3. Anaximander, Anaximenes: From Water, to Apeiron, to Air

 

 

Anaximander of Miletus (610 - 546 B.C.)

A Friend, A Pupil

A Friend in need, is a Friend indeed, in deed. Friends are very rare to find on Planet Earth; to find friendly pupils, friendly thinkers, the sine qua non is first to find the famous needle, not in the haystack, but in the profound waters of the Pacific Ocean. Nonetheless, in the philosophic element, in Ionian turbulent waters, Anaximander found an amigo, a maestro, Thales.

 

Another Milesian Sophos

Like his teacher, Anaximander was an educated "man", a master of all trades. He was an astrologist, astronomist, cosmogonist, cosmologist, meteorologist, geologist, geographer, seismologist, anthropologist, evolutionist, id genus omne. His famous writing, On Nature (Physis), is lost; only a very important fragment is preserved, with which we will deal later. By the way, it should be noted here that the Greek concept "physis" is not synonymous to the term "Nature" which is in current usage. Mutatis mutandis, it had the same connotation as the arché or hyle, as the original principle, as something which eternally gives birth, as a universal Mother.

 

Chaos as Arché

Now, "believe" it or not, here we have the first "Chaos" Philosopher, the Father of the Chaos Theory. The arché of Anaximander is the apeiron, is Chaos, is a mixture of ALL elements, of even the unknown ones. Also take note, in our Science a n d Philosophy, Chaos is a trialogical mension, a trimension, of Nothing (Nihil) in the Postulate: Cosmos a n d Einai AND Nothing (See: http://www.franzjutta.org ). Furthermore, also note, even the known elements do not appear in the Apeiron, in Chaos, in their known form, but in their archaic (pure) unknown form. Such "unknown" and "pure" elements we have named contraries, being distinct from opposites, affirmations or negations. Hence, this important identification a n d differentiation was taken into account in our Logical Method.

 

Chaos -- The Yawning Vacuum

Chaos is a mythical concept; it is derived from chanein, which denotes a ghastful, gaping, yawning vacuum. (See: Hesiod's Theogony, 116, 700).

Later, by Ovid (43 B.C. - 18 A.D.), in his Metamorphoseis (I, 7), Chaos is described as a "raw mass". Anaximander conceptualized "Chaos" as a hylozoistic term, as a substantial essence, void of characteristics, conditions or limitations, as the Apeiron, the Infinite, the Timeless, the Shapeless. This is a stringent philosophical term, with no religious or theological tohu wa bohu, certainly, it is void of any Lutheran connotations of "wüst und leer" (desolate and empty). True to the panpsychic teachings of his tutor, Anaximander is explaining the cosmos, being, the world out-of-itself. He has only one universal postulate, a single Satz, but it is scientifically well-thought, it is identical, identifiable, can be identified, can identify with incisive, cognitive precision. Nothing holy, divine, sacred about it -- it is simply original, archaic, cosmic, natural. Unilogically we also postulate Cosmos, in this very precise hylozoistic manner.

 

The Cosmic Apeiron

Certainly, as indicated before, Anaximander is postulating a single, original principle; for him, only one world exists, and his "historic" task was to find

its philosophic explanation. Ancient Becoming-Being, the slave-owning Patria, had to be affirmed, eternalized, not from the Olympus, but from Mediterranean, geocentric, commercial reality. Polis Man, the auto-productive business man, the coming Periclean sophos had to be internalized, "hegemonized". Hence, the blooming Apeiron, the blossoming Chaos, is an eternal perpetuum mobile, is limitless, is internally, intensively automated, is self-moving, is auto-dynamic. According to Anaximander, only in these terms, we can speak about the Apeiron as an archaic substance, as living matter. It did not come into existence, it cannot pass away -- it is timeless, and therewith limitless, spaceless, shapeless. It is the Father of Time, the Creator of Chronos, the Creator of Space, of Geo, of Chthon. Definitely, Kant (even Hegel) was "right", in stating that Space and Time are mere mental fabrications, archaic, ontic products of the human Verstand, of the human intellectus. What a tremendous, philosophic Postulate, what an Identification, what an Affirmation!

Normally, we can only "believe" in timeless, spaceless, spiritual beings, in gods, but, at least, Anaximander could think about something beyond the mental parameters of Space and Time. Definitely, not everything on Earth, and in the Universe, is determined by these Kantian categories of the Intellect. Surely, this is not usual, the ideologically infested, manipulated and indoctrinated brains of most "human beings" have lost the natural a n d social capacity to relate beyond formal-logical temporal and spatial categories, beyond systematic, intra-systemic Motion-At-Rest.

