Archive | June 2019

Revaluation of Values: A New Heaven and a New Earth

A million things occur to me this morning, all clamouring for me to write something up about them. I have to disappoint most of them and tell them “later, later. Not now. It’s not yet the time.”

You see, any true restructuration of consciousness — of the Gestalt of consciousness and reality — is total, not piecemeal. This is exactly what is meant by the phrase “a new Heaven and a new Earth” that we find in Revelation. Reality is a very big place, consequently any complete or total restructuration or (Nietzsche’s “revaluation of values”) of what we call “reality” means there is never any end to things we might observe and write about. This is after all, the double-meaning of the word “apocalypse”, which actually means “disclose” or “dis-cover” or “reveal”, while to others it means catastrophe and destruction. At the same time, in the transitional period or zone everything is so ambiguous and paradoxical (and in rapid flux) that it is sometimes difficult to say what’s what before it isn’t.

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What is Vital? Part II

What Gebser diagnosed decades ago as “the loss of the vital centre” in his book The Ever-Present Origin is intimately connected with what is now referred to as the post-modern “loss of self”. And we must certainly ask what happens to the ideal of the “sovereign self” and the liberal idea of “self-determination” under conditions of this “loss of self”?

In our attempts to gain insight into, and come to terms with, many contemporary crises in society, we need to appreciate in what way the loss of the vital centre (or crucial centre) is identical with this “loss of self” which erupts today as the “identity crisis”.

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What is Vital?

In the previous post, we touched on the “three discoveries”, at least in recorded history, that have moved heaven and earth — the discovery of the soul, the discovery of the mind, and the discovery of the unconscious.

Before this, there was probably also a “discovery of the will” that informed the magical structure of consciousness, although we have only tales and legends about this by which to go. These discoveries seem to correspond to the emergence of four kinds of “religion”, we might say — animism, vitalism, psychism, and mentalism, each of which represents a “revaluation of values”, and a correlation between these and Gebser’s identification of “four structures of consciousness” that have marked different Ages of Man — the archaic, the magical, the mythical, and the mental-rational. There is, correspondingly, a relation of this to Walter Wiora’s discovery of “The Four Ages of Music“.

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