About Me

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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Monday, August 27, 2007

Hegelian Dialectics, where is it when we need it?

What I loved about Hegel (1770) was the understanding that opposites are not merely "attractive" or repellent; opposites are generators: They create new things. This creativity is what makes a conversation fun, as opposed to simply a dialogue of replayed tapes and recitations of tiresome details. The "thesis" -- what one person says, anything -- leads to "anti-thesis" there is always the "other" thing -- and then as it swings back to the thesis, there is that new thing SYNTHESIS.

For Hegel, the conversation was about sin and salvation, earth and heaven, church and state, finite and infinite. The emphasis of Jesus on love as the chief virtue was because love can bring about the marriage of opposites. Love aids the conversation, the charism for A and B, for their co-existence, is what brings C into play. Bring it.

The Hegelian dialectic, in which human progress is generated by the meeting of opposites, has almost been forgotten. Synthesizing dynamics barely survived the stormy unilateralism, intolerance, and virulence of the Nazi/Communist Party. Where Hegel argued that each political movement is imperfect and therefore gives rise to a counter-movement, which, if it takes control, is also imperfect and therefore gives rise to yet another counter-movement, and so on to infinity, what actually occurred was imperfection locked into its errors -- because imperfections did not "give rise" to an effective means of balancing.

Where has the "conversation" gone? People speak in one-liners, and devote themselves to their things, telling us about the Stuff....Where is the dialogue upon which Civilization depends? Gone to gamers, gone to extremists.