Conversation on Immortality

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Conversation on Immortality

Page 11

You said "collective life awakes to my Ego". Would you admit the following picture: There are streams of collective life originating in the whole network of the species which reproduces itself as a multiplicity and converges into a single organism. Life in this single organism, in so far as it is unconscious, still has the collective character. Moreover, life, collectivity, unconscious, involuntariness are almost synonyms. So the streams of collective life converging into a single organism and, only interrupted by sleep, continuously crossing the threshold of consciousness, constitute that transition from collectivity to consciousness that you have called individualization. Then the final stretch of this still unconscious, individualizing collectivity, the involuntary activity before it passes into consciousness is the true subject I and, in so far as it has already become conscious, it is the object I. The content of the I would be the conscious object I, represented by the time-whole of the organism as experienced. That content is perishable, the format is not. By a trace of the Ego, it is that form that I would understand. Would you agree?

B. I think I would.

K. If we admit that the forming process of the I is always just below the threshold of consciousness and is always turning into it and thereby becoming the object I related to collectivity, then there is some justification for a metaphysical conception. This would see in the still more remote domains of collectivity, further away from the phase that ends in individualization, in the structure of life connecting individuals, the material complement of that which, in the domain of the spirit, has been called a 'common 'Ego', a collective soul, or something like it. Then, at the other end, at the end of the collectivity, different consciousnesses would merge into common ground and from this ultimately arises every individual mind. It is the mind-making quality of reality. I can illustrate it better with a drawing (he sketches the following on a piece of paper). The different Selves would not look like this

1 1 1 1 1 1

but like this


or rather like this


Here, the points represent the conscious objects, I, while the arrows show the direction of the process of individualization, of life becoming conscious i.e.., the subject I.

D. But what you call the empirical Self is still destroyed with its organism?