x_filesize')); // Sort image tag $OC_sortImg = 'current sort selection'; ?> ࡱ>  bjbjVV .<<+[`CCCWWW8#4WAWWmmmHHH$9 "HCHHHHHCCmmxxxH|CmCmxHxxxm 0YhWPx0Ax##d##x##Cx4HHxHHHHHxHHHAHHHH##HHHHHHHHH !: The Dangers of Democracy as a Second Reality Discussion Panel Paper Abstract: It is quite common today to limit the auspices of freedom only to democratic values and norms without recognizing the ways it is made manifest through non-democratic forms, such as in the recent Middle East uprisings. This paper argues that we should work toward resisting this trend through an intense engagement with a plurality of cultures, rooted in openness and a critically reflective freedom. I contend that American Exceptionalism promotes a mythic consciousness of open selfhood and that we undermine our best purposes by identifying ourselves exclusively as democratic or capitalist selves. Relying on Thomas Alexanders philosophical anthropology, along with Josiah Royces triadic community and cultural interpretation and Eric Voegelins critique of second realities, it is suggested that we should not derail freedom by accepting democracy as a global hegemonic initiative. Keywords: Open Self, Ironic American Exceptionalism, Plurality of middles, Second Realities Introduction The recent uprisings in the Middle East and Muslim world are further evidence that decrepit, authoritarian modes of governing are shattering before our very eyes. The issues regarding the rights and dignity of persons are as pressing as ever in a conflict-ridden, pluralistic world. Desire for freedom is catching fire despite the fact that these societies do not exemplify the typical indicators most associated with the Western values of secularism, democracy, capitalism, among others. Unfortunately, these exciting symbols of protests and social upheavals have been misinterpreted as a unanimous call for a democratic Egypt, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and so on. It has undoubtedly gone unquestioned that the tropes of freedom have been usurped by democracy, as a constitutional schema and form of government. As John Dewey warned against treating democracy as a form of government, I believe we are in danger of projecting our ways of life and values without being mindful of the otherness of the other. The spirit of the democratic ethos is violated by holding it to be a totalized worldviewanother isminterpreted as a global American hegemonic initiative. It is not meant to be a way of life to be systematically imposed on others in a strategic fashion. What if these societies strive for freedom without having the experience or the faith in these Western identities and values? Could it be the case that one of the major tasks confronting our prospects for stabilizing a peaceful future lies in solidifying political liberties through non-democratic forms of culture? American Exceptionalism seeks to embrace and promote a wide-range of cultures including those perceived as threatening or foreign through the open self. It is not the case that freedom is secured through certain proclivities a culture possesses simply but, rather, one makes culture as a symbol of human freedom and happiness. Turning democracy into a kind of second reality contributes to depersonalized cultural effects and the ideological derailment of dogmatic sentiments. The democratic and capitalist selves stand in contradistinction to open selves and highlighting some of these essential differences is the task of this paper. Dangers and distortions ensue from interpreting American Exceptionalism to be predicated on the democratic self, or in turn the capitalist self. Aspiring toward more equal social conditions or constitutional institutions of government may be necessary modalities for freedom, but they are not in themselves sufficient. Dynamics of Cultural Interpretation Thomas Alexander takes cultures to be spiritual ecologies as transformative processes of Human Eros into Agape constituted by regions of tropes, through symbols and mythoi. Alexander argues for a mutual cultural reference in which competing tropes establish clusters or regions of relations that may be harmonious or have tension or conflict. Despite these dangers of uncertainty, a largely overlooked yet essential political function lies in developing cultural interpretations capable of transporting their meanings and values in facilitating relations between dissimilar groups. Wide-ranging cultural engagement is strongly encouraged. A significant advantage of this philosophical anthropology lies in its orientations: Philosophy should not initially approach cultures with the question Are these beliefs true? but instead with the How are these meanings lived? Experiential and critical engagement is more profitable for cultural interpretations and values than skeptical and dogmatic approaches. Ontologically, cultures function on a deeper dimension; it is ultimately a dialogue between death and life. Resisting grand narratives as a popular and self-conceited historiography is a positive development toward mutual and genuine cultural exchange and reverence. In employing the nuanced teachings of such thinkers as Dewey, Mead, and especially Peirce and