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3949Re: [neoplatonism] Book Recommendation

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  • Curt Steinmetz
    Dec 3, 2010
      On 12/3/10 12:06 AM, Thomas Mether wrote:
      > <snip>
      > Basically, what I remember is that, for More, a body is by definition simply a volume. A volume does not have to be solid. Also, a body can be organic (have functional parts - organs) without being a solid body. So, More argued, there can be a spiritual organic body.<snip>

      The ancient Stoic view was that anything that exists must be a "body",
      while at the same time, they held that all bodies everywhere throughout
      the Cosmos interact with all other bodies at all times. The Stoic
      explanation of how this works is very similar to what is called
      "interpenetration" in Mahayana Buddhism, a concept especially associated
      with the Hua Yen (Avatamsaka) Sutra.

      In his book on Plotinus, Lloyd Gerson refers to what he deems "the truly
      bizarre Stoic doctrine of the total interpenetration of bodies. This is
      the doctrine that there can and do exist certain mixtures of bodies [of
      which the Cosmos itself is an example] such that each part of the
      mixture is coextensive with each other. All parts are present in any
      part, regardless of how small. The principle point of this doctrine
      seems to have been to explain the presence of active soul-body or pneuma
      everywhere in the type of body that is the passive recipient of the
      active principle." [p. 114]

      Gerson takes Plotinus' side, however, and presents the Stoic view only
      in the context of explaining how Plotinus' rejection of it is convincing
      (to Gerson). A view more sympathetic (if you will) to the Stoic position
      is found in "Senecan Drama and Stoic Cosmology" by Thomas G. Rosenmeyer,
      especially his chapters 4 & 5: "Body, Tension, and Sumpatheia", &
      "Krasis, The Flame and the Moist".

      Curt Steinmetz
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