Readings: Leibniz on Matter and externality


"what is called body is the way in which certain monads represent (mirror) aggregates of other monads. From a distance a cloud of dust looks continuous and solid, though it is in fact composed of tiny particles. So a relatively low-level monad (or higher-level monad during a period of low-level awareness) represent the universe of monads as bodies in space. As the monad's consciousness rises, it comes to represent the universe more adequately, when and if it passes from the "confused thought" of perception to the clear and distinct thought of rationalism, it represents the universe more nearly as it is.

...Insofar as a monad is capable of any degree of self-awareness at all, it distinguishes self from not-self.

...Self, that is to say, is felt to exclude what is not-self, and this exclusiveness is represented (at this level [confused bodily 'externality'] of awareness) a spatial externality. As men gain a clearer knowledge of the world, they come to understand that the real exclusiveness of self is not spatial, but rather, the exclusiveness of a unique experience.

...a monad is...[distinguised] by being a different life, a different
focus of experience, a different perspective on the universe."

(W.T. Jones, 1975, pp230-231, italics original).

What Jones is saying here is that there is a great deal beyond our "perception".
Monads of consciousness arise together, unfolding from within "reflecting"

(showing similar forms, receiving and giving light?)

He also does point out that body is NOT illusion. It is a separate focus.

Akin to the "Net of Indra" or "Necklace of Indra"

(Joseph Campbell, the Power of Myth.)

Strong emphasis on the "felt" "exclusiveness of unique experience" that leads us to the phenomenological tradition including existentialism.

 

 Deep meditation and a feeling of oneness with all things...
Fischer & Bolte-Taylor


Reference

W.T. Jones, (1975). A history of Western Philosophy (Vol.3), Hobbes to Hume (2nd Edition). New York: Harcourt Brace Javanovic.