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Thread: Flux or Fixity: The Two Natures

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    Flux or Fixity: The Two Natures

    It wasn't until I read Heidegger that I fully rejected Platonism is all its various forms. Along with Alfred N. Whitehead, Heidegger was one of the only philosophers to deal accurately and honestly with temporality. The British and American Analytics still don't address this. I think that Heidegger's neo-Heraclitian ontology is more appropriate for Germanics than Evola's Platonism.
    Last edited by Moody; Sunday, September 21st, 2008 at 01:26 PM. Reason: split thread [full post in 'Martin Heidegger' thread]
    "Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time."
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    Flux or Fixity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psychonaut View Post
    I think that Heidegger's neo-Heraclitian ontology is more appropriate for Germanics than Evola's Platonism.
    This is an interesting point - of course, Heraclitus and Plato were both Greeks - so what is it that recommends the Heraclitean outlook to the Germanics over the Platonic?

    What is it about Germanic worldviews for example, that makes them have more in common with the Heraclitean?

    I am not disagreeing with you, I would just be interested if you or anyone else could elaborate on this as I think it is crucial.

    You mention Whitehead - wasn't he quoted as saying that all philosophy was "footnotes to Plato"?
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moody View Post
    This is an interesting point - of course, Heraclitus and Plato were both Greeks - so what is it that recommends the Heraclitean outlook to the Germanics over the Platonic?

    What is it about Germanic worldviews for example, that makes them have more in common with the Heraclitean?

    I am not disagreeing with you, I would just be interested if you or anyone else could elaborate on this as I think it is crucial.

    You mention Whitehead - wasn't he quoted as saying that all philosophy was "footnotes to Plato"?
    I think that neo-Heraclitian philosohers like Heidegger and Whitehead are more appropriate for Germanics because their views of time as being either ontologically primary (in concert with being of course). The Parmenidean view that time is an illusion that masks the eternal that Plato adopted is much more suited to the monotheism of the Middle East or the monism of Asia. When we look at studies of the Germanic concepts of time, such as Bauschatz's The Well and the Tree or Winterbourne's When the Norns Have Spoken we see the primacy of Verdandi ("becoming") amongst the three goddesses of temporality. With the mythos as well we that the gods are in process; they are born, develop and die. They are, ultimately, just as subject to temporality as are we, they do not supercede it by existing in some atemporal state like the Middle Eastern or Asian Gods do.

    Also, spot on about Whitehead.
    "Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time."
    -H.P. Lovecraft

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    Senior Member Moody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychonaut View Post
    I think that neo-Heraclitian philosophers like Heidegger and Whitehead are more appropriate for Germanics because their views of time as being either ontologically primary (in concert with being of course).
    By "time" you mean 'change', or 'flux'.
    It is slightly misleading to say 'time' in my view as this is always perspectival.
    You are rather saying that beyond the temporal perspectives of living beings, that existence is in continual flux.
    'Time; then is merely a way of 'measuring out' that flux according to the perspective of man the measurer.

    The Parmenidean view that time is an illusion that masks the eternal that Plato adopted is much more suited to the monotheism of the Middle East or the monism of Asia. When we look at studies of the Germanic concepts of time, such as Bauschatz's The Well and the Tree or Winterbourne's When the Norns Have Spoken we see the primacy of Verdandi ("becoming") amongst the three goddesses of temporality.
    So Being is a Becoming: instead of ontology [theory of Being] we should speak of genesis (Becoming) [hence Nietzsche's 'Genealogy'?], or - to take the Whiteheadian word you go on to use - process.
    Call it processology.
    You are right to suggest that processology is commensurate with polytheism, while timelessness is more in keeping with monotheism.

    But of course, here we hit the problem of immortality you allude to - processology means that the gods cannot be immortal [see The Odin Brotherhood by Mirabello].

    Therefore we have the paradox of dead gods - mortal gods.
    Gods are superhumans, but are still mortal;- this is a mythos of heroes, not immortals.

    This may be why Nietzsche says that the Germanics have "no talent for religion", for [established] religion needs timelessness, eternity, mono-absolutes and Being. We go back to Caesar's observations of the Germanics' irreligiosity, in comparison to that of the Celts.

    And this leads me on to another point regarding philosophy itself.
    Nietzsche's rejection of western philosophy [apart from Heraclitus] suggests to me that philosophy is the study of Being and not the study of Becoming [the latter being science].

    This is why Whitehead says that philosophy is 'footnotes to Plato', i.e. Philosophy = Platonism.

    Therefore the Germanic is not only irreligious he is aphilosophical.

    He rejects the latter for a scientific understanding of processology - or else for a Faustian assertion of the Will through magick.

    Is Odin a philosopher?
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moody View Post
    By "time" you mean 'change', or 'flux'.
    It is slightly misleading to say 'time' in my view as this is always perspectival.
    You are rather saying that beyond the temporal perspectives of living beings, that existence is in continual flux.
    'Time; then is merely a way of 'measuring out' that flux according to the perspective of man the measurer.
    Yes, exactly; 'flux' in the Heraclitian sense works perfectly, as does 'process' in Whitehead's sense of the word. I'm definitely speaking of the change itself rather than the apparatus of measure.

    So Being is a Becoming: instead of ontology [theory of Being] we should speak of genesis (Becoming) [hence Nietzsche's 'Genealogy'?], or - to take the Whiteheadian word you go on to use - process.
    Call it processology.
    You are right to suggest that processology is commensurate with polytheism, while timelessness is more in keeping with monotheism.
    I think that Whitehead's word choice is superior to Heideggers in that he manages to avoid traditional terms like Being and Becoming that have a long history of Platonic usage attached to them.

    But of course, here we hit the problem of immortality you allude to - processology means that the gods cannot be immortal [see The Odin Brotherhood by Mirabello].
    This is directly mentioned in the Eddas. All of the Gods are viewed as ultimately mortal.

    Therefore we have the paradox of dead gods - mortal gods.
    Gods are superhumans, but are still mortal;- this is a mythos of heroes, not immortals.
    Is a mythos of heroes not more in keeping with the Germanic tradition of hero veneration (as in the Norse Sagas, German Epics, Frankish Chansons, etc.)? This is particularly evident when you take into account that Germanic deity veneration was practiced alongside the veneration of the ancestors, particularly the heroic ones.

    And this leads me on to another point regarding philosophy itself.
    Nietzsche's rejection of western philosophy [apart from Heraclitus] suggests to me that philosophy is the study of Being and not the study of Becoming [the latter being science].

    This is why Whitehead says that philosophy is 'footnotes to Plato', i.e. Philosophy = Platonism.

    Therefore the Germanic is not only irreligious he is aphilosophical.

    He rejects the latter for a scientific understanding of processology - or else for a Faustian assertion of the Will through magick.

    Is Odin a philosopher?
    If we are taking 'philosophy' as Platonic, then yes philosophy is not particularly suited to the Germanics. However, if we accept Heidegger or Whitehead as providing us with a completely fresh start (as they both believed they were doing), I think that we have the opportunity for a more appropriate philosophy to arise. I see great promise in both Heideggerian Phenomenology and Whitehead's Process Thought.
    "Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time."
    -H.P. Lovecraft

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychonaut View Post
    ... in the Eddas. All of the Gods are viewed as ultimately mortal.
    Is this a strength or a weakness?
    If the gods are mortal, then is not the religion itself mortal and prone to die out?
    Have we uncovered here the reason for Christianity 'replacing' Heathenism?
    The reason being in the underlying philosophy of heathenism - a Heraclitean philosophy that is blatantly self-destructive?

    If we are taking 'philosophy' as Platonic, then yes philosophy is not particularly suited to the Germanics.
    Isn't it rather the case that Plato/Socrates reacted against the Heraclitean outlook [which also underpins Heathenism on our reading here] and sought to provide an antidote to the self-destructive, relativist and nihilistic implications of Heracliteanism?

    However, if we accept Heidegger or Whitehead as providing us with a completely fresh start (as they both believed they were doing), I think that we have the opportunity for a more appropriate philosophy to arise. I see great promise in both Heideggerian Phenomenology and Whitehead's Process Thought.
    But aren't they susceptible to the weaknesses I outlined above: self-destructiveness, relativism, disorder and nihilism?
    It seems that those who do not believe in Eternals, Absolutes and Immutabilities are more likely to perish in the battle with those that do. Perhaps Plato recognised this and hence his philosophy of Forms.

