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RE: the One (was Psychology and classical philosophy)

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  • Clark, Stephen
    The One is beyond Being: it s not any thing at all - and for that very reason (that it isn t anywhere) it s everywhere (or rather every thing and place is in
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 13, 2009
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      The One is beyond Being: it's not any thing at all - and for that very reason (that it isn't anywhere) it's everywhere (or rather every thing and place is in it). Later efforts to invent a One even more ineffable than Plotinus's One seem wasted labour, resting on a misunderstanding of his One.

      There's a splendid - and quite short - book by Eric Perl THeophany: the Neoplatonic Philosophy of Dionysius the Areopagite (SUNY Press 2007) which is both a scholarly explication of (ps)Dionysius, showing how he relies on and refers to the arguments of Plotinus and co, and a genuinely helpful philosophical exegesis of the One.

      As he shows, the Many aren't a deception, not even the phenomena in Soul: they are the revelation of the One in terms fitted to our different cognitive states.

      Incidentally, going back several exchanges, I should say that my remarks about depression being a disease which is not necessarily amenable just to philosophising (at any rate at any level I can manage), and which it is not wrong to seek to medicate, were not in any way meant to deny that there are contemplative, spiritual exercises that can help us to 'see straight', or be 'turned around', 'pulled by the hair' and so on. Of course that's right, and of course giving in to merely sensual, self-absorbed, mentation leads downhill (as it were).

      Another, rather strange book that I have found useful (at least until it descends into false etymologies) is J.Nigro Sansone The BOdy of Myth (Inner Traditions:Vermont 1994). I even think it helps with understanding Plotinus.

      Best wishes to all


      Prof Stephen R.L.Clark
      University of Liverpool
      http://www.liv.ac.uk/info/staff/A639849
      http://pcwww.liv.ac.uk/~srlclark/srlc.htm
      ________________________________
      From: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com [neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of vaeringjar [vaeringjar@...]
      Sent: 13 March 2009 19:57
      To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [neoplatonism] Re: Psychology and classical philosophy (and quantum theory)


      --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com<mailto:neoplatonism%40yahoogroups.com>, Robert Wallace <bob@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dennis,
      >
      > Do you think Plotinus (as distinct from Parmenides) thinks "there is
      > only One"?

      No, I don't, and I take that to be the great difference in Neoplatonism and absolutist Monism. It seems to me also that Neoplatonists believe that the higher levels of reality are those that are intelligible, and they vary amongst themselves as to where that line is drawn. Iamblichus posited an ineffable One that cannot be known, and pushed being down to a lower level, so in his case he had a One that was above existence. Quite counter to Parmenides then. Plotinus I need to study more on this - Plato appeared to say that the Good was above being also, but not everyone would agree. Isn't Plotinus ambivalent on this? I should know that actually.

      Perhaps in one sense of "is." But emanation isn't an
      > accident. The divine cannot be "jealous." If Parmenides means to say
      > that the One, as opposed to the many, is real, he has already
      > determined the One in terms of its relation to the many, and thus made
      > its reality depend on its relation to what's other than it. What then
      > has become of his Monism?

      I think he is saying it only exists very strictly. So one is led to believe that the Many are a sort of illusion, but there they "are", all around us, aren't they? Or so it seems...what to do?...

      .




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Thomas Mether
      I wonder to what extent the scholastic concept of aliquid is based on the insight that to the extent that each thing is one thing -- it replicates the One.  
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 13, 2009
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        I wonder to what extent the scholastic concept of aliquid is based on the insight that to the extent that each thing is one thing -- it replicates the One.
         
        Thomas Mether

        --- On Fri, 3/13/09, Clark, Stephen <srlclark@...> wrote:

        From: Clark, Stephen <srlclark@...>
        Subject: [neoplatonism] RE: the One (was Psychology and classical philosophy)
        To: "neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com" <neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com>
        Date: Friday, March 13, 2009, 3:31 PM






        The One is beyond Being: it's not any thing at all - and for that very reason (that it isn't anywhere) it's everywhere (or rather every thing and place is in it). Later efforts to invent a One even more ineffable than Plotinus's One seem wasted labour, resting on a misunderstanding of his One.

        There's a splendid - and quite short - book by Eric Perl THeophany: the Neoplatonic Philosophy of Dionysius the Areopagite (SUNY Press 2007) which is both a scholarly explication of (ps)Dionysius, showing how he relies on and refers to the arguments of Plotinus and co, and a genuinely helpful philosophical exegesis of the One.

        As he shows, the Many aren't a deception, not even the phenomena in Soul: they are the revelation of the One in terms fitted to our different cognitive states.

        Incidentally, going back several exchanges, I should say that my remarks about depression being a disease which is not necessarily amenable just to philosophising (at any rate at any level I can manage), and which it is not wrong to seek to medicate, were not in any way meant to deny that there are contemplative, spiritual exercises that can help us to 'see straight', or be 'turned around', 'pulled by the hair' and so on. Of course that's right, and of course giving in to merely sensual, self-absorbed, mentation leads downhill (as it were).

        Another, rather strange book that I have found useful (at least until it descends into false etymologies) is J.Nigro Sansone The BOdy of Myth (Inner Traditions:Vermont 1994). I even think it helps with understanding Plotinus.

        Best wishes to all

        Prof Stephen R.L.Clark
        University of Liverpool
        http://www.liv. ac.uk/info/ staff/A639849
        http://pcwww. liv.ac.uk/ ~srlclark/ srlc.htm
        ____________ _________ _________ __
        From: neoplatonism@ yahoogroups. com [neoplatonism@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of vaeringjar [vaeringjar@yahoo. com]
        Sent: 13 March 2009 19:57
        To: neoplatonism@ yahoogroups. com
        Subject: [neoplatonism] Re: Psychology and classical philosophy (and quantum theory)

        --- In neoplatonism@ yahoogroups. com<mailto:neoplatonis m%40yahoogroups. com>, Robert Wallace <bob@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dennis,
        >
        > Do you think Plotinus (as distinct from Parmenides) thinks "there is
        > only One"?

        No, I don't, and I take that to be the great difference in Neoplatonism and absolutist Monism. It seems to me also that Neoplatonists believe that the higher levels of reality are those that are intelligible, and they vary amongst themselves as to where that line is drawn. Iamblichus posited an ineffable One that cannot be known, and pushed being down to a lower level, so in his case he had a One that was above existence. Quite counter to Parmenides then. Plotinus I need to study more on this - Plato appeared to say that the Good was above being also, but not everyone would agree. Isn't Plotinus ambivalent on this? I should know that actually.

        Perhaps in one sense of "is." But emanation isn't an
        > accident. The divine cannot be "jealous." If Parmenides means to say
        > that the One, as opposed to the many, is real, he has already
        > determined the One in terms of its relation to the many, and thus made
        > its reality depend on its relation to what's other than it. What then
        > has become of his Monism?

        I think he is saying it only exists very strictly. So one is led to believe that the Many are a sort of illusion, but there they "are", all around us, aren't they? Or so it seems...what to do?...

        .

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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