Friday, 10 February 2017

Is the mind a valve or a voyager? Passive or active?

In his essay The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley compared the human mind to a valve which operates to keep-out the total knowledge of everything which would otherwise flood into us and render us unable to function.

This corresponds to Owen Barfield's category of Original Participation - the primordial state in which the mind of Man is immersed in the totality of being, and which therefore has a potential access to everything - yet in practice this mind is not differentiated from the totality, so it is more a passive thing.


Thus in Original Participation are thoughts are caused, and our thinking is not truly free except in potential.

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The modern condition (which can be called the Consciousness Soul) is that the mind is separate from the rest of reality; cut-off from it - the condition of alienation in which we doubt eve our own thoughts, along with the validity of our perceptions, the validity of reason, the existence of anything else - including, eventually, the self itself which seems to depend on our thinking it (a process which, presumably, might cease).

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In Final Participation - the future divine destination of Man, currently only partially achieved and only by a few individuals (probably); is one in which the mind is not a valve but a voyager. The mind has been freed by the process culminating in the Consciousness Soul and then becomes a Self-Motivated, Free and exploratory vehicle for active exploration of the totality, by thinking.


In principle, all knowledge is the possible - but only in a linear and sequential and selective fashion, and only when sought and thought.

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