HEGEL AND THE SOLUTION TO OUR POSTMODERN WORLD CRISIS – 2

HEGEL AND THE SOLUTION TO OUR POSTMODERN WORLD CRISIS:
From Nihilism to Kingdom Come

Dr. Ken Foldes, Fulbright Scholar

[Part II] Introductory Essay. One: how to understand the present paradigm shift

 

INTRODUCTORY ESSAY:

THE SOLUTION TO OUR POSTMODERN WORLD CRISIS

 

“Our true and essential self is God.” Hegel

“God is to be determined as identical with my I.” Schelling

“Man … is indeed in reality God Himself.” Fichte

“I said you are Gods and Goddesses!” Psalms, 82,6, Jesus, John 10,34

œ============================================================== 

Eleanor Rigby, picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been, lives in a dream.

Waits at the window, wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door, who is it for?

Father MacKenzie, writing the words to a sermon that no one will hear, no one comes near.

Look at him working, darning his socks in the night when there’s nobody there, what does he care?

All the lonely people, where do they all come from.

All the lonely people, where do they all belong?

Eleanor Rigby, died in the church and was buried along with her name, nobody came.

Father MacKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave, no one was saved . . .

All the lonely people, where do they all come from?

All the lonely people, where do they all belong?

P.M. & J.L.

INTRODUCTION

“9/11,” global terrorism, nuclear and biological weapons of mass destruction, anthrax, ethnic cleansing, hate crimes, fear and violence in our schools, guns, Columbine, hatred among religions, “postmodern” anarchy, relativism, nihilism, political chaos, economic misery, homelessness, unemployment, worldwide AIDS and HIV epidemics, moral decay, Enron, corporate greed, corruption and scandal in the Church, breakdown of traditional norms, values, institutions, confusion in academia, education adrift without moorings or compass, depression, “bi-polar” disorder, half the nation on Prozac, Haldol, Ritalin, pessimism and uncertainty as to the future, etc, etc, . . .

It is obvious to anyone alive today that the world is DYSFUNCTIONAL. The question is, Why is it dysfunctional. We believe that the text you are now reading will begin to explain why the world is dysfunctional, and indicate in general features what can be done to make it FUNCTIONAL.

It is not difficult to grasp that something of unprecedented magnitude is occurring in the world today but so far no one seems to know just quite what it is. It is evident to all that we are undergoing some kind of “global paradigm shift” and that it is of the utmost urgency that we understand the precise nature, meaning, and consequences of this shift—for our well-being and very survival. Some have attributed these seismic changes to social, economic, political and religious causes, but these accounts seem to fall short. Indeed, we offer that the things in the above list are only the outer symptoms of a problem that lies at a much deeper level and relates to something known as “the death of God” and “nihilism.” The problem, to state it in brief, is that we have erroneous ideas of who we are—of Man, of God, of the meaning (or lack of meaning) of History and the World. And it is the fact that our cultural institutions and authority structures—particularly “science” (so-called), education, religion, and the media—sustain this consciousness and untrue view of ourselves that is precisely the root of the problem. To accurately understand the problem’s nature and how best to deal with it what is needed is a more comprehensive, indeed, global perspective that takes in History as a whole and reaches all the way down to the “metaphysical” level.[i] To get such a perspective we are forced to go to Hegel who is widely acknowledged to be the greatest of metaphysicians and as having the most comprehensive take on reality. We contend that it is Hegel alone who provides the key for understanding this “global paradigm shift” and for definitively solving our “postmodern” crisis.

Generally speaking, the word “postmodern” or “postmodernity” denotes the period of history extending from the end of the Modern Period up to and including the present time, the “modern” period that which runs roughly from the end of the Renaissance, from Luther and Descartes, up to the time of Hegel (and for some, up to the end of the Second World War and even into the 50s and 60s). This “post” modern period is defined by a rejection of “modernity’s” leading values and ideals, namely, History as being capable of unlimited Progress, Science and Reason as able to solve all of Man’s[ii] problems, belief in Truth and Knowledge (in capitals), “foundationalism,” and the integral Subject. In their place “postmodernism” puts a premium on such counter values as “the irrational,” mere “feeling” exalted above (instrumental) reason, “an-archy” and generally an “anything goes” attitude with respect to art, science and morality.[iii] In the present work “postmodern” and “postmodernity” will be interpreted in light of the meaning of history as a whole and in terms of the “global paradigm shift” that we hold became necessary as a result of what happened in the modern period. Thus it will include this what can be called “negative” or destructive postmodern period and its meaning and, in addition, a complementary “positive” or constructive postmodern period and its meaning. In doing so, it will reveal the true reason for this negative “nihilistic” period of history in which we find ourselves. In a word, this negative period is necessary for humanity as a whole to appropriate the gains, the “achieved Consciousness,” of the modern period—as a consequence of which an Amazing New Order of Things will make, and is now making, its debut. This will be explained in more detail in the sections that follow.

Although “nihilism,” the root feature of “postmodernism,” assumes many forms it has a core meaning related to the words, nothing and nothingness (from the Latin “nihil”).[iv] That is, at the bottom of life and civilization is—nothing. There is no God, no absolutes, no eternal values, right and wrong, no Knowledge, Truth, all is relative, we are contingent, accidental, and death is the literal end, there being no ultimate purpose or point whatsoever to human existence. In a word, life is totally meaningless. For us, nihilism’s primary meaning and function is to be a catalyst needed to bring “Kingdom Come” and New Abundant Meaning into the world. However, we include within the core meaning of nihilism an additional feature, viz., it refers to a state of unfulfillment and dysfunction in which humanity is not living at its highest potential, at the level of “elohim”—this is a period of history where we are still without the New, if you will, “True” concepts of Man and God. Thus one can be a devout believer in Christ, Allah or Jehovah and still be a nihilist and involved in nihilism. In fact, nihilism can be said to be characteristic of all of human history up to the present day. Thus, according to Nietzsche (see Essay 1) whether one lives in the “first age” of history, that of the “transcendent” God and of “religious nihilism,” or in the “second age,” that of the so-called “death of God,” materialistic atheism, and “radical nihilism,” one is still infected with nihilism, as not living a full but a repressed Life. The “third and final age,” which we are birthing right now, Nietzsche calls that of “completed nihilism” or “Affirmatism.” Therefore, to “defeat” nihilism—which is our number one task—means overcoming it in all of its forms, “religious” and “radical,” and at the same time ushering in “Foundation,” our preferred word for “Kingdom Come” or the “amazing new world” that, we hold, is now coming on the scene.

This Introductory Essay falls into three main sections. The First Section will present the vital Issues that we all must discuss, that is, what Hegel is actually saying, and also present the Evidence for what we claim he is saying and indicate its Consequences for us today. The Second Section will discuss in some depth the meaning of the central doctrine that “We are God” and of “The God-Self,” which we provide because some readers may desire to have a fuller account than that which may be found in the Essays. The Third Section will briefly sketch what needs to be done and what we can do to bring an end to the crisis and help realize the Amazing New World, and also give a brief summary of the Essays’ contents.

The main objective of this Introduction is simply to bring before the public’s awareness these absolutely important issues and thereby facilitate discussion of them. They are issues that we cannot afford to ignore and that must be discussed. This first presentation does not pretend to be definitive or complete, as there are too many issues involved, and they cannot be all treated. Also there is much here that some may find shocking, for which we apologize—but these things must be said, and these issues discussed. Moreover, although the Essays elaborate on many of the Issues broached in the Introductory Essay’s First Section this is not the case with those treated in the two remaining sections, for example, the nature of the “God-Self” and the methods for transforming existing institutions into the New Paradigm. They will receive a more extensive treatment in the author’s next book, The Meaning of The Present Age: Hegel, The God-Self, and Foundation, and in future works as well.

A helpful word to the reader: It is advised that one read this Introduction through to the end and not stop if a passage cannot be immediately understood. If one continues reading, much will clear up later, and a second reading will further help—this is par for the course when it comes to philosophy. Some difficulty is involved but a person who has had say only “one” college course in philosophy, and has read with moderate care through e.g. Descartes’ Meditations or Plato’s Republic, should have no trouble in grasping the main ideas presented here. Even readers with no exposure to philosophy will be able to understand what is being said due to the nature of the case, namely the mere fact that they inhabit this unique point in History.

Also to be noted, is that because it is necessary to distinguish “Hegelian,” i.e., absolute or true science, from relative or nominal science, i.e., physics, chemistry, biology, etc, and what usually is understood by “science,” we shall indicate their difference by “upper” and “lower case letters, reserving “Science” for the former and “science” or “the sciences” for the latter. Note also that “Philosophy” with a capital letter means philosophy in its completed form and is equivalent to “Absolute Science” or simply “Science.”

ONE

HOW TO UNDERSTAND THE PRESENT PARADIGM SHIFT

 

  1. THE IMPORTANCE OF G.W.F. HEGEL
  • 1. Why is Hegel alone the key to solving our postmodern world crisis?

Hegel is the key because of the absolute claims that he makes and their implications which, if true, reveal exactly what is happening in the world today and what precisely has to be done to resolve our crisis. Foremost among them is this—

Human history is over … And, as a consequence, an amazing new “totally healed” world of amazing people is about to explode on our “post-historical” world scene.

As we will see, the nexus of all our problems is the SELF and concerns the question of “who we really are.” In effect, what happened in the old world, in Hegel and his peers, forced a change in the concept of who we are and a destruction of the “old paradigm” and concept of ourselves and its replacement by a “new paradigm” in line with our new true concept of Self. This new paradigm is now coming on the scene and it is precisely its clash with the old one that is responsible for all the problems and changes that are currently going on in the world. The solution is thus to change our consciousness to align with the new paradigm by helping the institutions whose interpretations of reality maintain the old paradigm, change—so that they may become institutions that continually radiate and foster the new paradigm and our True Self. —A truly amazing world of amazing people, of “gods and goddesses” if you will, is the final result. It is a world in which false, sick dysfunctional selves and living, mental and physical illness, neuroses, psychoses, depression, bi-polar disorder, phobias, cancer, AIDS, “Prozac,” inferiority, low self-esteem, hate, violence, and war—simply have no place; where fear of death and even death itself is unknown, and where all human potential and creativity flourish at their highest levels. All of this becomes possible with the shift into our New Absolutely Liberated and Healed Self, whose ontological core, as we’ll see, is LOVE (agape) itself.

The rest of the Introduction will try to make this as clear as possible.

What Hegel is saying then—to express it in a slightly different way—is that the Universe is now ontologically or metaphysically complete. Thus, there is nothing for humanity to do to solve all its problems and actualize all its hitherto undreamt of potentials but simply acknowledge this FACT and live in alignment with it. To get the idea across as quickly as possible it may help to use some theological language. This is tricky because, as we’ll see, one of our main tasks today is precisely to “demystify” or “demythologize” religious expressions and translate “Vorstellen” (pictures, images) into “Begriffe” (clear concepts)—as Hegel bids us do—and in this way make their thorough appropriation possible. Thus, to say that the universe is “ontologically complete” is to say that the “Kingdom of God” now exists in all its fullness—and the problem precisely is that no one knows about it—especially the world religions. Another expression that we will use—and there will be several—for the amazing new functional world that is now in process of adventing—one perhaps less “mystified”—is the “ONE CONSCIOUSNESS” (the reader should think, “Noosphere” or “Omega Point,” à la Teilhard de Chardin; more below); Hegel’s preference is for the term “Spirit” or “Geist.” According to Hegel this goal or end-point of History occurred twice. It was first reached in Religion, in the “God-Man” Jesus Christ and expressed in the form of Vorstellen and Faith and secondly, and in some sense definitively (this is an issue) in philosophy-become-Science in Hegel himself or in his Consciousness, and in the form of Reason and the Concept. —(Note: The mention of “Jesus Christ” should not turn off or turn away non-Christian readers, especially because we are living in the Modern “Age of the Spirit”—not in that of the “Father” [Ancient] or “Son” [Medieval]—where the Universal and universality predominate and therefore one need not access the Truth, the “One Consciousness,” via the “particular” name “Jesus Christ” or “Yeshua ha Mashiach”; as Hegel and others have said, Jesus is known by other names; see also the Appendix on Fichte). —Moreover, the ontological goal of History, its singular task, was to overcome Nature—that is, in its condition of “dis”-unity, multiplicity, separateness or “particularity,” with its parts lying “outside” one another—and reach Unity; another word for Unity being Spirit, as well as the Kingdom of God and the “One Consciousness.”

