May 11 2018 – “The Mega Instinct” – ‘A Quantum Theory of the Soul’ – A Short Introduction by Richard W. Symonds [Unfinished]

Light_dispersion_conceptual

“THE MEGA INSTINCT” – “A QUANTUM THEORY OF THE SOUL’
A Short Introduction by Richard W. Symonds

IMG_1032

ABSTRACT
THE Mega Instinct is our primary, governing ‘pilot’ Instinct – the Moral Faculty of the Soul.

This Mega Instinct has a set of 7 Mega Values and 7 Mega Motivations.

There is a ‘Quantum’ correspondence between the 7 Mega Values and the 7 Mega Motivations – a relation of Transcendence-Immanence.

The 7 Values are both other than, and independent of, the 7 Motivations. The Values are also present in the Motivations. express themselves in them, and make them to a considerable extent what they are. The Motivations derive their meaning and existence from the Values, and receive their explanation in terms of those Values.

INTRODUCTION

1. MEGA Theory states we have a two-sided Moral Instinct – “The Mega
Instinct” – one side consisting of 7 Values; the other, 7.
0
Motivations.
2. THE 7 Mega Values correspond with the 7 Mega Motivations
– which are Beauty, Freedom, Happiness, Life, Love Peace and Truth
3. THIS “Pilot” Instinct enables us to discern both the 7 Values
and the corresponding 7 Motivations.
4. THE Mega Instinct is both transcendent and immanent, in the sense that it is transcendent in the 7 Mega Values and immanent within the 7 Mega Motivations.
5. THE Mega Instinct’s 7 Values causally affect the 7 Motivations,, in the sense that the Motivations derive their meaning and existence from the Values, and in terms of which they receive their explanation from those Values.
6. MEGA Theory states the Mega Instinct’s 7 Mega Values in one Order of Reality correspond with the 7 Mega Motivations in another Order of Reality.
7. THERE is a ‘Quantum Bridge’ between the 7 Mega Values and the 7 Mega Motivations – a relation of Transcendence-Immanence.
FRONT COVER (proposed)
INTRODUCTORY QUOTATIONS
Noam Chomsky – MIT Emeritus Professor of Philosophy & Linguistics,
writes :
“The study of human moral nature, within a biological framework, has
developed into a rich and exciting inquiry in recent years…
“Why does everyone take for granted that we don’t learn to grow arms,
but rather, are designed to grow arms ? Similarly, we should conclude
that in the case of the development of moral systems, there’s a
biological endowment which in effect requires us to develop a system of
moral judgement and a theory of justice, if you like, that in fact has
detailed applicability over an enormous range…
“We are, after all, biological organisms – not angels. If humans are
part of the natural world, not supernatural beings, then human
intelligence has its scope and limits, determined by initial design. We
can thus anticipate certain questions will not fall within [our]
cognitive reach, just as rats are unable to run mazes with numerical
properties, lacking the appropriate concepts. Such questions we might
call ‘mysteries-for-humans’, just as some questions pose
‘mysteries-for-rats’. Among these mysteries may be questions we raise,
and others we do not know how to formulate properly or at all…
“We will discover what we can about the nature of the world, and, among
the truths about it, I believe we will find that part of our genetic
capacity, which evolved over millennia, is that CERTAIN MORAL
PRINCIPLES ARE INCORPORATED IN IT; probably genetically determined.
To try to discover them is, of course, a big task…
[David] Hume writes that imagination creates concepts that bind a succession of related objects together, leading us ‘to imagine something unknown and mysterious , connecting the parts…a kind of magical faculty…[that]…is inexplicable by the utmost efforts of human understanding’
In these terms, it should also be possible to reinterpret the rich and illuminating record of thinking about the nature of the soul, though now divorced of the theological conditions…and from the metaphysical framework of earlier years.”
Marc D. Hauser – “Moral Minds” author, writes:
“We evolved a moral instinct, a capacity that naturally grows within
each child, designed to generate rapid judgements about what is morally
right or wrong, based on an unconscious grammar of action.
Part of this machinery was designed by the blind hand of Darwinian
selection, millions of years before our species evolved; other parts
were added or upgraded over the evolutionary history of our species,
and are unique both to humans and to our moral psychology.These ideas
draw on insights from another instinct : language.”
Sir John Eccles – “Evolution of the Brain, Creation of the Self, p.
241″, writes :
I maintain that the human mystery is incredibly demeaned by scientific
reductionism, with its claim in promissory materialism to account
eventually for all of the spiritual world in terms of patterns of
neuronal activity. This belief must be classed as a superstition. . . .
we have to recognize that we are spiritual beings with souls existing
in a spiritual world as well as material beings with bodies and brains
existing in a material world”
H. Maurice Relton, in “Some Postulates of a Christian Philosophy” [1925], quotes Wilfrid Ewart’s ‘Way of Revelation’ at the start of his book – through the character of Lady Knoyle:
“To believe in God, a God to look up to – something – to believe in a divine purpose and a hereafter  – this is not a science or religion or metaphysics or philosophy; it is instinct – truth.”
CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
1.1 THIS book proposal is the outcome of research into the moral
faculty, values and motivations, and brings together the disciplines of
moral philosophy, philosophy of mind, theology, psychology, axiology
and etiology.
Why is our consciousness ‘soaked’ in the moral – like the air we
breathe ?
Why is our life ‘soaked’ in the moral – at home, at work, on television
& radio news, in documentaries, films, newspapers & magazines ?
Why is politics, business, science, religion, language, literature,
music, psychology, philosophy all ‘soaked’ in the moral ?
If the above questions have been asked, and understood, the Mega
Instinct is at work.
CHAPTER 2
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA ?
2.1 THE Mega Instinct is our primary Instinct which houses the Soul.
2.2 THE writer weaves together the core ideas of such figures as Plato,
Alexander Sutherland, CEM Joad, Abraham Maslow, John Eccles, Goetz
Taliaferro, Marc Hauser and John Mikhail to arrive at this new approach
to the Moral Faculty and the Soul.
The writer also has a conviction that a greater understanding of these
ideas is a critical pre-condition for humanity’s survival.
By using tightly-connected arguments to a set of conclusions, the book
proposal analyses the idea that our Moral Instinct is the primary
instinct, and also the moral core of the Soul.
2.3 AIMS
(1) Combine and synthesize a naturalistic, evolutionary approach to
motivation, with a form of moral realism – maintaining the objectivity
of values.
(2) Weave together a comprehensive and coherent account of motivation
and value, from a wide variety of disciplines – while sensitive to
scientific and philosophical disputes.
(3) Revive the philosophical contribution of CEM Joad, whose final and
seminal works on moral philosophy have been unduly neglected.
(3) Identify the principles governing the Moral Instinct – with its 7
Mega Values & Mega Motivations
(4) Revolutionize Moral Philosophy (Ethics), Philosophy of Mind
(Consciousness & Cognition), Psychology (Moral Psychology) and Biology
(Neuro Biology).
2.4 PURPOSE
The purpose of this book proposal is straightforward. It seeks to show
that within this Mega Instinct there is a set of 7 subjective moral
motivations in our internal world (Mind and Body), which correlate with
a set of 7 objective moral values in the external world (Soul).
The writer offers a speculative account of how moral consciousness may
arise from an interaction of 7 values & 7 motivations.
One of the more controversial claims of the writer is that this Mega
Instinct may not only be Consciousness, but may also what philosophers
call the ‘Qualia’; that which has an independent existence in the
External World – the main argument being that the properties attributed
to the ‘Qualia’ relate to the principles of both values and motivations.
The writer claims our Mega Instinct holds certain moral principles
about the world, and that this is the only reason we are morally
conscious.
Research subsequent to this book suggests a thread of moral theory
which goes back for centuries.
A key philosophical method outlined in the book is the ‘Anselm Acid
Test’, which claims that our Mega Instinct, rightly conceived, helps us
to discover – in simple steps – what we value, what motivates us – and
why.
The writer ambitiously confronts such questions as :
Do the 7 motivations have an evolutionary origin ? If so, what is it?
In what sense are the 7 objective values objective?
How & why do the 7 values match the 7 motivations?
How does the correlation of Values & Motivations explain, and result
in, intentional
action?
How is it explained when the correlation of values to motivations
fails, and people
intentionally act contrary to the 7 values?
What specifically are the 7 Mega Values & 7 Mega Motivations?
The book proposal concludes by suggesting a greater understanding of
this Moral Faculty is a critical pre-condition for humanity’s survival
in the 21st century.
CHAPTER 3
CEM JOAD – THE MORAL INSTINCT AS “PERSONALITY” OR “THE SOUL”
THE ‘TRANSCENDENCE-IMMANENCE FORMULA’ (“THE TI TEST”)
The Sonata Illustration
3.1.1 “CONSIDER the movement of a sonata.
It is a collection of musical sounds, notes and phrases which science
analyses into vibrations in the atmosphere.
Such analysis does not, however, give a complete account of it; for it
is also a series of notes and phrases arranged in a particular pattern.
This pattern prescribes the order in which the notes are arranged , and
the intervals between them.
The pattern is imposed by the mind of the composer .
The sounds, as arranged in the pattern, are at once the expression and
the embodiment of the musical idea which the composer conceives.
3.1.2 “MANY would say that the sounds, as arranged in the patterns,
constitute a unity or a whole.
In using such an expression they would, I think, wish to imply, first,
that the whole is more than the arithmetical sum total of the different
sounds; secondly, that the sounds, when heard in the context of the
whole are, precisely because of their relation to the whole and to one
another, different from what they would have been, if they were taken
out of their context and heard in isolation.
3.1.3 “IT is because of the immanence of the musical idea that the
sounds are arranged as they are, and sound as they do.
If it were not immanent, the arrangement would not occur, and the
sounds would sound differently.
Nevertheless, most people would agree, the immanent idea is not
exhausted or used up by any one embodiment of it in a particular set of
sounds.
3.1.4 “FOR a musical idea is more than any particular rendering of it,
more, indeed, than any number of renderings of it.
It would still exist in the composer’s mind, even if the music which
embodied it were never written down.
This could be put by saying that it transcends the renderings of it.
The Personality Illustration
3.1.5 “CONSIDER now a personality.
It is interesting, first, to consider the account which the sciences
might give of a personality.
Of its different ingredients the sciences have, indeed, much to tell us.
Each separate aspect of a human being is assigned to a special science,
and of this aspect the relevant science purports to give a reasonably
full account.
We will suppose that these various accounts are drawn up and colllated.
3.1.6 “WE will imagine ourselves to begin with the physiological
account in terms of tubes and pipes, nerves and bones and blood vessels.
These, presumably, can be analysed into their chemical compounds, and
there will be, therefore, a chemical account in terms of molecules and
elements.
These, again, can be analysed in terms of their atomic constituents and
to the chemist’s, therefore we must add the physicist’s account.
3.1.7 “THERE is also the psychologist’s accounts of a man’s
consciousness in terms of mental events, images, sensations and so
forth, with special departmental accounts such as the behaviorist’s, in
terms of language habits and and conditioned reflexes, and the
psychoanalyst’s in terms of unconscious desire and promptings of the
libido.
3.1.8 “FROM other points of view, there is the ‘economic man’ and there
is the ‘median man’ of the statistician; there is a man from the
standpoint of the biologist , and man as he appears to the
anthropologist.
3.1.9 “Each of these accounts could in theory be made accurate and
complete – complete, that is to say, so far as it goes; yet each would
be couched in different terms.
To say that no one of these accounts conveys the whole truth about a
man, but describes only some particular aspect of him which has been
selected for special attention, would be to state a commonplace.
The Personality as the Soul – “Personality Plus”
3.1.10 “BUT we can go further.
Let us suppose that all the different accounts, the physiological, the
chemical, the physical, the psychological, the behaviouristic, the
psychoanalytical, the economic, the statistical, the biological, and
the anthropological were collated, supplemented with other accurate but
partial accounts, and worked up into a comprehensive survey, they would
still fail to constitute the THE truth about a man.
3.1.11 “AND they would fail to do this, not because some particular
piece of information had been left out, or some particular point of
view forgotten – for no matter how complete the collection of
scientific accounts might be, the truth would still elude them – but
because they would remain only a set of separate accounts of different
parts or aspects; and a man is more than the different parts of aspects
which are ingredients of him.
True knowledge of a man is not, in other words, the sum-total of the
complete and accurate accounts of all his different aspects, even if
these accounts could be made exhaustive.
3.1.12 “TRUE knowledge is, or at least includes, knowledge of the man
as a whole.
To know a man as a whole is to know him as a personality, for a
personality is the whole which, while it integrates all the parts and
so includes them within itself is, nevertheless, something over and
above their sum.
Now to know a man as a personality is to know him in a manner of which
science takes no cognisance.
It is to know him as a friend (an individual?)
3.1.13 “THE whole personality is, then, more than the sum of the parts
upon whose combination, according to the account given by the sciences,
it supervenes.
3.1.14 “BUT SUPPOSE THAT TO THINK OF THE PERSONALITY AS RESULTING FROM
THE CONCURRENCE OF A NUMBER OF PARTS WAS MISLEADING FROM THE FIRST.
SUPPOSE THAT THE PERSONALITY IS LOGICALLY PRIOR, AND THAT THE PARTS
DERIVE FROM IT, IN THE SENSE THAT IT IS IN THE PARTS THAT IT EXPRESSES
ITSELF, AND FINDS ITS EMBODIMENT.
3.1.15 “AND first, in the bodily part : a man’s mouth, we would say,
tells the discerning observer much about the man; if he is happy,
good-tempered, cheerful, the corners of his mouth tend to turn up; if
gloomy, irritable, depressed, down.
3.1.16 “A man’s nature, again, is thought to be expressed in his smile.
It is charming, friendly, sweet or hypocritical.
3.1.17 “OR, a man’s nature is expressed in, and deducible from, a
grooved forehead and lines about the eyes; the eyes, we say, are the
windows of the soul.
3.1.18 “THERE are refinements in these matter.
Thus Shaw talks of the wide spreading nostrils of the dramatic orator,
and the long upper lip of the comedian.
Even a man’s gait, confident and jaunty, or drooping and dragging,
tells us something about his nature.
3.1.19 “IT is expressed, secondly, in his psychological life.
HIS MOODS , TEMPERS, HOPES AND FEARS, ARE ALL, PSYCHOLOGY TEACHES,
EXPRESSIONS OF A CERTAIN TYPE OF NATURE. THEY DO NOT CONSTITUTE THE
NATURE, THEY ARE THE WAYS IN WHICH IT SHOWS ITSELF.
3.1.20 “ALL these are ways of expressing the truth that the personality
is IMMANENT in the ‘parts’, IMMANENTin the bodlily behaviour , IMMANENT
in the psychological moods.
The ‘parts’, as in the case of the other illustrations, are what they
are because of their relation to one another, and to the IMMANENT whole
which expresses itself in them.
3.1.21 “IN the case of this illustration, it is hard to think of the
‘parts’ as existing separately from the informing personality.
In so far as they can be conceived of as doing so, they would, it is
obvious, be different in isolation from what they are in the context of
the personality.
3.1.22 “CHRISTIANITY regards the whole, which I have been calling the
personality, as an immortal soul which will survive the break-up of the
body, even if it did not precede its formation.
3.1.23 “IF this is true, there is a sense in which the personality is
more than its expressions, both in the body and the psyche, so that
besides being IMMANENT, it is also TRANSCENDENT.”
CEM Joad – Christian Philosopher
3.1.24 CYRIL Edwin Mitchinson Joad made a highly original contribution
to philosophy – albeit late in life – that of Christian
Philosophy; a valuable contribution almost entirely disregarded in the
late 20th
Century. CEM Joad said in 1943 – in characteristic, ebullient style –
“If you object that Christ was not a
philosopher, I can only beg you to wait until you know as much
philosophy as I do before venturing to contradict.”
3.1.25 JOAD wrote ‘The Recovery of Belief – A Restatement of Christian
Philosophy’, a year before his death. In this, he clearly explains with
great originality, his Christian ‘Transcendence- Immanence’ Theory of
the Universe.
Joad’s Christian Theory of the Nature of Values
3.1.26 JOAD adhered to the ‘philosophia perennis’, which affirms that
Values areObjective not Subjective, and can reduce themselves to Truth,
Goodness and Beauty.
These three Values are “OBJECTIVE in the sense that they are found by
the human mind – found as ‘given’ in things – and not projected into
things or
contributed to them by our own minds, and ULTIMATE, in the sense that
whatever we
value can be shown to be valued because of the relation of the thing
valued to
some one or other of the three Values. Thus, while other things are
valued as
means to one or other of these three, they are valued as ends in
themselves.
3.1.27 JOAD again : “Moreover, these Values are not just arbitrary,
pieces of cosmic
furniture lying about, as it were, in the universe without explanation,
coherence
or connection, but are revelations of a unity that underlies them; are,
in
fact, the ways in which God reveals Himself to Man. Hence, those human
activities which consist in, or which arise out of, the pursuit of
Truth, the
cultivation of moral goodness, or the creation and enjoyment of Beauty,
are such
that we cannot help but value and revere them.”
3.1.28 “WHAT we call the Values – and it is under this term that the
Forms
may, I think, be most appropriately referred to in respect of their
most
outstanding manifestations, as Truth, Goodness and Beauty – are the
modes of God’s
revelation of His Nature to man. For if this is indeed the case, the
revelation must be regarded as the IMMANENCE of a TRANSCENDENT Being in
a medium
which, though it manifests, is itself other than, the Being manifested.
3.1.29 “NOW, we cannot, I suggest, expect to achieve a ‘know-how’ of
the mode of
manifestation of a Divine Being …”
The Soul (or Personality) as the Mega Instinct – The Mega Instinct as
Consciousness
3.2. MEGA THEORY STATES THAT WHAT CEM JOAD CALLS THE PERSONALITY, OR
SOUL, IS THE MEGA INSTINCT
3.3 THE Mega Instinct, as defined, is our Soul – a moral instinct of 7
values and motivations.
This book proposal therefore directly impacts on Moral Philosophy
(Meta-Ethics), Philosophy of Mind (Consciousness), Axiology (Values) &
Etiology (Motivations).
It aims to connect a set of 7 innate motivations with a set of 7
intrinsic values.
These motivations and values are specified, and then cross-connected.
3.4 THERE are Two Orders of Reality – the Internal World and the
External World.
The Mega Instinct resides in – and bridges – both the Internal and
External Worlds, being both immanent within the Internal World by way
of the Mega Instinct, but also transcendent of it in the External World.
The book synthesises the work of CEM Joad (The Soul/Transcendence & Its
Personality/Immanence), John Eccles ‘The Self/Soul & Its Brain/Body),
Noam Chomsky, Marc Hauser, Abraham Maslow and Others.
The book thus provides a compelling Moral Theory of Consciousness –
“The Moral Instinct Theory”.
3.5 WE are moral beings – which uniquely separates us from other
species. Our lives are ‘soaked’ in the moral – we live and breathe it.
Moral values & motivations cannot be ’emptied’ from language.
‘Draining out’ the moral puts humanity’s sanity seriously at risk.
Therefore, moral primacy is a pre-condition for humanity’s survival.
Our Mega Instinct thus becomes a critical part of humanity’s survival
for the 21st century – and beyond.
3.6 MEGA Theory states if anyone understands the above (.1.1.1/2), then
they have just used their Mega Instinct …….. A Moral Sense with the
capability of governing all other
senses (& instincts).
3.7 MONKEYS would be hard-pressed to understand this – a
fact of language acquisition, which serves to illustrate the uniqueness
of Man and his
Humanity (& Moral Instinct).
3.8 THE Principles of the Moral Faculty and the Soul – The Individual
(a) “Treat others as you would like others to treat you” (‘The Golden
Rule’)(Reciprocity)
(b) “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same
time, will that it should become a universal law.”(Kant’s ‘Categorical
Imperative’)
(c) “People should be free to do as they want (the liberty principle),
as long as they don’t harm others (the harm principle)”.
(JS Mill’s ‘Moral Utilitarianism’)
3.9 THE Principles of the Moral Faculty and the Soul – The Society
(a) The American Declaration – 1776
1. Life
2. Liberty
3. Pursuit of Happiness
(b) The French Declaration – 1789
1. Liberte!
2. Egalite!
3. Fraternite!
(c) The United Nations Declaration – 1948
1. Life
2. Liberty
3. Security of Person
(d) Chomsky & The 3 Preconditions For Humanity’s Survival
1. Freedom – Liberty
2. Justice
3. Compassion
CHAPTER 4
SO WHAT ?
4.1 DARWIN’S old Theory of Evolution (& the monolithic body of
knowledge which has now grown out of it) is challenged by Mega Instinct
Theory – Galileo-style.
4.2 MEGA Theory fundamentally changes the way we see Our Selves, and
our place in the Universe – just as Galileo fundamentally changed the
way we saw Our Selves on Earth, in relation to the Sun.
4.3 MAN is not just a Human (Animal) Being; Man is also a Moral
(Spiritual) Being.
It is the human difference.
4.4 NEWTON’S Theory was ground-breaking – like Darwin’s – but it was
replaced by a
better one – Einstein’s Relativity Theory. And so with Mega Theory.
4.5 MEGA Instinct Theory corresponds with the truth, and has a greater
‘ring of truth’ than the Theories of Darwin, Freud, Skinner, or Dawkins.
4.6 THE Theory’s foundation is primarily one of philosophy (eg Plato,
Kant, Joad, Chomsky & Rawls), although it clearly impacts on other
disciplines, such as Psychology, Biology, Neuro-Biology & Linguistics
(eg Abraham ‘Metamotivations’ Maslow, Marc ‘Moral Minds’ Hauser, John
‘The Self’ Eccles & Noam ‘Language Faculty’ Chomsky).
4.7 MEGA Theory is designed to revolutionise how we look at ourselves –
no longer ‘Animal Man’ (eg Darwin, Freud, Skinner) but Moral Man.
CHAPTER 5
WHAT IS MEGA INSTINCT THEORY SPECIFICALLY ABOUT ?
5.1 THIS Theory is about The Mega Instinct; a Moral Instinct, made up
of 7 Mega Values (or Mega Motivations), which makes us uniquely & fully
human; a controlling Instinct which is both immanent within – and
transcendent of – all our other instincts.
5.2 THE Theory shows how we use our Mega Instinct to discover what we
value – and what motivates us – by applying The Anselm Acid Test.
5.3 WE are uniquely endowed with a Mega Instinct – a moral instinct
made up of 7 Values/Motivations – which is both immanent within, and
transcendent of, all other instincts.
5.4 MEGA Theory states there are seven moral structures , hard-wired
within the Mega Instinct; the controlling moral instinct which is both
immanent within – and transcendent of – all other instincts within our
biology (or Plato’s ‘soul’, mind & body, personality,
psyche….)
5.5 THIS Theory of Moral Realism stands in direct opposition to Moral
Relativism.
5.6 WITHOUT this Mega Instinct, we would have made ourselves extinct
many thousands of years ago.
5.7 THOSE in power who seek to control us know they have to control our
Mega Instinct. If we regain and reclaim control of this Instinct, they
no longer have that power or control over us – or less so.
CHAPTER 6
WHAT ARE THE MAIN AIMS & OBJECTIVES – AND PURPOSE – FOR THIS MEGA
THEORY?
6.1 TO produce a practical philosophy textbook on Moral Consciousness,
‘up & running’ by the Stedham Festival of Thought 2013 – to mark the
60th Anniversary of CEM Joad (1891-1953) – author of
Transcendence-Immanence Theory.
6.2 TO establish a Moral Theory which will vanquish the obsolete
philosophy of Moral Relativism, and revolutionise & radically transform
the philosophy of Moral Realism.
6.3 TO create a ground-breaking Moral Theory, to be considered one of
the most important contributions to the revolution in Humanities &
Social Sciences – especially Philosophy & Psychology – in the early
21st century.
6.4 TO help spark a revolution in philosophy through ‘The Mega
Instinct” idea, challenging the ‘Relativist’ approach of Wittgenstein &
The Vienna School; the dominant
idealogy underlying Western culture for the last 70 years.
6.5 TO help spark a revolution in psychology, biology & the social
sciences, through his Mega Motivation Theory – a ‘by-product’ of Mega
Theory – by challenging (& vanquishing) the ‘scientific management’
approach to behaviour; the dominant corporate idealogy which prevailed
in the late 20th century – and still does.
6.6 TO help influence many other related disciplines, by establishing
The Gatwick School of Philosophy – a school of thought in which Mega
Theory can provide ‘cutting-edge’ solutions to 21st century problems.
6.7 TO show that a greater understanding, and application, of Mega
Theory will be a critical pre-condition to Humanity’s survival in the
21st century.
CHAPTER 7
WHAT IS THIS THEORY DOING BETTER THAN OTHER RELATED THEORIES ?
7.1 CHOMSKY’s Language Theory, Pinker’s “Language Instinct”, Hauser’s
“Moral Minds” & Maslow’s ‘Metamotivations’ are firmly rooted in our
biology & psychology.
7.2 “MEGA Instinct” Theory – with CEM Joad’s ‘Transcendence-Immanence’
– is rooted firmly both in our biology & psychology (immanent within)
and outside of them (transcendent of)…”unboundedness”.
7.3 NOAM Chomsky has written : We are after all biological organisms
not angels . . . If humans are part of the natural world, not
supernatural beings, then human intelligence has its scope and limits,
determined by initial design. We can thus anticipate certain questions
will not fall within [our] cognitive reach, just as rats are unable to
run mazes with numerical properties, lacking the appropriate concepts.
Such questions, we might call ‘mysteries-for-human’, just as some
questions pose ‘mysteries-for-rats’. Among these mysteries may be
questions we raise, and others we do not know how to formulate properly
or at all…
We will discover what we can about the nature of the world, and, among
the truths about it, I believe we will find that part of our genetic
capacity, which evolved over millennia, is that CERTAIN MORAL
PRINCIPLES ARE INCORPORATED IN IT; probably genetically determined.
To try to discover them is, of course, a big task.
7.4 THE Mega Instinct is rooted both in our biology (immanent within)
and beyond it (transcendent of).
7.5 THE 7 Mega Values (or Mega Motivations) are represented by the 7
Colours of the Rainbow – and form the major part of the book.
7.6 THE Mega Instinct is not only biologically immanent, it is also
transcendent – and controls (or can control) all other instincts.
7.7 IT is both Theory & Practice combined. We use our Mega Instinct to
discover what
we ultimately value, & what ultimately motivates us – by applying The
Anselm Acid Test.
CHAPTER 8
THE MEGA INSTINCT & ITS 7 MEGA VALUES & 7 MEGA MOTIVATIONS
The Anselm Acid Test (“The AA Test”)
8.1 HOW to apply the Theory to Practice:
8.2 APPLY The Anselm Acid Test to discover what motivates us (& why),
and to discover what we most value (& why) – using our Mega Instinct
(“If we don’t use it, we lose it”).
8.3 THE 7 Mega Values & 7 Mega Motivations
1 – BEAUTY (RED)
(i) Beauty – The Quotations
Aesthetics
Artistry
Awe
Creativity
Fulfilment
Grace
Innocence
Inspiration
Melody
Music & Dance
Perfection
Purity
Style
Wholeness
Wonder
(ii) Beauty – The Analysis
(a) “Emma Johnson (Clarinettist) walks onto a concert platform, and
suddenly transforms herself into an expressive instrument of sublime
beauty” – The Guardian
(Source : Crawley Hawth Theatre – August/September/October 2012
Programme – Sat 20 October – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Emma
Johnson plays Mozart, Schubert & Beethoven – Page 12 & 20)
(b) “A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the
Sublime and Beautiful”
(Oxford World’s Classics) (Paperback)
Edmund Burke, Adam Phillips
“I’m gratified you’re keeping Burke’s text on the Sublime available in
an inexpensive edition. Thanks again for keeping it easily accessible.
It is a major document not only for the post-modern and avant-garde
discussion of the sublime, but also for gender theory.”–Leonard L.
Duroche, University of Minnesota
Product Description
An eloquent and sometimes even erotic book, the Philosophical Enquiry
was long dismissed as a piece of mere juvenilia. However, Burke’s
analysis of the relationship between emotion, beauty, and art form is
now recognized as not only an important and influential work of
aesthetic theory, but also one of the first major works in European
literature on the Sublime, a subject that has fascinated thinkers from
Kant and Coleridge to the philosophers and critics of today. This is
the only available edition of the work.
(c) Library of the Greatest Beauty
