Skip to comments.On Debate and Existence: Excerpts from Voegelin
Posted on 12/08/2002 12:25:26 PM PST by betty boop
click here to read article
(My bolds for emphasis throughout.)
BTW, Voegelin is very serious in his remark about the medical character of the diagnosis of persons enamored of Second Realities. Arguably taking his cues from Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, et al., he writes (in The German University and German Society, 1966):
Indeed, one cannot realize a Second Reality; but the spiritual closure within it is a real phenomenon and has an actual affect on reality. In this regard the structure of the pneumopathological case [the case of spiritual disorder] doesnt differ from that of the psychopathological [the case of mental disorder]: the delusions of a paranoid person also correspond to no reality, but the delusions are real and the actions of the paranoid enter into reality.
Thanks BB. Here V. lists the four possible relations that give rise to ethics.
"They have... lost---a big one."
"They're like Napoleon's army in Moscow. They have occupied a lot of territory, and they think they've won the war. And yet they are very exposed in a hostile climate with a population that's very much unfriendly."
Alamo-Girl's Origins seems a smoother fit to me.
AG, ping. Thanks always for "Origins".
But I am among you as one who serves (Luke 22:27)
"The most satisfied people are those who have learned to serve; those who have found a cause bigger than themselves, to live for. Self-regard is necessary when we are born. A baby does not care one whit about its mother's comfort. It is an infant's business to be selfish. But if the child matures, as its parents hope, it will develop a capacity to appreciate the world from other people's point of view. Instead of having only subjective values, he will acquire objective ones. She will grow in character to the degree she is able to learn service. To the degree he can find life, by losing it."
"We all hope to grow up, but the... truth is---many never do."
"All of us, more or less, suffer from arrested development. The most severe forms of it, we call narcissim. Narcissistic individuals always think the world is doing them a bad turn. They are baffled, believing everyone is against them. They demand to be the center of attention. They feel constantly opposed, anxious, and defeated. They are unhappy."
"Lincoln was that way in his younger years. It is said that he had all the makings of a neurotic. In 1841 he wrote: "I am now the most miserable man that ever lived. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on earth." Lincoln's amzing development came later when he exchanged his long struggle with himself for a struggle on behalf of his fellowman. He was transformed into a great individual, who blessed the world around him. He learned to serve."
I do believe that it was Cicero who propounded the term, aspernatio rationalis -- which means "flight from reason," or in more modern terminology, "the refusal to apperceive." He plainly classifies this sort of thing as symptomatic of a spiritual disorder.
Look, I know that Cicero is normally classified as a Stoic. But on what specific basis do you insist that these kinds of insights were foreign to Cicero?
There are no problems in Cicero; whenever there is one insolent enough to come near the surface, the firm hand of the Roman consul and imperator comes down and bends it under the yoke of his authoritative language. The result is impressive: Cicero is one of the most quotable writers in the whole history of political ideas . . .
tpaine, that is the very thing that Voegelin is endeavoring to demonstrate in this essay. He can't hand it to you on a silver platter, already "cooked to doneness, and predigested for you." You have to do the work -- please read the essay again, with an open mind (and spirit), carefully and attentively. Work through his penetrating analysis for yourself. Great teacher that he was, I strongly doubt that he would want it any other way.
But to give you a possibly helpful shortcut, look at the classical experiential sources of human existential problems that he adumbrates. These insights are as true now as ever, for the essential conditio humana does not change over time. You can take your clues from there.
LOL. Double LOL. Voegelin at his most helpful ;)
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