PROLEGOMENA: THE DYNAMICS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
1. The only possible way of understanding the interrelationships
among the components of the new coursewhether those
be the vertical relationships through each lecture or the horizontal
relationships across all five lectureis to deal with
the mode of self-consciousness which informs human life, in our
day, in its totality and with the structure and dynamics of this
course in particular. Every spirit man knows that what he experiences
all men experience. His task is two fold: to intentionally give
form to his own experience; and to devise means of allowing every
man to experience for himself that single and final experience
of humanness. Such devices must be consistent with the actual
mode of life experience itself. And this course is such a device.
2. Man's made of knowing in the twentieth century
is that of radical phenomenology. He knows only out of his own
depth experience, not out of authoritative preceptors or theoretical
models. But man's experience is never confined to the externals
of his situation. Rather, man's real experience, his radical experience,
is his selfconsciousness of happenings within the happenings
of his immediacy. The phenomenological mode begins with man's
awareness of a deep restlessness, a yearning a terror, a fascination,
a feeling beneath feelings. an intuition of something awry or
aright in his relationship to life itself It is his own most radically
personal and solitary interior intuition. Whenever such an intuition
occurs, it drives him to an intensification of his awareness,
a probing of consciousness which discloses indicative reality.
3. This rational awareness, an agonizing intellectual
discipline, provides illuminating categories by means of which
ho may hold the experience in its primally disclosed reality.
This couble occurrence is the prerequisite for a decision which
he must make and yet decision as a category indicates too much
of open alternatives. The "crunch" of his intuition
and of his rationality, both forms of radical phenomenology, comprise
the indicative of 0a reality in any content arena whatsoever.
For their dynamical relation to authentically exist, they posit
and require the form of man's interior response, issuing forth
in practical stylistic modes which are congruent with both. This
resolve is the third form of radical phenomenology.
4. Man is saved from psychologistic solipsism in
such an epistemology, by his awareness that his radical experience
is itself always occasioned by the intrusion of an otherthanhimself.
When such an other is a manifestly selfconscious entity,
and when it happens that an apparent correspondence exists between
a radically phenomenological mode of address and a radically phenomenological
response when the articulation of another's happening and
a happening of my own correspond when I say, "Yea, yes, yes,
YES!"a sociological dialogue has been invented
which serves the double function of checking my own radical experience
over against the human journey, and also of informing that journey
through my own presence to and investing of my own being. The
existentialist philosophers of our day, using such a radical phenomenology,
built upon the awareness of such an understanding of reality as
intensive clarity about the interior happening as focused on the
dynamics of selfhood. They got it clear that the deep secret of
beingaself is that the self is invented by the self
in relationship to an other, and, inevitably, in relationship
to the relationship which defines a given situation of human life.
This dimension of radical phenomenology is dealing with time,
with man's interior awareness of both the passingness of events,
and, sociologically, of the destiny of mankind. (cf Ortega). This
is the phenomenological dynamic behind the structure of RSI.
But a new radical phenomenology is today revealing a different
mode of human experience.
5. Contemporary phenomenology is the tool by which
a new essentialism is being articulated. That essentialism deals
with the fact that man, sensing unease at the fullness rather
than the emptiness of his situation, thrusts his consciousness
into the struggle of articulating the common depth realities of
his situationthose dynamics of society which have
always been present to all men in all times and in all places
as a context for grasping the existing distortions in his selfconsciousness
as a falling away from normative reality. Man is clear that he
still invents the norms. His essence is as much his invention
as is his existence, his humanness as much his creation as his
selfhood. But there is a new passion for the connectedness with
the otherthanmyself, an inclusive embrace of culture,
society, the human deeps. From such a new form of awarenessquestioning,
a new mode of response is being called fortha contentfilled
shaping of interior space and a definitive forming of the whole
social fabric. This course is based, in structure and content,
upon such radical phenomenology, as it relates to the social situation
of our day, the depth cry of contemporary mankind, the essential
dimensions of humanness and the transparent experience of the
profoundest deeps of life itself.
