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Tags: time, spirituality, metaphysics, idealism, religion, civilization, interconnectedness

A certain philosophical position is being developed in these blog postings, and it is likely to be irritating to almost everybody. At the core is a certain metaphysical claim about time, freedom, intelligence, and transcendent spirituality. Time is taken as a spiritual reality although not an objective actuality. This involves a claim that a somewhat novel idealism is required for understanding time, which will be nonsense to people devoted to materialism, realism, empiricism, and the application of those notions in science. However, the account of spirituality rejects disembodied caring, cosmic moral ledger keeping, original sin, a cosmic plan, faith in mysteries, and the relevance of eternity, most of the key features of religions, and so will be distasteful to adherents of religion, both eastern and western, antique and New Age. This philosophical position supports the optimistic claim that the best days of humanity should be in the future, and so will disappoint those who long for a return to the wisdom of ancient, medieval, or other pre-modern cultural systems. In common with an important stream of seventeenth and eighteenth century philosophy, it finds dystopian features in what is called civilization, in all existing cultural systems including the post-feudal and post-colonial Euro-American regime of investor supremacist capitalism. (These dystopian features are crucially linked to questions of philosophy and yet are unrecognized by historians and social scientists.) That line of exploration will be just noise to supporters of market solutions to social problems such as liberals, corporatists, investors, and most academics. The account given here of the human interconnectedness denies the importance of the masculine virtues of strength, kinetic action, and competitive spirit, and so will be distasteful to sports fans and generally to males in traditionally masculine sub-cultures and occupations. It rejects the importance of the symbols and the pageantry of communal unity and transcendence, of superiority and inferiority, including property accumulation, and so will be opposed by traditionalists, social pragmatists, communitarians, and symbolists. It rejects the legitimacy of sovereignty, and will therefore be distasteful to monarchists, conservatives, communists, and meritocracy enthusiasts. However, it takes human interconnectedness and sociability so seriously that it will be distasteful also to gun and property-focused libertarians. Yet, it is a kind of metaphysics of individual autonomy and supports the universality of individual human dignity as conceived in the Enlightenment, so alienating post-modernists. It rejects the tragic view of life and the spiritually ennobling effect of stories, music, fine arts, and monumental architecture, so will be distasteful to romantics and opera fans. It asserts philosophical thinking, rather than journalism, as the way to hold power to account. Many of the postings may feel long and troublesome to read, with unexpected progressions. However, if you really want the “red pill” experience, then, as Cypher said to Neo: “fasten your seatbelt, Dorothy, ‘cause Kansas is going bye bye”.

Copyright © 2017 Sandy MacDonald.

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