The Mega Library of the Mittyan World
2 – FREEDOM (ORANGE)
(i) Freedom – The Quotations
“Be Yourself”
Choices
Control
Decisions
Autocracy
Democracy
Freedoms & Rights
Identity
Independence
Individuality
Influence
Judgements
Liberty
“The spark of liberty in the mind and spirit of man cannot be long
extinguished; it will break into flames that will destroy every
coercion which seems to limit it” ~ Herbert Hoover (1874 – 1964),
American mining engineer, humanitarian and administrator; 31st
president of the USA (1929 – 33)
Perceptions
Power
Responsibilities & Duties
Self-Expression
Space
Territory
Uniqueness
(ii) Freedom – The Analysis
“The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom is
courage.” ~ Thucydides (circa 460 – 400 BC), Greek historian
“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without
faith.” ~ Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 – 59), French political thinker
and historian
3 – HAPPINESS (YELLOW)
(i) Happiness – The Quotations
Confidence
Desire
Entertainment
Enthusiasm
Fun
Humour
Hope
Joy
Laughter
Playful
Pleasure
Satisfaction
(ii) Happiness – The Analysis
(Source : “The Republic” by Plato – Translated by Desmond Lee. With an
Introduction by Melissa Lane – Penguin Classics-Pearson 2007)
Page 40 – Part 1 (Book 1)
“This section claims to prove that the just man is happier than the
just.
Similarly at 361d, Glaucon asks Socrates to answer the question whether
the just or unjust man is happier; and the theme of happiness will
recur throughout the dialogue, as eg on 419-421c.
THE COMMON GREEK WORD FOR ‘HAPPY’ (EUDAIMON) HAS OVERTONES RATHER
DIFFERENT FROM THOSE OF THE ENGLISH WORD.
It implies less an immediate state of mind or feeling (‘I feel happy
today’), than a more permanent condition of life or disposition of
character; something between prosperity and integration of personality,
though of course feeling is involved too”.
4 – LIFE (GREEN)
(1) Life – The Quotations
Awareness
Aliveness
“Buzz”
Consciousness, Sub-Consciousness & Unconsciousness
Courage
Dreams
Drives
Energy
Excitement
Goals
Growth
Health
Healing
Hunger & Thirst – Food & Drink
Incentives – eg Money
Instinct(s)
Intuition
Light
Motion
Needs
Profit
Rhythm
Risk
Self-Preservation
Senses x 5
Sex, Attraction, “Fancy”
Sleep & Dreams
Sound
Survival
Thrill
Vitality
Wants
Well-Being
Zest
(ii) Life – The Analysis
5 – LOVE (LIGHT BLUE)
(i) Love – The Quotations
Acceptance
Approval
Belonging
Compassion & Understanding
Dignity
Esteem
Friendship
Goodness
Goodwill
Grace
Importance
Kindness
Like
Patience
Pride
Respect
Selflessness
Self-Worth & Worthiness
Significance
Status
Socialising
Teamwork
Understanding
Valued
Warmth
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=993
“A big guy with a big heart…generous, gentle, and very kind. He
exuded warmth and love from his whole being” (Of Big Jim Sullivan –
1941-2012)
Worshipped
(ii) Love – The Analysis
6 – PEACE (DARK BLUE)
(i) Peace – The Quotations
Agreement
Consensus
Balance
Calmness
Comfort
Cooperation
Harmony
Protection
Reconciliation
Relaxation
Rest
Safety
Security
Serenity
Stability
(ii) Peace – The Analysis
“Peace hath her victories, no less renowned than war”
~ John Milton (1608 – 74), English Poet and Politician
(Hat-Tip : Paul)
7 – TRUTH (PURPLE)
(i) Truth – The Quotations
Belief
Certainty
Education
Facts
Fairness
Faith
Honesty
Integrity
Jurisprudence
Justice
Justness
Knowledge & Understanding
Law
Meaning
Moral & Ethical
Purpose
Reality
Trust
(ii) Truth – The Analysis
CHAPTER 9
THE MEGA INSTINCT & ITS 7 MEGA VALUES & 7 MEGA MOTIVATIONS
THE PRACTICE
9.1 MEGA THEORY states we are uniquely endowed with a Mega Instinct – a
moral instinct made up of seven Mega Motivations (or Mega Values) –
which is both immanent within, and transcendent of, all other instincts
9.2 MEGA THEORY also states these seven Mega Values exist objectively
and independently of the human mind (Moral Realism) – and our
subjective actions, thoughts, ideas and beliefs discover (rather than
create) those moral Values eg Plato’s Recollection Theory.
9.3 MEGA THEORY states these seven Values are objectively real – such
as Truth, Beauty and Love – and we are subjectively conscious of these
Values through our Mega Instinct – a kind of ‘Seventh Sense’.
Tarski’s Correspondence Theory of Truth, Popper’s Scientific Method and
Joad’s Immanence-Transcendence (IT) Theory, are closely associated with
this Mega Theory – along with Chomsky’s Theory of Language Acquisition.
9.4 MEGA THEORY states we are motivated by seven perennial Values (Mega
Motivations), of which we can conceive of nothing greater (&
de-motivated by their absence) :
1. Beauty (No Beauty)
2. Freedom (No Freedom)
3. Happiness (No Happiness)
4. Life (No Life)
5. Love (No Love)
6. Peace (No Peace)
7. Truth (No Truth)
9.5 MEGA THEORY states we are motivated by that which we most value.
If we discover what we value, we will discover what motivates us. ‘The
Anselm Acid Test’ is used to discover what we most value; and thus we
can discover what motivates us.
9.6 MEGA THEORY is based on a simple idea – so simple it can look like
a truism
WE ARE MOTIVATED BY THAT WHICH WE VALUE – WE VALUE THAT WHICH MOTIVATES
US
WE ARE MEGA MOTIVATED BY THAT WHICH WE MOST VALUE – WE VALUE MOST THAT
WHICH MEGA MOTIVATES US
9.7 IT is critical for us, therefore, to understand what motivates us,
and why. Equally, it is critical to understand what we most value.
9.8 MEGA THEORY, in practice, states we discover what motivates us the
most, and what we most value, by simply applying the Anselm Acid Test –
using our Moral Instinct – by asking ourselves the following
questions…in other words, we are using & applying our Moral Instinct
when we ask this Anselm Acid Test Question :
“In my mind, can I conceive of anything more important, or greater than
…. ?” (Insert any word you consider important eg health, wealth,
security etc)
9.9 WE will find that our chosen words will fall eventually into one or
other of these seven ‘baskets’ (with some occasional overlap)
Our Mega Instinct will naturally put these ‘baskets’ – the seven Mega
Values (or Mega Motivations) which make up our Mega Instinct.
CHAPTER 10
CONCLUSION
10.1 THE Mega Instinct is the medium through which we think for
ourselves, freely and clearly.
10.2 RECLAIMING this Instinct and making it our own (no-one else’s) – a
difficult task – will be a critical pre-condition for Humanity’s
survival in the 21st Century.
10.3 A GREATER understanding of our moral consciousness, and its mega
instinct, is a critical pre-condition for humanity’s survival and
well-being in the 21st century.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Atmanspacher, H. & Fuchs, C.A. (Imprint Academic 2014). “The Pauli-Jung Conjecture”
Axelrod, R. (1984). “The Evolution of Cooperation”.
Bering, J. (Nicholas Brealey 2011). “The God Instinct”.
Broackes, J. (Oxford University Press 2012). “Iris Murdoch, Philosopher
– A Collection of Essays”.
Chomsky, N. (2000). “On Nature and Language”.
Chomsky, N. (2017). “What Kind of Creatures Are We?”.
Cogswell, D. (Writers & Readers 1996). “Chomsky For Beginners”.
Darwin, C. (1958). “The Morality of Evolution”.
Eagleman, D. (Pantheon 2015). “The Brain”
Eccles, J. (Springer-Verlag 1994). “How The Self Controls Its Brain”.
Goetz, S. & Taliaferro C. (Wiley-Blackwell 2011), “A Brief History of
the Soul”
Haidt, J. (Psychological Review 108 – 2001), “The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail : A Social Intuitionist approach to Moral Judgement”
Hauser, M.D. (Ecco 2006). “Moral Minds – How Nature Designed Our
Universal Sense Of Right and Wrong”.
Hauser, M.D. (In Preparation). “Evilicious – Explaining Our Evolved
Taste For Being Bad”.
Institute of Moralogy. “Moralogy”.
Joad, C.E.M. (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner 1926). “The Babbitt Warren” –
CEMJ analyses America by Plato’s Forms : Truth, Beauty & Goodness.
Joad, C.E.M. (First published Victor Gollancz 1938. Reprint Greenwood
1969). “Guide to Moral and Political Philosophy”.
Joad, C.E.M. (1940). “Appeal to Philosophers”. Proceedings of the
Aristotelian Society, London.
Joad, C.E.M. (Faber & Faber 1952). “Recovery of Belief – A Restatement
of Christian Philosophy”.
Joad, C.E.M. (First published 1944. Last reprint 1971). “Teach Yourself
Philosophy”.
Joad, C.E.M. (First published 1925)(1928?). Reprint Taylor &
Francis-Routledge 2008). “Thrasymachus – The Future of Morals”.
Joad, C.E.M. (First published 1926)(1928?). Reprint Taylor &
Francis-Routledge 2008). “Diogenes – The Future of Leisure”.
Lakoff, G. “Moral Politics”.
Liangkang, NI (Higher Education Press & Springer-Verlag 2009). “Moral
Instinct and Moral Judgement”.
Magee, B. (Fontana 1982). “Popper”
Main, R. (2007). “Revelations of Change – Synchronicity as Spiritual Experience” (p. 53-55).
Maslow, A. “Toward a Psychology of Being”.
Maslow, A. (Penguin 1977). “Beyond The Farther Reaches Of Human Nature”.
Mikhail, J.M. (2006). “Rawls’ Linguistic Analogy” and “Universal Moral
Grammar” (2007)
Oddie, G. (Oxford University Press 2005). “Value, Reality, and Desire”.
Peters, R.S. (George Allen & Unwin 1966). “Ethics and Education”.
Pinker, S. (Morrow 1994). “The Language Instinct”.
Pinker, S. (1994). “The Moral Instinct” – Magazine Article.
Plato, “Meno”.
Plato, (Oxford University Press 2008). “Republic”.
Polkinghorne, J. (OUP 2002). “Quantum Theory – A Very Short Introduction”
Polkinghorne, J. (SPCK 2007). “Quantum Physics and Theology”
Rawls, J. (1971). “A Theory of Justice”.
Rawls, J. (2001). “Justice as Fairness”.
Rosenblum & Kuttner (Duckworth 2007). “Quantum Enigma – Physics Encounters Consciousness”.
Schopenhauer, A. (1897). “The Moral Instinct : Essays on Human Nature”.
Searle, J. (Oxford University Press 2004). “Mind – A Brief
Introduction”.
Shafer-Landau, R. (Oxford University Press 2003), “Moral Realism – A
Defence”.
Singer, P. (1993). “Practical Ethics”.
Stella, T. (Sorin 2001). “The God Instinct”.
Stevenson, L. (Oxford University Press 1987). “Seven Theories Of Human
Nature”
Sutherland, A. (Longmans, Green & Co 1898). “The Origin and Growth of
the Moral Instinct” (Vols 1 & 2)
Swinburne, R. (Oxford University Press 1986). “The Evolution of the
Soul”
Tarlaci, S. (Nova 2014). “NeuroQuantology – Quantum Physics in the Brain”
Urmson, J.D. & Ree, J. (Routledge 1992). “The Concise Encyclopedia of
Western Philosophy and Philisophers”.
Widdows, H. “The Moral Vision of Iris Murdoch”.
APPENDIX
Appendix 1 – An Evolutionary History Of The Moral Instinct –
Motivations, Values & Consciousness
1400 BC (circa)
Egyptian Empire – Hierachical Model of the World – Philosophers,
Divines & Theologians
Genesis ‘Breath of Life’ Theory – Bible – Moses
“God…breathed…the Breath of Life, and Man became a living Soul” –
Genesis 2 : 7
700 BC (circa)
Greek Empire – Hedonistic/Mathematical Model of the World
“Prime Mover” Theory – Epimenides
“In God we live and move and have our Being” – Acts 17 : 28
400 BC (circa)
Greek Empire
“Personality” Theory – Hippocrates
1. Choleric 2. Sanguine 3. Phlegmatic 4. Melancholic
347 BC (circa)
Greek Empire
“Three Part Whole/Trinity” Theory – Plato
1. Appetite 2. Reason 3. Spirit
100 AD (circa)
Roman Empire – Hierachical/Hedonistic Model of the World
“Three Part Whole/Trinity” Theory – Irenaeus
1. Body 2. Soul 3. Spirit
200 AD (circa)
Roman Empire
“Spirit” Theory – Galen
1. Natural Spirit 2. Vital Spirit 3. Animal Spirit
British Empire & “The West” – Hierachical/Scientific/Materialistic
Model of the World – Scientists, Psychologists, Sociologists
Instinct, Urge & Drive Theories (Mind = Body)
1900’s (Early 20th century)
British Empire
“Evolution” Theory – Darwin. A biological, evolutionary theory of Man’s
Human nature – as Animal nature.
“Unconscious Instinct & Urge” Theory – Freud – Id, Ego, Super Ego,
Alter Ego, Libido, Unconscious, Sub-Conscious
“Instinct” Theory – McDougall
“Drive” Theory – Woodworth
Balance, Equilibrium, Equity & Dissonance Theories (Body + Mind)
1900-1999 AD (Mid to Late 20th century)
British & American Empires
“Balance” Theory – Cannon
“Complex Man” Theory – Schein
“Equity-Equilibrium” Theory – Adams
“Balance & Equilibrium” Theory – Barnard-Simon
“Orientation” Theory – Goldthorpe & Lockwood
“Perspective” Theory – Pullinger
“Cognitive Dissonance-Balance” Theory – Festinger
Needs, Desires, Goals, Expectancy, Achievement, Success & Fulfilment
Theories (Mind + Body)
1950-1999 AD (late 20th century)
American Empire
“Needs” Theory – Murray
“Economic Man” – Money Needs – Theory – Taylor
“Social Man” – Social Needs – Theory – Mayo
“Hierachy of Needs” Theory – Maslow
“X & Y Needs” Theory – McGregor
“Erg Needs” Theory – Alderfer
“Two-Factor Needs” Theory – Herzberg
“Achievement Needs” Theory – McClelland
“Goal-Setting” Theory – Locke
“Attribution” Theory – Kelley
“Expectancy” Theory – Vroom & Lawler
Values, Vision & Holistic, Cognitive & Moral Theories (Mind + Body +
Soul)
2000 AD (Early 21st century)
American Empire & The West
“Vision” Theory – Powell
“Looking Glass” Theory – Cooley
“Personality” Theory – Jung
“Personality-Soul” Theory – Joad
“Meta-Motivation” Theory – Maslow
“Mega Motivation” Theory – Symonds
“Language Faculty” Theory – Chomsky
“Language Instinct” Theory – Pinker
“Moral Instinct” Theory – Hauser
“Mega Instinct” Theory – Symonds
GLOSSARY
INDEX
Names
Subjects
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard W. Symonds describes himself as “a man of many parts, most of
which don’t work – especially my ears – I am very deaf”.
Richard is aged 58, and lives in Ifield, ‘Gatwick City’ of Crawley –
England
He is a writer, after retiring as an Airport Coach Driver & Tutor – due
to the onset of deafness.
Member of Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) & Member
of International Society For Philosophers (ISFP)
Founder Member of the Cyril Joad Society, Ifield Society, SCRAM
Campaigns & Gatwick City of Ideas (GCI)
Research Projects & Analysis: including “The Mega Instinct”, “Mega
Motivation” and Personnel & Training Projects.
Biographer : “CEM Joad (1891-1953) – A Philosopher for Humanity”
(Unpublished)
Local Editor calls him “The Man of Letters” – after having a record
amount of letters published over 20 years.
Richard Symonds can be contacted by email : richardsy5@aol.com, or his
website Gatwick City of Ideas –
poundhillnorthindependentcrawley.freeforums.org
TARGET MARKETS FOR THE BOOK
WHICH disciplines are the Book primarily aimed at ?
(a) Humanities (eg Philosophy & Religion),
(b) Social Sciences (eg Psychology, Politics & Government, Business
Management & Occupational Psychology, Employment & Training,
Self-Help/Health Psychology, Cognitive Science & Biolinguistics),
(c) Education (eg Teaching), History (eg of Ideas)
WHO will buy it ?
Academic, Educational, Corporate Training, Self-Help & International
Markets.
Universities & Libraries. Students (eg under-graduate & post-graduate
levels), Professionals, Individuals, Trainers, Directors & Managers.
WHAT makes this ‘Mega’ Book better than other books on the same subject
?
The biggest weakness of other directly-related books, like “Moral
Minds” by Marc Hauser, is that they are only rooted in biology.
THE strength of this Book – the unique selling point (USP) – is that
the Mega Instinct is not only immanent within our biology & psychology,
but also transcendent of it…which opens up new horizons.

