From Rilke's Duino Elergies
Monday, 26 June 2017 at 21:05
Lines from the Duino Elergies resonated with me, particularly after my recent readings of Fichte - 'everything here
apparently needs us'
But because truly, being here is so much;
because everything here
apparently needs us, this fleeting world,
which in some strange way
keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting
Once for each thing. Just once; no more.
And we too,
just once. And never again. But to have been
this once, completely, even if only once:
to have been at one with the earth,
seems beyond undoing.
Posted by John Dunn.
Sunday, 30 April 2017 at 20:19
Fichte represented a peak anti-Spinozism, a peak anti-feudalism, epitomising Renaissance concepts, i.e. nation state, anti-Jew, anti-oligarchy, anti-globalism.
Fichte turned Spinoza on his head
Fichte had turned the monist materialist Spinoza on his head in formulating his own idealist philosophy of the Absolute I.
Rather than continue his work, Schelling and Hegel reacted against it, seeking instead a path of mediation between Fichte’s Absolute I and a persistent and residual external reality.
Consciously Christian, Hegel believed that he had developed a supercessionary philosophy, one that took the philosophy of the Jew Spinoza as its starting point. Hegel formulated a secular New Testament to Spinoza’s secular Old.
In reality Hegel remained a monophysite, providing the self-sustaining motor of return to the Absolute that was lacking in Spinoza’s own philosophy. It only needed Marx to turn Hegel on his head, consciously in opposition to Fichte, to complete the return, setting Spinoza ‘right side up’ in the process. Above all, Marx was a Spinozist, rather than a Hegelian.
© John Dunn.
The myth of idealist succession
Sunday, 23 April 2017 at 21:53
In philosophy, the myth of succession holds sway, with Schelling and Hegel presented as the heirs and successors of Fichte, rather than his opponents.
So what did Fichte represent? The assertion of the same individual will that had attained crown and mitre in Dante’s Divine Comedy; the will which thundered in the symphonies of Beethoven and the great romantic poets.
What did Schelling and Hegel represent? They were Monophysites. Influenced by Spinoza.
Fichte represented a peak. Schelling and Hegel represented a falling away.
Fichte defined what it is to be human; and that was in the human capacity for creation, in the image of God.
© John Dunn.
Marx the Spinozist
Monday, 17 April 2017 at 20:37
Consciously Christian, Hegel believed that he had developed a supercessionary philosophy, one that took the philosophy of the Jew Spinoza as its starting point. In reality Hegel remained a monophysite and provided the motor of return to Spinoza’s Absolute. It only needed Marx to turn Hegel on his head, consciously in opposition to Fichte, to complete the return, setting Spinoza ‘right side up’ in the process. Above all, Marx was a Spinozist, rather than a Hegelian.
The shadow of the Hegelian dialectic may have remained as a materialist teleology in Marx’s work, as determinism, necessarianism and fatalism. However, its philosophy of progression masked the philosophy of return, which had existed from the start in the Lurianic Kabbalah of exile and return adopted by Spinoza.
© John Dunn.
Thursday, 9 March 2017 at 21:39
Lithograph of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814 )in his post-Spinozist years.
The debate over the issue of Spinozism and its alleged pantheistic consequences was one of the most important intellectual concerns of the early 1780s (with the pantheism controversy). In the debate the young Fichte appears to have been firmly on the side of the metaphysical determinists.
I contend that Spinozism was an early form of Marxism, sharing the same Judaic and kabbalistic roots.
This makes the young Fichte a proto-Marxist.
He did of course revolt against what he judged to be his own youthful error, turning against the materialist monism of Spinoza, advocating instead an idealist monism as the basis of a Renaissance humanism in secular form.
© John Dunn.
Turning Spinoza on his head
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 at 21:59
Fichte put the ground of autonomy in the self in an attempt to refute the Spinozists. He reversed Spinoza and the dogmatists who put the ground of autonomy in the not-self i.e. in nature, in the outer world as the cause of our representations.
Fichte also refuted the Kantian thing-in-itself, which served as the outer world and cause of our representations.
It is easy to see why Fichte was accused of atheism in his time. By refuting the Spinozists’ external cause, that in which Spinoza insisted man is grounded, i.e. Substance, or Ein Sof, Fichte was also denying the existence of a God external to man. Fichte had internalised God. He had wholly embraced the Renaissance humanist concept of the divinity of man.
In answer to the “what am I” question, the Spinozists claimed that everything we know is derived from the outer world through sensation and that the ground of autonomy lies in the outer world of nature. Their answer to the question is that the self is merely an accident or epiphenomenon of this ontology of actuality.
Fichte attempted to save the self by reversing Spinoza as well as turning him on his head. Fichte claimed that all reality and substantiality is inside the self as a whole. The external world of nature is an epiphenomenon that revolves around the self, not the other way around.
Did Fichte actually refute Spinoza, or did he merely miniaturise Ein Sof?
And didn’t the Ein Sof of Lurianic Kabbalah miniaturise itself in its act of withdrawal?
Things to ponder.
© John Dunn.
Wednesday, 22 February 2017 at 20:53
In March to April 1841, at the age of 22, Karl Marx made extensive transcriptions from Spinoza.* These notebooks were published by Dietz Verlag in the GDR in 1976, in two volumes. Volume I contains Marx’s transcriptions in Latin and German; Volume II contains translations from Latin into German, and notes, the “Apparat”.
He prepared his Spinoza notes immediately following the completion of his doctoral dissertation for which he received his doctoral degree in April 1841.
The combination of his work on Epicurus (for the dissertation) and the notes taken from Spinoza had a profound effect upon Marx’s conception of human freedom.
Certainly the combination was also at the root of his realisation that there were two basic and opposite trends in philosophy, the idealist and the materialist.
*Karl Marx (1976) Marx/Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA), IV Vierte Abteilung : Exzerpte Notizen Marginalien Band 1(Berlin: Dietz Verlag)
© John Dunn.