Spirit is a Commons
What if scientists had labelled ‘field’, ‘spirit’, instead of field? Would science and religion then be ‘more together’?
‘Spirit’ seems to be a property of nature that shows through in the dynamics of the diverse forms in nature.
However, our western culture decided to build a common worldview based on material existence rather than ‘field’, and we are so heavily invested in it now, that doing a ‘retro-fit’ to put ‘field’ or ‘spirit’ first, is like the proverbial ‘changing tires on a car while it is speeding down the freeway’.
Instead of putting ‘field’ or ‘spirit’ first, we decided to go build our understanding of dynamics on a base of a ‘subject’ – a visible, local material system that we purport to have locally originating powers of causal creation (of actions and/or views). That is, we impute to organisms the notional power of locally originating, internal-process-driven and internal knowledge and purpose-driven, behaviour.
We see the ‘object’ as the causally-created (by the ‘subject’) dynamic effect or view.
Since we can, and since it is our habit to, re-present dynamics FULLY in terms of ‘subject-object interaction’, this implies that ‘space’ is an empty non-participating container or ‘theatre of operations’.
In the ‘new physics’, however, ‘space’ is ‘field’ and local, visible material forms are secondary; e.g.
“What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the structure of space. Particles are just schaumkommen (appearances).The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist.” — (Erwin Schroedinger on Quantum Wave Dynamics)
Evidently, the needed ‘retro-fit’ that puts ‘field’ or ‘spirit’ into the primary creative sourcing position is going to be a challenge at least on the scale of the retro-fit from the Ptolemaic geo-centric world view to the Copernican helio-centric world view. In that case the motion of the planets/stars belonged fully to them (geocentric view) and we had to retro-fit so that the movement we had attributed fully to them became partially our movement. This (pre-relativity) geocentric-to-heliocentric retro-fit still retained the subject-object method of understanding dynamics.
We are in this year 2010 ‘in the early stages’ of this, arguably ‘more radical’ retro-fit, … conclusive evidence of the natural primacy of ‘field’ or ‘spirit’ over ‘matter’ having only been with us since the beginning of the twentieth century. Nevertheless, prior to this, there were many philosophers and poets who conjectured that we of the Western culture ‘had it upside down’ and that ‘spirit’ preceded ‘matter’ rather than vice versa.
For example, William Blake pointed out that the poets, poetically attributed the creative powers of nature to god-like ‘spirits’. The cataract has a persisting form but it is continuously changing, like everything in nature. The ‘spirit’ of the cataract, its ‘upstream’ creative source, as science would say, is the gravity field (pressure tamp) and the thermal energy field (evaporation/precipitation) that underly ‘the earth-sky water cycle’. Blake further pointed out that religious opportunists took the poets ‘literally’ and declared that God had created all of these things that seemed to have their own ‘local power’, thus giving themselves, the new advocates of God-as-first-cause-Creator (rather than God as the Great Spirit of Nature) ‘continuing employment’ as interpreters of God’s will.
Science (as is our current popularl mainstream view of it) ‘came into the picture relatively late’, taking without question the ‘Creationist’ notion that organisms such as man are local, independently existing material systems allegedly with their own locally originating (internal-process-driven and internal knowledge and purpose-directed) behaviours.
Science’s latter day notion that ‘field’ is the parent of matter gives rise to the ‘retrofitting’ imperative, in a social/intellectual ambiance of entrenched psychology of ‘materialism’.
Of course, the defenders of science-as-it-is set up an either/or argument of ‘man-without-the-benefits-of-science-as-it-is’ and ‘man-with-the-benefits-of-science-of-science-as-it-is’. This ‘what science has done for you’ scenario fails to address what are now being called ‘externalities’. As Marshall McLuhan observed, what matters most is not what we do with science (manufacture Cadillacs or cornflakes), what matters most is how, when we do something in our living space, how our relationships with one another and with our living space are transformed.
That is, the so-called ‘externalities’, which are viewed as ‘secondary’ in economic theory, are more naturally seen as ‘primary’ (the transformed condition of our living space is primary). The scientific subject-object dynamics, while we model them as if in an empty space, are in reality, applied in the real-world space we all share inclusion in which is a complex network of interdependent relations, the transformation of which, provoked by the activities associated with some new scientific application, is, as McLuhan implies, unintended and unanticipated by the launchers of the scientific application.
If we had the ‘retro-fit’ in place and ‘field’ or ‘spirit’ were understood as the ‘primary’ foundations of the world dynamic, we wouldn’t be ‘working against ourselves’ in the manner we currently are (focusing the results of ‘what we do’ rather than on how we are transforming the space we are included in).
