From the book “Gnostic Tradition of Western Philosophy“
– Part 1 –
Translation in English by Georgi Stankov
What we know as human history represents a continuous chain of mental aberrations. This applies equally to philosophical as well as to trivial ideas; certainly not to mention the aberrations in science (see Tetralogy). Their realization in the form of educational programs, legal norms, social and governmental structures, ethical recommendations and so on penetrate the material history and create facts whose permanent or temporary influence has shaped the thinking and personality structure of countless generations and has largely determined our presence.
Their very existence is considered to be a sufficient evidence for the validity of such ideas, regardless of their apparent transience or their failure in the present. While the current views and beliefs of everyday life persevere since ancient times in a remarkably constant shape and determine sustainable the character and behavior of the people, the abstract philosophical ideas, which also display at their core a persistent continuity, have forfeited much influence in the last hundred to two hundred years.
When Nicolai Hartmann, the last prominent German thinker, held his seminal lecture on “Knowledge in the Light of Ontology” (1) before the Munich Kant Society in 1949, he revealed in his condensed synopsis of the Kantian inheritance the epistemological impasse in which the German philosophical school was since Kant. The prospect of finding any knowledge of philosophical-transcendental or scientific nature, this promise of all the thinkers at all times, was postponed by Hartmann indefinitely.
His lecture was the bankruptcy of philosophy. Is it any wonder that this lecture rang the beginning of a historical period absent of any philosophy that is unparalleled in the history of mankind?
The empirically oriented man of the early 20th century longed for quick results and achievements – industry and technology seemed to fulfill these expectations completely – and could not do much with the unwieldiness of Western philosophy. Its inability to incorporate the advance of modern science in its structure and to fertilize it with practically verifiable principles of general application, sealed the current decline of philosophy.
This development could not be avoided even by various intersections of philosophy with modern logic (neo-positivism), with scientific empiricism (methodology of science) and with linguistics (many obscure theories such as structuralism). It is an elementary and obvious fact that modern scientific theory – whether in the field of physics, chemistry, biology or economics – entirely operates without any philosophy. Suffice it to have a look at the countless textbooks and scientific journals to be convinced of this fact. The philosophers have become onlookers of science, who know only to maintain their wounds and inferiority complexes. From that effort some remarkable propaedeutics may have emerged, but nothing else of importance. This situation is unique in the history of mankind.
Up into the 19th century, philosophy was the flagship of any scientific knowledge. Galileo, the founder of modern physics, underscored its experimental results on gravity with Aristotelian and Pythagorean arguments (2). Kepler’s guiding idea of his “mysterium cosmographicum” (1595), which matured in his “astronomia nova” (1609, 1st and 2nd law) and “harmonices mundi” (1619, 3. law), was platonic through and through, even if he had to reject the divine form of the spherical shell in favor of the elliptical orbit of the planets. As “God’s priest of the Book of Nature“, Kepler represented zealously the Pythagorean Neoplatonic conceptions of the Byzantine Proclus (412-485), whose emanation and hypostasis teaching forms the basis of Christian Gnosticism (3).
Newton rejected the idea of gravity as a remote force that should occur without mediation by quoting Epicurus (4).
The philosophical tradition of Antiquity and Hellenism was, since the dawn of modern science in the Renaissance, the relentlessly driving intellectual force behind the search for scientific knowledge, until the empirical dogma in modern times gained dominance and systematically suppressed this Gnostic tradition. Scientific knowledge was therefore for a long time Gnostic knowledge, even if this empirically obtained knowledge has inevitably led to the modification of some of the ideas of the classical ancient thinkers. This, however, did not challenge the faith of the scientists of earlier times in the existence of a transcendental, a priori knowledge.
This faith reached a final culmination in Kant, only to be subsequently discussed into insignificance by the Neokantianers. Since the rise of the empirical dogma in modern times the existence and the original source of any transcendental knowledge has been vehemently denied – all knowledge should now exclusively be derived from experience (English empiricists).
This narrowing of the range of human experience to the sensual-experimental observations led to the disenfranchisement of philosophy as a Gnostic teaching. Thus human consciousness also vanished from the exploratory field of view of science as the source of all scientific ideas.
Were such phenomena as intuition and inspiration that led to transcendental knowledge still a major concern of the thinkers and researchers before the Enlightenment, now they were rigidly rejected by the “priests of pure empiricism” – the established scientists of the empirical dogma – as “cheaper esoteric stuff ” and banished from science.
This attitude exerted a strong pressure of conformation in the philosophy of the late 19th and early 20th century. Philosophy was forced to deny its Gnostic tradition and to replace it under the cloak of science by positivist considerations from the narrow area of human experience (Comte, Mach, Avenarius, Russell, Whitehead, Wittgenstein, the Vienna Circle, etc.).
They spoke at length of the pseudo-problems and the futility of metaphysics, such as W. Dilthey in “The Essence of Philosophy” or N. Hartmann in “Fundamentals of a Metaphysics of Knowledge“, and sought in anxious trepidation in front of these gnostic abysses feverishly for a solid ground in mathematics and logic (Poincaré, Boole, Riemann, Hilbert, Russell, etc.), until Goedel finally withdrew this illusion from the neo-positivists on the eve of the 2nd World War.
He proved with logical arguments that it is impossible to justify the raison d’être and the validity of mathematics, this hermeneutic discipline of correct human thinking, by means of mathematics. Mathematics cannot furnish its existence proof – its validity in the real world – with its own means. Mathematics is pure thought and Thinking is Metaphysics, hence Mathematics is also Metaphysics.
One was hurled full circle back at the beginning.
