International Viewpoints (IVy), Issue 35 - January 1998
NORDENHOLZ' SYNTHESIS, Part 2
by C.B. Willis, USA
This article continues a series for IVy on Anastasius Nordenholz' Scientologie: Science of the Constitution and Usefulness of Knowledge [1934, 1937], now focusing on the later section of his "Synthesis" (pages 34-67), which addresses the formation and molding of beingness.
This segment of the book is remarkable for several reasons: 1) the style changes to one of greater complexity and rambling and is thus much more difficult for the reader to follow, 2) Nordenholz is now bringing to fruition and making practical the ideas he introduced earlier. It is as though Nordenholz has combined the basic ingredients to make philosophical "bread," and has now taken the mass into his hands to knead it - first this way, then that, then force applied from yet another direction, to get the dough thoroughly mixed. Nordenzholz worked the material over from nearly every angle in order to master it.
The impression I had in reading this segment of the book is that Nordenholz, who wrote very much in the complex tradition of German idealism, and who did not have access to word processors in his day, had not polished this material as tightly as found in earlier sections. Reading this section of the _Scientologie_ is not impossible, but the ideas are very convoluted in places and require the utmost in philosophical discipline and patience to sort it all out. Indeed, this is some of the most difficult material I have encountered in 30 years of philosophical study. In this article, I will attempt to extract the essence of what Nordenholz intended and present it more simply.
A form is like a vessel that holds stones, but does not further qualify the particulars of how the stones are
held, or how the stones stand in relation to each other within the vessel. Everything about "how" a particular
thing comes to exist in reality is not given by the form. Form gives a general shape or direction to things, which
then needs to be further qualified by the precision of individuation. A "form-system" is defined as the
combination of form plus individuation. [page 34]
Let us review the analytic and synthetic directions of thinking. In analytic thinking, which is "top-down," we have a consciousness, which creates conscious-beingness, and creates general formatory ideas of essence or kind, plus specific individuation involving quality and quantity, into a particular thing. Top-down is the direction of creation, where consciousness creates reality. We move from unity to the individual parts of creation.
In synthetic thinking, which is "bottom-up," we begin with one or more particular things, name the quality and quantity about a thing(s), move to the general formatory essence or kind of thing, then leap to conscious-beingness and consciousness itself. Bottom-up is a direction for scientific understanding, whereby we allow objects to mold our thinking in the consideration of them. We move from the parts to the whole, which is now seen to be a composite or sum of parts gathered up, rather than a unity. (To move to a unity would require a leap beyond the phenomenon of a composite or sum, which does happen for the intuitive scientist.)
Here we have a brief outline of how consciousness orders reality in an active way, and how our thinking is, in turn, ordered by particular things in a more passive way. Thus the creative process proceeds continuously, like breathing out and breathing in. In both cases above, there is a subject (consciousness) and an object (what consciousness is aware of).
Nordenholz states that every system is a representative and creator of itself. [page 37] The system generates
the system from one moment to the next over time. Many analytic and synthetic processes operate simultaneously
in the system. Because of the two-way flow between consciousness and the object(s) of consciousness, we are not
just dealing with a consciousness creating a universe. Since consciousness has the experience of being shaped and
changed by the objects it contemplates, we are really talking about a system that creates and re-creates
itself on an ongoing basis. Consciousness is, of course, a senior element of that system, but not the ultimate
senior element as we will see later.
The evolution of a system depends on the consciousness and character of individuals, the choices made by individuals based on their character, and how individuals interact based on those choices. In other words, evolution depends on how people choose to design and play the game of life!
Adaptation to the environment points toward externality, toward the seniority of the total environment over
a person. However, no constitution or character can develop without some outside influences. The implication here
is that a person should not merely adapt to his environment, but rather have a balance of constructive influence
on his environment, yet at the same time be flexible enough to allow for positive social interactions and the ability
to learn new things that enhance his capabilaties. Again we see a two-way flow, and a distinction made between
various kinds of inflow and the attitudes a person can take about them.
The character of an individual is formed by a combination of constructive adaptation to externals and his own inner connections and constitution. [page 40]
Different Types of Individual
The type of a individual derives from one or more stable qualities shared by individuals in common among themselves.
An individual's type also shows his relation to the multiplicity by contrast. [page 41]
The "koinotype" shows what about an individual is shared in common with others. The word "koinotype" derives from the Greek words "koinonia" meaning equal or community, and "typos" meaning kind.