 

Advertisements

May 8 2018 – “The Mega Instinct” by Richard W. Symonds [unfinished]

“The Mega Instinct” by Richard W. Symonds

BY

RICHARD W. SYMONDS

IMG_1051 (1)

 

THE MEGA INSTINCT

 

THE MEGA INSTINCT AS 7 MEGA VALUES CORRESPONDING WITH 7 MEGA MOTIVATIONS

The Mega Instinct is to be conceived as 7 Mega Values corresponding with 7 Mega Motivations. The Motivations derive their meaning from the Values, and receive their explanation in terms of the Values. 

TRANSCENDENCE – IMMANENCE

The relation between the 7 Values and 7 Motivations is one of transcendence and immanence.

IMG_1032

 

The 7 Values are both other than and independent of the 7 Motivations, and they are also present in the 7 Motivations; they express themselves in them, and make them to a considerable extent what they are.

THE MEGA INSTINCT

The Mega Instinct is more than the sum of the Values and Motivations upon whose correspondence [and combination] it supervenes.

But suppose that to think of the Mega Instinct as resulting from the concurrence of the 7 Values and 7 Motivations was misleading from the first.

Suppose that the Mega Instinct is logically prior and that the Values and Motivations derive from it, in the sense that it is in the Values and Motivations that the Mega Instinct expresses itself and finds its embodiment.

At first, in the bodily part…A man’s nature…is thought to be expressed in his smile…Or a man’s nature is expressed in, and is deductible from, a grooved forehead and lines about the eyes; the eyes, we say, are the windows of the soul…

It is expressed, secondly, in his psychological life. His moods, tempers, hopes and fears are all, psychology teaches, expressions of a certain type of nature. They do not constitute the nature, they are the ways in which it shows itself.

All these are ways of expressing the truth that the Mega Instinct is immanent within the 7 Values and 7 Motivations, immanent in the bodily behaviour and immanent in the psychological moods. The Values and Motivations are what they are because of their relation to one another and to the immanent whole which expresses itself in them. It is hard to think of the the Values and Motivations as existing separately from the informing Mega Instinct, in so far as they can be conceived of as doing so, they would, it is obvious, be different in isolation from what they are in the context of the Mega Instinct.

THE SOUL

Christianity regards the whole which I have been calling the Mega Instinct as an immortal soul which will survive the break-up of the body, even if it did not precede its formation.

If this is true, there is a sense in which the Mega Instinct is more than its expressions both in the values and in the motivations, so that besides being immanent, it is also transcendent.

THE TRANSCENDENCE – IMMANENCE RELATION

The relation of the Mega Instinct’s 7 Values and 7 Motivations is a relation of this kind.

 

THE HYPOTHESIS – MAN AS THREEFOLD

I venture to develop the hypothesis that there is included in the make-up of the Mega Instinct a timeless element. 

The hypothesis in question is as follows.

The traditional division of the human being is not twofold into mind and body, but threefold into mind, body and soul (or spirit).

I suggest that this traditional division may approximate more closely to the truth than any other.

THE SOUL (OR, SPIRIT)

The soul (or spirit) is the seat of the Mega Instinct, is, in fact, the essential self and is timeless.

In fulfilment of a purpose it is incarnated in a body, or, perhaps, in a number of successive bodies, and so intruded in the time order for a definable period or periods of time,

The soul (or spirit) so conceived is analogous to what the Hindus call the Atman, with the exception that, as Christianity has always insisted against Hinduism, it is inalienably individual. Its individuality, that is to say, is not merged after death in a sea of universal consciousness, but sustains immortality without losing its individuality.

The soul is normally inaccessible to us but I conceive that in certain psychological conditions the soul rises, as it were, into consciousness , or, more precisely, our normal everyday consciousness penetrates on occasion through to the soul.

i should suppose, though I speak without experience, that it is the soul which is the recipient of mystical experience; also, I imagine, of certain kinds of aesthetic experience. One does not, for example, have to be a mystic to respond to Charles Kingsley’s rhetorical question, “Have you not felt that your real soul was imperceptible to your immediate vision except in a few hallowed moments?”

Kingsley has just been describing the nearest thing to mystical experience of which most of us are capable or with which most of us, at any rate, are acquainted, namely, certain moments of transport or tranquillity that we enjoy in our intercourse with nature. His account so closely corresponds with my own experience that I venture to quote it “When I walk in the fields, I am oppressed now and then by with an innate feeling that everything I see has a meaning, if I could but understand it. And this feeling of being surrounded with truths that I cannot grasp amounts to indescribable awe sometimes.”

The concept of the soul, as I am seeking to describe it, obviously answers in certain respects to some psychologists’ descriptions of the unconscious. In certain respects but not in all.

The soul, as here conceived, has not, for example any affinity with the sexually pervaded unconscious whose denizens, the ‘libido’, the ‘id’ and so on dominate the thinking of the Freudian psycho-analysts.

Thete are, however, two respects in which what psychology, and notably Jungian psychology, has to tell us about the soul, tallies with what I am attempting here to convey.

First, the soul is the source of genius and the medium of inspiration. I have often been struck by the fact which has never, as far as I know, received adequate comment, that the spheres in which the infant prodigy appears are three and three only, namely music, chess and mathematics. It is significant that none of these spheres derives its material from life. What I would suggest is that children of outstanding capacity in these spheres bring something with them into this world, that this something has its origin and abiding place in what I am calling the soul and that, as experience of life at the ordinary level of consciousness accumulates, the soul and its precious inheritance is increasingly overlaid so that the gifts of the prodigy fade as adolescence approaches.

Secondly, it may be that the subconscious essence or foundation of our personality which I am identifying with the soul, is in touch with a something ‘more’. If there are higher spiritual agencies at work in the world, agencies which touch and quicken us, enriching us with what we call our gifts in inspiration and responding to our solicitations in prayer, their point of contact and communication with us, the point at which, as it were, they touch us, is the soul.

My view that this region is normally inaccessible to consciousness is consistent with the well known fact that we are often unaware of the sources of our inspiration and ignorant how the healing and strengthening influences that bear upon us when, as we say, our prayers are answered, do their work.

i am suggesting that the soul, which is normally an inaccessible region of our personality, is not only the medium, but the necessary medium through which this work is done.

God, to use the language of religion, influences man through his soul. The soul, then, is the vehicle of God’s immanence. It is that in respect of which we are, if not divine, at least in contact with the divine.

Thus, it is only when the hubbub of ordinary life and consciousness dies down that  as the Bible has it, the still small voice of God can make itself heard, heard that is to say, by the soul of which at the moment of being influenced, but only at that moment, we are conscious.

The phenomena of spiritual healing and spiritual regeneration are also most plausibly to be explained on the assumption that God, in response to prayer, acts upon us through the soul to heal the body and strengthen the mind.

THE MIND (OR PSYCHE)

Mind is brought into being in consequence of the contact of the soul with the natural, temporal order, which results from its incorporation in a physical body. It is brought initially into being in the form of ideas. More precisely, ideas emerge on the combination of soul with body much as water emerges on the combination of oxygen and hydrogen, and it is the cluster of these emerging ideas which constitute a mind.

Since a mind comes into existence as a by-product of the soul’s incarnation in matter, its existence is temporary only. Moreover, it is not in the mind that the unity of the person resides, so that the arguments advanced by Hume and later by William James, against the conception of the substantial or united self, arguments which at the level of psychology it is extremely difficult to rebut, are beside the point, seeing that the unity of the self resides elsewhere, resides, in fact, in a region which is normally inaccessible to consciousness.

THE ‘BUNDLE’ THEORY OF THE MIND

To put the point in another way, soul or spirit, when brought into contact with matter by incarnation in a body, expresses itself initially in a succession of ideas. A mind is simply the bundle of ideas which constitute it at any given moment. Hence ideas are primitive and mind derivative.

SUMMARY

These various suggestions all pre-suppose a particular view of the relation between the mind and the body or, as I would prefer to put it, between the soul and the body. The relation in question is a particular case of the general transcendence-immanence relation which, I am suggesting, constitutes a more fruitful explanatory hypothesis of the phenomena of the material world.

In brief, I am suggesting that the individual soul, or spirit, transcends the body in the sense of bmeing other than it, of being independent of it and in all probability of surviving it. It is, nevertheless, immanent in the body in the sense that for a limited   period and no doubt for a special purpose the soul is incarnated in matter.

How this comes about, and what the resultant relation between soul and body could be, might be explicable in terms of quantum theory. But, if the transcendence-immanence relation is devised by a divine mind, we may never know.

The incarnated soul expresses itself in ideas; these ideas cluster in bundles and are known to us under the name of mind or consciousness, whose interaction with the body constitutes our nornal mode of conscious experience.

The closeness of the clustering varies from one individual to another, and ideas may become detached from the bundle to which they normally belong and associate themselves temporarily with other bodies and brains and even with non-cerebral matter.

It is in this tendency of ideas to wander, as it were, from the cluster to which they normally belong that the more plausible explanation of many super-normal phenomena is likely to be found.

PLATO’S FORMS AND VALUES

It will have been quickly apparent to those familiar to philosophy that arguments used from time to time…have a Platonic flavour, nor is it dificult to see that the two-level structure of the universe…and in particular the transcendence-immanence relation between the two levels of reality, is conceived fairly closely on Platonic lines…the Forms belong, as Plato holds that they do, to a supernatural world, more particularly if…what we call the Values – and it is under this term that the Forms may, I think, be most appropriately referred to in respect of their most outstanding manifestations as Truth, Goodness and Beauty – are the modes of God’s revelation of His nature to man.

For if that is, indeed, the case, the relation must be regarded as the immanence of a transcendent Being in a medium which, though it manifests, is itself other than, the Being manifested.

Now, we cannot, I suggest, expect to achieve a ‘know-how’ of the mode of manifestation of a Divine Being…although quantum theory may provide valuable insights.

VALUE AND FACT

Proclaiming the existence of the values of Truth, Goodness and Beauty, thinkers have…unduly emphasised their apartness from and transcendence of the familiar world. The invisble world of values has floated like an impotent mirage above the solid world of moving matter. Thus, the world of values was dismissed as being merely abstarct, a figment of thought or a refuge from the vulgarities and deficiencies of the world of fact. The values, in short, were the philosopher’s version of’pie in the sky’. That they are transcendent is, indeed, the case, for they are…the forms under which God permits Himself to be revealed to man. ‘In ultimates,’ as Goethe said, ‘we see God.’ But they are also immanent.

GOODNESS

Consider, for example, the value Goodness…goodness is not only transcendent but immanent, being the source of that in us which aspires after greater goodness – a point, this, which Plato was surely trying to bring out when he spoke of the individual soul as not only modelling itself upon the Form of goodness as its exemplar, but also partaking of it in the sense that the soul was the medium of the Form’s manifestation.

