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Egorov Anatoly, candidate of philosophical sciences, senior lecturer
Petersburg State Transport University
This article contains the brief ontological analysis of the initial and basic element of any existence – that is the analysis of biner or binary archetype. The starting point of this kind of analysis is the notion of biner. Binary analysis is the necessary stage of any scientific research and practical action, including pedagogical and psychological investigations.
Keywords: biner, ontology, thesis, antithesis.
Everything becomes actual due to its duplication [2,76]. The actual is everything that acts. At the same time, an action may be possible only in those cases when there is something that acts and something towards which the given action is directed. In other words, any thing which is actual in its essence has such dual, or binary nature. Binarity is an attribute of existence. Any moment of existence (except the Absolute which can not be a moment of something) is a pole (that is a thesis or antithesis) of some biner. Therefore, to be able to cognize the actual successfully it is important to ensure at first that our cognition is really true, concrete and hence effective. At the same time, it is necessary to comprehend the processes of duplication from the point of view of general philosophy and metaphysics to some certain possible extent. Then it becomes possible to trace in what way these concrete processes of duplication in different spheres of being and existence (including pedagogy and psychology) take place. Without the preliminary binary analysis solution of any problems is practically impossible. That is why a researcher aspiring to profundity and thoroughness in his/her investigations, first of all, should use the notion of biner or dyad in his/her theoretical and practical work. However, it is obvious that a researcher should not stop his/her investigations after that, as more complex forms of analysis and synthesis are supposed to follow this stage of the process of cognition. So what is the essence of biner as an onto-gnosiological formation?
Biner is the initial form of certainty. There is no form and no certainty before that. Thus before biners everything is undistinguishable and not actual. Biner is the primary, basic metaphysical formation. Biner is the first division of the Absolute, Common and Idea (from the point of view of Hegel’s philosophy). If we decide to digress from these uttermost bases, we will realize that everything definitely begins from biners. Plurality arises from unity according to the law of biner.
No process can be possible within only one, integral object which does not have any duality inside of it. Any binary opposition is the necessary prerequisite of any existence at any level of hierarchy. Every moment of being includes two binary signs which are indissolubly interconnected and which influence its current concreteness [12,452]. Every concrete and current (that is present) being claims its selfness towards the Absolute. “Any actual selfness feels its belonging to some hierarchy whose highest links may be located beyond the sphere of consciousness, but their existence seems to be an indisputable fact” [12,452]. Therefore every human being possesses some certain ability to get transcendental experience, – though, as a rule, it is vague and indefinite. Moreover, the second sign which every moment of being has is the confirmation of its “selfness towards the descending hierarchy of its qualities, properties and abilities” [12,452]. In other words, each of us is just a point, a trivial moment or function of some higher forms of being, but, at the same time, each of us is the relative Absolute which concentrates in himself/herself all manifestations of the lower forms and moments of being. It is one of the basic and fundamental biners of a human being as well as of all living beings. Without using and considering the given biner all pedagogical and psychological investigations will come to a standstill; they will not have either developed system or proper unity.
Nevertheless, biner is a certain kind of illusion, it is manifestation of the world of Maya. It can be explained with the fact that inside of being, at its plastic level there are no biners, contradictions and oppositions. When biners begin to emerge from this plastic unity, evil appears. Biner is the initial basis of all kinds of evil. Mortality and finality arise together with binarity. Biner is the cause of mortality of everything that exists. In its inward essence life has the abinary, immortal and plastic nature; at the same time, outwardly life is controversial, mortal and differentiated.
So we can state that the basis of the binarity of being and its possibility is unity or, in other words, love. Being the energetic manifestation of ecumenical Love and universal Unity spirit is located beyond all biners; however, it is spirit that makes the differences of the potentials of being at all levels of its hierarchy and thus provides life and existence for all moments of the world created by it. The moments of being tend to entropy which enables them to reach the state of plasticity. At the same time, spirit does not let do it earlier than it is necessary as it shatters again those unities which have already been created, makes them move towards a bigger unity and forms even more powerful and extended systems of biners (contradictions). Due to this spirit brings prerequisites for a more developed and concrete unity.