Philosophically, Anaximander affirmed contemporary Mickey Mouse in its universal Disney Land Iron Cage, running wild on its eternal, lonesome carousel at rest, that, out of sheer late capitalist boredom, permanently plays its "New War" Russian Roulette, Globalization; however, a priori, therewith Anaximander indirectly, transhistorically also confirmed the future reconciliatory, democratic policy of the "Information Age", of the heroic Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Nelson Mandela, who -- even as a victim of Apartheid, staunchly still believing in the British parliamentary system -- for a quarter of a century was held incommunicado in his small prison cell No. 5 on Robben Island, thus, doing his daily exercises, he always was "running on the same spot" towards a future, free, "rainbow coloured" South African nation. This is patrian progress, aristocratic development, tribal democracy at rest, at its very best; and Ancient Western Philosophy was already preparing and nurturing its superstructural chthon, its future, chaotic, ideological, racist breeding ground.

 

Automatism and Autodynamism

Evidently the above guarantees that "everything is possible", that everything within the system can possibly be changed, also that "what will be, certainly, will be", if not by itself, then the Inquisition, the gas chambers, the bombs on Kosovo, Baghdad or Kabul will help out a little bit; simply, because this closed uniform, unitary system necessarily has its own dynamo, dynamite, automation and autodynamism. Later, Aristotle will explain to us its dynamei on, its own In-Possibility-Being, and the Marxist, Ernst Bloch, will derive from it the "Principle of Hope" for Mankind, that would guide all of us to our "Home, Sweet Home", to our Heimat. Of course, all these were not so radically contemplated in their specific space and time, and the highway to globalized hell was still paved with "good" intentions; nonetheless, what is explained above, ab ovo, logically was already spooking in the apeironic philosophy of Anaximander, residing in the flourishing, emergent, commercial city of Miletus.

Because of its autodynamism, the Apeiron, Chaos, like a universal chameleon, could take on all forms of appearances: slavery, tyranny, feudalism, democracy, world peace, human rights, racism, fascism, real socialism, nazism, apartheid. In fact, in essence, as we will see below, Anaximander was already explaining internal motion, contradiction, dialectics, the laws of motion of labour and capital.

Depending on their weight, nowadays we would say on their atomic weight, things are formed and emerge from the Apeiron. According to him, first emerges water, the element of his teacher, as a result of the contradiction "coldness - warmth", in other words, hydor is now the synthesis of the above thesis - antithesis. This simply means that Anaximander had deepened the arché of his teacher, he transformed it into "still waters run deep". In these profound waters, new contradictions arise, forming new substances, new creations; eventually, the sun, the stars, the animals, the plants, human beings came into existence. He gave his own version of the Theory of Evolution, hence he even paved the road for Charles Darwin and Social Darwinism, and cum grano salis therewith the social possibility of racism, fascism and apartheid.

Definitely, the Apeiron had a cosmic, creative character; within the realm of demythologization, it had nothing to do with the Olympus, or with future monotheistic Gods. It was a transhistoric fata morgana of the coming 17th and 18th century bourgeois Enlightenment, with capitalist materialism. Anaximander, like Thales, explained Being-Out-Of-Itself; the Apeiron lay a materialist, hylozoistic, panpsychic foundation; it points towards Hobbes, towards bourgeois mechanical materialism, towards the philosophic superstructure for the "Leviathan" and for Orwell's "Big Brother". Philosophically, Anaximander personified dominant Man Himself, his dawning self-consciousness, the archaic accumulation of bourgeois Reason, of creative, future, intellectual profiteering and mongering, of limitless exploitation, eternal domination and "infinite justice".

 

Apeiron: In A Nut-Shell

In nuce, internally, intensively, the Apeiron, Chaos, Matter is permanently fermenting, germinating and brewing, encompassing all productive processes of even, uneven and combined development; this will later be explained by one of the most radical systemic "negations", by Leon Trotsky in his Theory of Permanent Revolution. Anaximander himself stated that the Apeiron "encompasses all the worlds", thus forming one, single arché.

In his Physics ( III, 8 208a 8), Aristotle told us exactly why Anaximander chose the Apeiron as arché: " in order that becoming must not pass away"; this is already a transhistoric deja vu of the panta rhei of Heracleitus. It is the affirmation of the labour system, of exploitation, domination, discrimination and alienation, "in order that they must not pass away" on Earth. Furthermore, In this way, the arché becomes logical, formal-logical, a hen kai pan, becomes cognitive, "abstract", becomes an "object of thought", a "Gedankending", a "thing of thought", a philosophic concept.

