THE "KARL JASPERS FORUM" WEB PAGE Update 5 (1-11-06)
1. Almost to the edge of consciousness
2. Jasper applied to wartime experience
3. Herbert’s use of Nietzsche is glossolalai
Notation: Mr. Herbert Muller continues to neglect Karl Jaspers and now expresses an interest in Wilfrid Sellars. The significance of Sellars’ thoughts on how terms can function and can be exploited is interesting, and so too the in-depth consciousness studies. But Herbert’s curiosity can be more gratified through Jaspers’ works, which contain case studies such as in his General Psychopathology. An effort below is made to understand why Herbert avoids the greatest source of information but uses the name. Below is a continued effort at understanding Herbert’s consciousness-evading formula compared to relevant material presented in Jaspers’ book regarding the matter of consciousness, including some psyche and neural aspects as manifested in psychoses and neuroses.
0. Prefatory remarks
01. In  of TA78R27 to Mr. McCarthy, Herbert immediately takes refuge in his formula “MIR” (mind-independent reality, that is, there is no reality independent mind) and now in vatic style sanctifies the formula with the suffix “faith”, i.e., “MIR-belief”. And this faith-qualifier is not…given…through consciousness except in so far as one wills, or assents to, the apodictic knowledge or experience that humankind’s attribute of faith is a planetary accident of “evolution”. His ontologism is the apodosis of “one can believe in God”. He says there is no reality independent of his and my mind, and yet there is something distinguishable enough to be categorized as faith and one of knowledge. He must make an atheistic “experience” connection. Sellars’ two terms “myth” about the “givens” rings and stimulates Herbert. Though “myth” can have not only form but content too, Herbert uses only the form to push off on a tangent in search of content in the form of another more popular predecessor. He finds Nietzsche and his disputable reputation as being the author of the death of God. Herbert’s understanding of Nietzsche is based more on the theological journalism of William Hamilton, Paul Buren, and Thomas Altizer than primary readings from Nietzsche and certainly nothing from Jaspers’ Nietzsche. Herbert then makes a multiple spin in mid air that is impossible to follow by normal classical means but is detectible by the use of quantum thinking, i.e., thinking using probability. The jumping, swinging, and spinning occurs in the combination of concepts symbolized functionally by Herbert’s words “subject-others-objects-world-and-all”. The spin cannot be followed objectively, but yet understanding must be attempted.
02. He then diminishes any objectivity hinted at in his hyphenated complex-concepts. In realistic thinking “Others” the “world” and “all” are influences into which all are born, but for Herbert they are other-words for consciousness and conscience. This verbalization process is a substitute for real-cases, for Herbert cannot present one case history of a normal person being born in a world without objectivity, except for the weight of his personal testimony. This personal testimony rejects the influence of…given…consciousness and conscience, given, albeit measurable through probable degrees of empirical intensity. This side of abnormal suppression there is nothing unstructured about normal upbringing wherein consciousness includes the bridge from others’ consciousness and conscience. The task here is to try to understand why Herbert suppresses this reality, and bashfully leans away from the…penumbra…of consciousness and experience.
1. Almost to the edge of consciousness
1.1 In his Response, Herbert has drawn close to the edge of consciousness. He recoils from its reality by pointing at the shadowy areas saying one ought not enter unless one eye is kept on the unconscious and the other on subconscious. Then he shrinks back into the safety of what stands-out of consciousness most vividly, i.e., experience and the “I” immediately constructed. It appears to me to be a withdrawn and rigid “I”. In effect he plucks out both eyes for consciousness, for only what is experienced at a predetermined and certain intensity is allowed to constrain conscientiousness. This constraint can miss the illuminating precepts transmittable through consciousness. If he has not experienced it, he assumes others, especially theists, also have not and they need Herbert’s formula as a suppression tool.
1.2. I had offered once to go with him into consciousness in Responses R1 through R15 to his Comment to TA51. There I reminding him of Nietzsche’s intellectual honesty, which included thinking out of experience and a restraining and real consciousness. Specifically I drew attention to how Zarathustra searched for an honest man and how it led him to the most barren place in the no-mans’ land, the “I-less” land between consciousness and experience. In that…penumbra…of consciousness he was immediately confronted by one having the distinctive title of being the Ugliest Man. The ugliest man was a person’s “I” caught between experience and the better part of consciousness.
