When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
~ Declaration of Independence
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
~ Constitution of the United States
Inventing the People: The Rise of Popular Sovereignty in England and America
Edmund S. Morgan
Kindle Locations 62-82
Government requires make-believe. Make believe that the king is divine, make believe that he can do no wrong or make believe that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Make believe that the people have a voice or make believe that the representatives of the people are the people. Make believe that governors are the servants of the people. Make believe that all men are equal or make believe that they are not.
The political world of make-believe mingles with the real world in strange ways, for the make-believe world may often mold the real one. In order to be viable, in order to serve its purpose, whatever that purpose may be, a fiction must bear some resemblance to fact. If it strays too far from fact, the willing suspension of disbelief collapses. And conversely it may collapse if facts stray too far from the fiction that we want them to resemble. Because fictions are necessary, because we cannot live without them, we often take pains to prevent their collapse by moving the facts to fit the fiction, by making our world conform more closely to what we want it to be. We sometimes call it, quite appropriately, reform or reformation , when the fiction takes command and reshapes reality.
Although fictions enable the few to govern the many, it is not only the many who are constrained by them. In the strange commingling of political make-believe and reality the governing few no less than the governed many may find themselves limited— we may even say reformed— by the fictions on which their authority depends. Not only authority but liberty too may depend on fictions. Indeed liberty may depend, however deviously, on the very fictions that support authority. That, at least, has been the case in the Anglo-American world; and modern liberty, for better or for worse, was born, or perhaps we should say invented, in that world and continues to be nourished there.
Because it is a little uncomfortable to acknowledge that we rely so heavily on fictions, we generally call them by some more exalted name. We may proclaim them as self-evident truths, and that designation is not inappropriate, for it implies our commitment to them and at the same time protects them from challenge. Among the fictions we accept today as self-evident are those that Thomas Jefferson enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal and that they owe obedience to government only if it is their own agent, deriving its authority from their consent. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to demonstrate these propositions by factual evidence. It might be somewhat easier, by the kind of evidence we usually require for the proof of any debatable proposition, to demonstrate that men are not created equal and that they have not delegated authority to any government. But self-evident propositions are not debatable, and to challenge these would rend the fabric of our society.
Civil Rights and the Paradox of Liberal Democracy
Bradley C. S. Watson
Any discussion of liberal democracy requires some definition of terms. Defining democracy is a notoriously complex enterprise, made the more so by adding the qualifier liberal. Yet most would agree that we in the Western world live in regimes that share one overriding and defining feature: they are all “liberal democracies.”
The ancient understanding and practice of democracy, to the extent that it implied rule of all free persons in a regime, clearly would not qualify as such. No distinction can of course be drawn, in terms that are acceptable to modernity, between free and unfree persons. Modernity in fact marked a fundamental departure from all views that claimed relevant political distinctions could be drawn between individuals. This is one way of understanding the meaning of liberal in the phrase “liberal democracy.” For Locke, the state of nature is notoriously a state of freedom, but also a state of equality
wherein all the Power and Jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another: there being nothing more evident, than that the Creatures of the same species and rank promiscuously born to all the same advantages of Nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another without Subordination or Subjection, unless the Lord and Master of them all, should by any manifest Declaration of his Will set one above another, and confer on him by an evident and clear appointment an undoubted Right to Dominion and Sovereignty.
Thus, for Locke, is consent a function of the nature of things. And freedom, in civil society, cannot be understood apart from consent.
The full meaning of the combination of demos and kratein in the modern age was captured by no less an authority than Abraham Lincoln: government of the people, by the people, for the people. For my purposes, this definition will suffice. Implied in it are, to use the terminology of social science, several “tests” of whether the democratic, or republican, threshold is being met. First, inclusiveness–the people as a whole in principle constitute the demos; second, an entitlement–the entitlement of the people to rule; third, an empirical claim–that the people actually exercise their entitlement to rule; and, finally, an end to which rule is directed–the true interests of the people. It is a definition that does not imply a simple majoritarianism. It must be the case, in Lincoln’s words, following Locke, that no man is good enough to govern another, without that other’s consent.
Harry V. Jaffa has long argued that the conception of equality expressed in the U.S. Declaration of Independence is the political expression of “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.” It is these natural laws, he argues, that the U.S. Constitution–and the regime of which the Constitution is the organizing document–were designed to implement. [ . . . . ]
But the very phrase “liberal democracy” points to the paradox that is the subject of this book. Democracy implies the consent of the governed, which consent rests, explicitly or implicitly, on the recognition of the effective political equality of the individuals who constitute the demos. Liberalism implies a respect for, nay, an exaltation of, the individual qua individual, which respect or exaltation is in tension with the idea of consent of the whole. This brings to light the inadequacy of a relatively common definition of liberal democracy; it is inadequate because it fails to take into account the true meaning of liberalism: “‘Democracy’ . . . refers to the location of a state’s power, that is, in the hands of the people, whereas ‘liberal’ refers to the limitation of a state’s power. From this viewpoint, a liberal democracy is a political system in which the people make the basic political decisions, but in which there are limitations on what decisions they can make.” But liberalism in its contemporary incarnation frequently results in the individual using the state’s power, whatever the wishes of the majority. Liberalism thus appears to be linked with those passions in the human soul that tend toward the tyrannical, where tyranny is understood as the rule of the one in his or her own interest. Liberalism so viewed threatens to make the first “test” in Lincoln’s definition difficult to meet, and, by extension, all the other tests. But this tension is a commonplace, and it merely adumbrates the paradox of liberal democracy.
démos: a district or country, the common people, esp. the people assembled
1218 dḗmos (from 1210 /déō, “to bind, tie”) – people bound (tied) together by similar laws or customs (like citizens in an ancient Greek city forming an assembly, cf. 1577 /ekklēsía).
In the NT, 1218 (dḗmos) refers to people unified in conviction and showing it in public opinion, i.e. their “collective persuasion.”
[1218 (dḗmos) is the root of the English word, “democracy.” Ancient Greek used 1218 (dḗmos) for “the body politic” (J. Thayer).]
Foundation of the Hellenic world
The Mycenaean texts frequently include the word damo, the demos or village defining both the geographic position and the population of the communities. The context reveals that the word did not have an administrative meaning but it signified the collective body of the people of each administrative unit. The words demos and telestai are also used as synonyms which indicates that the major landholders sometimes represented the people. One of the offices which refer to Pylos was the damokoro, a complex adjective deriving from demos and the korete. The damakoro were employees appointed by the wanax.
Athenian Political Art from the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BCE: Images of Political Personifications
Amy C. Smith, edition of January 18 2003
page 8 of 26
The Stoa Consortium
Demos (ὁ δῆμος) was used through the middle of the fifth century to refer to commoners. But in fifth century Athens demos also meant the sovereign body of free citizens. As commoners comprised a good part of the citizenry in the democracy, the two definitions—commoners and citizens—coexisted through the Classical period. It is the sovereign Demos that would have been revered in the cult with the Nymphs, on the Acropolis at Athens: an inscription dating to 462 attests a joint sanctuary of Demos and the Nymphs, who may have been the Horai (Seasons) and/or Charites (Graces) (IG I2, 854). Certainly in the second half of the fifth century, demos sometimes took on negative connotations, and the demos is increasingly represented as gullible and fickle, capable of being deceived by politicians, as exclaimed by the chorus of aristocratic cavalrymen in Aristophanes’ Knights (in 424), for example (Aristoph. Kn. 1111-18). (Aristophanes was probably the first to personify Demos, but similar characters may have been portrayed in the lost comedies of Eupolis and Cratinus.) Tension between the two views of demos—the commoners who are ridiculed, on the one hand, and the sovereign people, who warrant respect—seems to have been reflected in the personification of Demos on stage and in visual arts. In Knights Aristophanes is also sympathetic, and clearly sees the demos as capable of reform, for the crux of the play is Demos’ rejuvenation. The youthful Demos at the end of the play vows to restore old-fashioned ways in the government, a solution for which the democrats frequently yearned.
The Development of Athenian Democracy
Christopher W. Blackwell, edition of January 24, 2003
(Section 1 of 7)
The Stoa Consortium
Greek word Demos (δῆμος, pronounced “day-moss”) has several meanings, all of them important for Athenian democracy. Demos is the Greek word for “village” or, as it is often translated, “deme.” The deme was the smallest administrative unit of the Athenian state, like a voting precinct or school district. Young men, who were 18 years old presented themselves to officials of their deme and, having proven that they were not slaves, that their parents were Athenian, and that they were 18 years old, were enrolled in the “Assembly List” (the πίναξ ἐκκλησιαστικός) (see Dem. 44.35; Aristot. Ath. Pol. 42.1).