As to how there can be “two” end-points of History and what their difference is, it can be said that in Christ the Universe became for the first time “ontologically complete”—as Hegel says, “In Christ the contradiction in Nature is posited and overcome.”[i] This means that Nature, in the form of one of its parts or “particulars,” viz., that of Jesus of Nazareth, became “Universal” (All-gemeine = “all-common”). That is to say, at this point a single Consciousness or Knowing—what we have called “The One Consciousness” and which as universal therefore includes every consciousness within itself—now existed and pervaded and continues to pervade all reality or the entire Universe. In other words, Being and Consciousness became one or, if one likes, “Being” became fully conscious of itself and attained to Self-Knowledge.[ii] On the other hand, what happened in Hegel—as the culmination of the entire history of thought or philosophy (more below)—was simply that the full scientific or conceptual (as opposed to pictorial) comprehension of Being’s Self-Knowledge occurred. The main point is that—whether in Jesus or Hegel—the goal of the Universe has been reached and, on the metaphysical level or, what is the same, in Reality, there is no higher achievement possible. —Or as the saying is, “it is now as good as it gets.”

Reality in truth according to Hegel and the thesis we are presenting is now unified or One, is ONE CONSCIOUSNESS. The manifoldness and separateness which the senses primarily reveal are just a result of mis-perception and the mis-interpretation of what is actually there. Hence they are fundamentally appearance and illusion. What is of absolute importance is that this One Consciousness, “Kingdom of God” or “Foundation,” as we shall also call it, EXISTS NOW. All we need to do is to enter into it by adjusting our consciousness and changing our concepts—especially with respect to the concepts of “God” and “Man.”

Thus, the “end of History” having been achieved, we now have a definitive and complete Knowledge of Being or Reality—i.e., of Who we are and of the Meaning and the Mystery of Existence. Putting it otherwise, History has become GROUNDED; God has “come down to Earth” and the Kingdom of God in fact has been consummated, that is, in the consciousness of Christ and Hegel or in Absolute Science (more below). —This Fact only requires “universalization.” Hence, History has now entered its final phase from “negative” to “positive” postmodernity and humanity is now making the transition or “quantum leap” into the glorious, consummatory finale of the great drama of World History, into an incredibly amazing world of infinite possibilities of which “eye has not seen, nor ear heard,” a “World without End,” of “elohim” or gods and goddesses, a world moreover anticipated by the prophets of every religion.

It can also be helpful to view human History—comprising the ancient, medieval, and modern periods—as an enormous “school” whose primary purpose is “education” or advancement in consciousness and freedom. This educational process of the human race, as said, was completed in the Modern Period when philosophy, the search for Knowledge, became Science or Actual Knowledge—what began with Descartes and ended with Kant and Hegel—and Absolute Knowing or Being’s comprehension of Itself was achieved. This is well documented and the evidence will be reviewed in a moment.

Now, we have said that it is this FACT—granting it be true for the moment—that human History is now complete, along with all its consequences, that is the real cause of the present shift and crisis in world consciousness and events. Of central importance with respect to what happened—both in Christ and in Hegel—was that the Judeo-Christian-Islamic transcendent God was completely absorbed within human (or human-divine) consciousness or, as it is said, “brought down to earth.” This occurred in the philosophical domain when Descartes’ “Cogito”—“I think, therefore I AM,” which expresses the identity of Being and Consciousness—and its implications were fully realized in Hegel. What this did was to render the previous “paradigm’s” concepts of God—and of Man—obsolete, requiring both their “destruction” and subsequent “replacement” with new immanent concepts of God—(i.e., of the true “referent” of the word “God” and of “Man”)—that reflects this new knowledge of the unity of Being and Consciousness, the human and the divine. In a word—as Hegel and Nietzsche among others say, and if we are to survive and overcome nihilism—”God” and “Man,” as two distinct entities, must be replaced by a single entity, for example, by Geist/Spirit, or Ubermensch/Superman. That is, it must be recognized that the relation between Man and God is dynamic and not static: what begins its process as Man, as “natural,” ends up as God or Spirit. One way of expressing this unity or necessary collapse of opposites into one—and in a way that requires further elucidation, we must add—is to say the truth is that “God is us” or “We are God” (see Section Two).

Thus, what it is that “postmodern” consciousness is suffering from, in a word, is “culture or consciousness lag.” That is, we have not yet caught up with what has already taken place in History, with the achievement of the race as such. We are indeed ontologically, psychologically, and spiritually ready to advance but we lack the means to do so, rather our culture prevents us from doing so in that it does not help us or show us how to “turn around” or “change over.” —This is true of the Church, the schools, the sciences, the media, the conventional wisdom, people in general, family, friends, siblings, associates, co-workers etc. Most directly, no one is allowing us to, “Think the Thought” that most needs to be thought! —Namely, the absolutely liberating thought that, “WE ARE—our true inner self and inner being—THE ABSOLUTE (or GOD) ITSELF.”[iii] To put it differently and perhaps in a less shocking way, the fact is that something inside us is God, is Divine—but we are not allowed, or do not allow ourselves, to actualize or “grow it.”

Indeed, we submit the fact is that we happen to be already programmed and appointed to align ourselves to the final stage of historical consciousness, to The One Consciousness, and to collectively give birth to The New World—for we are in the “postmodern” period and not an earlier one whose needs and demands were different;—that is, we are poised and psychologically, intellectually and spiritually ready to “put it on”—but cannot! —And this is the reason why many of us today experience in the pit of our being an unremitting, pulsing, disquieting, anxiety. Indeed, this PAIN that we postmoderns are experiencing is of such a nature that no amount of techno-gadget-babble-titillation, videos, pharmacopoeia, etc, that our culture can bombard us with can assuage it—the birth pangs are so great that nothing short of the new consciousness and New Self will suffice to heal us and bring relief—all earlier God/Man concepts will not do it. Thus, we are ready to advance but are without the means. All the requisite concepts, words, and their meanings embedded and circulating in the general culture and its modalities of consciousness and language—making up what Plato would call “Cave consciousness” or “the collective ignorance” and its beliefs, above all that of the “sciences” that matter and not self-consciousness is the Real—all of this is still immersed in and upholding the Old Paradigm.

With the situation exacerbated by modern technology and instant communication, we find ourselves living in McLuhan’s “Global Village,” that is, in a giant Room with a host of conflicting religious beliefs and ideologies. In fact, what is actually happening is that we are being asked to reconcile our differences by finding a single Truth that will harmonize them. This is another “sign” of our collective need for a Universal and thus for a New World Religion as well. Here again, Hegel is the key in that what he calls the Concept is precisely the needed principle of such a Universal Truth that can be accepted by all.

  • 2. But why should we believe Hegel and the thesis presented here?

There are several very good reasons:

  1. Because Hegel alone has a definite way out of nihilism—that is, a solution to the problem of meaninglessness, death, and the absence of God or absolutes—our number one problem, whereas none of today’s philosophers have any solution for it and for the most part avoid the issue altogether.
  2. Because Hegel is the only philosopher in History to claim to possess “absolute knowledge” and to have provided a demonstration of it; and as well to have a complete, exhaustive, and systematic account (Logos) of the whole of reality.
  3. Because contrary to some “popular” philosophers—who philosophize in isolation—Hegel claims and offers proof that his philosophy/Science includes within itself hence presupposes all past (and future) philosophy’s and their principles which together constitute one development of One Philosophy or account of the whole. This reflects a single Reason at work in the latter’s history, which lends much credence to his claims. (See Essay 5)
  4. Because there are several incontrovertible arguments—even apart from those of the Phenomenology, Science of Logic, and System of Science as a whole—for the truth of his general position, Absolute Idealism, and for the Absolute I or “God-Self,” which we will state below (in Section Two).
  5. Because Hegel’s Science makes it easier to understand our contemporary historical situation as a “transition” from “negative” to “positive” Postmodernity. Indeed he even predicts it in the Preface to his Phenomenology.
  6. Because its general thesis is already part of the public consciousness. Its core ideas have been in the air for 40 years, since the 60s, most notably in the New Age and in radical theology and Christian circles; they have just not yet received proper form and articulation. Moreover, the thesis has sound confirmation in the Bible—hence the possibility exists for its universal acceptance, i.e., by mainstream religion.
  7. Finally, because of the mere possibility that he is right. Reason dictates that, since the rewards are so great—namely, Nihilism will be overcome, our pain and crisis will be resolved, and a wonderful New World of amazing loving creative people, developing and sharing all their powers, will be ours—we owe it to ourselves and our children to at least hear what he has to say and weigh the evidence. More, the only other options available to us are (i) that Nihilism cannot be defeated—there is no God or ultimate Meaning to existence at all—that is, empirical “science” is right: Man is only physical and biological, there is no soul, spirit, or God, and death is the end; and (ii) that there is no Absolute Knowledge, i.e., we cannot know God or Truth—and hence must remain Skeptics—and can never reach Unity and Universality, and overcome our religious, ideological, etc, differences. Thus, we have naught to lose and all to gain.§3. What does Hegel actually say? What are the crucial issues we all need to discuss?
    The fact is that although we desperately need to discuss these Issues they are not at this time being seriously discussed. They are not being debated in the public arena—in Congress, universities, class-rooms, on TV, radio, talk-shows, in the media, the New York Times, cafes, malls, etc. One reason for this is that the general public is not being informed about what Hegel really says, about his incredible claims and their absolute relevance for us today; for the most part the Hegel community does not talk about them (in fragments yes, but not in concentrated form). Therefore, to first make discussion of these issues possible and to help shift the general conversation from the trivial and mundane to what is of absolutely vital importance, what is first needed is to show through concrete textual and logical evidence that Hegel really does say what we allege that he says, that he does in fact make these incredible claims concerning God, Man, the end of History and Philosophy, and the imminent dawning of an amazing new age and world. Thus we begin.
    II.  ON THE END OF HISTORY

    • 4. Did Hegel really say that History has ended?

    Unequivocally Yes. It should be stated first that “History” according to Hegel is nothing other than “the progress of the consciousness of freedom”—as well as “absolute knowledge”—on the part of what he calls the “World Spirit” (die WeltGeist), or Being or the Whole as such. Here is a sampling of the evidence. In his Philosophy of World History Hegel tells us that:

    1. “The History of the World travels from East to West, for Europe is absolutely the end of History … for though the Earth forms a sphere, History performs no circle around it.”[i]
    2. “For the Christian world is the world of completion; the grand principle of Being is realized, consequently the end of days has fully come!”[ii]
    3. And at the end of “Absolute Knowing” in the Phenomenology of Spirit Hegel clearly states: “But the other side of [Spirit’s] becoming, History, is a conscious, self-mediating process—Spirit emptied out into Time … This Becoming presents a slow-moving procession of Spirits … Their goal is the revelation of Spirit’s depth, and this is the Absolute ConceptThe goal [of History is] Absolute Knowing, or Spirit that knows itself as Spirit … History as comprehended form[s] the recollection and Golgotha of Absolute Spirit … without which [God] would be lifeless and alone.”[iii] Note that the claim is that History’s goal was reached precisely in this book, i.e., in the consciousness of Hegel himself (circa 1807).§5. In what sense did History come to an End?
      According to Hegel, History ended in that Man (in the capacity of Hegel) reached the highest freedom and knowledge attainable, in the sense that Men in the future can do no more than repeat his achievement. Further, “Man,” for Hegel, is not just “Man”—as people in general, as well as e.g. anthropologists and biologists conceive him—namely, as a mere part (indeed insignificant part) of the Totality of Being, and without essential connection to this Being. No. “Man” on the contrary is the locus, the vehicle that the Totality/the Universe/Being uses to become aware of Itself and reach Self-Knowledge. So Man, in his true definition is in fact—when he has reached full Self-Consciousness—the Universe’s/Being’s/the Whole’s Consciousness of Itself, of Its Infinity. Thus, History can be more accurately characterized as being simply the Record of Being’s progress to complete Self-Knowledge (or Absolute Science). This course of Being’s (Man’s, History’s) progress to Absolute Knowledge is charted by Hegel in his famous Phenomenology of Spirit, which traces in abbreviated form the historical stages of Being’s advance to this goal.TThis highest freedom and knowledge is attainable when the separation between the subject and the object (between consciousness and “Being,” which is initially opposed to consciousness) is finally overcome at the end of the Phenomenology. This occurs when the subject or knower no longer has any Objects over against it in which it does not discover itself. Thus, it is when it has become One with the Object, with Being, and the same no longer constitutes a LIMIT of itself, that it thereby has become INFINITE. This is “absolute freedom,” and the highest attainable—as Hegel says, “I am free only when I am in relation to myself and not to a [limiting] Other.”[iv] And it is “absolute knowledge” as well, and the highest possible, in the sense that (i) my Knowing is no longer “relative” to an Other/Object, something different from me, hence something that I cannot penetrate or know, and (ii) I now occupy the place of the Object or Being; indeed I am the Being itself—since for Hegel Consciousness is Being (cp., Moses’ and Christ’s name for God: “I AM”; more below). The Being believed to pertain to all former “objects” now counts for my own Being and has been appropriated by what Hegel calls THE CONCEPT, Der Begriff (more below). Hence my Being is now Infinite. “I am the Absolute,” or equally the Absolute or Totality knows Itself in me.

      • 6. Does this then mean there is no more History? If so, then what has been going on since 1807?

      Strictly speaking, Yes. As Hegel says, History—according to its true meaning and essence, as the progress of Being’s Self-Knowledge—is indeed over! Metaphysically or ontologically speaking, all that has been going on in the world since that point (i.e. during this “postmodern” period), what has occupied post-history, has been the education and elevation of the rest of the Race (= Being’s consciousness) up to absolute knowledge and freedom. Of course, one can still speak of history (with a lower case “h”) any way one wishes; thus one can say there are “personal” individual histories, i.e., of the course of education of a given individual up to knowledge and freedom, which would be consonant with the truth. It can also be said that history (lower case “h”) in a sense continues, that Man still “makes history”—but now he makes it with the distinct advantage of being in possession of Science and Absolute Knowledge.

      • 7. Does Hegel actually say that Time is an illusion or ceases when Absolute Knowing is reached and that life in eternity then begins?

      Yes. For example in the chapter on “Absolute Knowing” in the Phenomenology Hegel states that:

      “Time is the Concept itself that is there … Spirit necessarily appears in Time, and it appears in Time just so long as it has not grasped [or “grokked”] its pure Concept, that is, has not abolished Time.[i] (see The Manifesto).

      And in the Science of Nature: “The Concept [as “I = I” and absolute freedom] … is not only free from the power of time, but is neither within time, nor something temporal … Only that which is natural, in that it is finite, is subject to time; that which is true however, the Idea or Spirit, is eternalEternity will not be, nor has it been, it is.”[ii]

      And in the Science of Spirit Hegel describes the final result of religious or spiritual education thus: “Hence the Being of Beings [God] through this mediation brings about its own indwelling in self-consciousness, and is the actual presence of the essential and self-subsisting Spirit who is all in all.”

      But why exactly is time “abolished”? It is because time only lasts as long as there is a subject/object separation, a discrepancy between one’s self-awareness and Being/the World. —Or as long as a Not-I (an Object or unsublated Other) remains which is not reduced to or recognized as Self. In addition, so long as True Knowledge of oneself has not been found, angst remains—that is, so long as one is still finite and knows not of one’s infiniteness.

      In fact, “finitude,” as being in a state of separation from the Other, in actuality means being denied access to, and prevented from living in, the Other. Hence “Romantic Love”—or even the love between parents and children, friends, etc—is in fact a true anticipation of Real Love. The latter is Love that is self-sufficient, continuous, and “agapic”; the Love that accompanies the knowledge of who one really is, and that attends the collapse and appropriation of God (as external) into one’s innermost Self. As Hegel says, the liberation of the Concept is called “free spirit, as feeling it is Love, and as enjoyment it is Bliss” (see Enc. §159). Indeed, that the subject/object split is cancelled—“I am in the Other, the Other is in me”—means precisely that I allow the other to enter and inhabit me. As in romantic love: I allow her to see my Being as her own Being; and she allows (or I perceive that she has allowed) me to feel AT HOME in her. She has given every particle of her Being (Otherness)—and whatever else she has put her will into or owns—to me, as what is mine. Hence, I am in-finite, I am on both sides of my limit.

      §8. If it is true that History has ended, what are some of the consequences of this fact for us today?
      1.
      If “universal closure” has indeed occurred and yet we have no knowledge of it and are conducting the world’s affairs as if nothing has happened, then we are still living in neurotic, repressive “time,” instead of in the eternity and fullness of life in which we ought to be living.

      2. If history/time is over then what is indicated is that an amazing new healed World—one commensurate with this Fact and its ramifications—must be struggling to be released into humanity’s consciousness; and not to consciously know about it and thereby adjust to it will have disastrous consequences for us and the quality of our lives.
      3. Further, If this is what Man, one’s True Self really is—viz., Being Itself, Spirit, the Absolute, the One Consciousness, God, and one’s essence is Infinity, Freedom and Love—then you and I are this potentially and only need to actualize it to be free and fulfilled.
      4. But the Problem is, as said, that no one really or consciously knows of it; that is, it has not become part of the fabric of our institutions and the status quo (its themes are discussed after a fashion e.g. in “New Age,” radical theology and other circles, but this is fringe and not mainstream). Our schools, “sciences,” religious institutions, etc, are still teaching and sustaining the Old Paradigm with its erroneous concepts of Man, God, and World, which prevents the New Consciousness from breaking through. This needs to change.
      5. The old model and erroneous concepts of Man still figure prominently in the Medical Profession and Psychiatry in particular, a circumstance which continues to cause untold needless suffering and exacerbates our general crisis. For instance, many people especially in the wake of the 60s are trying to “break out”—in response to the Zeitgeist’s Call for total liberation and healing—from the prison of their finite False Self and into the freedom of their Infinite True Self. What is deplorable and especially painful to witness is that this absolutely necessary “transformational” process into true health is regarded by them as “psychosis” and abnormal (see especially the work of Grof, Laing, and Breggin).[iv] And Medicine, which is mired in the old mechanistic model with its “division of labor” and “specialization” basically treats Man like an “automobile.” For example, a patient upon entering a hospital with an unknown ailment encounters the following—first he is seen by a neurologist who examines his nervous system and brain and who knows only his own subject and little of any other, then by a cardiologist who examines his heart and circulatory system and in isolation from everything else, then by an endocrinologist who performs diagnostics on his glands and hormonal system, and so on. What is needed here and will eventually replace this dysfunctional situation is the emergence of a class or elite of what can be called “True Master Doctors” who are only able to heal because they have first healed themselves and therefore have insight into the complete holistic “Spirit/Self/Body Dynamic” and all of its organically intercontexted “moments.”

    • 9. How exactly was the end of History, or Being’s full Self-Knowledge, reached in the Modern Period from Descartes to Hegel? And in the Phenomenology in particular?

    In essence, Consciousness or human Subjectivity by stages became infinite—that is, by gradually “transferring” to itself all being that was originally regarded as outside itself. In other words, by removing the “illusion” that there are beings outside consciousness/the mind or that consciousness is shut-out from Being, i.e., that Consciousness and Being are separable.

    [The above Diagram {see BOOK } and the accompanying account is only intended as an aid and first approximation to what is more complex in nature and will become clearer in the essays].

    Modern Philosophy begins with Rene Descartes’ Meditations On First Philosophy (1641), particularly with Meditation 1 and with the move from [A] to [B] or from “Before” to “After”—that is, from the ordinary, natural standpoint to the strictly philosophical true standpoint. In [A], ordinary naïve consciousness (i) regards itself as “in the world, in space and time” and merely as one physical object among others and (ii) considers the perceived World and also God as existing “outside and independent” of itself. In Meditation 2, in [B] and as a result of his famous method of doubt, Descartes discovers (i) that the first thing that is wholly certain and cannot be doubted is his own existence: “Cogito ergo sum”—“I think [dream, am deceived], therefore, I AM,” and (ii) that what seemed to exist “outside” himself are really only perceptions or ideas existing “inside” his mind or consciousness, so many “modifications of his consciousness/mind”—which, further, may have originals corresponding to them and outside the sphere of his consciousness which he now realizes cannot be escaped or transcended. The upshot of Descartes’ philosophy and standpoint is that his I/Subject/Consciousness remains finite, since for him there are still Beings existing outside and apart from him, viz., the real physical world and God: Descartes’ Being, or the Cogito, does not embrace the whole of being.

    Kant, in his Critique of Pure Reason (1781), [C], went even further in eliminating Beings outside of the mind and thereby moved closer to an “infinite or absolute mind or I” by showing that space and time as modes of my pure intuition and thus everything in them, in reality were appearance only; that is, belonged to my mind, or existed only within it, and therefore had no “self-subsistent” existence outside it. As a consequence, all that remained outside the sphere of the Cogito was “God,” which Kant subsumed under the “Thing in itself”—meaning by this term a Being existing in its own right out of relation with the mind and its faculties. Of course Kant’s principles—viz., that “The ‘I think’ must be able to accompany every presentation” (including that of God!), that the categories do not apply to things outside experience, and his subject-grounded definition of “object” and “objectivity”—did not allow one to know or even think such an entity (i.e. without self-contradiction), something which already forces the object’s or Being’s collapse into the Cogito or mind.

    In [D], with the work of Kant’s disciples—Fichte, Schelling and, finally, Hegel—the last vestige of a Being existing apart from the Subject was removed. This happened above all and decisively in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. In effect Hegel simply applied Fichte’s (or Kant’s) principle—that one cannot “abstract from or bypass the I,” or that a “Thing or Being in itself,” out of relation to thought, is a self-contradictory or “non” thought—to the whole range of human experience or consciousness of objects; thereby giving a rigorous demonstration of the truth of “absolute knowledge.” Namely, that an Absolute Self lay underneath our finite self; what was revealed by a process of dialectical “purification” of consciousness’ contents. This Absolute or Infinite Self, Subject or Consciousness Hegel names—”Spirit” (more below).

    • 10. How was the end of History realized in the Phenomenology of Spirit in particular?

    What the Phenomenology essentially does is to trace the becoming of the “Kingdom of God” (“Foundation”) or, what is the same, “Spirit.” —And “Spirit” for Hegel is a “mode of being” which includes within itself the whole of humanity, past, present and future; it is an “I that is a We” and a “We that is an I.” The Phenomenology also traces the becoming of what Hegel calls “The Concept,” or “the I” (and “the We” as well). It falls into three main sections: Section “A,” “Consciousness” (of an Object, an Other), Section “B,” “Self-Consciousness,” consciousness not of an Other but of Self, of consciousness itself, and Section “C,” which is untitled but comprised of four sub-sections (i.e. modes of self-consciousness), namely, “Reason,” “Spirit,” “Religion,” and “Absolute Knowledge.” Its main principles are Fichte’s, namely, What is in relation to consciousness or knowing cannot at the same time exist out of relation to it. Such a thing as therefore conditioned by consciousness cannot be an unconditioned self-existent Thing or a true Being, rather only an “appearance.” As Hegel says, the In-itself (object) will repeatedly be found to be an “In-itself only for consciousness”—that is, its professed Being will be removed or “sublated.” By the end of this section Consciousness will be compelled to stand in the place of the object, Being, or what is “there” for consciousness.

    This is Section “B,” “Self-Consciousness” or The Concept, whose formula is “I = I” where the first “I” is subject I and the second, object I. This “Object I” will increase in meaning, weight and comprehensiveness, till at the end it will embrace all objects/Beings within itself and become an absolute I, Subject or Self. What is important is to recognize the difference between the “I” at the beginning of the Phenomenology and the educated, ful-filled “I” at the end. For this involves the essential process that every “I” must undergo in order to reach its full potential and become established in Reality, in “Spirit,” in the Life of The One Consciousness. The former “I” is an isolated individual, excluded from Being and the community of “I’s”—here we are in Plato’s “Cave.” The latter “I” is no longer an isolated but rather a Universal I or Self, indeed a “We,” an “I that is We.” It is no longer excluded from but thoroughly One with Being and the total community of I’s = Spirit; and it is characterized by Hegel as Love and Blessedness—i.e., in view of the fact that the major problem of life—viz., finite isolated selfhood or egoity, an “I” always doing battle with other “I”’s and the world—has been solved.

    In brief, Section “C,” “Reason” is the unity of consciousness and self-consciousness, the self already experiencing the consciousness of being “all truth and all reality.” The remainder of the book, “Spirit,” “Religion,” and “Absolute Knowledge,” merely extends this truth to all remaining theoretical, practical and religious modes of consciousness, harvesting their respective objects into the Self, until Absolute Knowing is reached and all Being (and Vorstellen) has been appropriated by and assimilated to the Self’s Activity, i.e., to The Concept. Also important, what many interpreters overlook, is the fact that the Self or Spirit in the texts from the section “Spirit” until the close of “Absolute Knowing” is no longer an individual but a Universal-Individual Spirit—or is an individual who belongs to, is a dynamic member of, a larger Whole, a Community, a “We that is I.” Indeed, by “Spirit” is meant the whole of humanity, embracing all races and nations. These interpreters forget that even though Hegel seems to be talking in “Absolute Knowing” of only a “monadic” non-intersubjective individual, instead of a “dyadic” intersubjective one, this is really not so. They complain that this climactic Self as having no room for an Other has “reduced the Other to the Same” (cf., e.g., where Hegel says that “religion’s content … or Other … is the Self’s own Act,” and “this Subject is Substance, etc”). However it is to be noted that “this Subject” and “Self” is an “I” of a Community of I’s and represents all I’s; indeed it is the whole community that knows through the I of the Absolute Knower! For as Hegel observes, “This Knowing is this I and no other I—yet is equally a mediated and Universal I.”[i]

    Thus it can be said that in actuality—i.e. granting Hegel’s account is correct—it is the Whole Human Race that reaches Self-Knowledge in Hegel and in the Philosopher, i.e. Man (Homo sapiens), as such. Thus “Spirit” in the Phenomenology is and stands for the whole of humanity, past, present and future—to eternity! As Hegel observes, “the eternal Idea (Unity) eternally activates, produces and enjoys itself as Absolute Spirit”[ii]—that is, as the One Family, the One Whole of Spirit, of Humanity, of The Race (in theological form, “the Father (Idea) enjoys itself in and as its Sons and Daughters—To Infinity!”)

    Thus the Phenomenology just traces humanity’s or Being’s ascent to the end of History—to the realization of The Concept in Self-Consciousness or Spirit, i.e., to the Kingdom of God upon Earth (and Schelling’s third potency). Spirit (all humanity)—qua Hegel—now has complete Knowledge of Itself, that is to say, in the form of Absolute Science. What only remains to be done is that The Race has now to “slip into” or “put on” this ONE Consciousness, and this by means of Science and/or True Religion or Spirituality.

III. ON RELIGION AND A “NEW” GOD

  • 11. Does Hegel say anything about the “death of God” and of a new, true concept of God (viz., Spirit) to replace the old one?

Yes. In a word, for Hegel Religion—Christianity especially—does indeed know and provide access to the Truth and to the True God, however in the form of Vorstellen (= picture-thinking, and not the Concept), a form which makes the Truth hard to see and leads to multiple and conflicting interpretations. It has to be purified (by thought or Concept) or “de-mythologized.” This process—involving a setting aside or “death” of Vorstellung, of this peculiar form in which Truth and the True God is expressed—is like a “death” of God Himself, but is in reality precisely the exchange of one concept of God for another, a false one for the true.

In the Phenomenology’s chapter on “Revealed Religion” Hegel intones that, “the death of this Vorstellung [or “picture” of God dying on the cross], containing … the death of the abstraction of the Divine Being which is not posited as Self, … is the painful feeling that God Himself is dead.”[i] But what Hegel really means by this is simply the “demystification” and appropriation by Man or consciousness of “God,” that is, by making God an inner object, identical with our own certainty and being, and thus completely transparent and knowable; notice also that Jesus said that “The kingdom of God [already] is—[not will be]—in you now,” and that Genesis 1, 27 indeed says that we already are, not will be, “the image of God.” Thus, according to Hegel it was Jesus who was the first one in time to have this direct knowledge of God/Truth, which is expressed most simply as “I AM” and signifies, metaphysically, the inseparability of Consciousness and Being; consider also for example, “I am in the Father, the Father is in me,” “You [too] will know the Truth [as I do] and the Truth will make you free,” and “The Spirit will guide you into all Truth.” It can be argued that this direct knowledge, expressed in the words “I AM,” is simply the knowledge that one’s inner certainty of self is one and the same as God or Being (the “Father”), or that Consciousness as such is equal to Being. Indeed, in the Phenomenology Hegel states that one must find the incarnation of God in one’s “own action as such” (478), that “what in religion was content or a form for presenting (Vorstellen) an Other, is here the Self’s own action,” and that Spirit, as absolute knowing, here “gives its complete and true content [Father, Son, Spirit, etc] the form of Self.” What is more, even the Biblical text clearly confirms that the whole Trinity or Godhead or ALL BEING is in us, compare: “I and the Father [and Spirit] will come and make our abode in you,” and “the Kingdom of God [i.e. God] is within/among you.” All this points to the fact, as Hegel says in the Phenomenology, that “Truth is … in itself completely identical with Certainty” (485), that is, since Truth = God, that God is identical with my Pure Certainty of (my) Self; also compare Hegel’s remark in the Science of Logic: “The Idea [is] … the Certainty which has become Truth, the Certainty which no longer has the Object over against it but has internalized it and knows it as its own Self” (69).

Thus by the “death of God” Hegel is not saying that the word “God” has no meaning or referent at all, that there is no God—only finite Man and Universe—(indeed, how can one who says, “[For Philosophy] God and God alone is the Truth” Enc. §1, hold such a view?). Hegel rather is saying that God is to be understood in a totally new way: God is not outside us, standing over against us (as a Gegen-stand = Object, in German), rather God is inside us—identical, as we said, with our Certainty of Self (notice also that “certainty of self” implies a “doubling” or a “twoness,” and not a mere “oneness”).

Thus it is that Hegel goes on to say in “Revealed Religion” that this experience of the “death of God” is “at the same time the pure subject-ivity [-ivization] of Substance [= God], the pure Certainty of itself which It [God] lacked when It was Object (Gegen-stand). This Knowing—[“I = I,” the “night which no longer knows anything outside of it”]—is the inspiration [or “quickening,” Begeistung] whereby Substance becomes Subject”—[of course, the “subject” here is not an individual but rather a universal, communal or intersubjective subject (just as Christ, as the Concept, is a “universal Self, the self of Everyone,” thus containing all selves within itself, Phenomenology 461-62—something many commentators miss]—by which God’s abstractness and lifelessness have died and God “has become actual … Universal Self-Consciousness” (476)—i.e., has become the religious community or “humanity” itself (albeit transfigured, and in a potential sense).

Hence, we feel it is not possible to conclude otherwise than that it is Hegel’s position that this “new and true” understanding of God as “Spirit,” as the unity of our Consciousness and God/Being/or Substance—precisely in view of the fact that according to Hegel it is the Truth or what is the case——is to replace the Old, untrue concept (Vorstellung) of God (more below). This is one of the most important Issues that must be discussed in the public arena.

  • 12. Does Hegel actually state that “We are God” or “God is us” or “Man is God,” and that we—collectively and individually—are immortal and divine?

Yes. In addition to the evidence in the previous section, there is also the following:

  1. In the Philosophy of History Hegel writes that: “Man himself is comprehended in the Idea of God, and this may be thus expressed—that the unity of Man with God is posited in the Christian Religion. … [However] Man, on the contrary, is God only in so far as he annuls the merely limited in his spirit and elevates himself to God.”[i] Thus Man’s unity with God, for Hegel (as for Meister Eckhart), is an operative rather than an ontological one; more precisely it is a “dynamically ontological” one (more below).
  2. At Enc. §194 zus, Hegel says that: “[T]he antithesis of subjectivity and objectivity is overcome implicitly; and it is our business to participate in this redemption by laying aside our immediate subjectivity and becoming conscious of God as our true and essential Self.” He goes on to say that “The Concept [or God, is nothing other than] our innermost Self.
  3. To cite evidence from Hegel’s contemporaries we have the testimony of Heinrich Heine, a student of Hegel’s Berlin period, as found in his Confessions (1854): “I learned from Hegel that it was not the dear God who lived in heaven that was God, as my grandmother supposed, but I myself here on earth […].”[ii]
  4. There is much evidence that Hegel holds that we are divine and immortal. For example: (i) “[T]he unity of the divine nature and the human [is] the Truth.” (Philosophy of Right §358); “The Absolute comprehended as concrete, as the unity of these two absolutely different determinations, is the True God.” (History of Philosophy III, 4, also see Enc. §441 zus). (ii) “Man, finite when regarded for himself, is yet at the same time the Image of God and a fountain of infinity in himself … [consequently] he has in himself an infinite value and an eternal destiny.” (Philosophy of History 333). (iii) “According to Christianity, the individual as such has an infinite value [and is] destined as Spirit to live in absolute relationship with God himself.” (Enc. §482 zus). (iv) And the Phenomenology’s result, viz., that “the Self or Spirit is all reality,” logically entails the Self’s immortality, i.e., if the Self is all reality then there is nothing else that can take away its Being.
    Hegel’s word for this “new God,” this identity of God and Man, is “Geist” or “Spirit.” An Issue of absolute importance that must be discussed concerns understanding clearly the meaning of “Spirit” and the formula “We are God”—which embodies precisely the solution to our postmodern crisis. We will discuss this in the second main section.
  • 13. Did Hegel say that what Religion calls “Heaven” or the “Kingdom of God” (and relegates to the future) exists right Now? —And in truth is one and the same as the State?

