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Thought Pieces

Michelangelo's God and Adam on Dr John Dunn. Doctor John Dunn

What ought to be

What ought to be


The Romantic Movement in turn will then be seen as an emanation of the Promethean struggle for freedom against a mind-independent reality, ‘the struggle between good and evil the essential wheel in the working of things’, first articulated by Zarathustra.
John Dunn

Resurrection of the self



Resurrection of the self




The concept of the thing-in-itself was a residuum of the Spinozist Substance (rooted as we know in Lurianic Kabbalah), which Kant’s Copernican Revolution combatted, but did not fully destroy. The post-Kantians intended to finish the job. Conscious that Kant’s thing-in-itself was a creation of mental activity, the post-Kantian idealists attempted to banish this Spinozist residuum from the world.
John Dunn

Comatose subject

Comatose subject


Locke, Berkeley and Hume retained the essence of Spinozist monism i.e. the death of the self, except that this apparent death was rather a coma, a state of limbo in a passive state of abject dualism.
John Dunn

‘Truth’: a cruel, elaborate and stultifying fiction

‘Truth’: a cruel, elaborate and stultifying fiction


The ‘truth’ of the modern world was and remains an instrument of enslavement. Philosophically this ‘truth’ translated too readily into positivism and deference to the objective virginity of facts, untouched by any subjective intrusion from mind. The modern world became an arid desert of reality.
John Dunn

Edomite Red

Edomite Red


Napoleon’s conquests cemented the spread of French revolutionary legislation to much of western Europe. The powers of the Roman Catholic church, guilds, and manorial aristocracy came under the gun as the goal of an unimpeded borderless movement of money came into view. Traditions crumbled. 'All that is solid melts into air’, wrote Marx in a Sabbatian fervour, ‘all that is holy is profaned'.
John Dunn

Sin's redeeming power

Sin's redeeming power


Like Spinoza’s, Sabbatai Zevi’s messianism was a social, economic and political phenomenon, wrapped in an interpretation of Lurianic kabbalistic metaphors of exile and return. It was to the exiled Marranos who sailed eastwards for the Ottoman Empire that Sabbatai Zevi’s messianism appealed.
John Dunn

Death of the self

Death of the self


Spinoza rejected orthodox Judaism for the pursuit of esoteric kabbalistic metaphors clothed in the exoteric form of rationalism. Sabbatai Zevi pursued another course, but towards the same ends in the rejection of rabbinical tradition.

As such, their ‘messianic’ roles were to lead mankind into the modern world.
John Dunn

‘Liberty’ deceitfully

‘Liberty’ deceitfully


Nominally ‘free’ trade enjoyed the protection of the state. Not just any enthusiastic would-be entrepreneur could engage in the tea and opium trade, usury, slave trading and the founding of the Bank of England.
John Dunn

Transmogrified Spinozism

Transmogrified Spinozism


The germ of tikkun was in Spinoza’s reworked Lurianic philosophy. The restoration of oligarchical rule was Ein Sof. After 1688, the predominant political philosophy of Britain and those regions of the globe under its influence would be transmogrified Spinozism.
John Dunn

Community of oligarchs

Community of oligarchs


The crucial feature of the Anglo-Dutch liberal model was the independence from national government, elected or otherwise, enjoyed by a privately controlled central banking system. In effect, that central bank became the agent of the landholding, financier-oligarchic class.
John Dunn

'I will not be a doge'

'I will not be a doge'


We do not retain our right to punish the transgressors of property rights according to Locke. Instead, it is precisely our abrogation of the right to punish which is transferred to a state that makes the political realm possible. A Lockean right to property was Marrano ‘liberty’ deceitfully clothed in political ‘justice’.
John Dunn

'Republick of Merchants'

'Republick of Merchants'


Assuming the universal applicability of the principle of sufficient reason, a consistent rationalism must be deterministic and fatalistic. Spinoza’s self-caused God, or
Substance, is incompatible the freedom of the will. Not surprisingly, both Sarpi and Spinoza feared democracy. ‘Just keep the masses cheaply fed’, insisted Sarpi, whose words probably applied to ideas, as well as food.
John Dunn

'Human god'

'Human god'


In his pilgrimage through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, to the mind of God, Dante had arrived at man, not the passive and bestial victim of natural law or sirenic distractions, but man governed by an ability to create, with an intention of creating a future worthy of his relationship to the divine. Dante had established the humanist principle of the Renaissance uprising.
John Dunn

Monstrous Spinoza

Monstrous Spinoza


Transform the world he did, but I contend that the ‘salvation’ on offer from Spinoza was the Kabbalist¹s Tikkun and cannot be separated from the goal of restoring the shattered prestige and economic interests of his own Marrano-Jewish community.
John Dunn

Hegel, Marx and Kabbalah

Hegel, Marx and Kabbalah


As Marx wrote in Capital, ‘The veil is not removed from the countenance of the social life process, ie the process of material production, until it becomes production by freely associated men and stands under their conscious and planned control’. Marx’s equivalent to the Kabbalist’s Tikkun was therefore the return to a communistic existence, but on a globalised scale.
John Dunn

Lurianic Kabbalah

Lurianic Kabbalah


All existence would then return to the original perfection of Ein Sof, the great preconception, in the reassertion of the totality of the original divine substance. Being would be Ein Sof, total and undifferentiated. All would be hypostasis. Tikkun would mean the de-centring of the subject, ultimately the suicide of the self.
John Dunn

Spinoza, exile and return

Spinoza, exile and return

As a community of exiles, the Portuguese Jews of Amsterdam were highly proud of their identity. The bitterness of their fall from grace in Spain and Portugal would be long-lasting.
This was the exile that counted, not the original myth of expulsion from Palestine.
John Dunn

Unquestioned presupposition

Unquestioned presupposition

Ilyenkov, the Soviet Marxist, fell under evil curse of Spinoza. Parsifal might as well have chosen Klingsor as his guide to the Grail. Ilyenkov must have known that there is no such thing as Marxism - only Spinozism.
John Dunn

Grail question

Grail question


This Grail is concerned with 'carrying on Christ’s effectiveness in this world,' as a vessel through which the divine can have its way. The inner Christ is Logos incarnated. This is the Grail. The Grail is there to be discovered, but first the individual must ask the Grail question - ‘who am I?’
John Dunn

Sam Decker and the grail vision in John Cowper Powys’s Glastonbury Romance - some thoughts

Sam Decker and the grail vision in John Cowper Powys’s Glastonbury Romance - some thoughts


Perhaps the philosophy that Powys’s actively created self most closely resembles is that of Ernst Junger. Late in his life, Junger published a novel called Eumeswil which postulated the concept of the ‘Anarch,’ a concept that is modelled on Max Stirner’s idea of the ‘Egoist’, a model that too had a profound influence upon Powys.
John Dunn

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