The “foundation crisis” of mathematics exploded like a bomb in the ordered world of the neo-positivists who believed already to have left behind the inscrutability of metaphysics. Those who would have expected that the foundation crisis of mathematics would make the neo-positivists aware that they were henceforth in a deeper cognitive abyss than that of metaphysics, were very much disappointed. Like small children, they preferred to close their eyes to the danger and to disguise their anxiety-based agnosticism behind kaleidoscopic neo-positivisms and other intellectual games.
The “Unity Mirror” of philosophy broke into a thousand pieces – the neo-positivists mutated to logicians, linguists, methodologists, structuralists. Thereby roamed the neo-positivists on their futile search for the Holy Grail narrowly the root of all knowledge – the primary term of mathematics and physics, from which I departed in the 90’s in order to liberate mathematics from its foundation crisis and, with the help of Hilbert’s formalism, to achieve the Unification of Physics.
The new Physical and Mathematical Axiomatics of the Universal Law that departs from the primary term is the “Holy Grail” of philosophy and science and at the same time the limit of any Gnostic insight – be it metaphysical or positivist. It is the “inner horizon” about which the German philosopher Husserl already had an intuitive premonition.
Reviving the Gnostic Tradition by the Discovery of the Universal Law
Why was nobody previously able to find it? Was the solution too simple or too radical? It was both, and that scared the philosophers. They had given up on exploring the limits of human thought – they had ceased to be Gnostics, metaphysicists and transcendental thinkers, not because they lacked the mental powers to, but because they had adapted to the materialistic-empirical world of the 20th century and did not want to be ridiculed. The courage to think had simply abandoned them and Thinking left the temple of modern philosophy.
With this we close the circle, we have opened with Hartmann’s lecture only to proceed with the neo-transcendence of the Universal Law, which is in reality the same old Gnosis that has been known since antiquity and to explore its epistemological limits with the help of the new Axiomatics of the Universal Law. In this way I continue with the standardization of human thinking, as I have already done it in the Tetralogy of Science and Mathematics.
The General Theory of the Universal Law is a synthesis of all the sciences, including Philosophy and Gnosis: It preserves and discards at the same time. It preserves all the ideas that are U-sets and are suitable for the establishment of an Axiomatics of thinking, and rejects all the ideas that are N-sets and exclude themselves as an element. Everything else is a practical application of this approach, with which I structured, sifted and sorted the confusing plethora of contradictory findings of humanity to a comprehensive, empirically-verifiable, logical-axiomatic, non-contradictory thought system of Being (5). This assumes of course that you are very well versed in these sciences, and above all know of their weaknesses.
To avoid misunderstandings, I have to hold on at this point clearly and without false modesty, that the human history being known to us does not know such an intellectual achievement so far. All known philosophical, scientific and trivial categorical systems since Antiquity to the present day carry logical contradictions and inherent weaknesses and are unable to develop a congruent worldview of Being, which can explain all known facts consistently and predict all future facts as does the new theory of the Universal Law for the first time.
The Tetralogy of Science and Philosophy, which I wrote, as well as my additional books on economic theory and Gnosis prove in a clear and comprehensive manner that it is possible to derive the entire human thinking and knowledge from a single principle and structure them in an uniform manner. Intimate knowledge of the New Theory of the Universal Law is therefore a prerequisite for an understanding of this book. Everything is connected with each other. Only readers who have understood and internalized my works will benefit from this book. In my subsequent discussion, I will assume that this knowledge is available to the reader and will not dwell any longer in providing further evidence in science, but will only introduce the proofs.
While dealing in this book with questions of human Gnosis, a faint feeling creeps into my mind that I am actually doing a redundant work and that I have already presented the essentials on the subject. Anyone who knows my theory will certainly agree with me. On the other hand, human thinking thrives on variations of the ultimate truth. Thinking and perception are not a linear process, but a spiral motion along different viewing angles around the inner core of truth, which is intrinsic to the Whole as well as to every part of the Whole (U-sets).
Truth is always a function of the individual consciousness: to the extent it expands, so does Truth, hence the concept of Metaphysics in philosophy. Nevertheless, there are some fundamental insights as the Primary Axiom of the new Axiomatics of the Universal Law that can withstand any extension of the truth. They form the innermost core of Truth, which remains invariable for all eternity.
Was my approach to science axiomatic, with the aim of unifying the foundation of physics, mathematics, bio-sciences and economics on the basis of the Universal Law, so was I confronted in philosophy with the task to show that all the basic Gnostic ideas of Western philosophy are derived from the intuitive perception of the Primary Term but have led, in the absence of any Axiomatics, to the construction of contradictory and unproductive categorical systems.
To that there is a simple explanation: With few exceptions, all important philosophers of the West were either poor mathematicians or lived before the actual development of mathematical axiomatics, as it was completed at the beginning of the 20th century in several individual steps. The last great European philosopher, who had knowledge of mathematics and with his seminal work “Principles of Mathematics” pushed forward the axiomatization of mathematics, was Bertrand Russell. He brought about all the prerequisites that could have enabled him to achieve the full success, which I accomplished with the Axiomatization of Science. Unfortunately, he failed like many other thinkers before and after him, because of his positivist, empirically-materialistic approach that excluded metaphysical digressions to expand the human Gnosis and thus deprived himself of the access to deeper truths.
1. N. Hartmann “Die Erkenntnis im Lichte der Ontologie (The knowledge in the Light of Ontology),” Felix Meiner Verlag, Hamburg., 1982
2. See essay on Galileo in Volume 2, chap. 9.9.
3. See Kepler’s laws in the Volume 1 & 2.
4. See discussion on gravity in the Volume 1 & 2.
5. See Tetralogy of Sciences, and my books on the economy and Gnosis.