The Disintegration of the Consciousness Structure of Modern Man

There’s nothing like a contemporary political campaign in the pursuit of power to reveal the “hidden hand” of Mr. Hyde behind the crumbling mask of Dr. Jekyll — or, “the mask of sanity” as Hervey Cleckley called it. The post-modern condition is the disintegration of the consciousness structure (the ego-nature) of Modern Man. And in historical retrospect, we can see that the first symptoms and growing awareness of this impending disintegration or “deconstruction” occurred in the late 19th century. Everything subsequently follows logically from that insight.

We need to assess our present situation and predicament squarely and soberly.

What Seth once referred to as the “emergence of unconscious knowledge” and of “the ancient force” in our time is no better exemplified than in Nietzsche’s discovery of “the Dionysian”. At the same time, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote his The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in a mere three days as the record of a dream he had. Oscar Wilde wrote The Picture of Dorian Gray which explored much the same theme. The earlier insights of the artists were later confirmed by the scientists — “discovery of the unconscious” (Freud, Jung) and “the psychopathology of everyday life“.

None of these scenarios foresaw a happy conclusion to this bifurcation of the psyche. The “individual” proved itself to be divisible after all. In Nietzsche’s scenario, the irruption of the Dionysian element would result in “two centuries of nihilism” in the disintegration of the “Apollonian” consciousness — the intellect and the personality. Jean Gebser, surveying the emerging madness, wrote of the growing “deficiency” of “the mental-rational structure of consciousness”, while Rosenstock-Huessy wrote of “Modern Man’s Disintegration and the Egyptian Ka” (third essay in I Am An Impure Thinker). Both Gebser and Rosenstock-Huessy accepted Nietzsche’s diagnosis and forecast, but sought for a way to “outrun” the dismal consequences of his “two centuries of nihilism” that would result from the disintegration of Modern Man’s personality and consciousness structure.

“Duplicity is the currency of the day” (Pope Francis), “the culture of narcissism” (Christopher Lasch), the “Era of Pretense” (Greer) and “the new normal” are not different things. They are all aspects of one and the same process of disintegration or loss of integrity of the consciousness structure. The ego-nature has become very devious, wouldn’t you say? Duplicity is dissolution and disintegration, and I have also parsed out that duplicity as disintegration into four aspects of “the new normal” — double-talk, double-think, double-standard, and double-bind, with the latter as a fate — a self-contradiction, a self-negation, a self-devouring tautology: the pursuit of “rational self-interest” become indistinguishable from, and identical with, the irrational pursuit of self-destruction; the “end of history” triumphalism being the same as the “Cadmean victory” that I raised in the last post.

Of course, there is a good deal of denial about all this — denial that the culture of Late Modernity has become duplicitous and a self-devouring self-contradiction. But I think that both here in The Chrysalis and in the former Dark Age Blog, I’ve made it plain that this denialism is itself without foundation, and is itself a symptom of the disintegration of the consciousness structure of Modern Man.

It’s difficult to foresee or anticipate the eventual End Game of this dynamic, the terminus of Nietzsche’s “two centuries of nihilism”. Jean Gebser anticipated a “global catastrophe” as its inevitable logical consequence, but also saw this catastrophe as a kind of “chaotic transition” between two structures of consciousness — the disintegration of the mental-rational and a re-integration or restructuring as the “aperspectival” or “arational” consciousness. Breakdown as breakthrough. There are certainly signs that this is a possibility. I wouldn’t have named this blog “The Chrysalis” if I didn’t also think so. And I’ve certainly tried to make the case that Rosenstock-Huessy’s “grammatical method” and quadrilateral logic of the “cross of reality” offers a much sounder, more holistic and integral basis than current models for such a “metanoia” or “new mind”.

This is also the prophecy of William Blake — the re-integration of the four Zoas in the universal “Albion”, who is the “cosmic consciousness” — the fully realised awareness beyond-within-behind the ego-consciousness or “Selfhood” as he called it. “Albion” and “the New Jerusalem” is the same as Gebser’s “integral consciousness”. And if anyone deserves recognition as the herald of a “New Age”, it is not so much Castaneda as it is William Blake. If you can penetrate Blake’s dense symbolism, you’ll find a precise map of the fullness of the human form in his “fourfold vision”, and it looks remarkably like Rosenstock-Huessy’s “cross of reality”, too. In fact, the “cross of reality” really does help us gain insight into Blake’s dense symbolism of the four Zoas and the resurrect Albion.