As with Goodness, so with Beauty; it is the presence of beauty in works of art which causes them to have value. Consider a picture…It is not, unless and until it becomes immanent in matter, that the artist’s ‘idea’ achieves value. Yet the idea transcends the matter in which it finds expression. ‘Hamlet’ would still be a play even if there were no books to print it in, or actors to speak the lines…

THE VALUES OF SCIENCE

The transcendence-immanence formula for the relation of value to fact can also be applied to the values of science – especially quantum theory. For science, too, has its values – coherence, for example, order, relation, even elegance and that canon of economy which, given tow or more hypotheses, each of which covers the facts, prescribes the choice of the most economical. These are truly values in the sense that their discovery and establishment may be said to constitute the end at which the scientist aims. having established them, he formulates them in laws which purport to determine the behaviour of phenomena not immediately under his observation, and to predict the behaviour of phenomena which have not yet occurred…

These, then, which are the ‘values’ of scienc, are not imposed by the scientist but are presented in the phenomena which the scientist studies. What is more, they are discovered as presented. In other words they are immanent; but since no particular configuration of matter on any particular occasion exhausts them, they are also transcendent. Thus, the world studied by science cannot be reduced without remainder to material particles in motion. It contains also non-material laws which the particles obey, and these non-material laws constitute the values of science.

GOD AND THE WORLD

I would suggest that the various examples I have considered are paralleled by the relation of God to the world, a relation of which they constitute special cases. I do not want to stress the analogy between God and the artist to the point of asserting a metaphysical dualism, yet there is much in the universe to encourage us to think of God’s creation after the same fashion as that of the artist.

Genesis, no doubt, tells us that ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth’, created them, that is to say, not as the artist creates in a subject matter which precedes and is other than his creation, but created them out of nothing. Nevertheless, granted the prior existence of the subject matter, whatever its origin [Note 1 – I suggest a logical and, perhaps, a chronological priority for the creation by God of the brute material stuff of the universe], the mode of God’s subsequent creativity would appear to illustrate the transcendence-immanence formula. The Incarnation of Christ, whereby the Word was made flesh would, on this view, be no more than a particular and extreme case of such creative immanence.  

God’s relation to the world, in so far as it is a relation of immanence, would also typify the other stances of the transcendence-immanence relation at which I have glanced in respect of the fact that the method of the ‘entering in’ is unknown to us and will presumably remain so. 

So, too, with the Incarnation of Christ. We do not understand how it could have happened. If we did, it would not be a miracle, nor would the so-called miracles of Christ be miraculous. Yet if the general line is followed…the miracles are a particular case of the immanence of the divine in matter and we have, therefore, no right to expect them to be intelligible. At the same time we have no more right to dismiss them because they are not intelligible, than we have to write off the mind as a by-product of the brain, merely because its mode of interaction with the brain passes our comprehension…

THE SURD ELEMENT

I am suggesting, then, that the facts of experience may be most satisfactorily covered by the hypothesis that God and God’s creatures are not all, but there is also matter [the surd element – Ed], a brute, intractable stuff derived we know not whence – save that it, too, must have originally proceeded from God – and that our souls are emanations of the divine temporarily incarnated in matter…This might be explicable – to a considerable extent – in terms of quantum theory.

CONCLUSION, GOD AND THE WORLD

It is time to draw these scattered observations to a point.

I have sought to exemplify what I have called the transcendence-immanence relation in the relation of

mind to body…

forms to particulars…

value to fact…

the artist to his work, and

divine plan to human history

because these familiar problems seem to me to be less inexplicable  – I would put it no higher – in terms of this relation than in that of any other.

The relation of God to the world, I have suggested, also illustrates this relation. God is, in the first place, immanent. If He were not, we would have to reject the whole testimony of man’s spiritual experience according to which it is possible for us to make contact with a source of spiritual experience which, if we solicit its assistance by prayer, will help and strengthen us in the continual moral conflicts of which our lives here on earth are composed. The help and strengthening take the form of what we know as divine grace.

Moreover, unless God is immanent, we are left with the alternatives

(a) of a straightforward materialism which, if it admits spirit at all, treats it as epiphenomenal upon matter, or

(b) if we are prepared to admit the causal efficacy and partial independence of spirit, of envisaging the cosmos as a field in which a number of detached and isolated spirits originating we know not whence arbitrarily interfere with the movements of pieces of matter, either to no end at all – save that of perhaps their own self-satisfaction – or in pursuit of values which are themselves arbitrarily given, pieces of spiritual furniture which just happen to be lying about in the cosmos, their number being as arbitrary as their characteristics and the pattern of their arrangement, if any, which they constitute.

On the other hand, God cannot, I think, be wholly immanent for the reasons given…Briefly, they are that if God is wholly immanent;

(1) there is no even remotely tolerable explanation of the problem of evil.

(ii) it is impossible to set limits to God’s pervasion of the universe yet to assert that my toenail is also God, or part of God, seems to me to make nonsense of religion and to reduce the concept of God to meaninglessness.

Further, a wholly immanent God is fatally entangled in the death, whether from heat or cold, of the physical universe. But a God who is doomed to die with the world that he pervades is not the God of religious experience, nor is He a God whom man could worship.

If the transcendence-immanence relation be accepted, we cannot expect to comprehend its nature. One conclusion of great importance follows. If God created the world and is or may be immanent in it, it might be expected that He would from time to time intervene in its affairs, if only through the instrument of grace by means of which he works upon us. But it is also on this assumption quite reasonable to expect certain special interferences such as Christianity, with its record of the series of God’s mighty acts, affirms.

The culmination of these interferences, which is also the supreme expression of God’s immanence, is the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. The transcendence-immanence conception also covers Christ’s miracles, which may be interpreted as interferences by the spirit with the behaviour of matter in unforeseeable and inexplicable ways. It may even, though their acceptance is by no means necessary to the truth of Christianity, be extended to explain the stories of God’s interventions in the Old Testament.

All these – the Incarnation, the miracles, even the Old Testament stories – would only be special and dramatically picturesque examples of the functioning of a relation which, if the conception developed…can be accepted, is normal and continuous, but which transcends our powers of comprehension.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/poundhillnorthindependentcrawley/mega-instinct-the-moral-faculty-of-the-soul-t3525.html

May 1 2018 – “Transcendence-Immanence and the Soul” – A Restatement of Joad’s Christian Philosophy” by Richard W. Symonds

BY

RICHARD W. SYMONDS

IMG_1051 (1)

 

TRANSCENDENCE AND IMMANENCE AND THE SOUL

 

TWO ORDERS OF REALITY

The universe is to be conceived as two orders of reality , the material order – matter – consisting of people and things moving about in space and enduring, and a non-material order – non-matter – neither in space nor in time, which consists of a Creative Person or Trinity of Persons from which the material order derives its meaning and in terms of which it receives its explanation. 

This non-material order is fully real in some sense that the material order is less than real; it is also perfect in a sense in which the material order is morally imperfect. The eternal reality which is the non-material order is related to the material order. The nature of the relationship depends at least in part upon the living human souls which are denizens of the material order.

TRANSCENDENCE – IMMANENCE

Of the many difficilties of this explanation, that which touches the nature of the relationship between the two orders has historically provoked the most damaging criticism…

Briefly, the relation seems to me to be one both of transcendence and immanence.

IMG_1032

 

The non-material order, that is to say, is both other than and independent of the material order, and it is also present in the material order; it expresses itself in it, and makes it to a considerable extent what it is.

THE PERSONALITY

The whole personality is more than the sum of the parts upon whose combination, according to the account given by the sciences, it supervenes.

But suppose that to think of the personality as resulting from the concurrence of a number of parts was misleading from the first.

Suppose that the personality is logically prior and that the parts derive from it, in the sense that it is in the parts that it expresses itself and finds its embodiment.

At first, in the bodily part…A man’s nature…is thought to be expressed in his smile…Or a man’s nature is expressed in, and is deductible from, a grooved forehead and lines about the eyes; the eyes, we say, are the windows of the soul…

It is expressed, secondly, in his psychological life. His moods, tempers, hopes and fears are all, psychology teaches, expressions of a certain type of nature. They do not constitute the nature, they are the ways in which it shows itself.

All these are ways of expressing the truth that the personality is immanent within the ‘parts’, immanent in the bodily behaviour, immanent in the psychological moods. The ‘parts’are what they are because of their relation to one another and to the immanent whole which expresses itself in them. It is hard to think of the the ‘parts’ as existing separately from the informing personality,; in so far as they can be conceived of as doing so, they would, it is obvious, be different in isolation from what they are in the context of the personality.

THE SOUL

Christianity regards the whole which I have been calling the personality as an immortal soul which will survive the break-up of the body, even if it did not precede its formation.

If this is true, there is a sense in which the personality is more than its expressions both in the body and in the psyche, so that besides being immanent, it is also transcendent.

THE TRANSCENDENCE – IMMANENCE RELATION

In my view, the relation of the two orders of reality, referred to above, is a relation of this kind. I propose to develop this view as it bears upon certain well-known philosophical issues, namely:

The Relation of Body and Mind

The Relation of Universal and Particular

The Relation of Value and Fact,

The Relation of God and the World

QUANTUM THEORY

Quantum theorists suggest movements of matter do not obey the material laws of physics, and such ‘spooky’ phenomena is better explained in terms of transcendence-immanence.

CONCLUSIONS

I draw  three conclusions, first, that life, mind, spirit and value cannot be adequately conceived in material terms as off-shoots of, or emanations from matter; secondly, that they are non-spatial; thirdly, that on both counts, science is disabled from giving an adequate account of them – except in terms of applied quantum theory.

Starting from these conclusions as premises, I propose to give some account of the relations between the two orders, or levels, of reality to which, in my view, spirit and mind on the one hand and matter on the other respectively belong…

I say that the relation of God to the world, of spirit to matter, and of mind to brain, is the transcendence-immanence relation which I began by trying to describe…

THE HYPOTHESIS – MAN AS THREEFOLD

I venture to develop the hypothesis that there is included in the make-up of the human personality a timeless element. 

The hypothesis in question is as follows.

The traditional division of the human being is not twofold into mind and body, but threefold into mind, body and soul (or spirit).

I suggest that this traditional division may approximate more closely to the truth than any other.

THE SOUL (OR, SPIRIT)

The soul (or spirit) is the seat of personality, is, in fact, the essential self and is timeless.

In fulfilment of a purpose it is incarnated in a body, or, perhaps, in a number of successive bodies, and so intruded in the time order for a definable period or periods of time,

The soul (or spirit) so conceived is analogous to what the Hindus call the Atman, with the exception that, as Christianity has always insisted against Hinduism, it is inalienably individual. Its individuality, that is to say, is not merged after death in a sea of universal consciousness, but sustains immortality without losing its individuality.

The soul is normally inaccessible to us but I conceive that in certain psychological conditions the soul rises, as it were, into consciousness , or, more precisely, our normal everyday consciousness penetrates on occasion through to the soul.

i should suppose, though I speak without experience, that it is the soul which is the recipient of mystical experience; also, I imagine, of certain kinds of aesthetic experience. One does not, for example, have to be a mystic to respond to Charles Kingsley’s rhetorical question, “Have you not felt that your real soul was imperceptible to your immediate vision except in a few hallowed moments?”

Kingsley has just been describing the nearest thing to mystical experience of which most of us are capable or with which most of us, at any rate, are acquainted, namely, certain moments of transport or tranquillity that we enjoy in our intercourse with nature. His account so closely corresponds with my own experience that I venture to quote it “When I walk in the fields, I am oppressed now and then by with an innate feeling that everything I see has a meaning, if I could but understand it. And this feeling of being surrounded with truths that I cannot grasp amounts to indescribable awe sometimes.”

The concept of the soul, as I am seeking to describe it, obviously answers in certain respects to some psychologists’ descriptions of the unconscious. In certain respects but not in all.

The soul, as here conceived, has not, for example any affinity with the sexually pervaded unconscious whose denizens, the ‘libido’, the ‘id’ and so on dominate the thinking of the Freudian psycho-analysts.

Thete are, however, two respects in which what psychology, and notably Jungian psychology, has to tell us about the soul, tallies with what I am attempting here to convey.

First, the soul is the source of genius and the medium of inspiration. I have often been struck by the fact which has never, as far as I know, received adequate comment, that the spheres in which the infant prodigy appears are three and three only, namely music, chess and mathematics. It is significant that none of these spheres derives its material from life. What I would suggest is that children of outstanding capacity in these spheres bring something with them into this world, that this something has its origin and abiding place in what I am calling the soul and that, as experience of life at the ordinary level of consciousness accumulates, the soul and its precious inheritance is increasingly overlaid so that the gifts of the prodigy fade as adolescence approaches.

Secondly, it may be that the subconscious essence or foundation of our personality which I am identifying with the soul, is in touch with a something ‘more’. If there are higher spiritual agencies at work in the world, agencies which touch and quicken us, enriching us with what we call our gifts in inspiration and responding to our solicitations in prayer, their point of contact and communication with us, the point at which, as it were, they touch us, is the soul.

My view that this region is normally inaccessible to consciousness is consistent with the well known fact that we are often unaware of the sources of our inspiration and ignorant how the healing and strengthening influences that bear upon us when, as we say, our prayers are answered, do their work.

i am suggesting that the soul, which is normally an inaccessible region of our personality, is not only the medium, but the necessary medium through which this work is done.

God, to use the language of religion, influences man through his soul. The soul, then, is the vehicle of God’s immanence. It is that in respect of which we are, if not divine, at least in contact with the divine.

Thus, it is only when the hubbub of ordinary life and consciousness dies down that  as the Bible has it, the still small voice of God can make itself heard, heard that is to say, by the soul of which at the moment of being influenced, but only at that moment, we are conscious.

The phenomena of spiritual healing and spiritual regeneration are also most plausibly to be explained on the assumption that God, in response to prayer, acts upon us through the soul to heal the body and strengthen the mind.

THE MIND (OR PSYCHE)

Mind is brought into being in consequence of the contact of the soul with the natural, temporal order, which results from its incorporation in a physical body. It is brought initially into being in the form of ideas. More precisely, ideas emerge on the combination of soul with body much as water emerges on the combination of oxygen and hydrogen, and it is the cluster of these emerging ideas which constitute a mind.

