Many years ago I helped my friend Serquet sort through some ideas concerning his forthcoming utterance of Synesis. After looking at all the pieces – the possibilities of psychic phenomena, coincidence, the metamind and so forth – final question was this: What is the value of it?
From this Serquet went his own direction, but for me the question touched on a deep mystery, a sense of Runa.
What is value? How do we determine some things as being more valuable than others?
We turn for a moment to the field of economics where we learn about the subjective theory of value. This is the idea that the value of a good is not determined by any inherent property, nor by the amount of labor necessary to produce the good, but instead value is determined by the importance an acting individual places on a good for the achievement of his desired ends. Such a valuation is influenced by numerous individual and situational factors like time, utility, psychology and any number of other factors. If one recognizes the existence of a subjective universe as Setians do, then one if force to admit that valuation is inherently subjective.
Subjective Value Theory explain how two people can come together – exchange capital, goods or services – and both walk away satisfied that they got a good deal. If there were no subjective aspect of value, then every exchange or transaction would result in a clear winner and loser. This is a central idea in Marxism, where every exchange is a form of exploitation. But experience doesn’t bear this out since exchanges in which both parties voluntarily engage and both parties walk away satisfied happen all the time. For instance: the new iPhone costs $300. The only way I or anyone else will buy the new iPhone is if I valuate it as being worth more than $300. Apple for their part obviously consider $300 to be worth more than an iPhone – including the cost of all it’s component parts, labor that produced it, etc. Therefore their willingness to trade us one in exchange for $300. This is one way in which Marxism and it’s axiomatic Labor Theory of Value is fundamentally not Left-Hand Path, as it does not recognize the ability of the Subjective mind to make such valuations accurately or independently.
But in fact, this is something the subjective mind does and does quite frequently and efficiently. The human mind makes valuations and judgements 100s, maybe thousands of times a day; on everything from whether or not to buy the new iPhone to what’s the best deal for lunch, what’s the best moment to begin crossing the street, who’s the best stranger to ask directions from, what’s the best tie to wear, and so on. It is the ability of the subjective mind to make value judgments that give the individual the ability to pursue happiness, achieve a better lifestyle, to establish mutually beneficial partnerships and so on.
The same principle applies to all manner of personal exchange, but is especially relevant to initiatory endeavors. We seek to maximize the value of exchange and impressions. Two initiates can have an exchange of energy or ideas and both walk away feeling they have gained something of value. It is this fundamental desire of the Subjective Universe to identify and connect with value which fuels the initiatory drive to achieve something better, become something greater, and connect with something higher; to Remanifest Supersubstantial.
In one sense Epiousios represents the gold of initiatory impressions. We seek the highest and if what we have found is of some insubstantial or transient quality, it won’t be long before we’re out there seeking again. This is one reason Runa can be represented with the Graal search – the Graal typically symbolized by an object of great value and workmanship. As well the search for gold, for hidden treasures and so forth represent the idea of seeking value
Another way of considering this in the drive to produce value. In life people often get mistakenly and misguidedly wrapped up in the drive to acquire value. In the initiatory mindset we awaken to the truth that it is producing value that is the more virtuous and more worthy pursuit. The lead into gold myth of the alchemists then becomes an internal subject of work – it is the soul that we seek to transform into gold. We wish to produce value and realize that our soul is our greatest production.
Epiousios, the Supersubstantial, cuts right to the heart of this question. We seek that which is of greatest initiatory value so that we might Remanifest the greatest value within ourselves.