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Influenced by Giovanni Gentile

Greta Italian idealist on Dr John Dunn. Transcend all

The work of Giovani Gentile continues to feed into the development of my own writing, and, no doubt, will do so too into my next published book. In the text below, Gentile seeks to resolve the opposition, resulting from common sense, between his own empirical personality and other persons and surrounding things.

…moral problems arise in so far as we become aware of the unreality of our being as an empirical ego opposed to other persons and surrounding things and come to see that our own life is actualised in the things opposed to it. such ground the moral problems arise, they are only solved when man comes to feel another’s needs his own, and thereby finds that his own life means that he is not closed within the narrow circle of his empirical personality but ever expanding in the efficacy of a mind above all particular interests and yet immanent in the very centre of his deeper personality. (The Theory of Mind as Pure Act)

Gentile is not saying that the ‘I’ is lost in the feeling ‘another’s needs his own’. On the contrary, the I unifies in itself every particular and empirical ego becoming, in the maturity of its thinking, the transcendental ego.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



Construct it new

Remarkable thoughts by Vico, captured by Giovanni Gentile and fed into The Theory of Mind As Pure Act.

Note that in the following line, the word ‘making’ is used, not ’made’. Emphasis on act, not fact.

The true is what is in the making. Nature is the true, according to Vico, only for the divine intellect which is creative of nature ; and nature cannot be the true for man, for nature is not made by us and into its secrets it is not given to us therefore to penetrate.

What then is the meaning of this doctrine of Vico? We can only know the truth of an object in the making by ourselves, not as a presupposition presented ready-made to us. Elaborating on Ezra Pound, ‘Make it new’… and know it to be true.

Vico's doctrine teaches us that we can only say we know an object when there is in that object nothing immediate, nothing which our thought finds there already before we begin to know it, real therefore even before it is known.

Nothing but the constructive process is.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



Tough act to follow

Continuing to read Gentile’s The Theory of Mind As Pure Act, which is the pièce de résistance of all works of philosophical idealism.

Gentile’s own definition of idealism is profound in that thought itself is included in his totalising concept.

Idealism is the negation of any reality which can be opposed to thought as independent of it and as the presupposition of it. But more than this, it is the negation of thought itself as an activity, if that thought is conceived as a reality existing apart from its developing process, as a substance independent of its actual manifestation.

His separation of animal and mineral from mind is again given with ruthless thoroughness. It has to be said also that what he writes below about the animal and mineral realm could apply to a very high percentage of the human population, even though Gentile does not go so far:

A stone is, because it is already all that it can be. It has realised its essence

A plant is, an animal is, in so far as all the determinations of the plant or animal are a necessary and pre-ordained consequence of its nature.

Their nature is what they can be, and what cannot be altered at will, cannot break out in to new unforeseeable manifestations. All the manifestations by which their nature is expressed is already there existing implicitly.


There are processes of reality which are logically exhaustible, although not yet actually realised in time. The existence of these is ideally actualised. The empirical manifestations of their being come to be conceived, therefore, as closed within limits already prescribed as impassable boundaries.

He then goes on to distinguish the open capacities of human mind from the closed capacities of nature, be it animal, mineral or sub-humanoid, the latter being, in the Mythology, the innocents of Beulah and their deceivers.

This restricted nature is a consequence which follows from the fact that every thing is represented in its relation to mind, as a reality confronting it, whose being therefore is presupposed in the fact that the mind knows it. The mind itself, on the contrary in its actuality is withdrawn from every pre-established law, and cannot be defined as a being restricted to a definite nature, in which the process of its life is exhausted and completed.

Mind is act or process not substance.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



Act or nothing

Anything accomplished does not diminish the need to accomplish more and more and more…

To become a simple passive spectator of my soul, even after a life of the mind intensely led, would be to become an inert spectator in the void, in the nought which is absolute, in the nothingness before the Beginning that never ends.

I made the activity of another the object of my own thought, and to that extent I objectivised my lover… and yet… the object of my own thought became my own activity, and in that way I entered into the spiritual fact of her, that is into her inmost essence.

For so long as it is sought it is found. Love is not found outside the seeking, for once what is known is stored away safely and possessed, love is gone.

And, related to the above…

The God you find is the God whom in seeking you make to be, hence the folly of attempting to prove a spiritual reality in Nature. Such were Satan’s temptations of Christ.

For in the infinity of consciousness, the without is always within. There is no means of transcending consciousness.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



Nothing is

This life just because it never is but always becomes, forms itself.

Mind was not in the beginning, it will not be in the end, because it never is. It is beginning always; or rather it becomes.

This reality cannot be conceived as a unity which is not a multiplicity.

One or many never is, either as starting point or end reached.

There can be no return to the One that preceded the beginning, for a One that is must be abstract, it does not exist, one is nought.

