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The New Dialectics
The Dialectical Phenomenology of Michael Kosok

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Towards Phenomenology as a Science

Michael Kosok

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Part 1

Phenomenology, Logic, and Their Co‑relation into Dialectic Phenomenology


Ask any scientist — be he profound or petty, poetic or prosaic he will always demand one thing in his pursuit of knowledge: that which is presented must be sharp, clear, well defined and “clean.” All revelation through discovery and invention, no matter how intuitive and emotional, no matter how much significance or lack thereof it might imply, must appear in a clear form. The scientist needs to make the non‑visible visible, to give definition, detail, and delineation to the depth of experience, to present Logos or order to the world, even if it is only a small Logos, perhaps floundering within a threatening sea of chaos doomed to eventually swallow up all significant distinction at some future time — as some of the more tragic scientists infer when they claim that the universe is predestined to whimper away in a slow decay, a heat death in which entropy and disorder become the ultimate shroud of mankind and the stars.

Let us therefore take a good look at this notion of some kind of ordered universe of distinctions which the scientist requires in order that he be a scientist. Phenomenologically — which is to say, describing without consciously attempting to evaluate or categorize one’s descriptions into a fixed identity structure or “metaphysics” which supposedly “underlies” the descriptions as an immovable reference point — the scientist acheives a state of explicit differentiation in his activities by invoking the power of definition and measurement. A definition is an aggressive act of consciousness which focuses out into relief a certain pattern, idea or intuition, and hence brings clarity of presence to an otherwise extremely fluid state of symbolic activity. Similarly, a measurement is likewise an aggressive act of consciousness, but this time it is not directed towards the so‑called “inner” world of intention, but to the so-called “outer” world of extension. Just as the act of definition presupposes a pre‑formal intuitive Gestalt within which and out of which a formal structure emerges, measurement likewise implies the existence of a pre‑measured field of extensive interaction within which a certain pattern is taken to be a constant, i.e., taken to be a measuring unit relative to which other patterns are compared. Now it is at this crucial junction between the pre‑formal stage before definition and measurement, and the formal stage of definition and measurement, where the entire scope of both the power and limitation of focused consciousness which is so essential to science becomes revealed with full force.

Without focusing awareness, one lives within a pre‑categorical world of direct and immediate involvement, with both the “observer” and “observed” forming a singular state of interaction. Rhythms of physical and mental activity, feeling states and intuitive perception, involve one in an endless series of transformations. Within this pre‑categorical state, there is no notion of a fixed or “dicted” identity either conceptual, perceptual, or what‑have‑you — and therefore there is also no notion of contra‑diction. Before diction or contradiction, good or evil, right or wrong, the precategorical world knows only the fluid state of paradox, i.e., a totally non‑linear world in which all distinctions are therefore inseparable and entangled. This is a veritable continuum of “yin” and “yang” in which no yin or yang, A or not‑A, can even be referred to as an isolated rational form, let alone contradicted! All forms are partial aspects — differentials and not specified algebraic quantities, if you will — in a state of forming and transforming, each element being intrinsically conditioned by the context of all others, and each conditioned by itself through others. Contradiction is only possible if one can single out and thus linearize any distinction into a separated variable, focused out of context and into view as a visible self‑sustaining form. We are so used to making identities and dealing, using, and abusing forms, that we tend to forget the elusive process by which we continually — at each moment of conscious activity recall, re‑evoke and actually create out of a non‑formal context the forms that always seem to “be there” as something so obvious. And it is not just a mechanical re‑creation, for each new re‑appearance occurs within a slightly different context, namely, one within which previous creations are now part of the given. It is easy for us who are so used to categorical thinking and acting to assume that the world of pre‑formal pre‑focused awareness is precisely the place where the continual fluidity of all forms can only lead to all sorts of confusion, ambiguity, contradiction, and destruction. It is easy to think that this pre‑categorical world is, as it were, an inferior world called the animal world of Eros, passion, fire and consumption, the feminine mother‑earth of darkness and unconsciousness which is not yet inhabited by the spiritual qualities involved when order, clarity, definition, and form, lift one to the peaceful heights of Olympus, governed by the masculine God, Logos. But, in point of fact, it is only within the pre‑categorical state of immediacy that contradiction cannot exist, for no fixed categories are available for contradiction, although distinctions do appear. While recognizing the distinctions between the fluid pre‑categorical world and the delineated categorical domain, to call one inferior because it is bottom and a basement, and the other superior because it is top and a penthouse, is, I submit, propaganda from the masculine world of forms. (One could just as well, and with equal injustice, claim that since the bottom is depth, while the top is merely surface and shallow, therefore ... etc.) Closer to the truth is that one is immediate, “primordal”, and a source, while the other is the principle of mediation and co‑relation, and gives direction.

