Monday 15 February 2021

Development of the conscious will towards Final Participation - a simple model

The idea is that our consciousness - which can be understood as our conscious will 

This 'evolved' or developmentally-unfolded through human history, and an analogous development typically happens through our modern life - at least in the The West. 

The conscious will - which is where we feel our-selves to be located, the 'I' or ego that looks-out on the world - can be regarded as an intermediary between the body and the perceptions on the outside, and our real-divine self which is on the 'inside'. 

Although actually the real-self is not tied to the body; yet incarnation means that in a significant sense the real-self is located in time and space. Thus incarnation is what gives us greater freedom and an unique perspective. 

Without incarnation the real-self is not distinctly separated-from the divine will and thought; and is less of an agent, less free. But with a developed conscious will that comes between our perceptions and our real-self; we have the ability to shift, direct and focus attention

This means that our conscious will can choose to present different phenomena, for consideration by the real-self. The conscious will can (in effect) move our bodies to a new environment, can choose to focus attention on particular aspects of the perceived environment, or can retrieve memories - and these are then brought to the attention of the real-self. 

The conscious will can focus on perceptions, on inner body states, on memories - or it can focus on the real-self - and on the thoughts that are 'emerging' from the real-self. 

By this model; primary thinking is what happens when the conscious-will is attending to the real-self; and the conscious-will is (in a sense) subordinating-itself to the real self

So that, for example, the conscious-will moves the body to a different place, alters that which is perceived (by seeking particular kinds of experience), and shifts attention in line with the requirements of the real-self. 

This is to live in Final Participation; led by the real (and divine) self, and with intuition (= primary thinking) leading the conscious will. 

But in Final Participation always there is (and must be) the conscious choice about where to direct the conscious-will, moment-by-moment.

So, in Final Participation; conscious choice is voluntarily aligned-with the divine; it is aligned via the real self which is that which is divine within us.  


David Earle said...

Bruce, I've noticed that I have probably hundreds of different "feelings" or "flavors" associated with music, smells, visuals from my past. They all feel positive but different.

For instance, hearing a certain song might remind me of that one particular summer 8 years ago. It feels as if I've been transformed back in time. In hindsight, that moment in my life had a feeling associated with it, although at the time I dont think I recognized this particular feeling's flavor.

Another day I might walk outside on a Fall morning and the way the air smells may remind me of one particular Spring 10 years ago. This again has it's own feeling associated with it.

I find by purposefully thinking a certain way, with the aid of sound or smell, I can sort of transform myself to different periods of time where I felt engaged in the world. Many times it is like taking a small short-lasting drug.

Is final participation a way of achieving this mode of being at all times?

Do you know what i mean by every memory having its own "feeling" that transcends positive/negative or good/bad?

Bruce Charlton said...

@isl - I'd say that was something different, because it is more of an unconscious and involuntary association. It can be 'explained' in terms of biology, by the 'somatic marker mechanism' - about which I used to write a fair bit.

or relevant sections of

In other words, I think what you are describing is a property of memory whereby emotions are associated with events - remembering events triggers emotions stored at the same time, and emotional states facilitate recall of events that led to them etc.

David Earle said...

Thanks for the clarification. I'll give those links a read

Bruce Charlton said...

I got most of these ideas from Rudolf Steiner's Truth and Knowledge, and Philosophy of Freedom - but I probably would not have understood these without also reading Otto Palmer's book entitled - Rudolf Steiner on His Book "the Philosophy of Freedom".