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Re: [spinoza-ethics] Re: Knowledge of the Third Kind

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  • John Willemsens
    Hello Frank, Indeed, and you have other riddles, like our preferences in/understanding of art and humor. But the question here is whether *for Spinoza*
    Message 1 of 55 , Jun 2, 2002
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      Hello Frank,
      Indeed, and you have other riddles, like our preferences in/understanding of
      art and humor. But the question here is whether *for Spinoza* intuition
      stands on the shoulders of reason or not. I myself am a radical monist of
      Buddhist extraction (!) who believes that these are merely several not yet
      well understood refinements of the process of sentient knowing caused as
      everything else by dependent origination, but this is not the issue.
      Warm regards,
      John Willemsens.
      www.advayavada.nl

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "fdixon65" <fdixon65@...>
      To: <spinoza-ethics@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, May 26, 2002 10:15 PM
      Subject: [spinoza-ethics] Re: Knowledge of the Third Kind


      > John:
      >
      > In your reply to Terry's (as usual) excellent response, you point out
      > that [even] Spinoza's intuition stands on the shoulders of reason.
      > Right, but the shoulders are of a reason that is not
      > merely "understood" but which is grasped and made an intuitive part
      > of the way we subsequently experience experience. And in that sense,
      > knowledge of the third kind becomes the most easily apprehended,
      > though perhaps the most difficult to "understand." I have in the
      > past made many references to "applied knowledge of the third kind,"
      > and the one that most easily comes to mind is the old riddle: "How
      > much does a brick weigh if it weighs 3 pounds plus half its weight."
      > The algebra is simple, the hearing even simpler, but when the answer
      > is truly grasped, 6 pounds, then all subsequent substitutions of any
      > number for the number "3" will in no wise complicate the immediate
      > derivation of an answer. We know intuitively, after "getting" the
      > answer the first time (I mean, really "GETTING IT") that all we have
      > to do is double the number and there's the answer.
      >
      > This does not, of course, define knowledge of the third kind; it
      > merely illustrates it. After that, defintions are second best.
      >
      > Frank
    • Terry Neff
      Hi All, In reading the latest postings from Frank and Sunhunter9 something that Sunhunter9 pointed out struck a chord --both in my imagination and reasoning
      Message 55 of 55 , Jun 26, 2002
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        Hi All,

        In reading the latest postings from Frank and Sunhunter9 something that
        Sunhunter9 pointed out struck a chord --both in my imagination and
        reasoning --with the discussion about the Third Kind of Knowledge and with
        my own recent study of D.T. Suzuki's Essays in Zen Buddhism and the idea of
        "Paravritii" or "turning-up", "turning-over", or "revulsion".

        Sunhunter9 pointed out:

        "...This "process" Spinoza details so compassionately explains why, when I
        separate the idea of an emotion from the thought of an external cause, and
        unite it to other adequate or true ideas, it is no longer a passion. It's
        been "hooked up" as an effect of adequate ideas from within the
        understanding itself, free, acting according to its own nature."

        Spinoza showed us:

        ======== E5: PROP. 2:
        If we remove a disturbance of the spirit, or emotion, from the thought
        of an external cause, and unite it to other thoughts, then will the love or
        hatred towards that external cause, and also the vacillations of spirit
        which arise from these emotions, be destroyed.
        ========

        When just reading this proposition it is no more than words and images
        for me and all words and images involve external bodies (from the TEI the
        imagination is only affected by some particular physical object.) Then, as I
        reason about it, an abstraction readily occurs which involves "external
        world" vs. "internal world" and where there is a "boundary" determining and
        separating the two. In the imagination or in the abstraction I tend to
        assign things like "My favorite color is blue" or "I love my dog" to my
        "internal world" as opposed to what others in the "external world" might
        feel.

        If I stop and stand on this imagination or abstraction I may fail to see
        that when Spinoza speaks about "other thoughts" he is not referring to our
        particular "internal world" --by which I mean our imagination of ourselves
        in association with the "external world" --but rather, if I grasp the deeper
        idea involved in E5P2, there is a "turning" in a direction which is neither
        outward nor inward in the ordinary imagined sense of these terms.

        This "turning" is a momentous event in our mental life. In the New
        Testament the Greek term "metanoia" (which is poorly translated as
        repentance --see Maurice Nicoll's "The Mark") literally means "change of
        mind", a turning away from our ordinary "external/internal world" focus. I
        believe that "metanoia", "paravritii" and Spinoza's E5P2 refer to the same
        removing from the "external" and uniting with, as Sunhunter9 put it
        "adequate ideas from within the understanding itself".

        Regards
        Terry
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