Yes, and there is considerable evidence to support this:

  1. As early as the Jenaer Realphilosophie Hegel observed that: “The present existing State [in our case, the United States of America] is nothing other than the Actuality (Wirklichkeit) of the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom (or Reign) that does not have to be ‘ushered in’ but exists de facto. The fanaticism of the Church is to want to usher in the Eternal, the Kingdom of Heaven as such, on the Earth, in opposition to the actuality of the State; like trying to maintain fire in water.” (Felix Meiner 270, our trans., also see Hegel and the Human Spirit, p. 271.) (See Essay 4)
  2. The State is the march of God in the world … In considering the Idea of the State, we must not have our eyes on particular States … but must consider the Idea, this actual God, by itself.” (Philosophy of Right §258, Addition to zus, Knox 279.)
  3. At Enc. §212 zus, “The accomplishing of the Infinite Purpose consists only in sublating the illusion that it has not yet been accomplished. [Therefore] The Good, the Absolute Good, fulfills itself eternally in the world … and is already fulfilled and does not need to wait upon us for this to happen.”
  4. “[By] actuali[zing] their freedom [individuals] attain to the consciousness of heaven upon earth, the elevation of Man to God. Thus the true intellectual world is not a beyond, but the so-called finite is an element within it, and no division exists between this side and that.” “[Heaven is not] a far-away land that is just as really conceived of by us, peopled and inhabited, as the World we see, but which is hidden from us as if by a mountain (24); “[T]he reconciliation of God with himself is accomplished in the world, and not as a heavenly kingdom that is beyond … its realization has and ought to be in the present world. In other words the laws, customs, constitutions, and all that belongs to the actuality of spiritual consciousness should be Rational.” (The History of Philosophy, Vol. III, Haldane and Simson, 21-22. Also cp. especially Philosophy of Right § 360).§14. If what Hegel says about God and “Heaven” is true, what are some of the consequences of this for us today?
    There are many critical issues here. For instance: 
    1. If Hegel is correct about the meaning of “God,” does this mean that other religions—e.g. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—teach a concept of God that is untrue and misleading? There are two sides to this. (i) In general the situation with mainstream religions is not a good one. For in that they are still essentially ensconced in the Old Paradigm they prevent from happening the very thing they most desire—namely, the advent of “Kingdom Come” or the total Healing/Salvation of the human Race. This situation must change. (ii) On the other hand, it is no less true that the spirit of Man is able to penetrate the external “letter” and actually make contact with Spirit, God or Truth, as Hegel also teaches. Thus, although they erroneously regard God as existing outside themselves, the fact that they also understand God to be “infinite,” hence a Being that must encompass them, does make unification with God possible; as is attested by the mystics and saints of their respective traditions. Still, the vast majority for the most part is prevented from accessing and experiencing the Truth, i.e., in all its fullness.
    2. Isn’t this concept of God, then, in contradiction with e.g. Christian orthodoxy? Yes and No. It depends (i) on what specifically the doctrines of a given Church or sect are and how they interpret scripture, (ii) on how one interprets their doctrines, and (iii) on the very meaning of “orthodoxy.” That is to say, and what is decisive, if Schelling, Nietzsche and Altizer are correct in believing that a “final” state of Judeo-Christianity—“the Church of John,” which is founded on the “God is us” principle and which both unites and transcends both Catholicism (the Church of Peter) and Protestantism (the Church of Paul)—is emerging in the world today and is destined to become the “new orthodoxy” then the situation becomes reversed (See Essays 1 and 2). Of significance is that there are many scripture texts in the Bible that support Hegel’s and a “Church of John” conception of God, e.g., “we partake of the divine nature” (2Pet1,4), “You are gods and goddesses” (Ps 82,6, Jn 10,34), “Grow up into the fullness of Christ [or into God]” (Eph 4,13,15), “The disciple can be as his Master” (Lk 6,40), “It is not robbery to be equal with God” (Ph 2,6, Jn 5,18), and “Let us make man in Our Own Image” (Gen 1,26).
    3. If “We are God,” then what happens to God as a “Person”? And how is the relation between God as “Person” and ourselves as “Persons” to be conceived? This is a very important issue and does not allow of an easy solution. We shall make two points. (i) First, despite what left-wing Marxist Hegelians have said the past century it seems beyond question that God—or the Idea (or “Spirit” = the Idea realized)—has personality and is not “impersonal.” For in the Science of Logic Hegel writes: “[The Absolute Idea] is not merely soul, but free subjective Concept that is for itself and therefore possesses personality” (842), and, “The highest, most concentrated point [viz., the Idea] is the pure personality—which embraces and holds everything within itself” (841). Also, the Idea is not a sheer diferenceless One, it has plenty of room for Otherness and intersubjectivity for it “contains within itself the highest degree of opposition” (824) (See Essay 3). (ii) Second, Hegel’s remarks on “personhood” in the Philosophy of Religion are very illuminating: “[T]he solution [to God as “three-in-one”] is contained in the fact that there is only One Person, and this three-fold personality, this personality which is thus posited merely as a vanishing moment, expresses the truth … [For example] Morality and love just mean the giving up of particularity or of the particular personality and its extension to universality” (III 24f) (see section two below for more). In essence, there is only One Consciousness or Divine Personality (viz., Spirit), which is best conceived as a Life (or a “consuming fire”), not as a static, processless thing; new “particulars” (i.e. human Persons) are continually yielding up their particularity and being integrated into this One “Universal” Life—which thereby grows/increases yet ever remains the same.
    4. If Hegel’s God is the true God, what then becomes of “worship” and “prayer” if in truth “I myself am God?” How can I pray to such a God, must I pray to myself? Is there really someone “there,” who cares for me, hears my prayers and answers them—or not?! Obviously these are hard questions which must be answered. Their parent concerns the issue of, How do we—or even Can we—give “new paradigm” interpretations to Church doctrines that have always been construed according to the “old paradigm”? The answer to the “Can we … ” is that, given Hegel’s new concept of God is indeed correct, we must do it, for we have no choice.—That is, unless we wish to teach error and perpetuate ignorance and pain. So the only question then is “How do we do it.”
      (i) As a beginning to the answer we offer this. The nature of agape or divine love seems to hold the key. “Agape” is the essence of God and thus also of our True Self. Thus all religious/spiritual practices—such as worship, prayer, meditation, the sacraments, the Eucharist, etc—can be regarded simply as means or methods for “opening up” or actualizing this our true essence, i.e., for establishing oneself permanently in Agape-Love, our true end. The point is, once the end is reached and agape has been “turned on”[i] there is then no longer any need for the means, e.g. prayer (rather, only then does it become possible to “pray (= commune) without ceasing”). This is the fundamental consideration. (ii) But first a word on the nature of Agape. Essentially, this Love is a twoness-in-oneness in which “I continually pour myself into the Other, and the Other does the same to me.” What results from this reciprocal activity is—Love; that is, myself as a Universal Self, Being, Consciousness, and Life; and which includes all selves within itself. It is the experience and reality of infinity and freedom, an “ec-stasy” in which I am perpetually outside of myself—hence the problem of individuation and egoism is solved—and yet remain with myself (see Enc. §159 Remark, §436). (iii) Further, as is well known, there are different levels or stages of spiritual growth. The initial level is that of the mere isolated, natural individual; the final that of the permanent Agape (Universal) state. Thus, according as one is in the initial or final stage of development, worship and prayer are differently characterized. For example, during the initial stage—where universality has yet to be reached—”worship” (or agape in process) would involve regarding the Object of worship, God, as a Being outside and above (higher than) oneself; whereas on the final level of maturity, where one has achieved universality, and is one with God, hence in equality with God, this would no longer be necessary—even by the nature of the case impossible. It may help to think of a “triangle” and the ascent from the base (initial) to its apex (final): what begins as “twoness” and “separation” ends in oneness, in pure agape (cf., “I and the father are one”). Perhaps it can be said that what really occurs in prayer and worship—an entirely internal affair—is that one’s “lower (particular/finite) self” is communing with one’s “higher (universal/infinite) Self (cf., “the still small voice within you” = Reason or God). Etc (see section two for more).
    5. If we are in heaven right now, and the State is the Kingdom of God on Earth, then why is the world in the dysfunctional state that it is in? Therefore we cannot be in heaven now! This is a fair question but the answer, of course, is obvious. (i) Everyone—or most people—are out of alignment with the New Paradigm, Reality, and their True Self. Their consciousness is stuck in the Old Paradigm and, consequently, the differences which divide us and are the source of all conflicts, hatred, and violence are not resolved—i.e., harmonized via a universal Truth and principle of unity that all can come together on. (ii) As said, there is the “true self” and the “false dysfunctional self” which most people are living in. Accordingly, they do not know who they are. They think they are ego’s only, biological/physical beings, and as a consequence have toxic value/belief systems and one-sided distorted views of God, the world, life, and the meaning of existence. All of their thoughts and actions, moreover, flow from this “false self”—that is, from lack, fear, ignorance, isolation, finitude or subject/object opposition, low or no self-esteem, and the need to constantly defend this false self or ego, etc. (iii) However, the amazing and wonderful thing—if Hegel and our thesis is right—is that the rectifying of the situation only requires a “change” or “shift” in consciousness! That is, the acquiring of true knowledge of oneself, of God or the Ground, and of the world. One must grasp these three in a unity.True education—is the only answer and solution. For example, people must become aware and taught about what the State and its institutions truly are: namely, the “site” where Freedom, God or Spirit realizes itself (see Essay 4). At the present time no one is being taught this, mainly because empirical positive “science” and not True Science has highest authority and influence in academia and education. In particular, it is the rank “naturalism” of the former that is a major source of the problem; for this knows nothing of “Spirit” and the all-crucial “nature–spirit” relationship and of the primacy of the latter over the former.IV.  ON PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE
      • 15. What does Hegel mean by “The CONCEPT” (Der Begriff)? Why is the Concept so important?

      This must be discussed much more. Briefly, the Concept has the importance it does because it is the only principle and method for obtaining True Knowledge—which is of “Being,” and “Being” is ultimately the Idea, Knowing, Thought, or one’s True Self, and not material or physical reality. Moreover, it is the only means for incorporating and translating the positive sciences’ findings into Science and conferring on them the status of True Knowledge. Not to mention that the Concept—i.e., Absolute Knowledge or Being’s Self-Knowledge—as the “Divine Concept” is one and the same as God. As Hegel states in the Phenomenology: “God is attainable in pure speculative [absolute] Knowledge alone … and is only that Knowledge itself (461).”

      As to what Hegel means by “The CONCEPT,” we will make the following remarks:

        1. The Concept is both Knowing/Knowledge and the means for attaining Knowledge. One must thus understand what exactly “Knowledge” is according to Hegel (an issue that deserves much more attention in Hegel studies). One aid is Hegel’s view that “Reason and Love are essentially the same”—Reason being an equivalent for Knowledge—in that they both seek to see and find themselves in an Other. The term “grok”—from the novel Stranger in a Strange Land[i]—may also be helpful in getting at the nature of the Concept or Knowledge. To “grok” something is to fully immerse oneself in the thing to the point where one literally (not figuratively) becomes the thing itself, and thus knows it “from the inside out” or in all its depths. Also important is that since the Idea is Being itself, once one knows the Idea one also essentially knows “every-thing,” i.e., all of the Idea’s expressions. (The difference between the Idea, the Concept, and Spirit will receive further clarification in the Essays).
          2. The Concept is the central principle of Hegel’s Science/Philosophy. It is equivalent, as stated, to Being, Spirit or God. It is all that truly exists.
          3. It was developed or came to be in the Phenomenology, the abbreviated Record of the human Race’s or Being’s self-education, and is latent in every human Self. It is the “divine” in us, and the same as Reason.
          4. It is or contains in itself the drive for infinity, for being all reality, i.e., unlimited and free. In fact, according to Hegel one cannot really be free insofar as a sheer Other stands before oneself in which one does not see oneself. One is free only when one is allowed to, in effect, “flow into” or completely penetrate (“grok”) the Other. Hence, true freedom and infinity do indeed require an Other—but a “sublated” other; which is very important.
          5. What the Concept does—its essential nature and its activity—is to transform any thing/object/being that is seemingly different from itself and outside itself into its own Being. This is amply confirmed in Hegel’s works. For example, (i) at Enc. §160 zus, Hegel writes: “The general standpoint of the Concept is indeed that of Absolute Idealism … [E]verything which in other forms of consciousness counts as something that is—and because it is immediate, as independent—is known within the Concept simply as an ideal moment.” (ii) At Enc. §424 zus: “‘I = I’ is the principle of absolute Reason and Freedom [which] consist in this … that I know everything as mine, as ‘I’, that I grasp every object as a member in the same System of what I myself am … This unity of the ‘I’ and the object [is] the Principle of Spirit.” (iii) In the Phenomenology Hegel writes: (a) “The Absolute Concept is the category in which Knowing and the Object of Knowing are the same. … Reason does not go outside itself—it knows the absolute negation of itself to be its own actuality, to be its own self” (333). (b) “[T]he Certainty that knows itself as Truth [i.e.] pure thinking as The Absolute Concept which, in the power of its negativity, wipes out every objective essence/being that is supposed to be contrary to Consciousness, and makes it into a being of Consciousness” (323). (c) “This simplicity is the Concept, the simple Knowing that knows itself and also its opposite, but knows it as sublated within itself” (331). And, “The Absolute Concept has no opposition in an Object—nor is it restricted in itself” (326). And this is because it is “absolute”—i.e., absolved from relation to a genuine Other—and not “relative;” hence it is infinite. (iv) And in the Science of Logic: “[T]he Concept is everything … its supreme and sole drive is to find and know itself by means of itself in everything” (826).
          6. Finally, that the Concept is not a mere abstraction of thought (as it is e.g. for “analytic” thinkers), but has flesh and blood is evidenced by the following: “The Concept is [actual] Self-Consciousness that is recognized … and has its own self-certainty in the Other free Self-Consciousness … possessing its Truth just in the Other.” And: “It is only in the Life of a People … that the Concept has its complete reality” (Phenomenology 212).

          • 16. What is “ABSOLUTE SCIENCE” or “SCIENCE” for short?

          In brief (i) “Absolute Science” is the complete knowledge that the Absolute or Being has of itself, in and as Man. It is the knowledge of the process of its own becoming, which has three stages, treated by three distinct sciences—the Sciences of Logic, Nature, and Spirit—that together constitute One Science. (ii) “Absolute” Science is “Science” (episteme), i.e. knowledge in the strict and true sense of the word. That is, and in contrast to “empirical or relative science,” Science is presuppositionless and self-grounded and therefore contains cognitions that are certain, universal, and necessary, hence eternal and as such valid for all time (cf., “Philosophy [i.e. Absolute Science] is timeless comprehension,” Enc. §247 zus). (iii) It is true knowledge in that it is a “system” and “systematic,” i.e., all of its aspects or parts are interconnected and interdependent, and this through a single method, viz., the Concept, and single principle, viz., the Idea.

          • 17. How in brief does Hegel’s “System of Science” work? How is it able to comprehend the whole of Being?

          (i) In essence, the student or Consciousness—who/which is potentially the Absolute—first overcomes the deception that it is “finite” and excluded from Being, and achieves the realization that it is Infinite and All Reality—that is, it elevates itself to, and becomes, Reason itself! Then, occupying this position it immediately recognizes that everything that it formerly took to be “Being,” must in reality be only a “moment” of Being, i.e. a moment or stage in the becoming of Itself. Then in “systematic” fashion and in accord with the method of the Concept, it organizes these moments in accordance with their proximity or remoteness to Itself—i.e. to Absolute Unity, Knowing, and Freedom. Hence, we begin with Nature or exteriority and end with Spirit or interiority—that is, with Space, Matter, Gravity, Life, and Consciousness, and end with the State, Spirit, Absolute Knowledge and Logic. (ii) Also note that Consciousness must start with the Phenomenology, for if it did not it would not be in possession of the “all reality” principle, which alone allows for a comprehension of the whole. It would only be a finite knowing (which is characteristic of the “empirical sciences,” physics, biology etc)—which is no true knowing at all; and would remain permanently in the “natural, uneducated perspective.” (iii) Further, it would never then be certain it knows the Object itself and not just a copy or “re-presentation” of it (as it would be “for us” only). This means that if “Being” was not in some sense identical with the “Self” or “Knower,” then again it could not be certain that the object is known as it is in itself! Thus, for Knowledge to be even possible, the “Knower” must also be the “Known” (cf., The Absolute Concept is the principle that: “Knowing and the Object Known are the same”—as Aristotle too held). (See Essay 6)

      • 18. What in Hegel’s view is the value of the empirical “sciences”? Do they provide “knowledge” of Reality? Of Nature and Man?

      (i) Strictly speaking they do not provide genuine knowledge of Reality, that is, if viewed in dis-connection with Science (Philosophy). To be true knowledge, according to Hegel, their universals—forces, laws, genera etc—must first be translated into the Concept and then incorporated into Science. Since the true is the whole, to know anything adequately means to know it and its place in the context of the dynamic-living whole of which it is a part; a whole, moreover, that exhibits the becoming of Spirit. What empirical “science” regards as real, self-subsistent beings, Science knows to be only ideal “moments” of this single whole. (ii) Further, if Hegel is correct, the human sciences operate with a completely erroneous concept of Man, who for them, as a mere part of and thus subordinate to Nature, is only a physical, chemical, biological and psychological being, and not Infinite Spirit. (iii) On the other hand, the sciences are indispensable for Science, i.e., for the “concrete” Sciences of Nature and Spirit. For they provide the content or matter that will be given true scientific form by the Concept which will translate and order this content in accord with the necessary sequence of its inner determinations; for “Science,” Hegel avers, is nothing other than “a rationally based succession of phenomena … containing and revealing what Reason [or the Idea] is.”[i] (iv) Also since, according to Hegel the Idea alone is Truth (and Being per se), which alone can be Science’s object and concern, only that portion of the content of the “sciences” (drawn from the empirical domain) which contains and is expressive of the Idea or an essential aspect of it, will be of interest to Science and find a place within it.

      • 19. If they do not as such possess true knowledge, why do the empirical sciences have so much authority?

      (i) Mainly because, up until this time, there has been nothing to challenge them or contest their status as “Science” or Knowledge (in large measure due to the hegemony in philosophy of analytic “philosophy” in the preceding century). (ii) Also because of the “success” of Technology, which for most people, “scientist” and layperson alike, passes for genuine knowledge and Science. That e.g., relativity and quantum mechanics are successful in applying their theories and formulae to solve “practical-technological” problems in the “real world” is no proof and does not mean that they are in possession of a true understanding of the nature of space, time and matter—something which can be obtained only through the Idea and the Concept (see Essay 11). As to the question of, How empirical “science” is to be integrated into Science the answer is, as said, by means of The Concept—which means that in the new millennium there will be a great demand for Master Scientist’s, i.e., those who have mastered the Concept. (For more on this see Essays 6 and 5)

      • 20. Does Hegel indeed say that Philosophy is Over? —That it has reached its goal of becoming Science in his own System of Science?

      Yes. (i) This is equivalent to the question, Did Hegel claim to know the Truth, i.e., the whole of Truth?—(a claim that no other philosopher, past or present, ever made, including Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, and Spinoza). The evidence seems to speak for itself: “The Absolute Idea [which is in Hegel’s possession] alone is Being, imperishable Life, self-knowing Truth, and is all Truth” (Science of Logic 824). (ii) It is precisely as a result of his discovery of the Truth that Hegel declares that philosophy as such is over—in the sense of having been completed or become Science. First, there are his statements in the History of Philosophy such as, “It may seem as if this progression [of philosophies in time] were to go on into infinity, but it has an absolute end in view [that is, the final Philosophy, Hegel’s own].”[i] Then, Hegel’s remarks at the close of the Phenomenology: “Spirit, therefore, having won the Concept, displays its existence and movement in this ether of its life and is Science.” As noted before “Science” or “Absolute Knowledge,” Hegel declares, is the singular goal of History—which was reached in the final pages of the Phenomenology (see Essay 5). (iii) As for the question, What of all philosophy done after Hegel? Or What is left for philosophy to do, if anything?—we refer the reader again to Essay 5.

      • 21. What is “true philosophy” and what is its opposite, “non-philosophy” (“Unphilosophie”), according to Hegel?

      (i) True philosophy for Hegel is any philosophy that at a minimum seeks after Truth and Knowledge (both in capitals) and that aims at a comprehension of “Being” or the whole of What is, and in accordance with rational principles or in a systematic way. (ii) Thus, any philosophy that does not have these objectives and features is in truth a type of “non-philosophy.” And since it believes that such Knowledge and Truth is impossible for us to attain, only “opinion” remains to us. Such “philosophies” are much like the specialized empirical sciences in that they limit themselves to a “single” problem or issue and avoid concern with Being as a whole. Further, their denial of Truth renders them impotent in the important battle with Nihilism, indeed their “postmodern” viewpoint causes them to drift easily into forms of “relativism” and into agendas of “post-philosophy.” Hegel would regard all contemporary types of philosophy as “non-philosophy”—including “analytic philosophy,” pragmatism, deconstructionism, and existentialism (“phenomenology” is a special case; it does aspire to Science and Absolute Knowledge but never attains it, due to its privileging of Intuition [= non-unity] over Concept [= unity]).

      • 22. Finally, there are other key issues that must be discussed. For example, Is Hegel is a realist rather than an idealist? Is his System fallibilist? And, Is man irremediably finite?

      These are important issues especially given the fact that many Hegel scholars today contend that Hegel’s System is realist, fallibilist, and finitist (with respect to Man), which on our view is an egregious misrepresentation to the public of Hegel’s actual position. To stimulate discussion, we will cite the following powerful evidence in support of our view:

      1. Is Hegel a Realist or an Idealist? By his own admission he is an idealist, and an absolute idealist to boot. (i) As we saw above, at Enc. §160 zus, Hegel declares: “The general standpoint of the Concept is indeed that of Absolute Idealism, etc.” And in the Science of Logic’s Remark 2, On Idealism: “The proposition that the finite is ideal constitutes idealism. The idealism of philosophy consists … in recognizing that the finite has no true being. [Note] Every philosophy is essentially an idealism [!]” (154-55). The fact is that no philosopher has ever been a “realist”—for in its pure form it makes knowledge as well as morality impossible, holding that nature or the world—space, time, matter—is self-grounded and exists in its own right out of relationship with Spirit or consciousness. If this were true, not only would knowledge of the world be impossible (as we would not be able to know it as it is in itself, only as it is for us), we would not even be aware of its existence! This, because we could have no access to what exists “in itself” and out of relation with us—as both Kant and Fichte wryly remarked: “You fix a ‘gulf’ between the object and yourself, and then you expect that the object’s properties will somehow simply ‘migrate’ into your soul or mind?! Ha!” And of course if the world truly had an absolute Being then I would be nothing more than a determined modification of it, and no freedom or morality would be possible.
      (ii) Of course, Hegel’s Idealism does not to say that Nature is an illusion or imaginary, à la Berkeley, but rather holds—and offers rigorous demonstration—that it is the being or self-subsistence of Nature that is to be regarded as an illusion. (For more see Essays 5 and 11).

      2. Is Man irremediably finite? Or is he inherently infinite? In addition to what we saw in the previous (i), we have the following evidence that supports the latter alternative. (i) “[Logic and the whole of philosophy] has merely to show that the finite is not, i.e. is not the truth, but merely a transition and an emergence to something higher … the mind wrests itself out of the progress to infinity, frees itself absolutely from limitation, from its Other, and so attains to absolute being-for-self, and makes itself truly infinite” (Philosophy of Spirit §386, and zusatz). (ii) “[F]inite Spirit is immediately a contradiction, an untruth. This struggling with the finite, the overcoming of limitation, constitutes the stamp of the Divine in the human Spirit and forms a necessary stage of the eternal Spirit. … It is Infinite Spirit itself that presupposes itself as Soul and as Consciousness, thereby making itself finite; and it is Infinite Spirit that equally transforms into a moment of itself this self-made presupposition, this finitude […]” (§441, zus).