    If all things are in flux, then that must include the race, the nation and the culture.
    There is nothing eternal about all these things according to the processologist: they will all pass away and be replaced by something else in short order ad infinitum.

    Try this distinction: philosophy [as in Plato] is about the study of experience - i.e. we experience life as including timelessness, absolutes and perfections.
    Science [as in Whitehead] is about the study of existence when that counteracts experience, such as when science proved that the Earth orbits the Sun [contrary to human experience] etc.,

    So the Platonic philosophy has validity in its explication of our experience.
    It may not be 'true' on the quantum level - but as I said elsewhere - who lives on the quantum level?
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moody View Post
    Is this a strength or a weakness?
    If the gods are mortal, then is not the religion itself mortal and prone to die out?
    Have we uncovered here the reason for Christianity 'replacing' Heathenism?
    The reason being in the underlying philosophy of heathenism - a Heraclitean philosophy that is blatantly self-destructive?
    I would contend that Heathenry most certainly is a mortal religion in that it is tied to the survival of not only the Germanic Gods, but also the Germanic peoples.

    Isn't it rather the case that Plato/Socrates reacted against the Heraclitean outlook [which also underpins Heathenism on our reading here] and sought to provide an antidote to the self-destructive, relativist and nihilistic implications of Heracliteanism?
    This is plausible, but the thought that Platonism might be reactionary to findings that it found disagreeable doesn't make their views any more true. I would rather be an adherent of a philosophy that looks our situation in the face rather then one that dresses it up with a facade of permanence.

    But aren't they susceptible to the weaknesses I outlined above: self-destructiveness, relativism, disorder and nihilism?
    It seems that those who do not believe in Eternals, Absolutes and Immutabilities are more likely to perish in the battle with those that do. Perhaps Plato recognised this and hence his philosophy of Forms.
    Again, this is perhaps why the monotheistic religions currently dominate. However, dominance does not equate to truth. What you see as weakness, I see as strength. It certainly takes more courage to look at inevitable doom and accept it than to pretend it doesn't exist.

    If all things are in flux, then that must include the race, the nation and the culture.
    There is nothing eternal about all these things according to the processologist: they will all pass away and be replaced by something else in short order ad infinitum.
    I would agree with this analysis. All are in process; none are exempt. All things, peoples, and cultures are born, live and will die. I don't really see how a view counter to that can be anything other than self-deceptive.

    Try this distinction: philosophy [as in Plato] is about the study of experience - i.e. we experience life as including timelessness, absolutes and perfections.
    Science [as in Whitehead] is about the study of existence when that counteracts experience, such as when science proved that the Earth orbits the Sun [contrary to human experience] etc.,

    So the Platonic philosophy has validity in its explication of our experience.
    It may not be 'true' on the quantum level - but as I said elsewhere - who lives on the quantum level?
    I don't think that this is a fair way to paint the philosophies of Heidegger and Whitehead. Heidegger says of his own phenomenology (in Stambough's translation of Being and Time p. 30):

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Heidegger
    Hence phenomenology means...to let what shows itself be seen from itself, just as it shows itself.
    His method was principally the experience of uncovering 'the things themselves.' If his results are contrary to human experience, it is only because of the limited scope of everyday experience, and we know how Heidegger felt about the everyday consciousness of 'the They.' Moreover, his principal task in Being and Time us to provide an analysis of Dasein, which can only be done by introspection, which is as deeply experiential as you can ask for.

    Also, Whitehead says of his method in Process and Reality (p. 3):

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfred N. Whitehead
    Speculative Philosophy is the endevour to frame a coherent, logical, necessary system of general ideas in terms of which every element of our experience can be interpreted.
    He as well seems quite concerned with the experiential nature of philosophy. To lump these two fellows in with the morass of 'Existentialism' does them a disservice.
    Last edited by Psychonaut; Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 at 02:42 AM. Reason: fixed tags
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychonaut View Post
    I would contend that Heathenry most certainly is a mortal religion in that it is tied to the survival of not only the Germanic Gods, but also the Germanic peoples... [...]
    ... I would rather be an adherent of a philosophy that looks our situation in the face rather then one that dresses it up with a facade of permanence.
    Some questions arise here immediately:

    i) What is the evidence - from "our situation" - for there being "Gods"?

    ii) what is the "philosophical" reason for wanting a particular people or particular to "survive"?

    iii) does that "survival" stop at any point, or does it go on "permanently"?


