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3950Re: Book Recommendation

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  • gregshaw58
    Dec 3, 2010
      Curt,

      Thanks for the references, Buddhist, Stoic, and Plotinian. The notion of interpenetration of subtle bodies is one that intrigues me. I checked Gerson's "Plotinus" and found your reference on page 133, not 114. Perhaps I have a different edition.

      thanks,

      gshaw

      --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Curt Steinmetz <curt@...> wrote:
      >
      > 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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