Royce, Alexander marks out that fertile ground which stands for the cultivation of freedom as real possibilities through culture. As he writes toward the conclusion of his insightful article: Cultures are inherited patterns for the possibility of meaning. While they transmit these possibilities as a gift to the future generations, cultures nonetheless bear the burden of finitude, for the possibilities of one culture may not translate meaningfully into those of another. Here, culture is very much like Royces individual at a boundary in need of interpretation. Moreover, to be raised as fluent in one culture is thereby not to be raised in others. Finitude is also present in the way cultures build upon the We-They dichotomy. Alexander presents a philosophy of cultural humanism and eros rooted in the communal processes of interpretative imagination and suggest[s] a way of broadening Peirces concept of abduction to a general semiotic function, a creative search for interpretants. The inquiries of interpretation through cultural openness, exchange, and communication work to foster personal relations where we are lifted up by the empathetic feelings of the many becoming one. Imagination is taken to mean the disclosure of possibilities. Interpretation is engagement of possibility. In taking into account mythic consciousness, Alexander is correct for holding that Mythos does not mean a false story but one that serves this end of determining the meaning of a self, a group, or the world. Mythology expresses the consciousness of a people in how they regard their place in the world. Mythic consciousness is not doctrinal nor does it require a belief system. It is self-interpretative and rooted as a common feeling of identity and purpose. Myths are an essential aspect of human consciousness not as fables or falsehoods we superstitiously adopt, but based on what we take to be fundamental. Shared identities, meanings, and values serve to facilitate the mythic consciousness of nations or cultures, which are like-minded in holding certain rituals to be fundamental. A community is a temporal process encompassing ideally extended selves sharing in a common past and future, what Royce terms a community of memory and community of hope. The community is engaged in an interpretative process of its identities, values, and expectations in a semiotics. Cultural mythoi serve to provide a collective sense of the we of a community, but also thereby to mark out those who are not us, that is, Them. These are deep boundaries, and we cannot just will our self-identity to transcend them to embrace a universal humanity. Pluralistic cultures emerge out of enhanced interaction with the profusion of signs and symbols made manifest through the sports, music, movies and entertainment networks. Meditative exchange occurs as an indexical semiotics which points toward further possible cementing of relations with the cultures encountered. The constitutive relations developing out of enhanced cultural engagement are neither determined nor necessitated in their ingression and interpretation. An open self can move in and out of cultures congenially, yet seamlessly. The modalities of its presencing lie in an indexical reference, that is, the supposition that the sign connects the interpreter causally with the object so that the object can be directly engaged. American Exceptionalism depicts and embraces a plurality of identities and values, even non-democratic ones, as cultural forms expressed through the mythic consciousness of the open self. The symbols and images of sports, music, movies, and entertainment are Americas primary export of this mythos. As gestalt forms and expressions of our diversity and continued struggle to resist extremisms, America plays a leading role in innovating mediums that spawn cathartic experiences with otherness. American symbolic cultural value lies most prominently in facilitating communities of interpretation, which through various mediums serve as signs calling for an interpretant. Because of its capacity to disclose relations, interpretation can establish continuity, which in the human context means overcoming alienation to some degree; in interpreting each other, we seek a community wherein we shall have truly understood each other. By encouraging a rabid culture of entertainment more opportunities arise for a deeper and more profound self-understanding and works to alleviate the desire to be understood. The open self projects a hypothetical self through an abductive process not conducive to a deterministic teleology but one which Alexander calls conversational. The dynamics of dialogues and interpretations forging communities as temporal processes develops into the transmission of possibilities for future generations. Alexander stresses the existential significance of teaching and learning: The function of culture as transmission has a deeper dimension; it is ultimately a dialogue between death and life. As Dewey observes at the beginning of Democracy and Education, all the members of any community are fated to die, and they dies all at once, their culture would be extinguished. But because they do not, culture can be passed on through time. Education