I have been reading William Blake, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rudolf Steiner and William Arkle recently, and one thing upon which they are all clear and in agreement is that all evaluation rests upon primary thinking - that is intuition, or the thinking of my true and essential self; thinking which has nothing behind or beneath it (and that is how we know it).
This comes before even spiritual and religious thinking, because it is what validates spiritual and religious thinking; and without the validation of primary thinking we are merely responding to external stimulation, compulsion or habit. In the end, everything must be tested and confirmed by primary thinking - this is a task of mortal life.
Why then do we doubt this? Because we have been confused, and have been sold an incoherent alternative. At various times people have been indoctrinated with the notion that some abstraction like religion, politics or science is or ought to be the bottom line - but this is simply nonsense as well as being alienating. How can such labile, diffuse, imprecise and undefined things be the bottom line for anything?
Since all finally rests on the base of intuition, then primary thinking can and should be used to validate all general and specific knowledge claims; life indeed becomes a succession of such evaluations - a building of certainties concerning purpose, meaning, relation, structures and processes and everything else.
Thus intuition is (or should be) how we choose our religion (a necessary choice), and then what is authoritative within that religion as such matters arise and become urgent. It is how we appropriate to ourselves all essential aspects of that religion, and deal with uncertainties, and also evaluate our own (always somewhat imprecise, incomplete and distorted) previous answers.
This ability to clear away superficial thinking and plumb our own depths, to commune with the divine in ourselves and outside ourselves (as seems to be the explanation for this validity - which itself may be validated by prior intuitions) -- this becomes an essential activity in life.
And how to achieve this becomes a vital project for each of us, as we seek the best method for our unique self, in our unique circumstances - e.g. prayer of some type or another, some kind of meditation, some kind of artistic practice, some kind of conversation or consultation... whatever it may be.
Agreed. And yet the confusion is so deeply seated a *capacity* such as intuition is denied to exist or explained away by the imposition of some artificial cognitive explanation or other bogus rationalisation, such as the relegation of the quality of agency or free will or agency to that of an 'epiphenomenon.' Nowadays the more interesting question to me is why people do not feel or intuit intuition, why they do not 'just know' they *obviously* have agency. It seems like if you think about either of these two properties for any length of time, which presumably people don't or can't, then you break the mould of the secular mindset in one fell swoop and can start to make some real progress to escape from the 'thought prison' of modernity towards a correct and fuller understanding of reality.
Dr Charlton: "And how to achieve this becomes a vital project for each of us, as we seek the best method for our unique self, in our unique circumstances - e.g. prayer of some type or another, some kind of meditation, some kind of artistic practice, some kind of conversation or consultation... whatever it may be."
Even including participating in the conversation of this blog.
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