Wednesday, July 28, 2010

From an e-mail discussion with the circle. . . .

A little late to the party, though I've been thinking about this since it first came up. A couple of thoughts about the pentad and different selves as described in jgb's 'spiritual psychology'. It seems like points 1, 2, 4, and 5 could sort of line up with the first 4 selves as described in 'spiritual', with ipseity sitting on the outside as an influence, or:

Point 5 | Outer World of Value | True Self
Point 4 | Inner World of Value | Divided Self
Point 3 | Ipseity
Point 2 | Inner World of Fact | Reactive Self
Point 1 | Outer World of Fact | Material Self

Not sure how accurate this is, but it seems to match up, and makes more sense as I think about it. Plus, it seems to put ipseity in a good spot, which leads me to the next thing. . .

I have two meanings of ipseity that I am working with. The first is that which you gave us, V: "ourselves, as we are in spontaneity." The other is the more literal definition: "individual self, or individuality." The vertical quality of the pentad, in the diagram, and the thought of ipseity cutting across the middle, put me in mind of pairs in time (1 & 5 and 2 & 4). Perhaps one could see these as constantly progressing moments in time, and ipseity as a non-affected influence as such? Or is my logic fuzzy?

-- ** -- ** --

have a difficult time seeing point 5 as something that is already there, or that we are already at. I may be misreading your description, granted, but it seems as though you're describing it as "the end result of my work, no matter what work has been undertaken and completed". For me, I see it more as something that might not arise without proper work: i.e., the circle plays a gig that turns out to be a real stinker--something may be manifested, and it may indeed be a real representation of where we are at as a group, but it is not an outward manifestation of the higher world of values. Back to a modified table for a moment:

Point 5 | Master | True Self
Point 4 | Higher Nature | Divided Self
Point 3 | Ipseity
Point 2 | Lower Nature | Reactive Self
Point 1 | Nourishment | Material Self

The middle names are the same ones that JGB uses to describe the points. Playing a true stonker of a gig might be an opportunity for point 5 to become manifest, I suppose, if, despite an onset of ineptitude, we are still able to hold a measure of togetherness and selfness (or, a non-fragmented nature). Sort of like watching a group that is completely falling apart on stage and unable to finish a piece of music as written, but still able to somehow make music. That it would happen like that is unlikely, but possible.

This feeds into the whole spontaneity thing, I think. Your friend's (student's?) inability to be spontaneous, to me, points to an inability to move functionally beyond point 1 (a potentially encyclopaedic knowledge of "these things that I can do" that he doesn't move outside of), and an unawareness of point 2 and beyond. That group on stage falling apart would be nothing more than that if it couldn't acknowledge that "this isn't working" and that "maybe let's try this". (T's description to me of RF's approach to the completion course seems to illustrate that ability.) Being unable to acknowledge and be open to spontaneity, in other words, forces a curving back to point 1, without realizing the curve. At least, so it seems to me.