Saturday, January 27, 2007

Globalization, Romanticism, and Owen Barfield

Here’s a link (below) to a paper that I did that looks at the idea of a corresponding consciousness globalization to globalization. This consciousness that has been maturing for three hundred years under the general term "modernization," and the process has not matured uncontested. The Romantic Movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries provided an alternative consciousness with the possibility of alternative futures. Romanticism as an alternative consciousness can be seen not just as a historically specific event, but as an unfinished project. The work of Owen Barfield, the English philosopher, writer and poet, provides a framework for examining Romanticism, globalization and consciousness in the broader context of the evolution of consciousness. Within Barfield's structure, Romanticism constitutes a practical vehicle for evolving beyond the consciousness of globalization.

Globalization, Romanticism, and Owen Barfield


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Idea for a political organism

First the name. The tentative name is "Romantic Union". Well it is tentative. The mission of the organism is to restore the unity of the world, of subject and object.

We are trying to restore the Union: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Or "A long long time ago, our species brought forth on this planet, a new consciousness, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that consciousness, or any consciousness so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure." (???)

Our field of activity is both in the mind, and in the world. Does that sort of violate our mission by assuming the duality? How about -- to people who see the world as a duality of subject and object, interior and exterior, it will appear like we have two sides to our task? Hmmm. Already this is getting complicated. But we bugger on...

Imagination is the first tool to be taken up in this task. We will use exact sensorial imagination to develop this tool. Goethe shows the way in this respect. Trust in this imagination, our intuitive powers will guide our work. Imagination can break the mind-forged manacles.

Our imagination reveals us as part of nature in profoundly deep ways that we have forgotten; we participate through our directed imagination in the ongoing creation, the eternally becoming of the world. The world, the planet is allowed to be whole again.

In economics we are communist: from each according to ability (no shirkers!); to each according to need. Difficult to imagine anything except food when one is starving or freezing or sick. Need to get to work on that one, right away.

Imagination can help us break the chains of property, but we might get some extra resistance on that one.

In structure, we are not network -- too schematic. We are not organization -- too mechanical. An organism though -- that's the thing. Interconnected, dynamic, in motion, alive. Various organs conscious of what needs to be done because we are part of the organism, it's in the -- can't really say DNA, too mechanical -- the soul? the urphänomen? Tied together by a shared vision, program, and understanding of mission. But a remarkable degree of independence and at the same time, cohesion and coherence.

We recognize that we live in a mighty web of relationships with other people, through the work and play we do and the things we enjoy. We reject the fetish of things as things, we embrace them as products of fellow human beings striving, laboring, creating. We share that with each other; we are mutually dependent on each other. So likewise we reject the notion of intellectual "property". We should have gotten that out of our system in the romper room. No one ever had an idea by him or herself.

We embrace science, but don't stop there. Science can be deepened, extended, made whole. We embrace a new empiricism that allows us to grow new organs of perception.

We embrace technology, but don't allow it to turn us into machines. We know what it is and what it isn't and aren't fooled.

We embrace sensuousness, feeling, creativity, active play. We know if we attend to nature -- we study a flower, we stare at clouds, we feel raindrops -- an awareness or knowing arises; there is something real in that. We embrace the felt change in consciousness when we read a poem, and know there is something real to that. We know, or have known, or want to know, what it means to love and be in love and be loved. We recognize the reality of that. We embrace that reality.

What else? Maybe a good closing line, like, "We have nothing to lose but our chains. We have a world to win." I don't know -- what do you think?