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On his head

Sunday, 31 March 2019 at 20:20

Marx Hegel on head on Dr John Dunn. Yes - there was always something strange in Marx’s upturning assertion about Hegel. The truth is that Marx espoused Spinozism, the denial of human will and creativity. Marx took much from Hegel, but Hegel too was a Spinozist, inheriting his concept of Absolute Spirit from Judaism and Kabbalah. ForHegel, the origin, substance, purpose and direction of the universe was the realisation of an infinite knowledge, consciousness, or mind. Like the Kabbalists, Hegel held that the world’s beginning, substance and end is to be found in an infinite, all inclusive, Absolute Being. This Absolute, which is analogous to the Kabbalist’s Ein-sof, is conceived of by Hegel as the Absolute Spirit, a notion that is itself present in many kabbalistic works.

ForHegel everything begins with the realisation that there is something exceptional and inescapable in Spinoza’s philosophy. He wrote ‘du hast entweder den Spinozismus oder keine Philosophie’ - you have either Spinozism or no philosophy at all. When Marx ‘turned Hegel on this head’, he was in reality ‘uprighting’ Spinoza, following Fichte's inversion.

To Spinozists like Marx and Engels, the answer to ‘What am I?’ is - ‘you are what you have to be’. In Spinoza’s concept of God, or the One, or Ein Sof, subjectivity is subsumed within Substance, never allowing for a clear separation of the two. This was the reason why Martin Buber said that Spinoza left no room for dialogue with God. Spinoza, to whom the knowledge of God was everything, nevertheless deprived man of an essential element of religious reality: the ‘approachability’ of God or, as Buber called it, his ‘dialogue’ relation with God. And trust me, there is far more to this ‘dialogue relation’ than Buber or any other religionist would have you believe.

© John Dunn.

Marcion denied

Wednesday, 27 March 2019 at 21:16

Marcion of Sinope on Dr John Dunn. Marcion of Sinope (85AD-160AD)

Marcion’s attempt to reject the Old Testament God was thrown out. Constantine’s regime favoured the arbitrary rule of Jehovah and an impassable gulf between dependent individuals and the Absolute as an entity outside, above and beyond the individual. To be subject to a manmade entity reified as mind-independent reality is the polar opposite to the attainment of an autonomously creative mind. But then again, such thinking minds would not make good slaves of a tyrannous empire, which needed instead heteronomous minds, wholly dependent on a master to tell them what to do and think.

Submission from the flock was demanded contractually across the Empire, through the weekly repetition of the Nicene Creed by the whole community. Lords and serfs alike contracted into a strict religion of transcendence that cemented the Christian era’s rigid social demarcation for millennia. It seemed to me that the flame of Prometheus was snuffed out at Nicaea. Jesus had the special messianic status of Jewish mythology thrust upon him and was hailed as the Christ, or promised Messiah.

And so began the Christian (or Messianic) era, the Jehovian terror, during which man has been enslaved to the very higher reality that Jesus preached against.

© John Dunn.

The mystery turns

Friday, 8 February 2019 at 17:56

St John eagle on Dr John Dunn. 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.

The mystery

Monday, 4 February 2019 at 18:01

Symbol of evangelist on Dr John Dunn. 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.

Reconfiguring words

Sunday, 3 February 2019 at 18:06

John the evangelist on Dr John Dunn. 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

Julius Evola on Dr John Dunn. 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.

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