The trouble with the domain of categorical thinking and action is that the categorical mind can only recognize the categories called Eros or Logos, or “the precategorical” and “the categorical”, and cannot feel or experience the non‑categorical (or categorical!) in a non‑categorical way. Similarly, however, the world of Eros and feeling, when regarded merely as a counter‑world to the formed and focused land of Logos, likewise has no true awareness of order and rationality other than regarding such states of differentiation and objectivity as mere illusions and fantasies, dreams generated by an irrational darkness which knows no goals, directions, or ideals. If the romantic world of Eros, which is the source of energy and passion, is set against Logos, then it is blind and futile; and when the idealistic world of Logos, which gives consciousness, direction, and focus, is seen in opposition to Eros, it is empty and impotent. To paraphrase Kant, utilizing a Nietzschean modality (a most unlikely and untimely combination): Eros or the Dionysian without Logos is blind; Logos or the Apollonian without Eros is empty. Now it is precisely this dialectical formulation of the dynamic archetypes of awareness — immediacy as Eros and mediation as Logos (or the Dionyesian and Apollonian) — which is essential to grasp in order to understand the nature of science in its most significant modality as a form of consciousness, and, hence, to appreciate both its strength as an Apollonian mode which focuses, forms, categorizes, defines and measures (in other words, mediates), and also its weakness, when science is abused, of going against and counter to its pre‑categorical intuitive mode (the Dionysian source) wherein all mediation and reflection is experienced within its functioning context of immediacy, spontaneity, and direct presence. This is not unlike a brain or head, all of a sudden becoming ashamed of its dependency upon its “animal” body, deciding to undercut or bracket it out of existence, and hence itself into impotency.

Let us now turn, once more, to the crucial juncture of the pre‑categorical field of fluidity, immediacy, and direct presence, and the categorical state of structure, mediation, and form, in order to see how their dialectic manifests itself. Absolutely necessary to any discussion involving the pre‑categorical is the recognition that it be referred to as a field of immediacy in order to indicate that the pre‑categorical can only be experienced as a totality, i.e., not localized into any mediated structure which is externally observed or reflected upon: totality is always immediate and any true immediacy is a totality, for any mediation or objectification creates a division and categorical opposition, resulting in a reduction of totality to a delineated concept such as “whole”, which functions as a counter-category to its opposite, “part”. The pre‑categorical field of immediacy is a totality in which both part and whole are differentiated categories or oppositions describing certain aspects of a pre‑delineated totality delineated into self‑distinctions. However, one may object and say that the only possible meaningful discussion must be between ideas taken as categories and definitions, including, therefore, the pre‑categorical as a category, for otherwise one cannot “objectively” ascertain and communicate just what has been revealed to be “true” or “present”. The only proper place for immediacy in verbal structures thus the argument goes — is in poetry or prose with a poetic element, which we all know has nothing to do with objective truth: it is a “subjective” experience. 1 cannot disagree with this claim, nor can I in all honesty disagree with any claim. For a claim is not made to be agreed or disagreed with: rather, a claim opens up a perspective and universe of discourse about experience, and is either relevant or not‑relevant to various degrees for a person considering the claim, i.e., relevant or not for the experience as considered by a certain person or groups of persons in a certain situation. If one wants to regard objectivity, form, and categorization as something given, and not as an activity, then one is not interested in the generation or creation of form within awareness. Naturally relative to this perspective any talk about a non‑categorical or pre‑categorical field or origin of forms will not be relevant — just as in algebra, which concerns itself with fixed identities which are either present or absent, one has no direct way of referring to non‑algebraic notions of differentials or limits, i.e., with quantities that are taken to be in a state of appearing or disappearing, and thus involving one directly with transition‑states and movements. Even the pre‑categorical field of immediacy (just like any transition state that is non‑determinate) although non‑categorical, is nevertheless re‑ferred to by a term, and hence is something capable of being fixed into a category itself, within a larger field of as yet un‑categorized experience, relative to which a previous field of immediacy designated by a term becomes an object of mediation or reflection. The pre‑categorical field of immediacy qua immediacy, does not function as a linear and fixed term, object, or “proper” category, and hence neither does it function as a counter‑fixed “anti-term” or “non-proper” category or anti‑category: all of these designations are mediations and oppositions. In a similar (but not identical) way, neither do the mathematical notions of non‑linearity, infinite limit, and the infinitesimal point, nor the philosophical‑psychological terms designated by subjectivity, intentionality, Eros or the Dionysian, refer to objectified and formed categories or fixed terms (although they can appear objectified). All of them in their own way are descriptive of states of emergence, disappearance, transformation, or transcendence.