exists because of death. Teaching is not just one career option among many. It goes to the root of what we are. A willingness to already accept ourselves in the place of the other fosters an ability to resist the temptations of manipulation and strategically orchestrating policies only concerned with American interests. Authentic community hinges upon the recognition and cultivation of the shared dialogical space which language and dialogue presupposes. In our world full of digital and virtual spaces who can pretend to know with whom they will share in this space, with which they have the possibility to form a community? The open self accepts that it is a real possibility that the they or other of an us vs. them grand narrative is dissolvedthat we are them and they are us. Antagonistic relations are taken up as possibly fruitful and aspiring us to moral growth cultivated in culture, rather than hostilities of nationalisms. Instead of adopting a nationalistic or internationalist bias modeled on an all-or-nothing and absolutist conception of sovereignty we can conclude that the world is full of potential Americans. Open selves embrace community as potential relations arising out of impersonal and personal societies in processes of engagement, regarding the interpretations of identities, values, and cultural meanings. Communities do not develop into generic orders that result out of processes that are thoroughly predictable. Rather, led by an imaginative search for meaning and open-ended teleology, as Alexander notes: Order emerges from the process, but it will be unpredictable. Retrospectively, at any moment a coherent narrative of the development can be given. When misunderstandings occur, the participants usually begin by retracing the path of the dialogue to find the point at which they diverged. The transactional or conversational model offers a creative developmental, evolutionary concept of order. Open selves move seamlessly and congenially in the mobilizing of cultural forms as creative interpretants, opposed to fundamentalist and extremist interpretations. Cultural engagement with a plurality of interpretations not only encourages building constructive relations between various peoples, but can develop the possibilities latent in them either for the good or the bad. Open selfhood serves as a viable overcoming of the problem of modern subjectivity that avoids the pitfalls of Heideggers dwelling or Levinas hospitality. Even if we are experiencing the infinite cry of the other and recognize ethics as first philosophy, as does Levinas, we are not encountering strangers but seeking to overcome the estrangement of persons. The attitudes fostering these wounded and fragmented relations stem from the preconception that being-with-others is necessarily burdensome. Rather an open self believes that conflict may be a necessary feature amongst the theatre of human goods and values, but it need not be met with imaginative violence or a false sense of superiority spawned out of fear or insecurity. Out of fear of uncertainty with other cultures, in their various values, identities, and interpretations, hostile and deformed dispositions emerge based on stereotypes and violent oppositions. These sentiments crystallize into political views which suffer from the mythic consciousness of extremisms flowering into the ever-vigorous pathologies of racism, nationalism, terrorism, etc. The myth of the soil or land, where it is the territory with its register of heritage, kinship, and loyalty, dominates the difficulties in establishing peaceful relations in the Middle East. But once we accept the fruits of Alexanders philosophy of culture, we recognize the destructive dangers these mythoi have on the transmission, cultivation, and maintenance of interpretative communities. Not only do they often derail into dispositions driven by an ideological pathos, but the practitioners too often orient themselves with the animus embodying the values described in Whiteheads Gospel of Hate. In superimposing and wholesaling democracy on Middle East relations, we fail to appreciate and interpret the richness other cultures have to offer. Employing the same mind-frame without actively engaging creative imaginative possibilities leads to an imaginative oblivion which promotes dogmatic or skeptical perspectives rather than critical reflection. Democracy becomes a second reality once we prohibit questioning and adopt any such program as a hegemonic initiative. It works to stifle the fields of cultural reference and exchange spawning an alienated self through its denial of the meanings sought by others. These possibly diabolical forces of the darker myths Alexander names Eris, or the Greek personification of Strife. Human beings may die with their humanity fully intact; their deaths may even affirm their humanity. But to destroy an individuals or a peoples sense of meaningful existence is to undertake the destruction of human being. As with all cultures, both the possibility of oblivion, indifference, and remembrance lies in the ground of our imaginative powers of creativity. Democracy as an Ideological Derailment With the successful profusion of democracy and