Re: omega-point-deity

From: scerir (
Date: Tue Jul 04 2000 - 08:52:05 MDT

These words, by Spinoza, are, in my opinion, still *useful*.

"The free man is wholly absorbed in the development and exercise
of his own powers of mind and body, and is always aware of his status as a
finite mode of Nature. As he becomes less and less affected by passive
emotions, and in proportion as his knowledge increases, he becomes more and
more identified in his own mind with the whole process of Nature: the order
of his ideas approximates more and more closely to the order of ideas which
constitutes God's thought; he becomes progressively detached from his
temporary interests as a particular person interacting with a temporary
environment, and he comes to view all things sub specie aeternitatis. His
real happiness (beatitudo) consists in this contemplation of the whole
machinery and system of Nature, and in reflecting within his own mind the
whole intellectual order of things." (Spinoza: An Introduction to His
Philosophical Thought, Stuart Hampshire, Pengiun Books, 1987, page 126)

It was Spinoza's intention to prove that to be rational is to necessarily to
love God [Nature] and to love God [Nature] is to be rational: also to prove
that, as I come to understand the causes of my desires and of my loves and
hates, these desires, loves and hates necessarily become transformed into
the intellectual love of God: also to prove that, the more our interests
are purely intellectual and our emotions therefore purely active emotions,
the more we have in common with each other an the more the possibility of
conflict between us is diminished.

The more we understand individual things, the more we understand God. To
understand God must mean to understand Nature as self-creating and
self-caused; at the third and highest level of intuitive knowledge every
individual detail of the natural world is shown as related to the whole
structure of Nature; the more we take pleasure, as *philosophical
naturalists,* in tracing the order of natural causes, the more we can be
said to have an intellectual love of God..To such a temper the individual
person, the self, a mere finite mode within Nature, appears as significant
only so far as the individual re-creates in his own mind some part of the
self-creative activity of Nature, and thereby trascends his condition as a
finite and perishing existence. This he can achieve only in so far as his
first interest is in Nature, the system of things as they are; particular
desires and passive emotions must be subordinated to this interest.

There is ultimately only a single substance, which is God or Nature. That
substance is characterized by infinitely many attributes, each infinite in
its own kind; of these attributes, only two are known to us - Thought and
Extension. Each attribute comprehends a variety of modes: Thought
comprehends willing, feeling, understanding and so forth; Extension includes
being square, being in motion, being at rest, and so forth. There is
another use of the term "mode" in which we speak, not so much of modes of,
as of modes in substance: modes so spoken of are concrete individuals, like
particular minds or bodies. Modes are both finite and infinite; if they are
infinite, then they are either immediate or mediate. The infinite immediate
modes of Extension is Motion-and-Rest; its infinite mediate modes is "the
face of the whole universe." The infinite immediate mode of Thought is the
absolutely infinite intellect.

Under his definition of love (Ethics Pt. III. Def. Emotions VI) Spinoza
explains that it is a property, through not the essence, of love that the
lover should wish to unite himself to the object loved; if therefore someone
can truthfully be said to love God or Nature, he wishes to unite or identify
himself with God or Nature. In so far as I achieve perfect intuitive
knowledge of God or Nature in individual things the ideas which constitute
my mind are identical with the ideas which constitute God's mind - that is,
I become united with Nature conceived under the attribute of thought; in so
far as I desire *genuine or scientific knowledge,* I must be said to love
God or Nature, in the sense of desiring to be united with God or Nature.

(the commentary above: by prof. Remo Ruffini, physicist)

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