Monday, August 6, 2007

On Terminology and The Mission Statement of This Forum

Every philosophy has its own terminology and its own mission statement -- some more clearly and simply stated than others.

For our purposes here, 'Gap' stands for the gaps in all of our lives, the gaps between idealism and realism, the gaps between Hegel and Nietzsche, the gaps between Freud and Jung, Conservatism and Liberalism, Capitalism and Socialism, religion and atheism, process and structure, being and becoming...'DGB' stands for David Gordon Bain -- which is myself, the main author and editor of this philosophical forum and my various attempts within each of these individual essays to start with a philosophical and/or pragmatic 'gap' -- a problem if you will -- and build a 'bridge' over each and every one of these endless 'gaps'. You can't get rid of 'gaps' or 'problems' or 'obstacles' or 'conflicts' in life -- they are always there, they are the challenges of life. However, there is a big difference between alienation, righteous and/or narcissistic intolerance and isolationism on the one hand vs. contact, empathy, tolerance, and integrationism on the other hand. Many people never seem to be able to cross the 'dialectical and/or existential abyss' from one to the other.

I am trying to teach a process here that bridges this gap -- that combines the work and ideas of my two favorite philosophers -- G.W. Hegel and Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-19000 -- integrated with my own work in the form of (academically speaking) 'post-Hegelian, Multi-Dialectical Idealism' and 'Post-Nietzshean Self and Social Humanistic-Existential Activism'.

If you are a newcomer to philosophy, please don't be intimidated by the academic terminology. I will do my best to simplify and clarify. For our purposes here, 'Multi-Dialectical-Idealism' refers to integrating and balancing opposing polarities, perspectives, ideas, theories, lifestyles, etc. into a harmonious, energy-laden, whole. 'Humanism' refers to such qualities as kindness, compassion, empathy, social sensitivity, altruism...and 'existentialism' refers to such qualities as freedom, self-assertiveness, self and social responsibility, accountability, the courage to be and to become...

'DGB', as well as standing for my name, also stands for 'Dialectical Gap-Bridging' -- because that is what I am doing: bridging gaps between opposing perspectives using the 'creative dialectic' as my means of getting there, my means of negotiating and integrative philosophical, lifestyle, and/or humanistic-existential differences.

Two derivative acronyms of DGB are: 'DGBN' -- 'Dialectical Gap-Bridging Negotiations' and 'DGBA' -- 'Dialectical Gap-Bridging Activities'. Come explore my philosophical forays. In this section, we will look at some of the different introductions I have written over the years to describe just what it is I am trying to do.

It should be noted that in previous days, I have also referred to this forum as 'Hegel's Hotel' emphasis my indebtedness to Hegel and the over-riding or under-riding influence of Hegel's dialectical method and the resulting evolving structure -- Hegel's Hotel' -- that in my opinion has the capability of incorporating all other philosophies into its' 'thesis, counter-thesis, synthesis' process and structure. This process and structure might also be called 'GAP-DGB Multi-Dialectic Negotiation, Integrationism, and Wholism'. Or if you want to bring the secondary but still extremely important influence of Nietzsche on board, then it could also be called' 'GAP-DGB Multi-Dialectical Humanistic-Existentialism'. For me, Nietzsche is all about 'Dionysianism' vs. 'Apollonianism' (which in Freud's terminology later became 'the id' vs. the 'superego'), and also about 'existential abysses', and the courage to build a bridge from 'being' to 'becoming' across the terrifying, self-freezing, anxiety of whatever your/my own personal existential anxiety (abyss) might look and feel like. Rudolph Dreikurs (1897-1972) -- a prominant Adlerian psychologist -- called this type of 'Nietzschean bridge-walking or rope-climbing' -- 'the courage to be imperfect'. As silly as this may seem, man's greatest dread -- short of dying -- is often the fear of failing, being imperfect, and/or looking foolish in front of other people. This is man's existential abyss -- or at least one of them. The other one is the fear of living a meaningless life, of being insignificant, of not living up to one's capabilities -- the dread of 'non-being', of self-alienation, self-isolation, self-denial and betrayal. Man walks the plank between the dread of a meaningless existence and the dread of failing. These are the 'twin existential abysses of man's existence'.

On television these days, there is a program I like to watch called 'Crossing Jordan'. An interesting title. To me, it is a very 'Nietzschean existential' title. We all can use it -- just substitute your own name for Jordan's. 'Crossing David' -- this is very much a good part of what this philosophical forum is about. I offer myself as both a 'guinea pig' and hopefully a role model, a mentor, if I am successful at doing what I want to do. For me, 'Crossing David' means 'bridging the gap' between 'David-the-dispatcher' (what I currently do for a living) and David-the-philosopher-teacher' (what I am doing here as a hobby but what I want to do for a living, leaving my life as a dispatcher behind).

I think that most of you could probably substitute your name for mine and 'what you are now' vs. 'what you want to be, or where you want to get to, in the future'. Courage, action -- and a 'Nietzschean existential bridge' -- is what it will take you to get from one to the other. In contrast, a 'Hegelian dialectical bridge' is what it will take to get you to 'bridge the gap' between your spouse's, or your teenage teenage child's, or your business partner's, or whoever's -- perspective and your own. Thesis, counter-thesis, and synthesis is the dynamic and structure of the 'Hegelian Dialectical Bridge'; in contrast, vision, courage and action is the dynamic and structure of the 'Nietzschean Existential Bridge'. The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. In fact, the two together provide the main driving force behind 'GAP-DGB Multi-Dialectical, Humanistic-Existentialism', or as named here, 'The GAP-DGB Philosophy Forum'. Please, if I have triggered any motivation, interest, and/or excitement on your part, join me in my philosophical forays.

DGB, August 6th, 2007.

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