The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 32 July 2020 - Page 9

movements to come: movements as broadly differentiated as those of Spinoza and Hegel and perhaps also one can detect the presence of an embryonic analytical philosophy. Eriugena claimed in this latter context, for example, that reason was connected to a fourfold method of division, definition, demonstration, and resolution which aids our investigation into the search for the truth. Juxtapose this with a mystical approach to philosophical investigation inherited from Eastern Christian scholars and leaders and the breadth of Eriugena's writings begin to become apparent. In the eyes of the Church, however, he was the subject of deep suspicion and the combination of his attachment to the concepts of the freedom, the will and the methodical pursuit of the truth rather than a commitment to the interpretation of Scripture, led to him being accused of Pelagianism. Yet it is clear to the objectively minded scholar that we have on the one hand a clinical analytical mind performing a kind of "philosophical surgery" on concepts such as predestination, and on the other a heaven gazing mystic speculating on there not just being a possibility of the transubstantiation of God into the image of Jesus but also a transubstantiation in the reverse direction of man becoming Godlike. This juxtaposition would not have been possible in a mind committed to the assumptions and definitions of Aristotle. It was only possible for a mind embracing a very plastic Platonic matrix. Aristotle is conspicuous by his absence except for the negative claim that God is not to be described in terms of the ten Aristotelian categories and also possibly the claim that God is "the form of all things". This latter claim is somewhat paradoxical, however, given the belief Eriugena held that God is formless, a non-being or in a certain sense a nothingness. Gods mind, then, appears sometimes to be understood in terms of a Platonic undivided form containing the principle of all things: a form in which Being and Goodness are united. Everything in the universe "emanates" from this matrix which has in itself no spatiotemporal characteristics. Spatio-temporal sense perception rather is a manifestation of a "fallen" mind as is the exercise of man's freedom. The sense in which freedom is the reason for a man choosing to sin is however obscure and yet we know this is what Eriugena claims is the case. There will be a return after the fall of all things, space, and time, to the matrix of God's mind and in this process, the image of God will dissolve into his reality. Echoes of Heraclitus' idea of Logos are also to be found: man is rational and yet he is not, he is free and yet he is not, he is spiritual and he is not, he is an animal and yet he is not(cf Heraclitus claim that the road up and the road down are the same). Is this dualism or is it dual aspectism? We know the work Periphyseon has been accused of many things including the collapsing of the ideas of God and the creation into one another thus violating Biblical recorded revelation and wisdom.” The third essay is on the Arabic Proto-Renaissance. The influence of the Arabs during the medieval period is somewhat of an enigma. Many scholars have been characterized as Neoplatonic in spite of the fact that there was a tangible presence in their work of Aristotelian ideas especially in the arenas of logic and philosophical psychology. Bertrand Russell in his work "History of Western Philosophy" ventures into East-West philosophical and religious relations and claims the following: