Friday, October 03, 2003

My thoughts on Hegel and the BOOYAH dialectic.

So much has been made of the dialectic (Hegel's three young 'uns) that important aspects of their inter-relatedness...ness have been overlooked. Behold, his dialectic elements, as they appear in the indie-film classic chronicling their respective addictions to talc, salve, and gas station sushi.
  • Thesis: an idea
  • Antithesis (or anti-thesis): A conflicting idea which arises in response to the thesis
  • Synthesis: The tension between the thesis and antithesis (reports differ on the exact nature of the tension, but most feel it boils down to a sort of alchemical strain, rather than psychic strain, which Hegel decided was at least as likely as not.

Given these, the gift of Senor Hegel, we may pose the existence of another tripartite entity.
  • Thesisethis: If we view the previous three as axes in an idea-space, thesisethis is a measure of their orthogonality
  • Thesisethisasis: The projection of the axes onto a new, non-orthogonal axis ( a sort of inner-product)
  • Thesisethises: A diad composed of idea pairs, anti-idea pairs, and tension pairs.

I am glad to have cleared this up. (sigh of utmost relief)

Thursday, October 02, 2003

What happens when ghosts pass away?

When a loved one, whether jovial aunt, crotchety 1000-times-great grand pere, or faithful family pet, passes from this life into the next, everyone involved begins to pose the requsite questions.

"What happens when we die?"

"Will it be boring in heaven, since there is no sin?"

"Is it death I fear, or the act of dying?"

A possible solution to these is the existence of ghosts. If they are actually the remnants of people and things we loved in this world, their existence can give aid and comfort to those left behind. Unfortunately, if a person is stuck in this life (e.g. a kind old neighbor who still tucks children in at night, although she has been dead since 1954) they are in a real fix. Heaven is waiting, hell is calling, and they are spending eternity rattling chains and moaning. In this way, we can see that the notion of ghosts gives comfort to the living while simultaneously robbing the dead of any means of escape.

Consider the following. A person passes away and is missed by his family. In order to help them through the difficult time, he sticks around and haunts for a while. He appears to his daughter during times of indecision and discomfort. He speaks to his widow as she sleeps in order that she understand his desire for her to love again. That sort of thing. Well, before you know it, he has been flitting around the old homestead for 4 generations and nobody remembers what or who he is. Also, it is far from inconceivable that he might befriend other ghosts and spectres in the area. They could comfort each other and help other half-beings through the eternal twilight of the aether-bound. Finally, suppose that this ghostly fellow finds, via medium, time, or other avenue, a means of escape. Someone prays the proper novena and he is summoned at last to heaven. Now his ghost friends miss him. They begin to ask the requisite questions.

"Where do you go when you die, again?"

"How will I talk to him now that he is no longer a ghost?"

"Can I have his sheets and chains?"

I like to think that this twice deceased fellow might hang around for a while longer, and haunt his phantomic ex-colleagues, in order that they might be comforted. However, this might be a problem if it is ever discovered that ghosts, like most other beings, are afraid of ghosts.