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Igniting An East-West Globalizing Dialogue


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The Self-Other Juxtaposition

Although Hegel’s philosophy on spirit, freedom, and subject-object hermeneutics (as per Paul Redding) may carry echoes in Infinite Potentiality Theory (IPT), there are subtle differences worth noting. As you read through all four volumes of Igniting an East-West Globalizing Dialogue, you should end with a comprehensive understanding of the salient distinctions making IPT singularly unique. Furthermore, throughout the space of this blog, I am providing you with practical, everyday examples of IPT’s application, further illustrating the theory’s distinguishing contributions.

For the purpose of this post, I will illustrate a subtle distinction between Hegel and IPT by focusing on his notion of: ‘Bei-sich-selbst-sein in einem Andern’ (being with oneself in Another). Allen Wood states that this “…is in fact the very actualization of my freedom” (Wood, Hegel’s Ethics). Think about this, if you will.

Being with oneself in Another as the actualization of your freedom.

In other words:

From the other, the individual derives the self and by so doing, realizes his freedom.

In the above, the three ‘players’ are: other, self, and freedom. The movement is from the external (other) to the internal (self) as a liberating action. Here, other defines self qua ontological meaning and freedom.

This is not far off from IPT:

Through realized infinite creative potentiality (ICP), the individual attains ultimate freedom (UF) of and from the self.

The three ‘players’ here are: ICP, UF, and (freedom from) the self. The movement is from internal active realization (ICP) towards external absolute liberation (UF) of and from the self. Here, self transcends to other through attainment of UF.

The approach is from opposite sides of the self-other spectrum, but the end result – freedom – is ultimately realized. However subtle, the difference of means towards the end – from Hegelian to IPT – is significant. The choice is ultimately yours; there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’:

If you take Hegel’s approach, you enter a paradigm of self-other dependency to actualize your freedom because it is a state of ‘being’ necessarily involving the other for that freedom.

If you take IPT’s approach, you begin and end without any dependency. The avenue towards freedom – ultimate freedom – is through realized creative potentiality (ICP) that already exists within yourself and in infinite supply.  Truly, with every creative act, you realize ICP every day, multiple times a day. And that is a beauteous realization…

Again, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of achieving UF. IPT encourages the way of realized creativity. As a product of creation – a created being – you already have the potentiality within you and in infinite supply. Sometimes, the things closest to us are the first to be overlooked. IPT empowers you not only to look at your creative potentiality, but also to leverage it towards your UF. (Ultimate because you can never completely break free from your self as it is wholly contained within your being.)

Why is UF so important?

In the space of other, UF ennobles the individual to take immediate agency and effect meaningfully positive impact(s) not just within his specific locus and for his present generation, but also for the concentric locus outside his location and for future generations to come. That magnitude of influence can be achieved most effectively from a self-liberated position with the full creative power of the ICP catalyst. Each time the catalyst is activated, not only does the acting individual gain leverage of his creative potentiality, but also do others around him. This is because the active charge of that catalyst is also released into the collective ‘pool’ of potential energy qua infinite creative potentiality.

And that is just a glimpse…

You have seen the positions from Hegel’s perspective as well as from IPT’s. Understanding there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choice between self and other positioning, which do you choose? Whatever your choice, I wish you a leveraged empowerment to your noblest of all possible aspirations!

–JY

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On Individuality and Freedom (II of II)

 2. Freedom

I cannot but think of myself as a man among men in a society with whom nature has joined me; but I can scarcely do this without acknowledging the constraints of my freedom by their freedom.

                –JG Fichte, Grundlage des Naturrechts

If we examine Fichte’s statement above and assume he is accurate, it would follow that:

  • Man in society has limited freedom because of his very membership in that society.
  • Society limits freedom.
  • Freedom of one limits that of another.
  • The inviolable, intrinsic, and unconditional nature of freedom as that which is exempt from externalities (control, limitation, coercion, restraint, etc.) is thus rejected.

For the above reasons, Infinite Potentiality Theory (IPT) rejects Fichte’s statement as invalid, altogether and outright. Instead, IPT would propose the following restatement:

I cannot but think of myself as a man among men in a society with whom nature has joined me; but I can scarcely do this without acknowledging the constraints of my rights by their rights within the context of the greater good for that society to which I am a member.

Indeed, freedom – ultimate freedom – is an absolute liberation of and from the self and all related fetters to that self. Accordingly, it is exempt from all externalities, restraints, dependencies, et al that would otherwise compromise it as such. In Fichte’s statement, he misappropriated the word, and that is a recklessness that must not be overlooked or repeated.