The beginning always, the becoming, is a multiplication which is a unification and a unification which is a multiplication.

But the Kabbalists would have us return to the One, to the nought, to their Platonic world of presupposition, where the ideal world precedes our corporeal life.

And the past, like nature, is something the mind finds confronting it… because of these Kabbalists, these Spinozists. They would reduce the world to nought.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



New each time…

A common name !— but every time a name sounds on our lips it is a new name, for it responds to an act which by its very definition, mental act, has no past.

Fused in the unity of the mental act to which it belongs, it has nothing in common with all the other uttered sounds materially identical with it, used at other times to denote other objects of our experience.

How do I address you?
With a name,
but each time it sounds upon my lips
It must be new…
Or I’ll turn, and you’ll be gone.


In being the individual the universal is itself the true individual.

I understand myself as unity of the variety
and things as variety of the unity.


Thinking mind

My mind is not a presupposition posited by some other; it is posited by the very subject which posits it - my mind.

Of this I need no more certainty than I already possess when thinking I realise my mind.

Common sense believes that when a man wakes up, he puts to flight his dream images by means of sensations of material objects, the rope of salvation without which he would be unable to escape shipwreck in the ocean of the inconsistent reality of his own fantasy.

The exact contrary is true.

When on awaking from sleep I look at and reach out to material objects in order to recover and possess a consciousness of the real, it is not in the objects themselves that I find the touchstone of reality, but in myself. Reality is not offered up by lifeless nature.

Reality is juxtaposed to the things seen in fantasy and to all the life lived in the dream. It is my mind that offers the possibility of discrimination and valuation, not the things to which I reach.

Were I to withdraw my subjectivity from nature, the world would become a dream without end.

When my subjectivity enters my dream, fantasy becomes solid reality, disturbing and passionate, making me shudder with joy or tremble with fear.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



A glance cast

The only conceivable individual is mind itself, that which individualises.

A glance cast upon the world holds it in a spacial multiplicity.

When we think of nature existing before mind and independently of mind, we are thinking of nothing.

Nothing - the eternal equilibrium - the realm of Ananke.
Nothing

“The people are thinking of nothing”, cried out Eros

“They are beholden to Urizen and Satan’s children, who drag the innocent fools down to Beulah”, …from which arises the nauseating refrain, ‘we just want to be happy… we just want to be happy…’

The anti-Love

They that dwelleth without love, what are they?

The anti-Love; the masonry of hate; the children of Urizen.

Root them out, pleads Eros to the Innocents, root them out,

They hide amongst you, root them out.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



I have my past

True, I have my past,just as civilisation and learning are retained and remembered, but what I retain is what I now understand, and the intellect with which I now understand is no longer identical with the one with which I formerly understood, if for no other reason that my intellect having once understood is, by some degree, enlarged.

Now, in the present, when I bring to mind the past from my life, a past coloured in my soul, now with a sad regret, now with a passionate yearning, now with joy and now with sorrow, I am not comparing two realities, one present one past, but two worlds, both equally present in the actuality of the ‘I’; equally present because, although variously assorted chronologically, all my past is compresent in the present thinking me.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



Space and time are in me


I am the eternal present on which all the rays of time converge and from which all radiate. I will not set time up before me as pure time, without eternity, without mind.

I am the spatial reality on which all spatial realities are centred and from which all spatial realities radiate.

I am not in space and time, but space and time are in me.

This ‘me’ is not the empirical ego but the transcendental ego.

Space and time as they are commonly understood are not located in me.

Space and time are activity; and for what is spatial and temporal to be in me means that it is spatial and temporal in virtue of my activity.

Space and time are not adequately conceived when they are assumed to exist in their pure and abstract diversity, immobile and irreducible.

They have a real multiplicity, but only in so far as it is posited, in the mobility, in the life, in the dialectic of the actual position which my mind makes for them by realising in them its own unity.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



My Mind

My mind is the principle of space.

There is not a space which contains my mind.

My mind is infinite, whilst space is finite.

But space is finite, without being a fixed finite thing.

If space were to escape the limitations of my mind, it would rest fixed.

But it is not fixed and is only conceivable through my mind’s act.

This act does not fix the limit, and then cease to act.

The act is unfailingly absolute, the beginning always, ever positing and at the same time never positing the limit.

Space, however vast is always within my mind. My mind is superior to it, and can look beyond its limits towards remoter limits.

There is no space without limit, but there is no limit that is not negated by my mind.

It is not space that is infinite, but rather my mind.

And as with space, so the same applies to time.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



...is as it is

My mind is opposed to nature, unifying it in itself.

I dominate space and time, my mind breaking through and thrusting beyond every limit.

I subdue, dominate and triumph over nature by withdrawing myself from its laws.