Science acknowledges that ‘fields’ are ‘everywhere in the universe at the same time’, … so what would be different if we had called it ‘the gravity spirit’ and ‘the thermal spirit’, and the overall ‘field’ had been called ‘the universal spirit’?
Well, this would have united science and religion as in Emerson’s ‘transcendentalism’ and it would have opened the door for a Lamarckian view of evolution where there is only ‘one physics’ that applies to everything in the universe (both ‘animate’ and ‘inanimate’); e.g. Lamarck’s view was that ‘les fluides incontenables’ (the fluids that could contain but which could not themselves be contained), his term for ‘fields’, was the upstream ‘creative source’ of innovation.
As Emerson says, and it seems worthwhile to explore his ‘univeral spirit based world view because of its parallelism with a field-based worldview, … if we relax our relentless visual focus on the material, we can perceive what is upstream from the explicit material dynamics; i.e. we can perceive ‘spirit’. He notes that it is neither Shakespeare’s words in themselves nor Shakespeare in himself that energizes us, it is the ‘spirit’ that is upstream from Shakespeare and his words. Emerson calls it ‘the universal spirit’ and it is invoked in us when we read Shakespeare’s words. They are written in the English language but invocation of the spirit did not have to wait for the invention of English or French or any language; e.g. what these poetic words invoke is a source (‘spirit’) that lies upstream of particular, material manifestations; e.g. the ‘spirit-source’ of ‘buoyant spirits’, ‘sinking spirits’ is upstream of the diverse manifestations in material form. ‘Spirit’ (or ‘field’ if you prefer) is common to all of nature.
Buoyant spirits ………………………………. Sinking spirits……………………………..Shame on me!
In the above photograph, from left to right, we see buoyed spirits, sunken spirits and ‘shame’ as they manifest in dogs which is common to the manner in which they manifest in humans, suggesting that they derive from a common source (nature). The suggestion is that ‘spirit is a commons’ called ‘nature’. Or, if you prefer, ‘field is a commons’ called ‘nature’.
The third entry, ‘shame’, is not present in the initial photograph of perky and wilted flowers, nor is it present in the following photograph of ‘perky mountains’ (les Grands Tétons [‘big tits’) and ‘sagging/slumping mountains’;
‘Shame’ recalls ‘the fall of man’ and it derives from our confusing of the local, visible, material for ‘reality’. It manifests our failing to meet the expectations that masters, parents, peers, or society in general impose on us, and our tendency to be influenced, if not ‘shaped’, by those expectations rather than giving ourselves fully to the call to take our place in the natural scheme of things.
This ‘confusing’ of ‘idealisation’ for ‘reality’ is the same ‘confusing’ pointed to by William Blake, between the poetic and the (Western-style) religious belief. Emerson was of the same mind as Blake, on this confusion (Emerson was 24 years old when Blake died). Emerson’s idea was that ‘spirit’ or the ‘genius of nature’ is the creative source, not the material individual; “…. a mysterious principle of life must be assumed, which not only inhabits the organ, but makes the organ”. If Emerson were talking about meteorology, he could well be talking about ‘field’ (thermal, gravity, pressure) which not only inhabits the storm-cell, but makes the storm-cell’.
In speaking of Blake, in ‘Poetry and Imagination’, Emerson says;
“He is the healthy, the wise, the fundamental, the manly man, seer of the secret; against all the appearance he sees and reports the truth, namely that the soul generates matter. And poetry is the only verity,–the expression of a sound mind speaking after the ideal, and not after the apparent. As a power it is the perception of the symbolic character of things, and the treating them as representative: as a talent it is a magnetic tenaciousness of an image, and by the treatment demonstrating that this pigment of thought is as palpable and objective to the poet as is the ground on which he stands, or the walls of houses about him. And this power appears in Dante and Shakspeare. In some individuals this insight or second sight has an extraordinary reach which compels our wonder, as in Behmen, Swedenborg and William Blake the painter.
William Blake, whose abnormal genius, Wordsworth said, interested him more than the conversation of Scott or of Byron, writes thus: “He who does not imagine in stronger and better lineaments and in stronger and better light than his perishing mortal eye can see, does not imagine at all. The painter of this work asserts that all his imaginations appear to him infinitely more perfect and more minutely organized than anything seen by his mortal eye. . . .I assert for myself that I do not behold the outward creation, and that to me it would be a hindrance, and not action. I question not my corporeal eye any more than I would question a window concerning a sight. I look through it, and not with it.
