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Hegel was Way Cool

So, once upon a time there was hegel...

No seriously. 

So we start with the science of philosophy right?  And Hegel really stands apart in the field.  Like Socrates and the Buddha does.  Presents a completely different, yet completely relevant point of view.  The difference between these is the linguistic distance between us and them.  Hegel spoke German, Socrates spoke greek, buddha spoke...  we don't even know...

So if linguistics is based on spoken word, and true understanding of all these philosophies is based on the reading of these texts, as symbols of spoken word first, and cognated (known) thought second, then we are required first to return to the nature of language to understand them.  For clearly we cannot know with certainty what was thought when one spoke as such way back when.  We only know these philosophies now as they appear. 

Case in point:  Dukkha.  Dukkha is the concept of suffering, logically translated as intending that one is suffering at every moment.  But the basis of this belief is not simply that.  It arises out of a vedic tradition, out of a pali transliteration of speech moments in time.  Originally the oral tradition of buddhism was to communicate the dhamma by means of mnemonic devices, recitations to be memorized, and used as the seed of discourse.  From the presentation of the "dhamma" in a recitation, a line of argumentation is developed which supercedes the mere recitation presented.  Originally these moments passed into or away from understanding, but the discussion was not recorded.  In the Abhidhamma, we have not a discussion, but a first-level system of dissemination from the teachings directly communicated from the guru to disciple, with more or less unquestioning acceptance of the root premises.  There are vast segments of teachings only sung to the choir, so to speak.  Thereofore, in the Abhidhamma we do not meet an objective argumentation of the dhamma, but rather its attempted exegisis into a database-like structure, attempting to elucidate the concepts presented in the Suttana.

Linguistically speaking (pun intended) we have change the modus of discourse.  Never are we dwelling in the realm of uncertainty in the Abhidhamma.  Rather we are only dealing with a linguistic act catagorized and catalogued and expounded upon.  We are outside of the Dhamma looking in,  Likewise in the Suttana itself we are outside looking in.  We do not see the dhamma because we are talking about the dhamma and seeing and communicating are held to be antithetical.

The root construct of Buddhism is the notion of Suffering.  Yet, suffering is concieved rather as an outcome of desire, an outcome of clinging.  We want, thus we suffer equally when we have as when we have not.

We suffer not because suffering is immanent, but because of our desire and clinging.  More properly.  Desire leads to clinging, clinging to suffering.  The act of clinging is suffering, for the necessity of wanting is the necessity of suffering.

Thus originates and propegates of its own accord, the dhamma.  Buddha Dhamma is thus held to say "life is suffering" when if fact more appropriately we should say "life is clinging is suffering..."  Or better still, "desire leads to clinging leads to suffering."  Following this to its logical conclusion is the purpose of the Abhidhamma, and thus, the lists and categories.  Desire originates in sensual perception.  By seeing we desire objects of sight, by tasting, we desire objects of taste.  The eye leads to seeing leads to desire, leads to clinging for the object of desire, leads to suffering.

Its a simple process, but the reverse of this system is not so clear.

Hegal was way cool, cause he did the same thing.  Being evolves from etc etc etc... It doesn't particularly matter what conclusions he draws, because the process he outlines is much the same as many others have attempted.  Yet he acklowleges at the outset that he is standing on the shoulders of others as evolved and enlightened, but lacking the insight of hundreds of years of reflection upon their own systems.  In the opening pages of Phenomenology of the Spirit he says as much.  What I am seeing now is that what the Abhidhammists were doing and what Hegel was doing is much the same.  A clearly fallable strategy, but one pursued with vigour that in the end will point beyond itself. 

Both systems seek the truth through the effulgence of concepts.  On idea is not presented nor accepted "outside" of the rest.  Rather, it is the internal deconstruction of a root concept, say "being" or "suffering" which is exploded.  We see in Hegel that the Universal Spirit which he takes for granted, and in Siddhartha's system the truth of "suffering, cessation of suffering, and the path to the cessation of suffering" 

I'm off track from whereever I began.  God bless brainstorms...



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