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Affirmation

by

Dean Gotcher

Georg Hegel wrote: "When a man has finally reached the point where he does not think he knows it better than others, that is when he has become indifferent to what they have done badly and he is interested only in what they have done right, then peace and affirmation have come to him." (G. F. W. Hegel in Carl Friedrich, The Philosophy of Hegel) Hegel's  "peace and affirmation" means the child is at peace with his "self," i.e., at peace with his carnal nature and he has the approval (affirmation) of others confirming his carnal nature as being "right," i.e. being "of and for" their carnal nature as well (as theirs is "of and for" his) A persons thoughts or behavior are approved or disapproved by others, being either right or wrong according to their standards or way of thinking while the person themselves are either affirmed (accepted) or dis-affirmed (rejected) by others based upon what they (the other person) has in common with them, i.e., can get out of them for themselves, even if it be "self" 'justification.'

Affirmation is intoxicating and addictive. Once put into praxis, it is difficult, if not impossible, for the child to overcome its control over him on his own—his carnal nature, i.e., his desiring the carnal pleasures of the 'moment' and his resenting restraint (hating the restrainer), 'justified' (affirmed) by others, now having control over (possessing) his thoughts and actions. Affirmation is positive in nature, validating a person's natural (carnal) desires of the 'moment' and his ability to achieve them. Neurolinguistics, imbedded statements in questions, starts with I, affirming another persons (or your own) ability to do something they (or you) desire, overcoming (sidestepping) any negativity which stands in the way of achieving it. Action taken with affirmation, 'justifies' the act over and therefore against any restraint which might be inhibiting or blocking it. Children in affirmation question, challenge, disobey, i.e., defy their parent's authority when it gets in the way of the natural (carnal) desires of the 'moment.' The same is true for adults in response to government.

"Building relationship" based upon "feelings," i.e., upon "self interest," i.e., love of pleasure and hate of restraint (if you love pleasure you by nature hate whatever or whoever is preventing you from enjoying it) rather than upon doing right and not wrong according to the father's/Father's will—with "peace," a "feeling" of wholeness, completeness, wellness, purposiveness, etc., being the absence of conflict and tension  (antithesis) between the child's/man's nature and the father's/Father's authority and "affirmation" (consensus or synthesis) being the pleasure which comes with the approval of others, affirming the child's carnal nature—that pleasure is the standard for "good" and that pain, including the pain which comes with missing out on pleasure (in order to do what is right, according to the father's/Father's standards), the pain which comes with chastening (for doing wrong, i.e., for not setting aside pleasure in order to do right, according to the father's/Father's commands, rules, facts, and truth), and the pain which comes with being cast out (for questioning and  challenging the father's/Father's commands, rules, facts, and truth and deliberately disobeying and defying his/His authority) is the standard for "evil." Peace and affirmation requires dialectic 'reasoning,' i.e., "self" 'justification' being put into social action (praxis)—negating the father's/Father's authority in the feelings, thoughts, and actions of the child, as well as in his relationship with himself, others, and the world—in order to become a 'reality.'

"Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." Luke 16:15
"Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished." Proverbs 16:5

