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Evolution and the New Gnosis
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This book extirpates the tree of Darwinian evolution by revealing that, though it bears materialistic fruit, it has spiritual roots. Blonde hair with deep dark roots is a theme that Darwinians prefer not to talk about, but which was charade enough for Alfred R. Wallace to remove his endorsement from the new theory of evolution he and Charles Darwin had independently promulgated. This theme of a light outer simplicity covering a theory that is filled with dark underlayers of obfuscation bears repeating, and the two authors Cruse and Zimmer repeat this theme many times in the various essays that are compiled into this book.
I began my reading with Appendix II "On the Incommensurability Between World Views", then Chapter 20 "Barfield, Darwin & Galileo", followed by the Foreword then the rest of book mostly in page order after that.
Suppose Aristotle were transported magically to the modern day and the first item he inspected was an FM radio. What might he think or wonder about this apparatus which is filled with such a multifarious plentitude of voices and music. "How can such a small device the size of a small loaf of bread create such a variety of sounds, voices, music, thoughts and ideas?" he might think. For he could investigate the battery powered radio and find nothing but mechanical objects: wires, boards, and scaffolding to hold them together. "Therefore these sounds must be generated from within this device," he would soon proclaim. "These sounds must be nothing but an emerging property of the mechanical device that I have before me." Any schoolboy today knows better than Aristotle and would laugh at his obvious mistake. "Can't you see that the sounds are not created by this radio, but the radio only picks them up from the air so we can hear them?"
Materialistic scientists today who want us to believe that our thoughts are emerging properties of our loaf-sized brain are, rightly understood, being as naive as to the true origin of thoughts and ideas as our time-traveling Aristotle. They would wish for us to believe: 1) that they can prove that our human brain evolved historically to its current complexity, 2) that our human consciousness is nothing but an emerging property of our long period of evolution, and 3) that with our evolution came the ability for us to create a plethora of thoughts and ideas from within our loaf-sized box -- just as our Aristotle concluded from his inspection of the FM radio. The philosophical name for this way of understanding our evolution is: A Monism of Matter, i. e., the idea that everything begins with Matter and evolves from it without any purposeful design - that is, without any goal or designer.
Yet, how does an FM radio get designed? It starts from the goal of receiving radio waves that already exist. No radio waves, no need to design a radio, is there? One reads Skilling's Fundamentals of Electrical Waves and proceeds to design a way to broadcast radio waves and then to capture them and change them into sound waves a human ear can hear. Our Aristotle did not know of electrical waves, so he was stuck with his monism of matter as an explanatory paradigm - therefore to him the sounds that came out the radio were manufactured by the radio. A Monism of matter exists in the so-called hard sciences today fostered by scientists who are as naive about how our human brains work as our Aristotle would be about how an FM radio works. They claim that the thoughts and ideas that come out of us are manufactured by the loaf-sized device that each of us has floating between and above our ears.
How did our brain get designed? Did this marvelous device which serves us so well just evolve from matter? We are asked to believe this by the same scientists who designed and created the FM radio. It is as if we are only allowed to believe in anything evolving which humans are able to create out of matter, or might be able to create out of matter someday. The M&M Gang (Monists of Matter) would have all of us believe as earnestly as they do that humans will one day be able to design computer brains which think as humans do. Therefore they claim that our brains, without a designer in sight, could have evolved to their present state. The logic is specious, as anyone who has a brain can see.
Let us further interview our time-traveling Aristotle and explain to him how the radio works. "There are radio waves filling the space around us right now as we speak, Aristotle, and this device was designed by beings to receive those waves and turn them into sound. See, as I turn this knob, the sound changes from someone talking, to music, to somebody else talking, etc. Each different set of sounds comes from a different radio wave that is broadcast from a different radio station far away. The only intelligence inside this loaf-sized box is the ability to select one of the those station's broadcast waves and turn them into sound."
“I would like to meet these designer beings,” Aristotle might say. We could oblige him, but with the warning, “You will not be able to understand much of what they will tell you at first. This is a deep mystery which will require many years of study for you to comprehend.”
