I often follow the blog of Frank DeMarco, who can hold a dialogue with, for lack of better words, non-incarnated beings. He calls them humorously “The Guys Upstairs”, or TGU. Yesterday he reposted an article from 2007, which ended like this: “TGU: …. the invisible laws governing the times. Hegel was not mistaken, nor was he lost in abstraction.”
And I go, wow, what a statement to make, no matter if it was made by somebody incarnated or a group of non-incarnated. Really, Hegel?! Most people don’t know who Hegel is, or better, was. Hegel was one of the most influential philosophers and for sure one, if not the, hardest to understand. So to throw in an offhand statement like that means something.
I had read Hegel many years ago, or rather, had tried to. He developed a technique called “the dialectic” in which thought builds itself up through something like a dialogue into ever higher understanding.
To me, it is of interest, because this process eventually leads to “the absolute,” that which includes all. Could this, I once wondered, be another way to approach the infinite, that which has no name? In the East, we have mediation, a way that does not use thought. Could this be a Western way based on thought and logic?
So what is this dialectic, you ask? Again, Hegel is hard to understand, and therefore other philosophers (Carl Popper) have restated it as
Thesis -> Antithesis -> synthesis to something higher -> then repeat
I had recognized parts of this in the way DeMarco goes about with TGU. It is an ongoing dialogue that allows us get a higher, or deeper, understanding. There are several key terms he uses that also imply a dialectic: “To understand A you have to understand B and to understand B you have to understand A.” Through this back and forth, higher insights become available that could otherwise not have been stated. Plus there is a concept of “as below, so above” (the dialectic repeating itself at higher levels).
A nudge: try it yourself
So I asked Mr. DeMarco, could you ask TGU to expand on this? Is there any deeper meaning hidden here?
And he came back saying what he had suggested to me before: You know, there is nothing special about what I do. Anybody can do this. YOU can do it. So why don’t you try it this time?
“I guarantee,” he said, “that if you don’t try, you can’t! But neither of us knows what will happen as you do try. I’d kind of like to know.” And then: “Have you talked to Herr Professor Hegel yet? You at least speak the same language!” HA HA, Frank, you have no idea, our house is an island of English in a sea of German. But I get the point. I am bilingual and as such can understand nuances in both languages that might otherwise be missed. Especially with Hegel. That turned out to be important.
So once more I am being called to action, as so often in the last few days. And did I not vow to become a bridge builder? Of bridges between worlds? Here, a chance reveals itself.
So I took up the challenge. I did the experiment, and tried to have a dialogue, this time with “Herr Hegel,” similar to what Frank does with TGU or Rita. And then, to my surprise, James Joyce popped in as well….
I think the experiment went pretty OK. Some of the insights I find stunningly beautiful, especially the part on how selflessness and love combine to form the absolute. Plus a completely new insight emerged from James Joyce, that has already proven to me immensely helpful.
So is any of this true? Have I really talked to Hegel and Joyce? Who is to say. Even Mr. DeMarco often has his doubts. It helps to keep us sane, or as he says, to not fall into the trap of psychic disease. So was it really just my subconscious that talked to me and through me? If so, I am pleased with some of the insights given. I am not sure if I could have gleamed them otherwise. And what exactly is the subconscious? Even Carl Jung said, it is linked to a greater collective unconscious, which then, would indeed contain Hegel and Joyce.
How to read what follows
The result of the experiment is shown below.
I did the experiment before going to sleep, when I was in a semi-altered state of mind. However, the first insight came in a flash when I was getting ready to go lie down. After I did lie down, at first I got nothing. So I started to read a bit about Hegel. When I became too tired to read, I started to write, and indeed, insights flowed.
Here are some notes that will help read the transcript:
- In what follows, I give a faithful transcript. I did the experiment taking hand written notes, just as DeMarco does.
- This morning, I transcribed these notes. “M” stands for “Me”, “H” for “Hegel”, and “J” of “Joyce”.
- I inserted text [like this] to help fill in blanks in the text.
- After I was done transcribing, I inserted my commentary like this *[to give further understanding].
- As mentioned above, there was a break where I did some reading. I inserted a section below that gives the details of what happened during that intermission.