The "idiotype" shows what about an individual is different from others. The word "idiotype derives from the Greek words "idios" meaning own, individual or isolated, and "typos" meaning kind.
At any moment, either koinotype or idiotype tendencies can predominate when the person relates to another individual, thus defining the social dynamic with its element of openness or uncertainty. Yet, individuals show themselves as types, so what is "typical" cannot be missing from human events in the world. Here Nordenholz presupposes a necessary, higher level of abstract evaluation regarding behavior, thus imposing a layer of significance to actions and events that may or may not in fact be necessary but facilitates analysis, understanding, and the ascription of meaning to life events.
Individual character and integrity, an "interiorness," manifest in a spectrum from integration to disintegration. [page 42]
Likewise on a spectrum, adaptation to externals, an "exteriorness," can be increased or decreased. Nordenholz implies that adaptation to externals can be constructive and for the benefit of the individual and the whole, so readers need to keep this ideal in view and not interpret adaptation to externals as a kind of overwhelm by others or the environment.
Individual differences manifest in social relationships on a spectrum from idiotype to koinotype, and the turning from one to the other ["amphitropy"] as the individual may deem appropriate in the moment.
Thus from character and integrity, then adaptation to externals, and finally to the demonstration of types in social relationships, we see the constitution of the individual and his action in society.
Character and type position a person in relation to the opposites of compulsion and freedom. From the above basic elements (especially character, type, compulsion and freedom), the person orders his creations. [page 43] Compulsion and freedom are "elastic" in their proportions, compulsion widening at the expense of freedom, and freedom widening at the expense of compulsion. The person adjusts the proportions of compulsion and freedom according to his estimate of what is needed in a particular situation. Again we see the dual-turning and adjustment that works to carry a creation into form.
Evolution of the Individual and the Whole
Character and type may lean more toward freedom, which produces evolution, or more toward compulsion, which
produces involution. As the individual evolves, his qualifications increase, which is to say his attributes and
capabilities increase. In involution, an individual suffers the loss of qualifications, an impoverishment of attributes
and capabilities. A change in a person's qualitative existence is an indicator of the proportions of freedom and
compulsion in operation, and is thus also a measure of his evolution or involution.
Nordenholz claims that the evolution of the whole will be "purchased through the rising qualitative differentiation and particularization of the parts." [page 45] Specialization by individuals benefits the whole and releases individuals to an immediate freedom - a freedom and empowerment to grow and flourish in their respective specialties as well as to enjoy the growing freedom of the whole that occurs as individuals work in harmony.
Scientologie, which Nordenholz elsewhere calls "eidology," is about the conscious formation and molding
of beingness toward the world. There is a directionality or vector of creation, from: 1) consciousness which
then creates 2) conscious-beingness (what Hegel would call spiritual substance), to 3) the general ideational
forms [eidos], and then to 4) particular objects and situations by means of character and type, as
well as quantity, quality, and modality. [page 35]
"To the soul belongs its characteristic substance. The substance of the soul is the general expression for the spiritual substance, [which is also] spiritual presence." [page 60] A person's spiritual presence is his most fundamental creation, and derives from his consciousness, his integrity, and his character.
Following the Platonic tradition, Nordehnolz states that outside of the forms, there is no knowledge, which is to say that the forms are the principles of intelligibility. Forms are what we use to both shape our creations (actively) and understand the world (passively). [page 52]
Form derives from conscious-beingness [page 54], which I take to mean that the consciousness which creates conscious-beingness imbues that substance with creative ideas [eidos]. Nordenholz is quick to state that form(s) cannot be derived from consciousness alone however; rather, experience gives us feedback, and the experience of creating conscious-beingness gives consciousness a feedback that is revelatory and useful in perfecting or fulfilling the creative process. I consider the foregoing observation by Nordenholz, who builds on both Plato and modern phenomenology, to be one of the greatest philosophical discoveries of all time.
The final determination of what manifests does not lie in consciousness or conscious-beingness, but in the origin of consciousness which is beingness-by-itself: the ground of being. [page 53] Thus, individual creation takes place within the larger context of the ground of being, which is not seizable, adaptable, or fully conceivable by individual consciousness.
C.B. Willis, MA Northern California October 27, 1997
© Copyright by C.B. Willis, 1997. All rights reserved.
[This article was published by IVy (International Viewpoints) in Denmark, http://home.sn.no/home/trone/IVy.html.]