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Tag: Kant

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
 
 
 

Nemo – “Ennead I” by Plotinus (11)‏

 
 
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2013 15:56:00 +0000
To: Richibi’s Weblog
From: comment-reply@wordpress.com
Subject: [New comment] “Ennead I” by Plotinus
 

Richard,

Forgive me for saying so, but it seems to me that your philosophy is quite incongruent with your personality, which is passionate, sensitive and kind. As far as I can tell, you’re much more gregarious than the demented Nietzsche.

If, as you wrote at the beginning, you can’t even be sure that I exist, why are you taking the trouble to have this conversation? If everything is in a flux, what is there to “grasp” and “tackle”? If all is a figment of the imaginations of beings in their separate cages, what’s the point of conversation? You’re still trapped in your own cage anyway.

Kant may be wrong about some things, but I do agree with him about the difference between noumenon and phenomenon. Our thoughts revolve around the phenomenal, and consequently, they are in flux, “peripheral” as you put it, or evolving, as some believe. But, this doesn’t negate the noumenon, the eternal and unchanging. To use an analogy in biology, when you observe the growth of a seed or an embryo, it seems to be changing constantly, and if you didn’t know what it was, you would think that everything was in flux, but all the while it remains the same substance: a human being

 
 
what’s to forgive, Nemo, I don’t mind at all being
called “passionate, sensitive and kind
 
thank you
 
 
and you are right, after a study of philosophy I
went my own way, which was what philosophy
had taught me to do, it is a conversation, I
learned, rather than an ideology, that secular
cousin of theology, either system oftentimes
flagrantly autocratic, for instance Plato, or
take your pick of religions 
 
along the way I discovered miracles, I wanted to
talk to my beloved, but somehow I’d only asked
my dad, who’d died earlier the same year, to
speak to me from beyond the grave, I’m your
son, I said, I’ll hear you, and, Nemo, I did, and
all, eventually, the others, I’ve been talking to
all of them ever since  
 
this might seem very strange, of course, but
you can tell from what I’ve written to date,
surely, that I’m not entirely demented,
conversely, maybe I’m inspired, maybe just
eccentric, who knows, take your pick, so
long as I’m not, I think, hurting anybody    
 
 
Kant, incidentally, didn’t affirm the noumenon,
he merely did not deny it, so he’s made room
for my unorthodox constructions, and miracles,
as a corollary, in general
 
this was also Descartes’ dilemma essentially,
or Shakespeare’s, There are more things in
 
also my own 
 
we cannot beyond our consciousness affirm,
we can only interpret, I am the only thing I can
affirm, the rest is what you make it, for better
or for worse, this from “the demented“, Nemo, 
Nietzsche
 
therefore Beethoven or Proust, or maybe
even me    
 
 
I believe in miracles, and so I experience them
 
I’d asked a friend on a cold winter day with
only icicles everywhere in the city, what
should we do, let’s go out and look for
beautiful things, he replied, we did, and all
the icicles consequently shimmered and
glistened, I’d found a key to finding beauty,
another valuable parable 
 
later, needing more than just beautiful things
to cheer me I asked for miracles, which, Nemo,
like the earlier beautiful things, profusely in
their turn abounded, you just have to be
ready to receive them
 
 
I believe there is a noumenon, but I’ll never
be able to prove it, though I feel it profoundly,
and judiciously sort out with the help of
wisdom and poetry, truth and beauty, all
I can muster, the information I receive 
 
I hope it might be of some service
 
 
to me there is poetry behind everything,
shimmering, glistening magic, but I’m not
sure that’s what everyone sees, nor wants
to see, I won’t try to impose my perspective,
I can only tell what I see
 
and I’ve long seen more than mere facts,
what I see, have long seen, is an inherently 
transcendental reality 
 
which suggests the probability of other
noumenal worlds
 
so, to answer your question, I do think
you indeed exist, though I can’t be
absolutely sure of it, though you might
not be a figment of my imagination you
are nevertheless to me merely my
impression of you, but who really are
you, that’s a tricky question, cause you
don’t even know
 
meanwhile there’s no harm in sharing
even a virtual, irony of ironies, 
conversation
 
   
cheers
 
Richard