Did the reading prime my subconscious? I can’t say. For sure, some of the insights that followed are not taken from the text, nor what I expected.
The experiment: A dialogue with Hegel – and James Joyce
4/4/2019 roughly 10:45 pm -– 4/5/2019 a bit after midnight
The first part happened before lying down. I should mention that sometimes I get insights, and the feeling of these are very different than my own thinking. It is very subtle. The initial few answers had exactly that feel: direct transmission of something. I have no idea where they came from .
Me – from now in italics and as “M”: OK, “Herr Hegel,” what about the dialectic?
Hegel – from now on as “H”: It is the basic law of the universe.
M: Oh, and what about kneading?*
*[The analogy of kneading is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. It was TGU’s answer to my first own question that I posed to Frank/TGU, with regard to a deep spiritual insight 20 years ago. ]
H: It is the same thing.
The dialectic is kneading.
But most people misunderstand it [or misunderstand me].
M: How so?
H: They think it is an abstract process.
M: And if is not abstract?
H: It is life unfolding itself.
[pause. I am getting nothing]
M: OK, Mr. Hegel, “Herr Hegel”, sonst noch etwas ? *
*[ I tried to coax him/me by switching to German, but it did not work. Apparently, Herr Hegel will respond in the language of my thoughts, which happen to be mostly English.]
M: so how exactly does it work.
[ long pause, nothing coming through. ]
[Interlude. Now I stopped. Was I missing something? I put the notepad aside and picked up a book on Hegel that I read, oh maybe, some 15 years ago, skimming over some highlighted passages. The following stood out to me:
- “The I is in the We and the We is in the I”. I now see the connection to the new strand model of the soul, if not a universal pattern.
- The dialectic: the synthesis does not simply contain the two opposites, but there is another sense. Hegel uses the word “aufhebung.” It is a highly multilayered word (google translate shows 24 senses) and some translators get it wrong, taking it to mean the synthesis annuls the opposites. Rather, It should mean 1) to preserve the opposites, like you preserve a keepsake; while at the same time2) lifting them up into something higher.
- A section on the dialectic states that “Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis” is a huge oversimplification. The missing distinction is that each opposite contains traces of the other in it. And thereby brings the other into existence. That sense is completly lost the simplification.
At that moment, an image flashed in my mind: the Yin-Yang symbol. It also has two parts. And in each part there are two small dots [see my picture above]. These appear where each part is the fullest, and represent the beginning of the opposite half. Thus, each part contains trances of the other, in fact, it creates the other.
This is exactly what Hegel talked about. Here we have the most abstruse Western philosopher and Eastern Taoism saying the same thing.
And I got it!
As Hegel said above: the dialectic is a basic law of the universe.
And further: Yes, Mr. Hegel, you are misunderstood!
So you see, this break was indeed a necessary interlude to clear up some of my own misunderstandings. Without this, any dialogue would have been hard. Hegel had to remain silent.
By that time I was getting sleepy again, and was in a more relaxed state of mind. So I put the book down, and continued the discussion. End of interlude ]
[it now continues. I pick up the thread from before.]
M: Why would life unfold and not enfold? *
*[ I asked, because as Hegel’s dialectic moves onward, it seems to me that we would enfold simpler structures into higher ones. So unfolding did not makes sense to me]
H: Because that would go from something fluid to something more static, more compact. Life unfolding means to push itself out into a myriad of structures.
M: So where is the “aufhebung”? [ see the interlude ]
H: It really is an
evolution * elevation.
It is not just preserve the union but to thereby elevate them.
You see (?), to the next level.
And thus life unfolds and elevates itself into more and more complex structures.
*[ In my handwritten note, I first had evolution, but I knew that was not what was meant. Yet, it also fit. It was like the word was there in him/me, unformed, but I could not express it yet. The word was elevation. I did not get that word earlier in the interlude, so it is arguably new.]
M: so how [do we] apply [this] to souls and such?
H: The difference is the I vs We [both underlined]
They seem opposites.
But the I contains the We and the We contains the I.*
*[That was the sentence in the interlude. Maybe I was just repeating it? But more was to come… ]
M: I can see the first part but not the “We” contains the I ?
