Spiritualness, Spirituality and Hegelianism


In publications under the Contemplations series is often referred to the philosophy of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831). This philosophy is famous for the thematising of a threefold structure which in principle is the base of everything that has existence.1 The three givens of this archetypic threefold are in original German usually indicated with 'an sich', 'für sich' en 'an und für sich', which lets itself being translated in English as 'on itself', 'for itself' and 'on and for itself'. Also often terms like 'thesis', 'antithesis' and 'synthesis' are used. The first archetypic given in this threefold regards the on itself standing thesis. This is a unity which stands on itself. The second given regards the antithesis which places itself before the thesis. This is a duality which places the two givens of the polar pair oppositional against each other. And the third given regards then the synthesis. This is a threefold in which the polarities are united through a third meddling given. But this threefold is as a whole at the same time also again a unity which on itself then also regards a thesis. Thus Hegel sketches in his philosophy actually a perfect fractalness.2

Hegel describes the aforementioned fractal threefold within academic philosophy, but it is a structure of thought which can also be found within esoteric philosophy or the ageless wisdom. In the Eastern sanatana dharma we may for instance think of the threefold of sattva, rajas and tamas and of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, and in the Western ageless wisdom of spirit, consciousness and matter and of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Especially in the Western ageless wisdom the fractalness of the threefold stands out well. For spirit, consciousness and matter make themselves there known in the human threefold of monad, soul and personality, whereby each of the aforementioned is considered to also consist of a threefold.3

Now it can be objected that the Western ageless wisdom departs from a sevenfold. This is true, however it is also stated that this sevenfold lets itself being abstracted into a threefold.4 Thus for instance the sevenfold cycle of which a chain round consists can be reduced to a Hegelian threefold cycle. The cycle of a chain round consists of a devolution from spiritualness through three globes to materiality, until in the fourth globe the largest materiality is reached, after which an evolution back to spirituality takes place through again three globes, therewith completing the sevenfold.5 This sevenfold cycle can be reduced to a threefold, whereby the first spiritual globe regards the on itself thesis, the material globe the for itself antithesis, and the second spiritual globe the on and for itself synthesis.

The above thought we also find again in for instance the English contemplation 'Etymosophic Considerations on 'Spirituality'' where spiritualness was set apart from spirituality.6 The spiritualness regards there the on itself thesis which through a for itself antithesis of materialism is brought to the on and for itself synthesis of spirituality.

The learning to know and recognize the Hegelian archetypic threefold, whether or not through Hegel's academic philosophy, then is much recommended for the study of the ageless wisdom.