As a notion and metaphysical formation biner can be expressed more or less adequately and concretely with the help of other notions. The way of expressing it by means of other notions depends on the erudition of a researcher as well as possibilities and logic of his thinking. Each of these notions reveals or elucidates biner from various angles and becomes a concrete point of the intellectual cognition of biner in the appropriate space. These points of view both contradict each other (as if they were mutually exclusive) and are the complement of each other. So even different points of view on biner are in binary relations with each other. Biner itself can be cognized only by means of itself (but then also by means of some other, more complex basic formations including terner, quaternary and all those philosophical notions which have a good system, vast content and profundity). In other words, reflection of these notions in each other is both a way of revealing the binarity of being and a form of the manifestation of this binarity. Besides, it is a way of gradual transition to some higher levels of binarity.
At the conceptual level the essence of biner should be disclosed in terms of three pneumatological categories at the same time – that is the categories of Will, Mind and Mysticism. In the given article I would like to reveal the content of the notion of biner which is available for me. Here I am going to do it mainly from the point of view of the category of Mind. Very few of researchers managed to comprehend and state any issue or subject in terms of all these three categories at the same time. Therefore we have to resort to this one-sided analysis which is inevitable for many people and which is realized but still (or always) unsurmountable for us [See 12 and 13]. Many people know well that the whole world philosophy of the last centuries developed mainly under the decisive influence of the category of Mind. By this moment the categories of Will and Mysticism have been explored only partially, and the unity of these categories is out of the question at all (at least, on the base of that knowledge which has been already obtained by thinking human beings).
Biner is the first manifestation not only of the original form but of the original content as well. Beyond binarity and before it there is still no content and thus there is no form at all. So biner is the first of form of everything and the most elementary content at the same time. People have realized it since the ancient times; that is why even during that epoch binary oppositions had sacral meaning. In a biner itself form and content are identical with each other, and only when the original biner develops into the system of biners, form and content begin “to scatter in various directions”, and between them there arises a complex chain of mediations and strains. However, they still preserve their unity too as content and form are the poles of a biner: content–form. This biner is present in all objects and processes having both ideal and material nature. Bringing to light and realizing this biner in pedagogical and psychological processes is an important condition of their successful course and understanding.
If there are no biners, then there is nothing. Biner is an absolute notion and it is always equal to itself. Another question is in what form this absolute has its concrete manifestations at different levels of being and at different levels of its cognition.
Let us enumerate some examples illustrating the statement saying that biner is a basic principle of all possible processes, – both the existential and gnosiological ones. The primary conditions of the Universe are determined by the biner “being–non-being”. In its turn this biner is disintegrates into a complex system of biners. Among these biners it is possible to find, for example, the biner “the past–the future” (the past is something which does not exist already; the past manifests non-being; as for the future, it is something that still does not exist; the future is created by that being which is being formed) [8,152]. The biner “being–non-being” also reveals itself, for example, in a bit of information (1 0). Biner is both an informational and ontological quantum. Quantification of the world is its binerisation.
Another well-known manifestation of binarity is the biner “subject-object” or “subjective-objective”. Practically every philosophical issue can be turned to this biner. So as much the given philosophy explores and comprehends this biner as more actively it can claim itself to be a real philosophy. How many thinkers failed utterly when exploring and using this biner! All professional activities of teachers and psychologists proceed under the influence of this biner. It does not depend on the fact whether teachers and psychologists realize it or not, if they are able to take it into account in the process of doing or thinking about something or not.
In its even narrower meaning binarity reveals itself in the sphere of the functioning of signs. Every sign gets its meaning and sense only due to its relation with another sign which is in opposition to it [10,55].
So after getting the general idea of biner on the whole, let us analyze the structure of biner. We will try to consider biner as some system having very complex structure using all abovementioned statements in their unity (in spite of the fact that biner is the simplest metaphysical element).
Some manifestations of biner were studied and described in their system by the author of the given article in several works which were published in the Russian and international scientific journals [See, for example, 4, 5, 6, 7].
In its simplest aspect that system which is typical of any biner manifests itself in the following. Every element of a biner is a combination of the biners of lower levels, and every biner itself is an element (or a pole) of the biners occupying some higher levels of hierarchy. That is independently of the direction of the metaphysical, mental or spiritual space which we would prefer to choose we will deal with the endless chain of biners which mutually determine each other, include each other and have different variants depending on the nature of this or that category or this or that contemplation (which are also the systems of biners). With their help we will comprehend this eternal system of biners. In other words, every pole of any biner can be a biner (and according to the ternary approach every pole of a biner and terner will be a terner). It is always necessary just to realize from the point of view of which fundamental notion we investigate some question or issue.
The exception from the aforementioned explanations is only the First-ranked, Absolute Biner (the Absolute and the relative are one of its possible manifestations) as it is impossible to find anything at a higher level. The thesis of the First-ranked Biner can not be already divided into other biners; besides, it is not included in any other systems because there is nothing higher than the Absolute. It is the uttermost unity, or nirvana which is absolutely transcendental and which can not be cognized at all. From the ontological point of view it is irresolvable in its essence. Here it is also necessary to mention about the so called gnosiological indecomposability of any element of a biner (first of all, of theses) because of the weakness of the given consciousness which is unable to reveal the poles of the next biners. These biners are the elements of a more complex biner. It is just a temporary state, but some people may have such a state in terms of certain biners through the whole life. It is necessary for teachers and psychologists to consider this circumstance in their work.
As a system biner is confirmed on the base of polarity of its elements – that is of the equality and unity of its opposite poles combined with the difference between them and their autonomy. It is such an equality which contains some difference due to which any biner really arises . The thesis and antithesis of biner are equal as the abstract poles of biner when their actual and essential meaning as well as their place in biner on the whole have not been revealed yet. However, according to their real role and place in biner they can not be equal to each other at all. So they can be made equal to each other only temporarily and only illusorily by our abstract, rational and misguided thinking. As a system biner “contains in itself both the possibility and the engine for its further development” [13,90].
Preliminarily it is possible to represent (that is to imagine) biner, first of all, as a system of thesis and antithesis. Thesis and antithesis mutually confirm and deny each other. Confirmation of one of them is denial of the other one. At the same time, denial of one of them is confirmation of the other one. The full and final unification of thesis and antithesis is their mutual extermination in mind: in their unity they come to the zero level. However, this happens not from the point of view of ontology but in terms of reaching the limit to rational cognition – that is the absolute unity of thesis and antithesis. Mind can not cognize those phenomena in which he can not find any difference . Or, in other words, the unification of thesis and antithesis means finding synthesis in the essence of mind itself. The struggle and contradictoriness of theses and antitheses gives an impulse to the evolution and development of biners. The unity and close interconnection between theses and antitheses creates the integrity and unity of biners, enables them to get together into complex systems and turn into more developed ontological and gnosiological formations .
Besides, it is necessary to note that as a system of two equal (because it is possible to observe the equality between them; otherwise they would not be able to start any interaction with each other) and opposite values biner is possible only within some definite section of the metaphysical space. In other sections of this space there will not be already this equality and this opposition at all. They will turn into some other variants, and as a result there will appear another biner. If we simplify a bit these meditations, it is possible to say that the poles of the given biner – that is its thesis and antithesis – can and should be included in other biners as well. Everything depends on the “angle” of their consideration. Biner itself is the abstraction of our reason, taking out some fragment of the united being which can be though the basic and fundamental part of it.
