m of care – sept 9
09 -09-2021 a reading group #MuseumofCare text by Spinoza, Facilitation … https://t.co/KZhvBU1muC via @YouTube
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nikadubrovsky/status/1437229950206189568
nika via fb:
Spinoza facilitated by Simona FerliniIt just made so much more sense to me. It became clearer what David was saying about Roy Bashkar, about reality becoming more complex from level to level and, most importantly, the key concept that there are no living or non-living objects, but rather life/consciousness exists everywhere, in different fractions. In this sense, Transhumanism is just dumb, mostly referring to René Descartes, with his division into soul and body. The main task of Transhumanism: preserving the body” will achieve, as Boris Groys correctly put it, is too reminiscent of vampires. For we no longer believe in the soul, yet we want the body to live forever. I highly recommend watching it and will ask Simone to continue reading Spinoza in the Museum of Care.
[not sure how i missed this dang]
s: don’t need to read it first to last.. actually interesting way to read it is starting from last and going back because they get their meaning by the connections.. spinoza takes concepts and changes their meanings.. ie: last about free man but spinoza speaking about the state.. but not what we mean for this word.. rather.. state is just like a condition.. human groups in diff states/conditions way to agree.. this is not our absolutistic way to understand the state.. and when spinoza uses this term in this way.. he is aleady attacking the hobbesian way of thinking about it..
4 min – s: the most important ie in spinoza’s ethics is the way he defines god.. he doesn’t attack monotheistic idea of god.. he says god is just nature.. so i suggested to read the 4th part.. where he explains a draft of his ideal of what a man should be.. he states in the forward.. allows us to think.. what are we aiming to.. perfection is just a projection of when we make a job and when it’s accomplished it’s perfect/done..
6 min – on modes of reality .. ways of thinking.. something that helps us understand in a human way what is good for humans.. in dawn of everything.. there is a note.. you can’t say humanity is good/bad.. just like can’t humanity is fat/thin.. makes no sense to make general assumptions.. this is the same thing spinoza tells us in the forward of this section.. it makes no sense to judge of a perfection.. there is no finality at all in the world.. and god has no goals.. no goals in nature.. there are only the idea of a goal is just a projection formed from our idea of what is a job well done.. god is not a final.. god is just a power to make things that expresses itself..
9 min – s’s proposition 16 onwards.. ‘from the necessity of the given nature must follow an infinite number of things in infinite ways.. that is.. all things which can form (?) w/in this sphere of an infinite intellect’.. s’s god is nature.. an entity that produces ethics.. to be is to produce ethics.. the only measure of good/bad is how much you can express these infinite creativity of god..
10 min – so in this forward of the 4th part.. s says ‘in what follows then i shall mean by good.. that which we certainly know to be a means of approaching more nearly to the type of human nature which we have set before ourselves.. by bad.. that which was certainly know to be a hindrance to us in approaching the set type.. again we shall say that men are more perfect/imperfect in proportion as they approach more/less nearly to the set type.. for it must be especially remarked that when i said that the man passes from lesser to a greater perfection or vice versa.. i do not mean that these changed from one essence/reality to another ie: a house would be as completely destroyed by being changed into a man as by being changed into an insect.. what i mean.. stress this part.. is that we conceive distinct power of action as it is understood by its nature to be increased or diminished.. lastly.. by perfection in general.. i shall mean reality.. in other words.. each thing’s essence in so far as it exists.. and operates in a particular manner and w/o paying any regard to its duration.. ‘
12 min – also the meaning of the word to exist changes in this conception.. to exist is to be cause .. to produce effects following one’s nature.. and natures differ not in essence.. because the only essence in the world is that of god.. and everything that exists is an expression .. i think sufis (?) says god is the dancer and we are the dance.. this is very similar to this concept.. everything that exists is an expression of the infinite power of existing and being a cause of god.. everything that exists is just a particular.. a mode of expression of this infinite nature.. and if beings differ.. (it’s) just in terms of complexity
13 min – s uses a formula from jordano bruno and this is why i wrote in my intro email.. if anybody has read art of luxury (?).. greek chain of being (?).. this is meaningful in that frame but i didn’t read that book.. so s quotes w/o saying it jordano bruno who says ‘everything has a soul.. everything is alive.. but there are diff grades of life.. there are diff grades of complexity.. s never gives a defn of what a human being is.. he only says the complexity of his body is the important feature of a human being because this complexity allows humans to be many things.. ‘we don’t know what about ti can do.. how much complexity/potential is in a human body.. and since no diff between mind/body.. just 2 attributes.. 2 ways to see same thing’.. we don’t know how much complexity is in our mind.. and accomplishment .. is our idea of a human that is .. as much a possible a cause of its effects.. and encompasses more reality.. the idea is that essence is reality and reality is power.. and power is ability to create/absorb as much as possible of ideas/things/realities.. in connection w other human beings..
