The Phenomenology of Mind

C: Free Concrete Mind

(CC) C. Revealed Religion (1)

Φ 748. THROUGH the Religion of Art spirit has passed from the form of substance into that of Subject; for art brings out its shape and form, and imbues it with the nature of action, or establishes in it the self-consciousness which merely disappears in the awesome substance and in the attitude of simple trust does not itself comprehend itself. This incarnation in human form of the Divine Being begins with the statue, which has in it only the outward shape of the self, while the inner life thereof, its activity, falls outside it. In the case of the cult, however, both aspects have become one; in the outcome of the religion of art this unity, in being completely attained, has at the same time also passed over to the extreme of self; in the spirit, which is perfectly certain of itself in the individual existence of consciousness, all essential content is swallowed up and submerged. The proposition, which gives this light-hearted folly expression, runs thus: “The Self is Absolute Being.” The Being which was substance, and in which the self was the accidental element, has dropped to the level of a predicate; and in this self-consciousness, over against which nothing appears in the form of objective Being, spirit has lost its aspect of consciousness.(2)

(1). The Presuppositions requisite for the notion of Revealed Religion

Φ 749. This proposition, “The Self is Absolute Being”, belongs, as is evident on the face of it, to the non-religious, the concrete actual spirit; and we have to recall what form of spirit it is which gives expression to it. This form will contain at once the movement of that proposition and its conversion, which lowers the self to a predicate and raises substance into subject. This we must understand to take place in such a way that the converse statement does not per se, or for us, make substance into subject, or, what is the same thing, does not reinstate substance again so that the consciousness of spirit is carried back to its commencement in natural religion; but rather in such a way that this conversion is brought about for and through self-consciousness itself. Since this latter consciously gives itself up, it is preserved and maintained in thus relinquishing itself, and remains the subject of the substance; but as being likewise self-relinquished, it has at the same time the consciousness of this substance. In other words, since, by thus offering itself up, it produces substance as subject, this subject remains its own very self. If, then, taking the two propositions, in the first the subject merely disappears in substantiality, and in the second the substance is merely a predicate, and both sides are thus present in each with contrary inequality of value — the result hereby effected is that the union and transfusion of both natures [subject and substance] become apparent. In this union both, with equal value and worth, are at once essential and also merely moments. Hence it is that spirit is equally consciousness of itself as its objective substance, as well as simple self-contained self-consciousness.

Φ 750. The religion of art belongs to the spirit animating the ethical sphere, the spirit which we formerly saw sink and disappear in the condition of right,(3) i.e. in the proposition: “The self as such, the abstract person, is absolute Being.” In ethical life the self is absorbed in the spirit of its nation, it is universality filled to the full. Simple abstract individuality, however, rises out of this content, and its lightheartedness clarifies and rarifies it till it becomes a “person” and attains the abstract universality of right. Here the substantial reality of the ethical spirit is lo,,t, the abstract insubstantial spirits of national individuals are gathered together into a pantheon; not into a pantheon represented in idea (Vorstellung), whose impotent form lets each alone to do as it likes, but into the pantheon of abstract universality, of pure thought, which disembodies them, and bestows on the spiritless self, on the individual person, complete existence on its own account.

Φ 751. But this self, through its being empty, has let the content go; this consciousness is Being merely within itself. Its own existence, the legal recognition of the person, is an unfulfilled empty abstraction. It thus really possesses merely the thought of itself; in other words, as it there exists and knows itself as object, it is something unreal. Consequently, it is merely stoic independence, the independence of thought; and this finds, by passing through the process of scepticism, its ultimate truth in that form we called the “unhappy self-consciousness” — the soul of despair.

Φ 752. This knows how the case stands with the actual claims to validity which the abstract [legal] person puts forward, as also with the validity of this person in pure thought [in Stoicism]. It knows that a vindication of such validity means really being altogether lost; it is just this loss become conscious of itself, and is the surrender and relinquishment of its knowledge about itself. We see that this “unhappy consciousness” constituted the counterpart and the complement of the perfectly happy consciousness, that of comedy. All divine reality goes back into this latter type of consciousness; it means, in other words, the complete relinquishment and emptying of substance. The former, on the contrary, is conversely the tragic fate that befalls certainty of self which aims at being absolute, at being self-sufficient. It is consciousness of the loss of everything of significance in this certainty of itself, and of the loss even of this knowledge or certainty of self-the loss of substance as well as of self; it is the bitter pain which finds expression in the cruel words, “God is dead”.(4)

Φ 753. In the condition of right or law, then, the ethical world has vanished, and its type of religion has passed away in the mood of Comedy. The “unhappy consciousness” the soul of despair, is just the knowledge of all this loss. It has lost both the worth and dignity it attached to its immediate personality [as a legal person] as well as that attaching to its personality when reflected in the medium of thought [in the case of Stoicism]. Trust in the eternal laws of the Gods is likewise silenced, just as the oracles are dumb, who pretended to know what to do in particular cases. The statues set up are now corpses in stone whence the animating soul has flown, while the hymns of praise are words from which all belief has gone. The tables of the gods are bereft of spiritual food and drink, and from his games and festivals man no more receives the joyful sense of his unity with the divine Being. The works of the muse lack the force and energy of the spirit which derived the certainty and assurance of itself just from the crushing ruin of gods and men. They are themselves now just what they are for us — beautiful fruit broken off the tree; a kindly fate has passed on those works to us, as a maiden might offer such fruit off a tree. Their actual life as they exist is no longer there, not the tree that bore them, not the earth, and the elements, which constituted their substance, nor the climate that determined their constitutive character, nor the change of seasons which controlled the process of their growth. So too it is not their living world that Fate preserves and gives us with those works of ancient art, not the spring and summer of that ethical life in which they bloomed and ripened, but the veiled remembrance alone of all this reality. Our action, therefore, when we enjoy them is not that of worship, through which our conscious life might attain its complete truth and be satisfied to the full: our action is external; it consists in wiping off some drop of rain or speck of dust from these fruits, and in place of the inner elements composing the reality of the ethical life, a reality that environed, created and inspired these works, we erect in prolix detail the scaffolding of the dead elements of their outward existence, — language, historical circumstances, etc. All this we do, not in order to enter into their very life, but only to represent them ideally or pictorially (vorstellen) within ourselves. But just as the maiden who hands us the plucked fruits is more than the nature which presented them in the first instance — the nature which provided all their detailed conditions and elements, tree, air, light, and so on — since in a higher way she gathers all this together into the light of her self-conscious eye, and her gesture in offering the gifts; so too the spirit of the fate, which presents us with those works of art, is more than the ethical life realized in that nation. For it is the inwardizing in us, in the form of conscious memory (Er-Innerung), of the spirit which in them was manifested in a still external way; — it is the spirit of the tragic fate which collects all those individual gods and attributes of the substance into the one Pantheon, into the spirit which is itself conscious of itself as spirit.

Φ 754. All the conditions for its production are present, and this totality of its conditions constitutes the development of it, its notion, or the inherent production of it. The cycle of the creations of art embraces in its scope all forms in which the absolute substance relinquishes itself. The absolute substance is in the form of individuality as a thing; as an object existing for sense experience; as pure language, or the process of that form whose existence does not get away from the self, and is a purely evanescent object; as immediate unity with universal self-consciousness when inspired with enthusiasm; as mediated unity when performing the acts of the cult; as corporeal embodiment of the self in a form of beauty; and finally as existence lifted into ideal representation (Vorstellung) and the expansion of this existence into a world which at length gathers its content together into universality, a universal which is at the same time pure certainty and assurance of itself. These forms, and, on the other side, the world of personality and legal right, the wild and desert waste of content with its constituent elements set free and detached, as also the thought-constituted personality of Stoicism, and the unresting disquiet of Scepticism — these compose, the periphery of the circle of shapes and forms, which attend., an expectant and eager throng, round the birthplace of spirit as it becomes self-consciousness. Their centre is the yearning agony of the unhappy despairing self-consciousness, a pain which permeates all of them and is the common birthpang at its production, — the simplicity of the pure notion, which contains those forms as its moments.

Φ 755. Spirit, here, has in it two sides, which are above represented as the two converse propositions: one is this, that substance empties itself of itself, and becomes self-consciousness; the other is the converse, that self-consciousness empties itself of itself and makes itself into the form of “thing”, or makes itself universal self. Both sides have in this way met each other, and in consequence, their true union has arisen. The relinquishment or “kenosis” on the part of the substance, its becoming self-consciousness, expresses the transition into the opposite, the unconscious transition of necessity, in other words, that it is implicitly self-consciousness. Conversely, the emptying of self-consciousness expresses this, that implicitly it is Universal Being, or — because the self is pure self-existence, which is at home with itself in its opposite-that the substance is self-consciousness explicitly for the self, and, just on that account, is spirit. Of this spirit, which has left the form of substance behind, and enters existence in the shape of self-consciousness, we may say, therefore-if we wish to use terms drawn from the process of natural generation — that it has a real mother but a potential or an implicit father. For actual reality, or self-consciousness, and implicit being in the sense of substance are its two moments; and by the reciprocity of their kenosis, each relinquishing or “emptying” itself of itself and becoming the other, spirit thus comes into existence as their unity.

Φ 756. In so far as self-consciousness in a one-sided way grasps only, its own relinquishment, although its object is thus f or it at once both existence and self and it knows all existence to be spiritual in nature, yet true spirit has not become thereby objective for it. For, so far, being in general or substance, would not essentially from its side be also emptied of itself, and become self-consciousness. In that case, then, all existence is spiritual reality merely from the standpoint of consciousness, not inherently in itself. Spirit in this way has merely a fictitious or imaginary existence.(5) This imagination is fantastic extravagance of mind, which introduces into nature as well as history, the World and the mythical ideas of early religions, another inner esoteric meaning different from what they, on the face of them, bear directly to consciousness, and, in particular, in the case of religions, another meaning than the self-consciousness, whose religions they were, actually knew to be there. But this meaning is one that is borrowed, a garment, which does not cover the nakedness of the outer appearance, and secures no belief and respect; it is no more than murky darkness and a peculiar crazy contortion of consciousness.

Φ 757. If then this meaning of the objective is not to be bare fancy and imagination, it must be inherent and essential (an sich), i.e. must in the first place arise in consciousness as springing from the very notion, and must come forth in its necessity. It is thus that self-knowing spirit has arisen; it has arisen through the knowledge of immediate consciousness, i.e. of consciousness of the existing object, by means of its necessary process. This notion, which, being immediate, had also, for its consciousness, the shape of immediacy, has, in the second place, taken on the form of self-consciousness essentially and inherently, i.e. by just the same necessity of the notion by which being or immediacy, the abstract object of self-consciousness, renounces itself and becomes, for consciousness, Ego. The immediate entity (Ansich), or [objectively] existent necessity, is, however, different from the [subjective] thinking entity, or the knowledge of necessity — a distinction which, at the same time, does not lie outside the notion, for the simple unity of the notion is itself immediate being. The notion is at once what empties or relinquishes itself, or the explicit unfolding of directly apprehended (angeschaut) necessity, and is also at home with itself in that necessity, knows it and comprehends it. The immediate inherent nature of spirit, which takes on the form of self-consciousness, means nothing else than that the concrete actual world-spirit has reached this knowledge of itself. It is then too that this knowledge first enters its consciousness, and enters it as truth. How that came about has already been explained.

