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Re: [neoplatonism] Integration through soul

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  • Robert Wallace
    Hi Marco, Thanks for these candid comments. You say: 1. Hegel ... Hegel is certainly very critical of the Romantics version of authenticity. 2. ... _Why_ does
    Message 1 of 44 , Aug 30 8:32 PM
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      Hi Marco,

      Thanks for these candid comments. You say:

      1. Hegel
      > is himself not very fond any authenticity movement.
      >

      Hegel is certainly very critical of the Romantics' version of authenticity.

      2.

      > Hegel is also not v ery authentic in his philosophy overall and he really cannot since he tries to unify all there was before him.
      >

      _Why_ does Hegel "try to unify all that was before him"? Precisely so as to be free. We can't be free from what we flee from (Science of Logic). Hegel thinks the Romantics (Schlegel) flee from the Enlightenment, especially. So they can't be free.

      Why does Hegel want to be free? Precisely so as to be himself, "bei sich." The same goal that the Romantics have--to be "authentic," to be themselves. The Romantics fail to achieve it, because they flee (oh, so elegantly). Hegel aims to achieve it--to achieve authenticity or freedom--by finding one "self" in all thought. This requires taking intellect seriously, in a way that Romantic irony does not. Irony toys with nihilism--or else falls back on dogmatism. Should you _really_ cut your son's throat if a voice that you think is divine tells you to do so? This is indeed "absurd." Plato endorses "god-given madness," but he clearly thinks that only reason can distinguish between the "god-given" kinds of madness and the other kinds. Having schizophrenic friends, I agree with Plato on this.

      3.

      > Neoplatonic philosophy is like Hegel non-authentic and strives for the general understanding. Christian thought however tries to add an existential dimension to that and many early christians seem like Kierkegaard ready to sacrifice the whole theoretical approach to maintain this.
      >

      Do you really want to say that Plotinus is "non-authentic"? Surely this is a philosopher who's seeking to understand his personal experience. He certainly strives to be "general," because that's what "understanding" involves. And because he agrees with Plato (Republic books iv-vii) and Hegel that freedom and being oneself can't be achieved without intellect. To "sacrifice the whole theoretical approach" is to abandon freedom and being truly oneself. This is what dogmatists and fundamentalists and existentialists do. Do you want to be able to _distinguish_ between dogmatists and fundamentalists, on the one hand, and existentialists on the other? I don't know how you can do this without giving intellect a central role and going back to the Plato/Hegel approach.

      So as you can see, I doubt that Kierkegaard represents true "liberation." I agree with him that we can't worship a "system," or "logic." But Hegel doesn't remotely suggest that we should do that.

      Best, Bob

      On Aug 30, 2012, at 2:02 AM, Marco Bormann wrote:

