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Re: [hegel] O'Regan, gnosticism, heterodox Hegel

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  • Beat Greuter
    ... Ralph, The critic writes at the end of his review you gave us the link: I must admit, that as a philosopher, I approached these books with a sense of
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 4, 2011
      Am 04.04.2011 12:46, Ralph Dumain writes:

      > Cyril O'Regan, Gnostic Return in Modernity and Gnostic Apocalypse
      >
      > O'Regan, Cyril, Gnostic Return in Modernity, State University of New
      > York Press, 2001, 311 pp, $22.95 (pbk), ISBN 0-7914-5022-8.
      >
      > O'Regan, Cyril, Gnostic Apocalypse. Jacob Boehme's Haunted Narrative,
      > State University of New York Press, 2002, 300 pp, $20.95 (pbk), ISBN
      > 0-7914-5202-6.
      >
      > Reviewed by Dermot Moran, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2002.05.01.
      >
      > http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=1146
      >
      > --------------------
      >
      > If, as it seems, O'Regan is out of his mind, how trustworthy is his
      > book *The Heterodox Hegel* likely to be? Or perhaps his
      > obsessive-compulsive orientation over a misguided objective allows him
      > to hone in on his subject with paranoiac attention to detail?
      >
      > Does O'Regan follow that other ridiculous author Magee in making a
      > magus out of Hegel?
      >


      Ralph,

      The critic writes at the end of his review you gave us the link:

      "I must admit, that as a philosopher, I approached these books with a
      sense of excitement and put them down with a sense of bewilderment and
      disappointment. O’Regan displays enormous erudition and a great
      sensitivity to hermeneutic issues. He clearly has a deep sense that
      Gnostic myths can be analyzed structurally in terms of their narrative
      ‘grammar’ and that such a grammatical analysis can be usefully applied
      to theological and literary narratives, among others. But, the attempt
      to build a systematic theory and to develop ways of using concepts that
      depend so much on differentiating them from the same concepts as used by
      different authors, means that we are operating at a rarified level far
      from the texts themselves. Even if one succeeded in sharpening Baur’s
      account to fit the knowledge available currently about the western
      theological tradition, what is the end result? Philosophers will, I
      think, breathe a sigh of relief that modern philosophy followed
      Descartes and not Boehme, and that philosophy separated itself from
      theology."

      A "systematic theory" is adapted to very different texts and conceptual
      contexts. This abstract procedure is diametrically opposed to Hegel's
      method as the account of the concrete individual. So, it is by no means
      astonishing what O'Regan did to Hegel in his book *The Heterodox Hegel*
      as you seem to suggest in your comment. In the Introduction of this book
      O'Regan writes:

      "Hegel's relation to Aristotle, Kant, Spinoza, for instance, cut deeply
      and arguably influence his thought in a more immediate way than Luther,
      the Christian mystical tradition, the theosopher Jacob Boehme, or
      Gnosticism. Any supercedence these four relations [as intrinsic for the
      treatment of Hegel's philosophy] might enjoy, therefore, is best
      regarded as a function of the fact that these religious, mystic, and
      mythological representations are better situated than philosophy qua
      conceptual articulation to offer ontotheological renditions that might
      plausibly be accepted as renditions of Christianity." (p. 15)

      Here, one can see what presuppositions can do harm to a philosopher's or
      any other work: Aristotle, Kant and Spinoza and their conceptual labour
      only have an immediate influence on Hegel whereas Luther, Christian
      mystical tradition, the theosopher Jacob Boehme, or Gnosticism basically
      constitute Hegel's philosophy. This is the total reversal and distortion
      of the "facts" which underly Hegel's thought.

      Regards,
      Beat Greuter


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • john
      ... So the first two volumes of this work have come out. The first deals with the question in general of a resurgence of gnosticism in modern thought. The
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 4, 2011
        --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, Ralph Dumain <rdumain@...> wrote:
        >
        > Cyril O'Regan, Gnostic Return in Modernity and Gnostic Apocalypse
        >
        > O'Regan, Cyril, Gnostic Return in Modernity, State University of New York Press, 2001, 311 pp, $22.95 (pbk), ISBN 0-7914-5022-8.
        >
        > O'Regan, Cyril, Gnostic Apocalypse. Jacob Boehme's Haunted Narrative, State University of New York Press, 2002, 300 pp, $20.95 (pbk), ISBN 0-7914-5202-6.
        >
        > Reviewed by Dermot Moran, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2002.05.01.
        >
        > http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=1146
        >
        > --------------------
        >
        > If, as it seems, O'Regan is out of his mind, how trustworthy is his book *The Heterodox Hegel* likely to be? Or perhaps his obsessive-compulsive orientation over a misguided objective allows him to hone in on his subject with paranoiac attention to detail?
        >
        > Does O'Regan follow that other ridiculous author Magee in making a magus out of Hegel?
        >



        So the first two volumes of this work have come out. The first deals with the question in general of a resurgence of gnosticism in modern thought. The second deals with Boehme. The third, which seems like it will never come out, will deal with Hegel.

        This review is absolutely worthless. First, he doesn't tell us what gnosticism is. Second, he doesn't tell us anything about Boehme. It's as though he assumes we know about these things. But, of course, we are completely ignorant on these two subjects.

        Three things characterize gnosticism. First, which he does mention briefly, is that it has a mythology--like William Blake, for instance, or like Boehme. Second, there are two races of man, spiritual man, like Hegel's Beautiful Soul, and earthly man. Third, the object for spiritual man is to escape this world.

        So, then, although we have no idea yet what he will say about Hegel, now that we know what, in general, gnosticism is, it seems clear that the whole thrust of Hegel's philosophy can only be characterized as anti-gnostic.

        Here's something from Boehme that sounds quite Hegelian:

        "That which in the dark world is a pang, is in the light-world a pleasing delight; and what in the dark is a stinging and enmity, is in the light an uplifting joy. And that which in the dark is a fear, terror and trembling, is in the light a shout of joy, a ringing forth and singing."

        Here's something that sounds gnostic:

        "God's children are not at home in this world, but only pilgrims, who gladly relinquish everything of this world so that they may but inherit the kingdom of heaven."

        But here's something that seems to be in opposition to gnosticism:

        "Reason says: Where are then the three worlds? It would have absolutely a separation, in which one were beyond or above the other. That, however, cannot possibly be, else the eternal unfathomable Essence were bound to sever itself. But how can that sever itself which is a nothing, which has no place, which is itself all?"

        Whether Boehme was a gnostic or not, still, his "thought" is quite odd and inaccessible to us.

        As to O'Regan's book on Hegel, I've only read the first 100 pages so far. Here he deals with Hegel's philosophy of religion--not a subject of interest to most of those on this list. Supposedly what he intends to do is to show that in Hegel's bringing the doctrine of the Trinity back into the center of Protestant theology, Hegel is influenced mainly by Boehme.

        There's no question that there was a major Boehme revival among the German Romantics at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century. This revival was led, to a large extent by the play-write Ludwig Tieck. In 1799 Tieck published the play entitled "Die verkehrte Welt".

        But, then, Boehme's influence on Hegel isn't the least bit controversial.

        John
      • TheJack
        ... Hello John, ... [Hegel] (b) Quality, Remark: Quality and Negation ... Qualierung or Inqualierung , an expression of Jacob Boehme s, whose philosophy
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 5, 2011
          > So the first two volumes of this work have come out. The
          > first deals with the question in general of a resurgence
          > of gnosticism in modern thought. The second deals with
          > Boehme. The third, which seems like it will never come
          > out, will deal with Hegel.

          > This review is absolutely worthless. First, he doesn't tell
          > us what gnosticism is. Second, he doesn't tell us anything
          > about Boehme. It's as though he assumes we know about these
          > things. But, of course, we are completely ignorant on these
          > two subjects.

          > Three things characterize gnosticism. First, which he does
          > mention briefly, is that it has a mythology--like William
          > Blake, for instance, or like Boehme...

          > So, then, although we have no idea yet what he will say
          > about Hegel, now that we know what, in general, gnosticism
          > is, it seems clear that the whole thrust of Hegel's philosophy
          > can only be characterized as anti-gnostic...

          > Whether Boehme was a gnostic or not, still, his "thought" is
          > quite odd and inaccessible to us.

          > As to O'Regan's book on Hegel, I've only read the first 100
          > pages so far. Here he deals with Hegel's philosophy of
          > religion--not a subject of interest to most of those on
          > this list.

