Glenn Alexander Magee, in Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition, provides an excellent comparison of Hermetic and Hegelian thinking:
The doctrines of Hermetica:
1) God requires creation in order to be God.
2) God is in some sense 'completed' or has a need fulfilled through man's contemplation of Him.
3) Illumination involves capturing the whole of reality in a complete, encyclopaedic speech.
4) Man can perfect himself through gnosis: he becomes empowered through the possession of the complete speech.
5) Man can know the aspects or 'moments' of God.
6) An initial stage of purification in which the initiate is purged of false intellectual standpoints is required before the reception of the true doctrine.
7) The universe is an internally related whole pervaded by cosmic energies.
The doctrines of Hegel:
1) Hegel holds that God's being involves 'creation,' the subject matter of his Philosophy of Nature. Nature is a moment of God's being.
2) Hegel holds that God is in some sense 'completed' or actualized through the intellectual activity of mankind: 'Philosophy' is the final stage in the actualization of Absolute Spirit. Hegel holds the 'circular' conception of God and of the cosmos, involving God 'returning to Himself' and truly becoming God through man.
3) Hegel's philosophy is encyclopaedic: he aims to end philosophy, for all intents and purposes, by capturing the whole of reality in a complete, circular speech.
4) Hegel believes that we rise above nature and become masters of our own destiny through the profound gnosis provided by his system.
5) Hegel's Logic is an attempt to know the aspects or 'moments' of God as a system of ideas. In a famous passage of the Science of Logic, Hegel states that the Logic 'is to be understood as the system of pure reason, as the realm of pure thought. This realm is truth as it is without veil and in its own absolute nature. It can therefore be said that this content is the exposition of God as He is in his eternal essence before the creation of nature and a finite Spirit.'
6) Hegel's Phenomenology of Mind represents, in the Hegelian system, an initial stage of purification in which the would-be philosopher is purged of false intellectual standpoints so that he might receive the true doctrine of Absolute Knowing (Logic-Nature-Mind).
7) Hegel's account of nature rejects the philosophy of mechanism. He upholds what the followers of Bradley would later call a doctrine of 'internal relations,' as against the typical, modern mechanistic understanding of things in terms of 'external relations.'
"I have shown that the Phenomenology of Spirit serves as a kind of initiation ritual, an initial stage of purification that raises the mind above the sensory and the mundane and prepares it for the reception of wisdom. It is a Hermetic ascent to the Absolute…As a Hermeticist, however, Hegel regards God before creation as incomplete. To complete himself, God must know himself, and the immediate self-cognition God possesses before creation is not self-knowledge. Self-knowledge requires mediated re-cognition. It requires that the self see itself reflected in another and recognize itself there. The Philosophy of Nature portrays the spatio-temporal world as a mirror of God."
Glenn Alexander Magee
The Mirror of God
Nature is the mirror of God into which he gazes, trying to capture his reflection, the Imago Dei, the Image of God. But this is no ordinary mirror. It is the mirror of physical existence, of space and time, of countless shining fragments, all catching the divine light in a different way. It is the supreme distorting mirror, and only the Absolute Mind can correctly interpret the shimmering, esoteric, ever-changing reflection.
The German philosopher Schelling said that the finite (nature) is a mirror (speculum) held up the infinite. From speculum, we get the term speculative philosophy, which has as its goal - its telos - the complete understanding of the infinite's self reflection, leading us inevitably to knowledge of the Absolute, to union with the Mind of God.
According to the oral tradition of Kabbalah, the reason for existence is that "God wished to behold God." He caused a void to appear in which the mirror of existence was placed.
The dialectic is the engine of Hegel's philosophy. Although it's usually described in terms of thesis, antithesis and synthesis - and this is certainly the easiest and most practical way to think about it - it's a somewhat more complex notion than that. Thesis and antithesis are usually considered as different, independent entities, but Hegel treats the antithesis as something inside the thesis, intrinsic to it i.e. the thesis contains its own antithesis. Hegel says, "Everything is opposite. Neither in heaven nor in earth, neither in the world of mind nor of nature, is there anywhere such an abstract 'either-or' as the understanding maintains. Whatever exists is concrete, with difference and opposition in itself".
Hegel's preferred terms for the dialectical process are: "Abstract", "Negative", "Concrete" (and sometimes "Immediate", "Mediated" and "Concrete"). The initial idea (the thesis) is too abstract, too theoretical. As it is tested in reality, as it is subjected to trial and error and to the experience of the real world, the errors and contradictions, the "negatives", become apparent (i.e. the antithesis within the thesis starts to assert itself). As the negatives are progressively taken into account and resolved, the initial abstraction becomes more and more robust and solid. Finally, the idea is fully concrete.
Hegel's dialectic is similar to the scientific method whereby an initial hypothesis is tested experimentally and continually refined until the predictions of the hypothesis exactly match the experimental results, at which point the hypothesis becomes a theory. In scientific terms, a theory isn't a speculative concept: it is something so well verified that it's practically an unchallengeable law of science.
The Hegelian dialectic is a fluid process. The evolution of the universe takes the form of a cosmic spiral, winding around a genesis point while moving ever further from that point:
At times, the spiral is moving upwards (the thesis), at other times it is being internally contradicted and moving in the opposite direction (the antithesis), but it is always growing and evolving. As the antithesis phase gives way, it is reconciled with the thesis to form a synthesis, which then becomes a new thesis, which flows on into a new antithesis, and so on. Each iteration of the cycle represents a new synthesis being formed at a higher state of evolution than the previous one. And so it continues until it reaches the dialectical endpoint - the Final Synthesis, the Omega Point.
Lenin said of the dialectic, "A development that repeats, as it were, stages that have already been passed, but repeats them in a different way, on a higher basis ("the negation of the negation"), a development, so to speak, that proceeds in spirals, not in a straight line; a development by leaps, catastrophes, and revolutions; "breaks in continuity"; the transformation of quantity into quality; inner impulses towards development, imparted by the contradiction and conflict of the various forces and tendencies acting on a given body, or within a given phenomenon, or within a given society; the interdependence and the closest and indissoluble connection between all aspects of any phenomenon (history constantly revealing ever new aspects), a connection that provides a uniform, and universal process of motion, one that follows definite laws - these are some of the features of dialectics as a doctrine of development that is richer than the conventional one."
The Hegelian Dialectic, the Scientific Method and Teleological Evolution (i.e. purposeful rather than random evolution) are all basically the same thing. They are the core method for understanding the universe and any religion or philosophy that does not embrace them is false. Non-teleological scientific evolutionary theory is incomplete, and can only be completed when teleology is factored in.
The Hegelian dialectic is organic and holistic, not mechanical and reductive. It is inherently associated with movement i.e. it is not static, not cast in eternal stone like Moses' Commandments. It is the essence of life: to move forward, to grow, to advance, to develop, to evolve, to become more complex, to convert more and more potential to actuality. It is an actualization generator, using potential as its raw material. If you feed in potential, actualization comes out at the other end. And all the while it moves towards its telos - its end - the purpose of its existence, the maximum expression of potential, the supreme actualization.
The dialectic is the core dynamic process of reality. It is intrinsic to existence. If you have energy and the dialectic you have the universe. From energy and the dialectic comes EVERYTHING. The dialectic is how potential is turned into actualization, how primordial slime can eventually evolve to become God. Without the dialectic - without a purposeful process of evolution - there would be nothing of significance in the universe. There would just be meaningless energy going round and round in meaningless circles of futility. Potentiality would never be transformed into actuality.
The Dialectic is the logic of reality.
What is life? Life is the dialectic.
What does the dialectic operate on? It operates on energy, the fundamental substance of the universe.
What is meaning? Meaning is contained in the dialectic. The dialectic is evolving meaning.
What is God? God is the supreme product of the dialectic. God is Absolute Meaning: self-conscious, self-defining, the culmination of the dialectic.
The German philosopher Fichte, a strong influence on Hegel, was the person most associated with the standard "Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis" model. But, as already noted, Fichte's system suggests that contradictions or negations come from outside of things, while Hegel's system emphasizes that they are inherent in things. This is a far more subtle and profound understanding of the dialectic, but, for simplicity, Fichte's is the better framework to use.
"A" and "Not-A", the core of Aristotelian binary logic, do not exist as far as the dialectic is concerned. They are illusory snapshots that, in reality, are always flowing into one another. Only "Dialectical A", the core of Hegelian logic, really exists, embracing both "A" and "Not-A". "Dialectical A" reaches an end-point of "Omega A" in which all contradictions are dialectically resolved, in which its true and absolute nature is fully revealed. Before that, only partial truths and approximations can ever be glimpsed.
The dialectic always seeks ways to transcend contradictions and form a synthesis. It sees the unity behind apparent opposites. It understands how parts relate to the whole. The dialectic isn't based on rigid, mechanistic rules. It involves imagination, feeling, intuition, and transcendent leaps of inspiration to ever-higher levels. It is the creative core of existence. It is intimately related to mind, consciousness and life.
When you have understood the dialectic you have understood the creative engine of existence. You have understood the process that stands at the centre of the Mind of God, the axis around which existence revolves.
For scientific atheists such as Richard Dawkins, there is nothing in existence that intrinsically and eternally has any will or purpose. All of the complexity of the universe supposedly emerges from purposeless, random "jostlings" of mindless quantum particles. Yet science is unable to define these particles in any way other than probabilistically. The standard Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics denies that quantum particles have any real existence since it's impossible to simultaneously specify where they are and where they're going. They don't have any properties until you measure them, and as soon as you've taken the measurement, the information starts to leak away again. Yet the very same people who hold these views scoff at any notion that "mind" (and all that implies) is a fundamental property of existence. They are obsessed with materialism even though they can't define what matter is since it seems to require some form of observation before it can be said to be real. Conscious observers who decide what observations to make seem to decide reality by their choices. If there were no observers, would there be "reality", or just an incomprehensible probabilistic blur? The Copenhagen Interpretation is silent on this.
