Deep Code




There are as many morales as there are Cultures, no more and no fewer.

Just as every painter every musician has something in him which, by force of inward necessity never emerges into consciousness but dominates a priori the form-language of his work and differentiates that work from the work of every other Culture, so every conception of Life held by a Culture-man possesses a priori (in the very strictest Kantian sense of the phrase) a constitution that is deeper than all momentary judgments and strivings and impresses the style of these with the hall-mark of the particular Culture.

The individual may act morally or immorally, may do "good" or "evil" with respect to the primary feeling of his Culture, but the theory of his actions is not a result but a datum. Each Culture possesses its own standards, the validity of which begins and ends with it.

There is no general morale of humanity […]

Just as we are incapable of altering our world-feeling - so incapable that even in trying to alter it we have to follow the old lines and confirm instead of overthrowing it - so also we are powerless to alter the ethical basis of our waking being […]

We may talk to-day of transvaluing all our values; we may, as Megalopolitans, “go back to” Buddhism or Paganism or a romantic Catholicism; we may champion as Anarchists an individualist or as Socialists a collectivist ethic - but in spite of all we do, will and feel the same.

A conversion to Theosophy or Freethinking or one of the present-day transitions from a supposed Christianity to a supposed Atheism (or vice versa) is an alteration of words and notions, of the religious or intellectual surface, no more. None of our "movements" have changed man.

[Oswald Spengler]
The Decline of the West, Vol. 1, p. 345-6




The text of a conviction is never a test of its reality, for man is rarely conscious of his own beliefs.

Catchwords and doctrines are always more or less popular and external as compared with deep spiritual actualities. Our theoretical reverence for the propositions of the New Testament is in fact of the same order as the theoretical reverence of the Renaissance and of Classicism for antique art; the one has no more transformed the spirit of men than the other has transformed the spirit of works.

The oft noted cases of the Mendicant Orders, the Moravians and the Salvation Army prove by their very rarity, and even more by the slightness of the effects that they have been able to produce, that they are exceptions in a quite different generality - namely, the Faustian-Christian morale.

That morale will not indeed be found formulated, either by Luther or by the Council of Trent, but all Christians of the great style - Innocent III and Calvin, Loyola and Savonarola, Pascal and St. Theresa - have had it in them, even in unconscious contradiction to their own formal teachings.

[Oswald Spengler]
The Decline of the West, Vol. 1, p. 348




[…] the word “God” in antithesis to “world” has always - however interpreted in this or that case - implied exactly what is implied in the word “will” with respect to soul, viz., the power that moves all that is within its domain.

Thought no sooner leaves Religion for Science than we get the double myth of concepts, in physics and psychology. The concepts “force,” “mass,” “will,” “passion” rest not on objective experience but on a life-feeling. Darwinism is nothing but a specially shallow formulation of this feeling […]

When a Materialist or Darwinian speaks of a "Nature" that orders everything, that effects selections, that produces and destroys anything, he differs only to the extent of one word from the 18th-Century Deist.

The world-feeling has undergone no change.

[Oswald Spengler]
The Decline of the West, Vol. 1, p. 312




[…] Natives love to joke about those situations in which a judge makes a brief remark and waits while the translator begins a long oration in an Indigenous language. The judge asks in surprise, "Did I really say that?" The translator replies "Yes, ... more or less." "But," the judge will say, "I only spoke a couple of sentences and you went on for about twenty minutes!” A little later, when asked a question, a Native witness will begin a long speech, at the end of which the translator may simply report, "The witness says, 'No'."

What is going on is not simply a matter of moving between two different languages but of translating between profoundly different worldviews.

What to the judge was a single sentence may have contained words that are related to concepts, that touch on issues, that are never found within the traditional Indigenous worldview. The translator will have to set the scene, as it were, and provide the context in which the judge's brief remarks can be understood.

These issues do not arise when we translate between English, Spanish, French, and German because Europeans and North Americans share a common worldview. Our notions of reality, time, space, and causality are more or less identical, so there is no need for a translator to deal with radically new concepts when discussing a land deal. A similar ease of movement between English and Mohawk, Cree, Hopi, or Haida is not possible.

[…] when we hear a language that is totally foreign to us, we may nevertheless be within our own language family, dealing with peoples who share some of our values, culture, worldview, and science. Native American languages, however, are profoundly different from Indo-European […]

Our technological world is so remarkably uniform that what we take to be differences of attitude and culture are generally nothing more than variations upon one particular theme. When we enter the world of Indigenous American languages, however, we encounter profoundly different concepts and worldviews. Indeed, not only are the concepts enfolded within the languages radically different, but even the meaning of language itself and the function of the sounds people make is profoundly different.

It isn't that these languages have not properly developed, or that the thought processes of the Cree people area "primitive" because they do not categorize the world. They have chosen to work within the world in a very different way from us.

[F. David Peat]
Blackfoot Physics, p.220-2, 228



Related posts: