Asceticism and the dualism between body and soul

18 May

Already in Greek philosophy, self-discipline and self-control of body and mind (or soul) accompanied asceticism as well as the search for truth.

This quest and its corresponding asceticism is present throughout philosophy and even in literature, it is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet “there are more things between heaven and earth than vain philosophy supposes”, but it is from the same play “To be or not to be, this is the question” that refers to ontology.

Freud also said that the main task of an existence is to understand the mind, in contemporary philosophy there is the classic dilemma of separating body and mind (or soul), even Marx proposed to reverse Hegel’s path “from earth to heaven” , clear Hegelian sky.

What is certain is that the civilizing process depends on asceticism, on men as a community and on individual men, because otherwise they will not have anything to bring to the community if it does not have its own asceticism, they will take away the human misery and decadence that they experience.

The body and mind dualism is the one that separates the phenomena of the mind (which would be just mental, in the case of the soul, just spiritual) and the body that are physical and, therefore, are largely separable, there is also today a cheap philosophy that states that what I think will come true, I do not cite the books so as not to give greater popularity to this one without any theoretical or practical basis.

Husserl’s phenomenology will penetrate the ontological category of “intentionality” to remove this obstacle “the peculiarity by virtue of which experiences are experiences of something” (HUSSERL, 2010), and in § 14 of Cartesian Meditations (1931), repeats it o again, but in a more complete way: “The word intentionality does not mean anything other than that fundamental and general particularity of consciousness of being conscious of something, of carrying, in its quality of cogito, its cogitatum in itself” (HUSSERL, 2010).

Husserl and his teacher Franz Brentano recovered Aquinas’s category of intentionality for which the exterior in nature (esse naturale) is how things exist, the forms being distinct from existing in thought (esse intentionale), thereby supporting the mode of existence, in which things exist in the intellect (in intellectu) as “things thought”, but Husserl removes from intentionality the empirical basis and immanent objectivity.

In the previous post, we showed this separation between Philosophy of Nature and Philosophy of Spirit as divergent and even opposite, by admitting that in a certain way there is in consciousness some form of awareness of something that is the basis for phenomenology and then in ontology and existentialism, there is in the consciousness a definite and transcendental form of what is external, but part of the intentionality of consciousness.

The transcendent is present in the mind (or soul) through intentionality, while the transcendental is of a higher order and only becomes knowledge if it can be understood within the transcendental mystery of existence, or we return to nothingness.

Husserl, E. (2010) Meditações Cartesianas. Conferencias de Paris. Phainomenon –Clássicos de Fenomenologia .  Portugal, Lisbon: CFUO.



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