18 min – ben: i have a question.. in p 1 where it talks about quantity and basically attributes and therefore the only thing we can prove is god because god encompasses everything.. like.. any 2 things don’t share attributes.. they’re all distinct.. and therefore the only thing we can prove is that which encompasses all attributes.. but when you talk about measuring.. my question is about complexity.. how does he measure complexity exactly and .. it sounded like maybe a quantity of attributes.. but how we talk about how attributes are discrete/separate.. and countable..
19 min – s: so .. the fundamental structure of reality for s is .. only one substance has infinite attributes and expresses itself in infinite modes/ways.. ways and attributes are infinite in a diff sense.. there is a difficulty there in s’s philosophy.. because he says attributes are infinite but he only talks of extension and thought and he talks about strong parallelism between those attributes.. the scheme here is from cartesios.. from descartes.. which means.. descartes ‘the only reality we can know is our mind because the only thing we know is that we can think.. we are aware that we think.. so we are certain to be a thinking subject’
20 min – s: we are not sure of existence of extension.. he said there are two substances.. but the one.. the mind .. is certain.. and the extension .. the material side.. is not certain.. it can be an illusion.. the only guarantee that this is not an illusion is that god cannot be so bad as to trick us into believing something that is not true..
21 min – s: it is very weak for a justification .. at the end of they day descartes ends up having two substances that cannot touch each other.. that cannot have any relationships and this makes a difficulty that s criticizes very strongly in the intro to 3 part of ethics.. saying that when you separate those two you will never be able to justify their union.. and so you end up w silly ideas.. like animal spirits that are so tiny that the mind can move them and therefore can move the body.. s says this is ridiculous.. mind and material are separated or they are the same.. there’s no other solution
23 min – descartes also ends up by thinking a soul/mind that is in direct connection w the christian god.. this means a subjectivity that has its truths given by god as laws.. and a mind that conquer/control the body because just as god is over and controls reality.. s criticizes this idea.. and goes back to st enselmo’s demo of the existence of god.. st enselmo is a medieval scholar who was considered on the edge of heresy because he was very (?) of this.. he proved the existence of god.. said god is the thing of which nothing can be thought bigger.. and since existence is something.. we cannot think of this big thing as non existent..
25 min – s: it’s a bit tricky .. but the consequence of this idea.. this logical idea of god.. is god (?).. like indian said: ‘you are god.. everything is god.. because if nothing outside god.. this means everything is in god.. is god’.. s refers to this idea/tradition.. ‘everything is god’.. and mind/material are the same thing seen from 2 diff pov’s.. and you have not to justify their union because they are united from the beginning.. they are the same thing.. the same infinite god that produce infinite ethics.. modes/ways are the ethics and they are infinite in another sense than attributes.. and they are events w no existence but that their being part of the entire existence of god
27 min – s: the other diff between s and descartes and s’s monotheism.. is that god is not transcendent.. not something outside our reality.. it is actually our reality.. and the most knowledgable thing of the world.. something we are.. therefore .. something we all know.. we just need to think it..t
28 min – s: and knowledge of god has 2 senses 1\ basic knowledge of existence being an infinite power of creation and 2\ equaling human mind to the power of this infinite creativity.. this is why s always says.. other human beings.. beings that are same level of complexity .. of ability to express a greater part of the essence of god.. are what is most useful to us.. the idea of (?).. that is a complex concept that encompasses both to agree and to be similar to .. is crucial in s’s ethics.. human beings are what is most useful for us because those are more like to us.. on complexity and creativity than say a stone/chicken..
30 min – s: alexander matherone.. who was a one of groups of louie.. said s is an ethics of similarity.. and just because it’s an ethic of similarity.. he never gives a real defn of a human being but he says what a free human being can be
31 min – my question was more like.. how he defines complexity
s: he doesn’t actually.. he just says there are diff degrees of being.. and this idea that being is not just yes/no is very strange for us.. you can exist more or less.. this comes from platern and plotting and neoplatonism (thought form rooted in plato).. there are 2 main traditions in s’s thought.. stoicizma and neoplatonisma..
