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Podcast Profile: The Cunning of Geist

podcast imageTwitter: @CunningofGeist
80 episodes
2020 to present
Average episode: 26 minutes
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Categories: Continental Philosophy • Monologue (Non-Course)

Podcaster's summary: Gregory Novak explores philosophy, psychology, and science with an emphasis on Hegel. For seekers and scholars alike.

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List Updated: 2024-Apr-14 06:08 UTC. Episodes: 80. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

2024-Feb-25 • 23 minutes
080 - Is There a God? - Creation, Becoming, and the Fate of the Universe
"Creation ex nihlilo (creation out of nothing) or "Ex nihilo nihil fit" (from nothing comes from nothing)?The notion of a creator God is fundamental to Western religions. But is it true? The opening of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible, studied so long and hard by the Kabbalists suggests so, and the Big Bang theory gave reason for many to believe the cosmological argument for God (everything that began to exist has a cause). But the newest scientific data suggests something preceded the Big Bang....
2024-Jan-28 • 22 minutes
079 - Using Hegel's Triad as a Model for Success
Hegel's "triad" of Being, Nothing, and Becoming are central to his ontology. And it can also be used as a framework for personal achievement. This episode explains how. The Being/Nothing/Becoming dialectic comes first in Hegel's Science of Logic, but it also presents the pattern for his overall project of Mind (Idea), Nature, and Spirit (Geist). And it is just this framework that one must use in pushing to new heights of success in life. The basic approach is goal setting (Mind), as...
2023-Dec-28 • 25 minutes
078 - Jung's Synchronicity: Demonstrating the Mental/Physical Unity of the Cosmos
Hegel famously said in his Phenomenology of Spirit, "Everything turns on grasping and expressing the True, not as Substance, but equally as Subject." (Miiler trans., ¶17). That the true - truth - is equally substance and subject. He makes this explicitly clear in the following statement, “What seems to take place outside it, to be an activity directed against it, is its own doing, its own activity; and substance shows that it is in reality subject” (Ibid, ¶37).Meaningful coincidences, Jung&apos...
2023-Nov-19 • 20 minutes
077 - The Journey Not the Destination: The Case for Universal Purposeful Evolution
Does Spirit evolve? How about God?And what exactly does the term panentheism mean?This episode takes a deep dive into process philosophy, process theology, and the evolutionary nature of "becoming." The pioneer work of Charles Hartshorne, Alfred North Whitehead, Charles Sanders Peirce, and of course Hegel, all in a way process philosophers, is addressed. Support the show
2023-Oct-22 • 22 minutes
076 - Language Games: Wittgenstein, Hegel, and the Split in Philosophy
Wittgenstein is often mention as the most influential philosopher of the 20th century. His focus on the meaning of words became an integral part of the so-called "Analytic" branch of the discipline. The later Wittgenstein contended that words are but tools, defined by their use within the context of the “language game” of the arena they are used, which is societally based and can evolve. One of these sandboxes is philosophy, as well as science and religion. And the language of one space does ...
2023-Sep-23 • 34 minutes
075 - A Matter of Life & Death: How Philosophy Underpins Politics, Law, Science, and Morality.
Is philosophy just mental masturbation? Nothing but air?Many today see no value in philosophy because there seems to be little agreement among philosophers on anything, and much of what they say seems to have little or no impact on one's life, or society in general. Is this the case?An examination of the major pillars upon which society stands - political systems, the law, science, and its moral base - shows just the opposite. Holding each of these institutions up is a philosophical position. In mo...
2023-Aug-27 • 23 minutes
074 - Is the Unconscious Mind Real or Fantasy? - B.F. Skinner, Freud, & Hegel
The behaviorism of B.F. Skinner took the psychology world by storm. His 1971 book "Beyond Freedom and Dignity" was hailed as the most important psychological publication of the 20th century. And this was from someone who denied mind and free will. It was an attempt to dignify psychology as a hard science, based on experiments and what can be observed, rather than what people think or feel, a direct contradiction to the root meaning of word psychology - "a study of mind." He claimed th...
2023-Jul-30 • 32 minutes
073 - Who Needs Philosophy? - You Do!
Developing one's own philosophy of life can be one of the most rewarding experiences. ll can serve as the basis for a productive and happy experience in this world. What many don’t realize is that our beliefs, values, and actions are based on a grounding in a particular philosophy, whether we understand it or not. Examining the underpinnings of our concept of self and the world can be a fruitful exercise. It is better to actively choose one's philosophy of life rather than have it handed to us by...
2023-Jun-27 • 34 minutes
072 - Pillars of the Collective Unconscious: How Jung's Feminine & Masculine Archetypes Manifest in the Psyche and Brain
This episode explores psychologist Carl Jung's conception of the psyche, from the ego and the persona it shows to the world, down through the personal and collective shadow, finally reaching the two core archetypes of the collective unconscious - the anima and the animus. This fundamental polarity is seen in myths and narratives throughout the ages, including the yin/yang symbol, heaven and earth of the Bible, Hegel's being and nothing, and even the left and right brain hemispheres, with it two ...