Form and Content
In Aristotle, the form of logic need have no connection with anything real e.g.
"Rover" is a lunar dog.
Lunar dogs have five legs.
Therefore Rover has five legs.
The is logically unassailable, but there are no lunar dogs so there's no necessary connection between the form of logic and real content. For Hegel, form and real content always go together. Dialectical logic applies to all real things. You couldn't apply it to Rover, the imaginary lunar dog.
The First Human Mind
Imagine a time on earth long, long ago. A male ape is watching his mate struggling to give birth. Something is wrong with the baby. A genetic mutation has given it an abnormally large head. It takes a gargantuan effort for the female ape to push out the baby, and she's so exhausted, so drained, so ravaged by internal damage, that she dies soon afterwards.
The baby is unique. It belongs to a new species: it is the very first human being. Think of that prototype human mind. It has no human parents to nurture and teach it. Its ape mother is dead, and its ape father regards it as a freak and soon deserts it. It seems certain to die, but it is "adopted" by the sister of the dead mother. She cares for it, feeds it, brings it to maturity.
Consider the mind of this first human. It has no access to language since none exists. There are no other humans with which to interact. There's no art, no religion, no philosophy, no writing, no music. There's no society or culture, no houses, villages or towns. The first human's mind is completely blank, waiting to be filled. All it can do is learn from its adoptive mother and other apes in the vicinity. It learns far more quickly than the others because its brain is much bigger and more powerful. Soon, it is the leader of the pack. It can do things none of the others can.
Many, many millennia pass and eventually we find its male descendants getting drunk in bars and fighting over the football result, and its female descendants crowding into a cinema to watch four spoiled, shallow women go shopping. Such is the story of the human race. It didn't need be this way. There's still time for everything to change.
The First Mind in the Cosmos
Let's go back much, much further.
Imagine not the first human mind but the first mind of all - the Cosmic Mind - at the very dawn of existence, if it is permissible to use such an expression. The first mind in existence is a bare mind without any content at all; a blank canvas, a slate on which nothing has ever been written. There are no objects external to this mind. This is as close to nothingness as it is possible to get. This mind could be said to be deaf, dumb, blind, devoid of the capacity to smell or taste. It has nothing at all to work with. There's no input from any other source.
At this point, the mind has maximum potential and minimum actualization. It won't rest until all of that potential has been converted to actualization.
Although it has no formal content, the Mind is not nothing. It is Mind and the activity of mind is thinking. As it contemplates nothing, it wonders what contemplation actually is. That, at least, is happening. So there is something in this universe, something sure and definite, something different from nothing. Mind is aware that it feels better for understanding that. But what is feeling? Mind has something else to contemplate.
Mind, by its nature, has an inexpressible desire, an eternal yearning to expand its limits. It has intuition, because it looks towards a dialectical future where it is more actual than it is now. It wants to grow, to express its potential, to reveal its inner workings. But how? All it can do at this stage is blindly strive, grope its way forward, carry out random mental experiments. It has no other tools but trial and error. It doesn't know what it's doing and yet it does things anyway. It has no choice. Things will become clearer in the future, but right now it will make the best of a bad job. At Mind's beginning, it would have experienced the equivalent of the ultimate LSD trip, self-generated, as it desperately tried to create any stimulus with which it could engage. And yet, it always had to return to the contemplation of the grimmest of voids.
As it again contemplates nothing - pure indeterminateness - it starts to speculate, at a completely abstract level, of what the opposite of indeterminateness might be. This "thing", this opposite, this potentially determinate thing, is "being", but at this stage Mind can assign no properties to "being", and "being" without any features might as well be nothingness. At this elementary level, being and nothingness are effectively indistinguishable. They flow in and out of each other.
This flow is "becoming". It is the origin of the dialectic. The dialectic is a fluid process of becoming which seeks to convert the abstract into the less abstract and finally into the concrete.
At Mind's beginning, God was a complete abstraction, a possible future state with no current actuality. Mind had to go on the ultimate cosmic journey to become God. It is the same journey all minds are on, including ours.
Mind goes on a quest to find itself, to discover what it truly is. The Mind is a cosmic Arthurian knight, searching for its holy grail, which turns out to be absolute knowledge of itself and of the truth of all things; the answer to every riddle. Mind starts its journey in the form of logic, of pure speculative, abstract thought at the unconscious level and ends it with Absolute Knowledge: self-conscious, self-comprehending and concrete. Absolute Knowledge is the self-knowledge of Absolute Mind.
The human mind's conception of the Holy Grail is the same as that of Cosmic Mind. "As above, so below." Only God has all the answers, so it is God we must become to solve the riddle of our life. What could be more obvious?
All the mind has is an inner drive to express itself, to understand itself. That is the purpose of all minds. The more complex a mind is, the more it wants to find out about itself.
Simple minds want to become complex and complex minds want to become more complex and to fully understand what mind is. Mind is existence itself. It is the fundamental substance, the arche. We might choose to call it dimensionless energy to give it a more scientifically sounding label, but in truth it is mind.
"The Absolute is Mind - this is the supreme definition of the Absolute."
At first, the Cosmic Mind, the Absolute Mind, exists as the abstract system of concepts prior to the concrete, actual world. At this stage, the Absolute Mind is called the Absolute Idea. It is the maximum level of mental abstraction, but now it has to start becoming something concrete. The dialectic tells it how - it must alienate itself, become "other", create a cosmic antithesis, and then try to find itself again, but at a much higher level, having gained absolute knowledge of the alien environment in which it temporarily lost itself.
The alien environment created by Mind is none other than Nature. This is the physical arena, the domain of matter, where mind appears to be absent.
"Nature exhibits no freedom in its existence, but only necessity and contingency."
It is the apparent lack of the freedom and wilfulness associated with mind that accounts for the predictable laws of science. Where mind is insufficiently actualized, it shows no traces of free will. It simply obeys abstract mathematical laws as the path of least resistance, and these mathematical laws, in Nature, manifest themselves as the laws of science, which is why mathematics and science are so intimately connected. Just as an object will travel at a constant speed in a straight line if not subjected to any force, so mind will move at its equivalent of constant speed and a straight line: it will behave mathematically. In mathematics, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line so an object will move in a straight line by default since why would it do anything different from that? To do something other than the default would require some form of higher thought and decision-making. At the core level of Nature, these qualities do not exist in a meaningful sense, so the path of least resistance is always followed. The laws of science are the expression of the lowest levels of mind obeying the simplest laws of mathematics. Hence, they are extremely reliable and predictable. As mind grows increasingly complex, it no longer obeys default positions. By the time mind reaches the level of human consciousness, it is wilful and free, no longer constrained by simple deterministic laws.
"Nature has shown itself to be the idea in the form of other-being. Since the idea is in this form the negative of itself or external to itself, nature is not just relatively external vis-à-vis this idea, but externality constitutes the form in which it exists as nature."
If we call the Absolute Idea the dimensionless r = 0 domain outside of space and time, then it is dialectically compelled to give rise to its logical opposite: the dimensional r > 0 domain of space and time, which Hegel simply calls Nature i.e. the physical universe.
How does a monad, a dimensionless unit of thought, of basic mind, become what science would recognize as a physical particle? Imagine placing the point of a pencil against a blank piece of paper. The point is the dimensionless monad. Now, if you move the pencil in any direction you will create something with dimensions. You could draw a spiral, a straight line, a square, a circle…anything you like. Thus it is with a monad. If it allows its store of mental energy to escape from dimensionless existence in any way at all then it creates dimensional existence: energy that exists in space and time and from which physical particles can be made.
If an infinite number of monads each converted some of their dimensionless energy to dimensional energy they would create an infinite physical world, brimming with energy. The laws of science and mathematics then apply to these "alienated" monads, and create organization, structure and predictable patterns and rules. Thus we have the very earliest type of dimensional universe of energy, space and time: an alien environment compared to the spaceless and timeless dimensionless mental domain of r = 0. It is the PERFECT and ONLY arena of otherness available to the incipient Cosmic Mind. It cannot be emphasized enough that mind must create something that seems to be non-mind if it is to come to a full understanding of itself. If mind had only itself to contemplate it could never escape abstraction. It could never become real and concrete in any meaningful sense.
These two domains: r = 0 (mind) and r > 0 (alienated mind) are the essence of existence. Freedom is possible only because the r = 0 mental domain is of very different character from the r > 0 physical domain. Freedom is the expression of a high-functioning mind in Nature. Without complex mind, freedom is impossible.
Somehow, the Absolute Idea must make sense of this alien physical environment it has created but doesn't yet understand. It does so via the dialectic. This, in effect, is a dynamic feedback system that yields information from the r > 0 domain to the r = 0 domain and vice versa, in a "Strange Loop" that gets ever tighter until the r = 0 domain has full knowledge and control over the r > 0 domain, until mind understands that matter is also mind.
The Absolute Idea moved from a realm of completely abstract knowledge of itself, to a realm of alienation where, at first, nothing made sense, but which, through the dialectical process, gradually yielded more and more information until, at last, the Absolute Idea had gained complete knowledge of this physical domain (r > 0), and understood that it wasn't alien at all: it was just a different expression of itself, from which it was able to achieve concrete rather than abstract knowledge. At this stage, it now has total abstract knowledge of the universe as well as total concrete knowledge: it has attained the state of Absolute Knowledge.
Hegel said that Absolute Knowledge is "mind knowing itself in the shape of mind". It has arrived at the Absolute Truth of the Universe, and the Absolute Idea is now properly called Absolute Mind in which the Absolute Idea resides. It understands that everything that seemed separate and alien from itself wasn't. Knowledge of "appearances" has been transformed into knowledge of true reality.
The noumenal universe - the universe beyond appearances, of "things in themselves" - that Kant claimed was forever beyond any possible knowledge is now seen to be non-existent. There is no such universe. There is simply mind and alienated mind: subject and object, and when the alienation is overcome there is only subject and hence total knowledge of all things.
The answer to the mystery of "subject" and "object" was that "object" was simply alienated mind, and once that alienation was overcome by the dialectic then it was seen to be just another manifestation of mind, and not anything baffling and incomprehensible. It was the same thing as mind, just viewed from a different perspective. It wasn't a "thing in itself", unreachable by mind.
That it why mind can control matter, because, ultimately, matter is just mind, much as mass is just energy, although they seem radically different. Once you understand that then you understand that it is possible to convert one form to another; mental energy to physical energy and vice versa. God is the being whose Absolute Mind gives him maximum control over the mental and physical universes, over mind and matter, over r >= 0. This equation simply says that mind can exist in two forms: dimensional and dimensionless. Dimensional mind (matter) seems totally different from dimensionless mind, just as mass seems profoundly different from energy, but they are inextricably bound together.
Kant's revolutionary idea was that minds construct how we perceive the world. They impose time and space, cause and effect on the underlying reality of things in themselves (noumena), which can never be known directly because they are always viewed through the distorting prism of the mind. So, in Kant's universe, a mysterious process takes place whereby unknown and unknowable noumena that don't exist in space and time and are not subject to cause and effect somehow give rise to minds that impose time and space, cause and effect on noumena. Kant makes no attempt to explain this. Although minds are, presumably, made of noumena, since noumena are the external source of human experience, minds are permanently estranged from an understanding of noumena.
What if there were just a single mind: a Universal Mind? Would this Mind of God be similarly unable to know the noumenal universe? Hegel regarded this as an absurd position. How would noumena be able to create something of a totally different nature from themselves? If noumena are not in some way mental, how could they create entities that have mental experiences? Kant's position is a disguised Cartesian dualism, with noumena taking the role of matter, and mind being effectively a separate substance.
Hegel resolves all of these difficulties by showing that everything is "made" of mind. There are no noumena beyond knowing. Noumena are manifestations of alienated mind that can be understood by mind through a dialectical process.
Hegel's philosophy is known an absolute idealism. Idealism is the position that only mind truly exists, and absolute idealism is the position that everything that exists is just a form of one cosmic mind (the Absolute Mind). Descartes' dualistic division of the universe into two difference substances - mind and matter - was an error caused by his understandable failure to grasp that matter is just "solid", "corporeal" mind; dimensional mind rather than dimensionless mind.
Bertrand Russell scoffed that history, if Hegel were right, was "jellied thought." This is actually not a bad description. In fact matter could be considered as thick, solid, jellied mind, just as mass is, so to speak, thick, solid, jellied energy.
In truth, there is only one substance in the universe and that is a single Cosmic Mind composed of mental energy. It has as its modus operandi the dialectical evolution of itself from 100% potential to 100% actualization, to the attainment of complete self-knowledge. We are all part of that process, but we are alienated parts. When we ourselves, by using the dialectic, understand our true nature, what we really are, then we too come home to the Absolute Mind. We become God.
Illumination, the philosophical religion of the Illuminati, is technically described as "dialectical monism". There is a single substance - mind - that dialectically evolves to a position of absolute knowledge of itself. Matter is "solid" mind, alienated mind, mind that doesn't understand itself as mind. A scientifically minded person might choose to say that the only substance in the universe is energy, and that it comes in two forms: dimensionless and dimensional. But "energy" doesn't capture the purposeful, teleological, mental aspect of the universe. Only words like "mind", "will", "soul", "spirit" suffice. Only a mind can undergo the dialectical process.
The universe evolves from total potential to total actualization, from Alpha to Omega, in a process of teleological self-becoming. The final truth is found in the Whole, the totality. "All is One". Mind, starting as pure abstract form, creates pure content in which form can take concrete shape. Nature, the physical world, is the arena of content. Nature at first seems alien to mind. It is "other". Gradually, the dialectic resolves the alienation and mind returns to itself from its exile in Nature. Form and content are reconciled; mind and matter are reconciled. R = 0 and r > 0 become an all-embracing unity: r >= 0.
Mind starts out as subject. It creates an object - the physical world - and then, dialectically, the subject and object are brought together, allowing true knowledge of the world of "things" to be attained, allowing the mind to advance from abstraction to concreteness and, above all, to self-consciousness. The object is just a special perspective of the subject; it is not an unknowable alien entity (a thing-in-itself, as Kant would say). When properly understood, the r > 0 domain is simply "extended" mind i.e. mind with the property of extension. The r > 0 domain is the dimensional realization of the dimensionless r = 0 domain. The truth of existence lies in the whole, in the complete synthesis: r >= 0.
Mind becomes an object to itself and then comes to recognize itself as this object, at which point subject and object lose their distinction. They are one and the same. The universe is rational because it is imbued with reason, with a logical mind. The universe has many flaws because, in the course of dialectical progression, all sorts of barriers, resistances, contradictions, mistakes, misunderstandings, antitheses are thrown up, all of which must be fully resolved in a final supreme synthesis. The universe becomes self-conscious, self-thinking thought: the Mind of God. God is not independent of the universe: he is the universe. He is the self-developed self-consciousness of existence, the maximum expression and actualization of the universe's original potential. God is not identical with the universe (the philosophical position known as pantheism - "all is God"). Rather, he is the supreme Gestalt. He is greater than the sum of the parts, just as a human being is greater than all of the atoms of which he is composed. This is the philosophical position known as panentheism - "all is in God".
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/gestalt provides the following definition of gestalt:
A collection of physical, biological, psychological or symbolic entities that creates a unified concept, configuration or pattern which is greater than the sum of its parts (of a character, personality, or being).
The True God - Abraxas - is the collection of all the things of the universe brought to a single self-conscious, knowing culmination greater than the sum of its parts. Every part reflects the whole, but only the Whole is the Whole, and only in the Whole does ultimate truth reside. The Truth of the universe and existence is Abraxas, the God that Evolved from complete abstract potential to supreme cosmic perfection and actualization.
Abraxas is the only possible God. The "god" of the Abrahamic faiths is contrary to science, philosophy and any form of healthy religion. The Abrahamic god is false, an impostor. It is the Demiurge, an inferior god that failed to understand itself, and has sucked others into its delusion.
Absolute idealism is Hegel's account of how existence is ultimately comprehensible as an all-inclusive whole: All in One. For a thinking subject to truly know its object, there must, finally, be an identity between the two. If subjects and objects belonged to two different substances how could they ever interact, how could subject ever "know" object in any meaningful sense? There are only two ways to go. You can buy Kant's model which says that there are minds that, somehow, construct reality on the basis of unknowable noumena - things in themselves, things as they exist independently of mind - that may themselves be the things from which minds are ultimately constructed, although we could never know this since noumena are unknowable by mind by definition. With Kant, you have an unbridgeable gap in our ability to know all the answers of existence. The connection of subjects to objects is extremely problematic since objects are turned into constructs of the mind based on underlying "real" objects that can never be known i.e. we now have two classes of objects: mind constructed objects, and the true, indefinable objects underpinning them. There is no attempt to explain why the universe should be configured this way. It seems to defy Occam's Razor. Why have two substances if you can get by with one?
With Descartes, there was an unfathomable connection between mind and matter. With Kant there is an unfathomable connection between phenomena and noumena. All dualistic systems suffer from this catastrophic inability to account for how two different substances can possibly interact. Scientific materialism addresses this problem by abolishing the mind as a separate substance. It now becomes some mysterious by-product of matter. Idealism does the opposite and abolishes matter as being independent of mind. So, what are you going to opt for: matter or mind? Your choice.
Hegel solved the problem of dualism by abolishing noumena and abolishing matter. In Hegel's philosophy, all is mind. Matter is mind that doesn't know it's mind. It's "extended" mind.
The r >= 0 framework (which wasn't the terminology employed by Hegel), gives the best possible definition of existence: dimensional and dimensionless energy, flowing in and out of each other. The r = 0 domain is the province of dimensionless energy - mind. When mind becomes "extended" i.e. takes on dimensions then it becomes solidified, corporeal mind. In short, it becomes matter. Matter can straightforwardly be defined as mind with dimensions.
No other paradigm can give a clear-cut, easily understandable and intuitively obvious definition of mind and matter. Once it is understood that the universe consists of a single substance that manifests itself both dimensionlessly and dimensionally then everything becomes obvious. Mind and matter can interact because they are the same substance (mind), the only difference being their specific relationship to dimensionality. Mind can fully understand matter when it sees it as just embodied mind. Subjects can fully understand objects. There are no mysterious separate substances, no mysterious interactions, no mysterious entities beyond the reach of knowledge. Everything can be known. Everything is rational. We can attain certainty about the nature of existence. Anything that mind cannot know simply doesn't exist.
"What is rational is real, what is real is rational."
"The true is the whole. The whole, however, is merely the essential nature reaching its completeness through the process of its own development. Of the Absolute it must be said that it is essentially a result, that only at the end is it what it is in very truth; and just in that consists its nature, which is to be actual, subject, or self-becoming, self-development."
Mind or Matter?
The evolution of the Absolute (the Absolute being the telos, the final objective, of science and philosophy) has three phases:
The Absolute "in itself" - ABSOLUTE IDEA
"The absolute Idea alone is being, imperishable life, self-knowing truth, and is all truth. It is the sole subject matter and content of Philosophy."
