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There is the personal narrative that we each build for ourselves and the historical narrative of our society that we build together in society. These both help to qualify and quantify who we are individually and collectively. In this sermon, we talk about Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay: History, and we bring in Martin Heidegger’s philosophical ideas on history.

Please see the sermon video below, and the notes used to deliver the sermon below that.

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  1. Sermon Notes

    1. We’ve heard of this mind in a variety of ways: Universal Mind, the Force, Collective Consciousness, Aethyr, and a-Priori. That we each have our own unique mind or psyche or soul. But also there is this sway of consciousness; that zeitgeist that shows distinct souls to be simultaneously connected to a racial soul.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same and to all of the same.

    1A. We find here, an intimation of the Jungian concept of the Akashi Records; yet another variant way to contemplate the Universal Mind.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Of the works of this mind history is the record. Its genius is illustrated by the entire series of days. Man is explicable by nothing less than all his history.

    1B. Emerson was well-read of the great phenomenologists of his day, but he could not have known Heideger. Yet it is as if Heidegger took his cue from the above quote to tie and intimately intertwine History and Being.

    1B1. Heidegger challenges the Platonic perspective that humanity has evolved by conquering nature; from a hunter/gatherer mentality to the sophisticated cosmopolitan and builder of cities.

    The funadmantal error that underlies such ways of thinking is the opinion that the interception of history is primitve and backward, clumsy and weak. The opposite is true. The inception is what is most uncanny and mightiest.

    1B1a. The uncanny are the people wh’ve escaped the bad faith of seeking comfort. These are the doers that move society forward; the movers an the shakers.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    But along with the civil and metaphysical history of man, another history goes daily forward,–that of the external world,–in which he is not less strictly implicated. He is the compend of time; he is also the correlative of nature. His power consists in the multitude of his affinities, in the fact that his life is intertwined with the whole chain of organic and inorganic being.

    2. As we create our own history, we also affect the history of our generation, which is a way of connecting with the higher levels of collective human thought. We come to know ourself through the creation of our own personal narrative and how we live that. This is but a step on the stairs of the racial narrative that will have our actions contribute to the evolutionary process of our thought and experience.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    This human mind wrote history, and this must read it. The Sphinx must solve her own riddle. Inner link If the whole of history is in one man, it is all to be explained from individual experience.

    2A. But Heidegger takes this further to state that if one raises one’s consciousness to the dynamic of history; its creation linking it to beingness. Thus we have the ontological expression of beingness in our apprehension. Our uncanniness has moved us to create, which then Heidegger asserts is a violence forcing itself onto our individual and collective beingness.

    The one who is violence doing, the creative one, who set out into the un-said, who breaks into un-thought, who compels what has never happened and makes appear what is unseen, this violence-doing one stands at all times in doing.

    3. This reads like a Qabalah; te ontology of moving from negative existnce to manifestation. And the powers of the Sphinx are clearly suggested: To Know, To Will, To Dare and To Be Silent.

    The essence of Being human opens itself up to us only when it is understood on the basis of this urgency that is necessitated by Being itself. Historical humanity Being-here means: Being-posited as the breach into which the excessive violence of Being breaks in its appearing, so that this breach itself shatters against being.

    3A. Breeding into un-thought is the spiritual glimpse beyond oneself. It is the accomplishment of the Magister Templi. It brings new Gnosis to resurrect beingness in our time in order that we in our generation have made our own contact with the Divine.

    3A1. Heidegger further asserts that violence doing “occurs solely in the manner of setting-into-work itself. The overwhelming, Being, confirms itself in works as history.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    The instinct of the mind, the purpose of nature, betrays itself in the use we make of the signal narrations of history. Time dissipates to shining ether the solid angularity of facts.

    4A. A suggestion of the mind as the a-priori of Emmanuel Kant, of which Emerson was familiar and knowledgeable of. Both the inner and outer facts of history create a series of events that become beingness.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    In like manner, all public facts are to be individualized, all private facts are to be generalized. Then at once History becomes fluid and true, and Biography deep and sublime.

    4B. From this, the historical record; the story becomes a mythology with its constellation fixed in the sky.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    The advancing man discovers how deep a property he has in literature,–in all fable as well as in all history.

    4B1. So that when we create ourselves, an that we bring meaning to the narrative of events in series, it is the mythos that brings a sense of the sublime. And in this way do we own our experience.

    This act of violence, this de-cided setting-out upon the way to the Being of beings, moves humanity out of the homeliness of what is most directly nearby and what is usual.

    4B1. Homeliness represents the lethargy of comfor and staying in that comfort. Here is where the mob; the inance and ignoble–the profane reside. They are the many who make no history in themselves and never attain to beingness.

    4B1a. But for those who have, they have found the heart of nobility.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Civil and natural history, the history of art and of literature, must be explained from individual history, or must remain words.

    5. Emerson then delivers the phenomenological thought:

    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Every thing the individual sees without him corresponds to his states of mind, and every thing is in turn intelligible to him, as his onward thinking leads him into the truth to which that fact or series belongs.

    5A. The inner and outer creation of an historical or mythological narrative is that act of beauty that manifests beingness for the individual and the community.

    Being-human, according to its historical, history opening essence is logos, the gatherin and apprehending of the Being of beings; the happening of waht is most uncanny, which, thorugh doing violence, the overwhelmeing comes to appearance and is brought to stand.

    5B. That which is overwhelming gives us a sense of awe! In that simultaneously we are bringing new Gnosis to the community. And yet this is the beginning of the Great Work!


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