In his essay ‘Shakespeare, Or, The Poet’, Emerson goes on to say;
“ No great men are original. Nor does valuable originality consist in unlikeness to other men. The hero is in the press of knights and the thick of events; and seeing what men want and sharing their desire, he adds the needful length of sight and of arm, to come at the desired point. The greatest genius is the most indebted man. … There is no choice to genius. A great man does not wake up on some fine morning and say, “I am full of life, I will go to sea and find an Antarctic continent: to-day I will square the circle: I will ransack botany and find a new food for man: I have a new architecture in my mind: I foresee a new mechanic power”: no, but he finds himself in the river of the thoughts and events, forced onward by the ideas and necessities of his contemporaries. He stands where all the eyes of men look one way, and their hands all point in the direction in which he should go.”
So, in coming back to the ‘third dog on the right’, ‘shame’, we have the notion of ‘expectations’ that our masters or peers feel that we should ‘measure up to’, and while this can serve as ‘guidance’, it cannot inspire, but it has nevertheless taken on a ‘literal’ use in our Western culture which is contradictory to what Emerson is suggesting; i.e. we are all included in the ‘commons of spirit’ and our creativity does not arise ‘from scratch’ within us so that we might acquire the knowledge of how to construct ‘who we are’ from what we know (what people tell us). Our natural way to take on ‘our own shape’ is the way of the storm-cell, to serve the ‘universal spirit’ of nature that inhabits and creates us;
“Whilst a necessity so great caused the man to exist, his health and erectness consist in the fidelity with which he transmits influences from the vast and universal to the point on which his genius can act. … The soul knows no persons,”… “It invites every man to expand to the full circle of the universe.”
Here, we can see a radical difference in view that has been ‘breaking the spirits’ of many people with the Western culture. In Emerson’s view, ‘spirit is a commons’ that inhabits all of us, and the poet is able to put us in touch with that ‘universal spirit’. The power is not in ‘his words’ or his ‘innate internally-sourced creative skills’ but within us all. The ‘creative source’, therefore, does not reside ‘within us’. It is not ‘in our genes’ and whether or not there is a correlation between inspiring persons and their ‘family lineage’ does not prove that the creative-source is jump-started by some first-cause internal process, as is our common Western model. To admire the ‘important person’ as if his power were ‘his’ and is so much greater than ‘ours’ is to break our own spirit (the reason why Hunter S. Thompson deplores our becoming ‘a collection of celebrity-worshipping flag-suckers’.
But this model of the human organism as a local, independently-existing visible, material system, notionally equipped with its own locally originating, internal-process-driven and internal knowledge and purpose-directed behaviour, is what our system of education continues to teach our children. In so doing we put primary value on ‘knowledge’ and ‘obedience’ (loyalty and submission to authority), and demean ‘spirit’, the natural source of ‘creativity’. R.D. Laing (‘Politics of Experience’) cites anthropologist Jules Henry (‘Culture Against Man’) in this regard;
“It is Henry’s contention that in practice education has never been an instrument to free the mind and the spirit of man, but to bind them. … Children do not give up their innate imagination, curiousity, dreaminess easily. You have to love them to get them to do that. Love is the path through permissiveness to discipline; and through discipline, only too often, to betrayal of self.”
The problem posed by ‘education’ as it is, is that if the view of the ‘self’ is that of a local, independently-existing material organism with its own locally-originating, internal-process-driven and internal knowledge and purpose-directed behaviour, then the ‘believer’ in such a model who becomes ‘well-educated’ is prone to believing that their purpose in life is not ‘to answer the call to take their place in the natural scheme of things’, but to use their knowledge to direct their behaviour in the quest of pursuing their own private mission, vision, values, strategies goals and objectives.
