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Trinitarian forgetfulness and ontological resumption

29 May

The idea of ​​an absolute, infinite, unique and eternal spiritual substance (see the post) far from being an idea of ​​God, far from being the unveiling of the Holy Trinity, is an idealistic scheme of rationality for an abstract God, yet compatible with the Hegelianism, the idealistic god.

Sloterdijk’s severe criticism of humanism now makes even more sense with the post-pandemic perspectives, placing the “will to power” of the two wars and a possible future scenario, as “a synthesis of humanism and bestialism” (Sloterdijk, 2000) , of course we have other possibilities, the varied ideological thesis that many expect or a third excluded: the fraternal option planetary.

Just as the ontological resumption proposed a new logic and epistemology, which comes from the Husserlian epoché (put all concepts in parentheses), along with a new theology, this Trinitarian, where there is a third person in the Trinity, which is the Holy Spirit, but it is not simple.

Christian and Catholic theologian Karl Kahner wrote about “Trinitarian oblivion” (1962), even before the Second Vatican Council, which marked a turning point in Catholic thought, the first ecumenical council that generated some controversy and which is not yet fully applied,

The Second Vatican Council marked a profound change in the relationship of the church with society, it should open a new perspective of the participation of the popular (of the laity), a new vision of the mission of the church and in special presentation of the updating and insertion of the church in its time. with various liturgical and pastoral aspects.

Many Christians in general understand the Father and the Son well, but the Holy Spirit is a mystery, not a synthesis and not only the relationship with God the Father (the One that no one has seen) and neither the Jesus, the incarnate God alive, historical, but without leave divine.

Classical theology treated the “mystery” of the Trinity with the idea of ​​an “absolute, infinite, unique and eternal spiritual substance”, see the previous post of Hegelianism, so God is a single substance, essence or nature, explained as three sub- distinct systems and people: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in these ideas the Hegelian system (among them even the Marxist) fit well.

The understanding of Being as an act and potency (typical of Tomás de Aquino), and potency is similar to the virtual, places divine people as a relationship and is integrated in a new synthesis that sees God as a pericoretic communion* of love, theologians of different tendencies as von Balthasar, Rahner and Kasper moved in this direction and the ontological issue is a common one. (*more that relationship, inter-pretenetration)

 The second Vatican Council already reflected the turning of a metaphysical perspective of a theology that prioritizes a more historical, phenomenological, hermeneutic and existential understanding of reality, more in tune with the current worldview and culture.

The understanding of being as an act (so characteristic of Aquinate) and of divine persons as a relationship, are part of a new synthesis that understands God as a pericoretic communion of love.

The understanding on the other hand of potency as virtus, virtuous possibility of Love that is essential to understand that sin is non-love and not a mere Manichean opposition from evil.













What is Hegelians spirit and transcendence

27 May

We have already made several posts to explain that Kant’s transcendence is nothing more than the separation of subjects and objects, but Hegel completes and systematizes this whole philosophy in Phenomenology of the Spirit, a work that deeply influenced the philosophies of law, history, aesthetics and of religion, Marx himself and many currents that flow from it have not escaped this.

We have also made posts on the question of Gadamer’s historical conscience, criticizing Dilthey’s main ideas about history, now let’s analyze the “spirit” in Hegel.

First, as the name says, it is a phenomenology, therefore not a set of facts or even tangible realities, but a set of phenomena placed under a certain scheme.

Hegel understands history, art, religion and philosophy itself as an objective phenomenon, and as such (this is an object) is directed to the spirit for self-knowledge.

His capacity for synthesis will make his history of philosophy, with specific schemes and elements about transcendence and metaphysics in philosophy, give strength to his thinking, and the Phenomenology of the Spirit is central to his scheme.

To understand what he thought as a phenomenon, it is necessary to understand what he calls “natural conscience” which was what opened the way for philosophical knowledge, and it is through it that he will make a reading of the history of philosophy and thus elaborate what it is knowledge.

Just to make a counterpoint, Husserl will say instead that there is only awareness of “something”, while Hegel constructs this category as being “natural” and there is objectivity.

But Hegel’s “natural” is not only natural, but historical, therefore, its introduction to a system of philosophy, is built on the historical path of thought, it seems “natural” but it is not, its is philosophy of history.

What is hidden behind this scheme is what Nietzsche will call the genealogy of morals, but then other genealogies arose, the linguistic turn from Wittgenstein for example, he will see objects in relation to others: “we cannot think of no object outside the possibility of its connection with others” (Wittgenstein, Tractatus, 2.0121).