“Metanomics” is what Rosenstock-Huessy called his method — becoming conscious of grammar was the key or “open sesame” to the metanoia or “cosmic consciousness”. That’s the import of his otherwise enigmatic saying that “God is the power that makes men speak”. That statement isn’t any different from the statement of Yogananda in his Autobiography of a Yogi — to arrive at the root and source of language itself is the same as enlightenment.

That alone should teach us a new respect for language, and a corrective for spin, propaganda, perception management, tricks of rhetoric, and insincerity. For it is largely in the abuse and destruction of language that we see the symptoms of a consciousness structure in the throes of disintegration. There’s the reason why “symbolic” and “diabolic” were deemed contraries. Nietzsche’s “devaluation of values” as the meaning of nihilism is nothing less than the abuse and destruction of names and words — their being emptied of meaning.

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20 responses to “The Disintegration of the Consciousness Structure of Modern Man”

  1. Scott Preston says :

    Just as a matter of interest… the word “individual” (individuum in Latin) is the word “a-tomos” in Greek — not further divisible, not further analysable. This presumption became applied to human beings, and framed much of the social philosophy of the Modern Era. So you might appreciate what a shock it was to realise that the “individual” was indeed divisible — even an offence to “common sense”. That’s the cultural and philosophical context in which Nietzsche, Stevenson, and Oscar Wilde produced their works. And when psychoanalysis came along, of course, all hell broke loose, so to speak.

    I once read the works of a man who thought the splitting of the atom and the splitting of the individual by psychoanalysis were related events, but he didn’t quite know it what way they were related, only that it turned assumptions about the inviolability of the individual on their heads. He saw both as awkward, even devastating, developments in Western culture. So, you now know the reason why a lot of people greeted Freud’s psychoanalysis with something akin to horror.

  2. davidm58 says :

    1. Regarding the chaotic transition, my paper on this theme (“Patterns for Navigating the Transition to a World in Energy Descent”) has just been published by Integral Leadership Review: http://integralleadershipreview.com/13462-819-%ef%bb%bfpatterns-for-navigating-the-transition-to-a-world-in-energy-descent/

    I wrote: “It appears ever more likely that Jean Gebser was correct in his assessment that,

    ‘The crisis of our times…appears headed toward an event which, in our view, can only be described as a ‘global catastrophe.’ …if we do not overcome the crisis it will overcome us; and only someone who has overcome himself is truly able to overcome. Either we will be disintegrated and dispersed, or we must resolve and effect integrality’ (Gebser, 1985, p. xxvii).

    As we saw earlier, Gebser did not expect the crisis to be averted by a seamless transition, but rather that the crisis itself could possibly enact a mutation (roughly equivalent to what PatternDynamics refers to as the Bifurcation Pattern) – that out of the crisis an integral epoch might emerge – “Mutation as a process must be macromutation through chaotic transition” (ibid, p. 530).

    The Order/Chaos Pattern informs us here. Tim Winton describes the principle behind this Pattern as “creative breakdown.” Breakdown and irregularity “allow the rearrangement of previously fixed elements into new, more appropriate forms. The role of Order/Chaos is to facilitate adaptation and evolution” (Winton, 2012a).”

    2. J.M. Greer’s latest column (The Last Refuge of the Incompetent) also touches on this theme with this comment: “we no longer have time to make something happen before the rising spiral of climate catastrophe begins—as my readers may have noticed, that’s already well under way. From here on in, it’s probably a safe bet that anthropogenic climate change will accelerate until it fulfills the prophecy of The Limits to Growth and forces the global industrial economy to its knees. Any attempt to bring human society back into some kind of balance with ecological reality will have to get going during and after that tremendous crisis. That requires playing a long game, but then that’s going to be required anyway, to do the things that the climate change movement failed to do, and do them right this time.”
    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2015-08-20/the-last-refuge-of-the-incompetent

    3. Continuing the discussion about the Book of Revelation, it’s really interesting to consider “The New Jerusalem” as equating to Gebser’s Integral Consciousness! Lots of food for thought there. Does Blake specifically mention this? Where is a good starting point for reading Blake?