In a ‘wellspring’ interview with retired managers (1996), their energetically-expressed view was that ‘something was changing’ and they referred to many of the top graduates from the top universities they had recruited in recent years as ‘humilityless twits’. These managers reported that the confident new employees felt that they could simply apply their knowledge first and ‘ask questions later’, implying that the educational system had put up a wall between the student and ‘reality’, encouraging them to load up with ‘education’ and use it to direct their behaviour one-sidedly, from the inside-outwards, as suggested in Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ (the ‘wall’ being what separates the pseudo-reality that youth are being ‘imprinted with’ by education, from the ‘reality’ of natural life experience)
“We don’t need no education, We don’t need no thought-control. No dark sarcasm in the classroom – Teacher, leave those kids alone! All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall. “
Emerson goes right to the heart of the matter and points out how we, as a culture, misrepresent authority, giving the example of how‘Jesus’ is portrayed in such a manner as to suggest that the source of his inspiration as internal to himself, and thus to teach us to look inside ourselves for the source of our creativity, rather than to open ourselves to; “the fidelity with which [we] transmit influences from the vast and universal to the point on which [nature’s] genius can act”. Emerson writes;
“We must get rid of Christ…” … “Christianity is dwelling “with noxious exaggeration about the person of Jesus.” “The soul knows no persons,”… “It invites every man to expand to the full circle of the universe. … The position men have given to Jesus, now for many centuries of history, is a position of authority. … Great is the soul, and plain. It is no flatterer, it is no follower; … It believes in itself. … Before the immense possibilities of man, all mere experience, all past biography, however spotless and sainted, shrinks away. “ — Quotes are Emerson’s, from ‘Emerson at Home and Abroad’ by Monclure, Daniel Conway (a Unitarian clergyman and friend of Emerson who could ‘see his point’).
All of this ‘dissent’ from Emerson, Blake, Laing, Henry, is coming from the same source as Schroedinger’s dissent;
“Let me say at the outset, that in this discourse, I am opposing not a few special statements of quantum physics held today (1950s), I am opposing as it were the whole of it, I am opposing its basic views that have been shaped 25 years ago, when Max Born put forward his probability interpretation, which was accepted by almost everybody. (Schrödinger E, The Interpretation of Quantum Physics. Ox Bow Press, Woodbridge, CN, 1995).
I don’t like it, and I’m sorry I ever had anything to do with it.
(Erwin Schrodinger, referring to the accepted interpretation of Quantum Physics)
THE COMMON PROBLEM IS THIS:
So long as we put into primary place in our world view, the local, visible, material aspect (NOT ‘field’), we come up with an understanding of the ‘organism’ as a ‘local, visible, independently-existing, material ‘system’ to which we impute ‘its own, locally originating, internal process-driven and internal knowledge and purpose-directed behaviour’. This means that the source of creativity must emerge, God-like, from within it since by this imputed primacy of the local, visible, material agency, … space is implied to be an absolute fixed, non-participating void.
Compare this to putting ‘field’ (‘spirit’) first. ‘Field’ is the nonlocal, invisible, non-material source of all dynamics and it is the resonant energy-charged medium from which matter is precipitated as a secondary effect. Field (pressure, thermal, gravity) inhabits and creates convection cells;
While it is convenient for us to focus on the local, visible, material, we will never understand the nature of dynamic forms if we impute them to be local, independently existing material systems with their own locally originating (internal-process-driven) behaviour. But, as John Stuart Mill reminded us, when we define and label things (e.g. ‘dynamic forms’), “every definition implies an axiom, that in which we affirm the local existence of the object defined.”
Mach’s principle, meanwhile, reminds us that “the dynamics of the habitat condition the dynamics of the inhabitants at the same time as the dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat’ (relativity implies mutual inclusion of space and matter, and the medium that affords this is the resonant energy charged medium of space).
If we are ‘the runt of the litter’, that is no problem if we understand that our spirit is the universal spirit of nature and that this ‘Great Spirit’ “invites every man to expand to the full circle of the universe”
But if we are made to believe that ‘the local, visible, material’ is ‘all there is’, then we are condemned to live our lives in the shadow of other people’s greatness, to ‘get stuck’ in the ‘ashamed of ourselves’ mode of the third dog on the right. We deny the ‘spirit’ that inhabits us and calls to us to take our place in the natural scheme of things, to be ‘faithful’ to our natural ability to “transmit influences from the vast and universal to the point on which our/nature’s genius can act.”
This makes clear that it is not ‘nature’s way’ to establish worth through ‘competition’ as in ‘Darwinism’ which orients to local, visible, material dynamics. Darwinism, with its modeling of organisms as ‘local, independently-existing material systems with their own locally originating, internal process-driven and internal knowledge and purpose-directed behaviours’, as if acting/interacting in an absolute void and non-participating space (contrary to Lamarck’s view of the organism as inhabited and created by ‘field’), misses the mark in the manner cited by McLuhan (and Mach); i.e. the transformation of space is in a natural precedence over the dynamics of local material systems.
