New Civilization News: Perversion and Abuse of Systemic Concepts    
 Perversion and Abuse of Systemic Concepts5 comments
picture3 Nov 2008 @ 17:39, by Max Sandor

Perversion and Abuse of Systemic Concepts:
From Siddharto's "dukkha" to Hegel's "Dialektik"

Seeing the 'Zeitgeist Addendum' film yesterday [link] , I was once again reminded at the incorrect attribution of the 'Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis' concept to Hegel and prompted me to rethink my conclusions of nearly forty years ago when I first studied Hegel intensively and later on translated many portions of the Pali Canon, guided by the last monks & nuns of the Altbuddhistische Gemeinde at Utting am Ammersee [link] in Germany, founded by Karl Seidenstuecker [link] and Georg Grimm [link] .

(Note: the Pali Canon is the earliest record of the monks of Gotamo Siddharto (aka the 'Buddha', written in Pali, an Indian dialect, now only spoken in monasteries in Sri Lanka and Burma. See my free on-line course at [link]).

Back then, in the early 70's, I was writing articles for the society's journal 'Yana', and I remember the long conversations that took place whether an article of mine, titled something like 'Schopenhauer's injustice in his critique of Hegel', should be published.

After all, Grimm und Seidenstuecker had been great admirers of Arthur Schopenhauer [link] . It didn't help that I wrote some fine notes on Nietzsche's understanding of Hegel in exchange (the former had also been a very close friend of Paul Deussen, Seidenstuecker's main buddy). Amidst all the politics of personal friendships, historical or current, the impact of Nazi Germany on buddhism, all the false interpretations of Hegel by Marx proponents, there seemed no way that my article would be printed.

And I wanted it badly, black on white, to be honest, mainly to show it off to my buddies in Frankfurt, dreaming to have the small yellow magazine with MY article on Schopenhauer and Hegel in my hands entering the 'Club Voltaire' [link] where the post-Adorno students mixed with radical feminists (yes, those who entered bare-breasted Adorno's last lecture!), all of us still under the impact of the German's Notstandsgesetze [link] , a precursor of America's Patriot Act(s), and then being immersed into the 'Startbahn West' conflict [link] .

Confusing days for me, shortly after being accepted to the studies of Architecture at the University of Darmstadt, hanging out with radical thinkers at the University of Frankfurt, at the same time dreaming of spending some years in Sri Lanka and translating Pali texts. But then again, I was living in a 'real' Kommune (Wikipedia leaves out the definition of this particular one), Henry Miller [link] was my secret idol and a monastery an 'Alptraum' (nightmare). Clearly to spend some Silent Days in Clichy was more interesting than sitting on a mountain top. In the end, it was far easier to drive to Amsterdam to "turn on, tune in, drop out" for some days and feeling like a little Leary [link] .

Those were those days, but what has Hegel to do with the 'Buddha'?...

From my perspective (and vocabulary) today, both were classic 'systemic thinkers'. And they BOTH shared the fate of such doing: their theories, immediately or upon their death, are not- or misunderstood by 'cartesian thinkers', who are perhaps better called 'Aristotelian' thinkers.

'Aristotelian' thinkers cannot hold two images in their mind at once. They cannot live with a single paradox. Parallel events, especially when seemingly contradicting each other, MUST be sequenced, put in 'order', broken out of their contexts and analyzed one by one. As a further consequence, and as a dangerous enterprise, they try to do the poles of a dichotomy in sequence, be it the Gnostic polarity examples like in Thunder, Perfect Mind [link] or be it Hegel's examples (which all demonstrated the resulting triad!!!). In short, they seriously seem to think that making war would create a new 'synthesis' instead of just what it does: destruction. Probably not even Kant himself could have imagined 'thesis-antithesis-synthesis' as a Meme-virus that would justify creating violence. As Nordenholz [link] clearly (?) demonstrated, 'Analysis' and 'Synthesis' are both poles of a basic dichotomy, and one of the most basic ones there is !!!, and they transcend to 'Systematik' (His word!) in a triad.

Anyway, in my article back then, I focused on the similarity of Siddharto's 'uppekha' and Hegel's 'Aufhebung. In my contribution of the Conference [link] (which I decided to change to this topic (see above) instead of the 'Difference between Systemic Flaws and Cartesian Errors) as the latter is included in the former.) I plan to highlight the similar concepts of "dukkha" and "Dialektik" as they are much easier to talk about to a larger audience.

