The mystery turns
Friday, 8 February 2019 at 17:56
Shunning idolatry, John emphasised that no one has seen God as a pre-existent entity, but rather that God lives in each of us if we love one another (i.e. if his love is perfected in us and is not simply agape or shallow lurv). God is not a thing-in-itself to be experienced.
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:12)
This comes close to trumping God, or the originating Substance. Rather than being subsumed in God à la Spinoza, each one of us can choose to have God dwelling inside him. The tables are turned on God in this manner. But then this would be to fall into the Spinozist trap of polarity, recognised by Coleridge in his critique of the German idealists.
However, and this is the breakthrough, John rescues us from the circularity of the argument.
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16)
Whatever love is, it is dialectical. It is upon love that the mystery turns, i.e. upon the fact that there are no criteria bywhich love can be defined. This is the wonderful mystery of Love and God.
© John Dunn.
Monday, 4 February 2019 at 18:01
The words of Jesus in John's Gospel were reconfiguring words. Reconfiguring, because it was Jesus who confronted the Jews with a reconfigured cosmological understanding. This new understanding was centred on the love encounter. And this love encounter is dependent upon the inner core of humanness.
It is not dependent on law - be it natural necessity, or manmade, such as Marxian historical necessity - this is to be subject to externalities.
But what is this love? Some bang on about agape,but this has nothing to do with love, it is ‘do-gooding’, or charity, which was the word in the Bible where the meaning of love was lost in translation. Love is internalised. It comes from the inner core of man. It comes from the God within. Define it? It cannot be defined. Here lies the mystery. If you are looking for mystery in your life, then here it is. There are no criteria by which love can be defined. It is this innercore of the individual that Jesus saves.
© John Dunn.
Sunday, 3 February 2019 at 18:06
The chance encounter, love, has no pre-existence. God is love and love is God, but there is no need for the God metaphor in the sense of needing to define an object as pre-existing knowledge. To define God in such a naive way is nothing short of idolatry. Creation is continuous. Gentile recognised this. Nothing pre-exists creation. Nothing begets the creator. Coleridge thought that those individuals who acted at the creative level of the ‘secondary imagination’ attained a God-like power.
And yet in the attempt to answer the ‘what am I?’ question, I still end up seeking only to deify the human - again ending up at one pole, in short, succumbing to Spinozism.
As Fichte said, we have to ‘tear away the chains of the thing-in-itself, or external causes’.
So - in order to do so, let us reassess some of the recently introduced themes. Where do these themes come together?
- To remain distinct from God
- To pursue Evola’s point and trump God…by somehow internalising Him
- The unconditional freedom to choose
- The need for constant renewal
- The love encounter - the authentic moment when nothing else matters
The themes come together in John’s Gospel and the reconfiguring words of Jesus.
© John Dunn.
Evola's turn against idolatry
Saturday, 2 February 2019 at 20:20
The only way to remain outside of God, distinct and separate from God, is to trump Spinoza by creating God, in effect, trumping God. In his 1925 work Essays on Magical Idealism, Evola declared that ‘God does not exist. The Ego must create him by making itself divine.’ The youthful Evola was onto something here. He was rejecting God as a presuppositional object of idolatry, locating the divine instead in the mind of man.
In building on this, I would not say that in trying to become divine we search within ourselves for the Nietzschean superman. We have already emphasised the need to be more human, not super-human, or Übermensch (beyond-man). We become more divine by becoming more conscious, more human. By Coleridge’s definition, we exist through most of our lives in a dead state - a sub-human state, i.e. not thinking or creating, but rather accepting the pre-existing. We live at the frozen pole, afraid to shoot the albatross. The implication is that there is an alternative, a resurrected state, a fully humanised state. The implication also is that we can know an object when the object is neither found nor discovered by our thought as existing before we began to know, i.e. we can truly create.
© John Dunn.
Saturday, 26 January 2019 at 16:53
The Spinozist claim, i.e. that God is not love, he is being, universal being is applicable to the mineral realm, sufficing to arrive at the morally neutral idea of being. For the mineral is. In contrast to being, love is not neutral from the point of view of moral life, but rather at the heart of it, which is critical to the understanding of ourselves as human beings.
The seeker of truth in being will lose himself in a state of depersonalisation. Coleridge and Buber,amongst others have made this their central criticism of Spinoza. Tomberg argued that the same criticism could be made of the Bhagavan, the Buddha, the masters of yoga and the ancient philosophers who really lived as philosophers, above all the Stoics.
It is this depersonalisation which is the goal of tikkun in the Lurianic Kabbalah, the reabsorption into the One, Ein Sof. It is the death of the self in Spinoza’s secularised Judaism, the dehumanising result of Spinozism rejected by Buber. It is epitomised by the amoral realm of money which is the basis of the Spinozist ‘Republick of Merchants’.
© John Dunn.
Wednesday, 19 December 2018 at 13:41
What is relation?
It is the integration of active and passive elements. I relate to you and you relate to me. I reach out to you and you reach out to me. In the verbs of these sentences there is action by one and a passive receipt of action by the other. Active and passive elements mirror each other.
Encounter provides the key to reopening the door of mystery.
‘What am I?’ I still do not know.
I do know that the stage of individuation is a false grail. It is not here that the mystery lies.
However, to ask the grail question does mark a coming to consciousness. The question is the grail, not the answer.
But what of this consciousness, or conscience as Coleridge preferred to develop the issue?
C. G. Jung
The death of the self in Tikkun is not the extinction of being, but rather of consciousness, whether the assimilation is into the Spinozan Substance, Jung’s Unus Mundus or the ‘I am I’.
And whereas both animals and humans share the status of being, it is consciousness that lifts the human above the animal.
Having travelled the long and hard road to individuation to develop and purify the active element of being, it was hard to accept that consciousness needs another element, a passive element. There is no consciousness without these two elements, and the suppression of this duality in the Spinozist Substance, or the Absolute I of Idealism, must necessarily lead to the extinction not of being but rather of consciousness.
Consciousness is the mystery, not being.
© John Dunn.
Saturday, 8 December 2018 at 17:20
The conflation of Sara Hutchinson and Beatrice with Eve reminds me of a statement attributed to the novelist, Francois Mauriac: ‘A chance encounter between two people can have implications for eternity.’
Mauriac, in turn, was influenced in this idea by Gabriel Marcel who remarked that ‘relationships between things are external, relationships between people are internal.’
Better he had said that some relationships between people are internal, not all by a long way.
Daniel Paul Schreber (1842 – 1911)
Remember Schreber’s metamorphic nightmare of becoming a feminised Jew,
a bundle of of sense-impressions, with no inner core.
This Weineringian composite is the universalised state of mankind in the 'Republick of Merchants' - in Weininger’s terms, the death of the creative self, in short, dehumanisation.
And yet the chance encounter instills the ‘I’ where there was emptiness before.
The moment of sirenic temptation from the pathway to truth becomes a moment of
transformative learning, the resurrection of the self, the creative self which, in Coleridge’s terms, equates to the divine self.
© John Dunn.