"Where is the tree from which drops the fruit that appears in mind's basket?" -- Jane Roberts in her question which presupposed this deep mystery.
If we tear away the veil that the M&M gang has placed in front of our eyes and begin to think of the designers of our brain, the mystery we will have to ponder will be as deep and unknown to us as the mystery of the radio will be to Aristotle. With the veil gone, however, we will at least be able to perceive that the impulse for our thoughts and ideas arrive at our brain like radio waves arrive at our FM radio. As modern day humans we have the ability to sort through the signals we receive and have the freedom to choose how to utilize them in our lives.
Ancient humans understood this "radio reception" aspect of their thinking reality better than we do in this one way: they were aware that the thoughts and ideas arrived at their brain and said that the "gods thought" through them. The Illiad and the Odyssey both start with Homer beseeching the Muses to speak to him and tell him what to write. These ancient people were aware that they were each like a radio that received radio waves from certain broadcast stations and were careful to show their appreciation for those stations. If they did not, the signals might cease, and they would be at a loss of what to say or do. Writers, even today, when they suffer from writer's block, pray to their Muse for inspiration. This is an artifact of an ancient truth that was a commonplace reality of ancient writers.
Over the intervening years since those ancient writers, humans have developed an Ego, a selfhood individuality, that has allowed them to move to understanding their thoughts as originating from within themselves. While this has been a necessary component of the evolution of consciousness of humankind, the outside reality which the ancient peoples saw so clearly has not changed, but remains the same. What has changed is the way humans think about the thoughts and ideas that come to them -- they have over time moved to a Monism of Matter.
What do we call the way of thinking of the ancient peoples? We would call it a Monism of Spirit. They never called it anything because it was not a thing to be discussed by them; it was simply their everyday reality. If they talked about it, they called it their gods, their Muses, etc., talking to them, inspiring them.
Considering reality from a Monism of Spirit requires us to understand that the Spirit came first -- that a non-material, non-perceptible to our sensory apparatus, world exists out of which we as humans have evolved to this condition in which we are able to convince ourselves and others that only matter exists and everything evolves from it, including human thought and ideas. Also that the world was designed by a designer-less designer. This radical concept, "that the world was designed by a designer-less designer," is the essence of what is called Darwinian evolution. The Monism of Spirit is what the authors call the "New Gnosis." Gnosis refers to a direct perception of non-sensory realities, which ability was a general human capability prior to the classical Greek period and devolved over time into a rarer and rarer ability in humans, up until now.
It is so rare now that we must defer to those few who can perceive spiritual realities for our information about them, just as our Aristotle would have to defer to us to understand the radio waves. In Rudolf Steiner we find a man who was not only able to perceive these realities but was able to communicative in a clear, logical and consistent manner about them so that we could understand the scope of evolution from the earliest human being up until today. In his doctoral thesis, he wrote about the importance of a Monism of Spirit to understanding the world, and the world has not caught up with his insights into this subject, up until now.
The main subject of this book is to lay out the logical absurdity of the Monism of Matter and its hermaphroditic companion, Dualism, in our time. Dualism is the name given to those who combine two Monisms, Matter and Spirit, into one conglomeration. It is the presence of an unsuspected or glossed-over Dualism in Darwinian evolution that the authors of this book use to hoist it on it own petard. They point out that Darwin's theory of evolution while claiming to be based on a Monism of Matter is internally inconsistent and illogical because it is based upon a designerless Monism of Matter. What is the problem with that? The very logic of the Darwinist requires the language of design!
This presence of the language of design at the roots of Darminian evolution is that salient point that caught Don Cruse's attention. He was trained as an electronics expert and he knew that electronic gear, like FM radios, had designers. He recognized that the verbiage and logic of the Darwinist was identical to that of electronic design with a paradoxical twist - the Darwinists claimed that this design was achieved without any designer -- by the purely mechanistic process they called "natural selection." Electronics designers selected parts all the time based on the purpose of the design and would find it ludicrous to expect that their equipment would on its own select its parts without a designer behind the endeavor somewhere.
One of my basic rules is "When learning a new subject, it's best to know all about it before you start." I have attempted to tell you all about the content of this book so that you will know all about it and thus can decide whether to read it or not. I had a glimmer of the problem with Darwinian evolution before I read this book in which the authors turn a spotlight upon the problem so as to make it visible for all to see.
We had a guy named Ray Bagley who worked for us at Lockheed Electronics as a consultant. He would sit in on design meetings where we discussed plans for a new design project, and after we had laid out our plans and all the rest of us felt satisfied with the design, Ray would look over the rim of his glasses, roll his eyes in a semi-circle and ask, "What does all this mean?" And we would have to re-state the design intent once more in a more concise way that always allowed us to understand better what it was we were creating. To their credit, the authors re-state their position many times from different viewpoints so that by the end of the book, we can feel grounded in our knowledge of the problem of a Monism of Matter and Dualism and can see that a new gnosis of a Monism of Spirit [or Thought] is the only feasible alternative that is logically consistent.
Is it only the sciences who would oppose this New Gnosis? No, even religions, which have in recent centuries co-opted the causal logic of the hard sciences, are threatened by it.
[page 4] The magisterium of religion will oppose the New Gnosis, even though it observes the same direction in causal logic, because it presents the possibility that all religious belief systems -- which today are irreconcilably varied -- could themselves be the subject of critical enquiry. Given time, this could mean the end of religious dogmas and the authoritarian structures which depend on it.
Ideas were once thought to the very basis of reality -- those who thought this way were called Realists and their field of philosophy was called Realism. Then along came Peter Abelard and others who claimed that ideas were only names and possessed no other reality, a way of thinking called Nominalism. What is the situation today? If you have felt a little confused by the situation, as I have, the authors can help clear it up for you.
[page 8] The degree to which Nominalism has triumphed, however, is made clear by the fact that the very word 'realism' has today taken on a totally opposite meaning. It is now widely used to describe a materialistic mind set, as in say 'socialist realism,' a position far removed from the view that ideas are in themselves real. Today it would be true to say we are all nominalists, at least in the sense that we are brought up in a world in which nominalist assumptions have for so long dominated, but it helps our thoughtful independence to remember that they are still only assumptions.
This reversal of the meaning of realism has effectively created an impermeable barrier to our ability to understand the reality of ideas, up until now. This is a situation that Owen Barfield called the "great tabu." Only recently was the Western world provided with a way of understanding how ideas are real. They “possess a spiritual reality out of human consciousness, and they also play a primary causal role in the physical world.”
[page 9] The great German poet/scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe certainly believed that was the case, as did the remarkable Austrian seer, philosopher and scientist, Rudolf Steiner, who was to provide the epistemological foundation for Goethe's scientific works. There is no denying, however, that science initially arose out of the triumph of nominalism -- and the victor always writes the history.
With the rise of nominalism, people began to take matter seriously, as it began to seem to them as the only reality. This gave rise to the scientific method, a great boon to humankind, one that would not have come if our prior disdain for matter had continued. With tools of the scientific method in place, it is time for humankind to "apply its critical rigour to the realm of spirit, which is also that of pure thought." (Page 11) One of the places that rigor should be applied is in our understanding of evolution as a process not as a property of matter. This was argued by Owen Barfield in many places and is covered in Chapter 3 by the authors. The evolution of consciousness is a correct usage of evolution whereas the evolution of the computer is not. It is the thoughts and ideas of computer engineers and designers that are evolving over time and those processes are applied to inert materials to provide increased price performance characteristics in computers. In computers as in other things that we may think of evolving what is "interior is anterior" as the Meggid constantly reminds us in Barfield's Unancestral Voice. (Chapter 3, Page 24)
[page 54] Science, therefore, may soon be called upon to formally change the direction of its casual logic, and to adopt a critical Monism of Mind or thought in place of the now redundant but still widely accepted Monism of matter. Indeed I think this will be unavoidable, because the integrity of science and scientists makes it untenable to do otherwise, but it can hardly fail to be a very stressful and traumatic transition.