As I think, what I think of is as it is thought and not otherwise.

I cannot think of anything except as being true in distinction from its contrary of being false.

And the true is the absolute, for it cannot be but what it is.

The things of nature have other things surrounding them, but the true is alone.

Truth is not subject to the spatiality and temporality of natural things; it transcends them even in being what must be thought about them.

Truth posits itself as eternal.

The eternity of truth implies the eternity of the thought in which truth is revealed.

Truth is transcendent and so too is my mind.

Feeling truth can only be feeling the eternal also, capax Dei, feeling that I participate in the eternal.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



Cosmic crime

A cosmic crime has been committed, the objectivising of God, the distancing of the first principle, Love, from man.

The Platonic mysticism of Jehovianism has been implanted in the Judaisms, Christic, Islamic, atheistic, as well as the original.

The absolute is worshipped in its objective aspect, leading to the negation of the subject,

In an act of self-identification with the object, an act of idolatry, an act of mysticism, the subject negates its individuality

And yet… this mysticism, which is the denial of the value of the subject, is the activity of the subject, and therefore the implicit affirmation of its value.

I commingle and integrate the eternity of God with the eternity of my mind.

Itis not the objectified and distanced abstraction of God which posits the immortal soul, but the concept of God in so far as it is my concept and therefore a manifestation of the power of my mind.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



Opposed to time


Immortality belongs to mind, and mind is not nature.

I was imprisoned within definite limits, birth and death, outside of which my selfhood could not but seem annihilated.

But I discovered that this self, within which I was thrown into the world of the manifold and other imprisoned individuals is rooted in a higher self, in which alone it is real.

My concrete higher self contains the lower and other abstractions, people and things.

My higher self is not unfolded in space and time.

I cannot say that my higher self is before the birth and after the death of the lower, because "before" and "after" applied to it would cause it to fall from the one to the many, and by destroying it as the one I should thereby also destroy the manifold, all people, all things, everything.

My higher selfhood is outside every “before and after”.

My higher selfhood is in the eternal, opposed to time, which it makes to be.

By eternity, I do not mean transcending time such that my self stands outside time as one reality is outside another.

The eternity of my mind is the mortality of nature, because what is indefinite from the standpoint of the many is infinite from the stand point of the one?

Life, my mind's reality, is in experience, in nature, the experience of which is consciousness.

My higher self lives within nature without being absorbed in it, and without ever itself becoming it; it always keeps its own infinity or unity, without which even nature with its multiplicity, that is, with space and time, would be dissolved.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



All in the mind


The part of my loved ones which I lost is a materiality which never lived.

Real materiality is not the simple abstraction from the thinking act which appears as materiality.

When I have this abstract materiality in mind, in my ordinary mundane thoughts, I am unconscious of the thinking act which gives it life and makes it be.

Abstract materiality simply does not exist, having no mortality or immortality.

The materiality which lives is in my mind; it is in it, and has value just so far as it is its realisation.

The unity of my mind is the intelligibility of the materiality, the multiplicity of nature.

This multiplicity, when not taken in the abstract, is my mind.

Materiality participates in my mind’s immortality by being destroyed as nature.

The life of the object posited by my mind is also its death, otherwise I would be abandoning it to a life petrified, which is absolute death.

True life is made one by death, and therefore the immortality of the multiplicity is its eternal mortality.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



Fallen angel

History presents a problem to the unity of the multiplicity in my mind. My present position on this is…

…that there is a past, but I no longer represent the stages of that past as a spatial and temporal series in the usual way.

I no longer represent space and time as a line, which, in the succession of its points, stands before me.

The line is a process, and it is my process; because an object in itself cannot be other than static.

I do not realise a stage, only to drop it and then hop from this to the next stage, since a stage from which the detach myself, a stage which is no longer an act of my mind, falls outside my mind: a kind of Lucifer, a fallen angel.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



History, now, always

History for me is ideal and eternal.

Time is for me the actuality of my mind.

History abstracted from my present cognition has no value to me.

All history belongs to me, now.

The choice, order and disposition of the raw facts are one as the process of my mind.

Facts and ordering are two terms in the actuality of my thinking, rather than external to my thinking.

The facts of history, standing as isolated abstractions, have no being.

I think them and they can only be the act, the unique act, of my mind, which is not in my past, nor in my present which will be past, since it is the life, the very reality of my thought, the centre from which all time radiates, whether it be past or future.

History is only concrete in the eternal act of my thinking.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



All are complicit

I have no respect for artists

They only express their own world in their art. When they return from art to life, they feel as though they return to a reality different from that of their own fantasies.

The artist’s life is nothing

It is a subjective free creation detached from the real, a creation in which the subject himself is realised and enchained. He posits himself in his immediate abstract subjectivity; and an abstraction is nothing.