      3. Is Hegel’s System of Science fallibilist? (i) How can a standpoint that claims to have achieved “absolute Truth” and “all of Truth” be at the same time capable of error or, in certain respects, false? True knowledge and error are incompatible; for such fallibilist “knowledge” would be only “opinion.” (ii) The point of origin of the “fallibilist” view is the fact that parts of Hegel’s System contain the findings/theories of the outmoded and “incorrect” sciences of Hegel’s time. But what has to be recognized is that it is Absolute Scienceand the absolute Truth of the eternal Idea and Concept—that has primacy and is authoritative for the sciences, and not vice versa. The latter are evaluated on the basis of the Idea, not the reverse. Hence so far as these “outdated” sciences contain and exhibit the nature of the Idea, they are yet true. Again, in the interface between the two it is not experience or empirical science “but rather the necessity of the Concept that must emerge as the foundation,” as Hegel says at Enc. §246 (and cf., §9). (iii) Lastly, as regards the famous alleged “blunder” Hegel made in his 1801 Dissertation On the Orbits of the Planets, it only requires to be pointed out that this view of his was held prior to his achievement of Absolute Knowledge (c. 1807).

      §23. If all of this is true concerning the sciences and philosophy, what are some of the consequences for us today?
      In that they are falsely believed to be genuine Science, providing true, and the only true, Knowledge of Reality possible, the sciences are doing incalculable harm to society—and this despite the vast technological benefits they provide. For they keep it in the bondage of ignorance, as immersed in the Old Paradigm and its false concepts of Man, Nature and their relation to each other. Reason dictates that they should not have the authority they now enjoy; that their status should be commensurate with their true nature. Thus what is required is a complete overhaul of the sciences and of philosophy as well, since it disseminates a false idea of what philosophy really is as well as pernicious nihilism and relativism, and hinders Science’s or True Philosophy’s entrance into the world. In particular, it should stop calling itself “philosophy,” that is, insofar as it renounces Knowledge and Truth, and be forced to admit what it really is, viz., “non-philosophy.”


      V.  ON THE MEANING OF HISTORY AND THE PRESENT

      • 24. In light of all of this, How is Human History as a whole and in its divisions to be understood, particularly the period from History’s end to the present time, that of Postmodernity?

      As said, to understand the meaning of the present age and our crisis today we must view the present in the context of the whole and in its relation to the Past—for we, our consciousness, is the Result of all that has gone before. Moreover, we must view it in accordance with the concept of History according to which it signifies the course of education of the World Spirit’s or Being’s progress to Self-Knowledge, Infinity and Freedom, in Man. There are several ways to divide History, all of which contribute insight into its basic meaning. In general, Hegel compares the course of History with the stages of an individual’s life—from childhood, to adolescence, to manhood, to full maturity.

      1. The most basic division is into Two Stages. (A) The first stage extends from History’s beginning to its end, where Being achieved full Self-Knowledge in Hegel or Science, circa 1807. (B) The principle determinative of the second and final stage of History derives from the simple reflection that, given the goal of History has been reached in Hegel, i.e., in individual form, what logically follows is that the Knowledge and the Good it involves be disseminated to the whole race and thus come to exist in universal form. This global dissemination and elevation of all peoples into Knowledge is the singular Task of this “post” Historical phase; which, incidentally has no end as there can be only one ontological end; and in that “time” has ended, there is thus only Eternity or the Eternal Now of the One Life and the One Consciousness. This “two-stage” division reflects the grand theme of the shift from the “God outside” to the “God inside” (See Essay 1).
      2. When we see that “(B),” this second “post” history phase—viz., Post-modernity—is itself divided, we then have a three-part division. This is in accord with the fact that the fulfillment of postmodernity’s Task of the global communication of Absolute Knowing necessarily demands the complete destruction of the Old Paradigm and its God-Man-World concepts, and at once its replacement by the New Paradigm and its concepts. Hence we have a “negative” postmodern period followed by a “positive” one.
      3. However when we recall that, for Hegel, there are strictly speaking not one but two end-points at which History’s goal is reached—namely, in Religion, in the Judeo-Christian God-Man or Messiah (Jesus Christ) and in Philosophy-become-Science (in Hegel)—the division of History then becomes a four-fold one: from its beginning to Christ (= Ancient Period), then to Hegel (Medieval-Modern Periods), then to negative Postmodernity and finally positive Postmodernity.
      4. Hegel’s Philosophy of Right and Philosophy of History yield a further perspective on History. According to the former we have a three-fold division where in the Oriental stage one is free, in the Greco-Roman some are free, and in the Modern-Christian-European all are free; while the latter indicates a four-fold one which is as follows: The Oriental is the stage of Spirit’s/Being’s childhood, where the one substance is the principle; The Greek that of its adolescence, where beautiful individuality is the principle; The Roman that of Spirit’s manhood, with formal legal personality as its principle; and finally, The Christian, Germanic, European that of Spirit’s Old Age but qua perfect maturity and strength, and whose principle is infinite subjectivity that embraces both universality and particularity.
      5. Now, by putting together this division with the previous ones, and by simplifying the Ancient Period, we have a final Five-part division. As said, History depicts the stages in the education of the One Spirit, a movement that begins with Spirit still immersed in Nature and climaxes with the Free Spirit that is perfectly reconciled to and One with Nature. In essence, the move is from The One as Unconscious of itself, the undifferentiated One (the Natural Spirit: Oriental, Greek, and Roman up to the God-Man), to the One as Two, i.e. as Conscious of an Other, as divided within itself, and alienated from itself, to the One as having “overcome” its condition of Division (Entzweiung), or self-opposition, and now fully Self-Conscious as Spirit and in full possession of its Infinite Being. Spirit’s “curriculum” is thus the following:(i) The Ancient Period: Spirit’s overall Task here is to separate itself from Nature and discover the depths of its interior life; this begins to happen with the religion of the Hebrews and their “supra-natural” concept of the Divine and then with the Greeks, with Socrates’ discovery of subjective freedom, individuality and thought, albeit still under the principle of natural sensuous beauty. The “first” end of History, the advent of The One Consciousness, the overcoming of Nature and all multiplicity, was reached in the Judeo-Christian “God-Man,” with the supplanting of polytheism by monotheism (the Many by the One) and Truth qua Mythology by Truth qua Revelation. With the principle of the infinite worth of the human subject, slavery gradually disappeared. What remained to be done was (a) to elevate Faith and Vorstellen into Reason, Science and The Concept, and (b) imbue the secular world and its arrangements with Reason, i.e., with the Christian Principle of the God-Man or unity of substance and subject, human and divine, and Universal and Individual; and to unite the spiritual and secular spheres. —The Lesson of the next two periods.
        (ii) The Medieval Period: At first, Consciousness, as a result of the disappearance of the God-Man from the immediate World, places the new principle, concentrated in God (the One), into a “second world” above this one, resulting in Reality’s split into a Here and a Beyond. But the truth is that there is no “Other World,” this being only a Vorstellen; i.e., God qua Christ, according to Hegel, did not actually “leave” the present Reality for some other place, but remained and remains here in the center, as the One true and Only Reality, and as Spirit that contains all that is within Itself.[i] Consciousness had gradually to overcome this split and the alienation it implied since its Principle is unity; this required that the two authorities, Church and State, become reconciled. Of importance is that this “split” or division—of consciousness and Being, first experienced and overcome in Christ—is an essential stage in the education of every Spirit.
        (iii) The Modern Period: Its task in essence was precisely that of (a) the overcoming of this “split,” and (b) the comprehension of the Christian “God-Man” principle by Reason and the achievement of Absolute Science, in which the World-Mind acquired full scientific self-consciousness—the “second” and final end of History. It also accomplished (c) the unification of the Two World’s—the secular and sacred—of the prior period, but presently this is not yet universally known or experienced (hence our Task!); and as well gave full due to both principles of the State, viz., the universal (in the laws and institutions of freedom) and the individual or particular (in the recognition of her needs and wants).(iv) Negative Postmodernity: As said, the end of History and the GOOD involved with it had to be universalized. This can only be accomplished by the negation of the Old Paradigm which regarded God and Heaven as Beyond and not here—that is, in order to make them Here, and only Here. This necessarily led to a period of uncertainty, disorientation and meaninglessness, and ushered in “nihilism,” and the “death of God”—which forces the move to the next and final period. It is “final” because once everyone is brought into the Truth and a means has been put in place—namely the Educational-Cultural System—that enables all succeeding generations to come into the Truth—then there is nothing that remains to be done—except celebrate!(v) Positive Postmodernity: It is only, as Nietzsche said, when the energies of the given generation are strong enough to collectively “invert” the old values—as, we believe, is the case with the present generation[i]—that nihilism can be confronted and effectively overcome and the amazing New World and new paradigm realized. The historical turning-point that signaled the transition from negative to positive Postmodernity was the tumultuous decade of the 1960s. There are three points to make.

        (a) As said, since the End of history—Man’s/Being’s highest consciousness—has already been attained in the Old World—in Christ, then in Fichte-Schelling-Hegel—and since this is an achievement that is unsurpassable, it follows that all that We in the New World can do (and need do) is repeat or equal this achievement, viz., the re-discovery of infinite subjectivity, the Absolute I, or “the God within” (but now on a universal/global scale). Of course a pre-condition for undertaking this Task is that the existentially felt Need to do it be present. And this is something that can only happen in the third and last period of a world-historical Spirit’s (such as America’s) development, viz., that of the “Cognitive” or “Intellectual,” when the Spirit quits the outer world and turns inward (“insich-gehen”) to contemplate its Deed and acquire Knowledge of Itself. —(It is the primary function of Television—the repository of our collective memory in objective form—to serve the Spirit in its work of “Re-collection” (Erinnerung) and inwardization—it’s not by chance that TV’s advent coincides exactly with Spirit’s entry into “positive” postmodernity and its final “Intellectual” and Knowledge-seeking phase.)— Thus it is that before the “Need” for Self-Knowledge can arise or be felt, the Spirit must develop itself outwardly, first, by re-fashioning nature in its own image (its initial “Agrarian” phase), and second, by consolidating itself e.g. by overcoming natural divisions within itself (e.g., The Civil War), and only then entering into History (and its “Military” phase) and taking on, overcoming, and assimilating the previous world-historical Spirit (viz., the Germanic[ii]) and its wealth and achievements. This “Intellectual” or knowledge-seeking period began, as mentioned, after the Second World War (the end of its Military phase), a view shared by William Barrett among others.

        (b) It was the “counter-culture” of the (50s and) 60s that decisively inaugurated History’s final process of the “negation of the negation” and History’s entry into Affirmation, that is, the “total affirmation of all things” = Kingdom Come or Foundation. —(Re: the “negation of negation:” the “first negation” was the negation of the Old God and meaning that issued in “negative, nihilistic postmodernity;” the “second negation” is simply the act/activity of negating this first negation and its result, viz., negative postmodernity and its Meaning (and Value-) lessness; which results in the New God (or God-Self) and New Meaningqua Total Affirmatism and the final end of all negativism, negation and negativity—that positive postmodernity is to bring in.)— Now, the “vanguard” of the counter-culture (the Spirit’s self-awareness) saw clearly—was “hip to the fact”—that the Old Paradigm and its God-concepts, values, etc, were “played out,” had been negated and were no longer sustaining and, further, that the materialist/consumerist values that took their place (for an apparent lack of anything better) were vacuous and self-deceptive—thus with unrestrained enthusiasm and absolute confidence it threw itself into the task of satisfying its Need for something higher, deeper and of true substance, namely, The Truth, the Absolute I, the God Within.