Since a mind comes into existence as a by-product of the soul’s incarnation in matter, its existence is temporary only. Moreover, it is not in the mind that the unity of the person resides, so that the arguments advanced by Hume and later by William James, against the conception of the substantial or united self, arguments which at the level of psychology it is extremely difficult to rebut, are beside the point, seeing that the unity of the self resides elsewhere, resides, in fact, in a region which is normally inaccessible to consciousness.

THE ‘BUNDLE’ THEORY OF THE MIND

To put the point in another way, soul or spirit, when brought into contact with matter by incarnation in a body, expresses itself initially in a succession of ideas. A mind is simply the bundle of ideas which constitute it at any given moment. Hence ideas are primitive and mind derivative.

SUMMARY

These various suggestions all pre-suppose a particular view of the relation between the mind and the body or, as I would prefer to put it, between the soul and the body. The relation in question is a particular case of the general transcendence-immanence relation which, I am suggesting, constitutes a more fruitful explanatory hypothesis of the phenomena of the material world.

In brief, I am suggesting that the individual soul, or spirit, transcends the body in the sense of bmeing other than it, of being independent of it and in all probability of surviving it. It is, nevertheless, immanent in the body in the sense that for a limited   period and no doubt for a special purpose the soul is incarnated in matter.

How this comes about, and what the resultant relation between soul and body could be, might be explicable in terms of quantum theory. But, if the transcendence-immanence relation is devised by a divine mind, we may never know.

The incarnated soul expresses itself in ideas; these ideas cluster in bundles and are known to us under the name of mind or consciousness, whose interaction with the body constitutes our nornal mode of conscious experience.

The closeness of the clustering varies from one individual to another, and ideas may become detached from the bundle to which they normally belong and associate themselves temporarily with other bodies and brains and even with non-cerebral matter.

It is in this tendency of ideas to wander, as it were, from the cluster to which they normally belong that the more plausible explanation of many super-normal phenomena is likely to be found.

PLATO’S FORMS AND VALUES

It will have been quickly apparent to those familiar to philosophy that arguments used from time to time…have a Platonic flavour, nor is it dificult to see that the two-level structure of the universe…and in particular the transcendence-immanence relation between the two levels of reality, is conceived fairly closely on Platonic lines…the Forms belong, as Plato holds that they do, to a supernatural world, more particularly if…what we call the Values – and it is under this term that the Forms may, I think, be most appropriately referred to in respect of their most outstanding manifestations as Truth, Goodness and Beauty – are the modes of God’s revelation of His nature to man.

For if that is, indeed, the case, the relation must be regarded as the immanence of a transcendent Being in a medium which, though it manifests, is itself other than, the Being manifested.

Now, we cannot, I suggest, expect to achieve a ‘know-how’ of the mode of manifestation of a Divine Being…although quantum theory may provide valuable insights.

VALUE AND FACT

Proclaiming the existence of the values of Truth, Goodness and Beauty, thinkers have…unduly emphasised their apartness from and transcendence of the familiar world. The invisble world of values has floated like an impotent mirage above the solid world of moving matter. Thus, the world of values was dismissed as being merely abstarct, a figment of thought or a refuge from the vulgarities and deficiencies of the world of fact. The values, in short, were the philosopher’s version of’pie in the sky’. That they are transcendent is, indeed, the case, for they are…the forms under which God permits Himself to be revealed to man. ‘In ultimates,’ as Goethe said, ‘we see God.’ But they are also immanent.

GOODNESS

Consider, for example, the value Goodness…goodness is not only transcendent but immanent, being the source of that in us which aspires after greater goodness – a point, this, which Plato was surely trying to bring out when he spoke of the individual soul as not only modelling itself upon the Form of goodness as its exemplar, but also partaking of it in the sense that the soul was the medium of the Form’s manifestation.

As with Goodness, so with Beauty; it is the presence of beauty in works of art which causes them to have value. Consider a picture…It is not, unless and until it becomes immanent in matter, that the artist’s ‘idea’ achieves value. Yet the idea transcends the matter in which it finds expression. ‘Hamlet’ would still be a play even if there were no books to print it in, or actors to speak the lines…

THE VALUES OF SCIENCE

The transcendence-immanence formula for the relation of value to fact can also be applied to the values of science – especially quantum theory. For science, too, has its values – coherence, for example, order, relation, even elegance and that canon of economy which, given tow or more hypotheses, each of which covers the facts, prescribes the choice of the most economical. These are truly values in the sense that their discovery and establishment may be said to constitute the end at which the scientist aims. having established them, he formulates them in laws which purport to determine the behaviour of phenomena not immediately under his observation, and to predict the behaviour of phenomena which have not yet occurred…

These, then, which are the ‘values’ of scienc, are not imposed by the scientist but are presented in the phenomena which the scientist studies. What is more, they are discovered as presented. In other words they are immanent; but since no particular configuration of matter on any particular occasion exhausts them, they are also transcendent. Thus, the world studied by science cannot be reduced without remainder to material particles in motion. It contains also non-material laws which the particles obey, and these non-material laws constitute the values of science.

GOD AND THE WORLD

I would suggest that the various examples I have considered are paralleled by the relation of God to the world, a relation of which they constitute special cases. I do not want to stress the analogy between God and the artist to the point of asserting a metaphysical dualism, yet there is much in the universe to encourage us to think of God’s creation after the same fashion as that of the artist.

Genesis, no doubt, tells us that ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth’, created them, that is to say, not as the artist creates in a subject matter which precedes and is other than his creation, but created them out of nothing. Nevertheless, granted the prior existence of the subject matter, whatever its origin [Note 1 – I suggest a logical and, perhaps, a chronological priority for the creation by God of the brute material stuff of the universe], the mode of God’s subsequent creativity would appear to illustrate the transcendence-immanence formula. The Incarnation of Christ, whereby the Word was made flesh would, on this view, be no more than a particular and extreme case of such creative immanence.  

God’s relation to the world, in so far as it is a relation of immanence, would also typify the other stances of the transcendence-immanence relation at which I have glanced in respect of the fact that the method of the ‘entering in’ is unknown to us and will presumably remain so. 

So, too, with the Incarnation of Christ. We do not understand how it could have happened. If we did, it would not be a miracle, nor would the so-called miracles of Christ be miraculous. Yet if the general line is followed…the miracles are a particular case of the immanence of the divine in matter and we have, therefore, no right to expect them to be intelligible. At the same time we have no more right to dismiss them because they are not intelligible, than we have to write off the mind as a by-product of the brain, merely because its mode of interaction with the brain passes our comprehension…

THE SURD ELEMENT

I am suggesting, then, that the facts of experience may be most satisfactorily covered by the hypothesis that God and God’s creatures are not all, but there is also matter [the surd element – Ed], a brute, intractable stuff derived we know not whence – save that it, too, must have originally proceeded from God – and that our souls are emanations of the divine temporarily incarnated in matter…This might be explicable – to a considerable extent – in terms of quantum theory.

CONCLUSION, GOD AND THE WORLD

It is time to draw these scattered observations to a point.

I have sought to exemplify what I have called the transcendence-immanence relation in the relation of

mind to body…

forms to particulars…

value to fact…

the artist to his work, and

divine plan to human history

because these familiar problems seem to me to be less inexplicable  – I would put it no higher – in terms of this relation than in that of any other.

The relation of God to the world, I have suggested, also illustrates this relation. God is, in the first place, immanent. If He were not, we would have to reject the whole testimony of man’s spiritual experience according to which it is possible for us to make contact with a source of spiritual experience which, if we solicit its assistance by prayer, will help and strengthen us in the continual moral conflicts of which our lives here on earth are composed. The help and strengthening take the form of what we know as divine grace.

Moreover, unless God is immanent, we are left with the alternatives

(a) of a straightforward materialism which, if it admits spirit at all, treats it as epiphenomenal upon matter, or

(b) if we are prepared to admit the causal efficacy and partial independence of spirit, of envisaging the cosmos as a field in which a number of detached and isolated spirits originating we know not whence arbitrarily interfere with the movements of pieces of matter, either to no end at all – save that of perhaps their own self-satisfaction – or in pursuit of values which are themselves arbitrarily given, pieces of spiritual furniture which just happen to be lying about in the cosmos, their number being as arbitrary as their characteristics and the pattern of their arrangement, if any, which they constitute.

On the other hand, God cannot, I think, be wholly immanent for the reasons given…Briefly, they are that if God is wholly immanent;

(1) there is no even remotely tolerable explanation of the problem of evil.

(ii) it is impossible to set limits to God’s pervasion of the universe yet to assert that my toenail is also God, or part of God, seems to me to make nonsense of religion and to reduce the concept of God to meaninglessness.

Further, a wholly immanent God is fatally entangled in the death, whether from heat or cold, of the physical universe. But a God who is doomed to die with the world that he pervades is not the God of religious experience, nor is He a God whom man could worship.

If the transcendence-immanence relation be accepted, we cannot expect to comprehend its nature. One conclusion of great importance follows. If God created the world and is or may be immanent in it, it might be expected that He would from time to time intervene in its affairs, if only through the instrument of grace by means of which he works upon us. But it is also on this assumption quite reasonable to expect certain special interferences such as Christianity, with its record of the series of God’s mighty acts, affirms.

The culmination of these interferences, which is also the supreme expression of God’s immanence, is the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. The transcendence-immanence conception also covers Christ’s miracles, which may be interpreted as interferences by the spirit with the behaviour of matter in unforeseeable and inexplicable ways. It may even, though their acceptance is by no means necessary to the truth of Christianity, be extended to explain the stories of God’s interventions in the Old Testament.

All these – the Incarnation, the miracles, even the Old Testament stories – would only be special and dramatically picturesque examples of the functioning of a relation which, if the conception developed…can be accepted, is normal and continuous, but which transcends our powers of comprehension.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Source: “The Recovery of Belief – A Restatement of Christian Philosophy” by C.E.M. Joad – Faber and Faber 1952 – pp 182-283]

 

Advertisements

Occasionally, some of your visitors may see an advertisement here
You can hide these ads completely by upgrading to one of our paid plans.

UPGRADE NOW DISMISS MESSAGE

Leave a Reply

April 2018 – “A Restatement of Christian Philosophy” by C.E.M. Joad [to mark his 65th Anniversary]

“A RESTATEMENT OF CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY”

BY

C.E.M. JOAD

index

 

TRANSCENDENCE AND IMMANENCE

 

TWO ORDERS OF REALITY

Having considered and rejected a number of views as to the nature and interpretation of the cosmos, I shall try…to state the one which seems to me to be open to the fewest objections. It is, briefly, what I take to be the traditional Christian view, namely, that the universe is to be conceived as two orders of reality , the natural order, consisting of people and things moving about in space and enduring, and a supernatural order neither in space nor in time, which consists of a Creative Person or Trinity of Personsfrom which the natural order derives its meaning and in terms of which it receives its explanation. 

This supernatural order is fully real in some sense that the natural order is less than real; it is also perfect in a sense in which the natural order is morally imperfect. The eternal reality which is the supernatural order is related to the natural order. The nature of the relationship depends at least in part upon the living human souls which are denizens of the natural order. It is of great importance – at least to them – to ensure that the relation is a right one….

Of the various explanations of the universe that have been proffered, this, though far from exhaustive, and resting to a large extent on speculative hypotheses which those who hold it receives on ‘faith’, covers, in my view, a wider area of the facts given than any other.

TRANSCENDENCE – IMMANENCE

Of the many difficilties of this explanation, that which touches the nature of the relationship between the two orders has historically provoked the most damaging criticism…

Briefly, the relation seems to me to be one both of transcendence and immanence.

IMG_1032

 

The supernatural order, that is to say, is both other than and independent of the natural order, and it is also present in the natural order; it expresses itself in it, and makes it to a considerable extent what it is.

I will begin by trying to illustrate this undoubtedly difficult conception.

THE PERSONALITY

Consider the movement of a sonata…

Consider now a personality…

The whole personality is, then, more than the sum of the parts upon whose combination, according to the account given by the sciences, it supervenes.

But suppose that to think of the personality as resulting from the concurrence of a number of parts was misleading from the first.

Suppose that the personality is logically prior and that the parts derive from it, in the sense that it is in the parts that it expresses itself and finds its embodiment.

At first, in the bodily part…A man’s nature…is thought to be expressed in his smile…Or a man’s nature is expressed in, and is deductible from, a grooved forehead and lines about the eyes; the eyes, we say, are the windows of the soul…

It is expressed, secondly, in his psychological life. His moods, tempers, hopes and fears are all, psychology teaches, expressions of a certain type of nature. The do not constitute the nature, they are the ways in which it shows itself.

All these are ways of expressing the truth that the personality is immanent within the ‘parts’, immanent in the bodily behaviour, immanent in the psychological moods. The ‘parts’, as in the case of the other illustrations, are what they are because of their relation to one another and to the immanent whole which expresses itself in them. In the case of this illustration, it is hard to think of the the ‘parts’ as existing separately from the informing personality,; in so far as they can be conceived of as doing so, they would, it is obvious, be different in isolation from what they are in the context of the personality.

THE SOUL

Christianity regards the whole which I have been calling the personality as an immortal soul which will survive the break-up of the body, even if it did not precede its formation.

If this is true, there is a sense in which the personality is more than its expressions both in the body and in the psyche, so that besides being immanent, it is also transcendent.

THE TRANSCENDENCE – IMMANENCE RELATION

I have tried by means of these…examples to illustrate  – I have not, it is obvious, explained  – the transcendence-immanence relation.

In my view, the relation of the two orders of reality, referred to above, is a relation of this kind. I propose to develop this view as it bears upon certain well-known philosophical issues, namely:

The Relation of Body and Mind

The Relation of Universal and Particular

The Relation of Value and Fact,

The Relation of God and the World

Interpretations in terms of the transcendence-immanence relation will be suggested…

HEISENBERG AND QUANTUM THEORY

Now nothing, so far as I am aware, has been advanced by either physicists or biologists to suggest that the movements of matter do not obey the laws of physics and chemistry and are not, therefore, determined [with the possible exception of the movements of microscopic particles – Heisenberg’s “Priniple  of Indeterminacy” affords perhaps a possible example]…

CONCLUSIONS

I draw  three conclusions, first, that life, mind, spirit and value cannot be adequately conceived in material terms as off-shoots of, or emanations from matter; secondly, that they are non-spatial; thirdly, that on both counts, science is disabled from giving an adequate account of them.