Religion is the antithesis of art

Art is the exaltation of the subject released from the chains of the 'real'. Religion is the exaltation of the object, released from the chains of the mind.

Religion’s abstract objectivism

The object in its abstract opposition to knowing is the 'real'. By that opposition knowing is excluded from reality, and the object is therefore unknowable, only affirmable mystically as the immediate adhesion of the subject to the object. In presupposing its object, religion is idolatrous.

Science is religion

Science presupposes its object and is inherently idolatrous. The science arises from the presupposition that the object exists before it is thought, and independently altogether of being known.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



Resolved

I withdraw from my mind every limit of space and time and every external condition.

History is not the presupposition of my present spiritual activity but its reality and concreteness, the basis of its absolute freedom.

In conceiving the universal I conceive myself as the reality itself.

I know that science has not risen from reality as nature to a complete grasp of the concept of reality as mind, where matter is resolved into form.

Matter and form are the Alpha and Omega as activity, a circle whose end is its beginning.

Form, as absolute, has not matter confronting it.

Form is activity which produces nothing which it expels from itself and leaves outside, inert and brute.

This is the guiding thread which will lead me out of the labyrinth in which I have striven, yet failed to touch anything real outside myself, and always finding myself at grips with evil (pain, error, sin), nature. The thread must not break in my hands.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



Inner spring

If I believed in a reality already realised, evil would be inconceivable.

But my mind cannot be understood in that way.

My mind is not to be understood as though there were no difference within it, as though it were a stone is a stone or two is two. A mind without difference within it would not be human; it would belong to some sub-human entity that has no capacity to think.

What else is pain but the contrary to the gain that I seek for myself.

My mind's not-being,— that is what is painful.

In so far as I thinks I am doing, achieving that which is not yet being, i.e. non-being.

So that it is in non-being that my mind fulfils its real nature, in so faras this is not already realised and is in process of realisation.

My mind finds itself always confronting itself as its own negation.

Herein lies the providential pain which spurs me on from task to task, the inner spring by which my mind lives on condition of progressing.

My life is a process of self-creation which has as its essential moment its own negation, the error opposed to the true.

So there is error at the heart of my reality because my self-creation requires error as a position now passed and discounted.

Error only is error in so far as I have already overcome it, in other words, in so far as it is my own concept's non-being.

I think not of error as a fixed reality opposed to a static mind, but rather as something to be looked back upon as a moment in the realisation of my mind.

It has to be said at this point that minds locked into a fixed position are not to be considered as human. They are to be forgiven, for they know not what they do.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



To a child of Urizen, a god apart

You conceive the world as other than yourself who conceive it, and the necessity of that concept is a pure logical necessity because it is abstract. You observe the world and its moral necessities as though it did not concern you. You proclaim your unhuman mantra - 'freedom is the recognition of necessity'.

But I conceive the world (as you should and at bottom perhaps always do conceive it) as my own reality, there being no other, a self-possessed reality. Unlike you, I cannot suppose the world outside the necessity of my concept as though moral law did not concern me.

The rationality of my concept appears to me as my own law, as duty. What else indeed is duty but the unity of the law of my own doing with the law of the universe?

And what else is your immorality, with eyes only for your own interest, if it be not the separation you make between yourself and the world, between its law and your law?

The formation of the moral consciousness, must mean also deepening of the spiritual meaning of life, a greater realising of reality as self-conceived.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



This is the I

Alone my mind, and all that is, is real

I am inconceivable as something anterior to and separate from the consciousness in which I am the object.

I know myself as both subject and object.

This is the I.

It is my spiritual reality.

It is the identity of myself with myself.

I duplicate myself as self and other, and find myself in the other.

To be self without the other would mean not even to be myself, because I only am in so far as the other is.

Nor would the other be would it not itself be other, because the other is only conceivable as identical with me as the subject.

In affirming reality, that which I affirm confronts me in the affirmation.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.


I am

My mind is all life.

Were I not the subject what would think? Were there no object what would I think? It is impossible to conceive thought without my personality because thought is me.

It is “I”.

My thinking is not mere activity but activity which relies on itself, and posits me as a person.

I realise myself as an object of knowledge.

When I conceive myself as the subject, then myself the object is also conceived. Each is real since thought is real, but...

...nothing is real outside thought.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



Act not fact

Thought would be inconceivable if I as the subject were not at the same time the object, and vice versa.

The opposition is inherent in my self-concept.

The opposition is between self and self.

The difference and otherness belong wholly to me.

Were I try to understand the opposition by the analogy of other kinds of relation, it would never be intelligible.

I posit my own identity as the basis of my own difference.

Both my being and not-being as subject are a synthesis.

The synthesis is not subject and object, but only subject.