1.3. I had recommended that he read further into Nietzsche’s Thus
Spoke Zarathrustra until he found out whom (I prefer “who” here rather than the whom recommended by my Word Program for who is less regal [and later Word suggested revising who/whom]) that ugliest man might be. At that time Herbert had not used a vatic authority to support his atheism and evolutionism so I did not use it either. Nietzsche referred to him later as…pope. And in a sense the image is the vatic constructed “I”, that imaged-person one delimits selfhood to, if built on experience alone. Admittedly for…some…this “I” is built on overwhelming negative experience. When the…some…includes aristocrats of great influence, and are academically endowed, confrontational tactics can be more intense than when used as technique for normal persons. Confrontational techniques must be used to approach Herbert’s thinking.
1.4. Here Herbert has used Nietzsche as an authoritative crutch to support the death of gods and God agenda. He, due to his academic image, must reinforce his “I” by appearing to be open to challenging feedback. In feedback fashion I had prompted him to come to consciousness fearlessly beyond this “I” of his more vividly intense personal experience. But it is not easy for some to look beyond experience into consciousness, for, if an ape looks in an ape looks back. The image is vividly reflected in a real dark and fearful reflective subconscious/unconscious, reflected by an upbringing stifling to memory, and a reflection imposing limitations on consciousness and conscience. The excuse for avoiding consciousness is couched in other defensive terms. These terms are seen when Herbert starts justifying his fears through talk about anesthetics. If one goes into consciousness while anesthetized one loses the superficial vatic imposed moral controls made possible by experience. It is better to hide this dependency within experience rather than risk it being revealed through the myth-revealing freedom of consciousness. Herbert must experience directly from current ongoing intense image-enhanced experience the prohibitions and commands imposed not through the media of consciousness but by an institutionally “evolved” God. One must remain sober to avoid consciousness, he feels, or else the not yet “evolved” un-sublimated base urges from the subconscious may take over consciousness.
1.5. However there is experiential bases for his warning against entering consciousness without a crutch or lubricant that makes one insensitive to conscience and consciousness. In the disease of alcoholism there are symptoms one of which is the release of moral brakes. Under the influence of anesthetics one’s conscience can be eroded by chronic non-use. It is possible for one to have had no conscience transferred through consciousness such as the consciousness regarding ethics and moral precepts from parents or an extended family. One’s unconsciousness is the ramp to the empathetic bridge to parental or extended surrogate family consciousness and conscientiousness. In the absence of consciousness and conscience, radical constructions are substituted. This is what Herbert has probably done but his radically superior self-image overcame the sense of responsibility academia must exercise. His institutional associations share this irresponsibility.
1.6. Unconsciousness as used here is simply another word for action at an empirical distance, or, unconsciousness is that unknown and unknowable part of empathy and sympathy mysteriously transferred through teaching by example, nuances, etc. One learns and reflects in part on the transferred feeling that one had been conceived and born in a barn or circumstantially laid in a manger. Any medically experienced professional or professional patient knows that some under partial anesthesia might utter nothing, expletives, or positives. An evolutional biologist might use a low-life category to curse a diagnostic messenger, and if bi-lingual can revert to native symbols.
1.7. That offer and attempt to go with Herbert, through the use of Jaspers’ philosophical logic systematically delimiting at the limits of experience, was rejected or not understood. The attempt was made to go with him into consciousness in a systematic and disciplined way by penetrating the psyche-determinants through to the indeterminants of consciousness, where subconscious suggestives could be fearlessly confronted and where the sublime seeds “given” via the unconscious might be germinated unless wholly attritioned by nonuse or misuse, and replaced by impenetrable personality disorders. In this case the disorder is at least an un-differentially complex as complicated as experience is variable in intensity.
2. Jaspers applied to wartime experience
2.1 Below, the effort continues to understand Herbert’s aversion to consciousness, and the resulting missed opportunities for relief from the restraints of experience. In the absence of biographical information that can only come from someone whose objectivity includes consciousness; probability will have to be used as a means of measuring causes and effects for aberrant thinking. The mind works with information, and so we start with what is known about Herbert. He and Ernst Glasersfleld seem to have something in common relative to WWII. Though nothing significant has been shared regarding such…experience…it presents an opportunity to see what Jaspers has to say about wartime experience and consciousness. There’s no denying the insecurities of war. Emotional upheavals can affect either a withdrawal from experience into consciousness, and a withdrawal from consciousness into constructivistic ways of handling events. Wartime experience can affect a sophisticated system to avoid consciousness and conscience. Life based on wartime experience can become cheap, and thrills can be enhanced by the fear of imminent death.