Another meaning of Demos, to the Athenians, was “People,” as in the People of Athens, the body of citizens collectively. So a young man was enrolled in his “demos” (deme), and thus became a member of the “Demos” (the People). As a member of the Demos, this young man could participate in the Assembly of Citizens that was the central institution of the democracy. The Greek word for “Assembly” is ekklesia (ἐκκλησία), but the Athenians generally referred to it as the “Demos.” Decrees of the Assembly began with the phrase “It seemed best to the Demos,…”, very much like the phrase “We the People…” that introduces the Constitution of the United States. In this context, “Demos” was used to make a distinction between the Assembly of all citizens and the Council of 500 citizens, another institution of the democracy (see below). So some decrees might begin “It seemed best to the Demos…”, others might begin “It seemed best to the Council…”, and still others might begin, “It seemed best to the Demos and the Council….”
So the Athenian Demos was the local village, the population generally, and the assembly of citizens that governed the state. The idea of the Demos was a potent one in Athens of the 5th and 4th centuries BCE.
It had not always been the case. The Iliad—the work of literature that was the shared text for all Greeks—describes a world whose values pre-date those of the Athenian democracy. One passage from it, especially, suggests that the idea of the “demos” changed dramatically in the years leading up to the 5th century. [ . . . . ]
The Homeric hero Odysseus did not favor putting rule into the hands of the Demos. What happened, then, to change the status of the Demos from that of a lowly mob, to be beaten down with a stick, to that of the ruling People of classical Athens?
Democracy : the Rule of Nobody?
Any contemporary effort to rethink the meaning of democracy must start by tracing the word democracy back to the Greeks, who are customarily thought to have invented the word and given it meaning. The platitude that democracy means the rule of the sovereign people usually points to its ultimate origin in or around classical Athens during the 6th and 5th centuries BCE. Most contemporary textbooks read by students andteachers concerned with the history of democratic theory and institutions repeat the point that this is where the history of democracy began. Thereis indeed an old and venerable tradition of doing so, yet new researchcalls this Myth of the Greek Origins of Democracy into question. It turns out not only that the arts of self-government sprang up much earlier, for instance in ancient Mesopotamia, where popular assemblies (pu-uh-ru)wielded power, including the election of kings.1 Even the root of the word democracy pre-dated the ancient Greek city states. References (in the Linear B script) to the dāmos are evident during the Mycenean period (c. 1500-1200 BCE), when it is used as a noun to refer to a group of former landowners who lose everything and are dispossessed of political power2. The nuances need not detain us here, except to note a key point : that the dāmos is a sectional or self-interested group that has its eyes on power, but is for the time being shut out from power.
That particular connotation of exclusion is carried over into the word demokratia (δηµοκρατία) that was spoken in the various classical Greek dialects. That the past was to echo into the present should not be surprising when it is considered that those who principally referred to the demos were its fearful opponents. The term became common currency in a phase of transition when (most famously in Athens) politics was dominated by aristocrats locked in competition with themselves and with their opponents. What this self-styled class of aristoi had in common was their mostly hostile regard for a sectional group that was seen to be dangerous because it was property-less and hungry for political power. Such references help to explain why democracy (demokratia : from demos and kratos, rule) had so few intellectual defenders, and why its critics pointed to the demos as a potentially destructive force within the life of the political community.