Basically, the precategorical field of immediacy is a predifferentiated ground‑state serving as the context relative to which formation, differentiation, and categorization have meaning when they are regarded as activities of creation... of forms being formed. Any reflection producing a definition, or any process producing a measure, focuses attention upon a certain set of characteristics which are present before being focused upon but not present in a polarized way. Thus, the activity of mediation, reflection, or formation of any kind becomes an integral aspect of the elements mediated, and not something external to their “essence”. In such a state of emergence or transition, an element is neither given nor not given, but is in a state of being‑given; hence this involves both contrasting aspects in an integrated modality. Deciding to single out a grey‑green‑brown shape as a tree, creates both an object and a counter‑object, both tree and a particular not‑tree background, both of which serve to polarize and categorize the original characteristics within a certain localized space. Calling or defining one activity as specifically moral is done so only in specific relation to that which is not‑moral. Any one observation requiring reflection or measurement, or any single appearance of a new state from a previous one, creates a single boundary state with two mutually conditioned sides: any element of experience which is immediately present, called “e”, upon reflection, mediation, or transition, is transformed into a +e and ‑e contrast. Here, both the element posited as a positive or plus term, and the counter‑element counter‑posited as a negative or minus term, serve in complementary (but not identical) ways as an explication and polarization of the original state of immediacy. Notice, nothing is being said about how or why or who or what is deciding this activity of transformation of reflection. All we are considering is the phenomenology of reflection as an activity, which is itself immediately recognizable and present within experience. Hence, we do not regard reflection as reduced to either a subjective or an objective process. To first populate our universe with pre‑formed categories and identities is not to ground oneself within an activity of creation or discovery, but is rather to regard creation mechanically, relative to something already created and merely passively present to an already well‑determined observer. Life is then a mere repetition of already formed forms, and not a genuine unfolding.

Whether or not one has already formulated categories of definitions in the past is likewise not of importance here, for the essence of experiencing a pre‑categorical state of immediacy lies precisely in its indifference to what was, is, or might exist as a mediated or formed state. Thus, a pre‑categorical state of immediacy cannot be described as a state of oneness or unity, consisting only of one quality, or a state of plurality or diversity consisting of many diverse qualities. The pre‑categorical is a Gestalt or totality, and the content of this totality is indifferent to its appearance as an immediacy. For example, one’s awareness might contain sights, sounds, symbols, movements, feelings, and what‑have‑you, and when these elements are experienced in a state of immediacy they take the form of non‑localized aspects constituting a pre‑differentiated totality, much as one’s awareness of a continuum consists of being aware of all points as non‑localized transition states forming a singular continuous experience. It is reflection, mediation, or focus which then produces an objective space within which these qualities or elements now appear juxtaposed, and hence for each posited quality within the field there exists a counter‑posited or negative space within which it is now externally related to all other posited qualities, each of which likewise exists within a negative and external space, the external spaces of all posited qualities collectively serving as a visible matrix of interrelation. Pre‑reflective space is not an external space or Logos within which each quality has a definite position or marked category, and within which each quality or set of qualities can be said to exist. Pre‑reflective space is not extensive, external, or existential, but is rather, intensive, internal, and intensional. However, external vs. internal are not here to be regarded as spatial opposites, but, rather as modalities of appearance each one of which can be descriptive of the same present qualities. Internal, implicit, intrinsic, intensional, intensive, and also essential, subjective, and noumenal, refer to a state of inseparable non‑linearity or organic totality which can also appear upon reflection as a linear set of interrelated distinctions — in which case, the terms “external”, “explicit”, “extrinsic”, “extensional”, “extensive”, and also “existential”, “objective”, and “phenomenal”, would be appropriate. Thus all elements or qualities within the precategorical state appear as inseparable distinctions in which reflection or mediation brings out or develops the distinctions implicitly present creating an objective space of polarized distinction capable of appearing linear and therefore separately categorized into opposites called diction and contradiction for the purposes of simplification and understanding, giving clarity and visibility to the elusive depth of the pre‑categorical field of presence.

And here we come to the heart of the matter. All mediation is an expression of a dynamics of immediacy. All non‑objective, non‑mediated (non‑separated, linearized or polarized) terms such as “subjectivity”, “immediacy”, “intension”, “essence”, “Eros”, “Dionysian”, “Fluidity”, “noumenal”, etc., are references to the pre‑categorical field out of which and relative to which objectivity, form, categorization, and polarization appear, not as something that opposes the pre‑categorical state of immediacy or subjectivity (for this would make immediacy or subjectivity merely a counter‑mediated and counter‑objective state existing or subsisting as a type of mirror world to the objective world, and hence just as delimited and mediated as the objective state). Rather, subjectivity and immediacy as a precategorical state is a totality which must remain as an ever‑present field of totality and immediacy within which objectification, mediation, and formation appear as modes of self‑differentiation, lest immediacy be reduced to a mediation called merely the “anti-mediated”. The nature of immediacy is such that all one‑sided mediation or opposition must express a balancing mutual mediation, and thus a self‑mediation activity within the context of immediacy.

