update: it is useful to cite J.G. Bennett’s account of evolution to those who think a ‘religious’ thinker should inject theism into the account. Bennett tries to actually construct an evolutionary dynamic using his model of space/time/’eternity’/hyparxis as a novel geometry, a striking anticipation probably muddled of spooky physics. The point seems to be that the hyparchic dimension gives a hint of the way a potential form factor computes form potentials which then realize as experimental new species instances. Continue reading “The mystery of evolution”
The previous version had a problem so here is version 13ax with a new title: The Last Revolution: Postcapitalist Futures…we already have two other books called Postcapitalist Futures…
I also put in the original much better essay on Samkhya: Ancient and Modern, with a cautionary note. The realms of yoga and sufism have many who absolutely detest Marxists. The ancient sutras belong to humanity, public domain since the Neolithic. But a lot of predatory guru types don’t always think so. The lore of original samkhya however is probably harmless, ditto for the now comically global so-called (hatha) ‘yoga’. The issue of the Marxist dialectic in relation to ancient Samkhya is almost comic.
This website often has good stuff, but its perspective (the site appears to be connected to the ID blog EvolutionNews, et al) is marred by the obsessive diatribes against materialism, not surprising if you promote religion.
But materialism has many varieties and we have often explored the version given by J.G.Bennett who made clear once and for all that universal materialism is appropriate even for spiritual s0-called discussions. That springs from the tradition of Samkhya with its universal materialism of triads and consciousness. A muddled subject but the echo of an very ancient now lost ‘spirituality’. Many philosophies are themselves ‘triadic hybrids’, as in Bennett’s Being, Function, Will. Note that for him ‘matter is merely an aspect of being, and ditto for spirit, which is non-such, another form under the being aspect, the mirror image of the material. The dividing line here is Kant who breakthrough distinction of noumenal/phenomenal is a still better hybrid, and the key to the confusions of soul-man and matter-man, viz the noumenal aspect of man lies in the ‘soul category/confusion/muddle. Noone can make use of the work of Kant which throws the whole question of soul into a new mode. But it is clear that the noumenal aspect divides the body-soul into false duality, the soul as metaphysical. In any case there is no reason the ‘soul’ can’t be considered material, but not in the usual sense. Be skeptical here, but the muddle of current scientism is almost pathological. The ancient soul of man was a material entity of mysterious origin. The tradition still exists in some forms of sufism where the ‘soul’ in some new form is injected into the solar plexus region, somehow. This is a different brand from the common soul-state of homo sapiens. Most sufis and moslems are themselves ignorant here, and one suspects the whole spiritual technology and its mysterious got ripped off somehow and is in the possession of dark side rogue sufis, Gurdjieff being an example with his incessant discussions of body energies and soul.
Why If man always had a soul, would he need to also acquire one? I have no idea. But there is the obvious difference between the ‘soul/mind’ in reincarnation and a spiritual soul going beyond space-time./???? The species ‘soul’ of man is something like his larger ‘mind’ as it emerges as complex package complete no doubt with spooky physics: at the noumenal/phenomenal greyzone. The other soul is who knows, but I suspect this doctrine was present in early christianity and then died out, and that, a guess, it first appears in Egyptian religion, and before that in Gurdjieff’s ‘pre-sand Egypt’, the neolithic. Buddhism’s ‘no soul’ teaching is no doubt connected in some mysterious way.
Try trotting over to sufi land and ask/harangue to be included, be loud and obnoxious, thence from blank stares to the Big Blob. Worth a try.
But in the ten thousand years of human civilization since 10K BCE not a single civilization or religion has been able to provide man with a definition of who he is, his psychology and being. None. Not even Buddhism. Christianity was a mysterious fake, as Islam, and the whole esoteric tradition can’t show any real exemplars, our front. Garbage in, Garbage out, all the way. The age of science has proven no better, and somewhere between rat psychology and psychoanalysis a new and more studied incoherence has taken center stage with high hopes for a science.
If this is wrong, say so, and prove it wrong. J.G. Bennett suggested the obvious reason here: man’s psychology is so complex he can’t decipher himself. A psychology of man has to be more complicated than quantum physics, no doubt. But physics just goes into a funk on consciousness.
A cynical neurosurgeon colleague told Michael Egnor that he could not account for how a child patient’s NDE account described the operation accurately. Source: The Brain Does Not Create the Mind; I…
I have a long discussion of hyparxis at the Gurdjieff Con prefaced by this personal, almost incoherent, account of travels through the New Age movement. Leftist historical materialists will find this so appalling they might just ‘wig out’ in a dead faint. But if the left has to somehow mediate the cultural streams of the past, the new age movement becomes a research topic and a very difficult one. And dangerous. Behind the love beads and mantras stands a core of mostly hidden superreactionaries. You cannot fail to know your enemy here. These superreactionaries will eat marxists for breakfast (haha, a historical materialist). These people lurk behind the new right’s fascism in a direct connection so muddled it seems at first harmless. But the connection of figures like Bannon to Ouspensky are there.
