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Thought Pieces

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

The siren screams

The siren screams


Dante allegorised the lure of passivity as the siren, diabolical, beautiful and female, a Weiningerian composite, who will do anything to distract the pilgrim from the true path.
John Dunn

Sorelian amalgams

Sorelian amalgams


Early twentieth century Sorelian amalgams within the Futurist art of anarchists, syndicalists, nationalists, revolutionary socialists and fascists cannot be explained in terms of today’s bogusly constructed left and right.
John Dunn

Make it new

Make it new


Who were the worms to Nietzsche and Sorel? They were the product of liberal democracy, whose spontaneity, invention, and creative will had been crushed by la petite science, the petty bureaucratic imposition of quasi-scientific rules upon society. Human no longer, these were the worms.
John Dunn


Modernist response

Modernist response


From puppethood to human meant a separation from nature, a victory over nature, a Victory over the Sun. Suprematic paintings don’t have the old bottom-top orientations that depend on gravity. Malevich’s Black Square is a new superordered space, a reality beyond the senses - perfect unchanging form.
John Dunn

Self-hating

Self-hating


Weininger elaborated the Nietzschean bifurcation. By fusing Judaism and feminism Weininger opposed man, or manhood, or humanness to the implacable spiritual foe and sexual nemesis.
John Dunn

The implacable foe within too: Weininger ‘diagnosed’, in a very Freudian manner, that the racism and misogyny in Sex and Character were the sub-conscious and projected self-hatreds of everyman.
John Dunn

In a straightjacket

In a straightjacket


This is the Weiningerian logic, that woman possesses no ‘I’, no ‘Kantian’ transcendental ego, no essence. Like some bundle of of sense-impressions she is defined by others, in particular she is defined by man’s attitude to her body as as a sex object, a commodity.
John Dunn

Swayambhu suppressed

Swayambhu suppressed


In Weininger’s conflation of race, religion and gender is both rage against the passive acceptance of necessity and despair at the seeming lack of any alternative.
John Dunn

To bring a sword

 To bring a sword


The Passion was not provoked by man’s unwillingness to recognise the universal absolute values that Jesus incarnated, but rather by the claims to a special messianic status originating in Jewish historicist mythology, which has no claims to the acceptance of all men.
John Dunn

Promethean flame

Promethean flame


Prometheus was punished for exercising his independence from the gods. Freedom from a mind-independent reality is our struggle too.
John Dunn

Swayambhu the 'Self-Created, the Self-Existent'

Swayambhu the 'Self-Created, the Self-Existent'


The world came into being in an act of spontaneity. There was no pre-determined reason for its creation, which was an act of total freedom. The spontaneity of this act was likened by Dante to a child at play who turns eagerly to what delights it. Such unrestrained freedom is the foundation for our own human freedom.
John Dunn

Something from nothing

Something from nothing


This was the Zarathustrian struggle, the eternal cosmic struggle. The oppositional forces of light and darkness symbolise man’s struggle to free himself from the shaping forces of external reality and find from within his own internal resources, the power to create something new where nothing existed before, the divine power to create something from nothing.
John Dunn

Ilyenkov and the question

Ilyenkov and the question


In the end, Ilyenkov fell back upon Spinoza’s Substance that thinks, the standpoint that thought is a property, a mode of existence of matter, in the same way that extension is a mode of existence of matter.
John Dunn

Consolatory counterweight

Consolatory counterweight


As a Marxist initiate, access to elite knowledge would serve as the consolatory counterweight to the new passivity for many years. After all where might the alternative to my materially derived knowledge originate? From the gods?
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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