H: You are coming at it wrong. [You are coming at it] from the standpoint of psychology, of the superego, “das Man.”*
*[ Superego from Freud: Id, superego, and ego. “Das Man” from Heidegger – the unseen social pressure system that shapes our lives, and yet, of which we are a part and shape it back; a sort of dialectic]
M: Oh. So?
H: I am trying to find the words in you [ underlined ]*
*[That statement startled me. Where did that come from? He did not say “find the words for you” but “find the words in you.” And I picked up that sense very definitely. ]
M: In me?
H: Yes, because how else can I talk to you?*
*[So here we go: He is talking through me, as me ]
M: Got it. So how about this.
M: How is the I in the We ?
M How do we contain the I, the individual?
H: It is not that I = We. But the I is just one of many in the We. Others feed into it as well.
Yet, the other way, the we shaped the I.
Can you see it?*
*[ I get it now, it really IS the same after all. The we IN ME contains the many: I am many, like many strands. At the same time, my total collective I is part of the We and helps to shape it. Sort of like “Das Man” (see above). That realization is the union, the synthesis, the elevation of the opposites]
M: Yes, more or less.
M: So then, how do they combine, how do they elevate themselves into the most higher things?*
H: It is not that it is higher.
*[ This is not grammatically correct – but heck, it is my writing, we should be used to that by now.. But I see a play on words. “Most” implies the ultimate, and that could only be singular. There can only be one highest thing. But I said “most higher things,” a plural. The play on words is again singular vs plural. It makes sense in that context: opposites uniting and being contained in the union ]
H: Becoming, ever churning.*
* [In Hegel’s original discussion of the dialectic, the first two opposites are Being and Nothingness, which get resolved into “becoming.” The word “churning” will have significance later in the dialogue. It foreshadows things to come. In a big way, I can now say already. However, at the time I did not pick up that sense. ].
[pause, he is looking for words ]
M: Can you send me an image?
M: I get a star ( a sun) *
*[ I was getting a star, in the sense of like a sun, but definitely as a star]
H: Yes, a star: It is burning itself for the benefit of others.
The star is selfless. It gives.
That is what the elevated union of I and we is:
A bright star that burns for the benefit of all. It gives itself.
M: Is that the absolute?
H: Not quite yet, but it is getting there.
M: Heather was [is] a star! *
H: Yes, you see, she gave herself. **
*[That statement has great significance to me. I don’t mean star as in rock star or anything, although she would have loved that, but I mean "star" literally: a star in the Pegasus constellation was officially named after her. This is another important story I need to write up, about strange events that happened after her death, and how time ripples not just forward but backwards. Here, time connects with it once more.]
**[See my article on ‘choosing bad things to happen: victims, murderers and survivors – part 2.’ The word victim originally implied sacrifice, as in a sacrifice to a higher power: she gave herself. I am sending love to you, Heather.]
M: I get something:
M: The star is “selfless” it has no ego.
H: Exactly, that is the next distinction.
I vs We become selfless. [underlined]*
*[here we have becoming again ]
M: So what opposite is contained in selfless?
[pause – from my end ]*
*[I am STUNNED! That one did not make sense to me at all… Where did love come from? Doesn’t selfless imply love? So I ask: ]
M: Love? Why Love? Isn’t it the same ?
H: No, selfless is just pure, undirected.
But love is directed, it connects.
Remember that these* stage contains the others. So “I” and “we” are in them.
Self-less is for all the parts, but does not express a caring.
Love is that caring.
And it should be easy to see how these two unite, and elevate.
The result is the absolute.
A loving and caring selflessness that contains the I and the We.
All I and the We.
You see how you went from its parts to the Absolute, yet it contains them all: Caringly?**
*[I can’t read my handwriting here. I think I wrote “these”, which again is grammatically incorrect. But the play on words fits: not singular vs plural, but singular AND plural. A perfect synthesis ]
**[For what it is worth, I though these last paragraphs were beautiful. After my own quest there was a deep spiritual insight, and the emotion during that insight was pure bliss. Here, in that statement, it is all summarized so well. I actually could not have said it better, which again brings up the question who said this? Hegel? Or me? Or both? Oh, for the love of it.]
