Posts Tagged ‘Bruno’
This is an illustration for the Baby Bruno series not yet published. I hope to get these into a final order by next year.
An excerpt of the story is as follows:
BEAR BRUNO MAKES A FRIEND ©
In the middle of a forest lived a family of bears. Bear Bruno was the youngest of three black bears. His older brothers had left home early. They hardly wrote home. Mama Bear was sure they forgot home. It made Mama Bear sometimes cry a little.
After drying her eyes she would call Baby Bruno to her side. He knew it. She was offering him a cookie.
She always had cookies at hand. From a jar she would give Papa Bear one cookie and tell him. “Not a crumb more! The rest is for Baby Bruno!” Baby Bruno loved cookies. Especially Crispies, and it was sensational! One cookie made his mouth water; and two made him smile but three cookies in one go made always a bellyful. Mama Bear wanted Bruno to stay home always. “I have a baby to cuddle,”she would say hugging her baby. When she was done she would hasten to her kitchen to make more Crispies. “Oh let him alone,”Papa Bear would growl in reply,”Baby Bruno tips 100- kilo on my weighing machine and he raids my honey-reserve.” Mama Bear always had a hard time to make him shut up.
Papa Bear loved his son. Every morning when he went off with his wife in tow he told his son to go out and enjoy himself. He was alone most of the time. However he knew how to enjoy himself. He would carry a pack of Crispies and set out. He loved to explore wild places. He always came home in time. He had once found a trail that took him to a clearing. It was his secret which he did not share it with any.
One summer day Bear Bruno went to the clearing. In the middle of a forest. He intended to be there for a few days. Having pitched his tent on a nice spot he took out various articles he had brought for his use. He set them in their proper places and he came out. It was a summer night and there was a beautuful moon overhead. He stretched himself on the ground. Never had he stopped to look at it closely. He could also see stars here and there. He got up and said, “I am the only one who has seen this!” He stood there lost in wonder. ” I wish I could share this wonderful moment with others!,”said he….( excerpt)
Posted in personalities, tagged atheism, Bruno, Descartes, dualism, Dutch, eternal order, ethics, excommunication, Goethe, inquisition, modes, Philosopher, Uriel a Costa on August 24, 2011 | 2 Comments »
Spinoza, Baruch (1632-1677) Dutch
The greatest of the modern philosophers brought rational approach to the enquiry of great questions like God and human destiny. He laid the groundwork for the 18th century Enlightenment. His masterpiece Ethics never found light of the day in his lifetime. The reason was simple. He was excommunicated* for his heretical thinking from the Jewish community in Amsterdam and the odium of it had preceded his brief life; however stoicism of his race was in his blood as a result of persecution running through centuries, and made him think his own thoughts and make a living by an useful trade of polishing lenses. If he, despite all odds became the greatest ( Frederick Hegel on one occasion speaking to his contemporaries said thus: ‘You are either Spinozit or not a philosopher at all.’) it still owed to his Jewish identity. The fact that he was born a Jew was both a curse and a blessing.
All his works were put on the proscribed list (index librorum prohibitorum) by the Roman Catholic Church. He was greatly influenced by Bruno (1548-1600) whose dictum, ‘all reality is one substance’ naturally would make him oppose Descartes’ mind-body dualism. Bruno perished under inquisition and if the Catholic Church proscribed Spinoza the reason was obvious.
Spinoza’s thinking however latched on to an idea of Descartes that all forms of matter had a ‘homogeneous’ substance, and it propelled him in the direction his precocious mind was taking, and served as light clearing many dark recesses of doubts on way. In 1656 he was excommunicated on charges of heresy and the upshot of it was his father refused to receive him and his sister tried to cheat him out of a small inheritance. (He contested the case in court and won. He duly handed the bequest over to his sister.) Rejected by his family and friends, an assassination attempt on his life made him leave Amsterdam. He changed his name to Bernard de Spinoza and disciplined his life to extreme thrift. He was happy living within his modest means and many influential men of his day found him stimulating and his company congenial. Some of them offered help but he refused stipends and money saying, ‘Nature is satisfied with little; if she is, I am also.’
He finally settled in The Hague in 1670 economically secure and surrounded by rich and powerful friends who looked up to him with great respect.
As a person he was of middle size, his face pleasing, and skin somewhat darker and his hair curly and eyebrows dark and long stamping his Portuguese ancestry in his looks.
Spinoza chose not to found a sect and he founded none and yet philosophy after him was permeated with his thought. The great German polymath Goethe was converted after one reading of Ethics and also was cured of wild romanticism of his past. Spinoza supplied what his yearning soul had sought, dass wir entsagen sollen-‘that we must accept the limitations Nature puts on us.’
There is a statue of him at The Hague erected from public subscription collected from every part of the educated world. At the unveiling of it (1882) Ernest Renan made a moving speech at the conclusion he said thus.’ This man from his granite pedestal, will point out to all men, the way of all blessedness which he found; and ages hence, the cultivated traveler, passing by this spot, will say in his heart, ‘the truest vision ever had of God came, perhaps, here.’
In 1656 the 24-year old Spinoza was summoned before the elders to answer the charges of heresy. One of the sticking points was his doubt regarding the belief in another life. The Synagogue was concerned such a view, contrary to the essence of Christianity would seem inimical to the community that had welcomed them into their midst. For their security in the host country the Dutch Calvinists had to be appeased and no cost was to be reckoned too little. The same mindset that had prompted Caiaphas to say about Jesus was alive in the elders of his time. (‘It was expedient that one man should die for the people’- Jn.18: 14) If the Synagogue had not spared Jesus or Uriel a Costa it was not going to spare the young Spinoza either.
The young skeptic was offered $500 in annuity for his silence and outward loyalty to the Synagogue and his faith. He refused.
On July 27, 1656, he was excommunicated with all the somber formalities of Hebrew ritual. During the reading of the curse, wailing of the great horn was heard and lights were put out one after the other, indicating the quenching of spiritual life of the man under curse. Spinoza took it under quite courage. He did not join another sect for comfort and determined, as he was to seek his own salvation. The form of the Synagogue and shape of elders that guided it was a mode far from the ‘substance’ of God that moved him. Mode pandered to circumstances and compromised wherever it suited while his soul was ever fixed. His life was his proof to his thought.
(ack: Will Durant- The story of Philosophy: Pub. The Washington Square Press-1964)