      > Hi Thomas and Bob,
      >
      > I think this is a very interesting discussion. After years probably wasted on Hegel (probably not because it got me deeper into philosophy) and then discovering Kierkegaard as a liberation, I would like to make two points of which the first I'd defend to the last man standing and the second is merely a try.
      > 1) Hegel is not authentic at all and Kierkegaard is authentic. This is not meant to be an insult to any Hegelian but it is obvious that he is himself not very fond any authenticity movement. Just take a look at the philosophy of right, the end of the morals section where he tries to show that all possible ways of autheticity just make you a bad person. Especially irony (Kierkegaards favourite) has to take some strong effects. Hegel is also not v ery authentic in his philosophy overall and he really cannot since he tries to unify all there was before him. On the other hand concerining Kierkegaard, authenticity from my point of view is all he is about. The common point of the different stages is that they are different ways of being authentic and then trying to overcome Hegel's critique that this is pure emptyness. BUT: of course all the authenticity to be found in Kierkegaard has to be somehow invested by the reader. No text or philosophical system can be authentic in itself. You have to develop some faith in the authors authenticity which consititutes some kind of non intellectual understanding.
      > 2) In reading neoplatonic philosophy (as the main storage where Hegel stole his ideas from) and then getting confronted with early christian thought, I kind of sensed the same equation. Neoplatonic philosophy is like Hegel non-authentic and strives for the general understanding. Christian thought however tries to add an existential dimension to that and many early christians seem like Kierkegaard ready to sacrifice the whole theoretical approach to maintain this. The clearest case for this is Macarius the Great who comes up with a lot of stuff which I read in Kierkegaard before.
      > ... but as always mailing list texts are way to short to clearify a point like this.
      >
      > Best wishes
      > Marco
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Robert Wallace
      > To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2012 4:28 PM
      > Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] Integration through soul (was: trinitarian and triadic…)
      >
      > Hi Thomas,
      >
      > So your answer is that Hegel and I don't understand spirit because (as far as you know) we haven't experienced person-to-person spiritual transmission. Thomas, why do you hang out on Neoplatonism lists and exchange so many disembodied words with us all, like Hegel hanging out in the library, if electronic communication and libraries are not where the spiritual action is?
      >
      > I could tell you about numerous person-to-person (what I regard as) spiritual transmissions that I have experienced, from people who however probably aren't listed among your recognized "lineages." In fact it wouldn't occur to them to exalt themselves in such a way--though they are as grateful as I am to those from whom they received (what I would describe as) their own spiritual transmissions. I'm sure Hegel had similar experiences. Every human being does. I respect the Buddhist and Sufi lineages, but if they they tell me that the only way to satori is through what they administer, I'll retain my right to question that. Otherwise I wouldn't be in the "state of wonder/question" that we agree is fundamental for freedom.
      >
      > I certainly grant you that the "tradition" that flows from Hegel was not and is not a "live and authentic spiritual tradition." Neither, as far as I can see, is the "tradition" that flows from Kierkegaard. In both cases, the successors were seduced into various intellectual and spiritual perversions. Much the same happened in Plato's Academy. None of this leads me to dismiss Plato's or Hegel's or Kierkegaard's work as not capable of providing a genuine "ferment." One just has to test it against one's own experience and thinking.
      >
      > I note that you haven't answered my not at all rhetorical question, whether you experience Plato as providing "answers and foreordained outcomes." Nor have you responded to my claim that Hegel analyzes "precisely the way in which (as you say) the 'state of wonder/question' yields 'some degree of soul that integrates my inner forces.'" I suggest to you that one of the features of true spirit is that rather than being "for or against," it searches for what may be valid in its counterpart.
      >
      > Best, Bob
      >
      > On Aug 22, 2012, at 6:05 PM, Thomas Mether wrote:
      >
      > > Bob,
      > >
      > > We are going to have debates on this in terms of Hegel but -- are ideas
      > > ferments?, yeast?, can entire metaphysical schemes be ferments that,
      > > socratically, also invalidate themselves as "answers"? The only context
      > > where that is achieved, both in terms of history and texts and personal
      > > experience, is in a person-to-person spiritual transmission. Boehme
      > > provided that. Kierkegaard was part of that (part of his conversion).
      > > Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists insist upon it. So, Hegel is what? Who initiated
      > > him into what spiritual lineage and who did he pass on his wisdom-legacy
      > > to? It comes down to concrete nuts and bolts who taught who in person
      > > legacy. That is what is called a "live and authentic spiritual tradition".
      > > Without that, ideas become fossilized as dead answers. It is not the system
      > > of ideas but the person to person contact that makes this stuff real or
      > > makes it a fraud. One of my earliest professors, who was a world-class
      > > Hegel expert, stated Hegel was part of the same generation that invented
      > > the novel - a private, vicarious experience that falsely made readers feel
      > > "lived through that" - a substitution for reality - answers rather than
      > > ferments (which can only exist in a person to person relationship - ever
      > > try yoga, gigong, meditation, surfing, sailing, fishing via books or
      > > video-tapes/DVDs? - not real). You hang out on the Sufi email lists: never
      > > picked up the need to become a disciple to a Sufi shaikh/pir? Otherwise,
      > > you experientially don't "get it" and even Ibn al-Arabi becomes a drug.
      > > Hegel was never part of a spiritual transmission, a lineage, and is a drug.
      > > He converts ferments into a self-enclosing omni-answer.
      > >
      > > On Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 7:13 PM, Robert Wallace <bob@...>wrote:
      > >
      > > > **
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Hi Thomas,
      > > >
      > > > I'm sorry you experienced Hegel as an addiction. You won't be surprised to
      > > > hear that I don't. Maybe we read different Hegels. ;-)
      > > >
      > > > > The question of who
      > > > > or what am I most especially arises in who or what am I with others. This
      > > > > is why metaphysics, spirituality, and ethics are inseparable. The key is
      > > > > Socratic irony: in a state of wonder/question - I have some degree of
      > > > soul
      > > > > that integrates my inner forces if passionate enough to inquire or learn.
      > > > >
      > > > > That is what, long addict to Hegel, I realize is the problem with him:
      > > > all
      > > > > answers -- as Kierkegaard (who is very Hegelian while undermining it
      > > > like a
      > > > > computer virus that mimics while undermining the host software) and
      > > > > foreordained outcomes. Hegel is a drug; not life.
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > > Rather than giving "answers and foreordained outcomes," my Hegel analyzes
      > > > precisely the way in which (as you say) the "state of wonder/question"
      > > > yields "some degree of soul that integrates my inner forces." No different
      > > > from Plato in Republic iv-vii. Or do you experience Plato also as providing
      > > > "answers and foreordained outcomes"?
      > > >
      > > > Best, Bob W
      > > >
      > > > On Aug 22, 2012, at 4:44 PM, Thomas Mether wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > Soul as ladder, yes, but also unknown turf or a turf to be cultivated
      > > > into
      > > > > an entity that counts for soul in the real sense. Nuts and bolts
      > > > practical
      > > > > spirituality, within one there a variety of forces, impulses, desires,
      > > > and
      > > > > etc., let us say a multitude of me-s or I-s (animated identifications).
      > > > At
      > > > > minimum, one has soul to the extent your body is alive, has integrity as
      > > > a
      > > > > bio-unit, but that is the bottom rung of an endless ladder.
      > > > >
      > > > > I suggest the various definitions of soul reflect various persons'
      > > > > adventures in soul. That is an endless task (whether Neoplatonic or not)
      > > > > where I am truly existent as I, when who or what I am is really a
      > > > question.
      > > > > It does not matter how often one has been there, done that, so it is not
      > > > > about a beginner's state that gets surpassed by some advanced spiritual
      > > > > state. It is always, anew, who am I - what am I - as the eternal raw
      > > > > material for any "ascent". It includes relationships. The question of who
      > > > > or what am I most especially arises in who or what am I with others. This
      > > > > is why metaphysics, spirituality, and ethics are inseparable. The key is
      > > > > Socratic irony: in a state of wonder/question - I have some degree of
      > > > soul
      > > > > that integrates my inner forces if passionate enough to inquire or learn.
      > > > >
      > > > > That is what, long addict to Hegel, I realize is the problem with him:
      > > > all
      > > > > answers -- as Kierkegaard (who is very Hegelian while undermining it
      > > > like a
      > > > > computer virus that mimics while undermining the host software) and
      > > > > foreordained outcomes. Hegel is a drug; not life.
      > > > >
      > > > > The uneasy thing I still struggle to be, is in that state of a
      > > > philosopher
