Archive | October 2020

Coleridge on Primary and Secondary Imagination

“The Imagination, then, I consider either as primary or secondary. The primary imagination I hold to be the living Power and prime Agent of all human Perception, an as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM. The secondary Imagination I consider as an echo of the former, co-existing with the conscious will, yet still as identical with the primary in the kind of its agency, and differing only in degree, and the the mode of its operation. It dissolves, diffuses, dissipates, in order to re-create; or where this process is rendered impossible, yet still at all events it struggles to idealize and to unify. It is essentially vital, even as all objects (as objects) are essentially fixed and dead.
Fancy, on the contrary, has no other counters to play with, but fixities and definites. The Fancy is indeed no other than a mode of Memory emancipated from the order of time and space; while it is blended with, and modified by that empirical phenomenon of the will, which we express by the word CHOICE. But equally with the ordinary memory the Fancy must receive all ts materials ready made from the law of association.”

— Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, cited in Nicholas Brooke’s “Coleridge’s ‘True and Original Realism'” in the Durham University Journal (1961) ‘

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David Loy’s “The Suffering System”

It is not difficult to understand what people mean when they say that our problems are “systemic”, especially after you read Buddhist sociologist David Loy’s essay “The Suffering System” (and the corrective for that he calls “engaged Buddhism” or “the Buddhist Revolution”). What is meant by the word “systemic” is just this — that the Three Buddhist Evils of Greed, Malice, and Ignorance have become institutionalised and now constitute our socio-cultural milieu. This has become, indeed, very evident today.

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The Salt of the Earth

There seems to be a 10/90 rule when it comes to socio-cultural transformation. That is to say, 10 percent of the population is sufficient to effect social and cultural transformation. This 10 percent are referred to as “cultural creatives” and active creators, while the 90 percent are relatively passive agents. In effect, this 10 percent figure represents a leavening agent for the whole — the “salt of the Earth”. In effect, this 10 percent represents a tipping point or threshold figure to trigger broader socio-cultural transformation.

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