I agree with the authors that there will be an inevitable change from the current Monism of matter to a Monism of mind that will come when the time is ripe. I would not fain project my own sense on how to characterize the transition except that I find the authors' version unduly lugubrious. To my mind the change will be a paradigmatic shift no more traumatic than the Newton-Einstein shift or the Classical Physics-Quantum Mechanics shift. The change will not affect science so much as it will affect the personal lives of the scientists.
In Chapter 12 the authors cover "Dualism and the Two Monisms". They demonstrate that the dualism of Descartes allows "science and knowledge to co-exit, albeit uneasily, with the higher realm of religion, faith, and metaphysics." They point out how Bertrand Russell made fun of dualism because it allows folks to think that there two kinds of truths:
[page 105, 106] "Sunday truths" and "weekday truths." On weekdays, he claimed, you put the kettle on the stove to boil, whereas on Sundays you put it in the refrigerator. . . . Russell, who described himself as "a passionate skeptic," was a convinced scientific materialist. For him all Sunday truths were simply irrational nonsense, and scientists who attended church on Sunday were not merely being inconsistent, but were required, in his view, to "check their brains at the door."
On the other hand our authors of this book make the claim that the "two Monisms, of mind and matter, are of necessity logically intolerant of each other -- which is to say they are mutually exclusive antithetical world-views, so that in the direction of its casual logic only one of them can be true." This is true at the logical level only. What can be understood by pondering the subject is that, in actuality, a view that the world begins with spirit can explain all the phenomena we see, but a world that begins with matter cannot. When the logic of scientists falls apart, they will be led to consider the ramifications of a world that proceeds from the spirit and find a deeper explanatory basis that ever before. Their hard science will work as good as ever, but their explanatory power will expand to include all that is subsumed under the rubric of the mysteries of life and death. At that point there will no difference between the scientist and the theologian. The world will find that spiritual science and materialistic science will congenially commingle.
Rudolf Steiner's biggest problem with the philosopher, Immanuel Kant, was that Kant postulated a level of reality that lies forever beyond the reach of human experience. It was like Kant was averring in the Hall of Science that "bears don't dance" and Steiner was gazing out the windows of that Hall at the plaza where a bear was dancing.
[page 113, 114] In his thesis [See Truth and Knowledge ], Steiner concludes that thinking is itself a universal spiritual activity which is neither subjective nor objective. It embraces both sides of reality, and we as knowers personalize it. This he expresses in what may be the most fundamnetal of all paradoxes: "I think, yet the world thinks in me." The mind's access to concepts and ideas is not the result of sensory stimulation, but of our possessing an active intuitive thought life; thought is analogous to light, and intuition is to thinking what observation is to seeing. In short, Steiner presents us with the critical foundation necessary for an experiential Monism of Mind or thought for which it is not necessary to postulate, as did Immanuel Kant in his Critique of Pure Reason, a level of reality that lies forever beyond the reach of human experience.
Cruse and Zimmer refer several times to the book by John Horgan called The End of Science. The first chapter of my review gives an overview of the path of Horgan in his book:
This book is about the end of Latin-thinking science which Horgan calls empirical science, and about the only candidate to replace it, etheric-thinking science, which Latin-thinking Horgan labels ironic science. He says on page 31, "But ironic science does not make any significant contributions to knowledge itself." If I may proffer a translation of his sentence to help clarify his meaning: "But ironic science, the process of using etheric-thinking to probe the sensible and supersensible universe, does not make any quantifiable observations that Latin-thinkers may independently verify." One can only guess at the folly of such an endeavor.
Now read what authors Cruse and Zimmer have to say about Horgan:
[page 115] The claims made by John Horgan in his book The End of Science, to the effect that nearly everything that is knowable has now been discovered, may therefore reflect, not as he suggests, the imminent end of scientific enquiry, but the end of the usefulness to mankind of a science based for centuries upon a false casual logic.