To understand what is Spirit in Hegel, and which profoundly influences the conceptions of arts, history and religion today, the forms are correlated to an idea of ​​absolute subjectivity, therefore “outside” the object, and related to it by a special type of essential logic that leads to the knowledge of reality, therefore it is not a phenomenological realism as Husserl sees it.

The spiritual and transcendent in Hegel is “the most interior, from which the whole construction of the spiritual world ascends”, it was what Marx called “heaven for earth” and that he (Marx) reversed, however, the separation of subject and object remains, so spiritual is a type of Absolute Spirit of Religion (see diagram).




The post-pandemic and spirituality

26 May

The life of exercises that led us to the “Society of Burnout” (Byung Chul Han) despite the pandemic and quarantine in many places has not stopped, accustomed to the frenetic pace of modern society, continues behind the action, the agitation and the fill the void with nothing.

In a hurry there are already those who predict a more closed society in frontiers, strengthening nationalism and protectionism in business, those who proclaim a “new world order” (a new conspiracy theory) and those who are always ready to defend ideologies: it is our turn .

However, just as the pandemic nobody predicted what will come is out of the great theories and a novelty will be a search for refuge in forces beyond the human to support the new and real news that have already happened: greater recollection at home and time for inspiration and contemplation, a poorer or at least more austere life, and new forms of living together.

Those apocalyptic of the network society, have rediscovered the new media, but due to the delay the use is still irregular and more curious than fruitful, but with time it will mature, there is a gap without doubt that is online education and little thought and if planned on this.

However, one thing has already changed, something we did with our “free time”, cooking the house, sharing daily tasks, looking with new eyes at people close to us and for many a new look at nature and our own nature: the complex human phenomenon.

If we made great theories of dialogue, now we have to practice it or we will be stuck in our closest relationships, because when we leave them we face a different and unthinking Other.

Those who survived the pandemic, and it may even return, Spain and China present new worrying cases, will require a new lesson from each and from society: rethink everything that has been the foundations of our lives, including the religious, we can wake up or not.

To those convinced of the near future, I remember that they did not foresee the pandemic, perhaps a war or a prophecy, or an irrevocable historical path, an invisible and unknown virus shook life



Between the essence and the Being

21 May

Although dualism remains present, the essence is conceived by analogy to Being, and this was also the Thomist doctrine, it remained an onto-theology until the 20th century, it took a whole path of phenomenology to encounter the Other, the non – Being not as a contradiction, and the end of the dualism between Being and essence.

The long discussion of the medieval period between realists and nominalists was based on a term now unknown which was quididade, which means that thing is, from Greek hylé to modern models of Heidegger’s metaphysics, where the thing that can be material or not, and also what we think about it, in Husserl’s line there is only awareness of something, or of the thing.

But there was a philosopher in the Middle Ages, Duns Scotto (1266-1308) who did not distinguish between the thing that exists (si est) and what it is (quid est), and theologically it was complicated because the thesis of Santo Tomás de Aquino it was by analogy, that is, the meaning of similarity between things or facts (Houaiss dictionary, 2009, p. 117), and the religious were always in a hurry because in the 20th century Duns Scotto was accepted within the Catholic Christian doctrine, becoming blessed (John Paul II declared it).

His theory of knowledge used the two known distinctions distinctio realis (real distinction) and exists between two beings of nature, and the distinction rationalis (distinction of reason) that occurs between two beings, but in the mind of the subject who knows, but breaks dualism in creating a third possibility to distinctio formalis (formal distinction) that occurs in the perceived entity and is neither real nor in the mind.

So in addition to his disciple William de Ockham, famous for the simplification principle called Ockham’s Razor, but in a way Descartes, Leibniz, Hobbes and Kant had their influence.

However, the recovery of Duns Scotto is essential to overcome the dualism of nominalism / realism and the overcoming of pure realism by philosophical hermeneutics, and thus also the modern correspondent of nominalism, which is the linguistic turn, makes sense and opens up dialogue.



Phenomenology and historical hermeneutics

20 May

Any reading, however simple or complex, involves an interpretation, and in whatever culture the interpreter is based on language, especially writing for people who have gone beyond oral language, so we speak of text interpretation.

It is clear that the imaginary and the different languages, for example, now the media, have a differentiating influence, however they will still be based on that primary schooling of the different interpretants and it is still in the primary school the interpretation of texts.

We already said in the previous post that it starts with Socrates’ maieutics (act of giving ideas), not by chance the birth of the school as we know it today, then came the Platonic academic and the Aristotelian high school, the long period called “translatio studiorum” from the low and high middle ages, until reaching the Gutenberg press and the modern school, linked to modern enlightenment.

Contemporary hermeneutics, whose starting point for several authors is Schleiermacher (1768-1834) was contemporary with Hegel, but with direct influence from Kant and Fichte, he did not opt ​​for idealistic subjectivism, and as a Lutheran religious he also escaped from Catholic orthodoxy

However, hermeneutics will find another soil in Franz Brentano, which until breaking with the Catholic scholastic vision (he was even a cleric), in 1871, he reinterprets the scholastic-Aristotelian intentionality “the intentional in-existence” (the reference is of Safranski) distinguishing two modes of being: the esse naturale, natural or real being located outside the subject who perceives it, and the esse intentionale, the mental or intentional being of the objects that exist immanent to the subject who knows it.

This philosophical digression is important to understand that in Franz Brentano and later in Husserl, hermeneutics has undergone a profound change, preserving its ontological root, thus maintaining the relationship to a content, but delves into the mental or psychological issue.

Husserl, a student of Franz Brentano, will cause another change in hermeneutics now towards the epistemological crisis of science in the mid-early 20th century, Husserl responds with a rupture to the Kantian dualism between the object and the knowing subject, with a question: “I exist , therefore, all the “no me” is a simple phenomenon and dissolves into phenomenal nexuses? ” (HUSSERL, 1992, p. 43).

The evolution of this thought will pass through Heidegger, a student of Husserl, who in Being and Time (1986), explaining that these elaborations since Plato and Aristotle were tied to natural phenomena: “The dominant representation in the West of the totality of nature (the world) it was, until the 17th century, determined by Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy … ”(page 86) and that now the question of Being should be taken up again, it is thus a big step in philosophical hermeneutics.

The maturity of this thought, elaborating the method of the hermeneutic circle is developed by Gadamer, for those who interpret “… it is not to take notice of what has been understood, but to elaborate possibilities projected in the understanding”, it is thus an opening in the preconceptions.


GADAMER, H.-G. (1989) Verdade e Método. Petrópolis (Brazil): Editora Vozes.

HEIDEGGER, M. (1986) Ser e Tempo. São Paulo: Vozes.

HEIDEGGER, M. (1987) Que é uma coisa? Lisboa: Edições 70. (pdf in english)

HUSSERL, E. (1992) A ideia da fenomenologia. Lisboa: Ediçoes 70.




Pandemic and power

15 May

A catastrophe situation is faced with solidarity, compassion with those who suffer it directly, support for those who must face it head on, and especially with all the support of those who can and must give conditions to face the catastrophe.

It is also a new situation, which requires everyone to review actions, concepts and the lifestyle itself can and must change, those who behave trying to avoid the new routine, hinder the coping of the catastrophe and worsen it personally and socially.

All of this involves power, central powers and micro-powers, the philosopher Foucault developed the concept of biopower, that is, the control of collective phenomena from the processes of birth, longevity, mortality and fertility, already in recent philosophy Byung Chul Han created the concept of psychopower, one that through the media and communication controls the social environment.

The pandemic seems to have combined the two, and even more deeply human anthropology on its return home, uses both the issue of mortality control and communication, especially digital, for tasks, shopping and work at home, as well as the control by power.

State institutions are mobilized as soon as the Modern State enters the scene, to sympathize or to open its contradictions to the social environment, hospitals, educational institutions and mass media are all mobilized by the forces of power.

The more fraternal and more hostile faces of the idealistic model appear, in an eagerness to replace the health and power of the family’s intrinsically fraternal solidarity, spirituality and the common good. It may point to a way out or put the whole of life in check. .

Religious power is also in check, with the temples closed or they give serious and concentrated responses or they stay in the spiritual subjectivism of known phrases and buzzwords that do not explain or solve anything, the subjectivism / objectivism dualism collapses and asks for a transcendent.

In the Christian reading of John (Jn 15,15) you can read: “I no longer call you servants, but friends because the servant does not know what his Lord is doing”, and this is fundamental in a pandemic, and generates solidarity.

And for those who go beyond friendship and generate brotherly love, there is a divine promise that consoles and strengthens us at this moment (Jn 14,21): “Now whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and I will manifest myself to him ”, and they will have inner peace to face the external war that the pandemic generated.