–JY


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On Individuality and Freedom (I of II)

  1. Individuality

…the root of my individuality – is not determined by my freedom, but by my connection with another rational being.

                –JG Fichte, The Science of Ethics as Based on the Science of Knowledge

If we examine Fichte’s statement above and assume he is accurate, it would follow that:

  • Individuality is determined relativistically through ‘connection with another rational being’.
  • Furthermore, Fichte’s specific use of ‘connection’ and with a ‘rational being’ adds on a layer of intersubjectivity to the relativistic determination of that individuality.

For the above reasons, Infinite Potentiality Theory (IPT) rejects Fichte’s statement as invalid, altogether and outright. In the same manner Hegel excepted ontological freedom qua free will from coercion, domination, or subjugation (The Philosophy of Right), likewise, IPT excepts individuality from relativistic determinism and intersubjectivity. In other words:

  1. Individuality is an inherent measure and quality of distinction. As such, it is wholly contained within the self, extrinsic to the other.
  2. Relativistic determinism exists in the other while being generated – in part – from the projections of self-other sentiment. It is a ‘connection with another’ that is made extrinsically from the (inner sphere of) self.
  3. Intersubjectivity necessitates inclusion of the other, by definition. In this manner, it shares with relativistic determinism in its inclusion of self-other sentiment.
  4. More to the point:

Individuality exists and remains wholly in the self. As soon as it is intertwined with relativistic determinism and/or intersubjectivity, it no longer remains wholly in the self. Instead, it becomes an amalgam of that combination in the sphere of self-other. However, as soon as it breaks free of the amalgam, it reverts intact, in the sphere of self.

IPT encourages the individual’s empowerment of his own agency to affect meaningfully creative and positive impact. Furthermore, IPT asserts that through his inspiring example, the individual will not only affect his specific locus and generation, but also carry effective influence concentrically beyond his loci to future generations. However, it is in the space of other qua ultimate freedom where the individual does all this precisely because he has attained a liberation of and from his self.

With ultimate freedom, the individual is likewise free from all fetters of self. Intersubjectivity and relativistic determinism are such fetters as they include self-other sentiment. Accordingly, IPT would rewrite Fichte’s statement:

“…the root of my individuality is ultimate freedom, extrinsic to connection with another rational being.”

–JY


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Judgment and Recognition

The man accustomed to the ways of society is always outside himself and knows how to live only in the opinion of others. And it is, as it were, from their judgment alone that he draws the sentiment of his own existence.”

                –JJ Rousseau, Discourse on the Origins of Inequality

If we examine Rousseau’s statement above and assume he is accurate, it would follow that:

  • Being ‘accustomed to the ways of societynecessarily puts the individual in a realm of the ‘outside’ or other (necessarily because of the ‘always’ caveat).
  • In the realm ‘outside himself’, the individual is limited to an existence defined by (the individual’s interpretation of) ‘the opinion of others’.
  • Accordingly, from the ‘judgment alone’ of those opinions, the individual forms his own thoughts, feelings, and emotions on his own existence. In other words, his own ontological opinions are formed exclusively through the judgment of others opinions.

For the above reasons, Infinite Potentiality Theory (IPT) rejects Rousseau’s statements as invalid, altogether and outright. So why cite them in the first place? (In)validity aside, the statements are useful for a pithy examination on recognition, acknowledgment, and judgment.

Recognitive Acknowledgment

Within Rousseau’s statements is the implication of recognitive acknowledgment (RA). Beyond the context of Rousseau, there is a subtle, yet inherent irony within RA that must be addressed:

  1. RA is an action necessarily from the other (an entity outside the self).
  2. The action affects the self immediately as soon as the individual charges it with an ontological necessity of meaning.
  3. RA remains in the other for as long as the individual leaves it intact in the other and without the need for or inclination towards charging it with meaning.
  4. More to the point:

From recognitive acknowledgment of the other, the individual defines existence of self. However, it is the self who is (the ultimate definition of) existence regardless – and without necessity of – the other.

Self and Other: Redux

  1. In the space of self, judgments are made and recognition is necessary. In this space, all fetters anchor the individual to a self-oriented existence affected by other.
  2. In the space of other, ultimate freedom (UF) of and from the self is possible. Moreover, it is sustainable.
    1. In this space, judgments and recognition, like all fetters of the self, become obviated as unnecessary.
    2. Accordingly, the individual is ennobled to an other-oriented existence, with creative empowerment to make a positively meaningful impact concentrically beyond his specific locus.

Indeed, it is in this space of other where IPT exists to encourage the individual’s UF. And by his example, to inspire others to the same.

–JY