But it is the REAL subject, which overcomes the falsity of the pure abstract subject and the pure abstract object.

This synthesis is the concrete reality of my self-consciousness, which is not fact but act, living and eternal act.

To think anything truly, I must realise it.

It is towards this realisation that my mind is working to establish the fulness of freedom, the reign of mind over nature and the progressive spiritualisation of the world.

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.


Mind v Urizen

If mind be the defining and differentiating factor of humanness, then who are the anti-humanists? They are the ones who would retreat before the forces of nature, who regard nature as an entity apart from mind with a self-contained existence of its own. These are the idolators of our times and all times, and nature is their Urizen to worship.

And yet… what is the historically ever more powerful lordship of man over nature, this progress and increase of the life of mind triumphing ever more surely over the adverse forces of nature, conquering them and subduing them, what is it but the empirical and external representation of the immanent eternal victory, the full and absolute victory, of mind over nature, of the immanent resolution of nature in mind?

John Dunn 2022

© John Dunn.



“Nature”: my non-being

Dr John Dunn 2022

I descend into my soul and take it by surprise, as it is in the living act, in the quivering of my spiritual life, that "nature" which grows so formidable in all the vastness of time and of space which I confer on it. What is it?

It is that obscure limit of my mind beyond which my living spirit is ever traversing and to which it is ever returning.

Seen from within my soul, this "nature" is my own non-being, the non-being of my own inward commotion, of the act by which I am to myself.

It is not my non-being as something existing for others to recognise.

It is the non-being which belongs to my act only; what I am not and must become, and which I bring in to being when I posit it.

Any object of my thought whatsoever can be no other than my own thought.

It is what I have thought and what I in my consciousness have set apart as object.

It is nothing other than a form of my non-being, or rather of the ideal moment to which I must counter-pose it, and which I must counter-pose to myself in order to be myself a reality.

© Dr John Dunn.


Nature without and within

Dr John Dunn 2022

Once I saw the face of nature from without, as a thing before me, a pure abstract object, and my mind was limited by it and ruled by it.

I conceived myself mechanically, in space, in time, without freedom, without value, mortal.

But I found the other face of nature when, awaking from my idolatrous dream of a distanced materiality, I found nature itself within my own mind as the non-being which is life, the eternal life, which is the real opposite of immortal death.

Nature now is the eternal past of my eternal present, the iron necessity of the past in the absolute freedom of the present.

Embracing nature in this non-idolatrous way, I recovered the whole power of my mind and recognised the infinite responsibility which lies in the use I make of it, rising above the mindless chatter of insects who are happy to live as though on the back of an unfeeling Earth, turning instead to the life breath of the Whole whose reality culminates in my self-consciousness.

© Dr John Dunn.


Final drama

Dr John Dunn 2022

In the final drama of my mind, I have come to know the absolute, which is present thinking in action, and no less.

Anything less than this leaves matter, and therefore the becoming of nature, outside of the idea.

The" I" is not absolute if it has something outside it on which it is based, instead of being the foundation of everything and therefore having the whole within itself.

I conceive the absolute, the cosmos, as idea. Were the idea not the act itself through which the whole, the absolute, the cosmos is known, then it would leave something outside itself as a presupposition, the stuff of idolatry and mysticism, the trap into which the Platonists, Berkeley,Kant, Fichte and Hegel ultimately fell.

I no longer deduct thought from nature and nature from the Logos, but nature and the Logos from my thinking in action.

© Dr John Dunn.


The thing is

Dr John Dunn 2022

When I wrote in the preceding blog ‘deduct Nature and Logos from thought’, I meant present thinking in action, not thought defined in the abstract, as a ‘fallen angel’. I meant thought which is absolutely mine, in which the ‘I’ is realised.

My concrete starting point is my thought in the act of realising itself.

My thinking is activity, and what I think is a product of my activity, that is, a thing.

My thinking activity is self-caused and therefore it is freedom.

The activity becomes, the thing is.

The thing is as other in relationship to an other. The fact that it is one amongst many implies multiplicity, number.

My activity, on the contrary is realised in itself as other.

It is therefore a relation with itself, an absolute, infinite unity, without multiplicity.

The thing thought is nature.

This contrasts so much with, on the one hand, any transcendental idealism like Plato’s, or the crudest materialistic naturalism on the other.

For were there to be a reality outside the infinite unity without multiplicity, i.e. my mind, then my mind would not be possible.

© Dr John Dunn.


Fallen thought of fallen angels

Dr John Dunn 2022

There was a time when I did not see the abstractness of the nature and restricted myself to the common herd notion of nature which represents it as concrete and actual reality.

In so doing I was ignoring entirely the true character of actual thought as absolute reality. For naturalism has always been the necessary consequence of such ignorance, a naturalism which is the fallen thought of fallen angels.

