On Order in History
by Feliks Koneczny


Translated into English by Stanislaw Kacsprzak

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I. Distinctiveness of spirit


The sciences are tending towards an integration of knowledge. Vast expanses are opening out before the human mind. The works of great scholars - human  and natural sciences - are not only ceasing to be cut off from one another, but they are actually serving each other; a discovery in one branch of knowledge is ever more frequently called to bear witness in another branch.


Order in nature was discovered long ago. Shall we not discover it in history? Only the adherents of dualism will want to take steps in this direction. Naturalistic monism rules out the very need of such investigations, for, if all is nature, and the human spirit merely a higher level of the material order, it suffices to know the laws of nature. In accepting monism one thereby acknowledges that matters of the human spirit are subject to the laws of nature: and these are known. This is the most important dispute in the sciences. Naturalistic monism and dualism are merging into philosophy and (to which no attention is paid) the science of law.


The new physics considers matter and energy to be identical. This thesis originated in investigations on electrons. But electrons are never matter and energy at the same time. Electrons are material in circular motion, but energy in radiation. The whole of this issue pertains to but the material world; for there are two distinct forms of energy - from separate sources - not just one form of energy appearing either as material or spiritual energy.


The law of energy conservation is unknown in spiritual life. Spiritual energy can increase or decrease quantitatively. Were it to be otherwise a certain part of its constant quantity would have been the same since the time of the troglodytes; quantitative changes in spiritual energy are limitless. Whereas a human thought, unlike indestructible material energy, can disappear and perish without having borne fruit. Unfortunately, spiritual energy can be utterly destroyed (for instance, through the disappearance of tradition).


A new quantity of spiritual energy can always arise, totally unconnected with any quantity already in existence. In the spiritual sphere, everything arises out of “nothing”. We call this kind of generation creativity. Spiritual energy is creative, material energy – is not.


The  creation of new spiritual energy is the main kind of spiritual activity, which, through its creativeness, differs  from physical activity.  Through physical activity we process material forms of energy, as does the whole of nature; for various forms of radiation elicit various forces in nature, and all physical phenomena originate in the transfer of energy to various spheres. But with the aid of spiritual properties we create something new, we multiply the quantity of the spirit’s manifestations, and we frequently even add new qualities.


Energy, material and spiritual, can move from one sphere to another. Spiritual energy, however, does not possess any singular or determined form. So we again have a fundamental difference.


Furthermore, we have opposite laws. For example, the velocity of bodies in rotary motion increases with the length of the radius; the highest velocity at the circumference, the lowest at the centre. The opposite happens in human intellectual associations: the highest intellectual activity at the centre, decreasing towards the circumference; so it decreases with the length of a radius.


Further investigations could multiply arguments quantitatively. Qualitatively, a certain fact will always predominate, hitherto not considered, but decisive: a body must always yield to any force it encounters, but a spirit - not at all. This is in stark contrast to matter in general. Our mental powers’ potential for development is due to this spiritual property. No order whatsoever would otherwise be possible in the mind; a ceaseless subjection to a multitude of forces, encountered at every step, would be bound to bring about a derangement of the mind. Oh in what straits the human spirit would find itself! Would it be able to develop were it to be restricted to the confines of the laws of nature, diminished by this subjection? Our reason would be in potentia; we would not be in a position to use it. Our whole humanity arises from the fact that though we encounter a multitude of forces, we yet remain untouched by them, subject to but some of them. Were we to be subject to everything that we might encounter, we would never attain equilibrium in our mental powers, a requirement of trans-corporeal life.


Errare humanum est! Spiritual life often avails itself of fictions, which, however, have very real consequences. There is no parallel in nature. A machine is the ultimate mechanism, but a defect immediately causes a failure. A machine is either reliable or broken and impossible to use. If only a man were able to stop doing something when in danger of making a mistake!


A spirit will not admit of adjustment to a mechanism. An advance in a machine consists in a simplification, and we thus increasingly control the forces of nature. It is quite the opposite in the world of the spirit: an advance is simultaneously a complication. Even private life is becoming ever more complicated, to say  naught  of social life. It is ever more difficult to orientate oneself in an  increasingly complex reality.


A spirit will not admit of mechanisation, for it did not arise from a development in nature! Hence there are two distinct energies, the physical and the spiritual; a dualistic order reigns on earth. Monism is contrary to reality, for man is made up of body and soul. We shall not explain the distinctiveness of the spiritual world, its aptitude for action and purposeful activity over the course of generations, other than by affirming the existence of the human soul. It is within the souls of each one of us that decisions are made as to which forces we desire to yield to, which to oppose. So we have free will.


As a soul is not subject to the laws of nature, death does not pertain to it. It is superior to matter, and it is not, in any way, just the most perfect manifestation of it. From this we conclude that the soul’s being is not dependent on the body’s being, and that it does not cease to exist on the death of the body, that is, that the soul is immortal.


Anyone willing to ponder over the genesis of the soul, and its essence, will come to believe in God. From this it is a seemingly small step towards settling the issue of order in history –  blame all on God, on God’s Providence, which manifests itself in history. The issue, however, is not that simple. It is necessary to ask oneself whether any order exists in history at all. Divine decrees are, as a rule, unfathomable. Is it always possible to know the designs of Providence in advance? Attempts have been made to study Its decrees in history. All of them, however, depended on the meditative method, an a priori method, exclusively deductive. They are examples of stretching reality to fit a personal view on things, a meditated view, that is, thought out, but unfortunately, even with the best of intentions, made-up. There are very noble illusions, but one has to remove them all from the sciences. So let us entrust ourselves to the inductive method.


Copyright © Feliks Koneczny and Stanislaw Kacsprzak 2018

Version: 2nd January 2018