Beside the poles in every biner there exist two rows of phenomena coming from one element of a biner to another one. In the first row of phenomena there takes place gradual slackening, and in some cases even full disappearance of typical properties of one of the poles of a biner. In the second row of intermediate phenomena we can observe the opposite trend: gradually intermediate elements get newer properties of the other pole of a biner more and more actively (as an example, see the table presented in the work “Pillar and Confirmation of the Truth” by P. A. Florensky) [11,547]. In fact, these two rows of intermediate, mediating phenomena are one and the same row which combines two opposite processes (that is the total binarity of being manifests itself here too). Therefore it is possible to consider this united row as two separate rows. Some researchers call this transitional raw the “chain of androgynes”.
Every pole of a biner possesses indifferent independence only to that extent to which its antipode can resist it. Disappearance of one pole means the elimination of the given biner and then the other pole together with the first one (however, the other pole can continue its existence in another biner, both of the horizontal and vertical type; nevertheless, in this case it will become a different pole). The full separation of the poles of a biner from each other leads to their change and destruction of the biner created by them. Every pole of a biner has something different in its opposite pole. Every pole limits the opposite pole and hence determines it. That is every pole confirms itself through its relation with the other pole. In spite of the fact that they deny each other they are still necessary for each other; that is why they have indissoluble ties with each other. Every pole denies itself and the other pole both for confirming itself and that different which it contains. However, it is not a full or abstract negation but a concrete one. Every pole is the unity of itself and the pole which is opposite to it; however, these are different unities.
Specificity of binary relations is connected with the fact that the poles of biners can exist only due to their mutual passing of their opposite qualities to each other. However, the contrast between these qualities is relative but not absolute. In other words, binary relations of poles have non-dual nature. At the same time, in its essence binarism (which the representatives of the philosophy of postmodernism denied so actively) is peculiar for its duality, or disruptiveness of the poles of a biner. It is duality which the representatives of postmodernism passed their criticism on .
The poles of biners can not exist apart from each other. If the given pole has broken away from its antipode, it should stop its existence itself or to become part of other biners of the same or some different level of hierarchy at once. In this connection it seems to be logical to recall the remark of Nagarjuna saying that there is no birth and no death, no beginning and no end, nothing equal and nothing different. In terms of the concept of biner which is stated in this article we can come to the conclusion that according to Nagarjuna’s remark these couples of the poles exist only in their interconnection and that otherwise they do not and can not exist at all. The poles of biners can exist separately, in their isolation from each other only in our abstract thinking (which is one-sided, isolated and not concrete from the philosophical point of view, – that is out of the unity of differences). For example, “basing himself/herself on the idea of mind a human being denies blind will. Proceeding from the idea of sole a human being suppresses corporeality. Due to culture human beings repudiates natural wildness…” [9,356]. However, in reality we need the synthesis of these poles. It is the essence and destination of human philosophical, or concrete thinking. What is the unity of birth and death, beginning and end, the equal and the different? It is something medium, the golden mean, synthesis or integral which is left as a result of their mutual concrete denial.
One of the statements expressed by J. Lacan illustrates the fact that the real existence of the poles of a biner is possible only when they are interconnected and when they interact with each other. According to this statement paradigmatic structure exists only to that extent to which it is embodied in a singular element [9,272]. Paradigmatic structure is the thesis of a biner, and a singular element is its antithesis(-es).
Dogmatism of any level of mentality consists in the unilateral confirmation of some separate poles of this or that biner. It takes some of its moments as the absolute truth. Weakness of mentality is connected with the fact that it can not keep the poles of biners together. The concreteness and power of mentality lies in its ability to synthesize, neutralize and cancel these poles, with their further transition to some more developed biners of the next level of hierarchy. Nevertheless, realization of this ability is possible (beside all other conditions) only in case a researcher is aware and understands the structure of biners which have appeared before him when doing his cognitive activities and in his being on the whole very clearly. Those people who are involved in the investigations related to pedagogy and psychology should aspire to that. However, application of the binary approach is just the necessary but not the only prerequisite of conducting any scientific investigation successfully and effectively.
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