Just as some food for thought, be it mentioned that the common translation of Hegel's term "Aufhebung" as "sublation" is utterly ridiciulous (an offspring of Aristotelian thinking?). 'Auf', just like Pali 'upa' means 'up', which has nothing to do with 'sub-'. "Hebung" is the "act of lifting".

Hence, we see a transcendence of a paradox, an overcoming of a 'polarity' as I call it today (cp. 'Polar Dynamics 1' by Sandor&Dawson [link] ). far away of what 'sublation' may suggest, and equally far off Kant's 'Synthesis'.

For me, as a German back then, with all of the books of Marx, Engels, Wittgenstein engraved in my young mind, and Feuerbach's [link] words 'burning' in there, "Aufhebung" had meant more 'elimination', for example of a conflict, before I encountered the non-traditional 'Ur'-Buddhismus of Georg Grimm which restored the original meaning of the word to me quickly.

Interestingly enough, in the past 10 years, the difficulty of finding the 'right' word boomeranged with the necessity to coin a word for the amazing result of applying 'depolarization' techniques such as the simplified Gunas of Patanjali (Sandor) (described in 'Polar Dynamics 1' [link] ) or Zivorad Slavinski [link] who calls it 'neutralizing' (cp 'elimination' above, sic!) and leading to the state of Pleroma [link] referring to Gnostic tradition(s).

So, we're back at the dilemma from which we started...

Should we separate the theory from the praxis? Meaning, should we not attempt to speak about transcendence of paradoxes and simply enter satori by transcending them, leaving words behind?

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4 Nov 2008 @ 22:22 by solomoreno : *Trembles with excitement*
I am highly anticipating your article and the subsequent articles submitted to the conference as well.

Oh, don't forget to include the brilliant writer F. Scott Fitzgerald's thoughts on the matter: "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." Yeah, that's the trick, to still retain the ability to function. Isn't that part of the fear that keeps 'Aristotelian' thinking in place? That if one were to arrive at transcendence, all things would appear equal, with their sum as zero, and nihilism would ensue on the game-level reality? Is the solution to this fear to keep the fragmented world fragmented, realizing that imbalance is its engine and simply regulate it somehow? Perhaps this is the implicit goal of the conference, to regulate imbalance so that it doesn't grow too heavy to one side...


5 Nov 2008 @ 17:26 by Thomas @ : pali course
Hello Max,
the link to your "On-line Pali Course" seems to be corrupt insofar as the links to the individual lessons are not working on the page.

There's an additional question I'd like to posit. How do you relate "holding two images in the mind at once" with Korzybski's demand to postulate "Order" as fundamental?

Oh, and thanks for the blog and all! I encountered PNOHTEFTU in Februrary 2005 and may be described as something like a Maximilian Sandor fan since. :)  

5 Nov 2008 @ 18:36 by mx @ : link
Thanks for the comments, Thomas!

the Pali link is broken when the site was moved. Will fix that, in the meantime, instead of following the broken links, look at the file name in the link and replace in your URL 'index.html' with that name, for example for Lesson1 (lesson1.txt):

'Order' for me is part of one of the basic 16 dichotomies (Oshe/Synthesis), mentioned in the article. But one can also see at a higher level of abstraction, the dual universe (yin/yang) split as going 'towards more order' (ogbe, oshe, owonrin, ogunda, etc) and 'towards less order'.

The 2+ images in the mind, and 'systemic intelligence' would find more an expression in Korzybski's Structural Differential, see, because one needs to perceive 2+ things simultaneously in order to be able to create abstractions (see also Pnohteftu "Perception as detection of differentials". I was never happy with K's diagram as a physical model as it shows a linear chain of inferences with singular connections whereas I see a crazy net. In the end he is 'pointing to the right thing', alright, and I don't have a better model at hand (where is the Hayakawa discussion going these days anyway?)  

15 Nov 2008 @ 16:40 by Thomas @ : GS
Danke. :)

I'm having a hard time finding information in the IFA system used by you. Somewhere I read a short piece between you and Ed Dawson that must of it is only available to an initate if I remember correctly.

I think I've seen the crazy net too, but nonetheless found the Structural Differential of great help and utility. Max, do you have any experience with people who "got" General Semantics and, uhm, kind of "lost" it again? Having been such a lifechanging event (inital application) and time (lasting about 8 months) I'm quite desperate to reproduce it. :)

Oh, as of now exhibits quite unusual content along the lines of:

Hax0red ur b0x =)
Our war will continue against the ones who are against the real religion Islam

Hope they bring it up again.
Best regards,

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