When we put humans on low-gravity space-stations for a few months, there is a noticeable loss of bone mass and they have to ‘disable’ the balance-coordinating information coming from their inner-ear. That is, the evolution of our bodies is clearly influenced, as Lamarck suggests, by ‘les fluides incontenables’, the ‘fields’ such as gravity which can contain but which cannot, themselves, be contained. If we don’t need a heavy bone structure to support our bodies in a low gravity field space, and if we don’t need a gravity-gradient detecting balance-giving instrument (these evolutionary features being induced by undergoing development in the strong gravity field), then we won’t evolve them. In other words, ‘fields’ have a primary influence on evolution that is ignored in Darwinism.
Sure, we can describe evolution by way of ‘reproduction’ accompanied by ‘random variations’ as in Darwinism, but that is after the fact of the influence of field. The woman who loses bone mass in the space station will deliver a child with reduced bone mass as well, so we are free to attribute the reduced bone mass, which derives from ‘field effect’ to ‘reproduction’, even though it is ‘upstream’ from ‘reproduction’.
Reflection shows, meanwhile, that there is no such thing as ‘reproduction’ and no such thing as ‘random chance’ (the two foundations of ‘Darwinism’), these being idealisations, artefacts of modeling the world in terms of local, visible, material systems with their own locally originating behaviours (including ‘reproduction’) that act/interact in an absolute fixed empty and non-participating space. If we put ‘field’ into a natural primacy, it follows that;
“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus
That is, there is no such ‘real, natural’ phenomena as ‘reproduction’ and/or ‘random chance’ (probability of occurrence of some or other effect in a number of repeated trials) since everything is continually changing including the conjugate habitat-inhabitant relation.
Our needed ‘retro-fit’ to put ‘field’ or ‘spirit’ in its rightful/natural primacy over the idealisation-based notion of ‘local material systems with their own local agency’, as it comes into place, is going to change the social dynamic in a number of needed ways, including the following;
1. Every man, including the runt in the litter, is understood to be inhabited by the universal spirit that “invites every man to expand to the full circle of the universe”. He does not have to live in the shadow of historic greatness.
2. “The reliance on authority measures … the withdrawal of the soul.” (Emerson). Loyalty to authority and to social expectations, if put in precedence over the call of the ‘universal spirit’ that inhabits us, kills the spirit and must be avoided. We can use loyalty and social protocols as tools and guidelines, but it is spirit-killing to put them into an unnatural precedence over our natural calling.
“It makes no difference whether the appeal is to numbers or to one. The faith that stands on authority is not faith.” (Emerson). Or as Giordano Bruno put it; ‘The majority has no monopoly on the truth’.
3. Resist submission to social protocol which has us support and flatter what is celebrated by the masses while plain truth silently screams out to be heard.
“Converse with a mind that is grandly simple, and literature looks like word-catching. The simplest utterances are worthiest to be written, yet are they so cheap, and so things of course, that, in the infinite riches of the soul, it is like gathering a few pebbles off the ground, or bottling a little air in a phial, when the whole earth and the whole atmosphere are ours. Nothing can pass there, or make you one of the circle, but the casting aside your trappings, and dealing man to man in naked truth, plain confession, and omniscient affirmation.
Souls such as these treat you as gods would; walk as gods in the earth, accepting without any admiration your wit, your bounty, your virtue even, — say rather your act of duty, for your virtue they own as their proper blood, royal as themselves, and over-royal, and the father of the gods. But what rebuke their plain fraternal bearing casts on the mutual flattery with which authors solace each other and wound themselves! These flatter not. I do not wonder that these men go to see Cromwell, and Christina, and Charles the Second, and James the First, and the Grand Turk. For they are, in their own elevation, the fellows of kings, and must feel the servile tone of conversation in the world. They must always be a godsend to princes, for they confront them, a king to a king, without ducking or concession, and give a high nature the refreshment and satisfaction of resistance, of plain humanity, of even companionship, and of new ideas. They leave them wiser and superior men. Souls like these make us feel that sincerity is more excellent than flattery. Deal so plainly with man and woman, as to constrain the utmost sincerity, and destroy all hope of trifling with you. It is the highest compliment you can pay. Their “highest praising,” said Milton, “is not flattery, and their plainest advice is a kind of praising.” “ — Emerson, ‘The Over-Soul’
4. As we drive along in the flow of life, our movements are not all sourced from within us. We stop and help the stranded or injured, or we do not, we draw back or move ahead so as to subsume imminent conflict and collision, or we do not, … our ‘character’ is beyond our deliberate actions, it manifests involuntarily, never voluntarily, and it speaks of our being more or being less in harmony with the ‘now’ of the continuing flow of life and included in the ‘commons of spirit’.
