HEGEL AND THE SOLUTION TO OUR POSTMODERN WORLD CRISIS:
From Nihilism to Kingdom Come
Dr. Ken Foldes, Fulbright Scholar
[Part III] Introductory Essay. Three: What We Can Do. Overview, Books, and Notes.
WHAT WE CAN DO, WHAT HAS TO BE DONE?
In light of all the preceding, what we have to do in essence is to shift from the Old Paradigm and Consciousness to the New Consciousness, which means we have to make the Birthing process of the “new humanity” as smooth and as easy as possible. Therefore we need above all to obtain an adequate and thorough understanding of Hegel—which is the main purpose of the Essays—and to seriously debate the Issues voiced in the previous sections in order to allow the New paradigm to come through. We need to realize Absolute Knowledge and the Concept and thus be in a position to successfully debate with others (esp. authorities, experts, teachers and leaders) and via Reason persuade them as to the Truth, which will help us to reach “critical mass” and advent Foundation. To reach “critical mass” what we need above all is more “Gods” or “Great People” in the world. This is fastest way to effect change. To do this major changes must occur in the dominant cultural institutions of society. First we will review the problems they harbor, then indicate some ways we can change them.
But before we do so we ought to take a sober, unflinching look at what we are up against, for our Task involves difficulties that may seem insurmountable. In the first place, a certain consensus must be reached in the Hegel community itself as to, for example, what Science is, and then perhaps substantial agreement among all philosophers that e.g. philosophy has indeed become Science. Then the scientific community must at some point in time come to acknowledge Science and coordinate its respective “sciences” with it, and then all other disciplines in academia must follow suit (to the extent that they are capable) and align themselves to its principle. Then national educational systems must align themselves to it, and lower and higher education must teach it, and hence governments must also acknowledge its truth. And finally all major religions must accept its teachings. Then there is the problem of how to get the masses or general public to understand Hegel—rather, the prior question is, do they have to understand Hegel? Or, can the Truth expressed in Hegel’s Philosophy/Science be accessed in more than one way? The brief answer to this, which is encouraging, is Yes. For one can access the Truth, as Hegel says, either through Reason or Faith (affirmation, will, etc). In fact we are all able to participate in the One Consciousness, in God or Spirit, because this is our essence, what we really are. In fact “education” is really nothing more than a process of replacing error with truth, of removing the ignorance or veils that prevent us from experiencing what already exists. It can be said that the non-philosopher/scientist knows the self-same Truth (his True Self) intuitively, while the Scientist also knows it discursively or conceptually.
The Task is not then as difficult as it may at first seem. The Need—for global healing, overcoming dysfunctional living, and accessing our True and Amazing Selves—is there. Furthermore, once “critical mass” is reached the final transformation will happen quite quickly. Again, History and Reality are ontologically complete, and Foundation, the One Consciousness, exists right now: it is the Only Reality. Our “postmodern” time is ripe for the inversion and birth to take place! People have simply to be made aware of it and the “shift” will happen of itself.
The Problems pertaining to:
The “Sciences” (of Nature and Man). They teach and perpetuate error and are perhaps the primary source of the same because of their great authority and status as the sole custodians of Truth and Knowledge. The problem is that (i) as they stand—i.e., unconnected to Science—they do not have and are not Knowledge, only opinion. That is, they are not “Science,” whose knowledge must be certain, universal, necessary, presuppositionless, self-grounded and valid for all time. More, to truly be Science and scientific their findings must be incorporated into True Science via the Concept. (ii) Their basic (unproven) assumptions and world-view are erroneous, especially their “naturalism” according to which only nature, the physical, material universe, exists; which implies that there is no soul, spirit, self, consciousness, or God—these being only “epiphenomenal.” Hence there is no foundation for values or morality, etc; these are only subjective. Moreover, their one-sided deterministic standpoint leads ineluctably to nihilism and relativism. And since biological life inevitably terminates in death or annihilation there can be no ultimate Meaning to existence and the universe. Indeed their evolutionary naturalism regards Man essentially as no more than a random accident of quantum mechanical perturbations, in no way necessary or essential to the universe, etc. (iii) Thus they dispense to the educated and uneducated Public a completely false “materialist, mechanistic and biological” concept of “Man”—which the other “sciences” are constrained to adopt—leading to a hopeless and pessimistic view of life. Instead they must teach that “Man” is a process towards “Spirit and God,” his true essence. Further, they are without the knowledge that Nature/matter is only “half” of the whole of what is, the other half being Spirit, the former being subordinate to the latter, which alone is the really real, and not matter or energy, etc etc.
They must be made to acknowledge all of this. The authority they command and enjoy should be just, that is, commensurate with the kind and value of the knowledge—or lack of knowledge—they possess. Perhaps at some point in the future there will be something to be known as “The Great Science Debates” where it will be settled once and for all which of its two contenders is truly Science.