Few observers have spotted that the negative connotations of the word demokratia – a form of polity defined by the exercise by some of self-interested or sectional power over others – are buried within the very word democracy itself. The verb kratein (κρατείν) is usually translated as‘to rule’ or ‘to govern’, but in fact its original connotations are harsher, tougher, more brutal. To use the verb kratein is to speak the language of military manoeuvring and military conquest : kratein means to be masterof, to conquer, to lord over, to possess (in modern Greek the same verb means to keep, or to hold), to be the stronger, to prevail or get the upper hand over somebody or something. Homer’s Odyssey and Sappho’sSupplements both use kratein in this way. The noun kratos (κράτος), from which the compound demokratia was formed, similarly refers to might, strength, imperial majesty, toughness, triumphant power, and victory over others, especially through the application of force. The now obsolete verb demokrateo (δηµοκρατέω) brims with all of these connotations : it means to grasp power, or to exercise control over others.1
From the standpoint of today, these are indeed strange and unfortunate connotations. They bring us to a first major difficulty in simple-minded uses of the word democracy : that it is the carrier of exactly the opposite meaning of what most democrats today mean when they speak of democracy, in much more complex ways, as non-violent inclusiveness, power-sharing based on compromise and fairness, as equality based upon the legally guaranteed respect for others’ dignity. Interpreted simultaneously with ‘classical’ and ‘modern’ eyes, the word democracy is untrue both to itself and to its users. It is a double-standard word. Like adouble-agent that charms those around it into thinking that it is something that it is not, talk of ‘democracy’ invokes an original meaning that betrays what the word today conveys. For Greek commentators and critics alike, demokratia was a unique form of rule – note the accurate Latin translation of kratein with regulare : to control, to exercise sway over – in which the demos acts as a selfish body in pursuit of its own particular interests. Here the word demokratia has one thing in common with other contemporary words used to describe the rule of sectional interests – words like aristokratia (αριστοκρατία : aristocracy), ploutokratia (πλουτοκρατία: the rule of the rich) and monokratoria (µονοκρατορία monocracy, or the rule of a single person). To speak of demokratia is to point to a particular group whose particular interests are not identical with everyone’s interests. In a demokratia the demos holds kratos,1 which is another way of saying that it is prone to act forcefully, to get its own particular way by using violence, either against itself but especially against others. This is exactly what Plato meant by his remark that democracy is a two-faced form of government, ‘according to whether the masses rule over the owners of property by force or by consent’2. The unknown Old Oligarch had much the same thing in mind when dressing down demokratia as the rule of the lowest and most misguided section of the population, the demos, who sometimes strive to exercise power by making common cause with sections of the aristoi.3 When this happens, the people are ruled in their own name. Demokratia still refers to a form of sectional rule based on force but its emphasis undergoes a subtle shift, towards something like empowerment through the people. Demokratia is a form of polity in which the people are ruled while seeming to rule.
Strategic Abuses of Democracy
It may be objected that a genealogy of the word democracy is an exercise in antiquarianism or, worse, intellectual pedantry. The charge might be persuasive if indeed democracy as a form of government had been confined to the ancients. That was of course not to be, for the revival of the discourse of democracy in the late sixteenth-century Low Countries prepared the way for the emergence of democratic institutions as a modern form of life – as a sui generis mode of organizing power. What is of interest here is that the divisive, exclusionary connotations of the word democracy did not disappear with its ‘modernization’. They were if anything resuscitated and strengthened by a political tendency that has in the meantime become something of a well-established pattern : the tendency of actors to invoke the word democracy, understood as popular sovereignty, as a handy weapon in the struggle for power over others.
11 thoughts on “Démos, The People”
Very interesting site you have, Benjamin Steele! It occurred to me one day that I didn’t fit perfectly in any of the nine enneagram categories, and that thought, via Google Advanced Search, led me here.
The problem Lasch saw in ’92 is still with us. The great rolling snowball of snappy slogans and expensive graphics (care of the cyber meritocrats…all imagination and no work?). As Loretta Napoleoni says, with tweets and facebook everyone’s a leader. It was bad enough with the book selection at Barnes & Noble, but I believe the net could end up fostering one of those big-conformity-episodes René Girard says must usually be pacified by the killing of a sacrifice…or many of’em (long story as to how). Re the Dems’ failure…
Nov 9’s show http://ralphnaderradiohour.libsyn.com/
I can’t find any paraphrasing of what Thom Hartmann wrote about Jefferson and Paul de Rapin-Thoyras (or any digression re Saxon Gemeinschafts being superior to William’s gov). My copy of “What Would Jefferson Do?” is misplaced. Not encouraging anyone to lift the material and/or reproduce it.
I may comment on your 6/11/14 response to Tanner.
Any views on the criticalpsychoanalysis site?
Let me respond to your ending question first. And I’ll respond with a question: What is the criticalpsychoanalysis site?
I come across so much on the web that I can’t keep track of it all. It isn’t ringing any bells at the moment. Please tell me about it and give the URL, if you don’t mind. Then I’ll gladly give you my views about it.
I’m not familiar with Lasch and Napoleoni. I think I’ve come across their names before, but I don’t know much about either of them. So, I lack some background to understand where you are coming from.
I am familiar with Girard. I’m not sure how present conditions relate to the possibility of what you speak of. There are many possibilities right now and few certainties, except for that change is in the air.
Ah, Ralph Nader. I voted for him in 2000. He was the first politician I ever heard speak who actually sounded like he believed what he said. He was my introduction to American politics. I was apathetic before that election.