However, it is an ill wind that blows nobody "good", Anaximander taught us that "seeing is not necessarily believing", that sense perception could lead to cognition, but it may be dangerously deceptive, it can be an essential instrument for indoctrination, ideology, mind and thought control. Also, Anaximander did not only characterize the Apeiron as eternal, also Internal Motion, intensive Change, Systemic Development, is spaceless, is timeless. For the eternal existence of the Patria this ideological illusion is quintessential, also for future education, information, disinformation and infowarfare. Of course, trialogically we can only remark: Dream On!

 

The Fragment of Anaximander

A Retrocognitive Reminder

As we stated before, we have to depend heavily on "officially" preserved philosophic data; we do not know what exactly the Milesian philosophers "really thought" or what they "really meant". At any event, it is not even decisive what they really expounded; as part of the ideological superstructure, they have been censured; just as "unfavourable" passages of the "Holy Bible" were time and again reproved, in order to serve ruling class interests; similarly, across the ages, philosophic fragments were either "lost" or were interpreted in a way which best suited the ideological interests of various dominant "historic" forces. For example, during the Dark Ages, Psyche, Anánke, Apeiron, Logos, Nous, Summum Bonum, Form, all were baptized as the feudalist, absolutist Christian Roman Catholic God, Our Father Almighty. Anything "spiritual" became "divine". This practice has continued until modern times; across the globe, today still, unnecessarily, students of philosophy have to wreck their brains with these ideological products of dogmatic censorship. "Freedom of Thought" and "Freedom of Speech", when they clash directly with economic exploitation and political domination, simply magically transform themselves into modern chimeras and phantasmagorias. Yeah! In each ruling epoch, the ruling ideas are the ideas of the ruling classes.

 

Ancient "Wein, Weib und Gesang"!!

In addition to this, traduttore traditore played havoc with original texts. From "bad" to "worse", there are many Old Greek words, like "komos", which nobody has the foggiest notion what they should denote, probably expressing either things or relations which are non-existent in our modern times or which could detonate the monolithic Apeiron or Hen Kai Pan. Some "experts" associate the above term with an extinct social intercourse, with a specific jolly happening. In this case, certainly the ancient Greeks would have encountered a similar embarrassing situation, if they had to translate the German "Wein, Weib und Gesang". How would they know that it is a patrian, masculine nocturnal procession of semi-intoxicated elitist youth, frolicking along the streets, in "Romeo and Juliet" style, singing, boozing and dancing in front of the moonlit windows of their sweethearts, of their beloved "Fräulein". For sure, this is not exactly the pendant to the Greek concept "komos"; but it indicates what problems "out-siders' would have with some of our trialogical transcepts.

Furthermore, as reminder, we do not claim "intellectual property rights", we are not interested in "correct" translations and interpretations; in fact, anybody can believe whatever she or he wants to, also everybody should enjoy the consequences of her or his convictions. For us, who or what is "right" or "wrong" is completely irrelevant. Who or what is neither "right" nor "wrong", certainly interests us. We state what we think; who likes it or does not like it, that is not our problem, that is not our "business"; but "who still have ears to hear, let them hear us!"

De facto, we can only analyse that what we can comprehend, can envisage; epistemologically, we can only understand that what we know; and logically, in accordance with the above, we are able to interpret any philosophic trilemma which may present itself to us. Any other method, learning by rote, in parrot fashion, will definitely end up in academic disaster and social mayhem. In this sane, healthy, philosophic "spirit", we will now continue with our philosophic deliberations. Furthermore, real science a n d true philosophy are not only hic et nunc appearances, that quickly become "obsolete" as "time flies by" -- this generally happens with ideology; rather, e contrario, they are transhistoric relations that transcend formal-logical spatial and temporal limitations; as we have seen already, this is surely also valid for the Milesians.

 

The Strange Ways of Anánke

Now, we will just take a philosophic glance at the most important fragment of Anaximander, from "On Nature".

"Out of Necessity (Anánke), into that from which things come-into-existence, they pass away, for they make reparation and satisfaction to one another for their injustice, according to the order of time."

(Our Free Translation)

"Woraus aber die Dinge ihr Entstehen haben, dahin geht auch ihr Vergehen nach der Notwendigkeit, denn sie zahlen einander Strafe und Buße für ihre Ruchlosigkeit nach der festgesetzten Zeit."

(Ernst Bloch, Gesamtausgabe, Band 12, Zwischenwelten in der Philosophiegeschichte, edition suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main, 1977, S. 23)

 

Firstly, who or what is anánke?

In Plato's Symposium (195C, 197 B), Anánke appears as a Divinity of Fate, as a Schicksalsgöttin, as a Goddess of Fortune. Sometimes she is also called Adrásteia, (Plato, Phaedros 248 C; Plotin, Enn. III 2, 13. A.), die Unentrinnbare, the Inescapable.

According to Homer and Hesiod, but also Archilochos, in mythological times, the Greeks feared Fate, the wrath of their gods, but they were also victims of "bad fortune", of their own mortal impotence; they feared Death, the Moira, the Daemon, Anánke. In philosophic times, in Ionia and elsewhere, Fate, Anánke, acquired a more updated connotation. Now, with hybris, with pride (Hochmut), the Greeks could determine their lives themselves, in spite of the fangs of Fate. Thanks to Anaximander, feminine Anánke was transformed into Masculine Necessity; the Cosmic Order, which was guaranteed by Zeus, directly from Olympus, now also included individual fates. The contradiction "Fateful Necessity -- Human Free Will" entered the scene of philosophy.

Hence, in Milesian times, Anánke had already acquired masculine, deterministic, necessary, Patrian features. To interpret the above preserved fragment is well-nigh impossible, because every original ancient Greek word had a specific philosophic meaning, which today we can just intelligently guess or deduce logically. From "bad" to "worse", "Anánke" not only meant fate, a divine force, necessity; it also included other meanings like "a strict, generally accepted, behaviour pattern", "according to habit", "to custom", etc.

Furthermore, reading the text above, "according to the order of time", "nach der festgesetzten Zeit", does not simply mean "according to history", in a modern sense. This phrase has a cosmogonic, mythological tone; it comes from the Olympus, from where Father Chronos spoke, ordered and ordained. The main clause, the philosophic gist of this fragment, is hard to explain. The German philosopher, Ernst Bloch, attempted to interpret its meaning, and according to him, in the Apeiron, in the process of Being-Becoming, the things, in their individual agon (strife), file themselves away, slough themselves off, and this occurs, according to the "order of time", according to the ordinances of Chronos. However, what is decisive, is that the things do not pay reparation or make satisfaction to the Apeiron or to Chronos, but rather to one another, to themselves. This is a kind of self-sacrifice for their own coming-into-being; this sounds very Hegelian.

Of course, now the term in the text, "for their injustice", acquires another connotation. "Injustice" is determined by agon, by Strife, by War. Things move, strive, are in conflict, in contradiction. Later this virulent concept will come up again in the philosophy of Heracleitus, even in the Political Theory of Thomas Hobbes. In the Apeiron, in Becoming-Being, the things are in permanent violent strife with one another, they are at war, they battle for and against the location where they find themselves according to the order of time. In this way, they permanently generate "new wars", they launch geographic, geocentric imperialism. Of course, in the final battle, they get rid of their contradictions, they become pacified, peaceful with themselves, one with themselves. Already in this fragment we can trace the basics of the future Hegelian objectivist dialectical logics.

 

Dialectics of Anaximander

In simple terms, this philosophic "crossroad", from feminine mythology to masculine philosophy, this dialectics, can be interpreted as follows:

The "new" special existence form of a developing phainómenon, thing or appearance, forms a contradiction to (and with) its "old" original existence form, in the bosom of Father Apeiron, originally, previously, in the womb of Gaia, the Great Mother. But contradiction should not be, formal logics should reign. Any contradiction must be resolved, be absolved. The future Patria cannot permit contradiction, hence things, beings, human beings, must make reparation and satisfaction (for their contradictory "sins"), because only the Apeiron, only Chaos, only the One Infinite Principle Itself is Justice, is rest, is rest in peace, is world peace. Contradiction, Motion, is Injustice! Later we will encounter this Cosmic Justice again in the Philosophy of Heracleitus of Ephesus.

 

Anaximenes of Miletus

Introductory Remarks

Illustrating the philosophic process of sapientia, of sophía, within the context of the "Pre-Socratic" period, we will now continue with another Milesian hylozoistic thinker, Anaximenes of Miletus. However, our "History of Wisdom" will mainly deal with those "Pre-Socratics", who were illuminating "Society", who intellectually definitely had contributed to the progressive perversion of the original, historic, emancipatory relations; thus we will demonstrate the ancient Greek social transition from History to the Patria, the brutal revolution from natural, earthly "matriarchy" (feminine mythology) to social, divine "patriarchy" (masculine philosophy).

Of course, in this part we are applying our Epistemology and Logical Method; our Philosophy includes idealist and materialist views, but we "superate" ("aufheben") them, by also taking into account "neither materialist nor idealist" approaches; furthermore, we also transcend, we excel all these, and we focus on other mensions and spheres, within the realms of Trialogics, of Nothing, of Chaos.

Certainly, for some readers who are accustomed to formal-logical "reasoning", our thoughts might seem awkward and "chaotic", not worth the name "philosophy"; unfortunately, if this is the case, we have to appeal to intellectual patience, multi-logical endurance and wise sobriety. Who knows, in some brain, perhaps somehow, somewhither, somewhere, sometime, the famous red "Eureka" signal might flicker, the "Groschen", the dime or penny, might fall, and like Caesar crossing the Rubicon, together we might celebrate the transcending jacta est alea (the die is cast)! In any case, due to ideological reasons, as first ontic baby steps we should learn that the "truth nearly always is upside-down", is topsy-turvy, hence the reverse of accustomed "reality" may also occur at any moment; this is also valid for our own views, and because they are neither "right" nor "wrong", we would be the very first ones to learn something "new", something really historic and emancipatory.

 

Anaximenes of Miletus (585 - 525? B.C.)

Seemingly, Anaximenes made a retrogressive step, however, only to take two scientific paces ahead. He stated that the Arché is aêr, pneuma. Aêr can be translated as both air and mist, as fog, or even as breath, in a wider sense. Again, as we will note, all three Milesian "Fathers of Philosophy" had the social order ("Sozialauftrag") to consolidate a single, concrete, primordial principle for the patriarchal superstructure, for patrian philosophy. All three principles, hydor, apeiron and aêr, are different philosophic appearance forms of the very same thing, of Infinite, Eternal Being-At-Rest. Later, Parmenides of Elea, with his sphairos will solidify, will consolidate this principle as Hen kai Pan, as Unomnia, as One And All.

By means of rarefaction of air, fire develops; through condensation of air, the clouds, water and earth come into being. However, as we stated above, aêr, breath and psyche are synonymous. In this way, Anaximenes gave an explanation of all four elements of ancient Greek panvitalistic Philosophy-Chemistry (water, air, fire and earth).

This Milesian panpsychic luminary made an important contribution to the understanding of Patrian universal motion, of affirmative action, of affirmative ideology, that is, of intensive, internal dialectical development. Although he explained kínesis, motion, yet this was not his main philosophic motive; on the contrary, it belonged to the "social order" of Heracleitus. He specifically concentrated his philosophic endeavours on the spatial-temporal Problem of Motion. Motion should not be, more precisely, Motion should Be, everything should Be-At-Rest.

Hence he ascribed all Motion in the Pan, in the Universe, to internal changes of density within Aêr. The morphé, the form (see: Aristotle) of a thing, of a phainómenon, of a manifestation or of an appearance, is the result of the compactness or looseness of its material (solid) composition, caused by rarefaction or condensation of the Archaic Principle, of Aêr. It is noteworthy that all three Milesians were using dialectical principles, they applied concepts like kataphásis (affirmation), apóphasis (negation), thésis, antíthesis and synthesis. Hylozoism is filled with panvitalistic syzygies, with philosophic conjunction, opposition and union, in other words, with dialectics.

Compression and distension of Aêr create all things, account for the multifarious, multiplex phenomena. Obviously, Anaximenes had already introduced some of the Laws of Hegelian Dialectics, for example, that quantitative changes eventually bring about qualitative transformations.

All three Milesians taught us that we can think in a "divine" way, without creating fictional "gods", without "believing" in divinities, that we could transcend in immanence, and "immanate" in transcendence. They warned us that we should not, by looking at the multitudinous trees, forget to "see", to think the vast forest, but also not to forget to see a n d to think, to identify

a n d to differentiate, an individual tree a n d a different forest. In nuce, they taught us that: alétheia men hólon, as Hegel would say, "Das Wahre ist das Ganze", the Truth is the Whole, the Truth is the Whole Truth, id est, the Truth a n d The Non-Truth. We get nowhere, nowhither, with ideology, with all semi-truths and "white" lies, with ideological education for barbarism, with a slave mentality.

 

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