6. The following paragraphs describe the phenomenological
flow of the lectures of the new course in the light of the above
epistemological considerations. Paragraphs 1 through 4 depict
the phenomenology of the social processes, the contemporary alienation,
the human givenness, and the authentic life (or sanctification),
respectively, in terms of the phenomenological intuition, reflection,
and resolve which particularly apply to each. Paragraphs 5 through
8 then expand this framework to include the opening lecture under
the category of phenomenological intuition, the closing lecture
under that of resolve and the middle three lectures as a single
unit of conceptual reflection. Paragraph 9 summarizes the horizontal
flow of the lectures.
1. Society is a threefold dynamic: It only exists if there is an structuring dynamic, a sustaining dynamic, and a signifying dynamic. That is to say that whenever man confronts chaos, he first attempts to organize or structure it. Once this is done he finds that, in the midst of this social reality, he is needing to sustain the holding together of the social fabric that has been birthed in that ordering. This in turn draws him to the awareness that it is sense less to sustain such an ordering unless there is meaning in it, and he invents that meaning, thus allowing the signification to take place.
3. Man's experience of the ontological deeps begins with the experience of the givenness of his sociality, that "I", the individual, exists in society and that there is no "I" outside community. There is no "I" apart from the IThou relationship. In his awareness of community and his awareness that community is a created reality, man discovers the reality to his own creativity. He discovers that he may be this creativity either in sustaining or adventuring in society, and this is the discovery of sexuality. The fact that maleness and femaleness both exist in society and that the male can only know, do and be over against the female, and vice versa, discloses the necessity of the tension between sustaining and adventuring, and this is the experience of cocreativity. This aspect of sexuality is expressed in the borning, nurturing and transmitting of the community. In this process man experiences community and himself continually dying and being reborn, and this discloses to him the fact of his phaseality. In embracing his phase, and thereby his death, man in fact embodies his sociality his participation in community-and his sexuality the form of his particular vocatedness throughout his life,
4. Man in fact experiences himself finally as care, as integrity and as fulfillment. Everyman wakes up to the fact that he just cares for all of life. And it is in the midst of his awareness of that caring, when he is confronted with the possibility of grounding his integrity, that he takes in life. Finally, his only fulfillment is that of embodying that integrity in service and that service in integrity. This pronounces his life significant, meaningfully engaged in the civilizing process There is no other fulfillment, no Other happiness than this and none is either necessary or longed for.
5. Today man is confronted in societal experience with the radical awareness that social structures are in a state of collapse. In the midst of the onrush of collapse, he is experiencing the breaking in of social reality, as he attempts to put order into the chaos of the collapse, sustain that ordering and invent the new meaning for its existence. Grasping hold of this reality, he once again goes about building society as it always has been, relating to mankind through the environment of the whole of society, thus thrusting into history a practical vision of the new social order which he himself embodies and also beckons all men to follow.
6. Man in our time experiences himself as being in an acute state of crisis internally in the midst of the conquest of the external world. The sociological location of the sources of disengagement, dysfunction and disorientation as objective disrelations frees man up to move practically on the causes of his malaise. Resurgence in the areas of political engagement, vocation and cultural value is experienced as tactical possibility on a mass scale.
7. Man in our time, having seen that he is called to create his essence in his existence, has discovered the ontological deeps of humanness. Beneath the disruptions he has experienced, the essential pillars of sociality, sexuality, and phasiality have been revealed to him and he has pushed behind these to the transparency to the Other World. The guild is the concrete social form of his resolve to expend the journey of his life on behalf of his fellow man in civilizational creation.