Society in a transient moment

13 May

Life has changed all over the planet, the limitations imposed will certainly not be permanent, but some concerns that were born with health, with the invisible and with new technologies will be permanent as to the importance and transformed when taking them more into account.

The transient also observes the idealistic dichotomies of subjects and objects, or subjectivity seen as a false model of the subject, that he is devoid of materiality or substantiality, the disease is a proof of this error, or of a false objectivity, our certainties about our empirical objects have failed and continue to fail in predictions and models, the old age of uncertainty, old because it has been a “theory” since the last century, now became narrative.

The old idealistic theories, which history made them fundamentalist ideologies, have as their epicenter the idea that we must develop and advance the economic models (in the end it is always the idea of ​​“more production”) until an even greater exhaustion, before the nature and now of life itself on the planet put at pandemic risk.

Sloterdijk warns in an interview in El País “current life does not invite us to think”, and the reason that I have a relative optimism about social distance (I prefer isolation, as society as a whole works in a network), is in the reasoning he does in the same interview: “For Husserl and his phenomenology it was necessary to get out of the impetuous time of life, the most elementary device was to always take a step back. This action allows you to become an observer. ” .

And this is the basic assumption of uncertainty, that the observer is part of the phenomenon, the idea of ​​science that we can repeat the experiment observing the phenomenon, must take into account that the observer is part of the phenomenon, in times of pandemic, if not me prevent pandemic affect.

The whole of this epoch change, since its foreshadowing came from the two great wars, which not by chance came from the worst pandemic that humanity faced was the Spanish flu, which is a good example when there is no social distance, which lasted 2 years (January 1918 to December 1920), infected a quarter of the planet (500 million people) and killed between 20 and 50 million people.

Two untruths exist about this pandemic, first #lockDown is not good (see numbers above) and that has not changed anything, it happened right at the end of the 1st. world war (from 1914 to November 1918) that had deteriorated Europe’s sanitary conditions and economic resources, but that’s when the League of Nations model emerged (installed in January 1919, shortly after the Versailles treaty), even though it insufficient to avoid the 2nd. world war, started the discussion of the basic principles of social rights.

Also the old truths about the invisible hand of the market, laissez faire, began to change, with the provident state, and after the 2nd. world war the UN with important departments like FAO, UNICEF and WHO itself, an organization of great influence now in World Health and that gives guidelines to face the pandemic.

So, after this war that is now a war for everyone, against an invisible enemy and one can still say unpredictable, there will be changes and they must be thought out globally, but we are in a transient where the old ideas still resist seeking the previous normality of a consumerism and a society of inhuman and unequal tiredness.





Media, networks and social isolation

12 May

The three factors now combine and unveil the reality that many “theorists” pointed out, while neo-theorists stay in abstract philosophies that barely interpret the pandemic reality. One who foresaw reality, Manuel Castells who wrote “Sociedade em Rede” (Social network), explains why we were unable to foresee the virus, its potency and violence were not biologically possible to know, but the need for a health policy and education for the future did not only he pointed out, as well as Sloterdijk, Edgar Morin and many others.

About the current crisis Castells says it is necessary to understand the applause of the balconies of the buildings to doctors, nurses and health professionals and they take health more seriously, this could have been predicted and we would be in another stage, the defender of technology also blames her idolatry, but is necessary now.

He stated that the overvaluation of technology in the case of health has delayed the system as a whole, and at the same time the devaluation and misunderstanding of its application in education and at work has led to a delay that is now being tried to overcome but with a certain lag.

Social networks, whose media enhance, but are not the same thing, as is the case with tele-medicine as a secondary possibility now, as the patient with covid needs a physical place and to be assisted in person, even though decisions and online conferences are  many useful.

Social isolation has boosted the use of media in the home and has now more deeply influenced the world of work, shopping and online services, and education runs after lost time, the most obvious finding is that online education is not simple and it is not the even if in person.

The global change must be made if we want to fight the virus efficiently, leave warnings on the ground and prohibit people from traveling, it is possible temporarily, and the worst favors the neo-nationalist view that led many countries to the pandemic crisis, it was thought the problem is in China.

Castells said in a recent interview: “An interdependent global system requires global governance, not necessarily global government. But nation-states resist losing their power and each uses supposedly global governance mechanisms to defend their national interests ”, despite the barriers I would say that the virus does not know that there are borders built, even with national“ isolations ”by protective barriers”.