The Absolute "outside itself" - NATURE
The Absolute in and for itself - ABSOLUTE MIND that has attained Absolute Knowledge, Freedom and Truth. It has attained self-realization and self-actualization. It has hoisted itself up by its own bootstraps. It has generated itself, evolved itself, and turned absolute potential into absolute actuality. Its evolution is the history of the universe.
"Absolute Knowing; it is Mind that knows itself in the shape of Mind…"
Deus Absconditus - the hidden God - the Absolute Idea - pure thought - the Logos.
Deus Manifestus - the visible God - God externalised, the Idea externalised, but not self-knowing. The World, The Universe, Nature.
Abraxas - Absolute Mind - the synthesis of Deus Absconditus + Deus Manifestus.
Any atheist who agrees with Darwin's theory of evolution should see in Abraxas a God he can truly accept. Abraxas is the God of Evolution; his entire being evolved dialectically.
If you find it hard to fathom Hegel's dialectical evolution of Absolute Mind, recall what science puts forward as its main alternatives: 1) a multiverse of infinite parallel universes or 2) the "M-theory" of Superstrings, which says that we inhabit an eleven-dimensional universe or 3) the universe doesn't really exist unless it is being measured or observed. Do these sound plausible?
Science is willing to say such things as time is an illusion, the future already exists, the universe was created out of nothing as a "free lunch", the universe doesn't exist when it's not being observed, particles can be in two places at once etc. None of these speculations come anywhere near explaining human consciousness. "Mind" simple doesn't fit into these r > 0 theories. So you have a choice. Is mind fundamental, or is matter fundamental?
Science denies the existence of independent mind. It says that all that exists is matter, and mind is some undefined entity which miraculously emerges from certain ways of organizing particular types of matter. Hegelian Illumination, on the other hand, says that matter is dimensional mind and mind dimensionless matter, with mind being the fundamental substance of existence.
Which sounds more credible? Which explains consciousness, the regularity of the universe, but also the strangeness of the universe, such as non-local phenomena? With Illumination there is no need to explain mind because it is a fundamental, inbuilt aspect of existence. It explains matter easily by defining it as mind with dimensions: "physical" mind. Science, on the other hand, has utterly failed to answer the big questions. It has never plausibly accounted for how mind and life can come from inanimate, mindless, material atoms. We have been so indoctrinated by scientific materialism that we are completely estranged from reality and our true natures.
The ancient esoteric thinkers and mystics would have had no trouble fully comprehending Hegel's philosophy. It's time we all reactivated an inner sense of the mystical. We have an entire universe to unlock. To solve all the mysteries, to get the answers that have defied humanity for so long, we need to make our finite mind at one with the infinite mind of God.
If we see ourselves as alienated from God, we have a huge problem. That's exactly what the Abrahamic faiths do to us - they alienate us from who we really are, from our divine spark. Instead of making us search for God inside ourselves, they project God onto an external figure; remote, alien, infinitely high above humanity. They make humanity bow to this being as its unworthy slaves. Humans are worthless and depraved in comparison. Nothing could be unhealthier for humanity than to be so alienated from God, to have such a negative concept of ourselves, to be so in thrall to a false god.
It is the Demiurge who is the false God. "Why does evil exist?" is one of the oldest questions. If God is perfect goodness, all-powerful and made everything, evil ought to be impossible. The Abrahamic religions can make no sense of evil. In Illumination, God did not make everything. It all evolved from the fundamental substance of the universe, driven by the dialectic. The Demiurge is one of the main products of the dialectic. Evil is a dialectical necessity in order for good, its opposite, to have meaning. That's why evil MUST exist.
How would you learn about evil if you had never encountered it? How could you be said to be moral if you had no possibility of doing evil because you didn't know what it was? A lion can do no evil. No animal on earth can, except the human. Only humans have the capacity for evil, but they are also the most intelligent animals on earth. Is that not a paradox? It is our intelligence that underpins evil.
The Demiurge and evil are necessary dialectical tests for us. They are an inevitable product of the dialectic. Good must be dialectically opposed. A being of light must be opposed by a being of darkness. Those are the rules of the dialectic. Every opposite must be generated, every antithesis, every contradiction, every error. All of it is demanded by the dialectic. The Absolute cannot reach its Omega Point without having overcome all dialectical resistances. How could Absolute Knowledge of the universe be gained if half of the cosmic equation were missing?
The Old World Order are just another phase of the dialectic unfolding on earth. Like evil, they must be resisted and overcome.
Evil is not a mystery in terms of Illumination, it is a dialectical necessity and inevitability. The universe could not evolve to full self-consciousness and moral certainty without it.
The ascent of thought to pure form gives rise to the Absolute Idea, to reason that has reached its maximum expression, but at this stage it lacks all content. It can be equated to God "in himself". The spatio-temporal world is an "emanation" of the Universal Mind - Mind made "other" - in order to create an arena where content can be supplied. God cannot be God without this arena of creation. This explains why God (in himself) created the physical universe: he had no choice. The Abrahamic faiths claim that God is complete and perfect and in no way needs creation - which begs the question of why, in that case, he bothered to create the world. It becomes whimsical and superfluous; an act that makes no sense. In Hegel's philosophy, God MUST create the physical universe. It is an inescapable step on his path to maximum actualization. The physical world is a mirror in which the Universal mind can contemplate itself. Absolute Mind (God fully actualized) attains Absolute Knowledge of form AND content.
The universe goes from bare mind to the Absolute Idea (God in himself) to Nature (God outside himself) to Absolute Mind (God fully actualized).
The "Mirror Self Recognition test" involves sticking a coloured dot on the face of a young child and placing him in front of a mirror to look at himself. A child up to 18 months old will normally stare at his reflection, but show no signs of responding to the presence of the dot i.e. it seems that he does not recognize the reflection as his own. Between eighteen to twenty-four months, most children will instantly reach up to touch the dot, showing that they know the reflection is theirs and that the dot is on their face: they have become self-conscious. They recognize their reflection. The only other creatures that reliably pass the Mirror Self Recognition Test are chimpanzees and orangutans.
God is like the maturing child. For eons, he was unconscious, incapable of recognizing himself. Only when the dialectic had unfolded sufficiently was he able to see and comprehend his own reflection in the mirror of existence that he himself had created for the purpose.
As the abstract thought of the Absolute Idea seeks to become concrete via the dialectic, it first progresses through profound unconsciousness to unconsciousness, to pre-consciousness, to consciousness and finally self-consciousness.
To reach this last stage, it needs the presence of another, comparable consciousness. This is one of the decisive and most remarkable elements of Hegel's philosophy. No one can become self-conscious on their own. A single mind can never become self-conscious. God himself could never become self-conscious in the absence of any other minds. One of the reasons why the Absolute Idea must create an alien, fragmented environment for itself is so that many minds become possible rather than just one, and with many minds self-consciousness can come into existence.
Consciousness, Hegel asserts, is dependent on an encounter with otherness; in particular with another consciousness. We have to interact and engage with what we are not, and, above all, we must be RECOGNIZED by something like ourselves that is not ourselves. If we were surrounded by nothing but objects, we would never become conscious. Consciousness and identity are extremely closely related. We could not attribute an identity to ourselves if we were not conscious, and an identity is all about our relationship with OTHERS of similar type. Other- and tradition-directed people are particularly needful of others. Inner-directed and autonomous individuals will have an identity largely self-created, but in many ways defined by NOT being like the others, the herd. At any rate, a human being who never came into contact with any other animal could never become conscious, and could only become fully conscious in the context of another human. A human baby left stranded on a desert island would, even if it survived, never attain consciousness.
God is no different. As above, so below.
The earliest humans, it is said, lived in a state of perfect innocence in the Garden of Eden, a terrestrial paradise. Everything went wrong when they chose to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, an action explicitly forbidden by God.
Of course, there was no such tree; it was symbolic, not actual, metaphorical not literal. After all, how could eating some fruit give you knowledge of evil? In fact, it is the act of disobedience that introduces humanity to "evil", not the fruit of the tree, and it is this act of disobedience for which humanity is punished by God and for which humanity is said to be "Fallen." The actual eating of the fruit resulted in..."And the eyes of them both [Adam and Eve] were opened, and when they perceived themselves to be naked, they sewed together fig leaves, and made themselves aprons." In other words, the main consequence of understanding good and evil would appear to be the need to go shopping for clothes, which certainly explains a lot about the behaviour of the legions of women who watch Sex and the City.
This is the momentous occasion where sex is first linked with sin, and the world has been paying the price ever since. "Evil" according to the Abrahamic faiths is to be aware of sexuality. How dumb can these religions be? Why didn't the Bible start with the tale of the man who stole everything from his neighbours, then forced them to work for him, relentlessly exploiting them in the process? Or is capitalism "good" while sex is evil? If we simply swapped these two labels, we could be living in paradise. Any religion that celebrates capitalism while condemning sex is evil. Christianity, the main religion of capitalism, has become the most evil religion on earth.
So, the first act of evil recorded by humanity was in fact when the Demiurge, the "Creator" described in the Bible, deliberately placed the Tree of Knowledge, with delicious, tempting fruit on it, in the midst of the Garden of Eden, and forbade Adam and Eve from eating of it. He knew he was subjecting them to an impossible test and he knew that when they failed, he was going to punish them and all their descendants in perpetuity, permanently branding them with the mark of Original Sin. This was a punishment out of all proportion to any possible "crime", especially a simple act of disobedience. Through this grotesque "test", as wicked as the one to which he later submitted Abraham, the Demiurge introduced evil into human affairs. The Tree contained knowledge of good and evil because the Demiurge knew what evil he was going to work with that fateful tree. The Demiurge - the Abrahamic God - committed the very first act of evil that humanity ever encountered. He did not stop there, as history has shown.
Many Christians choose to deny Creationism - the belief that God literally created the universe in six days and rested on the seventh, but in that case do they also deny the factual reality of the events that allegedly took place in the Garden of Eden? This story is crucial to the concept of the Fall and Original Sin, without which there is no need for Jesus Christ to atone for humanity's "crime", in which case there is no need for Christianity. So, what do non-Creationist, non-Garden-of-Eden-believing Christians claim is the purpose served by Jesus Christ?
Hegel says of the fable of the Fall, "What it really means is that humanity has elevated itself to the knowledge of good and evil; and this cognition, this distinction, is the source of evil, is evil itself. Being evil is located in the act of cognition, in consciousness. And certainly being evil resides in the cognitive knowledge; cognition is the source of evil. For cognition or consciousness means in general a judging or dividing, a self-distinguishing within oneself. Animals have no consciousness, they are unable to make distinctions within themselves, they have no free being-for-self in the face of objectivity generally. The cleavage, however, is what is evil; it is the contradiction. It contains the two sides: good and evil. Only in this cleavage is evil contained, and hence it is itself evil. Therefore it is entirely correct to say that good and evil are first to be found in consciousness."
This is exactly right. Evil is a by-product of consciousness. In fact it can be specified more exactly: evil is possible only in the presence of Theory of Mind. Theory of Mind is our ability to attribute a separate mind to other people: to know that they have different thoughts, plans, desires, hopes, dreams, mental states, beliefs, knowledge etc from ourselves. This may seem like a statement of the mind-bogglingly obvious but in fact it's an extraordinary ability to possess, the very essence of being human. We cannot interact meaningfully with others if we lack Theory of Mind.
Very young children do not have Theory of Mind. They think that others must know everything they know i.e. all minds possess exactly the same knowledge. It could actually be argued that infants naturally subscribe to the concept of a collective consciousness where no mind is differentiated from any another. As they get a little older, children start to realize that their thoughts are not known to others and hence they can say things that are not true without being caught out because the person they are telling will not know any better i.e. they discover the human-all-too-human ability to lie. In other words, Theory of Mind is the basis of deceit: you could not lie without this understanding of how human minds work. People suffering from Autistic Spectrum Disorder have severe difficulties with Theory of Mind. The worst sufferers have no Theory of Mind at all. They don't attribute minds to others so they cannot tell lies. They don't know what lies are. A lie is simply an incomprehensible concept to anyone who can't grasp that minds contain different information. Similarly, if all human beings were telepathic, lying would be impossible because telepathy turns all separate minds into one Super Mind.
When it is said that God knows everything, what this actually means is that God, as the being that has Absolute Knowledge of the r = 0 domain, has access to all the information available in the universe. He can read the contents of every mind as though he were a super telepath - because all knowledge is interconnected and accessible via the r = 0 domain. No one can lie to God. That is why God knows everything, why God is the perfect moral judge.
A person carries out an act of evil when he gratuitously does something harmful to another person that he knows will be perceived as harmful by that person. In the extremely unlikely event that a severe autistic killed someone, it could never be described as evil because he would have no idea that his victim had separate thoughts and feelings, hence no idea of the harm he was doing. It would be an accident. Evil is when the perpetrator knows that he would never want it done to him, when he knows that he will cause conscious suffering to the other person, and yet he continues to do it regardless, without any possible legitimate justification. Evil is when a perpetrator knows the damage he is doing and the catastrophic consequences it will have for the other person, and how appalled, bitter and fearful the other person would be if they knew the thoughts and feelings in his head, but doesn't stop. Evil is when one person intentionally does terrible things to another person, for no other reason than to indulge personal desires or self-interest. The super rich are evil because they deliberately deprive others of vital resources in order to indulge themselves. They would be appalled if they were in the shoes of those who are left with practically nothing because of their super greed.
God and Man
Hegel's project was all about showing the intimate connection between God and man. This was the centrepiece of his philosophy. He was determined to heal the alienation that characterized so much of life: between man and nature, man and society, and above all, between man and a God that was made external to him and placed infinitely far above, impossible to reach or comprehend.
"Religion [he's referring to Christianity] wishes to educate men to be citizens of heaven who always look on high and this makes them strangers to human feeling."
Look how well the idea of a remote God works for the Elite. The Pope is called the "Vicar of Christ" - Christ's earthly representative - so to disobey the Pope becomes the equivalent of disobeying God. If God were regarded as being internal rather than external, who would need any popes, any representatives? Hence it is not in the interests of religious leaders to encourage the idea that God is inside us.
Similarly, kings and queens claim to have been appointed by God and therefore to rule by "divine right". To rebel against them was, historically, characterized as high treason against God himself. How very convenient for these monarchs. Once again, it would not suit them for any idea to take hold that God is within us, because that would mean that each of us outranks any monarch.
The super rich in the present day claim that they are doing "God's work" and hence deserve to receive divine rewards. Since when was God a capitalist?! Where does it say in the Bible that the rich stand a better chance of getting into heaven than the poor?
The rich support capitalism when it puts vast profits in their pockets; then they support socialism when they need to be bailed out to prevent them making enormous losses. Look at the credit crunch: the rich kept their profits and the losses were handed to the people to deal with. How dumb are we to have agreed? Capitalism for the profits and socialism for the losses is the worst possible economic system. It's how the rich stay rich, how they get the people to pick up the tab for their failures.
Highly successful people frequently thank God for favouring their endeavours. The automatic inference to be drawn from this "logic" is that all the people who are not rich and successful - i.e. virtually the entire human race - are wicked and undeserving. If an athlete thanks God for helping him to win a race, he is, if he thinks about it, also thanking God for making the others lose, hence he isn't a very nice person, and should be roundly jeered and condemned. God has no interest at all in who wins the 100m at the Olympics.
Only an insane person would choose to believe in a God who treated the vast majority of humanity so wickedly. Of course, if the "God" responsible for all of this is in fact Satan then everything becomes crystal clear. The True God would never appoint popes, monarchs, or tyrants, and nor would he ever endorse the super rich, celebrities, or top athletes.
The Elite are basically saying, "We are God's chosen ones. We are successful because we enjoy the mandate of God…so get on your knees and worship us." Well, those who bend the knee, those who bow to the Elite, deserve nothing more than to be the Elite's slaves. If you buy into a narrative that makes a victim of you then you deserve to be a victim.
The Absolute and the Holy Trinity
Hegel personalized his system in terms of the Christian Trinity. God the Father became the Absolute Idea: God in himself. God the Son (Jesus Christ) was the incarnation of God in the physical world. He was God (the Absolute Idea) physically embodied, but hence alienated from his true self. The travails and sufferings of Jesus Christ in the world can be thought of as God being subject to the harsh, negative aspects of the dialectic. If we say that his birth, where he is visited by Eastern kings and given precious gifts, is the beginning of the thesis of man and God united in one, then his crucifixion, where he is mocked as a false king of the Jews and no kind of God, represents the final, bitter antithesis. The Resurrection is the glorious synthesis in which the antithesis is understood as a remarkable tale of courage and endurance in which God atones for the sins of humanity to liberate humanity forever.
The Holy Spirit (the Holy Mind) is the synthesis of God the Father (God in himself) and God the Son (God outside himself and struggling to be himself: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me."). In this sense, the Holy Spirit can be considered the highest aspect of God, the aspect with which we can truly interact, and which can infuse us with the divine spirit. That can, in short, reveal to us the Mind of God.
Thesis: God the Father = Absolute Idea.
Antithesis: God the Son = the embodiment of the Absolute Idea, the Absolute Idea made flesh, "alienated" God.
Synthesis: God the Holy Spirit = Absolute Knowledge of the Absolute Idea as it is in itself and how it appears when embodied and reflected in the physical world. No higher knowledge is possible. In the Holy Spirit, the maximum actualization of the Absolute Idea is achieved as Absolute Mind/Spirit ("Geist", to use Hegel's specific German word.)
Hegel wrote, "The first moment is the idea in its simple universality for itself, self-enclosed, having not yet progressed to the primal division, to otherness - the Father. The second is the particular, the idea in appearance - the Son. It is the idea in its externality, such that the external appearance is converted back to the first moment and is known as the divine idea, the identity of the divine and the human. The third element, then, is this consciousness - God as the Spirit. The Spirit as existing and realizing itself in the community."
Additionally, Hegel said, '[Philosophy] presents the reconciliation of God with himself, and with nature, showing that nature, otherness, is implicitly divine."
Hegel asserted that his philosophical account of Christianity transcended Christianity as mere religion, revealing far higher truths in an enormously more rational form. He considered philosophy to be the stage above religion, a position that Gnosticism - the search for knowledge rather than faith - has always asserted. In philosophy, we escape from the symbols, parables and "picture thinking" of religion i.e. the simplistic elements that prevent religion from attaining the highest truths and keep it mired in the domain of subjective faith, which invariably misrepresents the truth. Philosophy, based on reason, trumps any religion based on faith. Religion is a necessary dialectical stage preceding philosophy, but it must be transcended if Absolute Knowledge is to be attained.
In a previous article, we said, "For Gnostics and Christians, the concept of 'Holy Spirit' held a very different meaning. To Christians, the Holy Spirit was the third person of the Holy Trinity, and, in Catholic theology, acted through the Church and the holy sacraments. Catholics had no access to the Holy Spirit other than through the sacraments. For Protestants, the individual could interact with the Holy Spirit directly, without the need of the Church or any sacraments. For Gnostics, the Holy Spirit was actually a coded reference to the higher self, the divine spark. By using that term, they could masquerade as Christians and thus avoid accusations of heresy, whilst actually spreading Gnostic teachings. If they succeeded in linking to their higher self, they would be filled with spiritual, mystical understanding - gnosis itself - that would reveal the true nature of existence."