   Hegel could not use the judgmental, absolutist (noun or person, place, or thing modifying) word "wrong" which would re-introduce what he was against, the hierarchy-duality system of "above-below," "right-wrong," "either-or" ("Either he did it right or he did it wrong"), i.e., the father's/Father's authority system. He therefore used the relativistic, i.e., continuum, spectrum, opinion (verb, adverb, adjective modifying) word "badly" (an action, i.e., motion, i.e., emotion word)—sidestepping the fact that man's heart is "bad," absent the "-ly," i.e., deceitful and wicked—"How badly did he do his job?" "There was evidently some good in what he did so we will focus upon that instead. He is simply becoming better at what he is doing." Wrong creates division, forcing conversation (discussion) into either-or details, i.e. specifics based upon commands, rules, facts, or truth, engendering conflict or tension based upon morals and competence, engendering position, while "badly" is verb or motion based, i.e., based upon "feelings" or opinion, which creates an atmosphere of generalization or permissiveness (dialogue), engendering 'change.' The conscience is based upon "right" and "wrong," a clear conscience as a result of doing things right, a guilty conscience as a result of doing things wrong. The super-ego is based upon the "feelings" of the 'moment,' with wrong being: making "feelings" subordinate to "doing right and not wrong."
   Having said all that, Hegel simply dismiss as irrelevant the "right-wrong" (either you are right or you are wrong—break one part of the law and you break it all) structure of the father's/Father's authority system. (which by the way is found in the laws of nature, all laws of nature holding us accountable to an either-or, observable, repeatable, right-wrong, ridged, unchanging structure, i.e., a tornado is pure order, all laws of nature, drag, thrust, lift, gravity, etc., doing exactly what they were created to do although the result to us might be chaos and disorder). Try to run a business on Hegel's dictum (indifferent to what your employees do "badly") and see how long you last—why socialist have to take over the world in order to survive, taking control over all the money that others have earned by doing thing right and not wrong, in order to keep their corrupt system working, i.e., in order to finance it, i.e., in order to feed their face.
   A person's position is given to him, coming from outside himself, i.e., from his parents, his teacher, ... God, i.e., from the laws of nature and natures God, which he has accepted as "is." His opinion comes from within himself, i.e., his "feelings" of the 'moment,' in response to a situation. A child can not defend his position (since it is not from him). He can only present his position and remain faithful to it, letting it defend him, persuading others that it is right (that their position is wrong). He can only defend his opinion, which comes from within himself, making him subject to 'change,' i.e., subject to the situation of the 'moment' and his interest of the 'moment,' which is influenced by it. By asking a child to defend his position he will come to realize it is not his, having to abandon it in order to "build relationship" with others based upon his "self interest," i.e., his opinion and theirs instead, which he and they have in common. It is opinion Hegel is interested in, thus his use of the word "badly" instead of the word "wrong," which would engender position and therefore rigidity, leading to division, i.e., "I am right and you are wrong." 
   Philosophy is evaluating your "self" and the world around you according to your own nature, i.e., according to your "feelings" of the 'moment,' instead of evaluating your "self" and the world according to that which is not of your nature, i.e., that which is not subject to your "feelings" of the 'moment.' The child's nature is to approach pleasure and avoid pain, with pleasure, including the pleasure which comes from the approval of others, and pain, including the pain which comes with their rejection being the catalyst for 'change,' with pleasure being the 'drive' of life and the augmentation of pleasure its 'purpose.' The parent's nature, thou still subject to the child's nature of approaching pleasure and avoiding pain, includes a structure of "right and wrong," i.e., "Do what is right, i.e., do what I tell you, i.e., obey and do not do wrong, i.e., do not disobey me."
   Therefore philosophy is thinking, i.e., "Reasoning" from "feelings," how the world "is," i.e., under authority, restraining pleasure, based upon a person's "sense perception," with its limited information, i.e., the situation providing only that information which the immediate environment and a persons "sense experience" (in response to the immediate environment) can provide, and how the world "ought" to be, i.e., pleasurable, tantamount to "peace" and "affirmation," i.e., to a persons' "sensuous needs," i.e., a persons' "felt needs," i.e., his "feelings" of the 'moment' (in response to the immediate environment) being satisfied. Therefore philosophy emanates from the child's nature, i.e., from his "feelings" of the 'moment' along with his mental-physical effort to 'liberate' himself, i.e., his "self," i.e., his "feelings" or desires of the 'moment' (stimulated by the world around him) from his parent's authority, i.e., from his parent's restraints, which is in common with man's effort to 'liberate' himself, i.e., his "self," i.e., his "feelings" or desires of the 'moment' (stimulated by the world around in) from God's authority, i.e., from God's restraints.
   Philosophy is based upon Hegel's "peace," that peace which is based upon every man's and child's desire to find "oneness" with themselves personally, i.e., individual and with one another, collectivity, according to their common carnal nature, i.e., according to the desires (for pleasure and affirmation) and dissatisfactions (with restraint and the restrainer) which they have in common being satisfied. The child's "peace" is found in his satisfied carnal nature (common to all mankind), i.e., in his natural inclination to approach pleasure—which includes the pleasure which comes from pleasing (being pleasing to) others as well as the pleasure which comes from being approved or "affirmed" (liked) by them being satisfied—and to avoid pain—which includes the pain which comes from missing out on pleasure and/or being rejected by others (being a pain to them) being negated. In fact rejection is one of the most painful (un-peaceful) experiences of life. It is why Hegel could write: "The child, contrary to appearance, is the absolute, the rationality of the relationship; he is what is enduring and everlasting, the totality which produces itself once again as such [once he has learned, through dialectic 'reasoning, i.e., through self 'justification' to 'liberate' himself from the father/Father and his/His authority system of commands and rules to be obeyed, as given, and facts and truth to be accepted as is, by faith, so that he can be himself, carnal, of the world only, again, as he was before the father's/Father's first command, rule, fact, or truth came into his life]." (George Hegel, System of Ethical Life)
   A word of caution, if you should agree with Hegel, accepting the child's nature as the basis of life, then all that is yours, i.e., your children, your spouse, your property, your business, your very own soul does not belong to you alone but belongs to everyone else as well, with unrighteousness and abomination becoming the way of life, i.e., the law of the land. Sounding more like Karl Marx (who was not born yet) Hegel wrote: "On account of the absolute and natural oneness of the husband, the wife, and the child [their common "lust" for pleasure including the approval of men, i.e., affirmation], where there is no antithesis [no "top-down" "right-wrong" way of thinking and acting] of person to person or of subject to object, the surplus is not the property of one of them, since their indifference is not a formal or a legal one." (George Hegel, System of Ethical Life) As J. L. Moreno stated it in his book Who Shall Survive?: "Parents have no right upon their offspring except a psychological right. Literally the children belong to universality."
   Therefore, according to dialectic 'reasoning,' since man is, by nature, 'driven' by his desire for pleasure, he can only find 'purpose' in life in the praxis or social action of augmenting pleasure, not only for himself but for all others as well (thus 'justifying' himself in inflicting pain upon all who do not join him, i.e., who resist, block, or inhibit him from initiating and sustaining his plan for "peace"). Hegel's agenda therefore was to 'liberate' mankind from the father's/Father's authority system, with men "affirming" one another according to their common (natural) desire for pleasure ("peace") and resentment toward restraint and the restrainer, i.e., the father's/Father's authority system. This could only take place in an environment based upon "social" interaction ("equality," "fraternity," "liberty"), i.e., equality, cooperation, and plurality, where children and men, through dialogue, could 'liberate' themselves, i.e., their feelings, thoughts, and actions, and their relationship with one another and the world, i.e., "human nature" (and therefore nature itself) from the father's/Father's  "top-down," "right-wrong" (hierarchy-duality) authority system.

Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud (following after Hegel) saw the father's/Father's authority system as the cause of social disharmony (inequality, alienation, repression), i.e., as introducing into culture (with the father's/Father's children becoming the next generation of  citizens) the acceptance of "repression," i.e., "self" control, "self" discipline, and the humbling and denying of "self" in order to do right and not wrong, i.e., the father's/Father's will, and "alienation," i.e., judging "self" and others according to "right" and "wrong," i.e., "good" and "evil," separating their "self" from the community (society) and the world, i.e., feeling guilty for doing wrong, as well as making others feel guilty for doing wrong, refusing to participate in ("prejudicing" himself and them, if they listen to him, against) the community and world doing "wrong," with the community (society) and the world separating its "self" from them, refusing to accept the feeling of guilt, i.e., the guilty conscience for doing "wrong." The dialectic plan is, negate the father's/Father's authority in the child's feelings, thoughts, and actions, and the guilty conscience for doing wrong will be negated in his relationship with others

Karl Marx therefore stated: "It is not individualism [the child under the parent's/God's, i.e., the father's/Father's authority system, being personally held accountable to them for his thoughts and actions, or isolated by himself, doing what he wants to do but for himself alone] that fulfills the individual, on the contrary it destroys him. Society ["the group," "human relationship based upon 'self interest'"] is the necessary framework through which freedom and individuality [freedom from the father's/Father's authority system and freedom to do as one desires in the 'moment,' i.e., to be carnal, i.e., to be of the world only, with group approval] are made realities." (Karl Marx, quoted in John Lewis, The Life and Teachings of Karl Marx)

© Institution for Authority Research, Dean Gotcher 2015-2017