In the third and final part of our series, we offer some examples of how Hegel's idea of absolute modernity as fulfillment of all ages is mirrored in later spiritual forms of modern age which, at the first sight, seem to be quite non-Hegelian.
In the second episode of our series on Hegel as an exemplar of the modern metaphysics, we go with some depth into main points of this metaphysics – the notion of encyclopedia, absolute knowledge and, above all, his attempt to abolish “the given” in identifying essence and appearance. We proceed to point out his relative convergence with Jacob Boehme in an idea of nature as the “body of God” and why this naturally follows from Hegel’s Science of Logic and why it is, rather than being an instance of Christian metaphysics, in reality its almost total inversion, ending up with the notion of absolute knowledge as absolutely secular “wisdom of the world”. Throughout we give remarks on Hegel’s influence and his congeniality with those who were apparent opponents. In the third episode this congeniality in disparity will be the focus of the discussion.
KT presents new series of podcasts on Hegel’s speculation as a prototype of modern metaphysics. It will include reflections on some remarkable spiritual forms of modernity and their disturbing congeniality with its “dark side” of totalitarian ideologies, mass warfare and nihilism. The podcast is partially inspired by Glenn Maggee’s book “Hegel and Hermetic Tradition” although with reservations due to author’s superficial understanding of some thinkers he considers Hegel’s predecesors, as we will point out in this episode. Hegel is unique in that he wanted to build the bridge between Tradition and modernity and not simply make a radical, yet superficial, cut more characteristic of Enlightenment and scientism, that are more in vogue nowadays mostly due to dominance of modern Anglo-Saxon culture and mass appeal it still holds. This is the common trait he shares with the greatest minds and artistic talents of past 200 hundred years, especially his German contemporaries and their late 19th and pre WWII successors. However, we’ll attempt to show that his unequivocal choice of modernity and its promise of ultimate resolution of the past in the ascension of man to identity with the creative “Spirit of the world” is precisely the “mark of Cain” that cannot be erased and is a taint shared by such diverse figures as Thomas Mann and Alfred Rosenberg; moreover, we’ll suggest that this is were the true spirit of modernity should be sought because, after all, the deviation is always primarily inner and only secondarily an external reality – in a word: it is a form of metaphysics. And not all of its fruits are bitter. Its only that they all seem to be poisonous.
In this podcast we comment upon some remarkable passages from Eric Voegelin's New Science of Politics explaining his understanding of what he calls Gnostic "dreamworld", carried over from the Ancient world to modernity. In the first half, after providing some preliminary explanations of Voegelin's terminology, we discuss the theoretical, or rather anti-theoretical, assumption that is a calling card of a Gnostic: a prohibition of questions; we talk about this strange attempt to constrain the intellect while simultaneously advocating for unbridled progress, especially in the paradigmatic example of Karl Marx and communist movement. Also, we point out the genuine anti-theist character of Gnostic intellectuals and the way how modern philosophy for the most part assimilated it. In the second part we talk about the very instructive, yet not so very well known, example of the one specific Gnostic neverland: Yugoslavia. We provide the main features of Yugoslav ideology, the mentality of its adherents, both past and present, and put the phenomenon in the context of our day and age. In conclusion we discuss the hypothesis of the prevalence of Gnostic ideologies in the global politics of today.
After going through a number of metaphysical notions, now, prompted by reader's query, we finally try to answer the simple question: what is metaphysics? The very fact that one can talk about metaphysics for a long time without explicitly defining what it is gives us an important clue about this type of knowledge, more common that most people think. We sum up some of the notions we expounded upon before and attempt to give definition of "science sought for" in both traditional sense and its modern, we would claim, misconception of the "system of science". Also we touch upon the possible reasons for shunning it by modern thinkers like adherents of "analytical" philosophy and say few words on technology and its latent metaphysical origin.
Kali Tribune's Ministry of Logical Hygiene, Historical Continuity and Ego Euthanasia Management hereby issues a statement on ongoing self-righteousness pandemic. We take the common and pervasive notion of every day heroes (nurses, shop assistants, etc.), inflating into saccharine bubble all over the world, and attempt to demonstrate what it can teach us about the deeper causes of our historical moment.
Prompted by the passing of great English conservative philosopher Roger Scruton, we take the opportunity to sketch the distinguishing marks separating what it means to be a conservative and what it means to belong to Tradition, stances only seemingly similar but in actual fact worlds apart from each other. We take Scruton as an exemplary figure of contemporary conservative thought and his attitude towards religion as a starting point and argue that it has very little to do with what might be called a traditional attitude. Further we discuss the understanding of time, eternity and causality peculiar for traditional thought and explain how conservatism is in fact alienated from it. We conclude with a broad sketch of what we see as signs that modernity is actually over, taking into consideration an ongoing dissolution of popular art, i.e. the lowest form of the expression of modern spirit.
The notion of "critical thinking" or "using one's own head" is unanimously praised even by those who secretly hate it the most - the adherents of radical critique, that is. Yet, as it is understood today, it barely applies as thinking at all, when juxtaposed against the traditional method of guiding the mind towards the truth.
The main difference lies between the knowledge presupposing positive content and the one that attempts to dissolve any such content. Traditional metaphysics is rooted firmly in the former whereas the later, embodied in the modern metaphysical question of "why is there something and not nothing instead", is entangled in the later.
Finally, we conclude with discussing attempts at creating the "spiritual science" by modern thinkers who believed they can transcend inherent human limitations on the grounds of evolutionary idea, two examples being Hegel and Rudolf Steiner, and futility of such attempts.
Body of ideas brought forth in the early to mid 19th Century Germany by the group of radicals summed up under the moniker "young (or:'left') Hegelians" enacted an enormous influence on both 20th Century and our current time, in the guise of totalitarian political ideas and practices. What is somewhat neglected by interprets is the fact that Young Hegelians first and foremost were a movement inspired and even led by radical theologians; whereas contemporary public opinion on Marxism, anarchism and even Nazism tends to comprehend these movements to be as far removed from theology and metaphysics, i.e. as a political reaction to historical reality, they are originally anything but. They, in effect, stem from an attempt to liberate humanity from religion in general and Christianity in particular, based on certain peculiar ideas that are religious in themselves.