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Issues of spirit, revelation and beginning

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  • Don Anderson
    Jim, there are several important and related issues expressed in K s work that you seem to be oblivious to or have not understood or thought through very
    Message 1 of 203 , Jun 5, 2010
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      Jim, there are several important and related issues expressed in K’s work that you seem to be oblivious to or have not understood or thought through very thoroughly.

      1.     The way K sees that existence and thought are separated in time by time and that this separation remains. He often referred to this issue as the “dialectic of beginning.” It was a major bone of contention he had with Hegel who saw this separation but thought it could be closed by thought.

      2.     The way that K sees that revelation, the revelation of God, is through existence first and not through thought first. It takes place in the moment, the fullness of time. God’s word comes to us, enigmatically, directly through irony, anxiety, melancholy, despair, love hope faith and more, not directly through intellect.

      3.     That therefore God’s revelation in existence  is separated from thought by time.

      4.     That in scholastic and early enlightenment theology and philosophy the prevailing position was that soul/spirit was thought of as “substance” whereas K, who came after Leibniz’s monadology, thought of it as dynamic, more analogous to a force or an energy that related all into their proper relationship. Not understanding this seems to me to be why you ask this question:

      Do you mean Adam's own spirit, or do you mean the Spirit of God?  When Haufniensis discusses spirit in CA, I usually take him to mean Adam's own eternal spirit.  I also think that VH believes there is a distinction between the two: that Adam was born, like all human beings, with his own body, soul, and eternal spirit, and that this eternal spirit is distinct from the Holy Spirit (third person of the trinity).  In his state of ignorance/innocence, Adam's own spirit is "asleep" or "dreaming" and unaware of its own existence as spirit distinct from body and soul.

      I hope this gives you a better idea where I’m coming from.

       

      Aloha

       

      Donald "Don" Anderson

      Email: don@...

      Home Phone: 808-961-6460

      Cell Phone: 808-896-2545

       

      From: kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com [mailto:kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of James Rovira
      Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:59 AM
      To: kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Kierkegaardians] Re: Interesting passage in Kant...

       

       

      Thanks for your response, Don.  It's very helpful that you quoted CA at some length.  In order to answer your question:

      <<Ignorance is not the cause of anxiety according to VH. Is the following quote where you are getting this idea?>

      It seems odd to me that you'd say that "ignorance is not the cause of anxiety according to VH" because you seem to emphasize ignorance later in your post.  To show you how I reason from this passage, I'd like to emphasize a different sentence in the same passage:

      He has no conception of what he is able to do; other­wise - and this is what usually happens-that which comes later, the difference between good and evil, would have to be presupposed. Only the possibility of being able is present as a higher form of ignorance, as a higher expression of anxiety,


      Note that in this sentence a "higher form of ignorance" is equivalent to "a higher expression of anxiety."  The point is not that knowledge (lack of it) is irrelevant to anxiety in Haufniensis's thought, but that it has to be properly related to anxiety.  Awareness of one's ignorance comes in with the command itself -- as the "possibility of being able" to disobey the command is created by the giving of the command. 

      Haufniensis rejects the idea that the giving of the command causes a desire to disobey it, because this sequence (command leads to desire to disobey) requires some knowledge, namely, the knowledge that one has freedom and can use it.   That is the point being made in the following quotation:

      When it is assumed that the prohibition awakens the desire, one acquires knowledge instead of ignorance, and in that case Adam must have had a knowledge of freedom, because the desire was to use it. (CA, p 44)

      Instead, as I said above, the fact that Adam does not understand the implications of disobedience is the source of anxiety.  It is Adam's ignorance of the results of disobedience and even of his own implied freedom that leads to anxiety.  So, yes, I agree with you here:

      There is a sense of being able but one has no idea what one is able to do. Nothing presents itself. The individual has moved closer to something but it is still a nothing because it lacks conceptualization.

      That lack of conceptualization is Adam's own ignorance and the source of his anxiety. 

      Here's what I perceive is the crux of your disagreement with me on this point: When I said that the desire is for knowledge unequivocally, I created the impression that I think Adam knows that he is ignorant and so wants to gain knowledge.  I agree with you -- that would be incorrect.  It is better to describe Adam as experiencing as a vague feeling, something that bugs him without him really knowing what it is.  He wants knowledge unequivocally, but he can't say that he wants knowledge, he just feels that he wants knowledge. 

      We should keep in mind that the forbidden fruit was the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil -- so the fruit does explicitly promise knowledge.  It represents a finite, material object that can address the source of Adam's anxiety, even if he can't reason it all out yet.  So, he did not choose that specific, forbidden fruit randomly or by accident.  It was a deliberately -felt- choice even if it wasn't a deliberately -reasoned- choice.    

      Now, I'm not sure what you mean in the following sentence, because you're getting this idea from elsewhere in CA, but didn't provide a quotation to support it:

      The cause of anxiety is the stirring of the Spirit sensed by the innocent as being from outside herself.

      Do you mean Adam's own spirit, or do you mean the Spirit of God?  When Haufniensis discusses spirit in CA, I usually take him to mean Adam's own eternal spirit.  I also think that VH believes there is a distinction between the two: that Adam was born, like all human beings, with his own body, soul, and eternal spirit, and that this eternal spirit is distinct from the Holy Spirit (third person of the trinity).  In his state of ignorance/innocence, Adam's own spirit is "asleep" or "dreaming" and unaware of its own existence as spirit distinct from body and soul.

       



      Jim R

      _

    • James Rovira
      Don -- When you get back, come up with some specific quotations that actually support your claims, or respond to the quotations I ve already provided. Jim R
      Message 203 of 203 , Jul 17, 2010
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        Don --

        When you get back, come up with some specific quotations that actually support your claims, or respond to the quotations I've already provided.

        Jim R
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