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Re: medieval beginnings -- west -- Augustine

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  • James Miguez
    ... I do not have much information on Ammonius, nor did I know that he was an apostate from the Christians. Certainly it is possible if this is the case, then
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 20, 2002
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      Subject: Re: [thomism] medieval beginnings -- west -- Augustine
      Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 07:19:22 -0800
      From: Dennis Polis <dfpolis@...>
      Reply-To: thomism@yahoogroups.com
      To: thomism@yahoogroups.com
      References: <3C961BF3.2D88F649@...>

      James,
      
      I wonder if you have any thoughts on Ammonius Saccus, the
      Christian apostate, and common teacher of Origen and
      Plotinus? I am wonding if the original impetus here was not
      Plotinian, but Christian.

       
      I do not have much information on Ammonius, nor did I know that he was an apostate from the Christians.  Certainly it is possible if this is the case, then given Ammonius' knowledge of Christain dogma and his speculation, that all this could have influenced Plotinus' religiosity which plays an important part in his contemplative philosophy of the One..
      But I do not know.

       
      There is also the important thread of mystical tradition and
      experience shared by Augustine and Plotinus.
      
      
       
      I am not sure what you are referring to here, except possibly their overall view of contemplation and the truth that is above the changing world.
      Perhaps you could offer a little more specifics.

       
      Finally, did I miss the answer to my question about
      Proposition 8, or did we not get to it yet? We seem to have
      left the Arabs.
       
      Sorry, Dennis.  I was wondering when you would ask about this.  In fact, I thought it necessary and have felt the need to forge the foundations of medeival thought BEFORE the details of the later medieval developments are treated.  It is kind of like an engineer digging into the ground to lay proportinate concrete footings to serve as a secure foundation for a bridge or a building.  This will also help later when we compare and contrast the teaching of Aquinas on ESSE.
      I am going to treat pseudo-Dionysius next (which is back to the East and to Proclus) and then I will get to the Liber de Causis (part Proclus and part Plotiniana Arabica).

      Avicenna uses these sources also (Liber de causis), and all the 13th century medieval masters, including St. Thomas, use Avicenna..

      So finally, we will examine St. Thomas commentary on de Causis, especially that of propostion 8 which is no. 9 in Aquinas, which comes specifically, as Taylor as pointed out, from Plotiniana Arabica and not from Proclus.

      Thus I wanted to put the main developments in perspective first.

      I am sorry I am taking so long a time to present this, but circumstances and well as the subject matter force me to dig deep into the main facts, as well as expose the various positions in a manner that can be indexed easily.
       

      Please keep me in your prayers, and thank you for the input.

      Sincerely,

      James

      Peace,
      Dennis
      
      

       
    • Dennis Polis
      James Miguez wrote: .. ... Plotinus had a number of mystical expereinces which he drew upon in his formulation of the doctrine of the One. I don t know many
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 20, 2002
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        James Miguez wrote:
        ..
        > > There is also the important thread of mystical tradition
        > > and experience shared by Augustine and Plotinus.
        >
        > I am not sure what you are referring to here, except
        > possibly their overall view of contemplation and the truth
        > that is above the changing world.
        > Perhaps you could offer a little more specifics.
        >
        Plotinus had a number of mystical expereinces which he drew
        upon in his formulation of the doctrine of the One. I don't
        know many more details.

        Augustine also has a least one mystical experience, shortly
        after his conversion, simultaneously with his mother, St.
        Monica.

        > > Finally, did I miss the answer to my question about
        > > Proposition 8, or did we not get to it yet? We seem to
        > > have
        > > left the Arabs.
        > >
        >
        > Sorry, Dennis. I was wondering when you would ask about
        > this. In fact, I thought it necessary and have felt the
        > need to forge the foundations of medeival thought BEFORE
        > the details of the later medieval developments are
        > treated. It is kind of like an engineer digging into the
        > ground to lay proportinate concrete footings to serve as a
        > secure foundation for a bridge or a building. This will
        > also help later when we compare and contrast the teaching
        > of Aquinas on ESSE.
        > I am going to treat pseudo-Dionysius next (which is back
        > to the East and to Proclus) and then I will get to the
        > Liber de Causis (part Proclus and part Plotiniana
        > Arabica).
        >
        > Avicenna uses these sources also (Liber de causis), and
        > all the 13th century medieval masters, including St.
        > Thomas, use Avicenna..
        >
        > So finally, we will examine St. Thomas commentary on de
        > Causis, especially that of propostion 8 which is no. 9 in
        > Aquinas, which comes specifically, as Taylor as pointed
        > out, from Plotiniana Arabica and not from Proclus.
        >
        > Thus I wanted to put the main developments in perspective
        > first.
        >
        > I am sorry I am taking so long a time to present this, but
        > circumstances and well as the subject matter force me to
        > dig deep into the main facts, as well as expose the
        > various positions in a manner that can be indexed easily.

        Do it in the manner you think best. Thank you for your
        efforts.

        > Please keep me in your prayers, and thank you for the
        > input.

        Certainly, God Bless you.

        Peace,
        Dennis
      • James Miguez
        ... Dennis, I would agree with you that some type of mystical experience is behind the philosophy of the One, in so far as there is no other way to explain the
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 21, 2002
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          Dennis Polis wrote:

          > James Miguez wrote:
          > ..
          > > > There is also the important thread of mystical tradition
          > > > and experience shared by Augustine and Plotinus.
          > >
          > > I am not sure what you are referring to here, except
          > > possibly their overall view of contemplation and the truth
          > > that is above the changing world.
          > > Perhaps you could offer a little more specifics.
          > >
          > Plotinus had a number of mystical expereinces which he drew
          > upon in his formulation of the doctrine of the One. I don't
          > know many more details.
          >
          > Augustine also has a least one mystical experience, shortly
          > after his conversion, simultaneously with his mother, St.
          > Monica.
          >

          Dennis, I would agree with you that some type of mystical experience is
          behind the philosophy of the One, in so far as there is no other way to
          explain the basic intuition of unity and the fulfilling return to the One. I
          am very much a believer in mysticism, and I think that all spiritual
          reasonings (i.e. immaterial understanding of the soul) are borderline
          mystical experiences in that to understand or intelligere in a full sense of
          the term is to see things from the inside out and not from the outside in.

          Words cannot adequately describe such a knowledge, but there are, so we say,
          interior locutions that in essence are existential concepts apart from psyche
          and matter, and spiritual concepts born in nature and sometimes enlightened
          further by supernatural light, that are known only to the individual knower
          as person, i.e., verbum cordis.

          To exteriorize this personal word is to prolate it in terms of psychology and
          physics, which is basically to communicate the incommunicable. It is to
          conform the strictly spiritual knowledge to social language that does not
          always do the individual experience or personal knowledge justice, but is
          necessary nonetheless, in the full run of things, and in an horizontal,
          exterior and social sense.

          There is no doubt that Plotinus and Augustine had mystical experiences that
          by its intense light helped to shape their respective philosophies.
          Balthasar is right that Plotinus is in a sense the Father of Europe, for this
          exemplary experience of the One shaped the very heart of Europe for nearly
          two millineum; and Augustine of course is the Founder, so to speak, of
          western Christendom, along with Benedict.

          It is amazing how true mystical experiences have such lasting effects in both
          culture, history and intellegentsia.

          It is a full scale topic.

          Sincerely,

          James

          >
          > > > Finally, did I miss the answer to my question about
          > > > Proposition 8, or did we not get to it yet? We seem to
          > > > have
          > > > left the Arabs.
          > > >
          > >
          > > Sorry, Dennis. I was wondering when you would ask about
          > > this. In fact, I thought it necessary and have felt the
          > > need to forge the foundations of medeival thought BEFORE
          > > the details of the later medieval developments are
          > > treated. It is kind of like an engineer digging into the
          > > ground to lay proportinate concrete footings to serve as a
          > > secure foundation for a bridge or a building. This will
          > > also help later when we compare and contrast the teaching
          > > of Aquinas on ESSE.
          > > I am going to treat pseudo-Dionysius next (which is back
          > > to the East and to Proclus) and then I will get to the
          > > Liber de Causis (part Proclus and part Plotiniana
          > > Arabica).
          > >
          > > Avicenna uses these sources also (Liber de causis), and
          > > all the 13th century medieval masters, including St.
          > > Thomas, use Avicenna..
          > >
          > > So finally, we will examine St. Thomas commentary on de
          > > Causis, especially that of propostion 8 which is no. 9 in
          > > Aquinas, which comes specifically, as Taylor as pointed
          > > out, from Plotiniana Arabica and not from Proclus.
          > >
          > > Thus I wanted to put the main developments in perspective
          > > first.
          > >
          > > I am sorry I am taking so long a time to present this, but
          > > circumstances and well as the subject matter force me to
          > > dig deep into the main facts, as well as expose the
          > > various positions in a manner that can be indexed easily.
          >
          > Do it in the manner you think best. Thank you for your
          > efforts.
          >
          > > Please keep me in your prayers, and thank you for the
          > > input.
          >
          > Certainly, God Bless you.
          >
          > Peace,
          > Dennis
          >
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > thomism-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        • J.L.A. West
          There is an interesting point of contact between Augustine and Plotinus in this respect in terms of their account of eternity and the human experience of time.
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 21, 2002
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            There is an interesting point of contact between Augustine and Plotinus in
            this respect in terms of their account of eternity and the human experience
            of time. There is a brief discussion of this in my article "Augustine on
            Human Temporality and Divine Eternity" in the last issue of "Faith &
            Reason" which gives the references to the texts.

            Cheers,

            Jason

            At 09:23 AM 3/21/2002 -0600, you wrote:


            >Dennis Polis wrote:
            >
            > > James Miguez wrote:
            > > ..
            > > > > There is also the important thread of mystical tradition
            > > > > and experience shared by Augustine and Plotinus.
            > > >
            > > > I am not sure what you are referring to here, except
            > > > possibly their overall view of contemplation and the truth
            > > > that is above the changing world.
            > > > Perhaps you could offer a little more specifics.
            > > >
            > > Plotinus had a number of mystical expereinces which he drew
            > > upon in his formulation of the doctrine of the One. I don't
            > > know many more details.
            > >
            > > Augustine also has a least one mystical experience, shortly
            > > after his conversion, simultaneously with his mother, St.
            > > Monica.
            > >
            >
            >Dennis, I would agree with you that some type of mystical experience is
            >behind the philosophy of the One, in so far as there is no other way to
            >explain the basic intuition of unity and the fulfilling return to the One. I
            >am very much a believer in mysticism, and I think that all spiritual
            >reasonings (i.e. immaterial understanding of the soul) are borderline
            >mystical experiences in that to understand or intelligere in a full sense of
            >the term is to see things from the inside out and not from the outside in.
            >
            >Words cannot adequately describe such a knowledge, but there are, so we say,
            >interior locutions that in essence are existential concepts apart from psyche
            >and matter, and spiritual concepts born in nature and sometimes enlightened
            >further by supernatural light, that are known only to the individual knower
            >as person, i.e., verbum cordis.
            >
            >To exteriorize this personal word is to prolate it in terms of psychology and
            >physics, which is basically to communicate the incommunicable. It is to
            >conform the strictly spiritual knowledge to social language that does not
            >always do the individual experience or personal knowledge justice, but is
            >necessary nonetheless, in the full run of things, and in an horizontal,
            >exterior and social sense.
            >
            >There is no doubt that Plotinus and Augustine had mystical experiences that
            >by its intense light helped to shape their respective philosophies.
            >Balthasar is right that Plotinus is in a sense the Father of Europe, for this
            >exemplary experience of the One shaped the very heart of Europe for nearly
            >two millineum; and Augustine of course is the Founder, so to speak, of
            >western Christendom, along with Benedict.
            >
            >It is amazing how true mystical experiences have such lasting effects in both
            >culture, history and intellegentsia.
            >
            >It is a full scale topic.
            >
            >Sincerely,
            >
            >James
            >
            > >
            > > > > Finally, did I miss the answer to my question about
            > > > > Proposition 8, or did we not get to it yet? We seem to
            > > > > have
            > > > > left the Arabs.
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > > Sorry, Dennis. I was wondering when you would ask about
            > > > this. In fact, I thought it necessary and have felt the
            > > > need to forge the foundations of medeival thought BEFORE
            > > > the details of the later medieval developments are
            > > > treated. It is kind of like an engineer digging into the
            > > > ground to lay proportinate concrete footings to serve as a
            > > > secure foundation for a bridge or a building. This will
            > > > also help later when we compare and contrast the teaching
            > > > of Aquinas on ESSE.
            > > > I am going to treat pseudo-Dionysius next (which is back
            > > > to the East and to Proclus) and then I will get to the
            > > > Liber de Causis (part Proclus and part Plotiniana
            > > > Arabica).
            > > >
            > > > Avicenna uses these sources also (Liber de causis), and
            > > > all the 13th century medieval masters, including St.
            > > > Thomas, use Avicenna..
            > > >
            > > > So finally, we will examine St. Thomas commentary on de
            > > > Causis, especially that of propostion 8 which is no. 9 in
            > > > Aquinas, which comes specifically, as Taylor as pointed
            > > > out, from Plotiniana Arabica and not from Proclus.
            > > >
            > > > Thus I wanted to put the main developments in perspective
            > > > first.
            > > >
            > > > I am sorry I am taking so long a time to present this, but
            > > > circumstances and well as the subject matter force me to
            > > > dig deep into the main facts, as well as expose the
            > > > various positions in a manner that can be indexed easily.
            > >
            > > Do it in the manner you think best. Thank you for your
            > > efforts.
            > >
            > > > Please keep me in your prayers, and thank you for the
            > > > input.
            > >
            > > Certainly, God Bless you.
            > >
            > > Peace,
            > > Dennis
            > >
            > >
            > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > > thomism-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >
            >
            >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            >thomism-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >
            >
            >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          • Dennis Polis
            ... We are of one mind here. Peace, Dennis
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 21, 2002
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              James Miguez wrote:
              >
              > Dennis Polis wrote:
              >
              > > James Miguez wrote:
              > > ..
              > > > > There is also the important thread of mystical tradition
              > > > > and experience shared by Augustine and Plotinus.
              > > >
              > > > I am not sure what you are referring to here, except
              > > > possibly their overall view of contemplation and the truth
              > > > that is above the changing world.
              > > > Perhaps you could offer a little more specifics.
              > > >
              > > Plotinus had a number of mystical expereinces which he drew
              > > upon in his formulation of the doctrine of the One. I don't
              > > know many more details.
              > >
              > > Augustine also has a least one mystical experience, shortly
              > > after his conversion, simultaneously with his mother, St.
              > > Monica.
              > >
              >
              > Dennis, I would agree with you that some type of mystical experience is
              > behind the philosophy of the One, in so far as there is no other way to
              > explain the basic intuition of unity and the fulfilling return to the One. I
              > am very much a believer in mysticism, and I think that all spiritual
              > reasonings (i.e. immaterial understanding of the soul) are borderline
              > mystical experiences in that to understand or intelligere in a full sense of
              > the term is to see things from the inside out and not from the outside in.
              >
              > Words cannot adequately describe such a knowledge, but there are, so we say,
              > interior locutions that in essence are existential concepts apart from psyche
              > and matter, and spiritual concepts born in nature and sometimes enlightened
              > further by supernatural light, that are known only to the individual knower
              > as person, i.e., verbum cordis.
              >
              > To exteriorize this personal word is to prolate it in terms of psychology and
              > physics, which is basically to communicate the incommunicable. It is to
              > conform the strictly spiritual knowledge to social language that does not
              > always do the individual experience or personal knowledge justice, but is
              > necessary nonetheless, in the full run of things, and in an horizontal,
              > exterior and social sense.
              >
              > There is no doubt that Plotinus and Augustine had mystical experiences that
              > by its intense light helped to shape their respective philosophies.
              > Balthasar is right that Plotinus is in a sense the Father of Europe, for this
              > exemplary experience of the One shaped the very heart of Europe for nearly
              > two millineum; and Augustine of course is the Founder, so to speak, of
              > western Christendom, along with Benedict.
              >
              > It is amazing how true mystical experiences have such lasting effects in both
              > culture, history and intellegentsia.
              >
              > It is a full scale topic.
              >
              > Sincerely,
              >
              > James

              We are of one mind here.

              Peace,
              Dennis
            • James Miguez
              ... Jason, if possible is there a way to get an electronic version of this article?, which I am sure is very interesting. If not, perhaps an offprint? I will
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 24, 2002
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                "J.L.A. West" wrote:

                > There is an interesting point of contact between Augustine and Plotinus in
                > this respect in terms of their account of eternity and the human experience
                > of time. There is a brief discussion of this in my article "Augustine on
                > Human Temporality and Divine Eternity" in the last issue of "Faith &
                > Reason" which gives the references to the texts.
                >
                > Cheers,
                >
                > Jason
                >

                Jason, if possible is there a way to get an electronic version of this article?,
                which I am sure is very interesting.

                If not, perhaps an offprint?

                I will give you the postage.

                Sincerely,

                James

                >
                > At 09:23 AM 3/21/2002 -0600, you wrote:
                >
                > >Dennis Polis wrote:
                > >
                > > > James Miguez wrote:
                > > > ..
                > > > > > There is also the important thread of mystical tradition
                > > > > > and experience shared by Augustine and Plotinus.
                > > > >
                > > > > I am not sure what you are referring to here, except
                > > > > possibly their overall view of contemplation and the truth
                > > > > that is above the changing world.
                > > > > Perhaps you could offer a little more specifics.
                > > > >
                > > > Plotinus had a number of mystical expereinces which he drew
                > > > upon in his formulation of the doctrine of the One. I don't
                > > > know many more details.
                > > >
                > > > Augustine also has a least one mystical experience, shortly
                > > > after his conversion, simultaneously with his mother, St.
                > > > Monica.
                > > >
                > >
                > >Dennis, I would agree with you that some type of mystical experience is
                > >behind the philosophy of the One, in so far as there is no other way to
                > >explain the basic intuition of unity and the fulfilling return to the One. I
                > >am very much a believer in mysticism, and I think that all spiritual
                > >reasonings (i.e. immaterial understanding of the soul) are borderline
                > >mystical experiences in that to understand or intelligere in a full sense of
                > >the term is to see things from the inside out and not from the outside in.
                > >
                > >Words cannot adequately describe such a knowledge, but there are, so we say,
                > >interior locutions that in essence are existential concepts apart from psyche
                > >and matter, and spiritual concepts born in nature and sometimes enlightened
                > >further by supernatural light, that are known only to the individual knower
                > >as person, i.e., verbum cordis.
                > >
                > >To exteriorize this personal word is to prolate it in terms of psychology and
                > >physics, which is basically to communicate the incommunicable. It is to
                > >conform the strictly spiritual knowledge to social language that does not
                > >always do the individual experience or personal knowledge justice, but is
                > >necessary nonetheless, in the full run of things, and in an horizontal,
                > >exterior and social sense.
                > >
                > >There is no doubt that Plotinus and Augustine had mystical experiences that
                > >by its intense light helped to shape their respective philosophies.
                > >Balthasar is right that Plotinus is in a sense the Father of Europe, for this
                > >exemplary experience of the One shaped the very heart of Europe for nearly
                > >two millineum; and Augustine of course is the Founder, so to speak, of
                > >western Christendom, along with Benedict.
                > >
                > >It is amazing how true mystical experiences have such lasting effects in both
                > >culture, history and intellegentsia.
                > >
                > >It is a full scale topic.
                > >
                > >Sincerely,
                > >
                > >James
                > >
                > > >
                > > > > > Finally, did I miss the answer to my question about
                > > > > > Proposition 8, or did we not get to it yet? We seem to
                > > > > > have
                > > > > > left the Arabs.
                > > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > Sorry, Dennis. I was wondering when you would ask about
                > > > > this. In fact, I thought it necessary and have felt the
                > > > > need to forge the foundations of medeival thought BEFORE
                > > > > the details of the later medieval developments are
                > > > > treated. It is kind of like an engineer digging into the
                > > > > ground to lay proportinate concrete footings to serve as a
                > > > > secure foundation for a bridge or a building. This will
                > > > > also help later when we compare and contrast the teaching
                > > > > of Aquinas on ESSE.
                > > > > I am going to treat pseudo-Dionysius next (which is back
                > > > > to the East and to Proclus) and then I will get to the
                > > > > Liber de Causis (part Proclus and part Plotiniana
                > > > > Arabica).
                > > > >
                > > > > Avicenna uses these sources also (Liber de causis), and
                > > > > all the 13th century medieval masters, including St.
                > > > > Thomas, use Avicenna..
                > > > >
                > > > > So finally, we will examine St. Thomas commentary on de
                > > > > Causis, especially that of propostion 8 which is no. 9 in
                > > > > Aquinas, which comes specifically, as Taylor as pointed
                > > > > out, from Plotiniana Arabica and not from Proclus.
                > > > >
                > > > > Thus I wanted to put the main developments in perspective
                > > > > first.
                > > > >
                > > > > I am sorry I am taking so long a time to present this, but
                > > > > circumstances and well as the subject matter force me to
                > > > > dig deep into the main facts, as well as expose the
                > > > > various positions in a manner that can be indexed easily.
                > > >
                > > > Do it in the manner you think best. Thank you for your
                > > > efforts.
                > > >
                > > > > Please keep me in your prayers, and thank you for the
                > > > > input.
                > > >
                > > > Certainly, God Bless you.
                > > >
                > > > Peace,
                > > > Dennis
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > > > thomism-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > >thomism-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >
                > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > thomism-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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