(2). The Ultimate Content of Revealed Religion; the realty of the Incarnation of God

Φ 758. That Absolute Spirit has taken on the shape of self-consciousness inherently, and therefore also consciously to itself — this appears now as the belief of the world, the belief that spirit exists in fact as a definite self-consciousness, i.e. as an actual human being; that spirit is an object for immediate experience; that the believing mind sees, feels, and hears this divinity.(6) Taken thus it is not imagination, not a fancy; it is actual in the believer. Consciousness in that case does not set out from its own inner life, does not start from thought, and in itself combine the thought of God with existence; rather it sets out from immediate present existence, and recognizes God in it.

(a) in an individual

The moment of immediate existence is present in the content of the notion, and present in such a way that the religious spirit, on the return of all ultimate reality into consciousness, has become simple positive self, just as the actual spirit as such, in the case of the “unhappy consciousness”, was just this simple self-conscious negativity. The self of the existent spirit has in that way the form of complete immediacy. It is neither set up as something thought, or imaginatively represented, nor as something produced, as is the case with the immediate self in natural religion, or again in religion as art. Rather, this concrete God is beheld sensuously I and immediately as a self, as a real individual human being, only so is it a self-consciousness.

Φ 759. This incarnation of the Divine Being, its having essentially and directly the shape of self-consciousness, is the simple content of Absolute Religion. Here the Divine Being is known as Spirit; this religion is the Divine Being's consciousness concerning itself that it is Spirit. For spirit is knowledge of self in a state of alienation of self: spirit is the Being which is the process of retaining identity with itself in its otherness. This, however, is Substance, so far as in its accidents substance at the same time is turned back into itself; and is so, not as being indifferent towards something unessential and, consequently, as finding itself in some alien element, but as being there within itself, i.e. so far as it is subject or self.

In this form of religion the Divine Being is, on that account, revealed. Its being revealed obviously consists in this, that what it is, is known. It is, however, known just in its being known as spirit, as a Being which is essentially self-consciousness.

There is something in its object concealed from consciousness if the object is for consciousness an “other”, or something alien, and if consciousness does not know the object as its self. This concealment, this secrecy, ceases when the Absolute Being qua spirit is object of consciousness. For here in its relation to consciousness the object is in the form of self; i.e. consciousness immediately knows itself there, or is manifest, revealed, to itself in the object. Itself is manifest to itself only in its own certainty of self; the object it has is the self; self, however, is nothing alien and extraneous, but inseparable unity with itself, the immediately universal. It is the pure notion, pure thought, or self-existence, (being-for-self), which is immediately being, and, therewith, being-for-another, and, qua this being-for-another, is immediately turned back into itself and is at home with itself (bei sich). It is thus the truly and solely revealed. The Good, the Righteous, the Holy, Creator of Heaven and Earth, etc. — all these are predicates of a subject, universal moments, which have their support on this central point, and only are when consciousness goes back into thought.

As long as it is they that are known, their ground and essential being, the Subject itself, is not yet revealed; and in the same way the specific determinations of the universal are not this universal itself. The Subject itself, and consequently this pure universal too, is, however, revealed as self; for this self is just this inner being reflected into itself, the inner being which is immediately given and is the proper certainty of that self, for which it is given. To be in its notion that which reveals and is revealed — this is, then, the true shape of spirit; and moreover, this shape, its notion, is alone its very essence and its substance. Spirit is known as self-consciousness, and to this self-consciousness it is directly revealed, for it is this self-consciousness itself. The divine nature is the same as the human, and it is this unity which is intuitively apprehended (angeschaut).

Φ 760. Here, then, we find as a fact consciousness, or the general form in which Being is aware of Being — the shape which Being adopts — to be identical with its self-consciousness. This shape is itself a self-consciousness; it is thus at the same time an existent object; and this existence possesses equally directly the significance of pure thought, of Absolute Being.

