Hegel : 




Georg Wilhelm Fredrick Hegel was born in Stuttgart of southwest Germany, in August 27, 1770. He received his Master of Philosophy degree in 1790 and then started to study for his theological exam at the University of Tübingen. At the theological seminary Hegel read deeply in German poetry and Greek literature, in the company of Friedrich Hölderlin, the poet, and Schelling, who was to reach early eminence as a philosopher of romanticism. After Hegel graduated from Tübingen he went Bern and then Frankfurt to work as a private tutor. For 8 years Hegel taught philosophy and Greek literature. In 1801 he moved to join his friend Friedrich von Schelling at the University of Jena, where the two of them edited the Critical Journal of Philosophy.

Mark this well, you proud men of action! You are after all nothing but unconscious instruments of the men of thought. - Georg Fredrick Hegel.

In 1807 Hegel published the Phenomenology of Spirit, his first major work. Written in the context of epistemological and cultural themes of human history, this text is an account of the development of consciousness and self-consciousness, or the development of spirit. In Heidelberg he published the Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences, in which appears an abbreviated version of Science of Logic and an application of its principles to the Philosophy of Nature and Philosophy of Spirit. In 1818 he took the prestigious position of chair of philosophy at the University of Berlin.

Hegel's goal was to form a comprehensive philosophical system in which both the history and future of philosophy might be understood. He saw the main subject of philosophy to be reality, and understood the necessity of conceiving of a full account of reality. He referred to this as the Absolute, or Absolute Spirit. This Absolute while it governs the individual (Ego) and the world around the individual (non Ego), it is, nonetheless synonymous with Reason (Ego) and Reality (non Ego).

The spirit of a nation is reflected in its history, its religion, and the degree of its political freedom. The improvement of individual morality is a matter involving one’s private religion, one’s parents, one’s personal efforts, and one’s individual situation. The cultivation of the spirit of the people as a whole requires in addition the respective contributions of folk religion and political institutions. – "Prospects for a Folk Religion".

Hegel followed the Greek philosopher Parmenides in believing that what is rational is real. This is his rational structure of the Absolute, and must be regarded in conjunction with his idea that the Absolute must be seen as pure Thought, Spirit, or Mind, in a process of self-development, governed by the logic of dialectic. The dialectical method is the notion that the conflict of opposites creates movement or progress. The dialectic is a branch of logic in the art of reasoning and\or disputing. It is a classic approach, one at which Socrates was a master.


Hermeticism :


Hermeticism is an ancient spiritual, magical and philosophical tradition. It derives its name from the Greek name for Thoth, also known as Thoth-Hermes, Hermes Trismegistus, or Thrice-Great Hermes. Thoth is an Egyptian god who was believed to have invented writing and who is portrayed as a scribe, teacher, god of magic, and as the psychopompos, the soul's guide to the underworld. Hermeticism is a set of philosophical and religious beliefs that appear in the Roman Empire by the 2nd century AD, with the appearance of a series of texts we now call the Corpus Hermeticum. These texts stress the unity of God and humanity's attempt to return to that unity. Although the setting of these writings is Egyptian, the philosophy is Greek. Hermetic writings also owe a debt to the east, however, as they uniquely combine Platonic, neo-Pythagorean and Stoic philosophies, with some eastern religious elements.

The Good, Asclepius, must be a thing that is devoid of all movements and all becoming, and has a motionless activity that is centered in itself; a thing that lacks nothing, and is not assailed by perturbations; a thing that is wholly filled with supplies (of all that is desired). Everything that furnishes any sort of supply is called good; but the Good is the one thing, which is the source of all things, and supplies all things at all times. – Walter Scott, Hermetica (Libellus VI, 1a).

The emphasis in Hermeticism tends to be on systematic instruction "in the way of Hermes", leading to a mystic experience, a reunion of the soul with God. At the core of Hermetic writings is the principle that, ultimately, it is not philosophical reasoning that leads to the Truth, but divine relevation. Reality, in the Hermetic way of thinking, is ultimately holistic and is a vital, living web of correspondences, thus, the famous Hermetic maxim of "As above, so below". The aim of Hermeticism, like Gnosticism, was the deification or rebirth of man through the knowledge (gnosis) of the one transcendent God, the world, and humanity.

The Hermetic tradition has its roots in the fusion of Greek philosophy and Egyptian magic that took place in Alexandria. Its writings, called Hermetica, have greatly influenced the Western esoteric tradition and were considered to be of great importance during both the Renaissance and the Reformation. The tradition claims descent from a prisca theologia, a doctrine which affirms that a single, true theology exists which is present in all religions and was given by God to man in antiquity. The recovery of the Corpus Hermeticum by way of a single Greek manuscript obtained by Cosimo de Medici and translated by Marsilio Ficino. Ficino himself, his pupil Pico della Mirandola, and a constellation of later scholars and magicians used the Hermetic writings as the foundation of an ambitious attempt to create a new Western occultism.