2.2. Jaspers points out (719 Gen. Psycho.) that there is no confirmation of specific war psychoses or neuroses. What there is though, he says, is “an acute clouding of consciousness and a greater variety of neurosis…” By his own admission Herbert avoids this foggy area. For Jaspers this fogging of consciousness and manifestation of neuroses was related to a process of “psychic attrition” that is, the wearing away of psyche-structures by fear and exhaustion. With regard to war-affected patients, Jaspers says that discussions by fellow psychiatrists took either psychogenic form or physical form. Those same forms, especially the psyche, can be seen in Herbert’s expressions. But there is a third more processive discussion. Herbert does not want to find it in Jaspers, but finds it interesting in Sellars, and here we catch a glimpse of an apologetic attitude but only that he was not aware of Sellars. Why doesn’t he apologize for not seeing it in Jaspers? As a hypothesis it is due to the clouding of consciousness.
2.3. Jaspers says that those whose philosophy of psychology predetermined their approach resulted in the psychogenic, and talk generally involved ascribing guilt and evil intentions to patients. Or, if philosophy leaned toward the medical, the physical, everything was ascribed to illness. In the latter case, the trend was seen in comments indicating no one could be blamed.
The third alternative, in the last quoted sentence, is the effort to do objective analyses while making possible connections. And that is what is being done here in an attempt to understand Herbert, but with less emphasis on “quiet” observation.
2.4. As one can detect, Herbert, as a therapist of sorts, could be included in those whose philosophy was biased toward the psyche, for this is what he means by subjective experience as the only base for constructs. Such an emphasis is blinding, and contributes to irresponsible neglect for seeing unconscious forces “escaping into illness” or in Herbert’s case, unconscious forces escaping into radical constructs. It is especially seen in his own tendency to avoid consciousness due to an aversion to the unconscious and fear of the subconscious. Here his philosophy of psyche deteriorates into an a-theistic accusatorial mode where all epistic problems are traceable to guilt, and theistic faith is equated with evil intent. To Herbert guilt and evil-intent is attributable to the “given” part of belief in God as reality. This is why he will speak of the evil 30 years religious wars (but take a no-fault view of the Inquisition). But, in applying the third philosophy of objective analysis of connections, an absolute diagnosis with equal negative prognosis is not being made of Herbert’s condition. Why? Because if Sellars can influence him, perhaps he can be contrite enough to admit why he is avoiding the influence of Jaspers. He could transact to being confronted with his oblivion to the obviousness of the contradiction. The objectivity of these three philosophical approaches to psychopathological cases does not prevent the application of such forms of thinking to rational and emotional conditions just this side of abnormality.
2.5. Although Jaspers is applying these approaches and methods to extreme cases such as the clinical and/or institutional, the forms of thinking are manifested in other wartime areas. For instance, the no-guilt or no-evil intent is used by wartime Hannah Arendt’s defense of wartime Martin Heidegger, which contributed to his continued post-war Rectorship position of influence in the highly politicized German education industry. This is probably what Jaspers had in mind when he expressed deep reservations about American occupation authorities who were substituting for good Germans “people who proved their incapacity before 1933” (68 Lib. of Liv. Phil.). Due to his health Jaspers could not serve politically in any direct fashion, as could Heidegger. But that enforced remoteness placed Jaspers in a balanced academic position for outmaneuvering non-politically but literally everything the political Heidegger proposed to accomplish.
2.6. Before leaving the effects of war, there are two other intense phenomena to consider. The first is known as prison-psychosis or a form of irresponsibility. One can avoid consciousness because of one’s barrenness of conscience and responsibility; and professional institutional-security through confinement is sought as a replacement for an inadequate consciousness (387 G.P. abnormal mechanism). One can see this in professional students, and professional or life-long institutional workers. The other is found in what is called barbed wire sickness seen in prisoners-of-war where imposed psychic irresponsibility and responsibility is transferred into mild neuroses and psychoses due to the lack of opportunity for overt behavior, and results more in moodiness. There is a third, and that is the behavior of the younger that are conscience-deficient compared to the levels of impulsiveness.