2023-Jun-02 • 31 minutes
071 - Perception & Memory - the Mind/Body Link: A Look to Bergson, Jung, & Hegel
The duality of Mind and Body has been debated for millennia. This has resulted in two polarized camps - Realists vs. Idealists. Realists contend that there is a world existing out there whether we are here or not, whether we are observing it or not, whether we are thinking about it or not. Idealists contend that ultimately only Mind exists, and the physical world around us is just an illusion, an unreal fantasy of the Mind.But there is a third camp. Many mistakenly classify Hegel as an Idealist, Howeve...
2023-May-07 • 26 minutes
070 - The "I" in Me & You: Identity, Freedom, and Oneness
Can't we all just get along? The world today is increasing fractious. The Electronic Age has fueled a return to tribalism, as the individualistic linear emphasis of the print age gave way to finding identity though emotionally connected groups. And these groups are often based more on hatred of the "other" than on what they stand for themselves. What can be done? As Hegel and others have pointed out, it starts with a recognition of Spirit within us all. A freedom that humans alone can ca...
2023-Apr-19 • 34 minutes
069 - Artificial Intelligence (AI): Oxymoron or the Next Level of Consciousness?
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google parent company Alphabet, has said that artificial intelligence (AI) could have a more profound effect on humanity than fire and electricity. Quite a statement.New AI technologies are being produced, Including ChatGPT, that are conversational and can write better and communicate more clearly than most people. And they provide fast, almost immediate, answers to any question. While it is has not yet been perfected, and flaws have been noticed, the question has been raised as t...
2023-Mar-26 • 25 minutes
068 - Jung's Personality Types & Hegel: Operating Manual for the Mind
The great psychologist Carl Jung was a leading pioneer in psychological type analysis. In fact, he coined the terms "extrovert" and "introvert." His work spawned a whole industry of personality analysis which is as strong today as ever. And key to his psychological type system was his recognition of Intuition, or the "small still voice within." This function has direct correspondence to Hegel's notion of Spirit. In a 1933 lecture on proto-psychologists in philosophy, ...
2023-Feb-26 • 33 minutes
067 - Dawkins' Selfish Gene vs. Hegel's Geist: No Contest!
Biologist Richard Dawkins is the poster child for the materialist doctrine and the new atheism. His paradigm boils down to a mechanical replicator, that somehow appeared by chance, which no one can explain how (a miracle?), that goes by the name "gene." He sees us all as mere robots, zombies, propagating the gene's replication. The materialist doctrine stands on three assumptions - that all is matter, that the laws of nature are fixed, with us from the beginning, and that there is no inher...
2023-Feb-08 • 30 minutes
066 - Kierkegaard vs. Hegel: The Existentialism/Absolute Idealism Debate
19th century Danish theologian and philosopher Søren Kierkegaard was a towering figure not only in philosophy and religion, but in psychology as well. He is commonly considered to be the father of Existentialism, with the importance he place on individual subjectivity in finding meaning and truth. He was also a fierce critic of Hegel. By examining the differences between the two, one can hopefully see the distinctiveness of each. This podcast episode will examine two main themes of Kierkegaard, that of ...
2023-Jan-15 • 26 minutes
065 - America's New Thought Movement and Hegel
America went through a profound spiritual awakening in the 19th century, most commonly referred to as "New Thought." Many leaders at this time credited Hegel for laying the groundwork. This episode explores several of the early developments in America, but such movements have also occurred across the globe at different times in various cultures. And there are many themes of this movement that echo Hegel, including: - There exists Infinite Intelligence, or the Absolute Idea as Hegel calls it, -...
2022-Dec-17 • 28 minutes
064 - Free Speech & Society: the Internet Age & Hegel
Free speech is of course linked to freedom. And freedom is the cornerstone of Hegel's philosophy. Today free speech is an issue with respect to social media platforms, which are used by literally billions of people over the world. Yes billions. And who exactly controls what can be said on these platforms? Up to now it has been a handful of executives. And some claim that free speech has been curtailed to a degree favoring the views of these executives. Most nation-states have laws that govern th...
2022-Nov-22 • 29 minutes
063 - Spirit: Hegel's God? An Exploration.
The word "spirit" has so many connotations. Per the thesaurus: character, courage, energy, enthusiasm, essence, heart, humor, life, mood, morale, quality, resolve, temperament, vigor, vitality, warmth, and will. Hegel had a different interpretation: God. And he said it as clear as day. He defines God as the timeless Absolute Idea, the idea of ideas, self-thinking thought. But it doesn't end there. The Absolute Idea freely others itself in Nature, and enters this finite world as Spirit. I...
2022-Oct-31 • 27 minutes
062 - What's Your Paradigm? Comparing Kuhn's Philosophy of Science with Hegel
The term "paradigm "and "paradigm shift" were made famous by Thomas Kuhn in his landmark 1962 book, "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions". Steven Covey describes a paradigm as "frames of reference, worldviews, . . through which we see everyone and everything, including ourselves. . They affect the way we interpret what we see and experience, and how we interact and relate with others.”The current naturalistic materialism paradigm of science (and much of the educated w...