    All are in process; none are exempt. All things, peoples, and cultures are born, live and will die.
    What does "death" mean to you? Is there an existence after death or is there only nothing, what you call "inevitable doom"?

    I don't really see how a view counter to that can be anything other than self-deceptive.
    If nothing, then isn't such pessimism also self-deceptive? It also suggests that you know everything about life and death. And you could be wrong - there might be a Metaphysical realm, such as the Nine Worlds of Germanic myth - how do you know that there isn't?


    ...Heidegger's method was principally the experience of uncovering 'the things themselves'. If his results are contrary to human experience, it is only because of the limited scope of everyday experience, and we know how Heidegger felt about the everyday consciousness of 'the They.'
    Then how can we shut out the metaphysical if we admit that human consciousness is very limited. Also after his Kehre, Heidegger started to look closely at the visionary experiences of artists and abandoned Being and Time.
    Heidegger was certainly instrumental in the development of Existentialism. I certainly don't regard Whitehead as an Existentialist with a capital 'E', but his philosophy [he was actually a mathematician] attempts to look at the quality of existence which he calls 'process'..
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moody View Post
    Some questions arise here immediately:

    i) What is the evidence - from "our situation" - for there being "Gods"?

    ii) what is the "philosophical" reason for wanting a particular people or particular to "survive"?

    iii) does that "survival" stop at any point, or does it go on "permanently"?
    i) For myself, I can only answer that experience is my reason. As a practitioner of the esoteric arts (a "psychonaut" to use Peter Carroll's term ), I've been encountered firsthand evidence that a wide variety of deities exist. I can hardly think of any philosophical justification more powerful than direct experience.

    ii) Not necessarily a "philosophical" reason, but just an extrapolation of self interest. We want ourselves to survive; we expand that one level out to include our family; expand it out yet another level to include our tribe.

    iii) I'll have to agree with Spengler here and say that all cultures have life cycles, and that Faustian man is coming into the twilight of his.

    What does "death" mean to you? Is there an existence after death or is there only nothing, what you call "inevitable doom"?
    This is one of those things where I'm going to take a "safe" position. I really don't like taking up beliefs that can't be proven (either scientifically or experientially). So I'll have say that all evidence leads us to believe that once brain death occurs, there is no more "person." Certainly, there are a myriad of possibilities that our ancestors believed in and could possibly be valid, but since we can neither prove nor disprove any of this, I think it is best to remain silent.

    If nothing, then isn't such pessimism also self-deceptive? It also suggests that you know everything about life and death. And you could be wrong - there might be a Metaphysical realm, such as the Nine Worlds of Germanic myth - how do you know that there isn't?
    Oh come on, that's pretty close to committing a negative proof fallacy. You can't advocate a position just because it can't be disproved. This is another case where experience can be somewhat of a guide. It is certainly capable seemingly to visit the otherworlds, given the correct type of training, yet this is an experience that either cannot or has not yet been proven to be anything distinct from a lucid dream; there is no conclusive evidence that these experiences happen in a distinct place outside of one's own mind. I've had experiences that seem to contradict that, but since they are by no means conclusive, I'm not prepared to change my public opinion on the matter.

    Then how can we shut out the metaphysical if we admit that human consciousness is very limited. Also after his Kehre, Heidegger started to look closely at the visionary experiences of artists and abandoned Being and Time.
    I'm certainly not advocating a shutting out of all that is beyond our comprehension. However, I don't think that mystical experiences should be interpreted as correlating to the world at large; I don't think that the microcosm and macrocosm necessarily mirror each other. Visionary experiences are certainly valuable in that they enrich our experience of life, but these are by their very nature extremely personal and should not be expanded into the public sphere as they cannot be proven to 'the They.'
    "Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time."
    -H.P. Lovecraft

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    Generally I think your responses to my questions emphasise a concern for the self rather than for any particular "people" or "gods".
    Allow me to re-examine my questions in order to develop that position.

    My First Question:
    1) What is the evidence - from "our situation" - for there being "Gods"?