    I just purchased Into the Cool by Eric Schneider & Dorian Sagan, and immediately noticed that they use a number of Blake quotes in the chapter headings. “Energy is the only life.” “Tyger! Tyger! burning bright/ In the forests of the night,/ What immortal hand or eye/ Could frame thy fearful symmetry?” “Exuberance is beauty.”

    • Scott Preston says :

      I was just reading recently where some paleontologists have suggested that “extinction events” are actually spurs to new evolutionary mutations. That’s something I wrote about in the old Dark Age Blog — the sixth extinction event as prelude to the Seventh Generation Event. So, yes, “chaotic transition” fits.

      Not sure if you’re familiar with Blake’s poem “The New Jerusalem”? It’s a potent piece of work, that has also been set to music.
      http://poetry.eserver.org/new-jerusalem.html

      Not sure what would be a good introduction to Blake besides David Erdmann’s Complete Works of William Blake, although I should probably mention Northfrop Frye’s book Fearful Symmetry, which is usually credited as having revived contemporary interest in Blake’s visionary art and poetry after it had languished in “the dustbin of history”, as it were. Frye was a brilliant interpreter of Blake.

      • davidm58 says :

        Beautiful. I was familiar with Blake’s phrase about the “dark Satanic mills,” and now it’s great to see the context in which that phrase was used.

        • Scott Preston says :

          Those “dark Satanic mills” actually refers to minds trapped in tautology — the “windmills of your mind” as the song puts it, or the mental merry-go-round, far more than any reference to the Industrial Revolution. The “mill” theme recurs in the resurrection of Albion (“Glad Day”) where Blake writes: “Albion rose from where he labourd at the Mill with Slaves Giving himself for the Nations he danc’d the dance of Eternal Death”. I’ve referred to that image of the resurrect Albion quite often in The Chrysalis, particularly to compare and contrast it with da Vinci’s “Vetruvian Man”

          http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/english/currentstudents/undergraduate/modules/fulllist/second/en227/

        • Scott Preston says :

          One thing you might be interested in (just occurs to me) especially given your interest in energy and dynamics is Blake’s Marriage of Heaven and Hell. It’s available online
          http://www.levity.com/alchemy/blake_ma.html

          It also contains his famous “Proverbs of Hell” most of which have to deal with the process of enantiodromia. So you might find this work of particular interest.

    • Scott Preston says :

      Come to think of it, I think what differentiates The Chrysalis from J.M. Greer’s approach is that Greer looks for the objective criteria for “decline and fall”, whereas mine has been to address and highlight the correlative problems in the deficiencies of the consciousness structure itself — ie, the “dark Satanic mill” as being a reference to the consciousness structure itself of which the physical order is a mirror. The physical “dark Satanic mill” is only the objectification or projection of the self-understanding of the consciousness structure. In fact, how could it be otherwise?

      After reading Mr. Greer’s thoughts on revolution and violence, I don’t think Rosenstock-Huessy would disagree (I commented to that effect at the end of his piece). Rosenstock also foresaw an impending “fifth” revolution to complete the series begun with Luther and the German Revolution (Protestant Reformation) which he insisted (back in 1938) would be based on the principle of “health” (another word for “integral”). He believed it would be necessary in order to consolidate whatever gains and principles were established by the previous ones — in effect, to “redeem” them from their own exaggerations or failures. That seems to have been quite prescient, given the subsequent rise of environmental/ecological politics and the turn to “holism”. What was needed, then, was consciousness of that revolutionary process itself as “integralism”. This is what the “cross of reality” is intended to be also — a kind of map for the “fifth revolution”.

      • Dwig says :

        Scott:
        “Come to think of it, I think what differentiates The Chrysalis from J.M. Greer’s approach is that Greer looks for the objective criteria for “decline and fall”, whereas mine has been to address and highlight the correlative problems in the deficiencies of the consciousness structure itself ”

        This has occurred to me as well. A while back, Greer did some posts on Spngler’s magnum opus, comparing it with Toynbee’s, Vico’s, and other cyclic models of history. On the other hand, when someone mentioned Gebser, he was unfamiliar with the name, let alone the work.

        Mulling this over, putting these thoughts together with Gebser’s few, unsympathetic references to Spengler, it occurred to me that Spengler and Gebser were talking about different things (different maps, to use Korszbski’s term), so couldn’t properly be said to agree or disagree. You’ve expressed nicely what was emerging in my thinking.