8. Whenever man perceives methods of appropriating his self-consciousness, he sees that it is possible to stand with self-conscious intent overagainst the social reality of his time. In the new course, the participant perceives such methods in the description and experience of individual and corporate study, individual and corporate envisioning, and individual and corporate exposure to the spirit deeps. In that these methods are designed to allow: his knowing to disclose the indicative of man's burden, integrity, and fulfillment; his planning to be built on the indicatives of life, personal solidarity and living beyond problems; his spiritizing to release the depth motivity of universal concern, personal integrity, and transcendent happiness, he experiences these methods as radically authentic in that they rehearse and disclose the way that life actually is. Therein he is released, and may choose, to appropriate the methods as his own. He is thus equipped with vision, tools, and the resolve for the mission required of man in our time, and he is launched into history as a corporate force, a self-conscious "invisible college" on the destinal march to create society anew.
|9. The dynamical relationships which are disclosed by a careful examination of the new course recapitulate the stages of radical phenomenology. The three middle lectures form one internally consistent set of the dynamics of depth intuition, conceptual holding frame, and resolutional intent. Further, they form, as a single
unit, the conceptual folding frame of a recapitulation of radical phenomenology, the first term of which is the first lecture, the third term of which is the fifth lecture. This document has articulated these human dynamics section by section across the lectures. This course, therefore, provides a phenomenologica1 paradigm of every man's experience in our day. The participants are, in essence, led through an intensification of what they already know, so that they may do that which they have always experienced themselves as called upon to do, releasing them and their society through them to be that which they were destinally elected to be.
|1. Man only grasps who he is and what he is to do as a participant in his surrounding social environment. Man is not man except as manincommunity. Yet man has the capacity to articulate his vision of Utopia and in this way to stand outside his social situation. In fact, man is thrown into a vantage point in the future whether he wills it or not. He is to discern the state and direction of his culture. This enables him to intervene in the social process through building a rational picture of the social processes and using it to recreate these processes. In this course we will look at the nature of the happenings and events which divulge to one the scope of the cultural revolution, the depth of the human possibilities within it, and the style of authentic participation in the invention of social history. |
2. Man has succeeded in stimulating an everincreasing rate of change through applying the gift of technology to his natural world. One of the consequences of this success, however, has been the loss of significant effort given to the investigation of man's individual and social worlds. Only recently have such disciplines as anthropology and "new sociology" begun to give man back his orientation in a social environment. The social process triangles are an example of this renewed concern. The attempts to construct a model of a total and healthy set of social relationships has revealed that a society never finds itself in an evenlybalanced condition, but in a dynamical tension in which some dimensions of the process have become overextended to the point of tyranny, others have abdicated their role to the point of impotence, and some have collapsed under suppression.
3. But the very rational process of ordering of social engagement in this moment of crisis over against the reality of the past and the questions of the future has driven man to redefine the essence of being human: man in essence is the freedom to create his own essence. With this powerful indicative before us, we have once again had the courage to look through the biological "givers" of homo spaien's sociality, sexuality, and phasiality to the states of consciousness which objectively point to the universals within humankind. This experience of transparency has disclosed an entire other world, a world of intensified wonder, radical awareness, universal caring, and authentic fulfillment.
4. This colloquium is designed to fathom the nature of this transparent consciousness not only through the superimposition of man's rational capacities upon it, but also by going beyond to how it is experienced in the uniqueness of each person. This will be demonstrated in corporate and individual methods in the context of sociological research thinktanks, the purpose of which is to develop a construct by which each man can inject his wisdom into the decisionmaking process of society and to experience an approach to selfprogramming education. Lastly we hope to derive at the end of the weekend a series of social proposals from which concrete strategic and tactical action can be devised to engage local man without the necessity of experts.
5. In his concern for the social world, man's first experience of being in society comes in the encounter with his fellowman. Within these day to day meetings, he discovers the fact of his essential relatedness, and at the same time experiences the necessity of organizing these relationships into social patterns. Thus the fact of his concern means man must first deal with the political arena of the social process.
