HEGEL EXPLAINED TO SAHAJIS
“I am free when my existence depends upon myself” — Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel lived at the time the military and administrative nobility of Europe (kshatryas the second estate of the Hindu caste system) was dethroned by the rise of the industrial and trading bourgeoisie (the vaishyas or third estate of the Hindu caste system). He tried to make sense of his own time and, in deciphering history, Hegel was naturally bound by his Christian location and place (Standortsbewusstsein des Denkers) notably in asserting the uniqueness of Jesus, the Son of Man and the Christian God.
He did not identify the possibility of the recurrence of Avatars, yet, in some of its aspects, his worldview (Weltanschauung) is remarkably close to the Indian cosmology. He would have viewed himself as devoted to knowledge, a Brahmin, the first estate of the Hindu class order (that was not meant to become a hereditary caste.)
According to the Hegelian worldview, the Western civilization was assigned the task of manifesting the full implications of the Christian message. Measured by the Hegelian standards of consciousness empowerment one may say it failed completely. On the left we find families destroyed by the moral relativism of the post Freudian fallacy, on the right we stumble on the ruins of corporations that perished in the Jurassic Park of capitalism. Hence the German philosopher might have sadly acquiesced to the joke of Mahatma Gandhi: When asked what he thought about Western civilization, the Mahatma replied caustically: “ this would be a very good idea”.
In his poetic image: “ the owl of Minerva begins its flight at dusk”, the owl is the bird of Athena and Minerva the goddess of wisdom. Dusk announces the coming of darkness, referring perhaps to the last phase of the present historic cycle, Gor Kali Yuga, with the omnipotence of the third estate, the accountants and the traders. But unlike other seers, Hegel did not prophesized about the future.
In his translator’s introduction to the philosophy of right, J . Sibreee comments:
“The goal of this contention” (the intelligence and will of the World Spirit) “ is, as already indicated, the self realization, the complete development of the spirit, whose proper nature is freedom – freedom in both senses of the term, ie. Liberation from outwards control – inasmuch as the law to which its submit has its own explicit sanction – and emancipation from the inward slavery of lust and passion” 1
The Roman stoic Seneca who lived by such principles had to face the brutish rule of emperor Nero. Europe is so full of contrasts and Hegel was interested in the way contrasts and contradictions actually advanced the march of the World Spirit.
In many respect the Universal Unconscious inspired Hegel. His Phenomenology of the Spirit is a breath taking metaphysical saga on the unfolding of consciousness, ( the Mahalakshmi channel and the activation of the Vishnu aspect in the Hindu trilogy). Hee saw history moving ahead as the process of Spirit (Weltgeist) actualizing itself.
Indeed one feels in his Philosophy of History that Hegel could sense the waning of the Christian era. But he believed in the Holy Ghost at work in shaping the destiny of empires and man, hoping for a renewal that would materialize only with the new and higher synthesis, the third Advent, the one of the manifestation of the World Spirit, der Welt Geist.
“It may be said of Universal History, that it is the exhibition of Spirit in the process of working out the knowledge of that which it is potentially.” 2
If you take this Welt Geist as his code word for Adi Shakti, you see he was not off the mark, the more so that for him too, self realization was a key step in the process although he did not have the instruments we have in this regard.
But in his dialectic that inspired Marx, Engels and chairman Mao, (action, reaction, synthesis) one gets an astonishing reflection of the play of the three main channels of energy described in the Bhagavad Gita and the sahaj cosmology. It refers to the interaction of the three gunas, the three nadis. He could not know that only the fourth energy of the residual consciousness (kundalini) could transcend the play of the gunas.
So, yes, conceptual bridges are very possible between Indian thought, German philosophy and the process of actualization of present history.
We find that this actualization manifests now by the very work of Adi Shakti, opening for us the en masse process of Self realization. This culminating phase of consciousness empowerment opens the new cycle of collective consciousness: the human brain becomes consciously wired into the Universal Unconscious, revealing something like the brain of God.
“Itself is its own attainment and the sole aim of Spirit .”
“And this aim is none other than finding itself – coming to itself- and contemplating itself in concrete actuality” 3
The forth estate of the workers, the shudras, challenged the dominance of the vaishyas in the twentieth century but failed with the collapse of communism. This culmination of history, which changes the individual, is more achievable than the utopian classless rule of the proletariat that was meant to change society.
So, we are not yet there. The breakthrough cannot be achieved amongst people that do not operate from the Self realized state because greed, lust, anger, vanity etc, are still blowing the balloons of ego and super ego towards conflicts, political domination, socio economic exploitation and inequity. Hence the owl of Minerva flies away from the scene and carnage of our human, all too human stupidity. Yet, the goal remains: true freedom for all.
“The History of the world is none other than the progress of the consciousness of Freedom” 4
1 GWF Hegel The Philosophy of History (Dover Publications) New York, 1956 pg ix
2 Op.cit. pg 17
3 Op. cit. pg 19
4 Op.cit. pg 19