Citizen Blogger

April 26, 2005

Goodbye, Dad! I Love You

My father, F.W. Schaefer of Hutchinson, Minnesota, passed away yesterday. America has lost yet another proud veteran of WWII. He is loved and missed.

Until I return, I'll leave this thought that keeps floating around my head; know and cherish your blessings everyday.

M.F. Schaefer

April 14, 2005

Sweet Synthesis, Where Have You Gone?

There are a few things I would like to discuss over the next few weeks:

1) The influence of an Ego-Driven Life on sociopathic behavior and the death of the Superego.

2) The Philosophical Science of "Old" Rhetoric (Logos, Ethos, Pathos) as applied to understanding the manipulation in contemporary communication.

3) And the loss of synthesis and universal progress generated from a Hegelian Dialectic (thesis, antithesis, synthesis) or what some might call commonsense.

Please chime in with your thoughts on "what's happening in our world?"

First up is Sweet, Sweet, Synthesis.
In the early 1800s, GWF Hegel offered us his concept of the Dialectic:

According to Hegel, a thesis (idea) contains incompleteness that reveals an antithesis (opposition), which is a conflicting idea. As a result of the conflict a third point of view arises, a synthesis, which overcomes the conflict by reconciling at a higher level the truth contained in both the thesis and antithesis. This synthesis becomes a new thesis that generates another antithesis, giving rise to a new synthesis. In this way intellectual or historical development progresses. Reality is understood as the Absolute unfolding dialectically in a process of self-development. (Columbia Encyclopedia)

With all the discord and division sweeping the globe, are we rapidly losing track of our universal commonalities and with it our desire to find higher ground through synthesis? To me, synthesis seems to be a necessity of a healthy democracy. Conveniently, we have been able to overcome this lack of synthesis with such intellectually giant comments as "can't we just agree to disagree?" (he said sarcastically) and "let's play crossfire!" (again, sarcasm). Now, I enjoy a good political joust like the next guy, but it must be for a greater purpose than just rallying support for one side and not hearing the other. How did we lose the ability--maybe we never had it--to encourage the best part of the idea to rise to the top? And more important, how have we convinced ourselves that we'll achieve any great progress without it. The hallmark of dialectic grandeur should be found in our grand halls, Congress, the UN, etc., but it appears that the best idea isn't as important there as convincing their peers to agree with bad ideas, pork programs, or even corruption. Man, I sure would like to see that wheel come to a grinding halt. Alas, I pine.

So, do we leave it alone and continue to separate into screaming camps of entrenched delusion? Or do we stand up, speak out, and make damn sure our leaders know that We Want Synthesis? Write them, call them, text "fricken" message them if you can! Let them know: Hannity and Colmes, We Want Synthesis not man worship. Crossfire, We Want Synthesis not brow beating and name calling. East and West, Young and Old, Rich and Poor, Dems and Reps, Religious and Secular: We Want Synthesis! We want the best of all your ideas--but not only your ideas. How do we get it? How about self synthesis? A sincere look inward to authentically care more about humankind and life than ego and lifestyle. I know, you're saying: "not my lifestyle, though!" You see, there's the root of the problem.

We will surely rust if we allow the disingenuous to further cripple the best ideas for mankind because they have a self-serving horse in the race; I hope we become wiser to their ways of ignoring and thwarting the benefits of synthesis. The Ego-Driven Life leads us to care more about our handful of sand than a universe of souls.

Try synthesis.