Here’s another Reply Post. This one to the post again just prior to this one, “Thoughts About Hegel…”
It is interesting that Hegel seems to account for every contingency but the contingency that is contingent Lol.
What are or is these tensions?
Say we are talking about a person’s tensions, as in an individual person of themselves, a kind of discomfort that resides or occurs for a person. One could say that this tension – or as a general accounting for perhaps many tensions that a person may encounter – can be understood through a type of conceptual reference. Because, often or usually a person has some sort of ‘tension’ or problem that can be a sort of feeling, and then this feeling is sought for its reason or cause. How do we search for this cause? Through discourse, through terms, ideas associated with those terms.
It is not very difficult to find that the terms lead to a discrepancy of self, which is to say, discrepant concepts, and these are seen to indicate the reason for the unsettled position. For example, things are not as one would want them to be in the world, and so the person is unsettled, is in tension with the world. Often, spiritual and psychological ideals frame how such various tensions can be resolved, like, if a person has done something to offend someone then one may forgive them, or maybe talk or discuss with them the issue.
Philosophically, the tension arrives in how such situations arrive in the first place and how we may go about explaining the situation so as to enact a solution: The revealed situation reveals more tension.
Now, certain areas of philosophy see Christianity as a pinnacle of the philosophical situation. This is generally due to the situation set out here, of this seemingly essential tension that cannot be overcome. That is, there appears to be two ways to overcome the tension:
(1) Ignore it. This is the typical solution; it is, what one could call, the real solution, for it is the solution of moderation, of stepping into and through life as life is what it is and deal with it in the manner by which one deals with it. This is also the route of ignorance or naivety, but not in a derogatory, patronizing or otherwise negative sense, merely in a matter of fact sense; this can be called the unreflective route. Here, the meaning of terms is understood to convey or otherwise reflect what is true of reality; the terms themselves take up the reflection, and the individual finds reflection through the terms. This is the meaning of fetishism and the basis for the critique of capitalism. This is to say that it is such quality of terms that allow a person an ability for ‘objective’ reflection upon oneself. Thoughts do not wander to the consideration of themselves beyond reference to terms that identify what is really occurring. The subject-individual thus remains ‘moderate’, a medium of reality. The tension that thereby remains or is otherwise apparently operative may thereby be still referenced to causes other than the individual; the person can ‘blame’ things, situations as the cause of the tension. The truth of the real situation is ‘auto-referential’ to what is revealed of it: Reflection upon this type of situation as a whole reveals that there is still a tension, and the ’cause’ of this tension is thus an ‘eternal’ cause, a primary or basic cause, ‘First cause’, the reason of which is argued from this cause to the reason, or purpose, such that another referent can be called upon that is ‘beyond’ the tension, or that can relieve the tension. Christianity, in this way, may function within this real scheme as a type of short circuit, a means to relieve the tension by ignoring it through accentuating that real solution, Christ. In moderative or unreflective (conventional) reality, this may be a real possibility for solution. Similarly, the other Book religions (including modern psychology) offer the same solution in different guises; through moderative reality, one may find a solution to the tension by ignoring the tension through a carefully defined scheme of meaning whereby the basic real situation is explained to be, in essence, not so powerful; i.e. there is a power that is more powerful. The moderation is to counter the tension through a type of acceptance of the tension as part and parcel of reality. The tension is thereby ignored rather than actually overcome, because what has occurred is the return of the thought to its ‘rightful’ place of moderation, which is to say, “…all things in moderation“. In this light, it is a good phrasing to say that perhaps Christ amounts to a ‘relaxing’ of tension.