The authors go to great lengths to debunk the Dualism that places science in one box and a divine Mind or God as ruler over us in another box. Such a dualism would seem to leave our freedom of action to be derived from the box called Science. This is the harm of such a Dualism as we have labored under since Descartes: it encourages dependence and fatalism as well a narrow-minded focus on the material world as the source of all good, to be derived from the work of human hands. (Page 116)
[page 116, 117] In contrast, a Monism of Mind or thought makes freedom possible, but not automatic. Science, too, remains possible because the natural world is viewed as being the finished work of a universal creative Consciousness. The creative Ideas which first brought the natural world into existence are now fully embodied within it -- just as the ideas of its human designer are embodied in a machine -- and so are not subject to miraculous intervention.
Two paragraphs about the above passage. First, freedom can not be automatic, as it is always a choice or else it is not freedom, but rather some vague form of coercion hidden under innocuous words like duty, obligation, or law. Moral duty, rightly understood is an oxymoron. Freedom, in the best definition I've ever found, means one's ability to manage 100% of all the non-procreative derivatives of one's life without abridgment or interference. Anything less than 100% is not freedom, but coercion -- by whatever innocuous name it is called. One cannot be moral unless one is free. This simple sentence contains a truth so deep that one is apt to nod one's head in agreement while glossing right over a truth that could change one's life forever if one were to come to grips with its meaning. By free in that sentence, I mean that one manages the non-procreative derivatives of one's life and stays away from interfering with the non-procreative derivatives of others' lives. Freedom is something, by this definition, that is in the purview and reach of any human being who encounters this definition, takes it to heart, and puts it immediately into practice. Freedom is built this way: one person at a time. There is, rightly understood, no other way to freedom.
Secondly, there is an ambiguity in the phrase "finished work" that belies the authors' intention, which, so far as I can tell, was meant to refer to the current condition of the world as a work in progress, not as a completed project or finished work. While I understand the authors were using an analogue to human designers with their machines as finished works, I would remind the authors and my readers that computers, such as the one I'm using is a finished work, but computers in general are still being re-designed and re-worked every day to provide increasing capability in every area of capability one might consider: speed, storage, and usability. The world, while it seems to be a finished work, is evolving constantly, even though at a rate that makes it difficult for humans not attuned to the processes of evolution to spot the changes -- in that sense, one could call the natural world a finished work, but as a first approximation only to the deeper reality.
After discussing Goethe and then Steiner in their contributions to making the case for a Monism of Spirit or Mind, the authors cite Russell Davenport, a one time Managing Editor of Fortune magazine, as he wrote an insightful paean to Rudolf Steiner and the importance of his life's work. As one who has actually read over one hundred of Steiner's books, I attest to the veracity of his predictions about what would happen if one were to attempt such a feat:
[page 121] That the academic world has managed to dismiss Rudolf Steiner's works as inconsequential and irrelevant, is one of the intellectual wonders of the twentieth century. Anyone who is willing to study these vast works with an open mind (let's say, a hundred of his titles) will find himself faced with one of the greatest thinkers of all time, whose grasp of the modern sciences is equaled only by his profound learning of the ancient ones. Steiner was no more of a mystic than Albert Einstein, he was a scientist, rather -- but a scientist who dared enter into the mysteries of life.
I suspect that the next writer the authors quote would agree with the above passage if he had a chance to read Steiner's works. One wonders along with the authors, with such thinkers a Steiner and Jeans making the case for a Monism of Mind in the early part of the previous century, "Why then is it still business as usual [RJM: a Monism of Matter or Dualism] in science?" They quote Sir James Jeans as saying:
[page 132] Today there is a wide measure of agreement, which on the physical side of science approaches almost to unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter; we are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. . .
This next passage is important, as important to our understanding of our human destiny as any sentence in this book. I'll have a few comments upon it after you have had a chance to peruse it for yourself.