        By the way, Greer is unsympathetic to the idea of progress (in any sense) in consciousness. I think this stems from his strong reactions to the common misconception of evolution as linear progress. It seems that any idea of evolutionary change that has a whiff of progress or ascent about it, triggers this reaction. I think he’d agree, though, that the coming convulsions will have effects on the consciousness structures of the surviving cultures, but as with biological evolution after a crisis, there would likely be a variety of new structures, possibly incomparable or even incompatible with each other. Which one(s) of these would persist would be a function of the usual processes of selection.

        • Scott Preston says :

          There are some languages which do not permit speaking of “progress” in generalities or in the abstract. “You can’t stop progress” would be unintelligible, since it equates “progress” with the Juggernaut (Jagganatha, the “Lord of the Universe”). That’s not considered “progress” at all. You can only speak of progress in relation to some specific end freely chosen, but never in general. You can speak of “progresses” in terms of multiple ends, but not “Progress” with a capital P. “you can’t stop progress” is really enslavement to time.

          I think Mr. Greer is probably reacting to the abstract notion of “Progress”, because it’s quite clear you can make progress if you are talking about achieving specific ends and goals. Take Nietzsche’s formula for happiness: “a straight line and a goal”. We can certainly make progress in understanding. Castaneda’s don Juan called that “living deliberately”, ie intentionally in the fuller sense of that term. “Knowledge comes bit by bit at first, but then in big chunks”, as his don Juan put it. That’s certainly making progress.

          But I agree, evolution is not necessarily a “progressive” feature unless you specify a goal for it — that is to say, consciously intend it. Then, of course, you can measure your progress towards the destiny you’ve selected. But I agree, that there is no “progress” in the abstract, and that time by itself is not “progressive” unless you turn it to account, which is to say, give meaning to it, or deliberately intend it.

          • Scott Preston says :

            I might add that in Rosenstock’s model, time is not cyclical nor linear, but expands in two directions — into the zone we call “the past” and into the zone we call ‘the future”. But the point of this is, that the more our consciousness expands into the past or into the future, the more we make past and future “present” to each other, or what we call “contemporary”. This is the inherent or innate integrating function of consciousness — or, at least, what consciousness wants to achieve if allowed to do so.

            Any “integral theory” is going to have to recognise the centrality of consciousness as its “quintessence”.

          • davidm58 says :

            Good discussion. Here’s another relevant excerpt from my paper (linked above):

            “Considering the cultural environment in which we are embedded, it is not surprising to find these long held beliefs about eternal growth and progress bleeding over into the integral community [referring to those in the Wilber lineage]. Within this community there has been a discussion in recent years about the tendency to fixate on evolution and its association with the idea of linear progress and development (i.e. growth). The integral movement often puts a great degree of attention on the importance of pushing ourselves and others to move up the ladder of developmental levels.

            Although this kind of development is not equivalent to physical or economic growth, there may be a connection between the two that are embedded in our deep cultural conditioning. This discussion is also relevant to this paper in that the integral message tends to belie a confidence and possibly unwarranted optimism that the world is on an inevitable linear growth trajectory toward an integral age that is able to escape collapse and cataclysm (Malkinson, 2015).

            Susanne Cook-Greuter has expressed concern about “the current integral evolutionary assertion which equates the evolution of the universe with the evolution of consciousness as a linear, predictable and certain process,” especially in light of the many uncertain processes at work in our universe (Cook-Greuter, 2013, p. 1). She notes the cultural influence inherent in this “linear, upward and onward message.”

            It is not an entirely uncommon critique; Jeremy Johnson posted a video commentary asking, “Does Development or Progress Exist in Evolution” (2012)? Johnson’s post then inspired an article by Chris Dierkes (2012) which, in turn, generated an array of comments that on the whole shared the concern about an over-emphasis on evolution, growth, and development.[11]

            In addition, Zak Stein has pointed out the problems associated with viewing the concept of Integral as being “deeply entwined with the growth-to-goodness assumptions… The term is about certain possible and preferable developmental outcomes, not about developmental outcomes that are necessarily probable, likely, or inevitable” (Stein, 2010, p. 6).

            It is not the intention here to deny the important contributions made by those who have given attention to growth, development, and evolution. Rather it is an attempt to bring these ideas into balance by emphasizing some of the pitfalls of such approaches, and by emphasizing some of the statements made by integral theorists where recognition is given to possibilities such as contraction, regression, and collapse. We also want to bring emphasis to a wider variety of meta-types that are enacted by the PatternDynamics™ model (Winton, 2010a).