1. Imbalances in the structuring of society have disrupted the social process to the point that the individual, experiences a disengagement from corporate structures at the very time when social conditions call for intensified ordering. The sense that
this is a malaise is grounded in the fact of man's ontological sociality his essential existence in community and his refusal of that reality at the same time as trends toward global community continue and intensify. The inability to be the sociality that he knows as his deepest reality opens man to a breakthrough of the spirit that reforges his human sociality on the basis of a new depth consciousness of the fact of his concern for society. The practical engagement in the social processes, and the experience for man in that engagement of the fresh possibility of being a moral man.
2. Whenever Man reduces the structuring of society to concern for only one part of the whole social dynamic, he suffers a deep inward malaise that paralyzes him and blocks his engagement in society. At the present time, with man's overwhelming concern for the economic dimension, the sustaining of life, the concern for the structuring of corporate order has become so dominant that considerations of
common justice and wellbeing have been overshadowed. This creates a situation where man is practically disrelated to society and has no effective ways of engaging his life in the total social process. He therefore pretends to be no longer concerned for society, or reduces his arena of concern to a seemingly manageable segment. As he engages himself in the political dimension of society he finds himself isolated from historical processes and solely in the service of one part of society. This reductionism destroys the network of global relatedness, and thus he protects himself from other persons and centers of consciousness.
3. The contemporary political situation thus creates a deep crises within the individual whose experience is concern for society, whose very nature is to be socially engaged, yet who is unable to determine the authentic locus of that engagement. The deeps of the crisis can be understood only as one realizes that ontologically man is sociality. Instead of being his sociality, today man finds himself alienated from society with no viable means of caring authentically for his neighbors. One longs for genuine engagement, but he knows that to be human is not to be simply involved in unintentional action. Rather he sees that his only authentic possibility since he is sociality lies in embracing that very web of relationships, a sociality without limit, that links him with all of history, past, present and future.
4. Man rediscovers his ontological sociality in affirming the emergence of a worldwidehistorylong sociality which it is now possible for him to be involved in, authentically. He experiences this social selfconsciousness as deeply motivating as he is released to see that all along he has been participating in depth love for all men. In experiencing this permission to be the care that he actually is, he sees anew the standards of accountability for his moral action, and he is released to engage his life in the social ordering that will heal the imbalances of society.
5. This breakthrough of the spirit rein force a man in his engagement in human society and is the basis of a new depth consciousness of himself as sociality. He finds himself confronted with only two choices for the engagement of his life: to expend his life in the process of making the world more human for everyman, or to be consumed by the grindings of life which immediately surround him. It is at
this point that he experiences the resolve to confront the entire social process, that it may be rebalanced and that every man may come to experience authentic existence. In our time, his concern is shifted to the overaggressive social dynamic, the economic dynamic, the process of sustaining community.
1. Everyman desires the claim of a life of integrity, yet today man experiences this claim denied to him. The economic dimension of life, and particularly the processes of production, tyrannize society; and man is taught that life is simply about being productive. There is a growing awareness that to deal only with the economic is o reduce one's caring, yet at the same time there is a deep fear of adventure, in engagement. The possibility of such adventure lies in the duality of the principles of maleness and femaleness in society, and herein lies the possibility of integrity in life, the possibility of risking one's life in the midst of the ambiguity inherent in creating the new. This is taking the lie out of life, the lie which comes at the point of reducing one's context for engagement to anything less than the totality of the processes which form society.
2. The social process triangles disclose the tyranny of the economic dimension in every feces of our lives. Thus, the arena of man's concern and engagement has been reduced to the point that he is only willing to risk being. economically successful. He experiences him self caring about the health of the civilizing process, and yet he
knows that for the most part of his life that does not enable healing for the sickness of society nor alleviation for man's pain. As he senses his puniness at even "his finest hour", he sees that what he has termed his vocation (in most cases his economic base) is something different from the birthing, nurturing, and sustaining of society. Since he senses that authentic vocation has to do with his whole life being ended to deal with the imbalances of society, and experiences that it is possible for this to be done, he finds himself in a vocational crisis, socking alternatives to his own lucidity, experiencing his success as empty, and thinking deep down that his living is futile.
