Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Purpose of Hegel's Hotel: DGB Philosophy (Democratic-Dialectics For The Mind, Body, and Soul)

The purpose of 'Hegel's Hotel' -- the integrated network of blogsites that comprises this philosophical forum and treatise -- is to provide a multi-integrative, dialectic-democratic, humanistic-existential approach to the study and practise of philosophy -- and all of its cultural and environmental extensions: psychology, politics, business and economics, law and order, equal rights, history, science, holistic health and medicine, hobbies, art, sports... and all other aspects of human culture -- that blends many of the best ideas from the past, and from a wide assortment of different schools of thought, with an equally wide assortment of innovative, new ideas from the present -- combined in such a fashion as to make them highly applicable in both the smaller, therapeutic setting, and in the larger, more general setting of life.

It is this integration of old and new ideas that makes Hegel's Hotel: DGB Philosophy (Dialectic-Democratics For The Mind, Body, and Soul) , a new experience, a new 'gestalt' to use the German expression -- and unique in the marketplace.

Hegel's Hotel is dedicated to all of my most important mentors -- both the mentors who I have found through the books that I have read, and the mentors who are always there for me in the 'ups and downs' of my personal life -- all of whom I view as my 'idols' and my 'shining beacons of light and warmth', especially on those coldest and/or darkest days of doom and/or gloom...including:

1. G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831), the most important philosopher in Western History, in my view -- to him I thank for helping me create the 'paradigm' or 'architecture' for Hegel's Hotel; and to his classic book, 'The Phenomenology of Spirit' (1807), of which this philosophical work is written to be a 21st century continuation, modification, and expansion of...

2. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) Nietzsche may have rejected Hegel and Hegelian Dialectic Philosophy but to me, Nietzsche remains a supreme 'dialectic philosopher' for two reasons: 1. His first work 'The Birth of Tragedy' was totally 'dialectic' in its structure (which Nietzsche asserted later was to the detriment of the book, as he began to move away from Hegel and the dialectic perspective -- Not so says this philosopher here: it was to Nietzsche's detriment and to the detriment of Nietzsche's philosophy that he moved away from Hegelian Dialectic Philosophy and 'The Birth of Tragedy (BT)' which can be viewed as a precursor to 'The Birth of Psychoanalysis' -- and indeed all of 20th Century Clinical Psychology in its emphasis on the principle of 'homeostatic or dialectic balance'. Nietzsche once wrote that: 'Extreme positions are not succeeded by moderate ones, but by contrary extreme positions.' This too, is a Hegelian (or post-Hegelian perspective) and Nietzsche proved this point in his own life and in his own philosophy. In philosophically walking away from BT, Nietzsche became obsessed with 'Dionysus' (The Greek God of wine, dancing, celebration, and pleasure) at the expense of ignoring 'Apollo' (The Greek God of law and order, justice, truth and reason...). He did the same thing in tearing down Christianity and Religion without being able to see and/or acknowledge that Christianity and Religion in general play important 'life-serving' functions in human society in terms of bringing people together in harmony under one roof with one essential united, integrated cause (family, community, roots, and mutual 'I-WE' support...). Instead, Nietzsche could only see the 'pathological-self-destructive' elements in Christianity and Religion -- and offered a 'counter-extremist philosophical position'. In essence, Nietzsche became 'The Anti-Christ' and in so doing he may have 'freed' many people from their religious chains but in so doing, Nietzsche was at least partly opening up a new 'Pandora's Box': The Pandora's Box of The Anti-Christ: live fast, die fast -- drugs, alcohol, partying, til you drop...the life and death of my ex-girlfriend's sister - 'the party queen', the life of the party: she got into 'crack' or 'coke' in her mid to late 20s and died like an AIDS patient in a coma, taken off life support, at 39. I could easily die in the bars myself in a year or two if I let 'my internal Dionyus' completely control my life; fortunately, I believe, I have the reins of 'my internal Apollo' -- and a solidly balanced 'Apollonian-Dionysian' girlfriend pulling me back to a life of better 'homeostatic balance'. Which was where Nietzsche started before he unfortunately abandoned the solid post-Hegelian, dialectic philosophical principles of -- BT.

The Gestalt Institute of Toronto which taught me the dialectic-democratics of mind, body, and soul for the greater part of ten years in the 1980s, and which ultimately led me back through the psychology of Jung and Freud -- to the philosophy of G.W.F. Hegel.

3. General Semantics (and my Grade 12 English teacher, Mr. Kress, who introduced me to General Semantics), as extrapolated by the founder of General Semantics, Alfred Korzybski, (Science and Sanity, 1933)and his number one student, S.I. Hayakawa, Language in Thought and Action, originally written in 1938, originally published in 1941, updated many times since) who in turn introduced me to the study of psychology -- and then philosophy.

4. My son (Michael Bain) and daughter (Jennifer Bain) who are just starting their adult lives and who I hope continue to live happy, healthy lives.

5. My father, Gordon Bain, who has always been my number one source of idealistic, inspirational philosophical vision...

6. My mother, Viola Bain, and my long-time girlfriend of almost 10 years, Sharida Ali, both of whom are so easy to take for granted, because their presence is just always there, but both of whom have provided me with the type of family roots and grounding without which anything else would likely be meaningful -- and/or even talked about by me in any type of coherent, and reasonable fashion.

Question: Where do the best of the theologies of the respective Christian and Muslim (and probably all the most important) religions meet?

Answer: Within the core roots and boundaries of the family, the community -- and helping others (not trying to destroy them).

- dgb, October 18th, 2008.

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