Thursday 6 February 2020

The end of civilisation? A good thing?

Amo Boden has done a video in response to an earlier post I wrote about the future of civilisation, assuming that human consciousness develops towards Final Participation.

This is one of my apparently idiosyncratic obsessions - trying to detect and delete abstractions and aiming at redescription in the direction of a metaphysics of Beings having Relationships.

It is my step beyond what Barfield described as Residual Unresolved Positivism - in that I find all kinds of things that even Steiner and Barfield do to be abstract models. Therefore, if the world really is made of beings etc; by being abstract instead of personal, and models instead of relationships - these are Necessarily Ultimately Wrong.

So, civilisation seems to me to be built on abstract modelling of Men and behaviour - on categories of persons, laws, rituals etc - hence ultimately wrong.

My vision of reality, and Heaven, is a society of unique individuals, bound together by love, whose unity is that of common work on the everlasting 'project' of creation.

Hence I tend to think that mortal Man's destiny, in terms of the trend of consciousness, is movement towards this. I see our civilisation as tending to break down; as all its ultimately-wrong abstractions, its categories, its measurements... lose the natural and spontaneous authority that they had at an earlier stage of the development of human consciousness.

I see the Ahrimanic, bureaucratic totalitarian as the opposed movement - which is a demonic-evil attempt to prevent Final Participation by the mandatory (using force and saturation propaganda imposed by omni-surveillance) imposition of arbitrary structure, rule, category, numerical measurement etc.

In the end; we we have an evil official world that is an artificial and unfree 'civilisation' - a parody/ subversion of the ancient civilisation... Or - if we want Good - we will have a conscious and voluntary 'reversion' to the non-civilisation of our 'hunter-gathere' ancestors.

And therefore the end of civilisation.



Epimetheus said...

I wonder if a hunter-gatherer tribe could exist in a high-tech, highly-populated environment. I mean: men and women go out and get resources from the economy - as if from the wilderness - and bring it back to the tribe.

Bruce Charlton said...

@E - It depends how strictly you define it, but there are several groups who have pretty much this relationship with civilisation - down-and-outs, Roma, and ex hunter gatherers. But more strictly, when people have storeable resources the whole nature of society changes - with the features of civilisation. If you can filter-out my then leftism - the subject is pretty thoroughly covered in this paper I wrote some twenty-plus years ago:

Francis Berger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Francis Berger said...

My previous comment was a little garbled so I removed it. I would like to take another stab at it, if I may.

I sympathize with Amo's view of civilization transforming through consciousness, but I more inclined to your view here, Bruce. The expression of consciousness Amo refers to should have happened about 200 years ago, but it didn't. This missed opportunity congealed the consciousness of civilization and caused it to atrophy, leaving us with what we have now - a mechanical system inclined toward evil. I would like to think consciousness might be able to turn it all around and transform civilization as a whole through the particular of the individual, but I don't that is likely.

In this regard, some reversion would appear necessary in order for the world of relationships between beings to blossom. How far down this reversion would have to go is unclear - nation? region? a religious movement? family? - but it seems highly unlikely that the kind of consciousness Amo speaks of will manifest at the individual level in such a way as to have a major effect at the civilization level. It would take a renewed 'Christ' event or something similar for that to happen, in my opinion.

MN said...

"My vision of reality, and Heaven, is a society of unique individuals, bound together by love, whose unity is that of common work on the everlasting 'project' of creation."

I wonder if you are familiar with the personalists?
"...the person as the ultimate explanatory, epistemological, ontological, and axiological principle of all reality..."

and J.M.E. Mctaggart?
"The optimistic conclusion of the Nature of Existence is that timeless reality consists of persons who experience tremendous love for each other. The quantity of love is sufficient in value to dwarf any evils that remain. McTaggart argues that the value of this quantity of love might well be infinite."

Bruce Charlton said...

@MN - I am at an almost opposite extreme to them - in that my basic assumptions are of a pluralistic and evolutionary-developmental nature - my influences include William James, Mormon Theology, Rudolf Steiner, Owen Barfield and William Arkle.

Brief Outlines said...

I like your step beyond RUP - a world of beings in relation - and I feel I must update my understanding to align with it. To me there is a relationship between beings that takes the form of a relation between strangers - which I do not experience as being abstract just because it lacks the personal dimension.