2022-Oct-11 • 26 minutes
061 - Is the Universe Cyclical? - The Big Bang, Penrose, & Hegel
Hegel saw the Absolute metaphorically as a "circle of circles" (SL, pg. 842, Miller trans.). He also said philosophy itself "forms a circle" (PR, Wood, ed., Nisbet trans., pg. 26, ¶2).Yet religions sees a creation event in our past, and modern science has embraced the Big Bang as the beginning of it all. The universe is expanding and current theories show an eventual fizzle out into a "heat death." Nothing will survive. The end. Full stop. Yet there is another scientific ...
2022-Sep-18 • 29 minutes
060 - Bergson, Duration, Time, and Hegel
It is said that French philosopher Henri Bergson was the best known philosopher in his day during the early 20th century. In fact, when giving a lecture in New York City, he caused the first traffic jam the city had ever seen. Although presently he is less prominent, there was much reason for his positive perception back then in philosophy circles. His concepts of duration, intuition, élan vital, and memory took on the established determinism of the day. And Bergsonism is just as relevant as ever, as unf...
2022-Aug-30 • 23 minutes
059 - Meditation, Nothingness, Buddhism, and Hegel
To me, the goal of meditation is to escape the left-brain world of analyzing, breaking things down, either/or judgmental thinking, and to get in touch with life itself. Thoughts tend to come to the foreground, but there remains a background. In meditation, thoughts can be viewed like passing clouds in the sky, and the goal is to experience the sky, and not get hung up on the clouds. The notion of Being and Nothing is central to Hegel's philosophy. And Hegel is clear - focusing on just "being&q...
2022-Aug-16 • 23 minutes
058 - Hegel's Becoming: What it Means, Why it's Unique, and Why it Matters
"Becoming" is addressed very early in Hegel's Science of Logic. And it provides a foundation for all that follows in his project. But the concept of becoming is much more than an abstract philosophical term. It is the foundation of growth, evolution, and all development processes. Nietzsche recognized how important Hegel’s concept of becoming was. Hegel of course preceded Darwin, and Nietzsche knew that Hegel, with his notion of becoming, had planted the seed for the idea of evolution a...
2022-Jul-24 • 21 minutes
057 - Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People, & Vice-Versa? - Hegel's Theodicy
"Good and evil" is a core philosophic and religious issue. Perhaps the most important issue. Where did this concept originate? Why do we often see God, or Karma, as seeking retribution and causing our misfortunes?The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is one of the oldest, if not the oldest myth out there to explain what is going on. And there are two different takes on this. Traditional religion says, in the Old Testament, that our eating of the forbidden fruit is the cause of our separ...
2022-Jul-06 • 23 minutes
056 - Is There a Storehouse of Memory? Exploring Plato, Hegel, and Jung
Is it easier to do Sunday's crossword puzzle on Monday morning? If so, the Collective Memory may be the reason. Many believe minds are joined at a very deep level. Hegel taught that "Substance is Subject." Not only minds but matter as well. But Hegel's project is more: subject is also Spirit, and Spirit is an historical process. Enter Memory.This episode explores memory from several standpoints in addition to Hegel 's - Plato's reincarnation and anamnesis, Jung's co...
2022-Jun-18 • 26 minutes
055 - Will Computers Ever be Alive? - Hegel, Self-Reference, and A.I.
In the film "2001: A Space Odyssey," H.A.L., an artificial intelligence character, loses its mind and begins killing people. Did H.A.L. act on his own accord? Interesting question.Everyday we hear more and more how artificial intelligence programs will soon be the equivalent of human beings and perhaps even smarter. Is this true?Some theorists believe Hegel's dialectical approach, when added to a computer's binary operation, can provide a degree of self awareness to the machine. But ...
2022-May-31 • 36 minutes
054 - Can Hegel Save Us from a Brutal Return to Tribalism?
The Electronic Revolution has dramatically changed how the world receives and processes information. The previous print revolution helped usher in the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, nation-states, and individual rights through its emphasis on visual, linear thinking, i.e. left-brain thinking.However, the Electronic Age reintroduced the audio factor to mass communications beginning with radio. This was followed by television bringing a return of both audio and visual in one package. And this re...
2022-May-15 • 27 minutes
053 - Do We Have Free Will? Reason and Evolution Suggest "Yes" (with Qualifications)
A question for the ages - are we free?A recent survey of over 1,700 philosophers worldwide found that over 50% hold a compatibilist view, that both determinism and free will co-exist. Hegel was a champion of freedom and made it the cornerstone of his philosophy. He also recognized that much of our lives are also pre-determined. In this episode I will argue that free-will occurs in the present moment, where we have some degree of freedom to choose between alternative paths that we can envision. Only hu...