3. In the midst of this vocational collapse, today man is reinventing the vocated life style, and both the present collapse and emerging renewal of human vocatedness are related to the fact that every man experiences a deep 1onging for a hand in the continuing creation of the social process. This longing springs out of the deeps of man's being, out of the primary tension at his root: the tension between his tendencies to conserve and to adventure, the tension between the male principle and the female principle. When man experiences authentic vocatedness, this primal tension is released into the social process as the creative building of society, and yet today the tyranny of the economic dimension so limits man's sense of his arena of social engagement that people struggle hopelessly with being a "real man" or a "genuine woman". When man discovers authentic ways of appropriating his maleness and femaleness, the power of this primary, ontological tension is released toward the creating, nurturing and sustaining of society. Man experiences a new mode of vocatedneas, and he assumes the burden of the future
of global society.
4. Thus in appropriating the sexuality that he is, man acknowledges the cocreativity at the root of life. He experiences himself empowered to relate creatively to society and to the primal tension which is his life. He invents vocation anew, reempowered to confront the economic tyranny and to participate in building society. It is within this responsibility for society that he experiences his life as total freedom, and his malaise of apathy replaced by a new motivity. Within the fact of his sexuality and in relation to the objective otherness that that implies, he experiences the freedom to invent himself. He finds the permission to be the awareness that he is and thus discovers authentic living the life of integrity.
1. Man's existence in society is not completely defines by the need to structure society nor by the need to sustain life, but it also includes his worldview, and the processes which provide and transmit it. With an overextended economic dynamic in society today, every society value has been distorted to support the economic function, and this has resulted in a definition of humanity and society primarily in terms of material production. This disruption in man's sense of value he experiences as an absence of an adequate valuative context for decisionmaking. The overaggressive economic dynamic is beginning to be rebalanced today in the midst of a cultural revolution. Radical upheavals are occurring within the cultural dynamics of wisdom, style, and symbol all across the globe. This is based on man's experience of life as a journey through four life phases with four distinctive styles, and is making possible a recovery of authenticity in his sense of value, historic perspective, and operating context.
2. Since it is the cultural aspect of the social process which provides men with the sense of the significance of life, the collapse of this dimension of the social process means that man finds himself without a context for appropriating the depth consciousness in which he today participates. He experiences himself starved for meaning without a contemporary myth which illuminates the nature of intentional life engagement. He finds himself obliged to live out of absolutized values propagated from the past, which either enclose society in a reactionary posture or in arbitrary recourses of action. Education becomes abstract knowledge which is superficially and pragmatically applied to support provincial contexts; and the family, unable to face a new time and its new demands, begins to collapse. These are signs of what is called an "axiological crisis", the absence of a screen of human values adequate for the decisions man must make in our day. Man experiences this as fearfulness, alienation, and despair.
3. In the contemporary cultural revolution, the source of emerging possibilities in the creation of new human values is found in the fact of man's aging which weaves perpetual inventiveness into every life and into the social fabric as a whole. Whenever man is called upon to confront the fact that he will die, he necessarily faces the question of the meaning of his life, and in answering this question he participates in sustaining, critiquing, or inventing the human values of his culture. In his life journey man passes through four life phases, each of which is related to an appropriate mode of social engagement. The continuing vitality of the cultural aspect of the social process depends on the creative tension of the extremes of youth and elder, and of rising and established adult. It is through the interaction of these cyclical roles that the community's values, wisdom, and symbols are critiqued, updated, and grounded in humanness itself.
4. When man has decided to be his journey and thus embraces his life phase in its relationships to the other phases and to the social process, he discovers that his life is election, that he has no problems, that he no longer fears death, and experiences the fulfillment of perpetual expenditure. If his happiness is reduced to anything less than this, neither his learning nor his stylizing nor his final symbolizing of life has any meaning to him. It is the primary fact
of man's happiness that is the authentic base for these social processes and that releases him to dare to participate in the creative tension between the phases. This depth appropriation of his life reengages one in the illumination of all of society, for as he discovers his own life filled full with significance, man simultaneously fills society full with new meaning.
