condition, the gardening, etc. I have been particularly remiss recently in attending to my medical condition, (although my nephrologist assures me there are pleasing and encouraging signs of an improvement in kidney function. Some day, I’ll have to tell you about the comedic side of “End Stage Renal Disease” (ESRD).
I think I briefly touched on the meaning of the “Egregore” in one or two earlier posts. And while I had thought of giving the blog (and its readership) a bit of a rest for a spell, a comment this morning by LittleBigMan (and my reply) to “A Very Brief History of Capitalism” suggested I expand upon this a bit. So the meaning of the “Egregore” is the subject of today’s posting.
You can learn a very great deal about what we mean by “human nature” from studying human beings caught up in the process of revolution. Revolution is “time out of joint”, as Shakespeare put it in Hamlet. “These are the times that try men’s souls”, wrote Tom Paine in one of his revolutionary pamphlets entitled The American Crisis, and it has much the same meaning. Dickens cast the crisis of time and times as A Tale of Two Cities, while Robert Louis Stevenson cast the conflict of times as a struggle between Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll within one and the same personality. Times out of joint means polarisation, de-coherence, schism. To be “out of joint” means to not articulate. We also call it “culture war” today, or situations where there is no bridge, no common meeting ground.
Once again, last evening, I found myself musing over the difference between “the truth that sets free” and “the facts of the matter”. I was trying to understand the tendency of some people to treat Big Science as a surrogate religion, which is actually a quite appalling form of idolatry.
But more than that, we find ourselves now having to navigate some very contradictory statements and conclusions issuing from contemporary science, particularly as regards issues of the human body and human health, diet and fitness, and so on, and which indicate perhaps a growing de-coherence of what we call “science”, especially when it comes to the analysis of living forms.
Here in Canada, we are approaching a federal election. The Conservatives, Liberals, New Democrats, and the Greens will duke-it-out in the public arena for a chance to form a government. An election, once a cause for celebration (as it is in many freshly-minted electoral democracies), is now widely greeted with a groan, or with disdain and antipathy, or with a certain degree of weariness. In the long-standing democracies (relatively speaking), participation rates are plummeting, and Canada is no different.
To better appreciate what we mean by “perspective perception”, or point-of-view-line-of-thought consciousness, (and also what Jean Gebser means by “pre-perspectival” or “unperspectival” or “aperspectival” consciousness structures), I want to relate an amusing anecdote that I came upon while studying at university. Not until later did I realise the full significance of it.