        (c) To answer this Need the Spirit drew readily from the sources that were made available just for this purpose. Namely from (i) the Arts—and music especially. In the “hippie” vanguard it was the Beatles above all who were the principal Voice of the new Spirit and for the expression of both its pain/needs (cf., Eleanor Rigby) and Self-Revelations-—it was the music of absolute freedom and absolute I (e.g., “now that you know who you are, what do you want to be? Baby you’re a rich man too!” etc etc). (ii) The Spiritual Literature (and marriage) of the East and West; especially the writings of e.g. Alan Watts and Aldous Huxley, and those of the Eastern “gurus” and “masters,” such as Sri Aurobindo and Meher Baba that appeared on every coffee table—all of them unmistakably containing and disseminating, in their own way, the God-Self and “We are God” teaching. (iii) Mind altering/Consciousness expanding drugs, such as hashish, mescaline and LSD, which provided direct evidence and experience of “the God within” or an Absolute I, that is, of a larger Self that underlay one’s “normal” isolated empirical self or “ego” (Note: this is in no way intended to encourage the irresponsible use of these potentially extremely dangerous drugs or chemicals, as my other writings have made very clear). Lastly (iv) Philosophy itself. The new Spirit, with its insatiable thirst for Truth, turned once again to Hegel and his writings (long neglected, because the Need for them was not there yet) and in high spirits slowly began applying itself to the difficult yet all-important task of penetrating their meaning and thereby raising itself to the level of the previous Spirit; thus it was only then that the “Hegel Society of America” could and did appear—i.e., after Hegel’s total eclipse and banishment since the turn of the century by the hegemony of analytic and linguistic (non-) philosophy.

        The decades after the 60s and the explosive advent of positive postmodernity, the 70s, 80s and 90s, were mainly “reactionary,” the Spirit needed to “recover from its excesses,” its quantum leap and abundance of revelations (the “shock” administered to the Old status quo), and adjust itself accordingly. It is, as it is said, a matter of “two steps forward and one step back.” The early 90s, with the Clinton era, was the start of the next step forward, etc. The advent of the new millennium—and the year and symbol “2000”—had, and will continue to have, a positive renewing and energizing effect on the Spirit that is slowly but surely making its way into Foundation, helping it in its necessary transformational work.

        In sum, the meaning of the present time is that we stand at a Crossroad or Juncture, at the unique point where the Old has already been “in and for itself” negated, and as we cannot go back to it—for we see it cannot satisfy the needs of our Spirit—we are thus compelled to go forward. We are in the midst of negating this negation, i.e., of establishing the New immanent Meaning that will replace the Old lost meaning and collectively bring in and realize Kingdom Come. —That is, by first—and this is the only way it can happen—reaching “critical mass” in a relatively small group and vanguard, which then will lead to a “chain reaction” that will pave the way for the “instantaneous” mass/global transformation and realization to occur. Hence, the mandate for the present age is precisely this: That we do all that we can to hasten the process and arrive at the glorious goal as quickly as possible and with the least damage and trauma to our children and our brothers and sisters—our truly beloved and sacred race.

        * * *

        We are now in a position to better understand the nature of our present crisis and how to deal with it. Our problem then is—given Hegel and our general thesis is correct—that History has ended and this Amazing new healed world of elohim or gods and goddesses or amazing people is about to explode on the scene, is agonizing to give birth to itself—but it cannot! More. We are about to switch over from the Old Paradigm and Consciousness to the New Consciousness, which involves a totally new concept of who we are, of the Self, but none of the venues of the cultural mainstream—science, religion, education, medicine, psychiatry, and the media—are teaching the “New Self” or giving it out! This is the main problem, and to have solved it, is to have solved every problem! The point is, if you don’t know who you are you must have an erroneous, distorted view of yourself and of everything and everyone else; for you are in your dysfunctional “false self” and are thus “naturally” predisposed to feel threatened by the next person or group that is different from you—but in reality is ultimately the same as you! —And, failing efforts to assimilate their views to yours, you may try to “negate” them (cf. “9/11”).

        The problem is that we are at this unique point in history—and not an earlier one. We have reached maturity, the point where History is over and Man now knows (implicitly) the Truth about himself and his creation. This awareness only has to be refined and universalized. Moreover, if one does not on some level know that one is living in “Post-History,” one cannot possibly understand what is going on in the world today, let alone what needs to be done! And the sad fact is that many nations are still “living in the Middle Ages”! —though our “Global-Technological-Village” is compelling them to catch up and join us in the postmodern Present. So we are ready to give birth to this amazing world of Consciousness but lack the appropriate MEANS to effect this change, that is, smoothly and with the least trauma and complications. The major institutions at the base of the world-culture and consciousness, at present, do not allow or encourage it as they are still mired in and operating under the Old Concepts and Paradigm, with its false, truncated concepts of Man, the Self, and God. Therefore the antidote can only be A GLOBAL CHANGE IN CONSCIOUSNESS! Education—in all its forms—thus is the key to the solution.

                        The other point to recognize, what cannot be overstated, is that this Birth will happen; and will happen whether anyone likes it or not. For it cannot be prevented—HISTORY, the Burden and Momentum of the Events of all previous ages, has seen to that. The only question is, Will it be a smooth or agonizing birth? Will it happen sooner or later? That is, How much damage will attend it? At what cost? Can we minimize the number of casualties—the “9/11’s,” ethnic cleansings, suicide bombings, the injustices—the unhappiness, pain, dislocation, grief, suffering, hatred and violence? —The questions, What has to be done? and, What can we do? will be addressed in the section following the next.

        NOTES

        [1]              “Metaphysics” is the study/knowledge of Being as such, of the Whole of What is—particularly of the Essence of Being and of All Being. Hence, physics, psychology, politics, etc, in that they study only a “part” and not the Whole of Being or What is, are very limited, incomplete, and one-sided in scope; and only admit of perspectives that are such.

        [1]              In this book “Man” with a capital “m” is an abbreviation for “man and woman.”

        [1]              For more on the received view of “postmodernity/ postmodernism” see From Modernism to Postmodernism: An Anthology, L.E. Cahoone editor (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995).

        [1]              See Alan White’s Within Nietzsche’s Labyrinth for more on “nihilism” and its types.

        [1]              Enc. §247 zus. That is, “as [Christ’s] life, passion, and resurrection.”

        [1]              Compare Christ’s statement, “Before Abraham was, I AM”; where “I = “Consciousness” and “AM” = “Being,” hence an expression that signifies the inseparability of the two, and the Truth about Man.

        [1]              See especially Alan Watts’ The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, passim, and M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled, esp. the last part, passim.

        [1]              The Philosophy of History, Sibree 103.

        [1]              Ibid, 342.

        [1]              Phenomenology of Spirit, 492-3, italics added.

        [1]              Philosophy of Right §22 and zus.

        [1]              Phenomenology 487.

        [1]              Philosophy of Nature, §258, remark, I, 231.

        [1]              Philosophy of Spirit, §570, 301.

        [1]              For example, Stan Grof’s, The Adventure of Self-Discovery, R.D. Laing’s, The Divided Self and The Politics of Experience, and Peter Breggin’s, Toxic Psychiatry.

        [1]              See Phenomenology 486 (modified).

        [1]              Philosophy of Spirit, §577.

        [1]              Phenomenology 476 (see also Philosophy of Religion III 98).

        [1]              Philosophy of History 324 (abridged).

        [1]              See Kaufmann’s Hegel: Reinterpretation, Texts, and Commentary, 359.

        [1]              —Or “self-sustaining.” See in this regard Plato’s famous Seventh Letter.

        [1]              On page 213 of the famous novel by Robert Heinlein the word “grok” is defined. It means “to understand [a thing] so thoroughly that you merge with it and it merges with you … ‘grok’ means identically equal … [It is the lesson of] modern physics, that observer interacts with observed through the process of observation. ‘Grok’ means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry” (New York: Ace Books, 1961, 1987).

        [1]              T.M. Knox 23.

        [1]              Vol. I, 35. Also cf. I, 108-9.

        [1]              Compare Eph 1,23.

        [1]              And this primarily as a result of the energies released in the 60s and the momentum building since then—the generations of Europeans, from Hegel’s time to today, that is, the “Old World,” could not do it, for various reasons (cp., “when the Owl of Minerva … paints its grey in grey then a form of life cannot be rejuvenated etc”), only the “New World” and Spirit can, for “it is America,” as Hegel said, “that is the land of the future, etc.”

        [1]              The word “Germanic” includes Germany, England and France (and others) and does not make reference to Germany alone.

      ============= ====================

      [i]               And this primarily as a result of the energies released in the 60s and the momentum building since then—the generations of Europeans, from Hegel’s time to today, that is, the “Old World,” could not do it, for various reasons (cp., “when the Owl of Minerva … paints its grey in grey then a form of life cannot be rejuvenated etc”), only the “New World” and Spirit can, for “it is America,” as Hegel said, “that is the land of the future, etc.”

      [ii]               The word “Germanic” includes Germany, England and France (and others) and does not make reference to Germany alone.

      [i]               Compare Eph 1,23.The Concept is both Knowing/Knowledge and the means for attaining Knowledge. One must thus understand what exactly “Knowledge” is according to Hegel (an issue that deserves much more attention in Hegel studies). One aid is Hegel’s view that “Reason and Love are essentially the same”—Reason being an equivalent for Knowledge—in that they both seek to see and find themselves in an Other. The term “grok”—from the novel Stranger in a Strange Land
      [i]
      —may also be helpful in getting at the nature of the Concept or Knowledge. To “grok” something is to fully immerse oneself in the thing to the point where one literally (not figuratively) becomes the thing itself, and thus knows it “from the inside out” or in all its depths. Also important is that since the Idea is Being itself, once one knows the Idea one also essentially knows “every-thing,” i.e., all of the Idea’s expressions. (The difference between the Idea, the Concept, and Spirit will receive further clarification in the Essays).

—Or “self-sustaining.” See in this regard Plato’s famous Seventh Letter.

[i]               Philosophy of History 324 (abridged).

[ii]               See Kaufmann’s Hegel: Reinterpretation, Texts, and Commentary, 359.

[i]               Phenomenology 476 (see also Philosophy of Religion III 98).

  1. [i]               See Phenomenology 486 (modified).[ii]               Philosophy of Spirit, §577.
  2. [i]               Phenomenology 487.[ii]               Philosophy of Nature, §258, remark, I, 231.[iii]              Philosophy of Spirit, §570, 301.[iv]              For example, Stan Grof’s, The Adventure of Self-Discovery, R.D. Laing’s, The Divided Self and The Politics of Experience, and Peter Breggin’s, Toxic Psychiatry.

    [i]               The Philosophy of History, Sibree 103.

    [ii]               Ibid, 342.

    [iii]              Phenomenology of Spirit, 492-3, italics added.

    [iv]              Philosophy of Right §22 and zus.

Enc. §247 zus. That is, “as [Christ’s] life, passion, and resurrection.”

[ii]               Compare Christ’s statement, “Before Abraham was, I AM”; where “I = “Consciousness” and “AM” = “Being,” hence an expression that signifies the inseparability of the two, and the Truth about Man.

[iii]              See especially Alan Watts’ The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, passim, and M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled, esp. the last part, passim.

ii]               In this book “Man” with a capital “m” is an abbreviation for “man and woman.”

[iii]              For more on the received view of “postmodernity/ postmodernism” see From Modernism to Postmodernism: An Anthology, L.E. Cahoone editor (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995).

[iv]              See Alan White’s Within Nietzsche’s Labyrinth for more on “nihilism” and its types.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s