Fallen thought as the conception of a reality is intended as the opposite, and nothing but the opposite, of mind.

If mind has such independent reality confronting it, it can only know it by presupposing it already as realised, and therefore by limiting itselfto the part of a simple spectator.

What is this apparent other than mind that so seduces the common herd? It alone is nature, but this nature of fallen thought does not require to be deduced. Were there such an obligation it would be a sign that the fallen angels are right; and then it is no longer a case of deducing nature because, to fallen thought, it is itself the first principle.

The problem of the deduction of nature did not arise until I left the false standpoint of fallen thought and so rid myself of the illusion of a natural reality.

© Dr John Dunn.


Translucent inwardness

Dr John Dunn 2022

Once I had rid myself of the illusion of a natural reality, then this mysterious nature, impenetrable by the light of the intellect, appeared as a simple moment of my thought: a moment whose spirituality was unveiled in all its purity directly I came to think of it in the concrete from which it has been abstracted, in the act of thought in which it is really posited.

It is impossible to surprise a natural reality without positing it as an idea, and so the seeming solidity of nature becomes the translucent inwardness of thought.

© Dr John Dunn.

Inwardness brings to mind Kierkegaard...

“The subjective thinker is not a man of science, but an artist. Existing is an art. The subjective thinker is aesthetic enough to give his life aesthetic content, ethical enough to regulate it, and dialectical enough to penetrate it with thought.”

“Objectively, there is no truth”

“It is subjectivity that Christianity is concerned with, and it is only in subjectivity that its truth exists, if it exists at all; Objectively, Christianity has absolutely no existence”



Thought spiritualised

Dr John Dunn 2022

What I have thought cannot be what is now thinkable.

My thought has become a thing, nature, matter, a ‘fallen angel’, outside of my mind.

When I am thinking I affirm, and it is only in affirming that my thinking is.

My thought gone is simply what I have affirmed, the conclusion or result
of the affirmation, it not an affirming, nor a thinking.

And yet… as my thought cannot be my thinking, it affirms itself without being fixed as an affirmation.

It is a pure act, an eternal act. Nature in the very act in which I affirm it is denied, that is, spiritualised. And on this condition only can it be affirmed.

© Dr John Dunn.


Creating the absolute

Dr John Dunn 2022

When in my thinking I do not recognise myself, do not find myself, am not living in myself, the reality which comes to be the thought in which my thought meets itself, in which, that is, I meet myself, is for me nature, something apart, i.e. abstract.

I may try to think of nature as a concrete reality , as an object in itself, but the only object I can think is an aspect of my “I”, me.

My "I" from which the object arises, the object which is then no other than the life of my "I," is the absolute “I”.

It is the ultimate reality.

I may try and tap into it for separate objective knowledge, but ultimately I will find only the absolute “I”.

It is the " I" which is me, but me as subject with nothing to contrapose to myself and finding all in myself. I am therefore the actual concrete universal. This " I" which is the absolute is, in so far as I affirm myself.

Deprived of my internal causality I would be annulled, pulled down by the fallen angels;

But in causing myself I am creator of myself and in myself of the world, of the world which is the most complete that I can think, the absolute world.

© Dr John Dunn.


The world is nature and the world is history

Dr John Dunn 2022

They appear to be two different types of reality, other than myself

The other than my mind, which is outside of my mind, is nature.

The other in my mind is history.

The American continent is a natural fact.

The discovery of America by Columbus is an historical fact.

Historical facts have a certain law, which every one who narrates or remembers thehistory must respect: a law which requires an absolute form of otherness.

But they are not different in themselves as facts.

Nature and history coincide in so far as they imply a form of otherness from the "I" which knows.

This otherness also implies abstraction.

However, the truth is that if nature and history are to have a concrete reality they cannot exist apart from me.

© Dr John Dunn.


Radical otherness

Dr John Dunn 2022

To the common herd, nature and history, are both absolute otherness.

Nature is without final ends, extraneous to mind; something we can only know as phenomenon.

History is the fathomless sea of the past which loses itself and disappears in the far-off land of the prehistoric. It is the history of men's actions,the actions of men whose soul can only be reconstituted in an imagination devoid of any scientific justification.

Both are full and radical otherness, which has become the common perception.

Both have been withdrawn from the common mind.

Nature and the history to the common herd are abstract nature and abstract history, and, as such, non-existent.

The otherness which is the fundamental characteristic of the common herd’s view, were it as absolute as it appears, would imply the absolute unknowability of nature and history, but it would also imply something even more critical, the impossibility of mind.

For if there be something outside my mind in the absolute sense, my mind must be limited by it, and then it is no longer free, and no longer mind since mind is freedom.

© Dr John Dunn.