Starting from these conclusions as premises, I propose to give some account of the relations between the two orders, or levels, of reality to which, in my view, spirit and mind on the one hand and matter on the otherrespectively belong…

I say that the relation of God to the world, of spirit to matter, and of mind to brain, is the transcendence-immanence relation which I began by trying to describe…

THE HYPOTHESIS – MAN AS THREEFOLD

I venture to develop in an admittedly purely speculative direction the hypothesis that there is included in the make-up of the human personality a timeless element. My excuse is that, where so much is in any event speculative, the fact we should be in a position to urge on behalf of a particular speculative hypothesis that, if it were true, it would cover a number of facts which seem to be inexplicable on any other, is not to be lightly dismissed.

The hypothesis in question is as follows.

The traditional division of the human being is not twofold into mind and body, but threefold into mind, body and soul (or spirit).

I suggest that this traditional division may approximate more closely to the truth than any other.

THE SOUL (OR, SPIRIT)

The soul (or spirit) is the seat of personality, is, in fact, the essential self and is timeless.

In fulfilment of a purpose it is incarnated in a body, or, perhaps, in a number of successive bodies, and so intruded in the time order for a definable period or periods of time,

The soul (or spirit) so conceived is analogous to what the Hindus call the Atman, with the exception that, as Christianity has always insisted against Hinduism, it is inalienably individual. Its individuality, that is to say, is not merged after death in a sea of universal consciousness, but sustains immortality without losing its individuality.

The soul is normally inaccessible to us but I conceive that in certain psychological conditions the soul rises, as it were, into consciousness , or, more precisely, our normal everyday consciousness penetrates on occasion through to the soul.

i should suppose, though I speak without experience, that it is the soul which is the recipient of mystical experience; also, I imagine, of certain kinds of aesthetic experience. One does not, for example, have to be a mystic to respond to Charles Kingsley’s rhetorical question, “Have you not felt that your real soul was imperceptible to your immediate vision except in a few hallowed moments?”

Kingsley has just been describing the nearest thing to mystical experience of which most of us are capable or with which most of us, at any rate, are acquainted, namely, certain moments of transport or tranquillity that we enjoy in our intercourse with nature. His account so closely corresponds with my own experience that I venture to quote it “When I walk in the fields, I am oppressed now and then by with an innate feeling that everything I see has a meaning, if I could but understand it. And this feeling of being surrounded with truths that I cannot grasp amounts to indescribable awe sometimes.”

The concept of the soul, as I am seeking to describe it, obviously answers in certain respects to some psychologists’ descriptions of the unconscious. In certain respects but not in all.

The soul, as here conceived, has not, for example any affinity with the sexually pervaded unconscious whose denizens, the ‘libido’, the ‘id’ and so on dominate the thinking of the Freudian psycho-analysts.

Thete are, however, two respects in which what psychology, and notably Jungian psychology, has to tell us about the soul, tallies with what I am attempting here to convey.

First, the soul is the source of genius and the medium of inspiration. I have often been struck by the fact which has never, as far as I know, received adequate comment, that the spheres in which the infant prodigy appears are three and three only, namely music, chess and mathematics. It is significant that none of these spheres derives its material from life. What I would suggest is that children of outstanding capacity in these spheres bring something with them into this world, that this something has its origin and abiding place in what I am calling the soul and that, as experience of life at the ordinary level of consciousness accumulates, the soul and its precious inheritance is increasingly overlaid so that the gifts of the prodigy fade as adolescence approaches.

Secondly, it may be that the subconscious essence or foundation of our personality which I am identifying with the soul, is in touch with a something ‘more’. If there are higher spiritual agencies at work in the world, agencies which touch and quicken us, enriching us with what we call our gifts in inspiration and responding to our solicitations in prayer, their point of contact and communication with us, the point at which, as it were, they touch us, is the soul.

My view that this region is normally inaccessible to consciousness is consistent with the well known fact that we are often unaware of the sources of our inspiration and ignorant how the healing and strengthening influences that bear upon us when, as we say, our prayers are answered, do their work.

i am suggesting that the soul, which is normally an inaccessible region of our personality, is not only the medium, but the necessary medium through which this work is done.

God, to use the language of religion, influences man hrough his soul. The soul, then, is the vehicle of God’s immanence. It is that in respect of which we are, if not divine, at least in contact with the divine.

Thus, it is only when the hubbub of ordinary life and consciousness dies down that  as the Bible has it, the still small voice of God can make itself heard, heard that is to say, by the soul of which at the moment of being influenced, but only at that moment, we are conscious.

The phenomena of spiritual healing and spiritual regeneration are also most plausibly to be explained on the assumption that God, in response to prayer, acts upon us through the soul to heal the body and strengthen the mind.

THE MIND (OR PSYCHE)

Mind is brought into being in consequence of the contact of the soul with the natural, temporal order, which results from its incorporation in a physical body. It is brought initially into being in the form of ideas. More precisely, ideas emerge on the combination of soul with body much as water emerges on the combination of oxygen and hydrogen, and it is the cluster of these emerging ideas which constitute a mind.

Since a mind comes into existence as a by-product of the soul’s incarnation in matter, its existence is temporary only. Moreover, it is not in the mind that the unity of the person resides, so that the arguments advanced by Hume and later by William James, against the conception of the substantial or united self, arguments which at the level of psychology it is extremely difficult to rebut, are beside the point, seeing that the unity of the self resides elsewhere, resides, in fact, in a region which is normally inaccessible to consciousness.

THE ‘BUNDLE’ THEORY OF THE MIND

To put the point in another way, soul or spirit, when brought into contact with matter by incarnation in a body, expresses itself initially in a succession of ideas. A mind is simply the bundle of ideas which constitute it at any given moment. Hence ideas are primitive and mind derivative.

SUMMARY

These various suggestions all pre-suppose a particular view of the relation between the mind and the body or, as I would prefer to put it, between the soul and the body. The relation in question is a particular case of the general transcendence-immanence relation which, I am suggesting, constitutes the most fruitful explanatory hypothesis of the phenomena of the natural world that the mind of man has yet hit upon.

In brief, I am suggesting that the individual soul, or spirit, transcends the body in the sense of bmeing other than it, of being independent of it and in all probability of surviving it. It is, nevertheless, immanent in the body in the sense that for a limited   period and no doubt for a special purpose the soul is incarnated in matter.

How this comes about, and what the resultant relation between soul and body may be, we do not know and, if I am right in thinking that the relation is devised by a divine mind, will probably never know.

The incarnated soul expresses itself in ideas; these ideas cluster in bundles and are known to us under the name of mind or consciousness, whose interaction with the body constitutes our nornal mode of conscious experience.

The closeness of the clustering varies from one individual to anouther, and ideas may become detached from the bundle to which they normally belong and associate themselves temporarily with other bodies and brains and even with non-cerebral matter.

It is in this tendency of ideas to wander, as it were, from the cluster to which they normally belong that the more plausible explanation of many super-normal phenomena is likely to be found.

I venture to add that none of the explanations of these phenomena that rely upon and confine themselves to the concepts normally employed by the sciences seem even remotely satisfactory. Hence science has either to ignore these phenomena or to write them off as illusory…

PLATO’S FORMS AND VALUES

It will have been quickly apparent to those familiar to philosophy that arguments used from time to time…have a Platonic flavour, nor is it dificult to see that the two-level structure of the universe…and in particular the transcendence-immanence relation between the two levels of reality, is conceived fairly closely on Platonic lines…the Forms belong, as Plato holds that they do, to a supernatural world, more particularly if…what we call the Values – and it is under this term that the Forms may, I think, be most appropriately referred to in respect of their most outstanding manifestations as Truth, Goodness and Beauty – are the modes of God’s revelation of His nature to man.

For if that is, indeed, the case, the relation must be regarded as the immanence of a transcendent Being in a medium which, though it manifests, is itself other than, the Being manifested.

Now, we cannot, I suggest, expect to achieve a ‘know-how’ of the mode of manifestation of a Divine Being…

VALUE AND FACT

Proclaiming the existence of the values of Truth, Goodness and Beauty, thinkers have…unduly emphasised their apartness from and transcendence of the familiar world. The invisble world of values has floated like an impotent mirage above the solid world of moving matter. Thus, the world of values was dismissed as being merely abstarct, a figment of thought or a refuge from the vulgarities and deficiencies of the world of fact. The values, in short, were the philosopher’s version of’pie in the sky’. That they are transcendent is, indeed, the case, for they are…the forms under which God permits Himself to be revealed to man. ‘In ultimates,’ as Goethe said, ‘we see God.’ But they are also immanent.

GOODNESS

Consider, for example, the value Goodness…goodness is not only transcendent but immanent, being the source of that in us which aspires after greater goodness – a point, this, which Plato was surely trying to bring out when he spoke of the individual soul as not only modelling itself upon the Form of goodness as its exemplar, but also partaking of it in the sense that the soul was the medium of the Form’s manifestation.

As with Goodness, so with Beauty; it is the presence of beauty in works of art which causes them to have value. Consider a picture…It is not, unless and until it becomes immanent in matter, that the artist’s ‘idea’ achieves value. Yet the idea transcends the matter in which it finds expression. ‘Hamlet’ would still be a play even if there were no books to print it in, or actors to speak the lines…

THE VALUES OF SCIENCE

The transcendence-immanence formula for the relation of value to fact can also be applied to the values of science. For science, too, has its values – coherence, for example, order, relation, even elegance and that canon of economy which, given tow or more hypotheses, each of which covers the facts, prescribes the choice of the most economical. These are truly values in the sense that their discovery and establishment may be said to constitute the end at which the scientist aims. having established them, he formulates them in laws which purport to determine the behaviour of phenomena not immediately under his observation, and to predict the behaviour of phenomena which have not yet occurred…

These, then, which are the ‘values’ of scienc, are not imposed by the scientist but are presented in the phenomena which the scientist studies. What is more, they are discovered as presented. In other words they are immanent; but since no particular configuration of matter on any particular occasion exhausts them, they are also transcendent. Thus, the world studied by science cannot be reduced without remainder to material particles in motion. It contains also non-material laws which the particles obey, and these non-material laws constitute the values of science.

GOD AND THE WORLD

I would suggest that the various examples I have considered are paralleled by the relation of God to the world, a relation of which they constitute special cases. I do not want to stress the analogy between God and the artist to the point of asserting a metaphysical dualism, yet there is much in the universe to encourage us to think of God’s creation after the same fashion as that of the artist.

Genesis, no doubt, tells us that ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth’, created them, that is to say, not as the artist creates in a subject matter which precedes and is other than his creation, but created them out of nothing. Nevertheless, granted the prior existence of the subject matter, whatever its origin [Note 1 – I suggest a logical and, perhaps, a chronological priority for the creation by God of the brute material stuff of the universe], the mode of God’s subsequent creativity would appear to illustrate the transcendence-immanence formula. The Incarnation of Christ, whereby the Word was made flesh would, on this view, be no more than a particular and extreme case of such creative immanence.  

God’s relation to the world, in so far as it is a relation of immanence, would also typify the other stances of the transcendence-immanence relation at which I have glanced in respect of the fact that the method of the ‘entering in’ is unknown to us and will presumably remain so. 

So, too, with the Incarnation of Christ. We do not understand how it could have happened. If we did, it would not be a miracle, nor would the so-called miracles of Christ be miraculous. Yet if the general line is followed…the miracles are a particular case of the immanence of the divine in matter and we have, therefore, no right to expect them to be intelligible. At the same time we have no more right to dismiss them because they are not intelligible, than we have to write off the mind as a by-product of the brain, merely because its mode of interaction with the brain passes our comprehension…

THE SURD ELEMENT

I am suggesting, then, that the facts of experience may be most satisfactorily covered by the hypothesis that God and God’s creatures are not all, but there is also matter [the surd element – Ed], a brute, intractable stuff derived we know not whence – save that it, too, must have originally proceeded from God – and that our souls are emanations of the divine temporarily incarnated in matter…

CONCLUSION, GOD AND THE WORLD

It is time to draw these scattered observations to a point.

I have sought to exemplify what I have called the transcendence-immanence relation in the relation of

mind to body…

forms to particulars…

value to fact…

the artist to his work, and

divine plan to human history

because these familiar problems seem to me to be less inexplicable  – I would put it no higher – in terms of this relation than in that of any other.

The relation of God to the world, I have suggested, also illustrates this relation. God is, in the first place, immanent. If He were not, we would have to reject the whole testimony of man’s spiritual experience according to which it is possible for us to make contact with a source of spiritual experience which, if we solicit its assistance by prayer, will help and strengthen us in the continual moral conflicts of which our lives here on earth are composed. The help and strengthening take the form of what we know as divine grace.

Moreover, unless God is immanent, we are left with the alternatives

(a) of a straightforward materialism which, if it admits spirit at all, treats it as epiphenomenal upon matter, or

(b) if we are prepared to admit the causal efficacy and partial independence of spirit, of envisaging the cosmos as a field in which a number of detached and isolated spirits originating we know not whence arbitrarily interfere with the movements of pieces of matter, either to no end at all – save that of perhaps their own self-satisfaction – or in pursuit of values which are themselves arbitrarily given, pieces of spiritual furniture which just happen to be lying about in the cosmos, their number being as arbitrary as their characteristics and the pattern of their arrangement, if any, which they constitute.

On the other hand, God cannot, I think, be wholly immanent for the reasons given…Briefly, they are that if God is wholly immanent;

(1) there is no even remotely tolerable explanation of the problem of evil.

(ii) it is impossible to set limits to God’s pervasion of the universe yet to assert that my toenail is also God, or part of God, seems to me to make nonsense of religion and to reduce the concept of God to meaninglessness.

Further, a wholly immanent God is fatally entangled in the death, whether from heat or cold, of the physical universe. But a God who is doomed to die with the world that he pervades is not the God of religious experience, nor is He a God whom man could worship.

If the transcendence-immanence relation be accepted, we cannot expect to comprehend its nature. One conclusion of great importance follows. If God created the world and is or may be immanent in it, it might be expected that He would from time to time intervene in its affairs, if only through the instrument of grace by means of which he works upon us. But it is also on this assumption quite reasonable to expect certain special interferences such as Christianity, with its record of the series of God’s mighty acts, affirms.

