To: Phaedrus; Alamo-Girl; beckett; cornelis; KC Burke; Dataman
Does passion always disorder?
Good point, Phaedrus! Perhaps we could bring Alamo-Girl's distinction between nephesh and neshama into play here, so to try an answer to this question. I'd say the passion of nephesh -- that of the lower "animal" nature -- certainly does disorder. But this British mathematician you were speaking of, my guess is that his passion was of the neshama type -- expressing a passion for beauty and truth, and the delight of achieving something lovely, something sublime, that had long been elusive.
What do you think, my friend?
To: betty boop
Thank you so much for the heads up to your important analysis! I absolutely agree with you!
Passion of the nephesh demands gratification. Rape, theft, murder, intoxication, gluttony fall into this category. It is self serving, the politics are Marxist, the worldview is materialistic, the end justifies the means:
"For dialectical philosophy nothing is final, absolute, sacred. It reveals the transitory character of everything and in everything; nothing can endure before it except the uninterrupted process of becoming and of passing away, of endless ascendancy from the lower to the higher." - Fredrick Engels The End of Classical German Philosophy
Passion of the neshama longs for completeness. Love, faith, philosophy, benevolence falls into this category. It is humble, the politics are conservative, the worldview is teleological, we are but a part of a greater construct:
"The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as all serious endeavour in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all that there is." - Einstein's speech 'My Credo' to the German League of Human Rights, Berlin, autumn 1932, Einstein: A Life in Science, Michael White and John Gribbin, page 262
To: betty boop
Perhaps we could bring Alamo-Girl's distinction between
neshama into play here ... What do you think, my friend?
Yes, I agree. The longer I live and the more I think about these "things", the more I come to believe that life itself and the manner in which we exercise our Free Will is the lesson, and the first step, if you will, seems to me to be "overcoming the fear" and that requires understanding. A mouthful but FWIW, bb, as always.
To: betty boop; Alamo-Girl
The fancy Hebrew notwithstanding, I think it will be misleading to order the intellect (which I presume must be distinguished from consciousness) as a receptivity between two of sources of fundamentally different things--at least not without some major redrafting. The first step toward a revision is to abandon the notion that these two actions are in some way a polar opposites. Otherwise we will land ourselves in a horrible dualism--something already intimated in suspicion of passion. Next thing you know we'll be doing the pendulum swing, hating the all renaissance and digging ourselves under for a disembodied utopia, sine resurrectione
A body-soul dichotomy, as with any dualism, is a setup for the tyranny of one over the other. And a prior synthesis or a fundamental arche to the body-soul or form-matter antithesis (I use Kant's word on purpose) is not to be found in Greek or Enlightenment thought (and the Hebrews weren't even Greek!)
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