Saturday 24 August 2019

Becoming more divine: Conscious, detached, distanced learning from experience

A new and core aspect of modernity is that we are required to become aware of that which it was (in earlier cultural phases) sufficient to be and do unconsciously.

We don't just need to learn implicitly (and to do what is right), but also to know explicitly what we learn (to be aware of what is right).

But why? One short answer is that we need this to grow towards divinity, because gods are explicitly aware of what they know; and need to be aware in order to create harmoniously.

A longer answer is that knowledge needs to become objective as well as subjective. Objectivity implies that knowledge is universal (the same for all who know, or at least there being the same ultimate basis for everyone's knowing - despite differences in capacity and personal biases).

And objectivity also implies that there is a detachment.

Detachment means (here) being outside a specific experience, such that we become clear about what is universal. Clarity is another name for consciousness, because with clarity the universal emerges from the particular - we apprehend that which we need to learn.

Because this is learning; for experience to become useful for the future, learning must extract the universal from multitude of unique, specific situations. This can be done without awareness, as happens in simple animals, and also in plants.

But we need clarity about what is universal to move towards divinity. It is no longer sufficient just to learn, we must also know consciously what we have-learned.

It is more-developed consciousness to know with clarity what we have learned, even when a person has learned less than (is a worse person than) one who knows only implicitly.

By close analogy, a child may be - usually is - more Good than an adult; nonetheless our task is to grow up (that is to develop not necessarily to fully-divine spiritual adulthood; but progress to that level destined by our eternal nature).

Note: The above is my re-expression of ideas from William Arkle.


dearieme said...

"People are loyal to some institutions": our household receives begging letters from ten educational institutions to which we have links. I once offered some money to one: the offer was turned down. I must admit that I am now inclined not to give a penny piece to any of them. Schools, universities ... all have turned rotten.

As for the only trade union to which I have belonged: I was once co-opted on to a branch committee. I found that the main thing we had in common was a deep contempt for the union officers in London. My professional bodies: I have chosen to have no contact since retirement.

The social club I used to belong to is defunct. If I still lived near my old rugby club then maybe ... But we move, ties sever, life rushes past ...

Bruce Charlton said...

All modern institutions of any size are bureaucracies , and nobody (sane) is loyal to a bunch of managers.