The culmination of these interferences, which is also the supreme expression of God’s immanence, is the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. The transcendence-immanence conception also covers Christ’s miracles, which may be interpreted as interferences by the spirit with the behaviour of matter in unforeseeable and inexplicable ways. It may even, though their acceptance is by no means necessary to the truth of Christianity, be extended to explain the stories of God’s interventions in the Old Testament.

All these – the Incarnation, the miracles, even the Old Testament stories – would only be special and dramatically picturesque examples of the functioning of a relation which, if the conception developed…can be accepted, is normal and continuous, but which transcends our powers of comprehension.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Source: “The Recovery of Belief – A Restatement of Christian Philosophy” by C.E.M. Joad – Faber and Faber 1952 – pp 182-283]

 

March 24 2018 – “Rehabilitating Joad” – Philosophical Investigations – Thomas Scarborough

http://www.philosophical-investigations.org/2018/03/rehabilitating-joad.html

Monday, 19 March 2018

Rehabilitating Joad

Posted by Thomas Scarborough

“Poor Joad,” said the journalist John Guest, summing up the life of the late British philosopher on the BBC. The hapless C.E.M. Joad, who gained immense popularity on radio and TV, fell finally into disrepute and obscurity.

The Times of London, in its obituary, seemed to seal his final fate: “He had no interesting contribution to make as a philosopher.” Today, the dictionaries of philosophy would seem to confirm it. It is a rare dictionary in which we find his name.

Personally, I think that Joad was badly overlooked – perhaps because his very popularity detracted from his reputation as a serious thinker. Popularity was indeed, in a sense, what he wanted – not merely for popularity’s sake, but because his interest was to reach the “common man”.

Cyril Edwin Mitchinson Joad had two great and timely insights, writing at a time where philosophy was parting ways with ethics through the creeping effects of Hume’s fact-value distinction, and above all, through logical positivism. The recession of religion provided fertile ground for the same.

Firstly, he recognised that the problem of the time was the loss of ethics. Above all, he saw that philosophy had lost ethics, and would be impotent until it reclaimed it. In The Plight of Civilisation, written in 1941, Joad set out the problem like this:

“To an age governed by the stomach-and-pocket view of life and accustomed to demand of every activity proffered for its approval that it shall deliver the goods, understanding seems no doubt an inadequate object of pursuit. Yet something is, it is obvious, grievously wrong with our civilisation, and it is high time we set about the business of trying to understand what it is. Science has won for us powers fit for the gods, yet we bring to their use the mentality of schoolboys or savages.”

In his verdict, society was “grievously wrong”.  In spite of “powers fit for the gods”, men and women had lost their moral compass. Many people agreed with him then, and many surely still would today. Because, in every major area where it matters, it seems that we are in serious crisis: personal, political, social, and environmental.

With this in mind, Joad developed a unique approach to ethics – but it seems to have all but disappeared today. I needed to search far on the Internet to find what I had once read in books. Eventually, I found some of his texts in the Delhi University Library, but they were fragmented through erratic optical character recognition.

A widespread view of moral epistemology is that morality cannot be rationally grounded. Not only is it impossible to proceed from an “is” to an “ought” as Hume originally said. If we ask after the reasons why we do things – and the reasons which lie behind those reasons – ultimately we find that there is nothing there at all.

Not so, said Joad. Rather than finding nothing, we find everything. Joad innovatively turned the argument on its head. I read this first in his Guide To The Philosophy Of Morals And Politics of 1938 – however it runs through various of his works. Supposing, he said, that I take quinine for a fever:

“Quinine helps, in other words, to reduce fever; but why reduce fever? Because fever is a disease. But why not be diseased? Because health is better than disease. Why is health better than disease? At this point we may refuse to answer; we just see, we may say, that health is better than disease, and that is all there is to say about it. But in saying ‘we just see’ health to be better than disease, we are absolving ourselves from the necessity of saying why we see it to be so.”

It is at this point, he writes, that “we cease to give reasons and fall back upon the assertion ‘we just see’.” That is, when we ask after our motives, we may keep on pushing back the question, yet inevitably we reach a point where we throw up our hands and laugh. But now, he says, we are passing a judgment of “absolute, ultimate, and unique value.”

Yet we do not discover a void. Rather we discover the true axioms of ethics. On condition, that is, that we sift ultimate from penultimate axioms – over which Joad himself took great care.

This view seems to me to be unique. It seems to me to meld reason and value, scepticism and realism. It differs from ethical intuitionism, empiricism, rationalism, pragmatism, and various other views – and for its perspicacity would seem to make Joad deserving of a place on the philosophical map. I believe that he identified and addressed the most profound philosophical issues of his and our day, and did so originally and creditably.


For further reading:
Return to Philosophy (1935)
Guide to the Philosophy of Morals and Politics (1938)

5 comments:

Martin Cohen said…

I’m not sure that there really is an infinite regress of explanations. Isn’t the issue about going back to a point where either there is a contradiction in your own views, or the questioner agrees that they also share your reasoning?

Thomas Scarborough said…

It seems to me that Joad holds a moral universalism. Following his quote on quinine, he notes: ‘Most people would be prepared to make this judgment.’

With regard to infinite regress, it seems to me that Joad is in a stronger position than the crowd. The ‘crowd’ says, there is infinite regress — call it terminal regress — therefore it is ultimately vacuous. Joad would seem to say, there was something to it all along, so why say that the final step nullifies all the steps that got one there? To quote Joad (1938):

‘Are such [ultimate] statements, then, and are the judgments which underlie them untrue? It does not follow that they are.’

Keith said…

To preface, my observation is perhaps mundane. But when I read Joad’s quote about the effectiveness of quinine and the questions “But why not be diseased?” and then “Why is health better than disease?”, I grinned. My mind turned to how young children not infrequently lapse into doggedly questioning their parents, seeking — exhaustively but naturally craving, even — a satisfying explanation. I’m referring to that notorious series of ‘Why?’, ‘Why?’, ‘Why?’ questions that all parents learn, with a smile, to endure — at first offering sincere answers with attempted substance, but ultimately trying to close off the spigot of ‘whys’ with the lonely but definitive word ‘Because’. In their own unintentional, innocent way, aren’t young children, with their never-ending ‘whys’, engaging in what one might call ‘infinite regress’ in search of original explanation? And in their own way, aren’t parents, with their eventual, exasperated declaration of ‘because’, engaging in what one might call ‘universalism’, even if only circuitously so?

Martin Cohen said…

I agree with Keith that there is a childish side to the debate. When we ask a question, we use language and hence we have already accepted a whole host of rules and assumptions. To then use language to pretend that we accept nothing is contradictory. For example, someone might say an elephant weighs more than a mouse, to which the questioner says ‘why’, we say because it is composed of many more atoms, to which they say what about a cloud, etc etc… “Equivocation”. But more is greater than less, might be the assumption. To which the ‘why’ response, although possible, is somehow disonest.

Tessa den Uyl said…

Thank you Thomas for letting me know Joad, of whom I had never heard before. Reading the suggested readings below, still this comment draws on what you gentleman have written here (and might be out of place).

Not completely understanding the why’s regress that Keith mentions, and together with Martin’s acceptance of assumptions, isn’t the question if health is better than disease something more than just a yes or no or because? Without disease we cannot look for cure or the cause, then are we sure about the cause that we think to be the cause, and is disease not important for various reasons, to learn about biology, science? Psychologically, disease shows us various aspects about life that might change our view on life. From more points of view disease is important to us, and not only something to avoid. What I do not understand then, is the childish question in regard. Health would be worth nothing without disease or vice versa, we grow healthy because of disease but until this day, this does not mean we understand what health and disease actually are, we only decided to understand this within a set of presumptions, and should we stop there? If there is dishonesty to the why question, like you mention Martin, that is only when an assumption stops to be questioned, or not? Is that childish?

December 2 2017 – Philosophy As Therapy [PAT] – Jungian or Joadian ?

http://www.ucobserver.org/society/2017/12/freud/

Move over, Freud

Philosopher-therapists are using their abstract discipline to help people lead more meaningful lives

By Ian Coutts

Who am I? What is right? How should I live my life? Everyone asks these questions at some point or another. Joanna Polley helps her clients answer them.But Polley is not a psychotherapist, nor does she use the techniques of any particular school of psychology or follow Carl Jung or Sigmund Freud or other giants of psychoanalysis. Instead, Polley’s tools are the writings and ideas of the great thinkers in the eastern and western traditions, stretching back to the ancient Greeks and ultimately to Socrates, whose directive “Know thyself” might make him history’s first therapist.

A philosophical therapist, Polley is part of a small movement of philosophers who are turning their abstract academic discipline into a method of helping people lead happier, better, more effective lives. They perhaps draw inspiration from Epicurus, the ancient Greek philosopher, who said, “There is no benefit in philosophy if it does not drive out diseases of the soul.”

Superficially, Polley’s work does resemble conventional therapy. She meets with clients in a Toronto office furnished with a sofa and a couple of comfy chairs. “I don’t see a clientele that’s very different from a regular psychotherapist,” she says. “They’re struggling with depression and always anxiety.” They’re experiencing “a general kind of malaise, and they want to work things through.”

Her approach to these issues is where the difference lies. “I don’t focus on childhood. I don’t work on the traditional things a psychotherapist works on. . . . A lot of people who come here have already worked through that stuff.” Her clients face many of the problems we all have, not necessarily because there is “something wrong,” she says, but “because we are human.”

When she meets with clients, she says, “I like to discuss what’s going on, and then I like to step out and look at it from a more philosophical position. What is the point of a human life or a career or a relationship? What is love? What is work?”

After exploring the big picture, she’ll “zoom back in on how can we apply these [questions] in making really concrete changes in their lives.” It’s an approach she characterizes as both “more abstract and more practical” than conventional therapy.

In her work, Polley draws on a range of philosophers, whom she often advises her clients to read as well. Friedrich Nietzsche, she says, is “very good for helping people to see that a lot of what they think is because our culture thinks it. They have never reflected on it or thought about it.” Aristotle is good, too. “He’s the one who really shows us that ethics is about practising ethical acts and becoming the kind of person who does ethical things.” Twentieth-century philosophers such as Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze (the subjects of Polley’s doctorate) are also useful, as are examples taken from literature, including, perhaps improbably, Henry Miller, whose novels were banned in the United States for obscenity. “He encourages people to take risks and to see that life is an ongoing experiment, not in ‘What am I?’ but in ‘Who might I be?’”

On a more fundamental level, philosophical therapy challenges people’s thinking. “I support my clients, and I offer them compassion, but I also tell them when they need to check their inferences,” Polley says. “I tell them, ‘No, your reasoning is faulty.’ People need to be told they’re thinking incorrectly or not carefully enough. Or in a very limited way.”

Some of Polley’s clients seek her out with specific ethical dilemmas — whether to terminate a pregnancy, for example — and stay with her for as little as three sessions. Others work with her for a year or more. The bulk of her clients are women in their 20s. “When I first started this [six years ago], I thought I would get a lot of people in mid-life crisis . . . people who are a little bit older and starting to reflect on their lives and wondering what it’s all about.”

Michael Collister, whose name has been changed, is a client of Polley’s who is in his mid-60s. A retired lawyer, Collister says he had “completed a fairly successful career, if you define success by how society defines success.” But he worried. “I didn’t want to just have the rest of my life evaporate with no purpose.” Over the course of three months, Collister and Polley met regularly. Readings included Nietzsche, Immanuel Kant and Viktor Frankl.

For Collister, the biggest difference between philosophical therapy and conventional therapy is orientation. “Psychoanalysis is all about you,” he says. “That has its place, but there’s this quote from Bertrand Russell that goes basically, ‘Until I looked outside myself, I wasn’t happy.’” (In his book The Conquest of Happiness, Russell writes that his own happiness came “very largely . . . due to a diminishing preoccupation with myself.”) Thanks to his work with Polley and his own reading, Collister has found a new purpose: researching inequality “and how we, as a society, need to think about how we’re organized to address what I think is going to be a very significant problem in the future.”

Contemporary philosophical therapy has roots in early-1980s Europe, where individuals trained in philosophy began working with clients outside university departments. Today, it has a complicated relationship with its institutional counterpart, with some academic philosophers speaking critically about the therapeutic branch of their discipline.

In an article in The Point, Tom Stern, who teaches philosophy at University College London in England, writes that a therapeutic approach to philosophy, taken too far, “finds it difficult to tell you that you are wrong about something. You are told . . . that you are ‘the expert’ about what matters to you, that there’s ‘no intrinsically good or bad thing to do,’ that what matters is the ‘meaning and purpose’ that you put on it. . . . You can be misled, on the wrong path, disoriented, hindered, distracted. But you can never just be wrong.” Ultimately, Stern asserts that “philosophy questions” and “life questions” — the search for truth and the search for fulfilment — aren’t so easily combined.

Mark Kingwell, a philosophy professor at the University of Toronto, admits most graduate students in his department lack interest in anything but academic jobs. They feel, Kingwell says, that “if you don’t achieve that outcome, somehow you’ve failed.” It is also unlikely, he adds, that philosophical therapy “could be taught in the kind of philosophy department that’s currently the mainstream.”

Interestingly, Peter Raabe at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, B.C., does teach what might be called philosophical therapy. But while his course is offered by the philosophy department, it is specifically intended for future mental health-care workers.

Polley is undaunted in her mission to encourage more philosophers to consider offering counselling. Ultimately, she’d like to see the creation of a Canadian professional organization for philosophical therapists. (At present, she and many of her counterparts are certified by the American Philosophical Practitioners Association.) Then, she thinks, they could co-ordinate with the university departments and say to the students, “Here is an option for you.”

It wouldn’t represent a radical new direction so much as a return to philosophy’s roots, to Epictetus and Seneca, so-called Stoics who saw philosophy not as an abstract pastime but a concrete, hands-on tool to help make sense of life and the world.

“The Stoics were the ones who believed in philosophical practice,” says Polley, “and then it sort of got lost.”

Ian Coutts is a writer in Kingston, Ont.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