2022-May-01 • 25 minutes
052 - Is Meaning Fundamental to the Universe? Synchronicity, Semiotics, Logotherapy, & Hegel
We all have experienced synchronicity, where causally unconnected events have a unique meaning to us. Psychologist Carl Jung proposed that there was indeed an acausal connecting principle behind such occurrences. In fact, "meaning" may indeed be fundamental to the cosmos. American philosopher C.S. Peirce believed it was so. And Hegel did as well, epitomized by his famous dictum, "Substance is subject." Even on an existential basis, many have argued that one must create their own mean...
2022-Apr-14 • 25 minutes
051 - Realizing Reason in History - Not by Proclamation but by Action
Hegel was clear: history is a slaughter-bench. Depressing? Of course. But does history also allow the increase of rationality and freedom? Indeed it does. This is often accomplished by world historical figures who inspired great battle victories such as Alexander, Washington, Lincoln, and Churchill. And it was often unknown to themselves just what great forward progress they enabled.This episode discusses war from the standpoint of conflict resolution resulting in a better outcome. The opposite being a...
2022-Mar-29 • 26 minutes
050 - Say Goodbye to the End of History: Clausewitz, Hegel, and War
The tragic events in Ukraine have brought to the surface many old quandaries of war. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 caused some to believe that a new world order had arrived. A few scholars even claimed it to be the "end of history." Francis Fukuyama published his book "The End of History and the Last Man," in 1992, where he presents the thesis that humanity had reached "not just ... the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: ...
2022-Mar-13 • 22 minutes
049 - Conscious & Unconscious Mind: the Shadow, Jung, and Hegel
"Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men? . . . The Shadow knows" began a famous U.S. radio show from the 1930s and 40s. The Shadow is also a psychological term used by Carl Jung to describe those parts of us that we do not want to recognize in ourselves and in effect, bury. While it is most associated with our baser instincts and unattractive parts of our personality, we can repress worthy aspects as well. This can lead to projection of these traits on to others. The notion of the Shad...
2022-Mar-02 • 20 minutes
048 - Recognition: E-Tribalism vs. the Nation-state
Hegel foresaw a problem with the advanced liberal democracies of his day. It is when the self interests of groups within the nation become more important than the principles that uphold the state itself. He called it a "knot" that will need to worked out in the future.Well the future has arrived and the problem remains. In fact it is much worse than in Hegel's day. The Internet has fostered a return to tribalistic identity groups that threaten the very concept of the nation-state.Media sch...
2022-Feb-13 • 25 minutes
047 - Is There a Method to Hegel's Philosophy? No. And Yes.
Does Hegel have in mind a systematic procedure, technique, process, or plan underlying his philosophy? Some say yes, others say no.It is my belief that there is in fact a method; and it is the movement, the life, the evolution of thought itself. Hegel referred to this as dialectics. And his important notion of sublation plays a crucial role in dialectical thinking. Some say Hegel's method develops as his logic unfolds, but that at the beginning of his Science of Logic Hegel's philosophy is pr...
2022-Jan-30 • 29 minutes
046 - One Love: Freedom, Randomness, Peirce, and Hegel
This episode explores three elements of Charles Peirce's philosophy and how it relates to Hegelianism.Peirce held that Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness are core functions of the Cosmos itself, three "worlds" if you will. This has obvious parallels to Hegel's triadic approach of Logic, Nature, and Spirit.Peirce's notion of Tychism is also examined, that the universe contains a degree of pure randomness, foreshadowing the findings of quantum physics. How this relates specifically...
2022-Jan-09 • 25 minutes
045 - Zombies, Bats, & Chinese Rooms: The Hard Problem of Consciousness and Hegel
Philosophers and scientists speak of the "hard problem of consciousness." But what exactly is the problem? The issue seems to be more with the narrow view of naturalistic materialism, that excludes "everything mental - consciousness, meaning, intent or purpose" (Nagel). At the center of the disagreement is what is now termed "qualia" (a variation of this term was first used by Charles Peirce). This is the experience of seeing the color red, hearing a robin sing, or tasting a g...
2021-Dec-26 • 18 minutes
044 - St. Paul, Hegel, and the Symbolism of Christmas
As author Og Mandino states, Paul the Apostle was perhaps the "Greatest Salesmen in the World" in bringing the "good news" to Jew and Gentile alike. And what is very interesting is that Paul's views correspond in several respects to Hegel's unique take on Christianity.This episode discusses one of the "New Perspective of Paul" interpretations by Pauline scholar N.T. Wright. And that both St. Paul and Hegel recognized that Spirit's work is to be done here on Ear...
2021-Dec-13 • 24 minutes
043 - Evolution is Everything: Charles S. Peirce and Hegel
Hedge fund head Ray Dalio, in his book "Principles" states, "To be 'good,' something must operate consistently with the laws of reality and contribute to the evolution of the whole; that is what is most rewarded. Evolution is the single greatest force in the universe; it is the only thing that is permanent and it drives everything." Dalio is not a trained philosopher but has plenty of street smarts. And street smarts should never be discounted. American pragmatic philosopher ...
2021-Nov-28 • 22 minutes
042 - True Infinity: The Ought, Society, Innovation, & Gratitude
Once again Hegel's "true infinity" is the focus an episode. This time, there is new attention paid to several areas, including:- a better definition of "bad infinity,"- how true infinity corresponds to right-brain reasoning, - how bad infinity corresponds to left-brain understanding, - how true infinity relates to societal issues at large,- how business innovation develops through true infinity,- how gratitude can serve as a lever for true infinity.Also covered in this episode are ...
2021-Nov-14 • 34 minutes
041 - Betterment: How Hegel's True Infinity Provides a Rational Basis for Achievement
One of the original self-improvement books, "The Science of Getting Rich," (Wattles, 1910), was based on Hegelian principles. And no, it is not about money, but about achieving what one needs so one can accomplish what one is capable of in contributing to the goal of life itself. Wattles states, "The object of life is development; and everything that lives has an inalienable right to all the development it is capable of attaining." And also, "the man who owns all he wants for th...
2021-Oct-31 • 25 minutes
040 - Is There a Soul Personality that Survives Death? - A look at Jung, Sheldrake, Smolin, and Hegel
Reincarnation is one of the most widely held beliefs in the world today. It is quite logical, and it explains much about why some suffer. It offers a reasoning and reward for moral and ethical behavior. But is it true? Does one have a separate soul that moves from body to body over time?This episode will explore this question from the standpoint of Hegelian philosophy regarding the finite and true infinity, and the historical movement of Spirit within the world. In addition, the important concept of me...
2021-Oct-18 • 29 minutes
039 - Was There an Actual Creation Event? - God, the Big Bang, the Ouroboros, and Hegel
The Creation of the Cosmos by God is fundamental to Western religions. And the scientific Big Bang event has been pointed to by some as evidence that this did in fact occur.But did it? New scientific evidence shows that something did precede the Big Bang. And In the East, a different notion holds, that of the cyclical nature of reality. And there are different interpretations of whether Hegel believed a creation event occurred or not. This episode shows support for the cyclical position from a scientif...
2021-Oct-03 • 27 minutes
038 - Why Philosophy? Why Reason? Why Hegel? - Some Practical Answers
For many people, philosophy is of little interest. Some see it only as thinking about thinking, and who needs that? Others compare it to contemplating one’s navel. And few people understand how philosophy can actually have any meaning in one’s day-to-day activities.This episode takes the other side. It first shows why philosophy is needed for a rigorous, articulate, systematic, logical, and critical examination of the big questions in life. Next reason itself is discussed, and how it is often downplayed...
2021-Sep-22 • 23 minutes
037 - It's Not Only Rock but the Roll as Well: Exploring Hegel's Vernunft & Verstand
This episode looks again at the left brain/right brain dichotomy, and how so much is missed when the left brain view dominates, which it does in today’s world almost exclusively (polarization, either/or, us versus them type thinking). With left brain thinking alone, one misses the big holistic picture. The right brain sees relations, movement, processes, and life. While the left brain creates a map, the right brain is living in the territory. Right brain thinking understands that every stick has two en...
2021-Sep-06 • 23 minutes
036 - Sublation: The Driving Wheel of Hegelian Dialectics
Hegel called sublation one of the most important concepts in all of philosophy. Hegel scholar Stephen Houlgate calls it "the absolute immanent 'method' of speculative philosophy."The English word "sublation" is a translation of the German work "aufhebung." But the English term is more or less a placeholder for the Hegel's German word, as there is no direct equivalent term in English. That is because it has two definitions: to preserve, to maintain, as well as ...
2021-Aug-22 • 28 minutes
035 - Is Belief in Spirit Warranted? A Look at Alvin Plantinga's Work vis-à-vis Hegel.
Is there a difference between a belief having been proven correct versus a belief that while not proven, is still warranted, and not irrational? Contemporary philosopher Alvin Plantinga believes there is. And his method of establishing this speaks directly to Hegel's Spirit (Geist).Plantinga is also known for his controversial theory the "Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism" (EAAN). It goes like this: If our thinking is a product of blind naturalism, how can we trust it? Putting this ...
2021-Aug-09 • 29 minutes
034 - The Quaternity Symbol & the Horse-Drawn Carriage Metaphor: Jung, Gurdjieff, and Hegel
Psychologist Carl Jung identified the quaternity (union of four) as a symbol of wholeness. He used it in portraying his four primary cognitive functions: intuition, sensation, thinking, and feeling (emotions).Similar to this is Russian esotericist George Gurdjieff’s system of harmonious development, called “The Fourth Way,” His “Work” centered on simultaneously developing the body, the emotions, and the mind so one can develop a fourth function - the soul. He used the quaternity metaphor of the horse-dra...
2021-Jul-26 • 21 minutes
033 - What is Reality? The Real, the Actual, and the Rational According to Hegel
Hegel famously stated that "What is real (actual) is rational, and what is rational is real (actual). What does this statement mean? The question of just what constitutes "reality" will be examined from four different standpoints - from a scientific viewpoint, from the perspective of one strand of Eastern philosophy, from a particular New Age tome, and, of course, from an Hegelian point of view.Hegel postulates Absolute Spirt as the ultimate reality. This does not refer to some static, s...
2021-Jul-11 • 31 minutes
032 - Race & Racism: The Dark Side of the Enlightenment vs. Hegel's Notion of Freedom
The great enlightenment document, the U.S. Declaration of Independence, pronounced that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Yet the United States also kept portions of its population enslaved at that time. How were these ideals and the facts at hand kept compatible?New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie has an the answer, “Racism as we understand it now, as a socio-p...
2021-Jun-27 • 25 minutes
031 - Scientism vs. Hegelianism: Which World-View is Correct?
The Scientific Revolution brought tremendous benefit to humanity. But when the scientific method becomes more than a defined procedure of rational inquiry and prediction, and morphs into an ideology with its own set of dogmas, problems can appear. And this is precisely what has happened in today’s world. Scientism is the name given to this world-view. It holds that nature is wholly material and mechanical, with no purpose - and that life itself is a mistake that occurred when a RNA molecule accidentally...
2021-Jun-13 • 28 minutes
030 - Synchronicity, the I-Ching, and Hegel
Psychologist C. G. Jung coined the term 'synchronicity,' which is a powerful psycho/physical concept that ties together causality with meaning. In comparing the Western and Eastern mind, he states "While the Western mind carefully sifts, weighs, selects, classifies, isolates, the Chinese picture of the moment encompasses everything down to the minutest nonsensical detail, because all of the ingredients make up the observed moment" (Foreward, The I-Ching or Book of Changes, Wilhelm/Bayn...
2021-Jun-01 • 25 minutes
029 - "Why is There Something Rather than Nothing?"- A False Dilemma?
Martin Heidegger called this question the most fundamental of all metaphysics: Why is there something rather than nothing? As author Jim Holt states, "It's a question so profound it would only occur to a metaphysician, yet so simple it would occur only to a child."Yet is the question valid? Is something/nothing an either/or proposition? Or as contemporary philosopher Robert Nozick states it, "So why is there something from nothing? There isn't. There's both."This quest...
2021-May-16 • 26 minutes
028 - The Quandary of Quantum Physics: Materialism vs. Mysticism
Physicist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman famously said, “I think I can safely say that nobody really understands quantum mechanics.” His teacher, John Archibald Wheeler, took the meaning of quantum physics to be that "no phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon." On the other side of this view stood Albert Einstein, who expressed his concerns with quantum physics by saying "God does not play dice." He maintained a 40 year debate with Niels Bohr, one of th...
2021-May-02 • 25 minutes
027 - The Truth of Nature: The Historical Movement of Spirit
Spirit is an overused and often misused word. It also plays a prominent role in Hegel's philosophy. What is it supposed to mean? Is any talk of Spirit just fuzzy fairy-tale thinking? Or is Spirit, in its actual meaning, the driving-wheel behind Nature?The German word for Spirit is Geist, which translated into English has two meanings, Spirit and Mind. It is also similar to two Greek words, Nous (Mind) and Pneuma, (Spirit/Breath ). Pneuma in turn corresponds to the Hebrew word Ruach (the breath of life)...
2021-Apr-18 • 24 minutes
026 - Teleology, Evolution, Aristotle, and Hegel
This episode discusses how the materialistic neo-Darwinian conception of evolution does not tell the whole story of what is going on here. As Thomas Nagel states, “Mind, I suspect, is not an inexplicable accident or a divine and anomalous gift but a basic aspect of nature that we will not understand until we transcend the built-in limits of contemporary scientific orthodoxy.” What is missing from naturalistic materialism's view of evolution is purpose. Aristotle put purpose at the center of his idea...
2021-Apr-05 • 27 minutes
025 - The Resurrection According to Hegel: Physical Fact or Spiritual Story?
Hegel's unique and non-traditional understanding of the resurrection of Jesus echoes his overall system of Logic, Nature, and Spirit. According to Hegel, God others himself in Jesus; and in Jesus' death, Spirit becomes fully finite. As a result of this, Spirit is then reborn in the community. Similarly, in Hegel's overall approach, Logic others itself in Nature; and Spirit is then reborn in Nature through a historical process of individuals in society coming to recognize Spirit through art...
2021-Mar-21 • 27 minutes
024 - Substance is Subject: Hegel's Rose in the Cross
The notion that substance is subject is perhaps the major tenant of Hegel's philosophy. Hegel said "Everything turns on grasping and expressing the True, not as Substance, but equally as Subject" (Phen. of Spirit, Miller trans. ¶17). Hegel explains that the self, the subject, is the process of creating a void, a negation, which allows for the purposeful movement of reason. This process is identical in both thought interrupting pure being and the void interrupting the material world (the spa...
2021-Mar-07 • 30 minutes
023 - Nonduality: A Look at Advaita Vedanta, A Course in Miracles, and Hegel
Is the world an illusion? Are we part of a computer simulated reality as in the Matrix movie? Are we actually brains in a vat dreaming of an external world? Was the world created by a devil when God was not looking, as Bertrand Russell thought was plausible? Was the world created in error by a lesser deity as in the Gnostic scripts? Or, as in the allegory of Plato’s cave, is there one true reality that underlies all and everything?This episode explores the concept of nonduality from three different age...
