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Fingering Spinoza’s Conatus

  Fingering Spinoza’s Conatus Read this piece as originally published at Authenticity Magazine   In researching the topic of purity, on message wikis and memos on metaphysics—from Athens to Hippo to Spinoza—I found hundreds of answers, ranging from the, “Word of God,”to a, “mother’s smile,”from, “diamonds,” to ,”the depths of a black hole” to, ” conatus , the innate inclination of a thing to continue to exist and enhance itself.”   My favorite was, “an infant’s hand wrapped around a father’s finger,” probably because of it’s metaphorical depth.   But all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.   In metaphor, of course, there is nuance: subjectivity: a lack of purity.   Then, there’s oxygen. Then there’s gravity. Then there’s new-fallen, Pure-driven snow. Then there’s pure evil—   But what is the pure state of oxygen? What about ozone?             And those holes and layers And tri-valence? But what of Newton’s gravity? What about th

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