Dear —– Again you have been a great blessing to me in understanding myself.
Your handwritten letter (!) pointed out to me that I am not doing philosophy but emendation. Emendation of my intellect.
Just as Spinoza was not a philosopher, neither am I. C.S. Peirce said that when Spinoza tried to do philosophy, it was a ‘dung heap.’ (See Part I of The Ethics up to Prop 32 and the Appendix where he corrected himself. )
However, when Spinoza kept to his project to cure/correct his intellect, he became practical rather than indulge in philosophical verbage. Peirce said that, along with Berkeley and Kant, Spinoza led him to his pragmatic approach to truth.
You are right. I am trying to make sense of my damaged life but the damage began long before prison and PTSD. I consider my prisons experience and my PTSD a blessing as these brought me to the place which Alcoholics Anonymous calls the beginning of the 12 Steps.
I have paraphrased the first three of the 12 Steps For Philosophers:
AA For Philosophers
1) I can’t make sense of things
2) The whole of Nature does make sense of things
3) Therefore I shall let Nature be my guide
1) I don’t have answers
2) The whole of Nature does have answers
3) Therefore I will learn from Nature
Like Spinoza, I am not a philosopher or a scientist but rather a person who is using this wisdom in the process of curing my intellect. My job of doing emendation of the intellect is, as Spinoza said, to: 1) Taste union with nature 2) Produce true ideas in myself and 3) Share these ideas with my fellows. (paraphrased)
Thanks again for writing me.