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Spinoza - A Rational Mystic

Norell, Tania LU (2011) REVK01 20111
Centre for Theology and Religious Studies
Abstract
Is Spinoza a mystic? Spinoza´s philosophy clearly relates to the concept of understanding God, through the self, so it is not hard to see why it has been argued that he may have been a mystic. On the other hand, it makes no sense at all since he is considered to be one of the most rational philosophers of the Modern Age and Spinoza´s God is neither transcendent nor supernatural and therefore he is considered an atheist. The problem as I see it is; how can such a rational man even be considered to have anything to do with mysticism which traditionally is considered to be a personal, subjective, emotive, religious experience of a transcendent God, which today does not qualify as being rational in any scientific sense of the word? What has... (More)
Is Spinoza a mystic? Spinoza´s philosophy clearly relates to the concept of understanding God, through the self, so it is not hard to see why it has been argued that he may have been a mystic. On the other hand, it makes no sense at all since he is considered to be one of the most rational philosophers of the Modern Age and Spinoza´s God is neither transcendent nor supernatural and therefore he is considered an atheist. The problem as I see it is; how can such a rational man even be considered to have anything to do with mysticism which traditionally is considered to be a personal, subjective, emotive, religious experience of a transcendent God, which today does not qualify as being rational in any scientific sense of the word? What has prompted my curiosity is the seeming contradiction of combining the rational label with a perceived mystical sensibility. In my analysis I investigate the possibility of a correlation between the definitions of the terms rational and mystic through the understanding of rationalism and mysticism. I will delineate how they have been understood through history and discuss how they can be understood. I will explain Spinoza´s concept of God and through the lens of Spinoza´s philosophy see if it is possible to get an understanding of what effect a union of the two concepts can have. The purpose of this essay is not to find proof as to be able to label Spinoza as a mystic within the mysticism of his time, but rather to get an understanding of what a relationship with God, through Spinoza´s monist concept of God as One Substance, can entail and thereby maybe widen the frame of what a mystic can be considered to be. My question is thus: Is Spinoza a Rational Mystic? (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Är Spinoza en mystiker? Mystik anses traditionellt höra samman med en tro att förståelse och kännedom om Gud kommer till en genom en Uppenbarelse som förenar människan med en transcendent och övernaturliga Gud. Enligt Spinoza´s filosofi nås förståelse av Gud genom ökad självförståelse, så det är inte svårt att se hur han kan ha tolkats som en mystiker. Men å andra sidan är det helt oförståeligt eftersom han anses vara en av de mest rationella filosoferna i modern tid och Spinoza´s Gud är varken transcendent eller övernaturlig och därför anses han vara ateist. Syftet med uppsatsen är inte att bevisa att Spinoza var en mystiker av sin tid utan jag vill titta på vad en relation med Gud kan innebära när Gud anses vara Spinoza´s monistiska Gud... (More)
Är Spinoza en mystiker? Mystik anses traditionellt höra samman med en tro att förståelse och kännedom om Gud kommer till en genom en Uppenbarelse som förenar människan med en transcendent och övernaturliga Gud. Enligt Spinoza´s filosofi nås förståelse av Gud genom ökad självförståelse, så det är inte svårt att se hur han kan ha tolkats som en mystiker. Men å andra sidan är det helt oförståeligt eftersom han anses vara en av de mest rationella filosoferna i modern tid och Spinoza´s Gud är varken transcendent eller övernaturlig och därför anses han vara ateist. Syftet med uppsatsen är inte att bevisa att Spinoza var en mystiker av sin tid utan jag vill titta på vad en relation med Gud kan innebära när Gud anses vara Spinoza´s monistiska Gud som är En Substans. Jag vill reflektera över om det går att vidga ramen för vad en mystiker kan anses vara. Min fråga är därför: Är Spinoza en Rationell Mystiker? (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Norell, Tania LU
supervisor
organization
course
REVK01 20111
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
rational mystic, all-inclusive, mysticism, rationalism, Spinoza, Spinozism
language
English
id
2296204
date added to LUP
2012-01-23 15:22:05
date last changed
2012-01-23 15:22:05
@misc{2296204,
  abstract     = {Is Spinoza a mystic?  Spinoza´s philosophy clearly relates to the concept of understanding God, through the self, so it is not hard to see why it has been argued that he may have been a mystic. On the other hand, it makes no sense at all since he is considered to be one of the most rational philosophers of the Modern Age and Spinoza´s God is neither transcendent nor supernatural and therefore he is considered an atheist. The problem as I see it is; how can such a rational man even be considered to have anything to do with mysticism which traditionally is considered to be a personal, subjective, emotive, religious experience of a transcendent God, which today does not qualify as being rational in any scientific sense of the word? What has prompted my curiosity is the seeming contradiction of combining the rational label with a perceived mystical sensibility. In my analysis I investigate the possibility of a correlation between the definitions of the terms rational and mystic through the understanding of rationalism and mysticism. I will delineate how they have been understood through history and discuss how they can be understood. I will explain Spinoza´s concept of God and through the lens of Spinoza´s philosophy see if it is possible to get an understanding of what effect a union of the two concepts can have. The purpose of this essay is not to find proof as to be able to label Spinoza as a mystic within the mysticism of his time, but rather to get an understanding of what a relationship with God, through Spinoza´s monist concept of God as One Substance, can entail and thereby maybe widen the frame of what a mystic can be considered to be. My question is thus: Is Spinoza a Rational Mystic?},
  author       = {Norell, Tania},
  keyword      = {rational mystic,all-inclusive,mysticism,rationalism,Spinoza,Spinozism},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Spinoza - A Rational Mystic},
  year         = {2011},
}