I’m listening to the first video at the link you shared. Here is the URL:
I agree with what I’ve heard so far. The Dems’ failure didn’t surprise me.
I’ve followed Hartmann over this past decade or so. I used to watch his show on a regular basis, but I haven’t watched it in a while. I haven’t ever read any of his books.
I’m not sure I’ve heard him speak of Paul de Rapin-Thoyras. I did a web search. I found a few places on the web where he goes into some detail about this issue (it seems to have been on his mind in 2005):
“The electoral college was put together in many ways based on the way that the Iroquois did things. Which was each, each community would appoint a wise elder. And they would all, they were called Sachems. And they would all get together, at a time every year, and you know have a meeting. Although the Sachems didn’t actually have the ability to make a decision, they only carried the message back to the community, where in five of the six Iroquois nations only the women voted.
“But there was also this idea of the, in the Whig histories, the Paul de Rapin-Thoyras was the most famous, who was the one that Thomas Jefferson was most in love with. After reading Jefferson’s biography, autobiography, reading his writings, I went out and bought a copy of Rapin-Thoyras’s “A History of England,” published in 1760-something. I bought the same copy. Not physically the same copy, but the same one that Jefferson had read. And used some of it in my book “What would Jefferson do?” A lot of it ended up on the cutting floor when the editor got done with it. Because I was so in love with it and the editor thought it was you know 17th century English or 18th century English. But the idea was that before the invasion of the Roman empire, England was tribal prior to the year 200, 300, and in fact Jefferson, in his letter, when he donated his library, he said you know the most important books are Tacitus, the Roman historian who was there when Agricola his uncle conquered the British Isles in the year 200-something or 300-something. And Paul de Rapin-Thoyras the Whig historian.
“And what they used to do, what the British did when they lived tribally, before they were occupied by the Romans is they had these, each community would appoint a wise elder and the wise elder would come to the Wicca? Gemeinschaft and would determine who was going to be the leader of the country. And so at that time, it seemed like a really cool idea to have an electoral college where each community would elect a wise elder and that wise elder could vote his mind. I mean if you’re an elector, in the electoral college, you don’t have to vote the way that your community sent you to vote. And in fact it’s happened a couple of times. Only a couple of times in American history, where electors have voted in a different way. But it’s kind of outlived it’s usefulness. You know? We don’t have to ride by horseback three hours to get to Washington DC anymore. And we do have instantaneous communication. And so now there’s this movement for a national popular vote to say you know the electoral college is an anachronism. And let’s just elect whoever gets the most votes and let’s let campaigns be national.”
Thanks, Benjamin, for your Hartmann links. I had found the one you’ve quoted and I’ll have to look up the others. Miss my encyclopedia Brit, cause it went through the same history as Hartmann’s book (and much more in England, Church of), but Hartman sort of drew out the broad implications (took sides in re to what followed William 1066). It was all right there, great encapsulation. So, in my 50s I was catching up with the history Jefferson knew well way back then. This portrayal of 400 to post 1066 England I have to guess is one of the greatest of Hartmann’s literary accomplishments, if not the greatest. But perhaps I should have read more. His show weirdly seemed to hire at least one conservative barking way too loud, and the regular TV format seemed to constrain things to some kind of MSM rhythm.
Regarding Critical Psychoanalysis, the domain name expired last month. Can’t believe it! Well, if I hadn’t asked you about it I wouldn’t have known. Hope it appears under another name. Should have copied some stuff for sure (Go Daddy dot com says it’s parked but I don’t see it parked). Its writer (in Ireland) maintained that we had let go of the superego too fast. It could be argued Lasch was saying something similar I guess. Actually, in my counter cultural days I know I missed its significance. In those days many of us started with the new path makers. I was reading all kinds of Jung before I was grounded enough in Freud, Adler, Horney, and others more recent (even Skinner whom I thought of as the enemy). Did read some Fromm, but now when I do I gravitate towards items he wrote that are tough (should have wrestled with that stuff long ago). Both in life and in my current job I could have used that knowledge…Freud’s personality types eg re why they do what they do, etc. Some of the whys might have been off, but he was going in a creative direction.