32 min – s: stoi idea is that of the universal mind expresses itself like seeds of growth that are loggio.. that flourish in the reality.. and neoplatonisma on the other side focus on the one.. on being the essence of reality being a great one.. like a sphere that cannot be even thought of because at same moment you think of it .. there is a division between the thinker and the being.. and so there is degrees in reality
34 min – s: and this idea of descention (dissension?) from the unique/universal being that you can call god.. the infinite essence of reality of being.. is also the one that is taken in by the (?czar).. the idea of the 3 (tree?) of sepharot.. (?)
35 min – nika: in beginning you talk about (?) and how they are talking.. and i just wonder what would be apolitical implication of this pov.. specifically because to me being a non philosopher what you just described about s’s views looks like a very shortcut of bhaskar.. all these realities that is complex.. and complexity is increasing.. and the life and even the stone.. and everything could be free.. that was david describing bhaskar.. it looks like very contemp ideas because bhaskar was a philosopher of science.. he wasn’t jewish/christian
36 min – s: actually one of my dream book is one about the connection of s and indian philosophy.. i never found such a book/study.. and i don’t think we have materials to prove this connection.. nevertheless.. s lived in netherlands and the company wasn’t english at that time it was netherlandish.. so sure that there were merchants/tribalist that had been in the indian.. yeah.. that is indian company .. thank you (?).. but i never found any actual proof/study about it.. so.. absolutely i’m sure there are connections to bhaskar but i’ve never read anything.. i’m sure there are connections with history of the great chain of being.. there is actually this idea that things can have more/less reality/existence.. but yes.. i cannot tell you connections w bhaskar.. because i don’t know this philosopher.. i will study him.. i swear .. i promise..
39 min – nika: about hobbes?
s: yeah.. about hobbes.. the most interesting text about it is in (something something politicals?).. the 17th ch.. fascinating because in the 16th ch.. s produces almost perfectly hobbesian theory.. state is born when we agree to join our forces and transmit them to the state.. nevertheless in the 17th ch he starts by saying.. oh..ok.. this theory is really wonderful.. beautiful.. works perfectly on paper.. unless in reality it cannot work because nobody can transfer his power to anybody else.. since one’s power is his own essence.. and you cannot transfer your essence.. and so the problem of how can man join forces remains.. you cannot build this wonderful building of serenity based on just one monarch.. simply because it doesn’t work.. this is not the reality.. the reality is a state/monarch has power only until people decide to give him.. so .. this is more the political treaties.. so..let’s have a look at how concretely people agree and join forces.. so that of s’s is not an abstract construction of what/how to be in an ideal world where you can decide to obey to a sovereign.. it is really a physics of politics.. you judge politics on the basis of relationships of powers.. where powers are not the power to encroach your will on somebody.. power is actually everybody’s ability to produce ethics.. so.. i love in bs jobs the idea that our goal in life is to try at the pleasure of being (?).. this is absolutely spinoza
43 min – so in the political treaties .. s says when humans join forces they together have more power.. this could be trivial if we weren’t in face of a philosopher that says the very existence is power.. to have more power means to have more existence/creativity/ability .. to be a cause..
44 min – but joining forces becomes a big problem.. a problem that cannot be solve by an abstract social construct.. it is a problem that stays even inside the state.. so s can judge monarchy by saying the power of an idividual.. a monarch.. will never be at level w the power of the multitude..
45 min – this concept of multitude is the one that negri took from spinoza is the one that made s very (?) in the past records.. actually .. negri abuses this concept.. he is just looking for a way to call the hegelian/marxist subject.. a way that is not so .. already.. boring.. like the concept of people or working class or etc etc.. he takes this concept that is neuter.. that just means a quantity.. a big number .. of people.. and gives to this concept a positive sign.. this is a judgement and a mistake regarding s.. because multitude is just a numerical concept.. and its use is about treating politics like physics.. so you judge monarchy by strength cannot be at level as multitude.. so .. as a matter of fact.. monarchy doesn’t exist.. it is always a oligarchy.. it is always a condition where the monarch needs to be supported by other people.. by an oligarchy.. and in this physics of politics.. aristocracy or oligarchy is the most stable form of politics because an org’d group can be at level w the multitude..
48 min – what is missing in s’s political treatise is exactly the ch on democracy.. we don’t know if it’s because s died too soon.. he was working on it when he died.. or because of conceptual difficulty.. the fact is .. we desire very much what is missing..