(2) Confront it. This confrontation is the philosophical move; the culmination or end run of the philosophical move is ‘revolution’, which is found not so much through the ‘ignorance’ of moderation, but in the ‘knowledge’ of the extreme. Here, one does not find Christ as an exceptional item, as that effective dike of causal effluence; rather, Christ is seen more in its Gnostic sense, that state of knowledge whereby reality is not ignored but fully acknowledged and dealt with as it is integral and innate to the individual. This situation is reflective, because it gains its view due to a ‘previously unaccounted for’ reflection, a reflection that is not found through the subject investment in the true term, that is, the potential for the term to convey or otherwise represent the truth of the situation, what we call the True Object. This situation, as Alain Badiou might call it, is the reflection of the ‘some-other’, and is the foundation and instigation of the dialectic of the revolutionary subject.
What occurs with this revolution is a reorganization of what reality is. The duality, the tension thereof, between object and subject, world and person, is not the same as it once was: But it is not that tension has been removed, but the position from which tension, as a meaning, takes place has been resituated. The tension no longer occurs due to a fundamental distinction between an essential subject-person and an essential object-thing, as the tension of an inner-subject may be referenced against a real object by which to explain why the tension may be occurring. Now, the tension is understood to be an essential feature of the subject because objects are not dismissed from the subject occurring as a subject. Objects do not then cause the tension, but are indeed the object of tension, the object (-ive) of the subject in the occasioning of the Event. But not merely events that arise as various objects confront the subject; more: The Significant (revolutionary) Event by which the subject is able to have objects in the first place: As a world.
It is thisworld that is dealt with by non-conventional philosophy, or what should be called just philosophy. The efforts of philosophical effort tend to discuss ideology and politics because to speak of the ‘spirit’ appears necessarily to fall back into the essential segregated subject. And hence we have the tension that began the whole episode; the subject in a negotiation of objects, that falls pray to the power of the object, which develops into the discourse of ideology and politics.
Hegel, to my ears, is saying that this repetitive situation cannot have anything to do with some essential free subjective agency, since the discussion which takes such free agency as the basis by which a progressive discussion takes place, must occur from the position of moderation, or, as a ‘mediated’ situation, which then denies the validity of the effort that has occurred philosophically. And this is to say, where the philosophical effort attempts to reduce real occurrence of world to an explainable event, in effect, taking the extreme move (thesis; as one manner of meaning) toward an easing of tension (anti-thesis), ignores the fact of the moderate position that is occurring in the very act of the extreme, and hence the very subject of free agency must be determined by an aspect against which moderation (mediation) can take place, against which an individual finds prudence in moderation, and thus by providence.
The ‘watering down’ that Hegel appears to do, concerns a reinstatement of essential duality. It is indeed a real occurrence where someone might come across some ‘unitive’ feeling or understanding of reality, where tensions might be relaxed in order to address the contingencies of the everyday: Instead of reifying differences, one may find the commonalities, or accept differences in order to find a more comfortable and happy situation for oneself and indeed all parties. Jesus can be understood through a variety of lenses, and all these lenses are real and can be used to justify the essential subject through transcendental meaning.
I might suggest, though, that what Hegel is saying is not so much an argument by which he has come to terms with reality and thus wishes to explain to others how they might also come to terms. This is a workable feature of the issue at hand, what I call the point of contention. Rather, Hegel also can be seen from a less ‘tense’ angle: Hegel is expressing no tension, and by this revolutionary state of being (what Hiedegger will call Dasein), because he is not offended at what reality presents to the subject at all times, he is able to describe the situation as a situation of tension. He is involved in description, and not so much making a proposal or argument of how it might be.
Hence, the tension Hegel is viewed to express is itself located in the meaning that is not ‘in the spirit’ of what he is saying, but that this ‘spirit’ resides in his meaning as his meaning thus contradicts his meaning because he has explained all the facets of how reality may have any meaning at all.
All this, in my book, is ironic. And thus the significant discussion should occur as a description of what occurs, rather than a discussion of what might be an essential meaning of a ‘more real’ reality, as this latter discussion is well versed and occurs everywhere and at all times in the conventional state.
The relaxing of tension might then occur ironically as the life is lived as only it can be, and as a description of this life as world holds no aspect too sacred or private, has no boundaries (at least for what may be discussed) against which to be offended.