[page 140] Inner freedom cannot be given to us. It is humanity's task to create it as a spiritual reality out of the fires of adversity, by gradually re-creating ourselves (becoming our own creators).
There is a movie out now of the long book by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings. In Tolkien's novel, which was broken into three parts for ease of publication and sales (and this has spawned three movies, one for each book), a ring was created, forged in the fires of Mt. Doom, which ring attracts the forces of evil and which, if humankind is to be saved, must be returned to the fires of Mt. Doom to be destroyed. This is the overall plot of the book. Freedom is the ring that it is our task, each one of us, to create as a spiritual reality out of the fires of adversity. Freedom is the ring which once we have created, will involve us taking a long trip through many lands, through many lives, a long journey of the soul which will only end when the Earth is tossed into the fires of Mt. Doom and we are purified in the process, those of us who have had the good luck and foresight to hold onto our ring, our Precious, our boon of freedom, so that we may move into the next stage of evolution in which we become the ring itself that we willingly toss into the fire as Christ Jesus did, as the spiritual hierarchy of the Thrones did long before Christ Jesus when their sacrifice of their own being created the primeval fire which flows as warmth in our bodies today as we work our way through these words, thoughts, and ideas.
One can only now express the task we are about in poetry and this poem from the beginning of Chapter 16, "Truth, Beauty, and Goodness" provides in its final two lines just the ticket:
Thank God our time is now when wrong
Comes up to meet us everywhere,
Never to leave us till we take
The longest stride of soul men ever took.
Affairs are now soul size
The Enterprise Is exploration into God.
-- Christopher Fry A Sleep of Prisoners
Chapters 17 through 19 are very problematical for understanding and furthering the cause of freedom as I defined it below the passage quoted above from pages 116, 117. I will point out some salient problems I have with the authors suggestions and leave it to you readers to sort through the details for yourself in freedom and light.
[page 170] If we are truly intent on the betterment of society we must use the state simply as an essential social tool to achieve social and not anti-social ends . . .
The state presupposes coercion. If we use the state, we are furthering the agents of coercion. To use the state in any fashion is antithetical to the definition of freedom I offered above. Rightly understood, using the state for any social goal will ultimately create the very opposite conditions from that intended. The world is a tablet upon which is written the results of thousands of years of such attempts at social goods using the state. Calling all the wisdom of Rudolf Steiner's writings into play will create a similar result and thus is not even worth discussing in my opinion. That states my major disagreement with the authors on the matter.
At the risk of belaboring the point, but with the sincere hope of enlightening those otherwise puzzled by my views, I will take a closer look at some of the other suggestions made by the authors. I warn you, dear Readers, that these are only variations on the same theme that I have already dispatched and you may expect the same treatment for these.
For simplicity I will quote only the paragraph heading of this next suggestion:
[page 173] The State Should be the Negator of Power
Only those who support the State can negate it and only by withdrawing their support from the State. Thus, rightly understood, the goal of negating the State, making it “no longer the seat of power,” as suggested by the authors, can only be achieved by all supporters choosing voluntarily, in freedom -- by my definition above, to withdraw their support of the State. When all citizens have done that, the State will effectively be negated. At that point, through voluntary cooperation, the former supporters of the State will be able to provide the services that formerly they had looked to the State to provide. This is, however, exactly the opposite of what the authors suggest -- they suggest that, by some unspecified or magic power, citizens would be able to prohibit the State from "dispensing favors". Any attempt to control the State provides it with more power not less. The State is like Brer Rabbit's Tar Baby, the more he punched the Tar Baby, the more he got stuck. Examples of attempts to control the State which created the opposite of the effect intended are legion in history, and history is open book for those who have the eyes to see and the ideas to understand what they see.
[page 174] It must, for example, become clear that having established the principle of liberty (freedom) as a right within the spiritual/cultural realm, the state must play no further active part in shaping or dictating the content of that realm.
