Archive for July, 2014

Much of what I’ve written at this blog has involved tracing out human history in terms of a succession of visions of the nature of reality.

Each of these visions begins as an attempt to account for an entire area of human existence using a limited set of premises and conclusions. Once a vision matures, it expands its scope to become a general philosophy of life, but at the cost of losing much of its inner coherence. The tensions and contradictions this sets up ultimately lead to the birth of a new vision, founded on very different premises, while the parent vision becomes increasingly rigid and intolerant and finally collapses.

At least, that’s the story as I’ve been telling it up to now. I’ve tended to treat the visions as a closed system, with each one being influenced by visions drawn from other areas of experience but not by anything outside the system. I’ve occasionally speculated that there must be an outside factor which launched the cycle of visions in the remote past and has since kept it in motion, but I haven’t ever managed to pin down just what that might be.

Since last winter, however, I’ve been examining what I’ve called the “underground stream” — a persistent current of occultism and magical thinking that is cruder and less intellectual than the visions but also more idealistic and romantic — and I’m coming to believe that could be my missing X factor.

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