      > > > > rather than Sophos. The soul is a ladder, yes, but to climb its inner
      > > > > heights requires - a basic humility - not faked self-condemnation, but
      > > > > just, well,... that is best left between a directee and director. Perhaps
      > > > > the always fruitful or alchemical prima materia is being able to get back
      > > > > to that state where I and reality are a question. Where ideas are not
      > > > > answers but ferments.
      > > > >
      > > > > On Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 5:12 PM, Robert Wallace <bob@...
      > > > >wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > > Hi David,
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Hegel's account of the "return" from nature to God is the second and
      > > > third
      > > > > > sections (volumes) of his _Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences_
      > > > (the
      > > > > > "Philosophy of Nature" and the "Philosophy of Spirit" [or "Philosophy
      > > > of
      > > > > > Mind"]). Appetite, emotion, and reason are treated in the Phil of
      > > > Spirit. I
      > > > > > give some fairly detailed commentary on these in chapter 6 of my
      > > > _Hegel's
      > > > > > Philosophy of Reality, Freedom, and God_ (2005).
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I'd agree that the ladder is soul. Of course, "soul" is a highly
      > > > contested
      > > > > > concept, both in Plato's time and in ours. The challenge is to explain
      > > > it
      > > > > > in a way that doesn't seem obviously unacceptable to "common sense." I
      > > > > > think Plato does this in the Republic books that I mentioned.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Best, Bob W
      > > > > >
      > > > > > On Aug 22, 2012, at 1:47 PM, dgallagher@... wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > > Thanks for this, Bob; serendipitous with what I've been working on of
      > > > > > > late. Where should I look in Hegel on the three parts of the soul?
      > > > I'm
      > > > > > > considering the parts in relation to the three middles (means) in
      > > > > > Timaeus. Can
      > > > > > > we identify how many steps on the ladder? Are the middles related to
      > > > the
      > > > > > > steps, following the ladder metaphor; the metaphor seeming
      > > > appropriate.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I didn't relate how each of us is our own ladder in my reply to
      > > > Robert K,
      > > > > > > so, no, it wasn't there to be missed. Good question though. Off the
      > > > cuff,
      > > > > > > I guess I'd posit the ladder as soul and proceed from there.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Good to hear from you.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > David
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > In a message dated 8/22/2012 4:09:42 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
      > > > > > > bob@... writes:
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Hello Robert K,
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Back to your earlier formulation:
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > I might listen to the silence for hours, unaware of passing
      > > > thoughts,
      > > > > > > for
      > > > > > > > I have decided to ignore these in favor of the silence. Yet sooner
      > > > or
      > > > > > > > later, I find myself munching a chocolate chip cookie. Try as I
      > > > might,
      > > > > > I
      > > > > > > cannot
      > > > > > > > find the link between these two states, except to assemble
      > > > cause-effect
      > > > > > > > chains within the multiplicity side of it. In the ensuing unfair
      > > > > > > argument,
      > > > > > > > the One has no voice, and the cookie-eater explains everything, in
      > > > > > > > cookie-eater terms, about the cookie-eating world.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > So where is the One? Back where the many are forgotten. And where
      > > > are
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > many? Right here in the world, where the One is forgotten.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > David told you, in response, that "you are the ladder" that will
      > > > take you
      > > > > > > back from the cooky-eating to the One. But I didn't see a clear
      > > > account
      > > > > > in
      > > > > > > what David wrote of _how_ you are the ladder. (I may well have missed
      > > > > > it.)
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > In my view, Plato gives this account in Republic iv-vii, taken
      > > > together
      > > > > > > (as commentators seldom seem to take them). Republic iv describes the
      > > > > > three
      > > > > > > parts of the soul, and how they can achieve One-ness under the
      > > > > > leadership of
      > > > > > > the rational part. Republic vi-vii then show how this "rational"
      > > > part has
      > > > > > > to function, namely, by trying to determine what's really good and
      > > > really
      > > > > > > true, as opposed to what the appetites and the "spirited" part
      > > > (thumos)
      > > > > > take
      > > > > > > to be good and true. Why? Because everyone wants ultimately to get
      > > > what's
      > > > > > > really good, and not just whatever they currently feel or think is
      > > > good.
      > > > > > > Thus, the soul must "ascend" from the many appetites and emotions to
      > > > the
      > > > > > One
      > > > > > > rational life.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > What this entails regarding relations between different souls, is
      > > > better
      > > > > > > explained (IMO) in the Symposium than in the Republic, and in Hegel
      > > > than
      > > > > > > (even) in the Symposium. But the initial ascent from multiplicity to
      > > > > > One-ness
      > > > > > > is laid out as clearly as one could wish in the Republic.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I hope it's evident how this necessary ascent is the "ladder" from
      > > > the
      > > > > > > many to the One, that you've been asking for and that David says you
      > > > > > "are."
      > > > > > > Likewise it's the "return" that Plotinus speaks of.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Best, Bob W
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > On Aug 21, 2012, at 11:00 PM, robert_tkoch wrote:
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, dgallagher@... wrote:
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > You are your stepladder; kinda like the eyes already in your head
      > > > > > that
      > > > > > > you
      > > > > > > > > cannot see yet through which you possess vision;
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Thank you for this reminder. Yet after pursuing such
      > > > self-seeing-self
      > > > > > > ideas for a while, I am no nearer the truth. And so I would say,
      > > > again,
      > > > > > that
      > > > > > > I need a new kind of stepladder, one that I am not already being, to
      > > > see
      > > > > > in
      > > > > > > a new manner.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > That is why I am asking about the Islamic interpretation of
      > > > Plotinus,
      > > > > > > because I always find that Western philosophy eternally entangles
      > > > itself
      > > > > > > within the complexity of its own fantastic, manifold ideas, even
      > > > > > en-wrapping
      > > > > > > the One with such ideas. Every time that I ask about the simplest of
      > > > > > > simplicities, from myself or from others, I only get a new complexity
      > > > > > about what is
      > > > > > > already complex.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > I know almost nothing about Islam. But I think that I perceive
      > > > there a
      > > > > > > hint of a more ancient attitude, a certain stern respect for Allah
      > > > that
      > > > > > is
      > > > > > > largely missing in the Western mind. And I wonder if --- somehow, in
      > > > the
      > > > > > > sort of dream-analog that plays out in the history of ideas --- the
      > > > > > modern
      > > > > > > drama of Islamic rebirth, accompanied by the appearance of occasional
      > > > > > > violence, might actually be a reflection of this ancient true
      > > > severity
      > > > > > as it
      > > > > > > encounters the excessive Western liberalism.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > My theory, my guess, is that the mind of humanity has gotten tired
      > > > of
      > > > > > > Western laissez-faire, and would like to balance this extreme with a
      > > > more
      > > > > > > conservative regimen.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > To my mind, Plato and Plotinus translated the perennial Eastern
      > > > > > > philosophy into dynamic Western terms. So it is the same, yet
      > > > altogether
      > > > > > different
      > > > > > > too. The later idea that all subsequent Western philosophy is only a
      > > > > > > footnote to Plato, which I think is true, is then also only a further
      > > > > > reflection
      > > > > > > of the idea that all of Plato is a Western reflection of the East.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Certainly, when I look to the East, I find plenty of respectful
      > > > > > > acknowledgement of the One, as the East quietly contemplates the One
      > > > on
      > > > > > the One's
      > > > > > > own terms (silence, and cessation of the human ego for the time
      > > > being).
      > > > > > And
      > > > > > > I appreciate the autocratic nature of any One-oriented religion as
      > > > > > > reflecting, in a necessarily human and imperfect way, that the One is
      > > > > > All, and we
      > > > > > > humans are very minor.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > So it seems, to me, that any partial synthesis of East and West,
      > > > which
      > > > > > > will lead to a truly peaceful and dynamic interchange between all of
      > > > East
      > > > > > > and West, must begin on the upper levels of East and West. And to my
      > > > > > mind,
      > > > > > > this might be where East and West already meet a little, for
      > > > instance,
      > > > > > > perhaps, in something like Neoplatonic thought.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Robert
