The Curse of the Hegelian Dialectic

The rational alone is unreal.

Thesis. Antithesis. Synthesis.

Mention these three words together, and you unlock the accursed genie that is the Hegelian Dialectic. Rising from the mystic ashes of ancient philosophy, the Hegelian promises riches beyond comprehension for those who follow his three-step process towards resolving conflict.

You only have to turn a blind eye to how the other half lives.

Hegelian Dialectic--which, interestingly enough, didn't even come from Hegel himself--is a Male Mental Sex process of solving problems.

A truth, or problem, is introduced. An alternate truth, or Antithesis, enters the scene to maximize conflict. And then the resulting solution, or Synthesis, finds a third truth that takes the best of both to resolve the original problem.

Classic Male Mental Sex, cause and effect problem-solving.

But then, what on Earth is Mental Sex?

A Unique Understanding of Narrative Structure

While an entire book could be written about the concept itself, Mental Sex is the idea that our minds run on one of two distinct operating systems.

One prefers space over time, and problem-solves through cause and effect (if that, then this). The other prefers time to space, and justifies inequities through managing relationships (you are another me).

In Dramatica theory, the mind that filters through cause-and-effect is defined as having a Male Mental Sex. The mind that filters through relating inequities is defined as having a Female Mental Sex.

Some versions of Dramatica theory equated Male Mental Sex with Linear thought, and Female Mental Sex with Holistic thought. The problem with this equivalence is that both Male and Female Mental Sexed minds can think consciously in terms of Linear or Holistic thought. Earlier versions of this article and others fostered this misinterpretation with its attempt to conceal this enlightening concept behind the more acceptable notions of Linear and Holistic thought.

Mental Sex is not the same thing—which is why throughout Narrative First and Subtxt you’ll find this original concept restored to its rightful place in the discussion of narrative structure.

::advanced It’s important to understand that Mental Sex is NOT determinant upon Gender, nor does it correlate with Gender Preference and/or Gender Orientation. Mental Sex defines the boot record base-operating system of the mind, and nothing more. ::

Back to the Hegelian Dialectic and it’s roots in Male Mental Sexed appreciations of narrative structure.

The Female Mental Sexed mind takes a different approach. Seeing inequities instead of problems, and equities instead of solutions, the Female Mental Sexed mind deals in the consistent application of balance.

Watch then, as the vaulted genie-us and supremacy of the Hegelian dissipates into the ether.

The Method of Balance

My series on The Female Mental Sex Premise addresses that train of thought wherein the wheels never stop turning. The Male Mental Sexed mind believes in the Solution--the resolution that permits one to move on, knowing the problem to be "solved." The Female Mental Sexed mind realizes problems themselves are manufactured within the mind and that nothing is ever solved, it's only balanced for the time being.

I read your article about holistic premises and watched your writer's room session, and it made me think about the Hegellian notion of the Dialectic and whether that might apply to Dramatica from the holistic standpoint – that we have thesis (problem), antithesis (solution), and that what you're calling balance (which to me sort of implies just sticking them on a linear scale and going halfway between) might be thought of as synthesis – finding a way to forge a new perspective from the two?

This would be a Male Mental Sexed interpretation of balance—that there is a scale that exists between the two and once the perfect balance point is found (a synthesis), then all potential is resolved, and a solution has been found.

Hegelian and his followers were die-hard Male Mental Sex thinkers.

The Female Mental Sexed mind knows there is never a real synthesis, but rather a constant cycle of growth and rebirth, continuous attention applied to balancing out inequities that are never truly solved.

I'd argue that they are solved but that every new balance (the synthesis that becomes the next thesis) creates the necessary preconditions for its own antithesis.

The Male Mental Sexed mind needs to argue that problems are solved because it can't function without the recognition of problem and solution.

This is, in part, where "mansplaining" comes from: the Male-minded person interrupts the Female Mental Sexed mind because it believes that what that other mind observes is somehow inaccurate or insufficient, when what they're seeing is, in fact, what they're actually seeing.

The Male Mental Sexed mind sees problems that are solved; Female Mental Sex sees inequities that are met with equities. Neither is more right than the other, but indicative of a baseline for appreciating conflict.

The structure of a story must know the baseline of the mind of the story because it affects the order of concerns in a narrative. If you see everything as a problem that needs to be fixed, you're going to go about solving that in a completely different way than someone who registers everything as an imbalance requiring balance.

The Hegelian Explained

I hear you about the scale being a Male interpretation of balance. However you wouldn't think of a Hegellian synthesis as being finding a point on that scale.

And neither would the Female Mental Sexed mind in the process of resolving an inequity--as that point on the scale doesn't exist for the mind that thinks that way. There are no points to the Female Mental Sexed account of experience, only waves.

A classic example is the notion of early childhood, where doing everything your parents say is the necessary normal state (the thesis = obedience). You become a teenager and begin to resent the oppressive nature of parental control and so rebel against everything they say (antithesis = rebellion). It's only in becoming an when you reconcile the two oppositions – not through balancing "some" passive acceptance with "some" automatic rebellion, but through the realization that you require true independence which neither involves obedience nor rebellion (synthesis = independence).

So rebellion is the linear response to control, but independence is the synthesis that emerges from the clash of those two forces.

A synthesis is still a Male Mental Sexed approach to solving a conflict. Both perspectives are evaluated separately for rightness—if one is right, or more right, than the other than that perspective is the solution. If neither is correct, then balance is the solution. If balance doesn't work, then neither can exist.

Every thought process is an if...then statement—a primary function found in any programming language (even the most basic of programming language, BASIC).

It's neither the Male Dramatica move from one to the other nor finding a balance point on that scale, but rather the solution which removes the existence of the conflict (and in doing so, introduces a new thesis which will one day meet its antithesis as the cycles of growth and conflict continue – as you state below.)

Male Mental Sex in Dramatica theory refers to the process that sees conflict as a problem to be solved. Moving from Problem to Solution is Male. Finding a balance point on a scale is Male. Finding a Solution that removes the existence of conflict is Male.

The Female Mental Sexed mind can never remove the existence of conflict because inequity always exists. It's merely a matter of how much or how little.

The Matrix, which is structured with a Female Mental Sexed approach to conflict, doesn't serve up an account of synthesis—Neo hasn't become one with his awareness and self-knowing. But he has become composed with the overall balance between the two and can literally shape his world accordingly.

I always thought what was going on with the Matrix was:

Thesis: We are waiting for "The One" Antithesis: Neo isn't actually "The One" (when he meets the nice old lady in her house or whatever and she says he's not the one) Synthesis: Neo wasn't The One until he became The One.

So both thesis and antithesis were wrong until Neo changed and made both of them true.

Another way to look at the narrative conflict within The Matrix, one that is closer to the foundational structure of the film, is to see it as a juggling back and forth between Awareness and Self-awareness.

The Oracle wasn't wrong. She was only confirming what Neo already was already aware of. And Morpheus wasn't wrong either. His identity with self-awareness above all else was also right. Both positions are self-evident as appropriate throughout the film. And we experience the movie as a mind that seeks balance in all and sees all would when facing a similar inequity.

My previous article The Female Mental Sex Experience of Watching The Matrix shares an account of what it feels like when you take everything in at once. No judgments. No evaluations. No problems and no solutions. Only the flow of allowing one position in after the other and then back again.

A Matter of Intention

You know that feeling of frustration you sometimes get when someone close to you won't just do what they should to solve the problems in their lives?

That's often someone comfortable with a Female Mental Sex approach--a method of “problem-solving” that doesn't recognize the problem, nor the potential solution.

The "solution" for the story inequity is about synthesizing the two opposing forces into a new perspective rather than either picking one or the other or merely compromising between them.

The balance of inequities for the Female Mental Sexed mind is also not a compromise. Female Mental Sex does not compromise. They don't give this for that, and any suggestion that services rendered are an exchange for goods offends as it suggests some obligation supplants the growth of the relationship.

The Female Mental Sex mind is never at ease with forcing two into one, only at ease with a shift in direction that increases the flow of communication.

To the Female Mental Sex mind, there is no real Solution that solves it all—only an Intention. Neo isn’t completely self-aware at the end, he only has the notion that there is something more than what he sees with his eyes—and he’s going to show everyone else his world.

This Intention to balance out his awareness with a personal truth sets the mind in a different direction—opening it up to receive whatever various sort of inequities that suggest an alternate path.

In a Changed Resolve/Female Mental Sex Minded story, the Main Character intends to balance out the inequity of their Throughline with an equitable element. That's why in future versions of the theory, you're likely to see Problem and Solution within Female Mental Sex stories adjusted to reflect their real purpose: Inequity and Intention.

The Dramatica theory of story is a holistic appreciation of narrative structure--which is to say that the relationship between Storypoints is as equally important as the structural concerns themselves. The theory develops in the way that all dynamic relationships do, by shifting back and forth, appreciating the lack of a specific solution.

Like the genie who emerged to grant untold fortune, the writer tied to the Hegelian Dialectic is trapped--trapped in the bottle of cause and effect and Male methods of problem-solving, unable to see the totality of the world around them. Rich, but rich with an even higher cost. Whereas those swayed by the Siren Song of a centuries-old philosophy shackle themselves to ancient knowledge as if truth, the writer familiar with Dramatica appreciates the need for further thought, and if needed--a change in direction.

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