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Month: July 2012

Bruno and the Cosmic Mind

Bruno and the Cosmic Mind

Blick auf den Genfer See, 1852, August Ludwig Erhard Boll (1805–1875) We cannot discuss Giordano Bruno’s theory of matter without including how it is related to his idea of a cosmic mind. Inundated by the overwhelming complexity of emerging patterns in Nature, Bruno refused to adopt the position that all was brought about by chance. In this, he would have agreed with Albert Einstein, who rejected the argument of Niels Bohr and the probabilistic theories of quantum mechanics. Bruno rejected…

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O Death, Where is Thy Sting?

O Death, Where is Thy Sting?

Beard, William Holbrook ~ Phantom Crane, 1891, oil on canvas This spirit, being persistent along with matter and these being the one and the other indissoluble, it is impossible that anything should in any respect see corruption or come to death, in its substance, although in certain accidents everything changes face, and passes now into one composition, now into another, through now one disposition, now another, leaving off or taking up now this now that existence. Aristotelians, Platonists, and other…

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Musings On Consciousness

Musings On Consciousness

Singularity Utopia What is consciousness? It is the state of being aware. For example, we are conscious of ourselves as Ego. Many times, we are unconscious (unaware) that we are also Shadow, Mother, Father, Wise Old Man, Child, and many others. These are archetypes of the unconscious. Most humans are not aware of themselves as being these Persons (and They are Persons). What is the origin of consciousness? How do we become aware of unconscious things? First of all, we…

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The Unus Mundus

The Unus Mundus

When he created the concept of synchronicity, Jung laid a foundation which might lead us to see the complementary realms of psyche and matter as one reality. … Synchronistic events … seem to point towards a unitary aspect of existence which transcends our conscious grasp and which Jung has called the unus mundus (Psyche and Matter, by Marie Louise von Franz). Jung’s idea of synchronicity involves an acausal interconnectedness that is meaningful between matter and Soul.  This idea of the…

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The Importance of an Optimistic View of Matter

The Importance of an Optimistic View of Matter

Big Reichenbach, by JMW Turner In my article, Two Kinds of Gnosticism, I distinguish between a pessimistic Gnosticism and an optimistic Gnosticism. We are most familiar with the pessimist type, the kind that portrays matter as a prison for the Soul. In this view, matter, including the human body, is tainted with evil. It is sinful and in need of redemption. This view is to be rejected. Matter, including the human body, is divine. God permeates every fiber of our…

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Bruno’s Theory of Matter

Bruno’s Theory of Matter

Terrasse sur le lac Majeur, by Théodore Caruelle d’Aligny This will be the first of several articles on Bruno’s theory of matter and the cosmic mind. They are more my personal notes than formal essays.  Giordano Bruno formulated the most impressive theory of matter of any European philosopher, perhaps to this day. Using only his powers of speculation, Bruno formulated an amazingly powerful ontological theory that rejected Platonic dualism in favor of a strict monistic view of the universe. Of…

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Aurora, A Tragedy of Soul

Aurora, A Tragedy of Soul

Old Man Grieving, by Vincent Van Gogh When I think of Aurora, I always think of the Roman goddess of dawn. After today, that beautiful image will be forever marred in the Psyche. The same kind of thing occurred with the wonderful image of the Columbine (from Latin columba “dove”), that indescribably lovely flower that flourishes at higher altitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. After April 20, 1999, the image metamorphosed into two insane monsters with guns. Today, something occurred in…

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Psychological Ideas

Psychological Ideas

As a precursor to this article, it is suggested you read my articles, Ficino’s Idea of Soul and More on Ficino’s Idea of Soul. Just as a hammer “hammers” or a shovel “shovels,” a Soul “souls.” In other words, Psyche psychologizes. Soul is inextricably linked to its ideas, or its ideation. There is no separation between the action and the ideation of Soul. We have been conditioned to think that action and ideation are two distinct phenomena, but this is…

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Success and the Acorn

Success and the Acorn

We hear so much about success! So many of us are striving for it, dressing up for it, climbing it’s ladder, hoping to attain it, aspiring for it, and a host of other upwardly mobile metaphors. On the web, there are personal development resources, life coaches, entrepreneurial tool kits, resources galore! And who doesn’t want to be successful in life, have “things,” be affluent, be respected. Success is certainly a worthy goal. But is wealth, fame, and honor what makes…

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Two Kinds Of Gnosticism

Two Kinds Of Gnosticism

Author Peter J. French writes,  The texts themselves actually outline two opposing ways of achieving gnosis. ‘Optimist’ gnosticism accepts the universe as divine; God reveals himself in everything, and through his intellect, man can become like God in order to comprehend him. By a religious approach to the universe and by inscribing a representation of the universe within his own mens, man can ascend and unite with god. ‘Pessimist’ gnosticism, on the other hand, rejects the world as evil, and…

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The Epoch of Soul

The Epoch of Soul

We are living in a remarkable time. After having seen the rise of materialism and scientism since the seventeenth century, the pendulum of the world has swung back in the opposite direction. Our culture, even though it is still very materialistic and egocentric, has still managed to begin to think more holistically and soulfully. The experience  and knowledge of Soul has become more widespread. People understand much more now about Soul than ever before in human history. Also, we have…

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The Paracelsan Slip

The Paracelsan Slip

Alchemy may have greatly influenced Descartes when he drove a wedge between matter and psyche with his formulation of cogito ergo sum. Carl Jung believed that when the alchemists equated Christ with the lapis philosophorum, it “had the effect of channeling the religious numen into physical nature and ultimately into matter itself…” (Psychology and Alchemy, p. 227). By projecting the numinous reality into physika, matter became something to be understood at all cost. Thus, the seed of modern science was…

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Are Dreams Shadows? Part II

Are Dreams Shadows? Part II

James Hillman writes, According to Plato (Sophist 266c), dream images are comparable with shadows, “when dark patches interrupt the light,” leading us to see a kind of “reflection,” “the reverse of the ordinary direct view.” This useful analogy presents dreams as dark spots, the lacunae or ab-senses of the dayworld, where the dayworld reverses itself or converts its sense to metaphorical significance. This is not merely the dayworld repeated in a thinner silhouette of two dimensions. Like any visual shadow,…

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Are Dreams Shadows? Part I

Are Dreams Shadows? Part I

I came across some interesting notes I had scribbled down some years ago. I had misplaced the notebook and just came across it. I think some daimonic reality wanted me to think about it. The notes concerned a particular section of Plato’s dialogue, The Sophist. Theaetetus and a Stranger are discussing, basically, a theory of art which distinguished between  so-called “real things” and images or “image-making.” Here is the particular section my notes pertained to: Stranger We know that we and…

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Unconscious Knowledge

Unconscious Knowledge

Throwing off the shackles of traditional thinking has its tradeoffs. One must accept the awesome responsibility of the uncertainty one faces when left adrift in a sea of inexactitude. How am I certain I am on the right road? How am I certain, for instance, that Love is the true path? And how do I know that peace among nations is the best policy? Is it simply because that is what appears to be the most desirable state of affairs?…

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