Friday, November 4, 2016

Would Have Been

Baruch Spinoza defines a substance as that which is conceived or understood through itself.  This means that we are not substances, since we could better be known through an understanding of our parents.  In the four axiom of his first book, he states that knowledge of an effect depends upon knowledge of its cause.  If this is the case, how could you know anything? (Spinoza on the fundamental reality and the existence of God).

The stirring sensations of a thought encaged
will shake and rattle until it becomes enraged.

Released from its shackles, within the hour,
it will lessen in meaning, and lose some power.

Here I sit, writing this poem on thinking,
while you sit and read this poem on thinking.

Looking for meaning?
Maybe not.

Soon it will all be a thought forgot.

"Nothing could be other than it is, given what it was; and while we may indeed say, quite idly, that something--some inner state of mind, for instance--could have been different, had only something else been different, any consolation of this thought evaporates as soon as we add that whatever would have to have been different could not have been different" (Richard Taylor, Determinism).

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