Our divine spark is directly linked to the Holy Spirit/Mind; God in his most perfect and complete form. The Holy Spirit is our channel to the divine. We become God when we enter into union with the Holy Spirit.
Hegel's scheme regarding the Trinity was suitably ingenious to seem Christian, while promoting radically different ideas. As we said in a previous article, if Yehoshua ben Yosef were replaced by Simon Magus, the Illuminati would have no difficulty in describing themselves as Christians, although it would be a Christianity that had nothing in common with what currently passes for Christianity. We are the new and improved Christians, those who actually understand Christianity. It has nothing to do with worshipping the Son of God, and everything to do with becoming God. Christianity is about making yourself Christ.
The Absolute Idea and Institutions
The Absolute Idea infuses everything and manifests itself in everything. Social institutions are a reflection of the Absolute Idea. As they progress on their dialectical journey, they reflect the Absolute Idea more and more perfectly. The legal system, the education system, the political system, the health system, the state - these, in their various stages of development, embody the Absolute Idea with varying degrees of success.
As the abstract Absolute Idea becomes embodied in nature and in humans, their institutions and culture, it becomes Mind. When it has reached its apex of development it is Absolute Mind.
God, as he is "in himself" (before the r > 0 domain comes into existence) is the Absolute Idea, the completely abstract Logos, the unheard Word waiting to speak to an as yet uncreated physical domain. The Absolute Idea becomes embodied in the concrete world in various ways and starts evolving towards Absolute Mind, and the acquisition of Absolute Knowledge of existence.
For Hegel, art, religion and finally philosophy are the ways in which the Absolute Idea returns to itself in the human sphere as the completely actualized Absolute Mind, but Hegel emphasized that only in philosophy could the concept of the Absolute Mind be properly expressed and understood. Religion is inadequate for the task. It is for this reason that Illumination places so much emphasis on philosophy. Gnosticism is about knowledge. Gnosis is the point at which the threshold of knowledge required to enter into union with the Absolute Mind is attained. It puts us on the same wavelength as God.
Through this history (i.e. the life of humanity and human institutions), Hegel said that Spirit achieves its goal of self-consciousness and freedom. In and through humanity and its growing self-consciousness and freedom, Spirit achieves its own realization as the Idea which understands itself.
Individual minds are the Absolute Mind (Spirit) objectifying itself and becoming self-conscious through human self-consciousness. Hegel, to show the connection between humanity and God, presents us as being the vessels of God's actual consciousness, at least in the context of the very finest philosophers. It has been said that his philosophy amounts to a claim that he himself was the culmination of history and evolution i.e. his philosophy literally expressed the Mind of God for the very first time. In the thoughts of Hegel, the Absolute Spirit becomes self-conscious for the first time ever. Absolute Knowledge is attained for the first time in Hegel's philosophy. His philosophy literally explains everything. He himself is God.
Of course, Hegel is seeking to illustrate the point that we can become God.
Hegel says that Mind exists a) subjectively as reasoning and knowing; b) objectively as nature and history; c) absolutely as the Absolute Idea fully expressed both abstractly and concretely and transformed into Absolute Mind. A rational dialectic brings the Absolute Idea to an abstract culmination, and a dialectic of events in the physical world brings it to a concrete culmination as Absolute Mind.
Absolute Knowledge is the culmination of the science (Latin for knowledge) and Gnosticism (Greek for knowledge) through which the Absolute Mind grasps itself conceptually.
"God is God only so far as he knows himself; his self-knowledge is, further, a self-consciousness in man and man's knowledge of God, which proceeds to man's self-knowledge in God."
Faith is useless when it comes to knowledge. Any religion based on faith is a disaster for the soul. Faith is based on ignorance, but it is knowledge that is required for salvation. The "faithful" still have an infinitely far distance to travel on the dialectical path to enlightenment.
But gnosis can also be attained through an intuitive process, of listening to the thoughts of God in which the whole universe is immersed. It is about opening your mind, expanding your consciousness, delving into the Unknown Country of the deep unconscious. Meditation, drugs, ritual, dreams, creativity and esoteric knowledge can all help you to make a decisive breakthrough.
All institutions are subject to the dialectic. They are all evolving. The idea of conservatively minded people that things can and should be preserved is ludicrous. Conservatives are dialectical dead-ends, Luddites trying to block progress. They have no place in a radical society.
Profound ideas become embodied in history, in institutions, in social reality. That's the nature of profound ideas. Trivial ideas simply fade away, although they may capture the Zeitgeist for a moment.
Nature is visible Mind. A planet, in a strange way, might be said to have its own personality. Even more so, a nation, a culture, an institution can have a discernible personality. Like humans, nations, cultures and institutions can be neurotic, psychotic, unhealthy, self-destructive, self-indulgent, divisive, provocative, selective, greedy, conservative, inflexible etc. Like humans, they are on a dialectical path to becoming better, more perfect, but some have a much further path to travel than others.
The Mind appears in Nature in various shapes and forms. With Gaia, we have an example of a "thinking" planet. In the same fashion, all celestial bodies think. All plants think, all animals think. They all have mind, but it is primitive, unconscious and lacking self-awareness. Mind does not start exploring its higher potential until it reaches the level of humanity and above.
The task of philosophers is to identify and understand the shapes Mind takes throughout nature and society. Nature and Mind are different modes in which the Absolute Idea presents itself. Art, religion and philosophy, in ascending order, are different modes in which it can apprehend itself and come to concrete existence in the form of Absolute Mind.
In the form of Abraxas, Nature has developed to the point where it is conscious of itself and become Absolute Mind.
In the ancient world, it was common to attribute three levels of soul to human beings:
1) = the anima bruta - the animal soul, the non-rational, unconscious, instinctive, desiring soul that humans have in common with all animals.
2) = the anima humana - the human soul, the rational, reflective, conscious soul, unique to humans.
3) = the anima divina - the divine soul, pure spirit; the connection of humanity to the divine.
Hegel said that Mind evolves as:
1) soul - mind dependent on Nature.
2) consciousness - mind opposed to Nature.
3) spirit - mind reconciled with Nature in knowledge and understanding.
Mind manifests itself in both natural and human history. It reveals itself to our finite minds in every area of human knowledge. In philosophy, it finds its highest expression. Each great philosophy reflected the state at that time of the dialectical journey of Mind to Absolute Mind:
"Philosophy is its own time raised to the level of thought."
History embodies the Mind's dialectic, with the great eras of history acting as the theses, antitheses and syntheses in the movement towards the ultimate dialectical synthesis.
"History is the Idea clothing itself with the form of events."
"[History is] Mind emptied out into Time."
Heraclitus said, "This one thing is wisdom, to understand Logos as that which guides the world everywhere...There is a Logos that exists forever and is universal, but men fail to comprehend it. All things come about in accordance with this Logos."
All the apparent diversity of the universe has an underlying unity - the Logos, through which everything can be understood.
The Logos of Heraclitus is the same as Hegel's Absolute Idea.
Aesthetics, Hegel thought is "the sensuous appearance of the Absolute Idea."
Art contains truth, but not in the language of concepts. Art resides in the realm of the senses. Art is a type of thought, a means for apprehending reality, but sensually rather than conceptually.
The Negative Dialectic
With the dialectic, a creative, imaginative, intuitive, artistic faculty must be brought to bear.
The dialectic can also be analyzed in reverse. A "negative" dialectical process can be considered as a retrospective unravelling of anything that has reached its dialectical endpoint i.e. rather than creating a synthesis from a thesis and antithesis, it breaks down a synthesis into a thesis and antithesis. Jacques Derrida considered his technique of deconstruction as a dialectical disentangling of "the webs which thinking itself has spun ever since Plato." He described Hegel as the first deconstructionist insofar as he had to retrace and deconstruct history in order to show how we had arrived at our present state.
T.W. Adorno regarded the horrors of World War II as proof that the Hegelian idea of history "progressing" was untenable. Adorno thought it was preferable to work with a negative dialectic that might allow good ideas to be salvaged that had otherwise been swept up into an untenable synthesis.
Another type of negative dialectic can be defined: where the synthesis produced by a thesis and antithesis is negative and unhealthy rather than a positive uplifting of the other two elements. Take an example such as democracy (as the thesis) and capitalism (as the antithesis). This might have led to the best features of democracy and capitalism being blended together in a higher synthesis. Instead, we got the most rapacious form of capitalism with the Elite paying themselves unprecedented sums of money, and democracy being turned into a farce and a mockery of any genuine concept of the people as truly empowered. Those ordinary people who buy into the Elite's version of democracy are complicit in their own oppression. They are victims of a "false consciousness" that makes them think that what is harmful to them is actually beneficial. Of course, the Old World Order have programmed them to think that way.
This latter type of negative dialectic is the bane of our society. It is what prevents humanity from making progress. We always have to be on the look out for these aberrant dialectical steps that take us backwards rather than forwards.
Alienation and The End of History
"Alienation" is a quintessential Hegelian word. It was Hegel who first introduced to the world the concept that it was disastrous for us to be alienated from our true selves. If we are to lead authentic lives, we must overcome all the forces that alienate us from our real natures. We must overcome the brainwashing, the mind control, the programming that makes us obey the agendas of others and live false lives with a false consciousness.
Yet alienation cannot be avoided, and is invaluable up to a point, as long as we can then triumph over it and "come back to ourselves".
It is an essential feature of mind to objectify itself by producing things, creating institutions, expressing itself via art, generating culture etc. Every objectification is an instance of alienation: the objects produced are alien to those who produced them. Look at the current predominant political institution of "democracy" (dumbocracy). In Britain, a monarch is the head of a "democratic" nation - an absurdity. The Athenians who invented democracy would find contemporary democracy incomprehensible. They would view it as an oligarchy seeking the support of the masses. In Athens, only male citizens over 18 who were eligible to serve in the Athenian army were permitted to vote. Women and non-Athenians were forbidden from voting, and the large slave population had no rights at all. Citizens participated directly in government and voted on every issue. Government positions were allocated via lot, with the consequence that any citizen could find himself running the state.
American democracy revolves around an immensely expensive Presidential election that excludes everyone who can't raise the right sort of money. American democracy is actually a disguised plutocracy - rule by the rich.
Humanity is "alienated" from democracy. It can't define it properly, it can't make it work properly, and all too often it feels a victim of it. Only the positive dialectic can resolve the problems of democracy. Via the dialectic, improvements are made over the long run, and the institution becomes less alien and easier to know and understand. The process of de-alienation is effected by the mind attaining greater knowledge of the object.
The first time you pick up a book about a difficult subject such as Hegelian philosophy, you are alienated from the subject matter. It seems remote and baffling. You might grasp only a few points. But if you continued to read Hegel and other books about him, a year later you would find the material much less alien. You would begin to feel in familiar territory. When we get a new job, move to a new home, city or country, when we meet new people, we always start out in an alienated condition that makes us feel anxious. As we spend time in the new environment, it becomes less alien, and we start to relax. The whole of life is like that.
Above all, we are alienated from death. The Egyptians and Tibetans each created a Book of the Dead to explain what can be expected. All world religions try to provide a reassuring account of what will happen when we die. Atheists spend most of their time in denial about death, or rationalizing it, or adopting a stoical nihilism that makes death less fearful.
Once death is viewed as just another process of alienation that has to be overcome, another part of the dialectical chain through which we perfect ourselves, through which we find maximum expression of mind, it starts to lose the fear and "otherness" associated with it. Our alienated body dies for sure, but not our mind. Who would fear death if they saw it as simply opening a door and stepping into another room? The new room will seem highly alien for a while, but that feeling too will be dialectically resolved.
We are trying to perfect ourselves, but fail: death intervenes. God doesn't die, so succeeds. When we establish an identity with God then we too succeed.
Life is all about alienation and de-alienation, about expanding knowledge to embrace and overcome everything that is strange. We cannot become more knowing without having mysteries to solve, resistances to overcome, alien things to comprehend. How else would the mind expand? Struggle is indispensable. We can only stop struggling when we have understood everything, when we have attained Absolute Knowledge. When we have become God.
We are the tool of the cosmic process of ever increasing acquisition of self-knowledge of the Absolute. As above, so below. If we fail to grow dialectically, we do not fulfil our human essence. We remain self-alienated. Most people go through their lives in self-alienated, Autopilot mode. They are making little or no dialectical progress and are condemned to live low-quality lives. Because of the rule of the Old World Order, the whole of humanity is dialectically retarded. We cannot resume an upward trajectory until the OWO are defeated.
Francis Fukuyama claimed that after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of communism, liberal democracy was the only show left in town, the only universal ideology left. Islam is not a viable rival since Islam has never had any strong appeal to non-Muslims. If you aren't born a Muslim, you are highly unlikely to find anything attractive about it; quite the reverse.
Fukuyama was famous for his book about the "End of History". What he meant by this provocative phrase had nothing to do with some apocalyptic event but rather with the philosophical idea that history has reached its logical conclusion, its dialectically appointed end, in the shape of liberal democracy operating according to capitalist market economics. Historical events would still take place, but they would no longer be concerned with the dialectic since that had reached its endpoint.
In other words, he was making the claim that liberal democracy is as good as it gets for humanity. This bungled and botched monstrosity is the apex of human political evolution, supposedly. One by one, Fukuyama imagined, countries not yet part of the liberal democratic family would succumb until the entire world was one vast liberal democracy.
But liberal democracy is NOT the end of history. Humanity is capable of so much more. The Divine Society, the community of gods, is humanity's appointment with the end of history.
The Abrahamic faiths, and Christianity in particular as the main religion of the OWO, constitute a primary obstacle to humanity's upward evolution. They make humanity subordinate their great mental powers and talents to an external authority. We must look inside, not out. Nothing is more important. Feuerbach said, "Christianity prevents humanity from realizing itself in the Absolute. A new age is dawning in which Christian values will be abolished from human consciousness and man will conceive of himself as a natural being."
We don't need pastors, preachers and prophets, we need priests of philosophy and gnosis. We need a conflict-free society, a society of freedom, of everyone attaining the maximum actualization of their potential, a society where no one is subordinate to anyone else, where no one is servile.
We need a rebirth of the pagan spirit, a return to the pre-Abrahamic mind so that we can reverse the dialectical wrong turning of the last 2,000 years.
"The whole history of civilisation is strewn with creeds and institutions that were invaluable at first, and deadly afterwards."
Philosopher Peter Singer, discussing Hegel's concept of the "unhappy soul", says, "The unhappy soul is a person who prays to a God whom he regards as all powerful, all knowing, and all good, and who sees himself by contrast as powerless, ignorant and base. So this person is unhappy because he demeans himself and puts all those qualities into some Being which he sees as separate from himself. Hegel says this is wrong. We are in fact part of God, or if you like, we are projecting our qualities into God. The way to overcome this kind of alienation is to realize that we and God are one, and that the qualities we attribute to God are our qualities, they are not something separate from, and foreign to, us."
Singer is right. Many people take the inner God that they are intuitively aware of and project it onto an external fantasy. They thus lose the sense of their own divinity. They start getting down on themselves, becoming negative, and continually comparing themselves with their external fantasy God, in relation to whom they always fall infinitely short. It is psychologically disastrous for people to see God as external rather than internal, as impossibly remote and terrible.
But the dialectic will inevitably correct those things that need correcting and bring us to a future society free of domination by any class or group. Liberal democracy claimed to be such a society but in fact we see that it presents an illusion with no substance. Liberal democracy is the last throw of the dice by the Elite. Their task was to create a system that would appear free and fair to satisfy the masses, while allowing them to maintain all of their old privileges. It required huge psychological manipulation to achieve it.
The Elite have created a number of myths to sustain themselves: "freedom", "democracy", "change", "choice", "equal rights", "human rights", "respect", "fairness", "justice" etc. It sells a "narrative" which it relentlessly shoves down our throats until we accept it. This narrative is that the Elite are the servants of the people, are doing the best for the people, that the world would collapse without them, that they need vast rewards because that's what capitalism (the "market") demands and capitalism is an intrinsic good without which we would all be lost. But once we wise up we will see that liberal democracy is designed to sustain an Elite in perpetual power and is thus the dialectical antithesis of what it purports to be. It will INEVITABLY be destroyed because the people cannot be fooled forever.
We are all trapped in a web spun by the masters - firstly, they used force to dominate the world, and now they use consumerism, rigged laws, rigged markets and rigged political systems. The system of control has moved from physical to mental (psychological).
The Elite say we have the freedom to do as we please. But this is really the freedom to follow fashion and tradition. Most people are obsessed with "keeping up with the Jones's," or having the respect of their "community". So, if you're determined to be acceptable to others by always wearing the right things, saying the right things, doing the right things (i.e. the things of which others approve), in what way are you actually free? Being free to do what others tell you to do is not freedom.
Dionysius, a Greek tyrant, was said to have written down the laws of his state on parchments and then hung them so high up that the people had no way of reading them. Liberal democracy is not so different. It is not intended to furnish us with clear, easily digestible and comprehensible laws. Power is always out of touch of the people, although it is dangled in front of us to pretend otherwise.
Most of our institutions represent the embodied will of the Demiurge as expressed through the Old World Order. These institutions serve the Elite, not the people.
"The great nations have always acted like gangsters, and the small nations like prostitutes."
Although we are forever being subjected to the rhetoric of freedom, the reality is that there is overwhelming pressure to conform with fashion or tradition, depending on the nature of our community. The idea of the world being populated by self-defining, self-creating, godlike individuals - Nietzschean Supermen - is a far distant dream.
Yet the replacement of liberal democracy is a dialectical certainty. It has utterly failed to serve the people. It has instead succeeded spectacularly in serving the interests of the rich.
The universe is always in motion. It is always resolving contradictions via the dialectic. It is all embracing. History, nature and mind are all evolving. The final end of the process is to bring the universe to self-consciousness, self-knowing and absolute actualization.
Mind constructs physical reality, but does so dialectically rather than consciously. Mind therefore thinks that reality is "out there" rather than "in here". Hence it is alienated from itself, and this underlies all feelings of anxiety. All parts of the system of mind are working through a process of developing self-consciousness. Only when the dialectic raises the mind to a state of such high self-consciousness where it can understand that reality originated in itself does the alienation cease. At that point, mind fully understands reality and itself. At last, it is at one with itself. It has reached perfection. It has become God.
The Influence of Hegel
"The influence that Hegel had is not just an influence in philosophy, it's an influence in theology, in history, in politics, in economics, in war. The fact that Hegel's ideas could be applied in these ways shows how useful his approach was, particularly the historical elements of his approach. Hegel's historical vision of everything as having developed, as being the outcome of a process, could fruitfully be applied by scholars in all those different areas."
"It is only with the fall of dusk that the owl of Minerva spreads its wings."
In Hegel's philosophy, the universe is a dynamic process, an evolving organism, its purpose being to actualize all of its potential. It will inevitably attain the highest complexity possible. The motor of progress is the dialectic, a process that allows contradictions and conflicts to be iteratively resolved within higher and higher levels of truth, until an ultimate synthesis of absolute truth is attained in God.
Geist - Mind/Spirit is Hegel's arche, the primordial substance from which everything else is derived. It manifests itself in diverse ways. It creates phenomena not out of nothing, but out of itself. It is an intrinsically creative, purposeful force.
The Absolute Idea is pure intuition about what must be done to actualize itself. It is complete abstraction. It is the necessary precursor of consciousness.
The universe is a living, evolving organism with the qualities of mind. Ultimately, the universe has the same form as consciousness.
The dialectic is the motor of progress. Boredom can be considered as the longing for content, and plays a critical role in driving the dialectic of the cosmic mind. If it were possible to be satisfied then the dialectic would come to a halt, but that can never happen. Boredom is the feeling that overcomes us when the dialectic needs to drive us forward again. All we can ever hope for is a temporary satisfaction before moving forward again.
The Absolute Idea is a dynamic self, with inner purpose.
Abstract Mind - the Absolute Idea - is speculative and lacking self-awareness. In order to learn, it alienates itself in Nature and then, after a long dialectical quest, returns home to itself in concrete form as Absolute Mind i.e. real and meaningful, self-conscious rather than purely abstract.
Absolute Mind affirms itself. The essence of Absolute Mind lies in freedom and knowledge. The Absolute Mind is the apex of existence, the Omega Point of cosmic evolution.
Nature, the physical universe of matter, is alienated mind: mind that does not yet know itself as the stuff of mind. Anyone familiar with the extraordinary properties of quantum particles will understand how these are far from being simple lumps of "stuff"; they seem to exist as kind of hybrid mind/matter.
R = 0, the domain of thought; dimensionless; the "inner" aspect of existence; unextended mind. The underlying basis of reality. Obeys the laws of thought (mind).
R > 0, the physical domain; dimensional; the "outer" aspect of existence; extended mind, which thereby loses the characteristics of unextended mind, and, in consequence, seems alien to mind. Obeys the laws of physics.
R >= 0 is the synthesis of unextended mind and extended mind. It is reality as we know it. It was imperative for unextended mind to become extended (i.e. for the physical universe to come into existence). Only by allowing thought to have as its object something that seemed alien to thought could thought maximize its potential. If the physical universe didn't exist, thought would dialectically reach an endpoint of abstract thought, but this would be inferior to "concrete" thought. Only the universe, exactly as it is, permits the maximum unfolding of the dialectic. There is no other possibility that could allow the dialectic to reach a higher stage. Therefore this is the perfect, complete, and inevitable universe, the only conceivable outcome of the dialectical evolution of the existence. This is the best and optimal of all possible universes, as Leibniz asserted.
Absolute Idea (r = 0)
Nature (r > 0)
Mind/Spirit (r >= 0)
The Idea-in-itself (thesis) is that which exists before the world and which undergoes dynamic development. The Idea-outside-of-itself (antithesis) is Nature. The synthesis is the Idea present throughout the physical universe, like a mind throughout a physical brain. The synthesis is self-conscious. This is the Absolute Mind, the culmination of the development of the original Idea-in-itself.
Subjective mind - the study of the mind of the individual; the inner workings of the human mind. The mind of the genius is the highest level of subjective mind.
Objective mind - the study of mind as manifested in society: in community, culture, law etc; the outer workings of the human mind i.e. as it is externally embodied in social and political institutions. The state is the highest level of objective mind.
Absolute Mind - the synthesis of the subjective and objective mind, reflected in art, religion and philosophy. The truth of the Absolute Mind can be discovered in all of these. They all have the same content, but different form. (Science is excluded because it deals with mind in its alienated physical form rather than its proper mental form.)
The dialectical progress of mind is reflected in individuals, in social institutions such as family and state, and, especially in the art, religion and philosophy of a particular time: "Philosophy is its own time raised to the level of thought."
All modes of experience are interconnected: family, economic, political, artistic, economic, religious and philosophical. All must be "solved" if we are to have the perfect society.
Nature and man, the individual and society, science and morality, art, religion and philosophy are all stages in the development of the dialectic.
The state can be regarded as a Super Person, made up of persons just as the brain is made of brain cells. As the quality of the people rises, so does the quality of the state. Any force that holds back the progress of the people must be overcome. Liberal democracy is the main roadblock to the next stage of human evolution. It prevents ordinary people from attaining the highest quality of which they are capable.
The national genius - Hegel said that in every age one nation is in charge of the dialectic. For the last seventy years, it has been America, but the power of America is on the wane. The baton may be about to be transferred, unless the best of America can rise to the challenge. Who will seize it? China, Russia, India, Brazil? How about Germany, the leading nation of Europe and a world-historic nation?
"Weltgeist" - the world mind/spirit - Gaia. Every mind on earth is subconsciously attuned to the Weltgeist. They just don't know it consciously.
Some individuals and nations are "world historic" and it is these that are most involved in carrying the dialectic forward; they are those in whom the dialectic is embodied. The Illuminati have always sought to associate themselves with the world historic advance of the dialectic.
The Zeitgeist is the spirit of the age, as defined by those with most influence in that age. We live in a feeble, trivial zeitgeist of celebrity, the super rich and cultural junk. It is through this pathetic zeitgeist that the Elite so easily control us.
This present age is dialectically unsustainable. It will inevitably be replaced.
History is the tale of the unfolding of the dialectic. History forms an intelligible pattern. It is a process with a rational end.
"History is a conscious, self-mediating process - Mind emptied out into time."
History, Hegel said, is the "march of reason in the world." Human institutions reflect the current state of human reason. Stupid ages are reflected in stupid institutions. All of dumbocracy's institutions are stupid.
"History teaches us that people have never learnt anything from history."
Anyone who cannot understand the dialectical workings of history is condemned to repeat past errors. They will become part of the antithesis to progress that must be overcome. Liberal democracy obeying capitalist market forces is an antithesis.
All earlier philosophies were dialectical stage posts on the way to the ultimate philosophy. They were inevitable parts of the process of attaining the truth. All the errors, misunderstandings and false paths were essential.
Logic, for Hegel, is the science of thought. He said of logic, "[It is] the exposition of God, as he is in his eternal essence before the creation of nature and of a finite spirit [i.e. man]…[It] decides…to release itself as Nature freely out of itself."
"…logic is to be understood as the system of pure reason, as the realm of pure thought. This realm is truth as it is without veil and in its own absolute nature."
Kant set limits to what was knowable, Hegel did not. He asserted that everything that exists is knowable. Everything is interconnected. Everything is, finally, shown to be one unified Whole. All the apparently separate pieces are just part of one cosmic jigsaw.
"The true is the whole."
The Community of Gods
Finally, it's necessary to clarify something about Hegel's philosophy. He presents God as firstly existing "in himself", secondly becoming incarnate in a person (Jesus Christ in order to be compatible with Christianity) and thirdly reaching full self-consciousness through humanity (and initially through Hegel himself).
The precise teaching of Illumination is slightly different (it has no requirement to be in any way compatible with Christianity). First, God exists "in himself"; as abstract thought. Second, God evolves to become "concrete" - Abraxas. Third, God chooses Simon Magus as his human vessel. Fourth, humanity evolves to join Abraxas as part of a "community of Gods".
Those of us capable of attaining gnosis will be part of that divine community.
Knowledge of reality rather than knowledge of the appearance of reality.
God needs the universe just as a person needs a body.
Abraxas, the True God, the Supreme Principle, is usually represented as a being with the head of a rooster, the body of man and serpents for legs.
The rooster represents the "dawn of understanding" since the rooster is the creature that greets the dawn. It is symbolic of the divine soul.
Hence the three parts of Abraxas represent a) the anima bruta (the animal soul, represented by serpents) b) the anima humana (the human soul, represented by the human body) and the anima divina (the divine soul, represented by the rooster). Abraxas is the dialectical completion of this progression through the different types of soul, ascending in terms of purity, complexity, understanding and spirituality.
Abraxas is often depicted with a shield and whip, showing that, like a noble Knight, he must participate in a dialectical struggle in which he progressively overcomes antitheses, contradictions, errors and ignorance if he is to actualize his full potential. The shield offers protection from the forces that seek to waylay him. The whip represents how he drives the dialectic forwards, onwards and upwards.
In the most sacred representations, a Phoenix replaces a rooster as the head of Abraxas. The Phoenix, the glorious bird that rises from the ashes, is a symbol of reincarnation and transcendence of mortality and the chains that bind us to the world.
The human torso of Abraxas is, at the most sacred level, that of Simon Magus, in whom the Logos became embodied on earth. At the most sacred level, the serpents symbolize the wisdom of the Absolute Idea, God "in himself" before he reveals himself to the world and makes himself concrete.
In numerological terms, Abraxas has the number 365, representing the full year and, by extension, the whole of time.
Abraxas, because he was repellent to Christians, was often regarded by them as a senior demon or even the Devil himself. Thus witches and magicians often invoked Abraxas as the foe of the Christian god.
All of this results in a great deal of confusion surrounding Abraxas, as much as surrounds Lucifer who is often ludicrously identified with his opposite: Satan. Many symbolic representations of Gnostic concepts have become hopelessly tainted and corrupted as a result of Christian propaganda. Also, many Gnostic symbols have been appropriated by Old World Order secret societies such as Skull and Bones and the Bohemian Club.
This material is, undeniably, extremely complex. Hegel did not earn his reputation as a "difficult" philosopher for nothing. Yet no philosophy has ever been as magnificent, as ambitious, and as inspiring. Hegel showed how humanity and God are inextricably linked. He showed how it can truly be said that we can become God.