Thus, upon reflection (mediation, or polarization,) any immediate and unformed element e is not a simple element, but is a posited element, +e, in relation to a counter‑posited or negative element, ‑e, both element and counter‑element being inseparable distinctions emerging by mutual opposition out of any initial and unformed states: +e and ‑e are both functions of e, the first one being the presence or being of e “in-itself”, and the second one being the contextual negation or non‑being of e “out-side-itself” (or “for-itself” in Hegel’s terms). Without mediation or reflection, the immediate is singular ... and simply is, and nothing can be said. All discussion is null and void. But should reflection, mediation, or any objectification activity set in forming e into +e, then that which was immediate and singular reveals a higher modality of singularity or immediacy present, in that any reflected element of a previous immediacy immediately appears posited along side of its counter‑posited negative element in a state of mutual boundedness or para-dox (paradox taken to mean “to appear along side of”). Now the newer state of singular immediacy is the as yet unmediated singular boundary relation between the two mutually formed and explicated aspects, called here “±e”. Indeed, the original element of immediacy, e, is pre‑formal or unformed and +e and ‑e are in turn formed and counter‑formed, while the relation ±e is their transform or transition relation, which again is not a formal (i.e., positive or negative) term and therefore expressive of a re‑petition of immediacy on an explicated level, a self‑mediated immediacy here called e', the ±e mutuality is grasped as a singular totality. Higher mediations would now start with e' and produce + e', and ±e', all as self‑mediated stages within a still newer immediacy called e'' . The trans‑formal or meta‑formal ±e term is not only a new unformed element but by balancing the plus and minus aspects within it, re‑expresses the pre‑formal e term on an enriched plane, which likewise was neither a plus nor a minus formed term. The difference is that as e' the plus and minus aspects appear explicated as polarizations and, hence, is development of the e stage, wherein plus and minus only appear as potentialities (considering the transition from e to e' to be the being of e, all formation being at once transformation). In summary, the dynamics of immediacy makes all mediation, self‑mediation, all being, being, and all e, e‑ing. The simplest re‑presentation is the transition from e to e' expressed in terms of a re‑cycling of immediacy, producing three inseparable distinctions within that cycle called +e, ‑e, and ±e, or the positive, the negative, and the transitive.[1]

Regarded as a totality, the phenomenology of reflection shows us that reflection or mediation as an activity, far from removing one from immediacy, is rather an explication and deepening of immediacy. Indeed, pre‑categorical immediacy in the form of e is a field of paradoxical interrelationship, and the very transition from e to e' is but an explicit appearance of a process of paradox, or mutuality of the inherent +e and ‑e elements in e, developing themselves as e'. Further, it shows that phenomenology is basically dialectical in structure, and vice‑versa, that dialectics can be regarded as an explication of phenomenology, not dependent upon any fixed metaphysical doctrine of identity. Dialectic phenomenology is thus both a dynamics of immediacy, and a logic of mediation — in short, it is a dynamics of paradox (but not contra‑diction, which assumes fixed identity opposition), where paradox is descriptive of what in science is referred to as a non‑linear field of interdependent elements, each one a function of all the others, and each one a function of itself through the others, thus making a non‑linear field a self‑generating field of being. Here there exist no distinctions which are truly separable into fixed identities, independent of their field of interaction; all distinctions are fundamentally inseparable and in a state of transformation.

We have now described the essence of dialectic logic to be a Logos of continual self‑differentiation and self‑expansion of immediacy (immediacy being a non‑linear field), wherein no identity is brought in as an already determined (or, for that matter, counter‑determined) mediation or structure, but rather grasped as an identity‑being‑determined: e is e being determined as e', for example. Naturally, e' in turn can re‑appear as a higher self‑determination called e'', etc. The problem remains, however, of representing, or rather re‑presenting, this continual e‑ing process in which the formation of any e is at once its transformation into a higher order e, as a mediational structure or logic in which the dynamics of immediacy can be explicitly presented as a continual expansion of levels of immediacy, and thus arrive at a dialectical logic finally given some visible, objective and formal structure capable of being utilized to give expression to the becoming‑of‑forms as these forms and objectifications appear within the particular sciences (or within any particular field of study). This is where the dialectic matrix comes into being — or rather, being. If e' is the self‑mediated state of e, there are, initially, three inseparable distinctions which become present, namely, +e, ‑e and ±e. Now it must be realized that this triadic relation is not merely a symmetric and hence spatial co‑relation of simultaneous forms which co‑exist, but also an asymmetric and hence temporal becoming of these forms. Thus, +e is the immediate seen as a here and now presence, while ‑e is the negation and determination of the immediate as having a limit, such that +e is the self‑determination and self‑limitation of +e as a ±e mutuality. If e is an initial state of being aware of an immediate field of presence, such as a sunny landscape for example, then e' might be that sunny landscape revealing itself to also manifest a cloudburst of rain and wind as part of its immediate being. Here +e is the initial repose of sunny benevolence now seen as but a primary condition: ‑e is the limitation of this sunnyness by the not‑sunnyness perceived in this instance as rain and wind, and  ±e is the perception that the phenomenon of sunnyness was not a completely revealed fixed element, but one which is being‑revealed as a mutual co‑relation between sun and rain and is thus a singular state of self‑activity when perceived as an immediate totality e': sunnyness is capable of being seen as one issuing forth rain and wind, as when peaceful clouds or fragments of clouds not yet discerned on a sunny day can at a certain state discharge war cries of electrified energy and stored up water. If one were to linearize or categorize this situation (for the purpose of delineation and clarity), and not see that this linearization is one within a context of non‑linearity, then one would reduce the perceived self‑activity to a duality composed of the terms “Sunny” or “sun” regarded merely as diction, and “rain” regarded merely as a contra‑diction (or sunny vs. not sunny, or not‑rain vs. rain), with the transition between them not only an unrepresented excluded middle, but the terms or identities themselves truncated into a fixed and hypostatized structure of two separately regarded identities. Thus is born alienation and ideology out of differentiation and a dynamics of appearance. And thus is born the lost cause of trying to synthesize back together two identities which in their linear form cannot without inconsistency be made into a unity. Godel’s dilemma now appears, and one lives either a life of inconsistency and positive metaphysical schizophrenia (trying to somehow have both A and NotA by a fusion of identities), or a life of incompleteness and negative metaphysical schizophrenia (setting up something which is neither A nor NotA, and hence another identity between A and NotA, thus separating A from NotA). In the first case, the inseparable distinctions are reduced to inseparable indistinctions without uniqueness or individual form and a poor form of mysticism or negativism appears, while, in the second case, the inseparable distinctions are reduced to separated distinctions without universality, connection or relation, and a poor form of behaviourism or positivism results. The actual dialectic, however, is neither simply a positive or negative modality of having both or neither A and NotA, or +e and ‑e. It is, rather, realizing that all opposition or negation is expressive of a non‑linear transitive relation in which any one oppositional form is the completion of its counter‑form in a singular boundary relation, thus regarding all forms as aspects within a dynamics of relation and trans‑formation. Thus, sun, rain, wind, snow, and all qualities of awareness within a dynamics of immediacy are seen as elements being revealed and being formed such that all limitations and boundaries are at once mutual and co‑relative: there is no external fixed observer (to a system) which is not also in some way internal, unfixed and being observed (within a system), such that in reality, there is a non‑linear transitive activity in which observing and being observed or action and re‑action is a transforming dynamics generating, through feedback and levels of feedback, ever newer forms and aspects of the elements present as the very being of these elements. (Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, mutually relating any one system to the whole space or field of that system, is an expression in science of such a non‑linear feedback structure which in turn is what makes these disciplines difficult to grasp for people only used to classical, linear logic.) In non‑linear systems, all reflection is self‑reflection, all activity, self‑activity, and, thus, there is no self or world as such, but only a self‑selfing and a world‑worlding ...

We are now ready for a second level dialectics. If we take the e' state containing +e and -e as the two basic elements of its mutuality, called ± e, and watch it emerge as e'' then two new elements, +e' and ‑e', would appear together with a new mutuality, ±e'. Using the symbolism already developed in my previously mentioned article we shall represent the act of mediation or reflection by R, and as a consequence obtain the general form of the dialectic matrix as a continuous unfolduig of cycles of cycles or triads of triads:

0) e

1) (R) e = e' (+e → ‑e) = first cycle

2) (R) e' = e'' =(+ e' → - e') = [+(+e → ‑e) → ‑(+e → ‑e)] = a cycle of cycles

3) (R) e'' = e'''etc., etc.

(all e is e‑ing)

                                                          [Diagram I]

Now this entire form of self‑developing opposition can be re‑presented topologically as a self‑generating multidimensional space or matrix within which cycles or triads are being established on many levels sinsultaneously and sequentially (i.e., both spatially and temporally), whose non‑linear totality (in two dimensions) is given in a second diagram by tlae following singular structure of inseparable distinctions (which will be examined as a whole and term by term in (Part II):

e;         e' = [+e→ -e : ±e]


                + e'                   +[+e → -e : ±]                          ++e →      -e :    +±e
                   ↓                                     ↓                               ↓           ↓       ↓
e'' =           -  e'           =      -[+e → -e : ±]          =             -+e →     --e :     -±e
                    ..                                        ..                                 ..          ..           ..
±[+e→ -e : ±]                       ±+e →  ±-e :     ±±e


                                                                 [Diagram II]

In this matrix progression, e = one term; e' = 3 terms in all, but two opposites; e'' = 9 terms in all, but four opposites such that in general, for en, where n is the level of reflection, there are 3n terms and 2n opposites. (Logically, the three terms called the positive, negative and transitive can be given operational designation: assertion, negation, and self‑negation, respectively. In addition, instead of having +e, ‑e and ±e, one would write (e), (‑e) and (‑‑e), respectively for a transformation from e to e'. Thus the parentheses indicate a first level reflection, and the sequence of “no negation sign”, “one negation sign” and “two negation signs” associated with e inside the parentheses reflects the positing, negating and mutual dual negating processes involved in which a negation is seen coupled with the assertion as its determination. A second order logic would give us (e'), (‑e'), and (‑‑e') — and since e' is already a (e), (‑e), (‑‑e) transition — nine inseparable terms would appear: ((e)), ((‑e)), ((‑‑e)), (‑(e)), (‑(‑e)), (‑(-‑e)) and (‑‑(e)), (‑‑(‑e)), (‑‑(‑‑e)). The last is a self‑negation of a self‑negation. Thus ((e)) would indicate an e, which not only co‑exists, as (e), with its negation (‑e), but which also co‑exists with the negation of this entire first level determination, namely with ‑(e) and ‑(‑e), such that four terms are necessary to determine e as ((e)): a second level (second parenthesis) determination of (e), (‑e), ‑(e), and ‑(‑e) as ((e)), ((‑e)), (‑(e)) and (‑(‑e)).)

Returning to our example of sun and rain, if +e is a state of initial sunshine, and ‑e a state of rain negating that sunshine, then a first order cycle called e, would merely explicate the relation of sun to rain termed e' from the original state called the presence of sunnyness or e, meaning that for this particular example, to be sunny meant to become sunny‑revealing‑rain. However, a second order explication of the events involved could reveal a more detailed depth to the becoming of sunnyness. Thus, since e' itself is a plus to minus “transition-coupling”, +e' would be a plus form of a plus to minus transition state, or what we shall term a transition coupling of a ++e to a +‑e: +e and ‑e are each now taken as an initial and hence plus term of posited immediacy. Therefore, the initial state of the second order reflection (namely the +e' state within e'', the other two states being ‑e' and ±e') starts a second order dialectic with both the initial sun and negating rain now as two posited immediacies, and generates as the counter‑immediacies, mediations or negations of these two posited co‑immediacies. Since in this particular example, our basic transition state is the perception of sunnyness or simply sun turning into not‑sun, or the given as sun turning into the not‑given as rain, this makes sun and rain mutual oppositions and mediations. Thus if sun is given as an immediate plus term, and rain is given as an immediate minus term called rain, then the mediation of the plus term called sun is the minus term rain, and the mediation of the minus term called rain is the plus term sun. However, unlike a simple identity logic, the mediation or negation of a term as a second term must have reference to the immediacy of which it is a mediation, negation or result. Otherwise it would merely be another immediacy and not a mediation. (This is Hegel’s basic notion of aufheben — and mathematically it means that negation is always a qualitatively different act from assertion or the establishment of position, for to negate means to invert or act counter to that which has been set up as an initial posit, and must refer to it negatively. A double negation means a return reference to the initial position having once left it, and thus giving us a re‑assertion, (360 degree cycle) and not a simple assertion (0 degrees): a double negation is a return on a “higher level” in that mathematically, a dialectic negation is a non‑conservative activity ... negation and movement “adds to” that which is, by explication and extension, making any type of double‑negation activity retain as part of its meaning, the activity of its movement as a “negative-presence”. Actually, assertion, negation and self‑negation, or +e, ‑e, and  ±e are all inseparable aspects of a singular relation of e appearing as e'. Thus any negation is always the existen­tial middle term between something that was asserted, and the same something that must reappear through a double‑negation, but now transformed through the vehicle of its own negation, regarding any and all negations as expressive of the self‑mediated cyclic nature of determination. The determination of a given immediacy is hence neither its simple assertion as being itself, nor its negation as becoming simply something other, but its self‑transformation by means of a mutual negation or self‑negation — namely a negation that is an integral aspect of its self or being — this being seen therefore as a state of dynamic being: dialectic determination is thus neither being nor becoming but always a state of these two posited co‑immediacies.