            Can we consider decreasing our emphasis on the more masculine growth-to-goodness idea with its emphasis on height and depth, and instead fully embrace the more feminine concept of span (Winton, 2010a)? Can we begin to see Integral not as a level to grow into, but rather as an expanse to fall into (V. Fisher comment in Dierkes, 2012)[12] – a letting go, a sinking into being, a spreading out, a coming down to a safe and fertile valley (Holmgren, 2002)?

            Jean Gebser did not frame his structures of consciousness (Archaic, Magic, Mythic, Mental, Integral) as “progress” (Gebser, 1985, p. 130) or “evolution” (p. 142). Rather, each structure comes to a point of exhaustion, which then makes possible a mutation from which the next structure emerges:

            This will perhaps emphasize again why we have disavowed the concept of evolution and prefer instead to speak of mutations…No new structure preceeds from an exhausted one, but a mutation can readily spring forth from the originary presence of the whole (Gebser, 1985, p. 142).

            The future Integral epoch is seen not as an inevitable outcome nor as a product of our linear growth, but as an optimal possible scenario that might emerge after some serious series of contractions (Pogany, 2006, 2013b). Perhaps an Empathic Civilization (Rifkin, 2009) will only become viable as an expression of the Enantiadromia Pattern (Winton, 2012a) – an extreme response to extreme difficulties. Rather than an achievement that humanity slowly evolves into, it might instead be a bifurcated mutational emergence that blesses us as we humbly fall into a simplicity that “embraces and befriends” (Varey, 2013) the lost parts of ourselves – our mythic, magic, and archaic selves rediscovered as our ever present origin (Gebser, 1985).”

            • Scott Preston says :

              Yes. As pointed out earlier (and I believe Gebser makes this point explicitly) the notion of “progress” as we have it today and of time as linear is a reflection of the consciousness structure, specifically dialectics. This is also a reflection of St. Augustine’s remark that “time is of the soul”, which seems to have impressed both Gebser and Rosenstock-Huessy. And it reflects also that persistent remark of Seth that “you create the reality you know”.

              Ditto for the cyclic view of time. It is nothing else but Blake’s “dark Satanic mill” — the “windmills of your mind” or the mental merry-go round — an image itself of mind trapped in tautology, which is the image of the ancient ouroboros, too.

              The fascist “myth of blood” and the cyclic view of history coincide in the idea of constant circulation or cyclicity. Circulation is certainly an aspect of our reality, but it isn’t central to it. That’s why the Christian cross replaced the ouroboros as the symbol of reality, or, the cycle was subsumed in the cruciform symbol itself, as a minor element. This is, of course, the meaning of the saints “slaying the dragon” or subduing the dragon. There is probably a neurological/biological basis to the ouroboros — the lizard brain.

              For this reason, Rosenstock (in his more theologically-inclined
              writings) thought that the crucifix represented an absolute obstacle to any complete return to “paganism” — cyclicity — but even he recognised the “Tribal” or pagan factor as one of the four aspects of the social order. And even he speaks of “circulation” in relation to speech in society.

              Because “time is of the soul”, so is progress and so is cyclicity. Attempts to reconcile these in the image of “spiral” simply recapitulates the dialectic structure of mind — as Wilber does with his “spiral dynamics”. The spiral is also serpentine, and it is just as valid as “progressive time” or “cyclic time” because time is of the soul and the soul is fourfold in nature and this is reflected in attitudes towards time, politics, etc. Time is a paradoxical thing because the human is a paradoxical being.

              Time takes all these forms because life does — life is linear, spiral, cycle, pendulum, zig-zag in turns, or, in Rosenstock’s terms, expands or contracts in two opposite directions — backwards and forwards. As Gebser pointed out, this multiformity of time is connected to the consciousness structure — archaic, magical, mythical, and mental-rational all have different imaginations of time.

              The timelessness within time — Blake’s “eternity in the hour” — is what we find in Gebser and Rosenstock-Huessy, too, as either “ever-present origin” or “the vital centre” of the cross of reality. Gebser’s four civilisational types differ from Spengler’s in eschewing cyclicity in favour of the notion of “articulations” and might be better compared to the botanical — a civilisation has roots, stems, branches, and flower. But all four stages co-exist in the mature plant. It’s not that one succeeds the other or disappears when the other becomes dominant.