5. As man lives out in community the life that he now experiences as fulfilled, there is occasioned in himself and in others a vision of a new society in which this authentic existence may be lived by every man. In our time, in light of the present social imbalances, this new social vision is a vision of a new and adequate human mythology, a rehumanized educational process, the renewed ability of local community to imbue man with the sense of the significance of life, an economics that sustains all human life, and a politics that claims the engagement of every local man. This vision delivers man to the task of inventing the practical future possibilities for bringing it into actual reality.
TRANSITION INTO HISTORY
1. In order to engage intentionally in the civilizing process, man forges a practical vision of where society is to move, based on the depth interpretation of the malaise and trends of his time, and projecting into the future. However, the practical vision in itself is not enough, for man needs to have some way, same tactical scheme, to bring that vision to fruition. This tactical system must be thought through to achieve the results that his social analysis as disclosed to be necessary, and in our time tactical action, while needing to take place across the globe, must take place at the local level, for it is concrete engagement in the local, by local groups or an "invisible college", for instance, that brings into being the renewal of society in all its particulars. In thus participation in the destinal rebirth of society through local tactical action, the possibility is offered of significant human engagement and authentic human fulfillment.
2. The practical vision of our time has been forged. The objectives are clear. Yet without a method of implementation which takes into account the hard practical realities of the global and urban society, it is worth little. It is clear that a head on confrontation with all of global society can only result in crushing defeat. Yet it is equally clear that all of the globe must be renewed. The solution lies in the invention of an indirect tactical scheme, by means of which the new society Day be catalyzed. Such a scheme, the clear picture of how the new society is to be concretely built, is a key motivating factor in building that new society. Such a strategic tactical scheme has been forged. Our poetry for it is that it is a set of nine practical components of the whistle point which will trigger the avalanche of social renewal when activated in an integrated fashion. They may provisionally be held under the broad strategies of awakenment, demonstration and action.
3. The guild, or, more accurately, a network of guilds, must be called into self-conscious form across the globe. Such a network is demanded because the key to the renewal of society in our time is concrete change. This means practical action is needed at the local level, and it means that such action is required simultaneously across the globe. The guild network has historically been the dynamically authentic form which has allowed for such practical catalytic action to take place. The shape of the guilds is therefore of crucial concern, and represents the edge of present social research. By looking at historical predecessors by delineating the practical tasks, and by indicating the stylistic qualities of the guild, the guild network, and the guildsman, we begin to get a peek into the reality of a practical revolutionary body which will concretely forge out the actual renewal of society.
4. Only through bringing into being the guild network will the new society be birthed, for the guild is the mechanism of concrete human engagement by which every man participates in that destinal task. There simply is no other way in which man may experience authentic engagement other than expending his whole life in the invention of the social forms of humanness. Precisely this expenditure, total, relevant, and inclusive, linking him with those throughout time past and time to come who have called civi1izations into being, is the fulfillment of every local man, his authentic integrity and his destinal service to mankind.
5. Through this course man grasps a model of society that releases him to participate in the given economic, political and cultural relationships of the times, and therefore has an objective screen to view the critical social trends of history. It lets him see the collapse he has experienced in his life as related to the social contradictions of our time. It discloses the essential dynamic relationships between society and self in terms of the IThou encounter of his sociality, the cocreativity of his sexuality, and the four lives of his phasiality. It d lows him to experience in his own deeps the depth of his concern for mankind, the fact of his freedom, the reality of his fulfillment in the midst of social engagement. The emphasis within the course i. to allow man to participate in methods whereby he can intentionally engage his social relation ships. Throughout the course, these methods are used to illuminate corporately a depth consciousness of the social issues which are impacting man today. In sum, man is enabled to plan practically his concrete action that will give form to the creation of society around the globe.