The question of Schopenhauer’s critique of Hegel is perhaps to do with the issue of triads or dialectic (he wrote a book on the art of argument, eristic dialectic?) and evokes here a New Age issue we have discussed many times over at The Gurdjieff Con. We will post this here and then repost at GC for readers there.
I have been critical of Gurdjieff there, on many grounds, but the issue of triads (triadic dialectic, dualistic dialectic, or debate being relatively clear) again is problematical. The reader might check out Samkhya: Ancient and Modern. Schopenhauer charges Hegel with confusing a whole generation. The same charge can be laid against Gurdjieff who produced a strange ‘gnostic/sufi’ system based on the two cosmic laws of three and seven. The law of three is, guess, the issue of triads all over again, proposed as a kind of mystical meta-logic and spiritual principle or canon. Since he resurrected some ancient forms of thinking about which our histories are inadequate I will be wary of rejecting out of hand something that has clear indications of some kind of ancient teaching passed down to…oblivion mostly in the decay of ancient teachings, etc… The garbled versions point to something strange, but lost to us, and Ol’ G was a baffler by strategy, and his All and Everything is mostly a feat of higher gibberish.
The connection to Hegel is obvious and Hegel has picked up some version of this, via Boehme, or ancient theology, or whatever.
But I do question the Gurdjieff version: did he understand what he was proposing as ancient knowledge? If ever there was a case of confusing a whole generation one has but to survey the realm of Gurdjieff groups and the immense confusion over the teaching that has spread across four generations. Students here have no idea what they are talking about but claim to be thinking in a higher logic when they are in fact confused dolts. Here Bennett attempted clarification but he is party to the sowing of confusion even as he tries to be faithful to Gurdjieff. His systems logic is of interest but his claims for triadic systems, and seven-term systems just don’t make proper sense. A whole field (disowned mostly by sufis) is rife with idiotic and garbled versions of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, with Bennett in the wings with a clear self-refuting mess nonetheless with intriguing aspects.
You can see the triadic logic in action in a figure like Rajneesh who never discussed such but did, if you look closely, apply dialectic of sorts in this strange way of doing A then anti A and then something more beyond that.
I will grant the possibility some sense can be made of this, but the net result, a la Schopenhauer, has still another generation of confused idiots.
Fascinating article, and I can’t comment on the spot. A dark cloud floats overhead, however: everyone who uses Hegel gets confused, the worst case being Marx who tried to escape Hegel. My mot…