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Eternity and Infinity: A Meditation on Blake

“Eternity is in love with the productions of time” — William Blake

I give you the end of a golden string;
   Only wind it into a ball,
It will lead you in at Heaven’s gate,
   Built in Jerusalem’s wall.

William Blake

I could have entitled today’s Chrysalis post equally “Blake and Diaphaneity”, as a contribution to what Jean Gebser means by “diaphanous” perception or “the transparency of the world”. Of all the powerful things which Blake wrote, “Eternity is in love with the productions of time” strikes me as his most potent in expressing his insight into the diaphanous nature of the real and as being the tip of his “golden string”. It has that Zen koan-like quality that is designed to help uplift the mind to the direct perception of the infinite, or “unfold the wings of perception”.

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Crossroads and Intersections

I’m seeing a lot more of this term “intersectionality”. I haven’t looked too closely, as yet, into what people using it might understand by intersectionality, but it appears to be simply a different reference to what we’ve explored here at The Chrysalis under the theme of “crossroads”, and possibly, too, to the Buddhist idea of interconnectedness. Intersections are crossroads, after all.

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Individuation Against Individualism Once More

In last couple of posts, we’ve attempted to bring some clarity to what Karl Marx actually thought rather than the caricature that has been made of this by both his devotees and by his enemies and detractors, and we have seen that Marx was not at all what they have made of him.

At the same time, we recognise that Marx was indeed the sworn enemy of economics of the Adam Smith variety — that is to say, capitalism — and largely because of a singular problem that concerned Marx greatly — alienation. And as we have seen too, Marx was not really a “collectivist”, since he seemed greatly concerned to advance the individuation process that he believed had been denied to the “proletariat” or industrial working class by the class system itself. This is the aspect of Marx which has been completely abused because everyone confuses individualism with individuation, which was the grave error, too, of many self-described “Marxists”.

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Marx and Religion

“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people” — Karl Marx

In a previous post (“Fascism and Marxism”) I attempted to show that what Karl Marx actually believed communism to be, and what the communist society would actually look like, was diametrically the opposite of the caricature that his most enthusiastic followers — and common opinion — have made of it. Marx never intended the fetishisation of “the masses” or “the proletariat”, but the emancipation of the individual from conditions of massification and proletarianisation that he saw fundamental to capitalism, to its division of labour, and to the class structure of society. This caricature that has been made of Marx and his philosophy underscores Rosenstock-Huessy’s observation that the reason communism didn’t succeed was the Marxists and the Communist Party. And that is probably true.

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The Medieval Mind

I came across this phrase recently: “Neo-Medievalism”. Apparently, it’s another reactionary and nostalgist political formation that holds everything that is wrong with the world is the result of secular modernity — the last 500 years. It’s exemplified by the current wave of Flat-Earther’s or Sungenis’s book “Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right” . In other words, it is an apparent revival of the Counter-Reformation and of a nostalgia for “Christendom”.

This is completely misguided. But we should judiciously assess what was, in Gebser’s terms, effective and what was deficient about the unperspectival or pre-perspectival Medieval Mind what would be beneficial to recover.

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The Underworld: On a Personal Note…

I’ve experienced Hell. It was nothing like how the Christians describe it. It was closer to how the Greeks described the underworld — Hades. It was a cold, gloomy, colourless, lifeless, soulless “place”, like the negative of a photograph — the very image of what is called “the pit of despair”.

For three nights and four days I wandered in that dreadful deadness some call “the dark side” — and something akin to Tolkien’s “Mordor”. Everything looked quite normal and ordinary except that it was all without any inner life or light of its own. It’s a psychic reality we collectively seem hell-bent on raising and manifesting as our new “reality”, and if I have one plea it’s this: “Please don’t!”

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The Modern Ethos and the Diaphainon, Part II

Let’s continue today with our attempt to describe what Gebser means by “the diaphainon” and this as the ethos of the Integral Age.

In the previous post, we very briefly touched upon the diaphainon and its relation to the Tao (which Gebser would call “the Itself”) and the O Society blog has helpfully expanded upon that with a post entitled ” Laozi: Dao De Jing and Qingjing Jing“. We will use this as a launching point for a further discussion of the Itself and the diaphainon. (Helpfully on a related note, too, is Peter Sjöstedt-H’s essay “Why I am Not a Physicalist” which I also read this morning).

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