2021-Feb-21 • 22 minutes
022 - Group Ethics vs. Individual Morality: Hegel and MacIntyre
Philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, in his 1981 book "After Virtue," argues that moral discourse since the Enlightenment is not rational and therefore empty. He believes the reason for this is that the morals of the Enlightenment lack purpose - teleology. The scientific revolution, armed with Darwinism, brought an end to "purpose." One was left to define morality on their own terms. This led to the moral relativism of the individual. But now a new tribalism has returned, with the left-brain...
2021-Feb-07 • 29 minutes
021 - The Rise/(Return) of Tribalism: Technology, McLuhan, and Hegel
All technological advances involve extensions of the human body/mind, argued Marshall McLuhan. As such, no matter how disruptive a breakthrough may be, it is based on our own consciousness and its needs. Hegel knew that a primary motivator in life is recognition. But how is this need met in the interconnected world of the Internet? We see this in the profound shift occurring today from individual recognition to group recognition. According to McLuhan, this is due to the electronic revolution overturning the...
2021-Jan-25 • 30 minutes
020 - Hegel: Realizing the Purpose of History
History is a key element of Hegel’s philosophy. Although he called history a “slaughter-bench,” he believed it to have purpose. This purpose, which can only be recognized after the fact, is greater freedom. This episode traces the increase in human freedom from the totem ritual of the prehistoric primitive horde through the male genetic bottleneck in the agrarian revolution to the Hegelian “knot” in liberal democracies. This knot, which needs to be worked out, is more prominent today than ever. It is when i...
2021-Jan-10 • 22 minutes
019 - In Search of the Miraculous: Finitude and True Infinity
Hegel called true infinity “the chief maxim of philosophy.” This episode will review how finitude alone cannot be considered as reality, why traditional notions of infinity fall short, what Hegel’s true infinity actually means, that finitude and true infinity must be looked at together to fully grasp reality, and how this notion is truly miraculous in that our creative freedom is not entirely explicable by natural or scientific laws. Support the show
2020-Dec-27 • 26 minutes
018 - Hegel, the Law of Three, and the Christian Trinity
The Hegelian Triad is perhaps the most recognized term associated with his philosophy. This is due to Hegel having shown reality to be dialectical, with three components. There is clear correspondence here to several mystical schools, including the teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff, Rosicrucianism, and Kabbalah. And there is also the Christian Trinity. This episode will analyze the Hegelian dialectic with respect to these traditional teachings. Leadership Lessons From The Great BooksReading great literature is b...
2020-Dec-13 • 24 minutes
017 - The Hegelian Dialectic and Reality
This episode discusses how the Hegelian dialectic is a reflection of reality itself rather than a unique philosophical method used to understand reality. It will show how common left-brain understanding (verstand) fails in comprehending dialectics by breaking it into three separate moments, rather than holistically seeing three inseparable sides of "every notion and truth whatever." As Friedrich Engels points out, the dialectical process of the reality of the being is "the true significanc...
2020-Nov-30 • 19 minutes
016 - Three Levels of Time
Alexandre Kojève called Hegel’s take on historical and natural time a “basic error.” Kojève suggested three nested levels of time: historical, biological, and natural. Did Hegel get it wrong? The current episode explores this controversy in detail, including new evidence on whether the Big Bang was the actual start of natural time. The Jewish Star of David’s mystical relationship to the dimensions of spacetime is also discussed. Support the show
2020-Nov-15 • 33 minutes
015 - Was the Natural World Freely Created?
That a creation event occurred is central to Western religion. Does Hegel endorse this position in his Philosophy of Nature? Opinions differ. This episode will analyze in detail, including professor Stephen Houlgate’s interpretation, as well as a review of what if any impact is seen from modern science and the Big Bang.Leadership Lessons From The Great BooksReading great literature is better than trying to read and understand...Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport the show
2020-Nov-01 • 28 minutes
014 - Freedom: The Core Concept of Hegel's Project
Hegel put upmost importance on the notion of human freedom. It is the goal that history's progress is striving for. This episode explores Hegel’s unique perspective on freedom, as well from the standpoint of time, scientific determinism, randomness, and quantum physics. Leadership Lessons From The Great BooksReading great literature is better than trying to read and understand...Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport the show
2020-Oct-18 • 22 minutes
013 - Hegel’s Master-Slave Dialectic and its Meaning in History
Hegel’s master-slave dialectic is one of the most famous passages in all philosophy. In it, self-consciousness, recognition, and identity play a critical role. Is the struggle historical? This episode analyzes the narrative and includes reviews of Kojève’s and Fukuyama’s take on it. Support the show
2020-Oct-03 • 31 minutes
012 - Panpsychism versus Naturalistic Materialism
Anomalies within quantum physics and the nature of Time suggest that Mind may be fundamental to the Universe. Hegel would agree. This episode reviews the Hard Problem of Consciousness, the history of Panpsychism, and the structure of Kuhnian scientific revolutions. What's your paradigm? Leadership Lessons From The Great BooksReading great literature is better than trying to read and understand...Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport the show
2020-Sep-20 • 28 minutes
011 - The Hegelian Dialectic
Hegel is perhaps most famous for the Hegelian Dialectic. But to what exactly does this term refer? This episode will examine the history of dialectics, starting with the first dialectician, Zeno of Elea, up through Hegel's unique take on this. Hegel's notions of understanding and reason are also explored in terms of their respective roles in the dialectical process. Leadership Lessons From The Great BooksReading great literature is better than trying to read and understand...Listen on: Apple Po...