Napoleoni gets to her main paint sort of well into this, beyond half way IIRC. What happend with the Arab Spring is central to her point. There is at least 3 min of intro. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQL7kv7CJPQ
Astra Taylor has things to say along these lines…out of all the possibilities you mention, she sort of backs up Napoleoni’s skepticism with putting all faith in the web. What I’m thinking of in terms of a big-conformity-episode is something I haven’t thought enough about expressing today, so this might not be too explanatory. With our meritocracy intelligence is everything. People say they want as many as possible as stupid as possible, but the fact is the measuring stick is their idea of intelligence; not very often is it how long you can stay on the bull. Their idea of intelligence they have largely borrowed from liberals. Hackers can get paid quite a bit in the right places.That’s my thesis. Everything’s the gloss. Everything’s the presentation. Everything’s taste [I know, they’ve developed some weird hybrids!] We try to believe and act as though computers are making things simple, but in reality it seems we’re caught up in a great Kafkaesque diversion [from say being a nurse or fixing insfrastructure] when it comes to dealing with their complexity…they are our masters.
I think that’s you on fb that shared the Nov 9 Nader Radio Hour (if so, congratulations on having everything so open). I’ll send a request and a message saying who I am.
Tried to read one of your “Integral” posts a couple times before due to it’s mention of enneagrams. Felt a little overwhelmed.
Took off toady cause I ate some stew that had been sitting too long in frige. Why not tell the truth? I won’t always have this much time.
Your site touches on tons of subjects in depth, so I’m still feeling that my views on the unconditioned absolute vs the so-called conditioned persona of the Great Spirit might just have a place here rolling along with everything else. I guess it was your response to Tanner on 6/3/14 where I’ll chime in when I get it together.
“This portrayal of 400 to post 1066 England I have to guess is one of the greatest of Hartmann’s literary accomplishments, if not the greatest.”
That period of history is a gap in my knowledge. That is true for most people.
“Napoleoni gets to her main paint sort of well into this, beyond half way IIRC. What happend with the Arab Spring is central to her point.”
I’m listening to Napoleoni’s talk right now.
“Astra Taylor has things to say along these lines…out of all the possibilities you mention, she sort of backs up Napoleoni’s skepticism with putting all faith in the web.”
As I see it, the web will more be instigator of change than the change itself. It is a destabilizing force, not unlike other new technologies were in the past. This could be seen with Socrates fear of written language, changing all of civilization, but not it took a long time and the results were unpredictable.
Those with power always find a way to use the new technology. After the initial destabilization, a new social order is put into place, often a reformulation of the old social order. The web is a game-changer, but that doesn’t mean it will be positive change. All of civilization has been near continuous change.
“I think that’s you on fb that shared the Nov 9 Nader Radio Hour (if so, congratulations on having everything so open). I’ll send a request and a message saying who I am.”
That would be me. Yeah, I’m not much for hiding my identity. I am who I am. If you want to figure out who I am and find me, it isn’t that hard to do. It simplifies things to keep it out in the open.
“Tried to read one of your “Integral” posts a couple times before due to it’s mention of enneagrams. Felt a little overwhelmed.”
I don’t write much about integral theory these days. I still think it has relevance, but it isn’t what I’m focused on. I got out of it what I thought was of value. I like the idea of an integral theory and I will follow future developments.
“Your site touches on tons of subjects in depth, so I’m still feeling that my views on the unconditioned absolute vs the so-called conditioned persona of the Great Spirit might just have a place here rolling along with everything else.”
If you have curiosity and an open mind, then we are on the same basic wavelength.
Yeah, you wrote a ton about integral theory. If I have time off these days I try to remember what I had read about it. There were many good things in books. My mother long ago gave my grandmother an encyclopedia of religion, which my grandmother willed back to her. It has a little mention of Yogacara, and just that little mention opened up whole libraries and centuries of Buddhist thought to me. I was fortunate it was that thorough back in the 50s.
These days there are doubts about things like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy arising. There are doubts about everything. Paradigms osmos in and out, internet or no internet.
Harking back to my Sogyal and Wilber reading days, it seems funny I am now having to go into basic developmental psychologies just for background to assess Lasch’s claims re all the narcissism out there…and Fromm’s writings re “group narcissism.” And René Girard on narcissism too, what I can comprehend of him on the subject. There are still perspectives from Sogyal I value.
Do you know where that little picture’s coming from stuck in there with my posts/replies here? WordPress?
For now, peace out on this post Benjamain
I’d love to hear more about what you think on these matters. Do you have a blog or anything like that?
As for the icon pictures next to your name, WordPress picks those. WordPress looks deep into your soul and chooses the appropriate icon that expresses your inner self. Ha!