49 min – nevertheless.. what’s very important for me.. is the way he framed these concepts in terms of power that is existence.. and this means also it doesn’t frame it in terms of good/bad.. in terms of judgment .. he just starts from the certainty that humans are all equal in as much as they are all creative beings at the same level of complexity.. able to cooperate and that become even more existent as soon as the coop..
51 min – i could explain proposition 16.7 .. but it may be clear now.. so i’ll be silent for a moment
vassily: i actually don’t understand myself fully for sure.. i much less concerned about what god is for s .. but what s says about the free person is quite interesting.. so thanks for suggesting this text.. i think it’s esp interesting in light of the current pandemic.. so you were saying.. s is saying that the free person is one who is conscious of the necessity we have to face.. trying to figure out universe/rules.. and align your will accordingly.. just before this i was watching david on what he was saying about the pandemic.. talking about countries that do well and ones that don’t.. he says.. not a division between democratic countries.. because ie: china and s korea doing well.. so basically what he was saying is that it’s a division of trust in the institution.. he was saying that countries where infection rates are highest are countries where people don’t believe what they read in newspapers and from the authorities.. this is because most of the time.. they lie to them.. so they are right to be skeptical.. but what you are dealing w with the pandemic is a skepticism that is killing us.. so goes along w what you were saying
54 min – v: so going back to s and the necessities of the universe.. you have some necessities.. ie: the econ ‘there is no alt’ which is no necessity at all.. so i guess here everyone is convinced that we can org things differently but w the pandemic.. there were rather diff necessities.. you can’t really choose another way.. because other ways.. we’re all basically going to die.. so what do you guys think .. well this is like a debate that can really go wrong and i’m sorry.. i don’t want to.. because it’s quite slippery .. but like if we remain at a more theorative level w this ie.. what do you guys think about that.. free person and necessities of universe
55 min – s: so .. there is a huge diff between the necessity of universe and the pretended necessity of econ.. and the diff is human world and reality at large..
56 min – s: actually what s says is not just understand the necessity.. it is understand that god as nothing.. no finality in world .. human beings are not in a privileged position in regard to the universe.. and there is no guarantee .. gods if they exist are indifferent.. they don’t care for us.. the diff .. let’s take descartes once more.. the diff is to say.. a god that is a king/legislature and gives us laws/protection.. guarantees that human beings ( preferably white, male).. are the highest creation of universe and he will protect us at the same moment he gives us laws that cannot be obeyed and then punish us for not being at the level of his commandments..
58 min – s says this is bs.. this is just a projection of our human world.. this is just superstition.. god is not indifferent.. god is everything and understanding the necessity of everything.. and equaling everything.. so .. what’s good/bad concerns the human world and it doesn’t concern god .. because there is no finality/guarantee.. perfection to be aimed for.. there is just human world where good/bad is good/bad for humans..
1:00 – i don’t actually understand what’s the relationship between infection and how people don’t believe in newspapers.. this idea.. but the point is that econ necessity is a fake.. a fraud.. and because econ is a human construction.. and it must be judged in terms of good/bad for humans..
1:01 – v: he was just saying not useful to believing there is no covid.. as a necessity of the universe
1:03 – robin taylor: it’s a long time since i’ve read s.. i think what’s interesting .. he talks about the emotions.. and i think he’s somewhere buried in there.. which his predecessors wouldn’t come up with
yeah.. he talks of emotion.. just using this scheme he made about power and creativity and existence.. and less power less existence.. so the fundamental distinction is between what makes us more powerful.. what gives us more existence.. and the things that gives us more existence.. is being aware we aren’t god.. at the end of the day.. and the free man.. a mean led by reason.. reason is another term he totally re designs.. so the free man is not a man that got rid of emotions.. but is a man that is guided by positive emotions.. emotions that are powerful and that are expressions of his becoming more powerful.. so the fundamental feelings are joy and sadness.. and he builds here a physics of emotions.. where each emotion is evaluated in terms of the feeling of passing to a higher/lower level of power.. and from this frame.. enormous consequences arise.. ie: in this free man chapter of ethics.. he says repentance/punishment is always bad.. you just add evil to evil when you try to attack/destroy something or when you are indignant.. this is just expression of a lower power of your mind.. and s says indignation is an expression of an impotence.. of a mind that is powerless.. and this is very close to nowadays psychology.. it is very clear to me that contemp psych that men (and in this case i’m really saying men and not humans) become violent need to encompass their power on other humans when they feel powerless.. the need to be more powerful than another human being is a sign of the powerless ness of your soul.. and on the contrary .. the only way to make things better and to change things.. is to let other people become more powerful/strong.. to help them to be stronger..
