19 June 2007

Drinks party

Copy of a letter

Thank you for coming to our drinks party. As you said, it was a funny time of day, but this arose because we usually do such things in the function room at the Mitre, which is being refurbished. The rooms at Infinite Ideas which we hired instead are very suitable rooms, but unfortunately not available for evening times.

Just to amplify some things I said at the party. You seemed to find it difficult to understand what I meant by being ‘squeezed out’ without a single usable qualification at the end of the ruined ‘education’. Actually, I refer to that as being ‘thrown out’, and what I refer to as being ‘squeezed to death’ came later, and is still going on.

The reason I use the terminology in this way is that people like to assume or imply that I am a ‘drop-out’, and that I turned my back on normal careers voluntarily. Actually I was thrown out of an academic career very much against my will, and knew that I could not make a career or even earn money in any other way. I could not get any support for attempting in any way to get back into a university career, even moral support or the barest recognition of the fact that that was what I was trying to do.

And if you speak of my being thrown out (into the wilderness, onto the dungheap) as being squeezed out, that might seem to imply that the squeeze was a one-off thing. Actually the attempt to squeeze me to death was applied as soon as I set up my incipient academic institution in Oxford, within which I hoped to be able to do research with which to reclaim a position in the academic world. I lived more or less literally under siege and have done so ever since.

You asked what 'centralisation' was. It is a lot easier, of course, to say what decentralisation is, which prevents centralisation from arising. All modern psychology (which includes psychology of religion) is about decentralisation. It is promoted by people who are themselves decentralised, so it is not even a realistic account of how unrealistic psychology works.

I have put on my blogspot some comments on the film Sleuth which provides very clear illustrations of people being forced into decentralised positions. Under threat from other people, they have no attention free to consider their own internal psychological criteria or to become aware of the fact that they are in a shocking existential situation which they do not know anything about.

I don’t use words like 'supernatural' or 'transcendent', but I do use the word 'inconceivable' to apply to the qualitatively different mental contents of a higher level. That, however, is not present in any sort of pre-higher level centralised psychology.