M: Wow. It is beautiful.
M: thank you, Mr. Hegel.
H: Call me Fred #1.
M: Ha, Ha, very funny.
H: We are the Freds, We are the Freds. [ this always comes through like little children singing, innocent, with giggling ] *
*[I heard this before a few times. “The Freds” is how I call my TGUs. There is a story behind that name, but the gist is that there is nothing special about us/them. ]
[ At that moment, there was a flash of James Joyce. ] *
*[James Jocye has come up a lot in my thinking lately, because in Frank’s blog we have been discussing reality as dreaming. Joyce employed something in his writing called “stream of consciousness” writing, which is not unlike what I am doing in this dialogue: just write unfiltered and without thinking and editing it. In this books, the whole thing becomes like a dreamlike dialogue, flowing in and out, with many layers of interpretation possible. “Finneagans Wake” was completely written in this dream language, and allows no singular interpretation. Worlds come into existence without end.]
M: Can you get James Joyce on the line?
[ A new voice comes in, with a distinct Irish accent ]*
*[An Irish accent as good as >I< can think it. It kind of reminded me of Patty McGuiness, an Irish comedian on British TV. It also reminded me of Paul McCarthy talking. Now, I realize, to mix an Irishman with a Scotchman is almost sacrilegious to my British friends, but as I said: the accent was expressed as good as >I< could. Everything is filtered through my mind.]
Joyce [with an Irish accent and that’s how you should read it as well]: I am here. I am always here.
M: Why are you relevant?
J: You now it, son, because of the dream images.
This is what [long pause]* Friedrich said.
It is a continual churning.
You and the TGUs called it kneading.
Churning is another term.
It has a different meaning. [ nuance ]**
Like butter is churned
Continually turned over until it becomes harder, a homogeneous mass.***
It does not have to be baked, you see.
That is the difference.
And that, my friend, links to matter [underlined]****
But look at the word churning.
What lies hidden in it.
*[There was a long pause here. He/I was looking for Hegel’s first name. Eventually it came as Friedrich. I had no idea at the time if this was right or wrong; at this instance I could truly not remember Hegel’s first name. I have to admit, some fear struck me: if this turns out to be wrong, wouldn’t it show I made all this up?
Afterwards I looked up Hegel’s full name. It was correct. Well kind of… He actually had a triple first name: “Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.” No wonder I could not remember that. So I was relieved I got at least a part right. Today I did some more research, and in private letters to his wife, Hegel would use “Wilhelm.” But still, I am relieved Friedrich was indeed part of his first name. And who knows what a drinking Irish man would call him anyways (Joyce liked to drink. Well I fancy Irish Wiskey, too).
So, did this come from my subconscious? Or really Joyce? The point here is that it does not matter: our subconscious IS linked with something greater. The reason for the pause then, is, whatever spoke to me or through me, at that time the name Friedrich was not readily available in my own storehouse, but eventually did come through ]
**[This is interesting. Joyce was a master of nuances. In Finneagans Wake he weighted every word. I wonder where this will lead. SEE POST NOTES BELOW!]
***[Mass as in matter]
****[Here it is, the key word: Matter. I have been thinking a lot about how matter is formed ]
[By that time, it was now a bit after midnight. It is now 4/5/2015. Today would be Heather’s birthday; she would have turned 35. I can’t help to see the connection. I stopped and went to sleep.]
#1 The next morning as I typed this up, I had this thought:
M: Hegel, this is great stuff. Why did you not write it up more clearly back then?
H: You know, I was a younger man. [ laughs]
#2 I did follow the white rabbit and looked up the word “churning.” (remember it was brought up by both Hegel and Joyce). And I did find deep insights! Actually, it turned out to be amazing. It directly provides some answers to two of my biggest dreams, about what I would like to achieve in this life.
So in retrospect, was it worth it? Did the experiment succeed?
I can’t say if it was indeed Hegel or Joyce.
But if the insight I got turns out to be as significant as I am hoping, then this experiment was a resounding success.
More to come.
Namaste — I bow to you and the Divine in you.
Copyright © Hanns-Oskar Porr