capitalism, the forms of selfhood they perpetuate are greatly entangled with the temptation to situate freedom through the myths of the nation or institution. Sadly, for many, the reality of freedom has derailed into the hot-pursuit of financial and material security. They have mistaken the attainment of economic comfort as the only means of securing happiness and a social order conducive to liberty. The values of moral personhood and autonomy are subordinated to the geo-political indicators used to measure development and economic growth. Ones relational harmony or moral compass does not get factored in accounting for personal worth, but the self gets consideration only according to the external standards of living or material conditions. It may be true democracy provides more equal social conditions and institutions and the presupposition is that equality provides a leveling of social structures not conducive to the fairness, liberties, and opportunities of all persons. But is it necessarily true that this secures freedom or even promotes it? Could one still be enslaved in the midst of such lavishness and material satisfaction? Is it not more accurate to accept democratic institutions are a means to freedom, but that one could still be subjugated in a democracy? Those who accept the democratic self as the harbinger of freedom are susceptible to economic interpretations, such as, capitalism, socialism, and communism since they too easily boil freedom down to a matter of external circumstances. But the recent financial meltdowns and budget catastrophes are evidence of just how dispensable and easily vulnerable we are in our own self-righteous prosperity. The pathology that the equalizing of social conditions will improve the globe or that democracy will eliminate extremisms or other forms of fanaticism need to be resisted as nave. As a consequence of subscribing to the dogma that freedom comes only under democratic forms, the social developments in the Middle East get interpreted as calls for democracy. This distorted response fails to see beyond its own horizons, to account for the legitimacy of standards which may be conflicting with our own values. This follows in line with Voegelins claim that this is a phenomenon of second realities, a termed coined by Robert Musil where false images of reality are superimposed for the benefit and pleasure of the constructor. Democracy stands with a cluster of second realities in international politics today in the sense Voegelin uses the term. Second realities have a strong foothold in our cultural landscape serving to distort the integrity of shared stories and historical experience-symbol complexes. Much of contemporary discourse is dominated by clichd dichotomies and various isms as a result of these ideological derailments. The possibility of these social pathologies offers the essential ingredients of a selfhood grounded in a totalizing worldview. The dogmatic exceptionalisms of traditional nations, peoples, and cultures posit rationally constructed or prefabricated myths of the individual. Constructions based on historical destiny set in motion the type of empty eternity that epic and grand narrative presuppose in the weaving together of their stories. Rather than interpret history as open-ended more like a drama of humanity, the prevalent notions of the self adopted in the ideologies and programs of the twentieth century constitute various versions of lost selves. Americas agenda or cause should not be to spread democracies around the globe as a short-cut to freedom and potential leveler of cultures. The symbolic openness of America should instead work toward the intensity of the self through embracing cultural values in their pluralistic and diversified forms. As Tocqueville warned over a century and a half ago, not only does democracy make men forget their ancestors, but also clouds their view of their descendants and isolates them from their contemporaries. Each man is forever thrown back on himself alone, and there is danger that he may be shut up in the solitude of his own heart. Honest attempts at openness of the self results in negative attitudes and sentiments just as much as generating positive ones. While the latter is critical and reflective in method, the former devolves into skeptical and dogmatic orientations. The fuel of extremisms stem from the anxious and hostile energy of dogmatic myths. But the innermost possibility of Americas destiny lies in the resistance against the forces instigating the continuation of divisions, blind frenzies, and certain untruths. We have not advanced far beyond the predicament Voegelin believed Western civilization to be in during his 1958 inaugural Munich lectures Science, Politics, and Gnosticism. The trend, as Voegelin experienced it, of modern-mass society and the orientation of its intellectual and spiritual sentiments are distorted by the ideologue or dogmatist. An aggressive non-thinking frenzy pervades the consciousness of both elites and the masses alike. One can rarely enjoy a genuine philosophical discussion or engage in serious political dialogue these days for this very reason. Getting all worked up or emotionally charged on an issue is the norm with little room for reconsideration; once settled the matter is finished! Voegelin identifies this condition with the historical struggle for truth in which humans engage, of which the social order (cosmion) is one attempt at articulating truths for a culture. With the social domination of science as an objective medium for ascertaining truth, much in the same way as medieval Europe took the Christian religion as its Archimedean point of reality, we have lost the sense of our genuine condition. We live in a world full of uncertainty with an unsettledness that accompanies accepting an open-ended future, which can generate the type of apocalyptic social anxiety we are currently experiencing in the infatuation with such phenomena as 2012 and illuminati conspiracy theory hype. In order to confront this uncomforting drama, many people will seek to eclipse this reality by positing a second or false image of reality. Voegelin notices this popular tendency in the habits of people who desire contentment and an existence isolated from the difficulties and struggles of life as unpredictable and free. This attitude gets expressed through the orientation toward certainty over uncertainty, that results into falling for a certain untruth rather than an uncertain truth. For example, believing democracy can be an institutional social blueprint that sustains development in less-developed countries or acts as a source of stability in an unstable region as the Middle East, invests a false hope in the democratic self. We unflinchingly stick to the same game-plan, irresponsibly presupposing democracy to be the determining value of a peoples possibilities and worth. When democracy is interpreted as an economic plan of growth and development through corporate or multinational control, one is left wondering whether the idea of democracy has been replaced by the ideal. Now a truly democratic self is always open in principle, but not necessarily in practice. We witness how big businesses, international organizations, and governments emphasize the perpetuation of democratic norms through free-market competition and enterprise. Capitalism is evangelical about democracy and appears not to be open too much else. America suffers in forgetting that it serves its purposes best in serving not some higher moral cause or ideal worldview, but in serving humanity itself. Extremist mythic consciousness easily forgets or overlooks its complicitness in moral wrong-doing and takes it for granted that things seem to be marching to its drum. The energies spent on defending or hating those opposed to what is believed to be right, or our cause can be quite blinding and just as destructive as what it shuns without critical reflection. America has enhanced the number of potential interpretants of a culture and thereby a greater likelihood of being misunderstood given the pluralization of meanings and values being intermixed. Mistaking the non-democratic for what is always hostile to democracy or anti-democratic leaves freedom totally dependent upon the structural basis of ones environment. While accounting for the fact that the paradoxic structure of reality admits of narrative and drama or event, Voegelin analyzes the difference between the intentional and luminous symbolic complexes as evidence of the metaxic (tensional in-between) character of human existence. The story of life is one which finds itself always embedded within a plurality of middles, or a manifold of stories already taking place. In the pursuit of our questioning, thus, we encounter a plurality of middles, validating a plurality of quests, telling a plurality of stories, all having valid beginnings. One can either respect this drama of humanity in the form of philosophic discourse or fail to appreciate the multi-valiant quests that comprises the adventures of human life. With the mythic consciousness of open selfhood an active cultural engagement is promoted on an indexical scale, leaving room for narrative as a possibility within dialogues. But its philosophy of history is rooted in a meta-drama rather than a total consciousness, which grand-narrative presupposes. It is according to our anamnetic, imaginative, and interpretative powers that we engage our world and shape how we exist with others. The task of human freedom lies in being responsible for the ways in which we articulate these relations and prescribe to ourselves a cultural and thereby a self interpretation. Interpreting the self through the prototypes or social constructions of pre-fabricated notions as is practiced in racism, sexism and countless other forms of hatred would be short-sighted, irresponsible, and most-likely destructive. We need to be more reflective and open to the fanaticism harbored in our own views, the destructive mentality conveyed in our attitudes. Relying upon the intensity of images, the novelty of the imagination, and responsibility of moral personality, one can contribute in an unbifurcated way to culture as a unifying process. If a person takes for granted these responsibilities then they further jeopardize and have not fully engaged their freedom. Conclusion America Exceptionalism enjoys its status