"I" reality

Dr John Dunn 2022

The otherness of history and of nature is no other than the objectivity of me to myself.

Nature and history are, in so far as they are my creation. I find them within myself, and produce them in my eternal process of self-creation.

This does not mean, as the common herd who trust to common sense imagine in dismay, that reality is a subjective illusion. Reality is true reality, in the most literal and unambiguous sense, in being the subject itself, the “I”.

I am not self-consciousness except as a consciousness of myself, determined as something. The reality of my self-consciousness is in my consciousness, and the reality of my consciousness in my self-consciousness.

My consciousness of my self-consciousness is my own reality, it is not imprisoned in me as a result or conclusion, but lives in the active now.

My intellect grows with what I know. It does not increase by acquiring qualities and preserving them without any further need of activity, but it is realised, with that increase, in a new knowing.

To distinguish the new knowing from the old means I must fall back on the fallen angels, the abstract facts as they mount up.

In their abstractness the fallen angels amount to nothing, whereas my self-consciousness is the world process itself, nature and history, in so far as it is my self-consciousness realised in consciousness.

The development of my mind, distinguishing between what I once knew and the new knowing in the active now is the actual present in all its concreteness.

© Dr John Dunn.




Distant Jehovah

Dr John Dunn 2022

I resolve the world into the act of thought, unifying the infinite variety of man and nature in an absolute one, in which the human is divine and the divine is human.

I reconcile all distinctions, but do not cancel them, and I affirm the finite no less resolutely than I affirms the infinite, difference no less than identity.

This is the polar opposite of the view taken by the mystics, religionists and rationalists, the children of Ananke, the fallen angels and the followers of the false god Urizen. In their view the soul abnegates itself in the infinite, where not only all vision of finite things, but even its own personality, is lost to it.

For the rationalists the Absolute is knowable because in itself it is knowledge.

For the mystics the Absolute is not knowable because it is not knowledge, but love. And love is distinguished from knowledge in being life, self-transformation, creative process, whereas knowledge supposes (that is, they believe it supposes) a reality already complete, which has only to be intuited. Mysticism, on the other hand, accords inwardly with rationalism in conceiving its love as an object, and the process of the Absolute as a process which confronts mind, and in which process mind must itself be fused.

And vice versa, rationalism coincides with mysticism, in so far as, even inconceiving the object of knowledge as knowable, that is as itself knowledge, it sets object wholly apart from the subject, and the subject having thus posited the object as wholly apart from itself is no longer itself conceivable, apart from empty metaphor, except as the subject of an intuitive activity.

Both rationalism and mysticism have the same source root, which sets the subject wholly and inexplicably apart from the object, the worshipper from a distant Jehovah.

© Dr John Dunn.


Child of Beulah


Dr John Dunn 2022

“I was ignoring entirely the true character of actual thought as absolute reality. For naturalism has always been the necessary consequence of such ignorance, a naturalism which is the fallen thought of fallen angels.”

“My thought has become a thing, nature, matter, a ‘fallen angel’.”

“Deprived of my internal causality I would be annulled, pulled down by the fallen angels.”

“To distinguish the new knowing from the old means I must fall back on the fallen angels, the abstract facts as they mount up.”

“In their abstractness the fallen angels amount to nothing.”

© Dr John Dunn.


Passive and indolent

Dr John Dunn 2022

Rationalism and mysticism (I'm using the term mystics in a way that embraces mystics of all types, religious mystics, occult mystics etc.) coincide in that they consider the mind's process as one which presupposes an object already realised before the process itself begins. Intellect creates nothing, does nothing, merely contemplates existence, a passive and indolent spectator.

The few creative greats that shun the contemplative life are themselves turned into objects of contemplation by the dumb masses, and objects of profit by the makers of money by money.

Mysticism is the same as rationalism. It may try to conceive of the mind as will (feeling, love), but it fails, because will is freedom and self-creativity; and freedom is impossible where the activity is not absolute. Hence mysticism falls back on the concepts of fate, surrender,and the like.

© Dr John Dunn.


Mystical reality

Dr John Dunn 2022

The mystic’s absolute reality is not subject but object.

The mystic's reality, so essentially objective and anti-spiritual, has no place for anything depending on the subject, the individual personality,the man tormented by the desire of God who is all, and by the infinite sense of his own nothingness. Man, the world and all particular things exist as but modes of existence of the super-objective One, the Absolute.

All particular things dissolve as illusive shadows as the mystic strives toturn the dross of one reality into the pure gold of another.

The spirits must be seen, one’s guardian angel evoked, super-objectivity upon objectivity.

Ultimately the mystic’s struggle must lead to the surrender of the self to the envisioned super-Objective. Mysticism is the suicide of the self.

© Dr John Dunn.