Religion. The main problem, of course, is that the mainstream religions for the most part teach and disseminate the old false concept of God and thus of Man, i.e. their disjunction instead of their essential and indissoluble unity. This is especially egregious and reprehensible since most persons view religious institutions as the one venue they can rely on to obtain an adequate understanding of God, the Truth, their True Self and the highest things in general. Thus religions have to overhaul their concepts and doctrines and align them with the new true ones. The deficiencies of the form of Vorstellen, in which they present the Truth, must also be overcome.
Education. It is basically informed and ruled by the positive “sciences” and their radically false and inverted world view which gives matter primacy over consciousness. It is in a perpetual state of fragmentation and dis-unity that is due to its inability to achieve a consensus as to what the principal End and Goal of all education is—which can only be that of the actualization of the student’s True or God-Self. As a result there is no organic connection among departments and disciplines which, in any event, are all steeped in the Old Paradigm and its false concepts about Man, God, and the World. Further, it does the greatest harm to students and the young by instilling in them low or even zero self-esteem and a nihilist/relativist/materialist perspective on life that teaches they are totally insignificant as a meaningless outcome of random evolutionary processes occurring on a satellite within a minor star’s system located at the outpost-fringe of a typical spiral galaxy in a universe of galaxies numbering in the billions. Education therefore must be overhauled, re-aligned, and re-structured in accordance with Science and True Knowledge. Its primary purpose then being nothing other than to educate and elevate the next generation into the One Consciousness (or “Teliosity”) and prepare it for Foundation Living.
Philosophy. Philosophers—especially students of philosophy—need to turn their attention and efforts from “non-philosophy” and opinion to the study of True Philosophy or Absolute Science and Knowledge and Truth, as to what alone can meet the challenges of the present critical age. To be maximally effective in the transformation work that must be undertaken we need (i) to completely master Hegel, that is, The Concept and Absolute Science, for only then can we impact philosophy, science and religion, (ii) to produce and disseminate a new, updated “introduction to Science” or “phenomenology of Spirit,” containing the current ruling one-sided perspectives on reality (constituting “strongholds” that hinder the shift into Knowledge and Foundation) and their resolution into Absolute Knowing, thus facilitating the universal education process that is to occur and is now occurring, and (iii) to evaluate and incorporate the essentials of the empirical sciences into Science. Moreover, what “philosophy” really is is misrepresented in colleges, philosophy departments, and general culture, a situation that misleads the young and prevents them from seeing philosophy’s true value and importance. Almost universally, “non-philosophy” passes for Philosophy. There is no awareness that, e.g., philosophy is over and has become Absolute Science. What has to happen, and will happen in time, is that “philosophy departments” will be phased out and be replaced by “Departments of (Absolute) Science”—around which all other academic departments/disciplines will be organ-ized—and perhaps also by “Departments of the History of Philosophy.” As to, What activities should philosophers/scientists and students of the same then be engaged in, the answer is: (a) mastering the Concept or Absolute Knowing and (b) teaching Science and its method (the Concept) to students. As is evident the demand in the new millennium for teachers of Science and the Concept will be great.
The Media, TV, General Culture and Consciousness. Right now these simply reflect the Old Paradigm and false concepts which prevent our shifting into the New Consciousness. The media are controlled by people motivated mainly by base “commercial” values and not by concern for the improvement of Man and the World/Universe. In particular, the old associations and meanings attached to key words, concepts and phrases—such as those pertaining to Man, God, the meaning of life, values etc—must change and be aligned with the New Paradigm. This can happen simply by changing the discussion, that is, the content of the media, talk shows, conversation at the work place—from low consciousness topics and base and unimportant concerns, to the absolutely important and timely issues introduced above. This will facilitate and permit entry of the New Paradigm into the World-Consciousness.
WHAT WE CAN DO, INDIVIDUALLY AND COLLECTIVELY
Here are just a few suggestions. I’m sure readers will come up with more and better ones.
(i) As we said, the minimal first step is to “Change the Discussion or Conversation” that is going on around us. We need to discuss the Issues just presented, to first bring them to awareness and then debate them. This will make it easier for us to change as it will provide an outlet and pathway for the birthing impulse by letting people see that there is the hope of a “third alternative” to the present uncertainty, chaos and nihilism that is rooted in the limited “Old God vs. No God” options and scenario. Also evident is that the beginning of change must be at the “grass-roots” level, only later will it reach the larger institutions of college, science, government and mainstream religion, the entrenched authorities cannot be expected to change first.