2.7. But, lastly, let’s return to reasons for avoiding consciousness where specific mechanisms can be identified compared to general abnormal mechanisms. These are the psychic guilt and evil-intent experiences that cause aversions to consciousness. Jaspers gives a few examples, and the affects of conversion experiences that more than equate the guilt-evil feelings. The more intense states require deeper immersion into solution. Such guilt-ridden emotions and release from the experience can be accompanied by elation. The conversion experience might be described as a feeling of lightness or floating. Refined glossolalia might be instrumental to Catharsis. Once I witnessed, within a distraught group, one person laugh as intensely as others cried. It was a mother who had lost two children to a rare disease and was uncertain about the future of her last child. Here reality based experience has become intolerable, and stepping once again into pure consciousness through historically tested guidance is essential to loosely defined normalcy. This return to consciousness is the role of Existenz philosophical faith and can involve guilds, or none at all if guiding precepts are already infused traditionally in consciousness.
3. Herbert’s use of Nietzsche is glossolalia
3.1 As mentioned above Herbert uses Nietzsche’s theistic expressions as a vatic predecessor for his a-theism constructs. That cannot fairly be done for there is now a post-Jaspers Nietzsche. The only time Herbert has looked at Nietzsche through Jaspers is when he found some reason to think Jaspers was not reliable as an interpreter of Nietzsche. Regardless, Herbert does not understand Nietzsche, and superficially defers to him in his 1889 twilight of his year of insanity when he wrote Twilight of the Idols. In earlier years it was not a matter of faithlessness that led him to observe that old gods laughed themselves to death at the saying “There is one God! You shall have no other gods before me!” That is not the same as Herbert’s evolutional a-theism, i.e., his theos is the product of “evolution”. A more proper representation of Nietzsche would be that the God conjured by humankind is as dead as their thinking, feeling, and behavior. But, for Herbert, Nietzsche was a Protestant preacher’s child and ministerial student and must be shown to be the author of the death of God theology? In his saner years he said that he lately heard the Devil say: “God is dead; God has died of his pity for man”.
3.2. True to form Herbert has not touched Nietzsche’s consciousness. But Nietzsche immersed himself in consciousness and fearlessly trod with reason the subconscious as well as unconscious. Herbert is still forgetting Nietzsche’s historical context. Nietzsche remembered consciousness prior to negative experiences. He remembered as a PK (preacher’s kid) toddler playing securely in his father study and remembered his father’s entertainment at the piano. He remembered his father’s suffering, and his death at around age 5. He remembered soon after how younger brother died. He remembered the dream about his father coming back into the home, walking past Nietzsche and taking his brother with him back to the tomb. For all practical purposes his heavenly father was dead, and in death he was past by, ignored by this father. Here the conflict between the subconscious (the dream) and unconscious (empathetic parental love and source of contentment) can be seen. He had to learn how to live without a father. He had experienced what it means to feel that his father had forsaken him, just as Jesus felt forsaken. Jaspers points out that strangely, with regard to Jesus, Nietzsche was silent. That is less strange to me. Knowing his bios, he could identify with Jesus and yet remain essentially critical; and an honest thinker’s silence could only mean reverence rather than indifference.
3.3. But that is only part of the feeling of estrangement, the feeling of being alone. There were his headaches and the headaches of his father. There was the syphilis epidemic, which not only could lead to greater loneliness, and perhaps life-restraints leading to disappointment in love regarding the relationship with Lou Andreas-Solomé, and the restraining reality involved in wondering about who had it and who didn’t, and how much might have been transmitted genetically to Nietzsche. What really killed his father? Lou’s emotionally disturbing experiences included a married minister’s pursuit for her affections. All these connections are involved in a determination on the part of Nietzsche to live as though God were dead, as though living depended on perpetual rationalism, constructs, radical rationalism, radical constructivism based on experience alone, this side of the consciousness he once knew, and really never forgot due to the influence of his maternal caregivers.
3.4. The desperate feeling of forsakenness by a heavenly father cannot be equated to Herbert’s subconscious-evolutional atheism.
4. Consciousness homecoming