From a shore quite conceptually distant, Spinoza built a bridge to traverse the quagmire of intellectual stagnation, cesspool of the collected waste of church and state, of concealment and invention, of treachery and delusion. From the opposite shore, all seeming liberties of mind fettered still by mediaeval constraints of ecclesiastical circuitry, other bridges were built, at length, the thought, to meet like some hypernotion on otherwise incongruous ground.
Though the bridge of Spinoza masterfully achieved both form and function of its construction, alas, all of its brilliance was in vain, the rendezvous forsworn, yet unforgotten. A tug-of-war, one against a multitude; even with right on his side, Spinoza was vanquished, the church prevailing. The bridges never met. There was no reconciliation, no emendation; no coming together of minds so very far apart.
Were Spinoza but a builder of boats… Maybe our next prophet of enlightenment will be a builder of boats. The world is smaller now, but too big for bridges. We need to cross oceans. Before we fly, let us try it with boats.