One can start talking about these important issues in one’s circle of influence—at home, work, school, church, synagogue and temple. Talk to leaders such as professors, theologians, priests, rabbis, clerics (show them e.g. key “Church of John” scriptures, etc), initiate dialogue, start a group, a Church of John Bible study and so on. The need again is to help the various mainstream religions to overcome the deficiencies pertaining to their concepts of God and access the Truth and the total freedom and salvation that is implicit in their religions and doctrines. Historically, we are living in the Age of the Spirit or the Universal, which makes it easier to overcome doctrinal differences among the religions. One can start a sect within one’s own religion which teaches “Church of John” doctrines of the unity of God and Man as found in abundance, for example, in the writings of its Mystics and saints. The point and fact is that positive results speak volumes; healed, happy, and fully FUNCTIONING people will persuade and influence many (for “by their fruits you shall know them”). If you are a teacher or professor, discuss the subject and Issues with your students, give a class or course on it, give a paper e.g. at the APA, or organize a conference on its theme. Discuss it on the Internet, start a web site and share your ideas with others. If you are a television or radio producer devote a show or spot to these issues.
(ii) As said, most of all we need Gods or more Great People in the world. So you can make the “ultimate” and most vital resolve to become one yourself, i.e., to actualize your God-Self. This will help all of us to reach “critical mass” that much faster, and the chain reaction will occur which will take the rest of us into Foundation in a short time. To achieve this state one first needs the conviction and belief that it can be done. As Hegel says: “Faith in the greatness and power of your Spirit—is the fundamental condition and prerequisite for the attainment of Truth.” Also, the author—who is obviously convinced of the thesis—has found the following principle to be very potent: the more intensely one believes it, the faster one reaches the goal and belief transforms into certainty and Knowledge. You can begin to do this by re-programming your mind, replacing old concepts with new true ones, and through what has been called “Power or Priority Ethics” whereby, in essence, you make the “Universal” or Whole rather than the (or a) “Particular” your supreme and constant Goal, Purpose, or End. You do this when you make the goal of “becoming ONE,” that is to say, of actualizing your True God-Self and Foundation (= the God-Selves of everyone else) your ruling or “#1 Priority” and subordinate all else, as “#2,” under it as MEANS and in its service—such as relationships, education, career, money, and bodily needs and wants—these making up your “Ministry.” This act of unifying your whole being and all of your pursuits and affairs under one supreme thing, moreover, results in increased and, ultimately, absolute power (i.e., for the good)—which is your “birthright.” You can also begin to associate with like-minded persons, minimize contacts with those with old world values and life-styles, form groups for there is also power in numbers, immerse yourself in “transformational” literature (see list below), start a “Church of John” based on “third level biblical texts (see Essay 1; and the author’s forthcoming book).
(iii) Study Hegel and the System of Science, master the Concept and Absolute Knowing, and then teach it to others. If you’re a college student, ask for courses on Hegel and for professors who really know and can teach Hegel and Science. Stop reading, “commit to the flames,” all “non-philosophy” such as all varieties of “analytic” philosophy, pragmatism, existentialism, and deconstructionism—that is to say, only insofar as they reject Truth and Knowledge, are unsystematic, and promote relativism and nihilism, and as such are “part of the problem and not of the solution.” Such writings are simply a waste of time, counter-productive, and will damage one’s sense for and natural impulse towards the Truth. They are evidently out of touch with what is happening in the world and, moreover, are self-refuting as offering only partial one-sided perspectives on the whole. Leave them to themselves. They will have no audience and will self-eliminate in time.
(iv) In sum: all we need to do is to move everyone from point “A” to point “B”—via discussion, reasoning, and example (i.e. actions qua irresistible demonstrations of Love and Truth)—that is, to the point where everyone is able to “see and know” for themselves the Truth and their True Agape God-Self, and thus to Love each other and see beyond external differences to the Unity that we all share and are.
III. A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE ESSAYS
The essays in Part I aim to show what our problem is and the relevance of Hegel’s philosophy for solving it. Essay 1 focuses on Nietzsche’s and Hegel’s diagnosis of our condition and what is the true meaning of nihilism and the death of God, while Essay 2 attempts to tackle the issue of philosophy’s alleged disappearance and “end” while showing that a third option exists. Essay 3 discusses Schelling’s and Hegel’s concepts of the new immanent God that is to replace the Old God, while Essay 4 elucidates Fichte’s and Hegel’s political theories showing how absolute freedom, the object of both, is attainable and what the real significance of “the political” is. Essay 5 tries to show that Hegel does indeed claim that philosophy is completed having been transformed into Science, contrary to the view of many Hegel scholars writing today.
Part II illuminates various aspects and parts of Hegel’s System of Science. Essay 6 shows how the three parts of the System go together, the Logic providing the key to the riddle, while Essays 7, 8 and 9 discuss various parts of the Phenomenology against the background of Hegel’s predecessors and contemporaries. Essay 10 shows how the Philosophy of Right can only be properly grasped in the context of the whole System and that the Freedom whose realization the State makes possible is only attained in the spheres of Art, Religion and Philosophy, not in that of the State per se. And Essay 11 treats the first four categories of the Philosophy of Nature and tries to make clear how the transitions between them are to be understood, and also shows how Hegel’s account repudiates the Big-Bang theory of the universe’s origin.