“We are all discerners of spirits. That diagnosis lies aloft in our life or unconscious power. The intercourse of society, — its trade, its religion, its friendships, its quarrels,— is one wide, judicial investigation of character. In full court, or in small committee, or confronted face to face, accuser and accused, men offer themselves to be judged. Against their will they exhibit those decisive trifles by which character is read. But who judges? and what? Not our understanding. We do not read them by learning or craft. No; the wisdom of the wise man consists herein, that he does not judge them; he lets them judge themselves, and merely reads and records their own verdict.
By virtue of this inevitable nature, private will is overpowered, and, maugre [in spite of] our efforts or our imperfections, your genius will speak from you, and mine from me. That which we are, we shall teach, not voluntarily, but involuntarily. Thoughts come into our minds by avenues which we never left open, and thoughts go out of our minds through avenues which we never voluntarily opened. Character teaches over our head.” — Emerson, ‘The Over-Soul’
5. People are never the first-cause source of power, nature is. Yet, in a culture that holds power to be the ‘real’ ‘internally-sourced emanation’ of ‘local material individuals’, we ‘drop names’ of influential friends and ‘copy phrases’ of powerful people, as if to impute power to ourselves by ‘who’ and ‘what’ we know. But the true power of a man derives only from the commons he is included in, from the ‘soul’ (the ‘universal spirit’ or ‘genius’ of nature). Were we to instead speak simply and act simply from the heart, then nature’s soul speaks ‘for itself’, the only way that ‘soul’ speaks and true/natural power manifests. In ‘Musketaquid’, Emerson speaks of those who see something deep in the land and recognize that they derive their power and direction from it;
… The landscape is an armory of powers,
Which, one by one, they know to draw and use.
They harness beast, bird, insect, to their work;
They prove the virtues of each bed of rock,
And, like the chemist ‘mid his loaded jars
Draw from each stratum its adapted use
To drug their crops or weapon their arts withal.
They turn the frost upon their chemic heap,
They set the wind to winnow pulse and grain,
They thank the spring-flood for its fertile slime,
And, on cheap summit-levels of the snow,
Slide with the sledge to inaccessible woods
O’er meadows bottomless. So, year by year,
They fight the elements with elements
(That one would say, meadow and forest walked.
Transmuted in these men to rule their like),
And by the order in the field disclose
The order regnant in the yeoman’s brain.
— Musketaquid, Emerson
In conclusion, our Western culture-dominated global society is suffering from rising dysfunction and ‘de-spiriting’ due to our habit of ‘confusing idealisation’ for ‘reality’, by way of putting the ‘local, visible, material’ aspect (the ‘local objects with local agency’ view) into an unnatural primacy over the ‘nonlocal, invisible, non-material’ aspect (the ‘field’ or ‘spirit’ experience). We are in growing need of a ‘retro-fit’ that will restore ‘field’ to its natural precedence, however, this is quite a challenge since we have to re-invent the bus that we have made ourselves passengers on, and we have to replace the bus even as we are passengers on it.
This is beginning to happen, at least in part, through the growth of local ‘sustainable community’ initiatives which are ‘re-grounding’ community to nature (the land). There is a rising common intuition of the de-spiriting that associates with giving our creativity up to regulatory authority; “The reliance on authority measures … the withdrawal of the soul.”
The local community initiatives imply a ‘re-spiriting’ by re-grounding ourselves in nature, in the ‘commons of spirit’ and by-and-by, these initiatives will assume the primary role so that social organisation by way of ‘central regulatory authority’ can revert to a supportive secondary role, as it was originally, intuitively, intended.
Once the ‘commons of spirit’ is restored to precedence over ‘material being’ in the prevailing cultural belief tradition, so that it is seen to ‘inhabit and create the organism’, then it will make sense why the dying man still has a twinkle, and will crack a joke with his last breath. Like the storm-cell in the flow of the atmosphere, it is the case that the body falls away from the spirit that inhabits and creates it, rather than seeing the ‘spirit’ as secondary to the material system that dies with the material system.
Whether we call this ‘transcendentalism’, or whatever, it is the implication of ‘spirit is a commons’ (‘field is a commons’) which is implied by ‘the new physics’ and the ‘post-Darwinism’ understanding of evolution (in terms of a conjugate habitat-inhabitant relation) as is showing up in biological studies such as those of Douglas E. Caldwell et al (the evolution of multi-species microbial communities) and others.
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