We are now in a position to evaluate the relation between +e' and ‑e' in terms of the transition‑coupling between +e and ‑e, a transition coupling which is the content of e' and which hence serves as the basis for +e' and ‑e'. If +e' is the transition‑coupling between ++e and +‑e, ‑e' is conversely, the transition coupling between -+e and ‑‑e, or the minus form of a plus to minus transition. In other words, it is a transition‑coupling between +e and ‑e each now taken as negated immediacies. In our example, if we call sun “S” and the specific not-sun condition “rain” or “R”, then e' is the +e and ‑e transition‑coupling or boundary called “SR.” A reflection on e' or SR, would now give us a +e' or +SR and a -e' or ‑SR. The positive boundary determination would be seeing the boundary SR in terms of S and R as posited immediacies, and hence asserts the existence of a relation between an immediate S and an immediate R. However, the negative boundary determination would be seeing the boundary SR as an inverted boundary, for now the boundary between S and R is not a relation between S and R as posited immediacies, but a boundary between S and R as negated immediacies, and hence as a relation between “an‑S‑negated‑into‑an‑R”, and “an‑R‑negated‑into-an‑S”. Thus, whereas a plus boundary between S and R gives us the direct and immediate relation “S revealing R”, the minus boundary relation between S and R gives us a counter and mediated relation of an “R conditioned S revealing an S conditioned R”. In other words, it reveals a sub‑boundary or sub‑dialectic within both S and R — the S not only relating directly to its R on a primary level, giving us a first order boundary, but because of the mutuality of non‑linear co‑relation, there is also an R opposition or negation within S and an S opposition or negation within R. The co‑dependency between S and R is now reflected within S and R just as any boundary between two elements is an integral aspect of each of the elements in such a way that the S to R boundary at the same time reveals a counter‑boundary between the R within S and the S within R. Thus, +e' or +SR is the direct movement from S to R which now co‑exists with an inverse movement called -e' , namely, the R within S revealing the S within R, or an R to S counter‑boundary appearing paradoxically along with the direct boundary movement from S to R. Hence, in a second order dialectics, not only does the plus term reveal a minus term, but as the plus term reveals the minus term, a minus term within the plus reveals a plus term within the minus, and the overall net movement from plus to minus is therefore a movement from an immediately given plus term, as the first element formed, to a derived plus term appearing within the minus, as the final element formed. Thus, e is the being of an element. Then e' is the being of this element as a transition‑coupling from positive to negative. Thirdly, e'' is now the being of this element as a double‑transition‑coupling, from positive to negative, which at the same time is a re‑revealing on a more complex level of the initial positive form as a derived or mediated element from the negative first revealed within e'. A second order matrix is thus an explicit self‑relation between a term and itself as mirrored out of the negation of itself and thus a second order dialectics is an explicit self‑self correlation. (Naturally e''' would now produce an inversion of this entire explicit self‑relation, for not only would a positive state reveal a negative which in turn re‑reveals the positive, but the final positive would re‑reveal a negative within it in turn, each higher order mediation revealing higher order sub‑boundaries within each term, which in turn becomes the basis for more complex meta‑relations between the terms. In the limit, as we say, any boundary dialectic between two terms will be mirrored within each term, which in turn increases the complexity of inseparable relation between the terms, and which in turn increases the complexity of uniqueness and distinction mirrored within each term. In this way, we have a dialectic description of a general non‑linear field in which all elements are a function of each other and of themselves, or in which whole and part are mutually co‑defined, there not existing any abstract whole or abstract part, or any abstract unity or abstract plurality, that is not co‑related with its opposite to express a dynamic state of transition, and hence levels of transition and transformation as the dialectic nature of being.)

Returning to our example, if e is sunnyness, e' is sunnyness revealing rain, but e'' is sunnyness appearing pregnant with rain, revealing a rain in turn appearing conditioned by the sunnyness it comes from, or an explicit state of self‑realization of sun revealing sun through its negating rain. In e'' it is the sun which reveals rain and at the same time explicitly reveals itself through that rain. Thus, in e'', sunnyness itself is seen as a state of becoming heavy with dampness or wetness, while the rain is not merely a state distinct from sunnyness but is a revelation in awareness of that from which it came, namely, a delicate sun‑shower, perhaps, or a thunderous explosion of the intense heat energy and evaporated water accumulated and discharged now as rain, rain being perceived as a result of the heating activity of the sun.

In a zero order dialectic of pure e, immediacy — with whatever content there is within it — simply is, without explication or comment. In a first order dialectic, one is aware of polarization into self and world, for example, or perhaps good and evil, up and down, or what‑have‑you. Here, the problem is not to be alienated by this polarization as something which negates immediacy, but rather as something which self‑negates and thus deepens the content and richness of immediacy, such that all polarization appears as self‑polarization. In a first order dialectic, immediacy as subjectivity (an inseparable field), and mediation as its objectivity (the distinct events within that field), the first as self, and the second as world, or the first as a dynamic Eros and the second as its structural Logos, appear as the two fundamental oppositions of phenomenology. In this dialectic, only a direct relation of consciousness is possible between self and world. However, a second dialectic now makes it possible for a double‑polarization to appear, or a levelling of opposition, such that each element can explicitly be seen to be a function of the other without reducing one to the other and cancelling the relation. Thus, for example, one can perceive that goodness has the possibility of evil, and evil that of goodness. What is more important, phenomenologically, however, is the realization that not only must there be a self revealing a world or direct consciousness, but that there must also be a world ‑conditioned self, revealing a self-conditioned world, or an objectified subjectivity revealing a subjectified objectivity. Hence, only at this stage does the self appear in world form, namely, as a body or ego with thoughts and feelings. However, just as the self taking world form means the objectification of subjectivity in the shape of a body and ego, its co‑relative opposite must be the world taking a self‑form or the subjectification of objectivity. This is none other than a worldly commune or society (or any object or sets of objects manifesting subjectivity or immediacy) within which the ego now exists as its object. Thus, self‑revealing or seeing a world is direct or immediate consciousness, while the self as an objectified ego being‑revealed or being‑seen by the world as a subjectified society is mediated counter‑consciousness (or social consciousness if the external subjectivity has ego consciousness), such that both together is self or subjectivity realizing itself through the world of objects and egos as a self‑externalized commune or subjectivity. Self seeing world is in the mode, “I seeing it”, but the world as a commune seeing the self as an ego is in the inverted mode, “Thou seeing me”, such that when integrated together, we have an “I seeing and being seen by a Thou”, and the I and Thou resonance Buber talks about, through the vehicles of objectification —  namely, the objective “entities” called the bodies of the world and the bodies of the selves. The self as a field, and the world as events therefore self duplicate each other into the “I” as a subjective field; the “Thou” as an objective field; the “it” as objective events, and the “me” as subjective events. The realization of field subjectivity through objectivity is, hence, automatically intersubjectivity, if subjectivity and objectivity or self and world are not regarded as fixed entities or things, but rather grasped as a transforming dynamic of relation. (Higher order matrices show that even more complex modes of consciousness are possible, such as the I taking a Thou form and the Thou taking an I form, creating newer dimensions of subtlety hard to explicate immediately as a totality.) However, if one wants to fix self and world into objects, all we have left is a dualism between external bodies and ego bodies, resulting in a poor form of behaviorism. On the other hand if one wants simply to negate all objectivity, distinctions, and mediations undialectically, all we then have left is the I and Thou immediacies or subjectivities in which the I and the Thou are not only inseparable, but also indistinct. Hence we have an empty and abstract subjectivity. This results in a poor form of one dimensional mysticism.