Part III contains essays that illuminate the philosophies of Kant and Fichte, which are indispensable for an accurate grasp of Hegel’s standpoint. Essays 12 and 13 deal with Kant’s theoretical and practical philosophy respectively, the former giving a novel interpretation of Kant’s Critique via the metaphor of a “theater” which helps clear up much that would otherwise remain obscure in Kant’s teaching; while the latter shows how Kant’s practical theory succumbs to Hegel’s criticisms in the Phenomenology. Essays 15 and 16 illuminate the inner workings of two of Fichte’s most important Wissenschaftslehre’s (= “Doctrine of Science”), that of 1794 and 1804, in which the famous “regress to the Absolute I” figures prominently and which particularly helps clarify the main principle behind the Phenomenology and Hegel’s System as a whole. Essay 16 shows the relevance of Hegel’s thought to contemporary “analytic” philosophy, revealing that a major problem that concerns the analysts, that of “reference,” is in fact only a “pseudo-problem.”
The concluding essay, “The Manifesto of the New World,” appears courtesy of a group of Hegel scholars who wish to remain anonymous. It is included precisely because, written at the jubilant time of the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is a bold and concise statement of the entire vision that informs the present work. It should be noted, however, that the author does not necessarily agree with all of the ideas and particulars presented therein.
By way of further assistance, the reader with little exposure to philosophy may wish to begin first with essays 1, 2, 8, The Manifesto (especially), and perhaps 3 and 5, which are to a certain degree less challenging or “technical” than the others. —Again, it is recommended that one reads through each essay to the end, aiming at a grasp of the whole, and does not halt at a passage or section he or she has trouble understanding; and then reads it a second time.
Lastly, what follows is a list of books to assist readers who are so inclined in their work of transformation. It is by no means meant to be exhaustive.
A LIST OF “FIRST FOUNDATION” BOOKS
Alan Watts, All Works esp., The Book: The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are and Psychotherapy East and West.
G.W.F. Hegel, All Works esp., The Phenomenology of Spirit, Science of Logic, and Philosophy of History.
F.W.J. Schelling, All Works esp., Of the I as Principle of Philosophy and On University Studies.
J.G. Fichte, All Works esp., Early Philosophical Writings (tr. by Dan Breazeale)
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra.
Plato, The Republic and The Symposium.
Scott Peck, All Works esp., Beyond The Road Less Traveled and A World Waiting to be Born.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man.
Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land.
Aldous Huxley, Island.
Robert De Ropp, The Master Game: Pathways to Higher Consciousness, Beyond the Drug Experience.
Ram Dass, Journey of Awakening.
R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience and The Divided Self.
Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on A Course in Miracles and The Healing of America.
Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud and One Dimensional Man.
Norman O. Brown, Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History.
Thomas J.J. Altizer, The Gospel of Christian Atheism.
D.G. Leahy, Foundation: Matter The Body Itself.
Meher Baba, Discourses (excellent overall, but contains some errors, e.g. reincarnation).
Sydney Cohen, The Beyond Within.
Foundation of Inner Peace, A Course in Miracles.
Richard Bucke, Cosmic Consciousness.
John J. McDermott, Streams of Experience: Reflections on the History and Philosophy of American Culture.
William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience.
John Dewey and Arthur Bentley, Knowing and the Known.
Meister Eckhart, Meister Eckhart: A Modern Translation (tr. by Raymond Blakney).
The Bible, The Amplified Bible.
Buckminster Fuller, Anthology for A New Millennium (ed. by Thomas Zung)
Ken Wilber, Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution (first-rate, but deficient in Hegel).
Creflo Dollar, Receiving the Image of God (www.worldchangers.org, April 7-28 2002; a good example from contemporary mainstream Christianity of “Church of John” teachings on Man’s equality with God and the “God-Self”).
Gary Zukav, The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics.
Wayne Dyer, Your Sacred Self.
G.E.H. Palmer, The Philokalia.
Paul Davies, God and the New Physics.
Stan Grof, The Adventure of Self-Discovery and The Stormy Search for the Self.
Peter Breggin, Toxic Psychiatry.
Robert V. Rakestraw, Becoming Like God: An Evangelical Doctrine of Theosis.
Sean M. Kelly, Individuation and The Absolute: Hegel, Jung and the Path to Wholeness.
Glenn A. Magee, Hegel and The Hermetic Tradition.
Eckhart Tolle. The Power of Now.
James Redfield and Michael Murphy, God and the Evolving Universe.
Ken Foldes, The Jedi Handbook of Global Education.