The only effective way, to my way of thinking, to keep the State from shaping or dictating the content of the spiritual/cultural realm is to negate the State as I indicated above.
The next passage I wholly agree with. The authors are talking about human initiatives. Definitions of the meaning of words fall into the area of human initiative. One can choose to accept whatever definition one wishes for a word that one uses. If a certain definition gets chosen unanimously by all users, that definition, which started, rightly understood, with the initiative of one person (through an act of spiritual activity), will become the accepted definition.
[page 174] All initiatives are not of equal worth; they may span the extremes from inspired wisdom to outright folly, from altruism to complete selfishness, and in a free society the inherent vitality of each impulse and the kind of fruit that it bears should determine whether or not it survives, not because it is designated as 'official' by the state.
I will not belabor the many slashes the authors take at the word profit because, given their likely definition of profit, they are justifying in attacking profit. I can only hint at the goal that I would wish for the authors and for my dear Readers: that they come eventually to understand the "profitability of morality and the morality of profit." In this cryptic and puzzling phrase, I use both words "profit" and "morality" in the sense in which they can be derived from the definition of "freedom" I gave above. In this sense, they have little semblance to any present understanding of the terms in general use.
After the authors so superbly distinguished between the process of evolution and the products or machines created by a process of evolution, I would have expected that they would have noticed that they did not make this same distinction in the two passages below as they refer to the evolution of a product of humankind's effort, the State, as if it were a process of evolution:
[page 177] We can stubbornly insist on using the state as an instrument for meeting needs that do not serve the interests of profit, just as we can use a screwdriver to dig ditches.
They admit that this was not a productive use of the State and was the "error of socialism." But they go on to say this:
[page 178] We must call upon the state not to undertake economic activities, or even be the source of funds for them, but to use the instrument of law to set upper and lower limits to income, and to the actual ownership of wealth.
If I may gently say in my own words what the authors are suggesting above: While the using the State for non-profitable social endeavors is like using a screwdriver to dig a ditch, we may use that same screwdriver, that same ineffective tool, i.e., the State, to stop the State from undertaking economic activities! I think that is expecting the product of a process of evolution to operate upon itself. Only humans have evolved highly enough to be able to operate recursively upon themselves; products of human evolution cannot, and the State is one such product of human evolution. Even humans, when operating in certain roles, cannot operate recursively upon themselves -- they are in effect, when in such roles, acting as a product of human evolution. One example that comes to mind is a lawyer who represents himself in court. While a lawyer who does this may have a fool for a client, a brain surgeon who operates upon herself may have a dead patient in no time at all! If anything is clearly written in the legacy of history, it is this: the State has time and time again, when acting as a lawyer, chosen itself for its lawyer, and, when needing brain surgery, has chosen to do the surgery itself. Luckily it has itself as its own life insurance company, for no proprietary insurance company would insure such a foolish client!
[page 197] Rudolf Steiner argues that in the future the role of the state must diminish, but not just arbitrarily.
If one understand how antithetical the State is to the concept of freedom as I outlined above, one can only agree with Steiner that the State must diminish, not just arbitrarily, but in a monotonically decreasing fashion as those who come to understand the new concept of freedom decide, of their own volitional, to discontinue their support for the State. In the end, the State will dissolve away; it will disappear not with a bang, but with a whimper, recognized at the last universally for what it was: an interim product of human evolution that had outlived its usefulness for many centuries before a new concept came along to pull the curtain away and show that the magic of the State was like the Wizard of Oz, simply an old man manipulating what the people saw to keep them in fear of him.
In summary, this is a fine book that takes a hard look into the logical inconsistency of Darwinian evolution by examining the two pillars, a Monism of Matter and a Dualism, that are applied to buttress its tenets. The authors show clearly the reasons one must seriously consider the New Gnosis as a replacement before the rotting timbers of those two support pillars of Darwinian evolution topple and cause it to crash into oblivion. This book is made no less fine by its curious deviation into a discussion of economic, social, and political issues.
Any questions about this review, Contact: Bobby Matherne
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