2020-Sep-08 • 24 minutes
010 - The Divided Brain and the Unhappy Consciousness
In "The Master and His Emissary" (2009), British psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist shows how Hegel's notion of Reason versus Understanding relates to our current scientific understanding of the functions of the left and right brain hemispheres. We have an analytic, verbal consciousness in the left-brain, and a more holistic consciousness in the right-brain. Hegel’s famous treatment of the Unhappy Consciousness also can be related to this difference. This episode will explore these topics in detai...
2020-Aug-22 • 31 minutes
009 - Hegel and the Problem of Evil
A theodicy attempts to explains how an all good, all powerful, all knowing God permits evil in the world. While Hegel did not share this traditional view of God, he nonetheless presents a coherent theodicy of his own through Spirit’s (Geist’s) march through history. This episode will explore the age-old problem of evil in light of Hegel’s philosophy.Leadership Lessons From The Great BooksReading great literature is better than trying to read and understand...Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport t...
2020-Aug-02 • 29 minutes
008 - Time, God, and Hegel
Philosophers and theologians have pondered questions concerning God, time, and eternity for more than two millennia. Hegel proposed a game changing reinterpretation of divine eternity. This episode will review Hegel’s contribution in light of current religious thought as well as recent developments in physics.Leadership Lessons From The Great BooksReading great literature is better than trying to read and understand...Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport the show
2020-Jul-19 • 28 minutes
007 - Hegel and Mysticism
Was Hegel a mystic? His philosophy and mysticism are not necessarily mutually exclusive given Hegel’s definition of this term. This episode explores correspondence to Hegel in the Hermetic Mystery Schools, Gnosticism, and Kabbalah. Leadership Lessons From The Great BooksReading great literature is better than trying to read and understand...Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport the show
2020-Jul-06 • 19 minutes
006 - Hegel and Dr. Martin Luther King
Dr. Martin Luther King’s favorite philosopher was Hegel. This episode explores MLK’s take on core elements of Hegel’s philosophy and its relation to King's own work.Support the show
2020-Jun-25 • 16 minutes
005 - Hegel and Christianity
Hegel remained a Lutheran all his life. But was he a traditional Christian? I believe not. Hegel’s take on the Christian narrative is quite different. The contemporary philosopher Slavoj Žižek calls it atheistic Christianity. A very brief review of Hegel’s presentation is that the Old Testament God “dies” with the New Testament Jesus, who becomes God as man; and when Jesus dies, the Spirit of God enters into us all. This episode will explore Hegel’s interpretation of Christianity and how it fits into his ov...
2020-Jun-21 • 20 minutes
004 - The Road to True Infinity
True Infinity is a cornerstone concept of Hegel's philosophy. In this episode I briefly review how Hegel gets to this concept in his Science of Logic. It is important to note that True Infinity is not a notion that Hegel pulls out of thin air, but is a concept that is rationally constructed though thought itself. I present here the very basic skeleton outline of his move from presuppositionless Being to True Infinity. Support the show
2020-Jun-21 • 22 minutes
003 - Being and Nothing - the Beginning of Hegel's Logic
Hegel famously begins his Science of Logic with presuppositionless Being, which turns out to mean the same thing an Nothing, leading to the notion of Becoming. This important concept is explored in some depth. It is also compared to our own personal perception of the flow of time. Block spacetime versus time as a process is explored. The possibility of a time ultimately being a circle, which Hegel touched on, is also examined. Support the show
2020-Jun-21 • 19 minutes
002 - Hegel's Philosophical System in Light of Modern Science
In this episode I discuss the broad outlines of Hegel's system, and compare it to current scientific thinking, including Darwinian evolution. I go into more detail on the meaning of Geist/Spirit/Mind, and how it evolves in human culture through art, religion, and philosophy. In addition to Hegel, specific ideas touched include those of John Archibald Wheeler, Stephen Jay Gould, and Noam Chomsky, Support the show
2020-Jun-21 • 26 minutes
001 - Introduction
As one of the administrators of the large and globally growing Hegel Study Group on Facebook, I explain my reason for starting this podcast. I review my personal development through various psychological, philosophical, New Age, and scientific teachings. This introductory episode includes discussion of my progress through the I-Ching, Gurdjieff/Ouspensky, the Rosicrucian Order, A Course in Miracles, the nature of time, and how this eventually led me to the philosophy of G.W.F Hegel.Leadership Lessons From...