              The various interpretations of time and space in history and civilisations is a function of the consciousness structure, as consciousness attempts to “realise” or “actualise” or come to know itself through it’s projections, via “reflection”, since it cannot perceive itself directly, (or as is said “darkness is his pavilion”). So, all these images of time are really its self-portrait.

  3. davidm58 says :

    Nicely timed, in terms of dovetailing with comments above about Greer, there was posted today reviews of Greer’s latest three books including “After Progress: Reason and Religion at the End of the Industrial Age.”
    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2015-08-26/review-after-progress-twilight-s-last-gleaming-and-the-fires-of-shalsha

    • Scott Preston says :

      “After Progress” might be an interesting read. The title reminds of Arianna Stassinopoulis’ book After Reason, which was the work of a very cranky conservative-minded, even reactionary, person now known as “Arianna Huffington”, for it seems she had something of a change of heart about that.

      Just judging from the book review, I see some weaknesses in the argument. But that may be the reflection of the reviewer’s misunderstanding rather than Greer’s. I’ll see. I have the impression, though, that Greer might have been influenced by Rene Guenon’s “traditionalism”. Gebser mentions Guenon once or twice in his Ever-Present Origin, but usually to distinguish his own views from Guenon’s anti-modernism. But to see if Greer is cast in the mold of Guenon, I’ll have to read his book. Guenon wrote a few books, but the one I’m familiar with is The Reign of Quantity.

      • Dwig says :

        From what I’ve read of Greer’s work, he’s at the core an amateur (in the “ama-” sense) historian, influenced by the “cyclic” historians I mentioned, and also by Tainter’s and Catton’s works on how civilizations exceed their limits and go into decline. He’s also influenced by ecological works, and did a few posts at one point using the concept of “succession” to describe stages of decline.

        David, I read your paper; fascinating, in part because it speaks to my emerging concerns about ways to manage the decline so as to have a better foundation for the next “upswing”. Have you considered Holling’s adaptive cycle (and more recently elaborated into “panarchy”) as a complement to Odum’s pulsing paradigm? (I’ll have some other questions and comments as I digest the material further.)

        • davidm58 says :

          Dwig, thanks! Regarding C.S. Holling, yes. When writing this paper I had two different drafts that had different areas of emphasis, and the draft other than the one published discussed Holling a bit (as well as Prigogine, which Scott asked about earlier). This will probably become a follow-up paper – the next of a series. If you send me your email address I can forward a copy of this draft to you and Scott (or other interested parties), and would be interested in feedback. This other draft gives more focus on the polarity patterns, and the idea of expansion/contraction as a kind of “final cause.” Write me – miles58 at yahoo dot com.

      • davidm58 says :

        Wow. Your comment above about time (which WordPress won’t let me reply to directly) is excellent. I’ve been struggling for a while to understand some of these concepts, and I finally feel like I’m getting a glimmer of understanding. I’ll have to meditate on this and let it sink in further develop.

        Your explanation of Augustine’s “Time is of the soul” is very helpful.

        And Seth’s comment “You create the reality that you know” is very different from the simplified new-age conception that “you create your own reality.” The reality we know points to what our culture and environment has taught us, which forms our structures of consciousness. As Nancy Frankenberry wrote: “For Kant, the world emerged from the subject; for radical empiricism [the lineage of William James et al], the subject emerges from the world.”

        • Scott Preston says :

          And beyond Kant and james, Gebser would say that the world and the self, or subject and object, arise together and co-determine each other. It’s also one of Blake’s Proverbs of Hell: “What is now prov’d was once only imagined”.

          • davidm58 says :

            Yes, that is exactly it. Here is how radical empiricist Bernard Meland put it:
            “Much of the meaning we appear to find in life, we bring to it, as Kant observed, through our own forms of sensibility and understanding. But, as James and Bergson were later to remark, countering the stance of Kant and Hume in one basic respect, the nexus of relationships that forms our existence is not projected, it is given. We do not create these relationships; we experience them, being given with existence…thus I am led empirically to speak of God as the Ultimate Efficacy within relationships.”

            • Scott Preston says :

              “God as the Ultimate Efficacy within relationships”. That’s a curious way of putting it, but just might “work” with Rosenstock-Huessy’s “God is the power that makes men speak” and Gebser’s “efficacy” of consciousness structures — their truths before they enter “deficient” or distorted mode.

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