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > The One has no voice because it has no need of voice. Voice
      > > > "lies"
      > > > > > > within
      > > > > > > > > the province of confusion; the realm of mixture as outlined in
      > > > > > Timaeus
      > > > > > > and
      > > > > > > > > further elaborated through the interpretation of Proclus.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > Another way to consider forgetfulness is ignorance, recognizing
      > > > the
      > > > > > > noun as
      > > > > > > > > derived from the verb (indicating activity): to ignore. To ignore
      > > > > > > > > presumes the presence of that which is presumably ignored. Such a
      > > > > > > presence must
      > > > > > > > > possess existence, regardless of any absence of awareness of that
      > > > > > > which is
      > > > > > > > > necessarily present. Hence, forgotten does not obviate presence.
      > > > But
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > ladder is a whole consisting of parts, and our contemplation is
      > > > an
      > > > > > > analogous
      > > > > > > > > ascent "through" the parts; the steps "in" the ladder; you
      > > > yourself
      > > > > > as
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > ladder. This is the point, as I see it, of the bit about
      > > > dialectic
      > > > > > > toward
      > > > > > > > > the end of VI in Republic.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > The equation between not-being and the many seems more explicit
      > > > in
      > > > > > > > > Timaeus, contextualized as the mathematical proportions of the
      > > > three
      > > > > > > middles
      > > > > > > > > between intelligible and sensible; again, steps with and in the
      > > > > > ladder
      > > > > > > of
      > > > > > > > > dialectic. Proclus' exegetic interruption is valuable in this
      > > > regard,
      > > > > > > especially
      > > > > > > > > as augmented by Thomas Taylor's footnotes in his translation.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > "Difference comes from our fallibility." Rather, I would posit,
      > > > our
      > > > > > > > > fallibility is a consequence of difference when we ignore the
      > > > > > > essential sameness
      > > > > > > > > which is immanent in all that we perceive as different.
      > > > Difference
      > > > > > > > > separates. Sameness brings together. Contemplation unifies or
      > > > sees
      > > > > > > (knows)
      > > > > > > > > sameness within the limits of its object (singular) of
      > > > contemplation.
      > > > > > > And that
      > > > > > > > > entices us to the bridge (I prefer to conceptualize it as the
      > > > door;
      > > > > > > doors,
      > > > > > > > > or steps, if we factor in the middles) between God, man, and our
      > > > > > > > > (collective plural) playground (again III.8.1 in terms of play,
      > > > > > > although the entire
      > > > > > > > > treatise with reference to contemplation); as I (mis?)understand
      > > > it,
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > ultimate mistery [sic]; that which we miss in our ignorance of
      > > > the
      > > > > > > presence.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > "How, starting right where we are?" First, by recognizing that
      > > > you
      > > > > > are
      > > > > > > > > what you seek; viz, the stepladder. Next, through Plotinus'
      > > > > > > interpretation
      > > > > > > > > of Plato, with further reference to Proclus to help us understand
      > > > > > > Plotinus.
      > > > > > > > > The title of III.8 is telling: "On Nature and Contemplation". I
      > > > like
      > > > > > > > > McKenna's rendering better: "Nature, Contemplation, and the One".
      > > > > > > Better in my
      > > > > > > > > view (indicating perspective) because it's descriptive of
      > > > starting
      > > > > > > right
      > > > > > > > > where we are. Further noteworthy about the title is the
      > > > placement of
      > > > > > > > > contemplation as a middle between extremes: viz, nature and the
      > > > One.
      > > > > > > Middles,
      > > > > > > > > according to Plato, mediate between extremes. And mediate
      > > > alliterates
      > > > > > > with
      > > > > > > > > meditate.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > Then, therefore, we start where we are; ontologically: the
      > > > > > > simultaneous
      > > > > > > > > presence of the mixture of essence, same, and different;
      > > > > > > intellectively:
      > > > > > > > > contemplation. But we must be careful to not separate Being and
      > > > > > > Intellect.
      > > > > > > > > Here I'd look to V.3 and VI.2, setting aside the other two
      > > > genera in
      > > > > > > VI.2 for
      > > > > > > > > the sake of brevity here.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > Again, just some ideas.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > Oh, almost forgot. All mention of "presence" herein necessarily
      > > > > > > > > implicates the One; that is, we know the One through the
      > > > presence of
      > > > > > > the One right
      > > > > > > > > here where we are. No presence; no contemplation. Best
      > > > discussion in
      > > > > > > The
      > > > > > > > > Enneads, in my opinion: VI.4 & 5; which, as it occurs, were
      > > > placed by
      > > > > > > > > Porphyry immediately prior to VI.6 where we encounter the seminal
      > > > > > > discussion of
      > > > > > > > > infinity and bound. As I interpret it, bound abounds throughout
      > > > the
      > > > > > > > > Plotinian cosmic schema and is key to understanding Plato's
      > > > wholes,
      > > > > > > middles, and
      > > > > > > > > Plotinus' doctrine of contemplation; how we get from one to
      > > > many, and
      > > > > > > > > through the many back to one. Much to explore, both down the
      > > > rabbit
      > > > > > > hole and
      > > > > > > > > back up via your stepladder with you yourself both ladder and
      > > > > > climber;
      > > > > > > > > abiding, converting, and returning all comprehended within
      > > > infinite,
      > > > > > > eternal
      > > > > > > > > unity.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > David
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > In a message dated 8/20/2012 9:41:38 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
      > > > > > > > > linyuuuu@... writes:
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > --- In _neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com_
      > > > > > > (mailto:neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com)
      > > > > > > > > , Ebrahim Mousavi <brhmmsv@> wrote:
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > Hi,
      > > > > > > > > > Thank you Robert
      > > > > > > > > > It seems you have a good sense towards this
      > > > > > > > > > approach, and I am glad for that. First I should say that I am
      > > > only
      > > > > > > > > reporting
      > > > > > > > > > these beliefs, as I have understood, and second it is the
      > > > > > > theosophists
      > > > > > > > > who I
      > > > > > > > > > have focused on them but mystics have said more on this
      > > > direction
      > > > > > > which
      > > > > > > > > I think
      > > > > > > > > > it is closer to what you are seeking for.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > I think so too. Yet reading Rumi, or Hafiz, or Shankara, even
      > > > though
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > all-in-one dancing integrity of the All is clearly communicated
      > > > > > beyond
      > > > > > > any
      > > > > > > > > doubt, yet there is still no explanation about going from the
      > > > utter
      > > > > > > > > simplicity and quietude of the One to the "boiling life" of the
      > > > All.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > I might listen to the silence for hours, unaware of passing
      > > > thoughts,
      > > > > > > for
      > > > > > > > > I have decided to ignore these in favor of the silence. Yet
      > > > sooner or
      > > > > > > > > later, I find myself munching a chocolate chip cookie. Try as I
      > > > > > might,
      > > > > > > I cannot
      > > > > > > > > find the link between these two states, except to assemble
      > > > > > > cause-effect
      > > > > > > > > chains within the multiplicity side of it. In the ensuing unfair
      > > > > > > argument,
      > > > > > > > > the One has no voice, and the cookie-eater explains everything,
      > > > in
      > > > > > > > > cookie-eater terms, about the cookie-eating world.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > So where is the One? Back where the many are forgotten. And
      > > > where are
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > many? Right here in the world, where the One is forgotten.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > Thus, my interest in Plotinus. More than others in my
      > > > experience, he
      > > > > > > does
      > > > > > > > > not let go of the quest for the One, and he does his best to
      > > > > > describe,
      > > > > > > > > without mythology, how the One might naturally, just in its own
      > > > way
      > > > > > of
      > > > > > > original
      > > > > > > > > Being, emanate lesser things, which lesser things, being merely
      > > > > > > incident
      > > > > > > > > to itself, do not need to be rigorously explained with a strict
      > > > > > causal
      > > > > > > > > hierarchy, for they are sort of nonexistent anyway. Yet he too,
      > > > > > > cannot, using
      > > > > > > > > words, say what he saw beyond words. And I am simply looking for
      > > > a
      > > > > > > > > stepladder that will help me to see what he saw.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > Two things should be presupposed:
      > > > > > > > > > world (the created beings) cannot be neglected in a theistic
      > > > > > thought
      > > > > > > (as
      > > > > > > > > in
      > > > > > > > > > realists approach) because God is the creator, and God is over
      > > > and
      > > > > > > above,
      > > > > > > > > > almost all reality, in a monotheistic religion (like Islamic
      > > > one).