despite facing massive turmoil on several fronts. From financial crises to being way behind Europe in providing social programs, the viability and morale of what it means to be an American Exceptionalist continues to be taken for granted. Those who resist the open self currently in American politics consist of a majority of pundits, politicians, and panders caught up in a crusading ethos, they amplify Americas self-triumphalism as a perverse form of exceptionalism. Whether it is Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, or Bill Clinton, the superiority of America as the worlds sole superpower gets promoted in an idolatrous manner. And this has very real consequences as several American intellectuals, pundits, and leaders alike have grossly misinterpreted the recent protests against authoritarian regimes in places like Egypt and Libya. They have wrongly suggested that there is a loud cry for democracy as the main facilitator of securing the respect and freedom for these nations peoples. The world just looks for us to be the open selves we dynamically and symbolically aspire to be. Far too long our leaders have used democracy as a catchphrase for spreading freedom around the globe, but this appears to be more about dogma and ideology rather than reality. The breadth and depth of freedom cannot be exhausted by democracy or any other form of government used as a substitute for ways of life. Cultivating such social standards and norms maybe a necessary condition of freedom but it is not sufficient. Freedom is groundless and is experienced as a supersensible constitution within the human capacity to create or destroy cultural forms, including the power to dehumanize ourselves and others. Instead of appreciating the multidimensional richness of human cultures in their variety and uniqueness, we continue to flirt with hegemonic initiatives and the further depersonalization of vulnerable peoples. How and why have these experiences and symbols been interpreted in this manner? Are we obliged to accept uncritically that there are no other principles, except democratic ones, that can serve as the basis of guaranteeing a free way of life? Ironic American Exceptionalism resists inflated untruths regarding Americas identities and purposes since they do not represent the dominant content symbolizing what it stands forwhat it means to be an American. We have not always lived up to respecting the freedom and dignity of personhood or aspired to the ideals defining our purposes. We can never forget our dark history of slavery and continued discrimination against women and other minorities stigmatized as the other, including other known atrocities both global and domestic. Recent blunders involving the Iraqi conflict and scandals of all stripes continue to show we have no reason to believe ourselves to be morally superior. These iniquities can be too easily forgotten oreven worseignored as a part of who we are and of what we are capable. America is not symbolized as an innocent and pure exceptionalism, as are those aggressive imperial powers of high civilization, but one which seeks to atone for its past injustices. American Exceptionalism cannot be given the self-inflated, tragic, pathological, grand narrative which gets passed around as patriotism. Its narrative or fundamental story derives only from within the dialogues themselves through polymorphic cultural engagement. The mythic consciousness of open selfhood identifies love of freedom as the purpose for which America defines and measures itself. Voegelins visiting fellowship to America brought with it not only new contacts and experiences, but a new world that was much less parochial than the environment from which he came. He underwent an intense intellectual and spiritual breakdown while in America, and then wrote: [I]n brief, here was a world in which this other world that I had grown up in was intellectually, morally, and spiritually irrelevant. That there should be such a plurality of worlds had a devastating effect on me. The experience broke for good, at least I hope it did, my provincialism of a Central European or generally European kind without letting me fall into an American provincialism. I gained an understanding through these years of the plurality of human possibilities realized in various civilizations, as an immediate experience, an exprience vcue, which hitherto had been accessible to me only through the comparative study of civilizations, as I found them in Max Weber, in Spengler, and later in Toynbee. The immediate effect was that upon my return to Europe certain phenomena which were of the greatest importance in the intellectual and ideological context of Central Europe, as for instance the work of Heidegger, whose famous Sein und Zeit I read in 1928, no longer had any effect on me. It just ran off, because I had been immunized against this whole context of philosophizing through my time in America and especially in Wisconsin. The priorities and relations of importance between various theories had been fundamentally changed, and as far as I can see for the better. For the many who argue American Exceptionalism is at an end or deserves a proper burial we have to