This is a quick reply in a forum about my view on the core difference brought in Spinozism. But it’s essentially a summary from a new vantage of much of the foundation laid out in the first half of SpinbitZ I. This created a lot of resonance in the discussion, so …
OK, so Deleuze and Merleau-Ponty say that “Positive Infinity is the secret of Grand Rationalism.” And I show in SZ how Spinoza’s triune infinite can be a powerful key to unlocking his metaphysics (onto-epistemology), as well as all of meta-mathematics, really, into a single onto-epistemic harmony. When this happens the finite and infinite become integrated, meta-mathematically speaking, and this results in the resolution (not dissolution) of the paradoxes of the infinite. In SZII I show this as an embryogenesis of dimensionality, but in SZI I term it “the embryogenesis of the concept”. Anyway, ontologically this integration, really between the absolute and relative, and also consequently between the ontic/epistemic and subject/object polarities (they are orthogonal in an important sense) is what Deleuze calls “univocity,” which he sees in Spinoza as the guiding principle in his opus, “The Ethics”. I show univocity essentially as conceptual or Rational nonduality. All levels when complete and integrated are “nondual reality” in expression of and as itself. When embodied it invokes experiential nonduality and is invoked therefrom recursively, in a sense. Resonance.
This positive infinity is only *implicit* in Descartes and it is not integrated, so the polarities at the cross-roads here (the “axis of Tao”, as Watts calls it) do not properly differentiate, orient, and reintegrate, and the structure remains what Deleuze calls “Representational”, and what I call “transitive”, “transcendent-biased”, “Mythic” or “proto-rational,” and so on. The Cartesian System itself is the image of the “Transitive Axis”, as I call it, which is one of the two “axes” (to over-simplify the polarity here) in conflation at the polar (nondual) level in the embryogenesis of dimension. This conflation is the essence of the paradoxes resolved in meta-dimensional integration in SZ with the culmination of a nondual Rationality.
A key sign of Representation or Transitivity shows up in the nature or sense of its forces, which Deleuze calls “oppositional”. Hence transitivity is dualistic and horizontal, as opposed to the forces opened in univocity which are “vertical”, or immanent/transcendent, nondual and “intensive”, Deleuze calls it. And while the intensive forces are present in the Cartesian system, they remain enfolded or implicit and unintegrated. The ghost and the machine, as you know. Spinoza radically opposed that and this is seen at the heart of the Spinozan system, where Deleuze says “Substance comes to turn on its modes”. This is his way of speaking to this integration between the absolute and relative in Spinoza’s univocity. This is an opening to and integrating with immanence (“emergence” in modern complexity parlance), and what I see as his Rational nonduality. The very foundations of the Spinozan system are rooted in rootlessness, emptiness, the Positive Infinity of which is the fullness of the Spinozan Substance with its infinite attributes.
I define the transition to the Rational largely mathematically, because that perspective is critical (native, proto-ontological) and not taken into account much in orthodoxy. So I show through the clear lens of mathematics, the embryogenesis of conceptuality, how it unfolds from unity (univocity and nonduality) through polarity (conflated and fused in paradox) through triunity and so on. The Rational numbers not coincidentally come into play with the integration of (mathematically, but not meta-mathematically) the immanent-transcendent axis. The axis is fundamental to mathematics and yet it remains implicit, stuck behind the default Cartesian Grid and linear/transitive Euclidean axioms of dimension.