1:09 – in the 3rd part of ethics.. no.. doesn’t work.. there are some very *non violent and strong propositions about what to do when you have to change other people’s behavior.. i can’t find it.. (passage)
i think any form of m\a\p.. esp here.. any form of people telling other people what to do.. is *violent/cancerous.. way worse for us than the pandemic .. it’s based on myth of tragedy and lord ness.. and like what you said earlier about econ being fake.. based on human construct.. everything to date (to me) is based on what whales are like in sea world (ie: will naturally be out of control/violent.. at some point.. and then need other people telling them what to do.. ).. not based on what legit free people are like.. we have no idea
1:10 – so that’s it.. a free man doesn’t repent because repentance is a diminution of ability.. i’m trying to not use the word power.. but i think what i mean by power in s is rather clear now.. a free man was started by the least of death .. his meditation.. he thinks only of life.. because it’s a meditation on the infinite power that is existence.. infinite creation that is life.. and this arises from the knowledge of the unity and infinite creativity of universe.. and this knowledge is the most powerful thing a human being can reach .. and sharing this knowledge is actually the fundamental goal for humans..
1:12 – davide dibitonto: i haven’t really read s.. but i’m a reader of fromm.. who is a spinozian guy.. he always talks about s.. he really loves s.. so there are this kinds of 2 dimensions of s.. i think.. he talks about the positive energy/joy.. and the other side.. the sad/negative/passivity.. and i think this is part of the existence or not being part of existence.. the real challenge of human being is this.. put energy in life.. being part of everything or no.. i’d like to ask.. what you think about this 2 dimension.. i really like it.. think we need to be part of it.. and simona you talked of more/less existence.. maybe it’s the same as this 2 dimension..
1:14 – yes.. it’s totally s’s theory of emotions.. actually he puts it in terms of activity/passivity.. he says the very essence of human beings.. of everything .. is by ‘strive for existence’.. and by desire.. but the fundamental idea is to strive for existence that is not just inertia.. when it’s defined it looks like inertia.. everything strives to keep existing..
1:15 – at descartes.. it is difficult.. my (?) was about individual/multitude in s.. it is difficult to define individual.. but there isn’t a diff between individual and reality at large.. the final goal for a person is to understand the connection w infinity and to know we are just part of it and to grasp as much as possible of this union.. but on the other side.. every being has its peculiar essence.. way to be a cause to produce effects.. everything produces specific effects.. so strive to continue on one’s being and produce effects is the very essence of individuals.. as diff from others..
whoa.. this is huge..
would love to talk with you dear simona..
as linked and resonating with our findings:
2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b free people
1:17 – which means in universal terms.. passivity/bad don’t exist.. but in terms of individuals it does.. you are passive in as much as you are not alone.. have to face many other things and need many other things to exist..
1:18 – davide: but why does it exist for individual.. this dichotemy.. where all the existence doesn’t feel.. it’s our (condemn?)/illusion maybe
sea world ness
it’s individuation.. it’s our (condemn?).. it’s just modes/ways in which the infinite expresses itself.. it’s very interesting because this is a way to look at org’s/people/stuff that i took from s.. every time something separates itself form a group/child.. to be defined means to have borders.. inside/outside..
and every time says itself as diff from something else.. it sort of gets at a sense to produce specific effects.. diff from other beings.. and you are passive in as much as other things outside you that are diff from your essence.. stop you from producing effects.. are stronger than you.. every mode can be destroyed.. and so the true pulse are how much you understand your connection w universe.. and so you lost your limits.. and on the other side.. how much you can express your peculiar essence which are your particular/defined essence.. this is difficult part
davide: yeah .. at end we need to love everything and go out of our individual
1:22 – but on other side there is this mystic of knowledge.. and knowledge is also a material thing.. s: who has a body also has a mind.. both able of many things.. so on one side.. fundamental knowledge is.. i know i am a part of god.. and on other side.. you have diff degrees of being/knowledge/ability.. to do stuff w your body.. so to dance.. carve wood.. is as much knowledge as understanding latin.. augments ability to do/know is good.. and other human beings are good in as much as they augment this ability..