Actually a dialectic phenomenology, by paradoxically co‑relating self to world, or subjectivity to objectivity, includes but transcends what we shall call the four major forms of philosophic orientation, while at the same time clarifies the phenomenological and psychological structure of consciousness. Referring to the triad of three terms (Diagram III p 14  below) one can call +e “self, subjectivity, ‘mind’, or the noumenal”, and ‑e as “world, objectivity, ‘matter’, or the phenomenal”, for a first order relation. Then, in a second order matrix of nine terms, we can call “plus self” the “self taken as immediate and primary” and “plus world,” the “world taken as immediate and primary”, while we can call “minus self” the world‑conditioned self, or the “world taken as derived” (from a negated or mediated self), and “minus world” the self-conditioned world, or the “self taken as derived” (from a negated or mediated world): this will thus permit us to construct a nine term matrix covering all possible relations for a second order awareness of the dialectics between self and world — a matrix which will be presented and analyzed in detail in Part II.

In order to be able to “read” this matrix (on p 14 below), it will be important to refer back to the dynamics which generates this matrix as a dynamics of immediacy, and, as a result, perceive it as a simultaneous dialectics occuring in all directions: the matrix is not a mere structure‑theory, presenting a simple linear sequence of given terms nor a spatial set of separated elements, but is a transformation process and a transition‑coupling of terms into each other which can be given a spatial or matrix form as a set of terms, and which can be sequentially numbered (as, indeed, a second order matrix of nine terms is — from 1 to 9) once we regard a particular matrix as a product of reflection and temporarily ignore higher order reflections and matrices being formed by the very activity of regarding a given matrix as an object for analysis. Referring to the nine terms in the matrix, and presenting here only a passive description of the form that is present in order to see it as a definitive pattern, 1 and 2 are the primary or immediate opposites of the e'' matrix, and 4 and 5 are their secondary or mediated opposites (4 being 1 mediated by 2, and 5 being 2 mediated by 1). Then, 3, 6, 7 and 8 are partial one‑sided unities of the four mentioned opposites, while 9 is the total unity of all the opposites. In particular, 3 is the horizontal unity of 1 and 2; 6 is the horizontal counter‑unity of 4 and 5; 7 is the vertical unity of 1 and 4; while 8 is the vertical counter‑unity of 2 and 5. Now, the horizontal unity and counter‑unity are meta‑term unities (and, thus, are the new pair of opposites, +e' and ‑e', generated for the e'' triad, +e', ‑e', ± e', while the vertical unity and counter‑unity are sub‑term unities (and, thus, refer to the old pair of opposites, +e and ‑e, constituting the previous e' triad which is still present as a base from which the e'' triad is being generated). Nine is then the vertical unity of the number 3 unity and number 6 counter‑unity, and at the same time, the horizontal unity of the number 7 unity and number 8 counter‑unity. Thus, number 9 is a unity of unities, i.e., is either a vertical unity of horizontal unities, or a horizontal unity of vertical unities. Nine thus represents the self‑mediated totality of the entire nine‑term double‑level (horizontal and vertical) dialectics. This horizontal and vertical movement can be seen combined as a singular diagonal unity, 9 being the diagonal unity of 1 and 5 and the counter‑diagonal counter‑unity of 2 and 4. Finally, the entire e'' matrix is represented as a net movement by the major diagonal triad (1, 5, 9), where 1 is the first opposite formed (an assertion of an assertion), 5 is the last opposite formed (a negation of a negation), and 9 is the transitive as a total unity (a unity of unities).

 For Part 2 - click here