    Your answer:
    Quote Originally Posted by Psychonaut View Post
    For myself, I can only answer that experience is my reason. As a practitioner of the esoteric arts (a "psychonaut" to use Peter Carroll's term), I've encountered firsthand evidence that a wide variety of deities exist. I can hardly think of any philosophical justification more powerful than direct experience.
    Here you either mean:
    a) your experience of your own inner experience tells you that deities exist, and is therefore purely an appeal to your own private self-hood [essentially an argument from faith], or,

    b) you have experienced empirical evidence of gods that you could show to a sceptic in order to convince him of the existence of gods [a scientific proof].

    As you fail to supply anything like the evidence required for b), I must assume that you are referring to a), and your mention of the Chaos magickian Peter Carroll seemingly confirms that. Of 'gods' he said when answering [A] the question [Q]:

    "Q: When you observe that "the gods came out of Chaos" are you referring to the cosmonogies of the ancients, and in particular, the Orphics, Valentinians, etc.?
    A: Not specifically, but I tried to imply that "the gods" arise from the same non-anthropomorphic "forces" which create the universe and us within it."
    [Peter J. Carroll Interview from Abrasax Magazine, Vol.5, No.2.]
    http://www.philhine.org.uk/writings/ess_petecint.html
    This is very much like the inner speculation that characterises Platonism too - something you called "self-deluding". Indeed, even in your post here you say:

    "...this is an experience that either cannot or has not yet been proven to be anything distinct from a lucid dream; there is no conclusive evidence that these experiences happen in a distinct place outside of one's own mind..." [...]
    Adding that:
    "I... really don't like taking up beliefs that can't be proven (either scientifically or experientially)."
    And yet that is what you have done yourself. You go on to say:

    Certainly, there are a myriad of possibilities that our ancestors believed in and could possibly be valid, but since we can neither prove nor disprove any of this, I think it is best to remain silent...[...]
    And yet when I suggest that the Platonist view is still a possibility and certainly isn't disproved, you say;

    Oh come on, that's pretty close to committing a negative proof fallacy. You can't advocate a position just because it can't be disproved.
    And yet that is what you have done yourself.

    Strangely, Whitehead seems to have had a Platonic concept of God:

    "Some Platonic implications of Whitehead’s concept of God
    ...Plato was far and away A.N. Whitehead’s favourite philosopher..."
    {Link below is a PDF}
    http://www.leeds.ac.uk/classics/lics/2007/200703.pdf


    My Second Question:
    2) what is the "philosophical" reason for wanting a particular people or particular Gods to "survive"?

    Your Answer:
    Not necessarily a "philosophical" reason, but just an extrapolation of self interest. We want ourselves to survive; we expand that one level out to include our family; expand it out yet another level to include our tribe.
    Self-Interest is certainly a philosophy in and of itself, and it is not in conflict with your appeal to Faith in the Inner Self in 1) a). Both are kinds of Egoism, which latter has always been in conflict with notions of community. Would an Egoist sacrifice his own life in order to save that of his nation or his gods?
    Hardly.
    So while a philosophy of self-interest can underpin the will to Self-Survival, it can hardly underpin an interest in others [that would be Altruism, the opposite of Egoism].

    You appeal to the "purely personal", as befits Egoism, with a contempt for the crowd of 'The They':

    Visionary experiences are certainly valuable in that they enrich our experience of life, but these are by their very nature extremely personal and should not be expanded into the public sphere as they cannot be proven to 'the They.'
    "Heidegger refers to the inauthentic self as the "they-self." This is the self that is influenced by the crowd or the "they," rather than by its own unique potentialities."
    http://www.deathreference.com/Gi-Ho/...er-Martin.html

    My Third Question:
    3) does that "survival" stop at any point, or does it go on "permanently"?

    Your Answer:
    I'll have to agree with Spengler here and say that all cultures have life cycles, and that Faustian man is coming into the twilight of his.
    This is a self-contradictory view of survival.
    If one wants something to survive, then the implication is that one wants it to survive indefinitely ["No Surrender!" say the Men of Ulster as they seek to preserve their own culture].

    It seems defeatist, rather than survivalist to say, 'well, the time is up', twilight is here - last one out turn off the lights'.

    The Odin Brotherhood
    says that the Twilight of the Gods can be postponed indefinitely as long as "men and women live in the legion of honour".
    This will-to-survival needs to have the belief in an Eternal Order behind it in order to be.

    PS - I would be interested if you could expand on what you call "Evola's Platonism" at the start of this thread.
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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