What we need says Sloterdijk is a “global shield”, co-immunity, now with serious investments, like global co-governance and taking health, work and education seriously in a new normality, we can go back to the previous frivolity, but we will be irresponsible with the future that may come, or a new wave of this virus or its mutation, or another that is certain to come.



Balance and calm in times of crisis

08 May

Given the worsening of the pandemic crisis in Brazil and some countries in the Americas, the arrival of the cold in this hemisphere and the exhaustion of the Health System, without the preventive #LockOut (in Brazil), we will now have to make an emergency intervention, with the consequences that it brings.
In this situation, we need a discipline that we do not have culturally, an awareness that is not always well understood, there is only awareness of something, and in this case it is public health and the extremely necessary and urgent care for the curve to start a retreat process.
Those people who have some spirituality, who achieve balance in this situation need to help the population as a whole, defend the doctors, nurses and support staff working in health (drivers, secretaries, rescuers, etc.) to have working conditions.
There are several ways to find personal balance, physical and breathing exercises, reading, music and relaxation, but it is the state of the soul that counts most, and in the turbulence of the danger of a pandemic, it is essential to find a form of spirituality, thoughts and to be.
For Christians who believe in the existence of an omnipotent and sovereign God over all the things that govern their lives, he knows that the inner attitude is one of passivity, tolerance and a deep Love for all those around him, and in this pandemic having attitudes of protection for all.
The comfort of their souls, for true Christian spiritualities, is the belief in the Love of God. It is written by the evangelist John (Jn 14,1-2): “Do not let your heart be disturbed. You have faith in God, have faith in me too [Jesus]. In my Father’s house there are many addresses. If not, I would have told you. I will prepare a place for you ”, and his earthly #StayAthome is now a refuge.


The road to Emmaus: from intelligence to the heart

24 Apr

The Part 2 of the book How to Live in a Time of Crisis is written by Patrick Viveret and in addition to a look of admiration for the work of Morin, the co-author, he has an even more generous look at humanity, despite the serious question of the chapter title : What will we do with our life?.
Viveret will link wisdom to love, quoting Martin Luther King: “We must prepare to live as brothers and sisters, or prepare to die as imbeciles” (p. 55), and complete it with “collective” emotional intelligence (it is an important differential) which is not psychologism. The author states “if we do not deal with the relationship between reason and heart, of the reasons of the heart that Pascal spoke of, purely mental intelligence, the famous science without conscience that is nothing more than ‘soul ruin’ as Rebelais said, it can build worse monstrosities ”(Pages 55-56). He said about the previous crisis what is much more appropriate for the current crisis: “humanity is in danger of prematurely ending its own history, but it can also take advantage of this crucial moment to experience a qualitative leap. “(P. 56) We cannot look at millions of deaths and say, thankfully it was not with me, or a little more humanly, we cannot even mourn the lost ones.

Numbers parade coldly without authorities touching each other, there will probably be 3,000 dead at the peak of the curve in São Paulo, but we can think of opening the trade little by little, in Wuhan where the crisis began they hoped there would be no death to open, but here we think that there is no way to save lives, they say the economic cost can be high, but how much does a life cost?

The crisis may be worse than we imagined, yesterday Wuhan’s patients tested positive again, I think we will not come out of this crisis if we do not give what Morin said and Viveret reaffirms: “We can only reach this if we face the issue of inner barbarism ”(P. 57), what Peter Sloterijk used as a metaphor talking about co-immunity, is now an embodiment, are we ready to help the Other to protect ourselves?

We need to produce wealth even if it costs lives, it wasn’t exactly a parable and yet that’s how it happened in history, but now it’s exactly a personification, figure of speech (like parables and metonymies) that is giving to what was “object ” of the Being.
The biblical passage that Jesus uses the personification is the road to Emmaus, when he walks all night apparently asking metaphors, and these will only discover the personification through the heart that awakened their intelligence (Lk 24,31-33): “In this the eyes of disciples opened up and they recognized Jesus. Jesus, however, disappeared in front of them.
Then one said to the other, “Wasn’t our heart burning when he spoke to us on the way, and explained the Scriptures to us?” At that very hour, they got up and returned to Jerusalem where they found the Eleven gathered with the others. ”
This is not an apology for religion, just to think that we often do not hear what is said to us as clearly as possible, but our intelligence is not linked to the heart.