Contemplation can be difficult to describe but it is arguably one of the most essential tools available to us for deepening our connection to the spiritual worlds. Because of its importance, I want to see what I can say about it. Getting at it will entail an admixture of the via positiva and the via negativa, so please bear with me.
Once you break down Spinoza’s binary parallelism of modality, you end up with an asymmetrical and indeterminate modality. It is asymmetrical in the sense that what takes place within one mode isn’t simply replicated within another mode. A small change in the mode of extension may have a dramatic or insignificant impact on the mode of thought. It is indeterminate in the sense that we can’t specify exactly how many modes of substance there are.
So, there is the last post about Spinoza, substance, and modalities beyond our ken. That provides a segue toward talking about the idea of an aeon. While the aeon is rightly identified with a form of time, it is too often identified with a span of years (which I will call an ‘age’ for the sake of clarity in this post), be they centuries or millenia. The aeon proper belongs to another order of time to which the time of years can be more or less sympathetic.
Spinoza’s philosophical monism structures a lot of how I think about our interactions with the world of spirits. The specifics of his work, his way of thinking and arguing as well as his assertions, are worth some attention in and of themselves, but this really isn’t the vest venue for that. Heck, I may not even be the best person for that anyway. Behind those specifics there is a monist sensibility (I’m big on that notion, aren’t I?) that is even more useful to me. That can be usefully described here, so let me see if I can get at that.
I’m going to do that by breaking the sensibility down into some grounding intuitions, that sense of how the world is ordered and how that order ought to shape how we think about it. I’m going to play a little loosely with Spinoza’s logic in order to get at this sensibility, in part because I draw different conclusions from it. Continue reading “Spinoza and the Spiritual Labyrinth”