      > > > > > > > > Standing in
      > > > > > > > > > middle and putting both of these suppositions together is
      > > > desirable
      > > > > > > for
      > > > > > > > > all
      > > > > > > > > > theist thinkers but each have been criticized from other
      > > > different
      > > > > > > > > parties
      > > > > > > > > > within these religions. Neoplatonism, I think, have given the
      > > > best
      > > > > > > way
      > > > > > > > > > approaching the transcendental part which is demanded in
      > > > > > > monotheistic
      > > > > > > > > religions
      > > > > > > > > > but keeping the distinction between the Garden of Eden and
      > > > earthly
      > > > > > > life
      > > > > > > > > is also
      > > > > > > > > > very important in these religions.
      > > > > > > > > > Now, your question:
      > > > > > > > > > Â
      > > > > > > > > > >Because, if I say, "a
      > > > > > > > > > necessary product of the One," I am right back in a
      > > > contradiction
      > > > > > > that I
      > > > > > > > > > cannot explain, as in, "How can the One be only One and yet
      > > > have a
      > > > > > > > > > product?".
      > > > > > > > > > Â
      > > > > > > > > > Philosophical view has centered
      > > > > > > > > > on the oneness of God and weakening, as much as possible, the
      > > > > > > > > multiplicity of the
      > > > > > > > > > rest. But from mystical part, the entire world becomes one
      > > > reality,
      > > > > > > that
      > > > > > > > > is
      > > > > > > > > > Being (as if, Parmenides presents himself), within which the
      > > > others
      > > > > > > can
      > > > > > > > > be
      > > > > > > > > > seen.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > I think that Parmenides and Plotinus are similar, although
      > > > Parmenides
      > > > > > > > > focused more simply on the One itself, all alone; also almost
      > > > > > > suggesting that
      > > > > > > > > it was unlawful to believe in the not-being, or the many. But the
      > > > > > > equation
      > > > > > > > > between not-being and the many was only implied, and this can be
      > > > > > > debated.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > My guess is that, if Parmenides could talk with us, he might say
      > > > that
      > > > > > > > > seeing the many, itself, is like like seeing the face of Medusa,
      > > > an
      > > > > > > > > instantaneous, automatic seduction into a state of non-divine
      > > > > > > paralysis.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > On your question about
      > > > > > > > > > >How can there be any
      > > > > > > > > > contingency whatsoever related in any possible way to the One?
      > > > > > > > > > Â
      > > > > > > > > > Theosophists speak of the reality
      > > > > > > > > > as a hierarchical system and have formed a differential
      > > > analogy.
      > > > > > > They
      > > > > > > > > say separation
      > > > > > > > > > between two things is not only by accidents, essence, or
      > > > > > difference,
      > > > > > > but
      > > > > > > > > it can
      > > > > > > > > > be also by intensity and weakness. The reality is one and it is
      > > > > > > Being,
      > > > > > > > > that is, it has one kind of essence and nature but at the same
      > > > time
      > > > > > it
      > > > > > > has
      > > > > > > > > intensity and
      > > > > > > > > > weakness which makes differences meaningful. Differential
      > > > analogy
      > > > > > is
      > > > > > > a
      > > > > > > > > kind of
      > > > > > > > > > separation that has a unity, in their words "their privilege
      > > > is the
      > > > > > > same
      > > > > > > > > > as their participate".
      > > > > > > > > > Mystics believe that there is only
      > > > > > > > > > one reality, and nothing is in the being except the One.
      > > > Difference
      > > > > > > > > comes from
      > > > > > > > > > our fallibility.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > Even though this statement about the mystics always leaves
      > > > everyone
      > > > > > > > > feeling incomplete, I think it is essentially true. "Difference
      > > > comes
      > > > > > > from our
      > > > > > > > > fallibility." We are the ones who imagine that the rope is a
      > > > snake.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > But how do we find the bridge between God and man, the true
      > > > bridge
      > > > > > > that
      > > > > > > > > makes this world into a divine or semi-divine playground? How,
      > > > > > > starting right
      > > > > > > > > where we are?
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > Robert
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > I have many questions and problems with these approaches
      > > > > > > > > > of thinking.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > ________________________________
      > > > > > > > > > From: robert_tkoch <linyuuuu@>
      > > > > > > > > > To: _neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com_
      > > > > > > (mailto:neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com)
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > Sent: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 10:17 AM
      > > > > > > > > > Subject: trinitarian and triadicRe: [neoplatonism] Re: What
      > > > are the
      > > > > > > One
      > > > > > > > > and the Nous for you?
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > Â
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > --- In _neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com_
      > > > > > > > > (mailto:neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com) , Ebrahim Mousavi
      > > > <brhmmsv@>
      > > > > > > wrote:
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > Greetings to Ebrahim.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > Thanks for your answer. Please see my responses to your words
      > > > > > below,
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > Hi Robert
      > > > > > > > > > > I am sorry for being late in responding because I
      > > > > > > > > > > didn't access to internet.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > No problem, gives us all more time to think.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > For the first part of your question, If by "correspond
      > > > > > > > > > > to the Plotinian Nous" and "correspond exactly" you mean
      > > > > > > > > > >  "necessary product of the One", I can say yes, that's
      > > > > > > right.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > Yes, I mean what you just said, but I also mean to look for the
      > > > > > > right
      > > > > > > > > way exactly, which I do not yet know. I believe that there must
      > > > be a
      > > > > > > way of
      > > > > > > > > seeing the necessary emanation of the One without there being any
      > > > > > > > > contradiction. Because, if I say, "a necessary product of the
      > > > One," I
      > > > > > > am right back
      > > > > > > > > in a contradiction that I cannot explain, as in, "How can the
      > > > One be
      > > > > > > only
      > > > > > > > > One and yet have a product?". But I know, or believe, that the
      > > > One
      > > > > > > does truly
      > > > > > > > > emanate all this. Yet try as I might, I cannot honestly explain
      > > > the
      > > > > > > > > process by a sequence of understood ideas.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > This
      > > > > > > > > > > necessary being is not self necessary but necessaryÂÂ
      > > > > > > > > > > upon other (the One).  Here I should refer to different
      > > > > > > kind of
      > > > > > > > > > > contingency which theosophists have persisted on that.ÂÂ
      > > > > > > > > > > They deny essential
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > contingency in beings which muslin peripatetics continue on
      > > > that.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > How can there be any contingency whatsoever related in any
      > > > possible
      > > > > > > way
      > > > > > > > > to the One? How can anyone "just say" these things without
      > > > explaining
      > > > > > > > > exactly how it works? If the One is One, then there is no
      > > > extraneous
      > > > > > > contingency
      > > > > > > > > anywhere for all eternity, as far as the One is concerned ---
      > > > or, to
      > > > > > > be
      > > > > > > > > more accurate, as far as my mind, trying hard to imagine the
      > > > > > > simplicity of
      > > > > > > > > the One, is concerned.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > I do not mean to be difficult, but in all good will I am simply
      > > > > > > sharing
      > > > > > > > > my own perplexity with this, in the hope that an Eastern wisdom
      > > > will
      > > > > > > > > address this extremely basic and primal level, before we get into
      > > > > > > anything more
      > > > > > > > > intricate and manifold.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > Instead, they
      > > > > > > > > > > believe on
      > > > > > > > > > >  existential contingency that became known as Poverty
      > > > > > > Contingency.
      > > > > > > > > There
      > > > > > > > > > > are two kinds of beings or realities:ÂÂ
      > > > > > > > > > > one is not in need to efficient cause for
      > > > > > > > > > > its existence and the other is in need. The first is
      > > > essentially
      > > > > > > rich
      > > > > > > > > and the
      > > > > > > > > > >  other is essentially poor. It means that the being of
      > > > > > > the second
      > > > > > > > > one is the
      > > > > > > > > > > same as its dependence,ÂÂ
      > > > > > > > > > > not something which needs the cause and it would be
      > > > > > > > > > > accidental (that is, the perspective from nature or
      > > > quiddity).
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > This seems to be closer to something I can understand.
      > > > Certainly,
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > One is infinitely rich beyond all richness --- and any contingent
      > > > > > > emanation,
      > > > > > > > > not being the One, is poor. And this necessarily-attached
      > > > poverty is
      > > > > > > > > therefore a trademark of all mortal life, a statement of the
      > > > sadness
      > > > > > > of
      > > > > > > > > mortality, the impermanence of all compounded forms, the
      > > > essential
      > > > > > > limitedness of
      > > > > > > > > life that only endures for a little while.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > And yet, life has its own wonderful supply of reflected
      > > > Oneness,
      > > > > > its
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > virtues and intelligence and love. Obviously, the One has
      > > > emanated
      > > > > > its
      > > > > > > Oneness
      > > > > > > > > into these little ones. We can almost see it doing this. Yet how
      > > > can
      > > > > > > it be
      > > > > > > > > simply explained?
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > Then I think your question on following subject can
      > > > > > > > > > > be answered from what have been said now.
      > > > > > > > > > > >Indeed, I have to ask, as
      > > > > > > > > > > always: why can't God just be God, and why must he emanate
      > > > all
      > > > > > > this?
      > > > > > > > > Since much
      > > > > > > > > > > of this is apparently ungodly, why does he go to the trouble
      > > > to
      > > > > > > undo
      > > > > > > > > himself?
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > God is not different or separate from other things while
      > > > > > > > > > > is not the same as them also. There is a philosophical rule
      > > > > > > > > > >  in theosophist's
      > > > > > > > > > > kind of thinking which says "The essentially necessary is the
      > > > > > > whole
      > > > > > > > > things
      > > > > > > > > > > while is none of them",ÂÂ
      > > > > > > > > > > "Al-Vajib o be al-dzat e kol o al-ashya' e va
      > > > > > > > > > > laysa be shayen minha" . It seems paradoxical but they argue
      > > > onÃâ
      > > > > > > ��Â
      > > > > > > > > > > that by
      > > > > > > > > > > insisting the absolute simplicity of God which means it is
      > > > the
      > > > > > > simple
      > > > > > > > > reality.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > I think that this is true, and I believe that, deep down, all
      > > > > > > creatures
      > > > > > > > > know that this is true. I can imagine, almost see, feel as a
      > > > reality,
      > > > > > > think
      > > > > > > > > about the One emanating the cosmos in a mind-astonishing
      > > > miracle, and
      > > > > > > know
      > > > > > > > > that it just is, that it is both One and many, and if it just is,
      > > > > > then
      > > > > > > who
      > > > > > > > > am I to insist that it be understandable to my own little mind?.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > But when there are parts that do not fit into this neat
      > > > mandala, I
      > > > > > > think
      > > > > > > > > that this must be because there are parts of our mind that do
      > > > not see
      > > > > > > > > truly in the first place. And that it might be these lower parts
      > > > of
      > > > > > > our mind
      > > > > > > > > which interject their own inclusion into the thinking and seeing,
      > > > > > > leading
      > > > > > > > > everything back to the ever-unanswered good-and-evil duality
      > > > again.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > The
      > > > > > > > > > > argument for thisÂÂ
      > > > > > > > > > > rule has risen from three ways: differential analogy,
      > > > > > > > > > > efficient cause of God, and the absolute simplicity of God.
      > > > > > > > > > > Speaking of things as the"Relational being"is harmonized for
      > > > this
      > > > > > > kind
      > > > > > > > > of view on the world. As
      > > > > > > > > > > I have saidÂÂ
      > > > > > > > > > > before (in ambiguous way), effects have mere relational
      > > > existence
      > > > > > > > > > > which is subtler than relational being,ÂÂ
      > > > > > > > > > > the first have not even in itself
      > > > > > > > > > > existence while the second have.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > Does anyone in Islam say something like this? That there is a
      > > > > > > central
      > > > > > > > > Oneness that is all right being all-in-all because there is
      > > > nothing
      > > > > > in
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > all-in-all that is in any way different from the One? That,
      > > > unlike
      > > > > > our
      > > > > > > world,
      > > > > > > > > there is another world, or a higher side of this world, that,
      > > > devoid
      > > > > > > of
      > > > > > > > > evil or otherness, has no problem being everything and One both
      > > > > > > together, for
      > > > > > > > > every one in that cosmos is as good and high, as far as little
      > > > beings
      > > > > > > can
      > > > > > > > > be, as the One itself?
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > This, I think, is the Garden of Eden, where men remain the way
      > > > God
      > > > > > > made
      > > > > > > > > them to be; and from earth, they look like angels, or like Adam
      > > > and
      > > > > > > Eve in
      > > > > > > > > happiness.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > Then, conversely, this earth would be another place, where evil
      > > > > > > prevents
      > > > > > > > > the all from being the One, even though it really is the One,
      > > > except
      > > > > > > that
      > > > > > > > > it cannot know it, for it refuses the virtue that would allow it
      > > > to
      > > > > > > see.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > And that the task of men in this world is to realize that they
      > > > are
      > > > > > > > > emanations of their own souls, of souls who are even now living
      > > > in
      > > > > > > that higher
      > > > > > > > > world, those on earth being mere shadows of actual men, here dim
      > > > in
      > > > > > > virtue.
      > > > > > > > > And that the thing for them to do is to sort of disappear in
      > > > their
      > > > > > > dimness
      > > > > > > > > by letting their light shine, by allowing their better side to
      > > > show
      > > > > > > forth
      > > > > > > > > more often.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > So that the dilemma would be resolved: the One and the all are
      > > > > > > actually
      > > > > > > > > One, and always have been; and only the people out there,
      > > > believing
      > > > > > in
      > > > > > > > > their own separate existence, refuse to acknowledge and live by
      > > > this.
      > > > > > > And the
      > > > > > > > > outer people, forgetful of the One, have invented all the
      > > > languages
      > > > > > > and
      > > > > > > > > trains of thought that keep the all seemingly apart from the One.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > Here, I am repeating various lore, and also sharing my own obse
      > > > > > > rvations;
      > > > > > > > > yet I truly wonder if Islam says something like this, hopefully
      > > > more
      > > > > > > than
      > > > > > > > > this.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > >This needs more discussion,ÂÂ
      > > > > > > > > > > and I will think
      > > > > > > > > > > that for the next time.
      > > > > > > > > > > Moosavi.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > I agree.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > Robert
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > ________________________________
      > > > > > > > > > > From: robert_tkoch <linyuuuu@>
      > > > > > > > > > > To: _neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com_
      > > > > > > > > (mailto:neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com)
      > > > > > > > > > > Sent: Monday, July 30, 2012 2:21 AM
      > > > > > > > > > > Subject: trinitarian and triadicRe: [neoplatonism] Re: What
      > > > are
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > One and the Nous for you?
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > ÂÂ
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > --- In _neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com_
      > > > > > > > > (mailto:neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com) , Ebrahim Mousavi
      > > > <brhmmsv@>
      > > > > > > wrote:
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > But, in serious speeches they believe more on second part
      > > > of
      > > > > > > > > > > > Jami's speech as "pictures or shadows" not illusions.
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > Within Islamic thought --- does the first and highest part
      > > > of the
      > > > > > > > > picture or shadow correspond to the Plotinian Nous, and does it
      > > > > > > correspond
      > > > > > > > > exactly? Is the picture a simple and self-necessary product of
      > > > the
      > > > > > One
      > > > > > > being
      > > > > > > > > One, but also of a sort of necessity that all possible things,
      > > > though
      > > > > > > not
      > > > > > > > > existent like the One, may exist in their own picture-like or
      > > > > > > shadow-like
      > > > > > > > > manner?
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > Would this, then, correspond to the Greek Moira, the fate
      > > > that
      > > > > > has
      > > > > > > its
      > > > > > > > > own way within Creation, a sort of statement that this necessity
      > > > of
      > > > > > > > > little-existences, little-pictures, is somehow required, and
      > > > that all
      > > > > > > of the
      > > > > > > > > powers must obey it? Except for Zeus, who must both obey and
      > > > > > not-obey,
      > > > > > > even as
      > > > > > > > > the One allows it to be and also transcends it?
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > World (cosmos) has things which they are
      > > > > > > > > > > > beings and it means that they reflect the Being or One.
      > > > Then
      > > > > > any
      > > > > > > > > being other
      > > > > > > > > > > > than God (or One) is being in relation to God. This has
      > > > been
      > > > > > > spoken
      > > > > > > > > under the
      > > > > > > > > > > > "Relational being".
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > Is this the same as the above? Is all relational Being an
      > > > ongoing
      > > > > > > > > emanation from the original, a mere secondary?
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > If so, then there is God, and also the necessity for God to
      > > > > > > emanate,
      > > > > > > > > and this makes two. Indeed, I have to ask, as always: why can't
      > > > God
      > > > > > > just be
      > > > > > > > > God, and why must he emanate all this? Since much of this is
      > > > > > > apparently
      > > > > > > > > ungodly, why does he go to the trouble to undo himself?
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > I know that Plotinus remarked that this is because all
      > > > possible
      > > > > > > things
      > > > > > > > > must exist, and that is fine. But I still cannot understand how
      > > > the
      > > > > > > > > self-sufficient God got from his eternity to all this without a
      > > > > > > compulsion.
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > Everyone is always vague about this. Even Plato resorted to
      > > > myth
      > > > > > > and
      > > > > > > > > feeling. There might be a fall, or a guilty disobedience by the
      > > > > > > creature, or
      > > > > > > > > a swooning into forgetfulness; or God may have done this for his
      > > > love
      > > > > > > for
      > > > > > > > > all the creatures thus to be created; or God just loves to
      > > > dance. Yet
      > > > > > > all
      > > > > > > > > of these are too obviously human inventions, and they never
      > > > answer
      > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > question.
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > So I am wondering --- does the subtlest part of Islamic
      > > > thought
      > > > > > > have a
      > > > > > > > > subtle answer for this? I would like to hear it, even though I
      > > > may
      > > > > > not
      > > > > > > be
      > > > > > > > > subtle enough to understand.
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > Robert
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > Hi Roberth
      > > > > > > > > > > > I think it is difficult to find in Islamic thought someone
      > > > > > > > > > > > who denies whole world. In the writings of important
      > > > thinkers,
      > > > > > > both
      > > > > > > > > > > > philosophers and mystics, we find some passages which they
      > > > > > speak
      > > > > > > > > about world as
      > > > > > > > > > > > something which is not real or is illusion. Jami, a mystic
      > > > > > says:
      > > > > > > > > "all you
      > > > > > > > > > > > see in the world are imaginations or illusions ÃÆ'¢ââ�‚
      > > > > > > �šÂ¬Ã‚¦ or
      > > > > > > > > else are pictures on mirror
      > > > > > > > > > > > or shadows". But, in serious speeches they believe more on
      > > > > > > second
      > > > > > > > > part of
      > > > > > > > > > > > Jami's speech as "pictures or shadows" not illusions.
      > > > Sometimes
      > > > > > > they
      > > > > > > > > > > > distinct between Ignorant sufis which they speak of world
      > > > as
      > > > > > > > > illusions and say
      > > > > > > > > > > > everything is god and there is nothing else and Aware
      > > > sufis who
      > > > > > > > > believe weaken and
      > > > > > > > > > > > mean things cannot be god.
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > You have said:
      > > > > > > > > > > > >So I wonder --- in the
      > > > > > > > > > > > subtle Islamic tradition --- does anyone take seriously the
      > > > > > > absolute
      > > > > > > > > and
      > > > > > > > > > > > unchangeable Oneness of the One and strongly refuse to
      > > > > > > compromise
      > > > > > > > > that Oneness
      > > > > > > > > > > > with dualistic thinking? And then, because we live in the
      > > > > > > duality,
      > > > > > > > > does he say
      > > > > > > > > > > > something about the nature of the duality which somehow
      > > > > > > justifies or
      > > > > > > > > explains
      > > > > > > > > > > > its actual and meaningful place with regard to the One?
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > I should speak about the
      > > > > > > > > > > > continue tradition of theosophists (Mulla Sadra's
      > > > tradition of
      > > > > > > > > thinking) that
      > > > > > > > > > > > one branch of its interpretation have weakened as much as
      > > > > > > possible
      > > > > > > > > the multiple
      > > > > > > > > > > > part of the world. Theosophists distinct between world and
      > > > > > being
      > > > > > > > > which are the
      > > > > > > > > > > > other side of essence and existence. World (cosmos) has
      > > > things
      > > > > > > which
      > > > > > > > > they are
      > > > > > > > > > > > beings and it means that they reflect the Being or One.
      > > > Then
      > > > > > any
      > > > > > > bein
      > > > > > > > > g other
      > > > > > > > > > > > than God (or One) is being in relation to God. This has
      > > > been
      > > > > > > spoken
      > > > > > > > > under the
      > > > > > > > > > > > "Relational being". Some more mystical interpretation of
      > > > this
      > > > > > > > > > > > tradition,ÃÆ'‚ although they
      > > > > > > > > > > > are called as philosophers,ÃÆ'‚ distinct
      > > > > > > between relational
      > > > > > > > > being and
      > > > > > > > > > > > be only a relation.ÃÆ'‚ ÃÆ'‚ÂÂ
      > > > > > > They say there are
      > > > > > > > > > > > two kinds of cosmological being, one is complete and the
      > > > other
      > > > > > > is
      > > > > > > > > imperfect.
      > > > > > > > > > > > Their exemplar kinds of these being are verbal word and
      > > > > > > > > prepositional word.
      > > > > > > > > > > > Things and beings in the world in relation with God (or
      > > > One) is
      > > > > > > more
      > > > > > > > > like a
      > > > > > > > > > > > prepositional word than a verbal one.ÃÆ'‚ÂÂ
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > ________________________________
      > > > > > > > > > > > From: robert_tkoch <linyuuuu@>
      > > > > > > > > > > > To: _neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com_
      > > > > > > > > (mailto:neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com)
      > > > > > > > > > > > Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2012 4:33 AM
      > > > > > > > > > > > Subject: trinitarian and triadicRe: [neoplatonism] Re:
      > > > What are
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > One and the Nous for you?
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > ÃÆ'‚ÂÂ
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > --- In _neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com_
      > > > > > > > > (mailto:neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com) , Ebrahim Mousavi
      > > > <brhmmsv@>
      > > > > > > wrote:
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > Some mystics has said there is no such
      > > > > > > > > > > > > thing as multiplicity and it is a kind of illusion. All
      > > > thing
      > > > > > > is
      > > > > > > > > is God; they
      > > > > > > > > > > > > have said different kinds of pantheism. What we have
      > > > said was
      > > > > > > by
      > > > > > > > > supposition of
      > > > > > > > > > > > > the reality for both sides of God (and One) and creature
      > > > (or
      > > > > > > > > multiplicity) and
      > > > > > > > > > > > > of accepting a deep relation between them upon Islamic
      > > > > > > > > Neo-Platonism.
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > Thank you. And yes --- regarding your answer above ---
      > > > that is
      > > > > > > what
      > > > > > > > > I am wondering. In the Islamic tradition, does anyone take this
      > > > idea
      > > > > > > > > further, to its natural conclusion?
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > I mean --- when you said:
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > Some mystics has said there is no such
      > > > > > > > > > > > > thing as multiplicity and it is a kind of illusion. All
      > > > thing
      > > > > > > is
      > > > > > > > > is God;
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > Does anyone then say, "Ok. That is that. There is no God
      > > > but
      > > > > > > God,
      > > > > > > > > and that is the end of it." That is, God is only God, there is no
      > > > > > > other, and
      > > > > > > > > anything else being said might be said, but the saying is not
      > > > about
      > > > > > > God.
      > > > > > > > > The saying, then, is ourselves, chattering away godlessly in a
      > > > > > > not-Godian,
      > > > > > > > > self-made illusion.
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > It seems to me that the Sufis might have said this, and
      > > > that
      > > > > > Lao
      > > > > > > Tze
      > > > > > > > > and Chuang Tzu also seemed to say this. But I wondered if the
      > > > > > > Islamists
      > > > > > > > > might have pursued this point with a greater analysis and
      > > > > > distinction.
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > It also seems that Plotinus said this, that the One is
      > > > entirely
      > > > > > > > > beyond all distinctions and differentiations, including the
      > > > > > difference
      > > > > > > of
      > > > > > > > > maker and made, God and man, and all the rest.
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > I have been thinking about this for many years, attempting
      > > > to
      > > > > > > bridge
      > > > > > > > > the gap between my concept of the One and my concept of the
      > > > many. But
      > > > > > > > > every time that I think that I have explained it, it turns out
      > > > that I
      > > > > > > have
      > > > > > > > > actually simply forgotten the One, and am now embroiled in
      > > > another
      > > > > > > bright idea
      > > > > > > > > or scheme that just distracts me with its nonsense, so that I
      > > > forget
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > original, honest perplexity.
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > For instance, when you said,
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > >God is the creator but this is his
      > > > > > > > > > > > > acting attribute which is different from his essential
      > > > > > > attributes.
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > This seems to me to be again a jumping back to this
      > > > dualistic
      > > > > > > world,
      > > > > > > > > where God might have multiple qualities, like an acting attribute
      > > > > > that
      > > > > > > is
      > > > > > > > > different from an essential attribute. Or that God has any
      > > > attributes
      > > > > > > at
      > > > > > > > > all --- this means that we are firmly ensconced back in duality
      > > > > > again.
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > So I wonder --- in the subtle Islamic tradition --- does
      > > > anyone
      > > > > > > take
      > > > > > > > > seriously the absolute and unchangeable Oneness of the One and
      > > > > > > strongly
      > > > > > > > > refuse to compromise that Oneness with dualistic thinking? And
      > > > then,
      > > > > > > because
      > > > > > > > > we live in the duality, does he say something about the nature
      > > > of the
      > > > > > > > > duality which somehow justifies or explains its actual and
      > > > meaningful
      > > > > > > place with
      > > > > > > > > regard to the One?
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > I realize, of course, one place in Islam where this is
      > > > evident:
      > > > > > > in
      > > > > > > > > the respectful religiousness and surrender of ego that the true
      > > > > > > worshipper
      > > > > > > > > shows to the One. But I am wondering if this essential and
      > > > mandatory
      > > > > > > respect
      > > > > > > > > of the creature for his Creator has also manifested as a
      > > > reasonable
      > > > > > > verbal
      > > > > > > > > teaching that is helpful to the creature's understanding?
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > Robert Tkoch
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > --- In _neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com_
      > > > > > > > > (mailto:neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com) , Ebrahim Mousavi
      > > > <brhmmsv@>
      > > > > > > wrote:
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > Hi
      > > > > > > > > > > > > Roberth
      > > > > > > > > > > > > I
      > > > > > > > > > > > > appreciate for your attendance and excuse me for being
      > > > off
      > > > > > for
      > > > > > > > > five days and
      > > > > > > > > > > > > didn't check my email. You have asked:
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > >Within the Islamic tradition, does anyone say, "Let us
      > > > not
      > > > > > do
      > > > > > > > > this. Let us not look for ways in which the One might become
      > > > many,
      > > > > > for
      > > > > > > if the
      > > > > > > > > One becomes many, then the One is not One. And the essential
      > > > sanctity
      > > > > > > of
      > > > > > > > > God is that God is forever only God, and not just a producer of
      > > > all
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > not-God."
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > Well,
      > > > > > > > > > > > > I can say that it has been a debate about the truth of
      > > > God
      > > > > > and
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > rest (ma seva
      > > > > > > > > > > > > allah) among some philosophers and theologians. Some
      > > > believes
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > common words
      > > > > > > > > > > > > between them like being are just equivocal. Then
      > > > attributing
      > > > > > > > > multiplicity to
      > > > > > > > > > > > > God or vice versa would totally be wrong. God is the
      > > > creator
      > > > > > > but
      > > > > > > > > this is his
      > > > > > > > > > > > > acting attribute which is different from his essential
      > > > > > > attributes.
      > > > > > > > > Creation
      > > > > > > > > > > > > belongs to volition of God and that is his acting
      > > > attribute
      > > > > > > and it
      > > > > > > > > makes a
      > > > > > > > > > > > > separation between him and his essence.
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > Some mystics has said there is no such
      > > > > > > > > > > > > thing as multiplicity and it is a kind of illusion. All
      > > > thing
      > > > > > > is
      > > > > > > > > is God; they
      > > > > > > > > > > > > have said different kinds of pantheism. What we have
      > > > said was
      > > > > > > by
      > > > > > > > > supposition of
      > > > > > > > > > > > > the reality for both sides of God (and One) and creature
      > > > (or
      > > > > > > > > multiplicity) and
      > > > > > > > > > > > > of accepting a deep relation between them upon Islamic
      > > > > > > > > Neo-Platonism.
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > >"Let us rather ask --- if One is only One, then what is
      > > > this
      > > > > > > > > necessarily not-One, nonexistent life in which we seem to be
      > > > being?
      > > > > > > Who are
      > > > > > > > > these questioners?"
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > All
      > > > > > > > > > > > > Muslim neo plationist philosophers accept being as
      > > > essential
      > > > > > > for
      > > > > > > > > all beings
      > > > > > > > > > > > > which it's impossible to negate existence from them.
      > > > Then,
      > > > > > > both
      > > > > > > > > One and the rest
      > > > > > > > > > > > > will count as necessity. Although, the necessity goes for
      > > > > > > essence
      > > > > > > > > in
      > > > > > > > > > > > > peripatetic philosophy,ÃÆ'Æ'‚ÃÆ'‚Ã
      > > > > > > ‚Â it is the
      > > > > > > > > > > > > property of light for illuminationist, and it is only for
      > > > > > > being in
      > > > > > > > > Mulla Sadra.
      > > > > > > > > > > > > The
      > > > > > > > > > > > > other point which should not be neglected is that
      > > > necessity
      > > > > > in
      > > > > > > > > theosophy
      > > > > > > > > > > > > sometimes is logical and sometimes is philosophical
      > > > > > > (ontological).
      > > > > > > > > What peripatetic
      > > > > > > > > > > > > says about the necessity of essence here is a logical or
      > > > > > > > > propositional
      > > > > > > > > > > > > necessity. Philosophical (ontological) necessity is
      > > > opposed
      > > > > > > to
      > > > > > > > > contingency of
      > > > > > > > > > > > > poverty which is one kind of contingency. ÃÆ'Æ'ââ‚
      > > > > > > ¬Å¡ÃÆ'‚ÂÂ
      > > > > > > > > Contingency of poverty stands for multiplicity
      > > > > > > > > > > > > and its reality is belonging to the other. Then a
      > > > contingent
      > > > > > > being
      > > > > > > > > will be contingent
      > > > > > > > > > > > > from ontological point of view and necessity from logical
      > > > > > > point
      > > > > > > > > of view.
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > ________________________________
      > > > > > > > > > > > > From: robert_tkoch <linyuuuu@>
      > > > > > > > > > > > > To: _neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com_
      > > > > > > > > (mailto:neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com)
      > > > > > > > > > > > > Sent: Wednesday, July 4, 2012 1:02 AM
      > > > > > > > > > > > > Subject: trinitarian and triadicRe: [neoplatonism] Re:
      > > > What
      > > > > > > are
      > > > > > > > > the One and the Nous for you?
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > ÃÆ'Æ'‚ÃÆ'‚ÂÂ
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > --- In _neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com_
      > > > > > > > > (mailto:neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com) , Ebrahim Mousavi
      > > > <brhmmsv@>
      > > > > > > wrote:
      > > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > > If the group doesn't mind I will report briefly the
      > > > > > relation
      > > > > > > > > between One and Many in Islamic Neoplatonic
      > > > > > > > > > > > > > theme of philosophy.
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > Many thanks for your clear explanation of these points.
      > > > > > > Regarding
      > > > > > > > > the Islamic Neoplatonic tradition, I have a question:
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > Within the Islamic tradition, does anyone say, "Let us
      > > > not do
      > > > > > > > > this. Let us not look for ways in which the One might become
      > > > many,
      > > > > > for
      > > > > > > if the
      > > > > > > > > One becomes many, then the One is not One. And the essential
      > > > sanctity
      > > > > > > of God
      > > > > > > > > is that God is forever only God, and not just a producer of all
      > > > the
      > > > > > > > > not-God."
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > "Let us rather ask --- if One is only One, then what is
      > > > this
      > > > <br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
    • dgallagher@aol.com
      In a message dated 9/26/2012 1:04:56 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, linyuuuu@gmail.com writes: Or, to put it more mildly, that the evidence of the senses in no
      Message 44 of 44 , Sep 26, 2012
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        In a message dated 9/26/2012 1:04:56 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
        linyuuuu@... writes:

        Or, to put it more mildly, that the evidence of the senses in no way
        argues for an absolutely good source for all of this. The evidence of the senses
        indicates something pretty ignorant and bad.


        Sounds like the cracking of thin ice to me. The senses may be understood
        as apprehending "evidence", but not the assessment thereof as "ignorant and
        bad." Further, we ought be cautious with our understanding of references
        to "evil" in the ancient sources, as they more typically appear to me as
        allusions to separation from the real or true without any moral implicate
        intended.

        What you see is what you get depends upon what is seeing.

        David



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