This is continuing from earlier posts on the developmentally-necessary adolescent phase of the 'sophisticated cynic' - and the requirement to pass-beyond it (not to retreat-from it) My ideas here are mostly-derived from, and partly-developed from, page 160 of A Geography of Consciousness by William Arkle (1974).
Part of our spiritual growth from passive, obedient, group-dominated 'childhood' is to enter the 'adolescent' phase of the sophisticated cynic. This is a very dangerous phase, because it is the 'dead-centre' of consciousness - and it is possible to become paralysed and rendered-incapable by radical self-doubt; as has happened to almost every non-grown-up 'adult' in the Modern West. However, nonetheless, this phase is developmentally-necessary in the same way that adolescence is necessary: it is the only possible route from childhood to maturity.
The necessity arises from the requirement that we learn by experience knowledge that is vital for attaining spiritual adulthood. This is the sequence:
1. Going-into the sophisticated cynical state we left-behind 'the pack' or
'the masses' - and overcame our passive, un-responsible subordination to
those un-chosen groups that asserted their ultimate authority over our
being. We left this behind, and thereby attained a freedom and we reconised the primacy of cosnciousness (since it was to develop consciousness that we entered the dead-centre state).
2. Yet we
discovered that life cannot be lived alone in existential alienation; we
discovered that such a life is utterly demotivated; and that without
real-relationships there is absolutely-nothing we can or may do that is
of value to anybody. We discovered absolute and unsolvable despair.
3. In the dead-centre we experience the horror of total self-conscious self-determinism: the psychological feeling is that we are not a part of anything. This is existential alienation or nihilism; the experience that nothing is really-real. Especially that there are no real relationships, groups are delusions, we are individually isolated: on-our-own.
4. We discover, in sum, that the single, alone consciousness is a self-contradiction. In attaining absolute supremacy, the single consciousness by-that-act destroys its possibility-of-knowing and its own reason-for-being. By experiencing this, we recognise the necessity of relationships. We discover we simply must have real relationships.
5. Since this position is incoherent and intolerable both; and since we know from experience that our previous state was immature and unfree; we ought-to (but may not) infer that the only way-out is forward into new relationships on a different basis: relationships that are active, chosen and real rather than passive, contingent and delusional. (Many people try and fail to go-back-to a state of passive, obedient, dependence on some established group, institution, ideology or religion. It can at most only half-work; thus modern Man oscillates between child-ish un-conscious and adolescent self-conscious states.)
6. On the basis of a new set of basic, metaphysical assumptions affirming the (potential) reality of relationships; we then seek a new group in a state of full consciousness, and explicitly. Recognising that all sensory-based communications are intrinsically-uncertain; we must work to build from a basis of directly-known, intuited, metaphysically-assumed, real-relationships. This is the task.
7. The three stages can be summarised: We begin as immature little-children of God; in spiritual adolescence we solipsistically assert ourselves to be the one-real-God in a universe made-up by our-selves; in maturity we recognise that we are products-of and inhabitants-of the framework of God's creation; destined to become a multiplicity of gods; destined to become God's grown-up children and loving companions both of each other and of the deity.
And this is the basis of new, real, permanent relationship.