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Re: What's the fuss all about ?

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  • vaeringjar
    ... check ... probably go ... been ... summarizing ... well ... Couliano ... and ... to ... latter ... I have Couliano in fact, but have never had the chance
    Message 1 of 34 , Oct 4, 2007
      > Now that you are going down this rabbit hole, Dennis, you should
      > out Ficino's "Commentary on Plato's Symposium on Love" (and
      probably go
      > back and re-read the Symposium itself - now that "your eyes have
      > opened" so to speak). Also, the first half or so of Ioan Couliano's
      > "Eros and Magic in the Middle Ages" does a very good job of
      > the "practical application" of this "continuum" - namely, magic (as
      > as the "art of memory" - but that is not as sexy as magic and
      > is all about what is sexy). Couliano focuses a lot on the Symposium
      > on Ficino's commentary. I was less interested in what Couliano has
      > say about Bruno - which is unfortunately a major focus of the
      > part of the book.

      I have Couliano in fact, but have never had the chance to read it.
      But anything on Bruno I would find most welcome. And yes, it's been
      35 years since I read the Symposium, and I should read it again.

      > I still haven't gotten around to more than skimming D.P. Walker's
      > on "Spiritual and Daemonic Magic" - but it is now pretty clear to
      > that the division between "spiritual" and "daemonic" is completely
      > artificial - and (probably intentionally) misleading.

      Well, that's a big subject, going back at least to the Egyptians.
      Much ink has been spilt. If you are curious about the Egyptian side
      of it, I would recommend <The Mechanics of Egyptian Magic> by Robert
      Ritner. Among other things he has a long discussion of the various
      modern theories of magic and how they have been applied to ancient
      magic, though in this case he is concentrating of course mostly on
      Egyptian religion. You will find much agreement there for your
      statement about the division.

      > And as far as the Sun is concerned I just happen to be reading
      > Macrobius' Commentary on the Dream of Scipio right now - where
      > states:
      > "Plato, when he was moved to speak about the Good, did not dare to
      > what it was, knowing only this about it, that it was impossible for
      > human mind to grasp what it was. In truth, of visible objects he
      > the sun most like it, and by using this as an illustration opened a
      > for his discourse to approach what was otherwise incomprehensible."
      > Here (section II sentence 15) Macrobius is referring to the Plato's
      > Republic, specifically vi508a-509b (as opposed to Cicero's

      That's a very nice quotation from Macrobius, thanks. Take a look at
      Julian's Hymn to the Sun for much more on this subject.

      Dennis Clark
    • vaeringjar
      ... idea ... and ... or ... but ... defined ... finite ... A most interesting argument that I had never heard before, but then I know almost nothing, I am sad
      Message 34 of 34 , Oct 7, 2007
        --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Bob Wallace <philosop@...> wrote:
        > felt like doing. What's wrong with this notion? It's the idea that
        > something could _be_ "God," could be perfect and self-sufficient,
        > without being in relation to an actual finite world. Why is this
        > mistaken? It's mistaken because perfection and self-sufficiency are
        > contrast terms. They're the "opposite" of imperfect and
        > un-self-sufficient. So that the being that's described as perfect
        > self-sufficient, gets its definition from its relation to what is
        > imperfect and un-self-sufficient. But that means that through his
        > her very _definition_, the conventional "God" depends upon a
        > relationship to what's imperfect and non-self-sufficient. And that
        > means that the conventional "God" simply isn't self-sufficient! The
        > conventional "God" fails to be what he or she is supposed to be.
        > What's to be done about this? We need to conceive of God, Hegel
        > suggests, not through a contrast which makes God fail to be God,
        > through an Identity. God will be the finite world's self-overcoming
        > (self-transcendence). Understood in this way, God will not be
        > by his or her relation to what he or she _isn't_; instead, God will
        > be defined by what he or she _is_, namely, the finite world
        > (surpassing itself). So this God will escape the the conventional
        > "God"'s fate of being rendered non-self-sufficient by its own
        > definition. But this God will also escape the finite world's
        > imperfection and non-self-sufficiency, because this God is the
        > world's self-_surpassing_ (self-transcendence): its passage into
        > infiniteness. So in both respects, God will be perfect and
        > self-sufficient, after all. This is the "true infinity."

        A most interesting argument that I had never heard before, but then I
        know almost nothing, I am sad to say, about Hegel, though there a
        number of books upstairs that would perhaps help remedy that if I
        ever get to them.

        This locks creator with created and vice-versa rather tightly
        together, doesn't it? Rather as does the argument about dynamis or
        potential that I was probably not all that lucidly trying to make
        here lately.

        Thanks for sharing this - I need to consider it more.

        Dennis Clark
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