The absolute Being existing as a concrete actual self-consciousness, seems to have descended from its eternal pure simplicity; but in fact it has, in so doing, attained for the first time its highest nature, its supreme reach of being. For only when the notion of Being has reached its simple purity of nature, is it both the absolute abstraction, which is pure thought and hence the pure singleness of self, and immediacy or objective being, on account of its simplicity.

What is called sense-consciousness is just this pure abstraction; it is this kind of thought for which being is the immediate. The lowest is thus at the same time the highest: the revealed which has come forth entirely to the surface is just therein the deepest reality. That the Supreme Being is seen, heard, etc., as an existent self-consciousness this is, in very truth, the culmination and consummation of its notion. And through this consummation, the Divine Being is given and exists immediately in its character as Divine Being.

Φ 761. This immediate existence is at the same time not solely and simply immediate consciousness; it is religious consciousness. This immediacy means not only an existent self-consciousness, but also the purely thought-constituted or Absolute Being; and these meanings are inseparable. What we [the philosophers] are conscious of in our conception, — that objective being is ultimate essence, — is the same as what the religious consciousness is aware of. This unity of being and essence, of thought which is immediately existence, is immediate knowledge on the part of this religious consciousness just as it is the inner thought or the mediated reflective knowledge of this consciousness. For this unity of being and thought is self-consciousness and actually exists; in other words, the thought-constituted unity has at the same time this concrete shape and form of what it is. God, then, is here revealed, as He is; He actually exists as He is in Himself; He is real as Spirit. God is attainable in pure speculative knowledge alone, and only is in that knowledge, and is merely that knowledge itself, for He is spirit; and this speculative knowledge is the knowledge furnished by revealed religion. That knowledge knows God to be thought, or pure Essence; and knows this thought as actual being and as a real existence, and existence as the negativity of itself, hence as Self, an individual “this” and a universal self. It is just this that revealed religion knows.

The hopes and expectations of preceding ages pressed forward to, and were solely directed towards this revelation, the vision of what Absolute Being is, and the discovery of themselves therein. This joy, the joy of seeing itself in Absolute Being, becomes realized in self-consciousness, and seizes the whole world. For the Absolute is Spirit, it is the simple movement of those pure abstract moments, which expresses just this-that Ultimate Reality is then, and not till then, known as Spirit when it is seen and beheld as immediate self-consciousness.

Φ 762. This conception of spirit knowing itself to be spirit, is still the immediate notion; it is not yet developed. The ultimate Being is spirit; in other words, it has appeared, it is revealed. This first revelation is itself immediate; but the immediacy is likewise thought, or pure mediation, and must therefore exhibit and set forth this moment in the sphere of immediacy as such.

Looking at this more precisely, spirit, when self-consciousness is immediate, is “this” individual self-consciousness set up in contrast to the universal self-consciousness. It is a one, an excluding unit, which appears to that consciousness, for which it exists, in the as yet impervious form of a sensuous other, an unresolved entity in the sphere of sense. This other does not yet know spirit to be its own; in other words spirit, in its form as an individual self, does not yet exist as equally universal self, as all self. Or again, the shape it assumes has not as yet the form of the notion, i.e. of the universal self, of the self which in its immediate actual reality is at once transcended, is thought, universality, without losing its reality in this universality.

The preliminary and similarly immediate form of this universality is, however, not at once the form of thought itself, of the notion as notion; it is the universality of actual reality, it is the “allness”, the collective totality, of the selves, and is the elevation of existence into the sphere of figurative thought (Vorstellung); just as in general, to take a concrete example, the “this” of sense, when transcended, is first of all the “thing” of “perception”, and is not yet the “universal” of “understanding”.

(b). in a Religious Communion

Φ 763. This individual human being, then, which Absolute Being is revealed to be, goes through in its own case as an individual the process found in sense existence. He is the immediately present God; in consequence, His being passes over into His having been. Consciousness, for which God is thus sensuously present, ceases to see Him, to hear Him: it has seen Him, it has heard Him. And it is because it only has seen and heard Him, that it first becomes itself spiritual consciousness;(7) or, in other words, He has now arisen in Spirit, as He formerly rose before consciousness as an object existing in the sphere of sense. For, a consciousness which sees and hears Him by sense, is one which is itself merely an immediate consciousness, which has not cancelled and transcended the disparateness of objectivity, has not withdrawn it into pure thought, but knows this objectively presented individual, and not itself, as spirit. In the disappearance of the immediate existence of what is known to be Absolute Being, immediacy acquires its negative moment. Spirit remains the immediate self of actual reality, but in the form of the universal self-consciousness of a religious communion,(8) a self-consciousness which rests in its own proper substance, just as in it this substance is universal subject: it is not the individual subject by himself, but the individual along with the consciousness of the communion, and what he is for this communion is the complete whole of the individual spirit.

Φ 764. The conditions “past” and “distance” are, however, merely the imperfect form in which the immediateness gets mediated or made universal; this is merely dipped superficially in the element of thought, is kept there as a sensuous mode of immediacy, and not made one with the nature of thought itself. It is lifted out of sense merely into the region of pictorial presentation; for this is the synthetic [external] connexion of sensuous immediacy and its universality or thought.

Φ 765. Pictorial presentation constitutes the characteristic form in which spirit is conscious of itself in this its religious communion. This form is not yet the self-consciousness of spirit which has reached its notion as notion; the mediating process is still incomplete. In this connexion of being and thought, then, there is a defect; spiritual life is still cumbered with an unreconcited diremption into a “here” and a “beyond”. The content is the true content; but all its moments, when placed in the element of mere imaginative presentation, have the character, not of being conceptually comprehended, but of appearing as completely independent aspects, externally related to one another.

In order that the true content may also obtain its true form for consciousness, the latter must necessarily pass to a higher plane of mental development, where the absolute Substance is not intuitively apprehended but conceptually comprehended and where consciousness is for itself brought to the level of its self-consciousness;-as this has already taken place objectively or for us [who have analysed the process of experience].

Φ 766. We have to consider this content as it exists in its consciousness. Absolute Spirit is content; that is how it exists in the shape of its truth. But its truth consists not merely in being the substance or the inherent reality of the religious communion; nor again in coming out of this inwardness into the objectivity of imaginative thought; but in becoming concrete actual self, reflecting itself into self, and being Subject. This, then, is the process which spirit realizes in its communion; this is its life. What this self-revealing spirit is in and for itself, is therefore not brought out by the rich content of its life being, so to say, untwined and reduced to its original and primitive strands, to the ideas, for instance, presented before the minds of the first imperfect religious communion, or even to what the actual human being [incarnating the Divine Spirit] has spoken.(9) This reversion to the primitive is based on the instinct to get at the notion, the ultimate principle; but it confuses the origin, in the sense of the immediate, existence of the first historical appearance, with the simplicity of the notion. By thus impoverishing the life of spirit, by clearing away the idea of the communion and its action with regard to its idea, there arises, therefore, not the notion, but bare externality and particularity, merely the historical manner in which spirit once upon a time appeared, the soulless recollection of a presumably (gemeinten) individual historical figure and its past.(10)

Φ 767. Spirit is content of its consciousness to begin with in the form of pure substance; in other words, it is content of its pure consciousness. This element of thought is the process of descending into existence, or individuality. The middle term between these two is their synthetic connexion, the consciousness of passing into otherness, the process of imaginative presentation as such. The third stage is the return from this presentation and from that otherness; in other words, it is the element of self-consciousness itself.

These three moments constitute the life of spirit. Its resolution in imaginative thought consists in its taking on a determinate mode of being; this determinateness, however, is nothing but one of its moments. Its detailed process thus consists in spreading its nature out in each of its moments as in an element in which it lives: and in so far as each of these spheres completes itself in itself, this reflexion into itself is at the same time the transition into another sphere of its being. Imaginative presentation constitutes the middle term between pure thought and self-consciousness as such, and is merely one of the determinate forms. At the same time however, as has been shown, the character belonging to such presentation — that of being “synthetic connexion” — is spread over all these elements and is their common characteristic.

Φ 768. The content itself, which we have to consider, has partly been met with already, as the idea of the “unhappy” and the “believing” consciousness. In the case of the “unhappy” consciousness, however, the content has the characteristic of being produced from consciousness and for which it yearns, a content wherein the spirit can never be satiated nor find rest because the content is not yet its own content inherently and essentially, or in the sense of being its substance. In the case of the “believing” consciousness, again, this content was regarded as the impersonal Being of the World, as the essentially objective content of imaginative thought — a pictorial thinking that seeks to escape the actual world altogether, and consequently has not the certainty of self-consciousness, a certainty which is cut off from it, partly as being conceit of knowledge, partly as being pure insight. The consciousness of the religious communion, on the other hand, possesses the content as its substance, just as the content is the certainty the communion has of its own spirit.

(3). The Deevelopment of the Notion of Revealed Religion

Φ 769. Spirit, represented at first as substance in the element of pure thought, is, thus, primarily the eternal essential Being, simple, self-identical, which does not, however, have this abstract meaning of essential Being, but the meaning of Absolute Spirit. Yet spirit consists, not in being a meaning, not in being the inner, but in being the actual, the real. “Simple eternal essential Being” would, therefore, be spirit merely in empty phrase, if we remained at the level of pictorial thought, and went no further than the expression of “simple eternal essential Being”. “Simple essential Being”, however, because it is abstraction, is in point of fact the inherently negative, is indeed the negativity of reflective thought, or negativity as found in Being per se; i.e. it is absolute distinction from itself, is pure process of becoming its other. Qua essential Being, it is merely implicit, or for us: but since this purity of form is just abstraction or negativity, it is for itself, it is the self, the notion. It is thus objective; and since pictorial thinking apprehends and expresses as an event what has just been expressed as the necessity of the notion, it will be said that the eternal Being begets for itself an other. But in this otherness it has likewise, ipso facto, returned into itself again; for the distinction is distinction in itself, i.e. the distinction is directly distinguished merely from itself, and is thus the unity returned into itself.

Φ 770. There are thus three moments to be distinguished: Essential Being; explicit Self-existence, which is the express otherness of essential Being, and for which that Being is object; and Self-existence or Self-knowledge in that other. The essential Being beholds only itself in its Self-existence, in its objective otherness. In thus emptying itself, in this kenosis, it is merely within itself: the independent Self-existence which excludes itself from essential Being is the knowledge of itself on the part of essential Being. It is the “Word”, the Logos, which when spoken empties the speaker of himself, outwardizes him, and leaves him behind emptied, but is as immediately perceived, and only this act of self-perceiving himself is the actual existence of the “Word”. Hence, then, the distinctions which are set up are just as immediately resolved as they are made, and are just as directly made as they are resolved, and the truth and the reality consist precisely in this self -closed circular process.

Φ 771. This movement within itself expresses the absolute Being qua Spirit. Absolute Being, when not grasped as Spirit, is merely the abstract void, just as spirit which is not grasped as this process is merely an empty word. Since its moments are grasped purely as moments, they are notions in restless activity, which are merely in being inherently their own opposite, and in finding their rest in the whole. But the pictorial thought of the religious communion is not this notional thinking; it has the content without its necessity; and instead of the form of the notion it brings into the realm of pure consciousness the natural relations of Father and Son. Since it thus, even when thinking, proceeds by way of figurative ideas, absolute Being is indeed revealed to it, but the moments of this Being, owing to this [externally] synthetic pictorial thinking, partly fall of themselves apart from one another, so that they are not related to each other through their own very notion, while, partly again, this figurative thinking retreats from the pure object it deals with, and takes up a merely external relation towards it. The object is externally revealed to it from an alien source, and in this thought of Spirit it does not recognize its own self, does not recognize the nature of pure self-consciousness. In so far as the form of figurative thinking and that way of thinking by means of relationships derived from nature have to be transcended, and especially the method of taking the moments of the process, which Spirit is, as isolated immovable substances or subjects, instead of transient moments — this transcendence is to be looked at as a compulsion on the part of the notion, in the way we formerly pointed out when dealing with another aspect.(11) But since it is only an instinct, it mistakes its own real character, rejects the content along with the form, and, what comes to the same thing, degrades the content into a historical imaginative idea and an heirloom handed down by tradition. In this way there is retained and preserved only what is purely external in belief, and the retention of it as something dead and devoid of knowledge; while the inner element in belief has passed away, because this would be the notion knowing itself as notion.

Φ 772. The Absolute Spirit, as pictured in the element of pure essential Being, is not indeed the abstract pure essential Being; rather, just by the fact that this is merely a moment in the life of Spirit, abstract essential Being has sunk to the level of a mere element (in which Spirit lives). The representation of Spirit in this element, however, has inherently the same defect, as regards form, which essential Being as such has. Essential Being is abstraction, and, therefore, the negative of its simplicity, is an other: in the same way, Spirit in the element of essential Being is the form of simple unity, which, on that account, is just as essentially a process of becoming something else. Or, what is the same thing, the relation of the eternal Being to its self-existence, (its objective existence for Itself), is that of pure thought, an immediately simple relation. In this simple beholding of itself in the Other, otherness therefore is not as such set up independently; it is distinction in the way of distinction, in pure thought, is immediately no distinction-a recognition of Love, where lover and beloved are by their very nature not opposed to each other at all. Spirit, which is expressed in the element of pure thought, is essentially just this: not to be merely in that element, but to be concrete, actual; for otherness itself, i.e. cancelling and superseding its own pure thought-constituted notion, lies in the very notion of Spirit.

Φ 773. The element of pure thought, because it is an abstract element, is itself rather the other of its own simplicity, and hence passes over into the proper element of imagination — the element where the moments of the pure notion at once acquire a substantial existence in opposition to each other and are subjects as well, which do not exist in indifference towards each other, merely for a third, but, being reflected into themselves, break away from one another and stand confronting each other.

Φ 774. Merely eternal, or abstract Spirit, then, becomes an other to itself: it enters existence, and, in the first instance, enters immediate existence. It creates a World. This “Creation” is the word which pictorial thought uses to convey the notion itself in its absolute movement; or to express the fact that the simple which has been expressed as absolute, or pure thought, just because it is abstract, is really the negative, and hence opposed to itself, the other of itself; or because, to state the same in yet another way, what is put forward as essential Being is simple immediacy, bare existence, but qua immediacy or existence, is without Self, and, lacking thus inwardness, is passive, or exists for another. This existence for another is at the same time a world. Spirit, in the character of existing for another, is the undisturbed separate subsistence of those moments formerly enclosed within pure thought, is, therefore, the dissolution of their simple universality, and their dispersion into their own particularity.

Φ 775. The world, however, is not merely Spirit thus thrown out and dispersed into the plenitude of existence and the external order imposed on it; for since Spirit is essentially the simple Self, this self is likewise present therein. The world is objectively existent spirit, which is individual self, that has consciousness and distinguishes itself as other, as world, from itself. In the way this individual self is thus immediately established at first it is not yet conscious of being Spirit; it thus does not exist as Spirit; it may be called “innocent”, but not strictly “good”. In order that in fact it may be self and Spirit, it has first to become objectively an other to itself, in the same way that the Eternal Being manifests itself as the process of being self-identical in its otherness. