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Tag: Goodness

Nemo – “Ennead I” by Plotinus (14)‏

 
 
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2013 16:37:42 +0000
To: Richibi’s Weblog
From: comment-reply@wordpress.com
Subject: [New comment] “Ennead I” by Plotinus
 
Richard,
 

Beauty, Goodness and Truth are a triad, but not all triads are Christian in origin or character. Belief in the unity of beauty and goodness is characteristic of the ancient Greeks, and Plato further demonstrate the unity of Beauty and Truth in Symposium. As for the “glorious” deities, their priests have no place or recognition whatsoever in Plato’s Republic, which is ruled by Reason.

Plotinus has changed my way of looking at art, which is commonly defined as a human activity. Since Intellect permeates the world, art is not limited to human, but even plants and flowers, though they are not sentient beings, are capable of artistic activity. To use an analogy, a choreographer consciously designs the dance moves, but the dancers perform the moves.without being conscious of the whole design.

Come to think of it, all human artists either imitate directly or draw inspiration from Providence. How can they deny the artistry of Providence, and then turn around call their plagiarism “art”?

A mirror, in so far as it is a mirror, enables us to look at the world from a different angle, and presents to us features that have been hidden before, but it is still a reflection of the multifaceted reality. Since you found transcendence, have you experienced anything for which there is no counterpart in this world?

 
 
you’ve gone off in so many different, doubtful
to me, directions, Nemo, I don’t know where to
start, then again I must sound ever the same
to you whenever I write, there’s apparently
much here we have to discuss 
 
but I think the central issue remains the 
possibility of a firm, which is to say, rational, 
understanding of the substance of our world, 
something you ardently affirm, but I, and the
demented” Nietzsche, incidentally, equally
fervently mistrust, even deem fundamentally
impossible
 
Descartes, by the by, remained on the fence,
he never found out what hit him, never realized
what he’d done, but began nevertheless in his
wake the irreversible march toward uncertainty,
modernity, which we dressed up in the powerful
attractions of science
 
we’ve come a long way from superstition,
we’re even presently on our way to Mars,
we’ve even discovered what’s being called
the God particle, but I think we’re still in
Plato’s cave with respect to certain
knowledge, we’re only seeing shadows,
we can never see the sun 
 
there is surely an underlying reality, but
you, I, we, can only imagine it, which is
why we’re still wondering what it’s all
about, despite having of course our
kids and building our houses, we are
compelled to invent our environments
with the tools that we’ve been given 
 
 
I don’t think animals and plants are
artists, we supply that moniker for
them, some of us, to describe what
we, some of us, can, but only really 
anthropomorphically, see, Fido will
never acknowledge himself an artist,
nor paint our picture, for instance, on 
his doghouse wall, no matter what
Plotinus might’ve said to the contrary   
 
 
where do I get my own, ahem, inspiration,  
I will admit, not from me alone, but that
doesn’t make me a plagiarist 
 
have [ I ] experienced anything for which
there is no counterpart in this world?“, all
that I have experienced is in my world,
unquestionably, I think it might have
some conjunction with the one you
call this one, but I’ll never be sure,
I can only suspect
 
 
all of this would be moot, Nemo, and indeed
many will think one could better spend one’s
time than at splitting these merely philosophical
apparently tresses, were it not for their
revolutionary consequences, men will kill, Nemo,
to preserve their god – not ever, note, the plural
here, never their “gods” – but their one imperious
divinity, in the figure of a man, by the way, mostly, 
their Platonically inspired Ideal, their Platonic, but
patently murderous, Absolute, I blame Plato for
that, not Nietzsche 
 
and I blame the Christian Church, furthermore, 
for distorting the Platonic Trinity, your beautifully 
rendered  Beauty, Goodness and Truth“, though
that’s something also, I think, of an anachronistic 
distortion
    
 
cheers especially ever
 
Richard
 
 
 
 

Nemo – “Ennead I” by Plotinus (13)

 
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2013 19:04:56 +0000
To: Richibi’s Weblog
From: comment-reply@wordpress.com
Subject: [New comment]“Ennead I” by Plotinus.
 
Richard,     
 
You wrote, “my experience is that I cannot know even dimensions before I formally deduce them,”

That is a unique experience. Einstein came to the same conclusion when he developed the Theory of Special Relativity, though perhaps he didn’t have quite the same experience. You both beheld the same underlying reality, although you expressed it in different ways.

Plato’s Absolute, i.e., which is Beauty, Goodness and Truth in One, is immanent. It is distinct but not distant from us, and every soul can ascend to it by reason and intellect. There are different types and levels of beauty, in the human body, in nature, in the universe, in science and art, literature and music. One doesn’t have to be a “Superman” to see beauty or create beauty. Every life is an artistic activity. Every individual is an artist.

The concept of Absolute by no means deny or diminish the freedom of individual existence. On the contrary, the more diverse and free the individual existence, the better and fuller it manifest Absolute Beauty. For instance, Beethoven’s Ninth, unless each member of the choir and orchestra plays his/her best part, the beauty of the symphony cannot be manifested nor experienced by the audience.

Unlike Kant who believes that the noumenal is unknowable, Platonists reason that the noumenal and the phenomenal correspond with one another (sort of like the way an image in the mirror corresponds to the original), since they are both derived from one and the same intelligible reality. Because of this “correspondence”, it is possible to do science. We have been able to predict with accuracy the movement of the stars and other events occurring in nature; Because of this “correspondence” between our consciousness and the outside world, it is possible for us to interact with other people and the world

 

you say, Nemo, “Plato’s Absolute, i.e., which is
Beauty, Goodness and Truth in One“, which
seems to me anachronistic, a premature
conflation with Christian, however implicit,
thought, I don’t think Plato would’ve had a
Trinity, whatever for in a society replete with
a variety of quite serviceable, not to mention
glorious, deities
 
when you speak of “[e]very life“, “[e]very
individual” being “an artistic activity“, “an
artist“, what about animals, insects, trees,
do roses perceive their own beauty, these
are lives, even creative, even inspiring ones,
though I draw the line at inspired, I suspect
they don’t consciously know it 
 
therefore “Beauty, Goodness and Truth” are in
the eye of the beholder, no, as we ask in
French, and the beholder is our own human
only, it appears, incarnation, blessed as we
are, for better or for worse, with
self-consciousness, ““Superm[e]n”” need
not even, but only superfluously, apply  
 
the Tree of Knowledge bore the fruit of
which all of us have partaken, for better or
for worse, by our very nature, and we’ve
created a poem around it in order to
understand
 
it has been mighty, if flawed
 
 
about mirrors, when I yearned for word
from above, or from wherever, I understood
I’d have to forego my entrenched scepticism
 
under the influence of Sartre and Camus,
the Existentialists, whose ideas dominated
the Western World, and my university years,
however nowadays incredible, a time when
Van Cliburn, a Classical music pianist, 
would return from a sealed Communist
Russia, no less, to a New York ticker tape
parade, a more idealistic time than our
present more rapacious, morally bankrupt,
apparently, epoch, I’d believed in Being
and Nothingness, and the corollary Absurd,
I was alone in an indifferent Universe
 
to assume spirits, an extraterrestrial entity
who might be responsive, would require
an act of absolute faith, a profound
disorder in my otherwise determinedly
rational perspective
 
but I had no choice but to succumb to
even irrationality, I knew, for any chance
of grace, you need to believe in miracles
to experience them  
 
need I say that I found that transcendence,
I called it crossing the Bridge of Faith
 
where everything was the same but
different, Nemo, like crossing through a
mirror, like Alice, and discovering another,
infinitely more enchanted, however
numinous and otherworldly, world   
      
 
Richard