Anti-intellectualistic

Dr John Dunn 2022


I moved in the opposite direction to the mysticism of realism, one which was anti-intellectualistic and moral.

My moral conception rejects India and Greece.

The philosophy of India ends in asceticism, in the suppression of the passions, in the extirpation of desire and every root of the human incentive to work, in the nirvana. Its ideal is the negation of the realm which morality realises itself, human personality.

Greek philosophy preserves the natural order (or what is presupposed as such), but it can neither create nor construct a new world. Greek philosophy cannot express the virtue of mind which is its creative nature, it must produce the good which it cannot find confronting it.

How could Greek philosophy understand the moral nature of mind seeing that its world was not mind but nature? The nature need not be material, it might be ideal, but it is what the mind contemplates, not what it makes.Greek morality ends in Stoical suicide, consistent with its intellectualistic conception of a reality in which the subject has no worth.

© Dr John Dunn.


Freed and redeemed

Dr John Dunn 2022

I discovered the reality which is not until it creates itself, and is what it creates.

This was no Greek philosopher's world, already in existence and waiting to be known until a philosopher comes along to contemplate it.

It is a reality which waiting for me to construct, a reality which is truly even now love and will, because it is the inward effort of my soul, its living process, not its ideal and external model.

I myself must rise above humanity and become God.

God is no longer a reality who already is, but the God who is begotten in me and is myself in so far as I with my whole being rise to him.

My mind is no longer intellect but will. The world is no longer what I know but what I make: not only can I begin to conceive the mind as freedom or moral activity, but the world is freed and redeemed.

My whole world is a world which is what it would be, a world essentially moral.

© Dr John Dunn.


My own reality

Dr John Dunn 2022

The intellectualistic principle of abstract objectivity is destroyed in mysticism just as much as it is in realism.

I do not suppose as a logical antecedent of knowledge the reality which is the object of knowledge.

I conceive my intellect as will, freedom, morality; and I cancel that independent nature of the world, which makes it appear the basis of my mind, by recognising that it is only an abstract moment of my mind.

Nothing transcends the actuality of my mind and I comprehend within it the most radical, most logical, and the sincerest, conception of Christianity.

The only individual I can know is that which is the positive concreteness of the universal in the “I”. The absolute "I" is the "I" which I realise in every pulsation of my spiritual existence. It is the I which thinks and feels, the I which fears and hopes, the I which wills and works and which has responsibility, rights, and duties, and constitutes to me the pivot of my world.

I seek and find the all where alone it is, within me, my own reality.

© Dr John Dunn.


Reconciliation

Dr John Dunn 2022

When I write of my own reality I feel the fear surging around me about the distinctions of the real, that is, ‘how does he distinguish between the object of knowledge and his self as knowing subject?’

I attempt to calm troubled waters with an answer of unification in which I affirm that in the act of thinking nature and history are reconciled. No-one could wish to feel any other.

The whole of natural and historical reality is reconciled.

The eternal reconciliation of reality is displayed in and through all the forms of my experience. My experience is the infinite begetter of an infinite offspring in which it is realised. There is neither nature nor history, but always and only my nature, my history, in my spiritual act.

© Dr John Dunn.


Individual eternal value

Dr John Dunn 2022

My mind is the one in the substantiality of its self-consciousness

It is the diversity of all things as an actual reality of consciousness

It is life of self-consciousness in consciousness

It is unity of historical reality and the knowledge of it


I experience all as one whole a priori experience, in so far as every experience is understood as a spontaneous production of my mind.

In empirical knowledge all distinctions of the real are fossilised and reduced to abstract types, these are then ‘worshipped’ as true distinctions.

Differing profoundly, I regard these distinctions one and all in their individual eternal value.

Mystics are therefore my critics, since in their philosophy all distinctions are not maintained.

© Dr John Dunn.


All in all

Dr John Dunn 2022

I do not reduce distinctions to the point where I think of them as merely number and conceive of them as Spinoza’s infinite of the imagination, a series without beginning or end, extensible in every direction and so forever falling short of completion.

In this mode reality would be an ought-to-be, and the reality of the "I" would have its true reality outside itself, a potential infinite, forms of consciousness cut off from self-consciousness.

Instead of this, distinctions for me are always an actual infinite, the immanence of the universal in the particular, all in all.

© Dr John Dunn.


Eternal theogony

Dr John Dunn 2022

I am not “I” without being the whole of the “I think”; and what “I think” is always one in so far as it is “I”.

The mere multiplicity always belongs to the content of the consciousness abstractly considered; in reality it is always reconciled in the unity of the “I".

The true history is not that which is unfolded in time but that which is gathered up eternally in my act of thinking in which it is realised.

I reject no single finite thing, for each finite thing is the reality of God

The world is an eternal theogony fulfilled in the inwardness of my being.

© Dr John Dunn.



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