Monday, 7 September 2015

Direct awareness of spiritual beings - past, present and future (Jeremy Naydler)

I came across a strikingly thought-full and thought-provoking interview with a philosopher/ gardener called Jeremy Naydler - I was impressed by his quiet, slow-spoken honesty.

From about 16 minutes there is a sequence of reflections on the change of consciousness since ancient (pre-Christian) times.

For the ancients: it wasn't a question of belief or superstition - they were living with a direct awareness of the world being full of these spiritual beings... an invisible reality was interpenetrating the visible reality...

It makes you notice that today our consciousness is incredibly reduced, and we don't realize the extent to which we have become ignorant of things which are incredibly important...

The gods have had a terribly hard time! The one thing they want is for us to become aware of them again - or to at least acknowledge that there is something beyond what we perceive through the five senses or through all our amazing instruments and machines.  

The work of Owen Barfield, or of Rudolf Steiner (which is the immediate context for Naydler's interview), is a about the change from this 'original participation' in a world of spirits, via an intensification of the ego/ self such that we can no longer perceive the world of spirits, towards a 'final participation' in which we will retain our strong sense of self and freedom of choice while reconnecting with the spiritual world - the world perceived as alive and conscious.

I explain this to myself as:

1. living immersed in the world, then
2. isolated-from the world and aiming at a future when we are
3. in a relationship with the world.

But a first step towards this desirable goal may be a simple acknowledgement of the potential reality of imperceptible spiritual beings (in some form or another, by some description or another) - involving an acknowledgement that we have no reason to assume that ancient peoples were always and necessarily being childish, ignorant, gullible or deluded on this subject.