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.