Bennett is a sad figure: his original work is cluttered with mystical bum steers but he points to a way the left could accelerate into a viewpoint on yogas, paths, materialism of the Samkhya type. The left has to confront Christianity (Islam), Hinduism, Buddhism, and much else. Perhaps it is essential to ditch marxism and start over. Marx is confusing here: historical materialism struck a blow for secular humanism, but then tended to reduce Marxists into flatlanders. And then the ominous latent strain of Stalinism enters, and there is a serious risk to new agers of downright liquidation.
The left could construct a kind of lingua franca of cultural interaction entering socialism around the ideas of Samkhya yoga, its atheist materialism, and dialectic and strange connection to Christian theology.
We have to leave the junk new agism stuck in the past but the core of human exploration can’t be deleted in a degenerate socialism of leftist robots.
The idea of hyparxis is one of the few original ideas applied to evolutionary theories. I may have misunderstood it, and find it short of science, but its basic idea suggests that (pace Bennett) evolution mediates time and eternity (pure from, like ideal mathematical Ideas) as hyparxis. A man writing a novel mediates the ‘eternal’ dimension as the idea of a novel and its envisioned plot in a series of drafts and revisions, hyparxis, as the form of species emerges into environments that test that realization. It is a prodigiously ambitious attempt to storm the gates of glory with new approaches to evolution in the void left by the idiocy of natural selection fantasy theory.
I had an email exchange that resulted in some essays from me which I will try to reproduce as an essay. Nemonemini I am a veteran of new age movement but somewhat beyond it. I have ha…
The will is a bit far from issues of historical materialism. The issue of the will is almost as elusive as that of ‘enlightenment’. The will in man is not his sense of willing, or will power. It is directly related to ‘free will’ issues, but in a different mode. Is in the real sense is unconscious and almost never visible…
The left might adopt some version of Bennett for a new version of the definition of man…not so easy…watch your step…
Without freedom man cannot create socialism…Marx’s productive force determinism is misleading…
This post was supposed to be at The Gurdjieff Con, but I pulled a fast one and put it at Darwiniana… Modern biology can’t do justice to the human ‘organism’/being: the issue of the w…
We have often cited the figure of J.G.Bennett who in mysterious connection with the rogue sufi Gurdjieff (who brought a version of ancient Samkhya into the west) resolved most of the problems, at least in principle, that tend to confuse modern humanists and secularists. The source of this material is not clear but its origins must be in the influence of Samkhya on early christian theology in a remarkable distortion by theists followed by an unknown passage through islamic culture.
For a brief moment, during the composition of The Dramatic Universe (especially Vol. I) in the late forties, fifties and early sixties a new synthesis of philosophy and science with a distant echo of Samkhya, of all things, produced the most obvious exit strategy from the unnecessary dualisms of ‘spiritual/material’ that haunt western thought, and one of whose major collisions is the generation of post-kantian hegelianism/marxism. The result has a curious, almost suspicious resemblance to Schopenhauer’s thinking but without the ‘thing in itself’ and its its relation to the phenomenal. The theme of ‘will’ enters in a realist format and the triad of ‘being, function, will’ elegantly lifts philosophy out of the spiritual/material dualism. The overall result is a universal materialism in the manner of Samkhya, where there the element of being and the factor of ‘will’ make that materialism into a robust model that is not stuck in scientism.
Unfortunately, Bennett introduced a lot of extraneous material into his remarkable foundation and his later works are entangled in the dark world of Gurdjieff with his dangerous occultism and rogue black magic. Bennett hadn’t a clue to all that but ended up being a propagandist for Gurdjieff and wrecked all his later books in that vein.
But if one can proceed with The Dramatic Universe and evade its numerous pitfalls, a resolution beyond idealism/materialism can be achieved and it would be easy to recast this in a practical version. But everyone would then be under the shadow of some dangerous sufis and their meddling into anything that even remotely shows their ‘copyright’.
It is enough to point to the needless confusions of the idealism/materialist debate, and to the way the ancient Samkhya tried to embrace materialism in a new form of yoga. It is a lesson that could be relearned and adapted to an exodus from the futile Hegel/Marx debate/swamp. With a sense of deja vu as to the modern case, Indian Samkhya as such shows signs of a lost earlier antecedent and in the form present in the Hindu world shows a contraction of some vanished tradition.