          > Supposedly what he intends to do is to show that in Hegel's
          > bringing the doctrine of the Trinity back into the center of
          > Protestant theology, Hegel is influenced mainly by Boehme.

          > There's no question that there was a major Boehme revival
          > among the German Romantics at the end of the 18th and
          > beginning of the 19th century. This revival was led, to a
          > large extent by the play-write Ludwig Tieck. In 1799 Tieck
          > published the play entitled "Die verkehrte Welt".

          > But, then, Boehme's influence on Hegel isn't the least bit
          > controversial.


          Hello John,

          In my commentary of the Determinate Being section in the Science of Logic I will make significant use of this quote by Hegel:


          ----------
          [Hegel] (b) Quality, Remark: Quality and Negation
          ----------

          'Qualierung' or 'Inqualierung', an expression of Jacob Boehme's, whose philosophy goes deep, but into a turbid depth, signifies the movement of a quality (of sourness, bitterness, fieriness, etc.) within itself in so far as it posits and establishes itself in its negative nature (in its 'Qual' or torment) from out of an other — signifies in general the quality's own internal unrest by which it produces and maintains itself only in conflict.(SL p. 114)

          ------------

          Randall
        • john
          ... Dear Randall, Sour is actually something of a technical term in Boehme. So when you see the word sour being used by someone familiar with Boehme, you
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 5, 2011
            --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, "TheJack" <thejackjam@...> wrote:

            > Hello John,
            >
            > In my commentary of the Determinate Being section in the Science of Logic I will make significant use of this quote by Hegel:
            >
            >
            > ----------
            > [Hegel] (b) Quality, Remark: Quality and Negation
            > ----------
            >
            > 'Qualierung' or 'Inqualierung', an expression of Jacob Boehme's, whose philosophy goes deep, but into a turbid depth, signifies the movement of a quality (of sourness, bitterness, fieriness, etc.) within itself in so far as it posits and establishes itself in its negative nature (in its 'Qual' or torment) from out of an other — signifies in general the quality's own internal unrest by which it produces and maintains itself only in conflict.(SL p. 114)
            >
            > ------------
            >
            > Randall
            >


            Dear Randall,

            "Sour" is actually something of a technical term in Boehme. So when you see the word "sour" being used by someone familiar with Boehme, you immediately assume Boehme is being referred to. So in paragraph 158 of the Phenomenology Hegel writes:

            "...what in the law of the first world is sweet, in the inverted in-itself is sour..."

            So I was happy, then, in the little reading of Boehme that I've done, to see that this whole inverted world thing comes straight from him.

            But it isn't until the Doctrine of Essence, section II, "Appearance", chapter 2, also called "Appearance", that the inverted world comes in to the Logic. Now, section I on Essence-Schein-Reflection is very much a recapitulation, on a higher level, of Being-Nothing-Becoming. This reference to Boehme suggests, perhaps, that "Appearance" is a recapitulation on a higher level of Determinate Being. At any rate the dialectic involved in both places is pretty much the same. So, then, at the beginning of part c. of the "Appearance" chapter (page 447 in di Giovanni) Hegel writes:

            "The two worlds thus relate to each other in such a way that what in the world of appearance is positive, in the world existing in and for itself is negative, and, conversely, what is negative in the former is positive in the latter...

            "In fact it is precisely in this opposition of the two worlds that their difference has disappeared, and what was supposed to be the world existing in and for itself is itself the world of appearance and this last, conversely,the world essential within. The world of appearance is in the first instance determined as reflection into otherness, so that its determinations and concrete existences have their ground and subsistence in an other; but because this other, as other, is likewise reflected into an other, the other to which they both refer is one which sublates itself as other; the two consequently refer to _themselves_; the world of appearance is within itself, therefore, law equal to itself...

            "Further, this content of the world existing in and for itself has thereby also retained the form of immediate concrete existence...

            "Thus the world of appearance and the essential world are each, each within it, the totality of self-identical reflection and of reflection-into-other, or of being-in-and-for-itself and appearance. They are both the self-subsisting wholes of concrete existence; the one is supposed to be only reflected concrete existence, the other immediate concrete existence; but each continues into the other and, within, is therefore the identity of these two moments."

            I quess that sounds familiar.

            John
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