consider what mythoi they are relying on. What do they take to be fundamental in the pride one has in identifying oneself as an American? These pessimistic assessments appear to be largely driven by the religio-political myths of American cultural mainstream and power perceived as exclusively Christian, capitalist or democratic which devolve into dogmatic interpretations and willful stupidity. But this fails to recognize the richness of what it means to see America as exceptional. It lies in destroying your world through the exposure to a plurality of worlds and cultures. Just as experienced by Voegelin in 1928, we continue to have our provincialisms shattered in many ways, for instance, at the movie theatre or the ballpark. Our views about democracy and dealing openly with non-democratic cultures and values threaten to veer off into another provincialism closed off to possibilities, which cannot be tolerated. Open selves embrace the creative exploration of possibilities as Alexander says, and will be more likely to better understand since the more complex and reflective our responses may be, and the more diversely we may be able to interpret a present situation. The exceptional thing about American Exceptionalism is that it seeks no exception through the myth of the open self. Bibliography Alexander, Thomas. Eros and Spirit: Toward a Humanistic Philosophy of Culture. The Pluralist 5 (2010), 18-44. Cassirer, Ernest. The Myth of the State. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1946. Eubanks, Cecil L. and David J. Gauthier. The Politics of the Homeless Spirit: Heidegger and Levinas on Dwelling and Hospitality. History of Political Thought 32 (2011), 125-46. Johnson, A. H. The Social Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. The Journal of Philosophy 40 (1943), 261-71. Neville, Robert Cummings. A Letter of Grateful and Affectionate Response to David Ray Griffins Whiteheads Radically Different Postmodern Philosophy: An Argument for Its Contemporary Relevance. Process Studies 37 (2008), 7-38. ____. Normative Cultures. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995. ____. The High Road Around Modernism. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992. ____. Reconstruction of Thinking. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1981. Royce, Josiah. The Problem of Christianity [1914]. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968. Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America [1835]. In Great Books of the Western World. Trans. George Lawrence. Vol. 44, Eighth Ed. Ed. Mortimer Adler. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2005 Voegelin, Eric. Science, Politics, and Gnosticism. Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2004 ____. Hitler and the Germans. Trans. and Ed. Detlev Clemons and Brendan Purcell. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999. ____. In Search of Order. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1987.  Alexander, Eros and Spirit, 21.  Ibid, 25.  Ibid, 21, emphasis original.  Ibid, 37.  Ibid, 37.  Ibid, 19.  Ibid, 19.  Ibid, 23, emphasis original.  Ibid, 26. See, Royce, The Problem of Christianity, 248-49.  Ibid, 28.  Robert C. Neville, Letter Response to David Ray Griffin, 31.  Alexander, Eros and Spirit, 32.  Ibid, 33. Alexander asserts: We both wish to understand and be understood. [] The We comes about when each member is not just taking the role of the other, but is taking on the role of the conversation as a teleological process. I seek to overcome my narrowness and your estrangement that is alienation. For a further discussion on Royces triadic structure of mutual interpretation and our creative processes of communication from the imaginative standpoint of shared interpretants, see, The Problem of Christianity, 314-17.  Ibid, 37, emphasis original. On the previous page Alexander rightly states: Cultures provide worlds that pass on to new generations structured ways of making sense of existence, relying not merely on formal systems [and I would add, informal] of symbols  Ibid, 33, emphasis added.  Eubanks and Gauthier, The Politics of the Homeless Spirit.  Alexander, Eros and Spirit, 20.  Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol. II, Part II, Ch. 2, p. 272.  See Eric Voegelin, Science, Politics, and Gnosticism.  Voegelin, In Search of Order, 28.  See Voegelin, The American Experience, Modern Age: A Quarterly Review, 26:3-4, Summer-Fall 1982, 332-333. During a major conference at the University of Toronto with Hans Gadamer in 1978, Voegelin received a loud roar of laughter after having stated that he eventually had to emigrate to America in 1938 because my previous experiences in America had made me unfit for existence in central Europe. He said this after formally apologizing to Professor Gadamer because he respected him but this is why I could not follow Heidegger.  Alexander, Eros and Spirit, 36.      PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 7 ,-CDEP  ' ( ) + b  - ^ t  ļļļļĴļ|||tokhBwx hBwx5hBwxCJaJhtCJaJh 1CJaJh]CJaJhD=pCJaJhMF[CJaJhD(CJaJhfLCJaJhECJaJhyCJaJh:eGCJaJhKCJaJhK5CJaJ hK5 hzh*hKh45CJaJhut5CJaJ)-DE - 2 ? 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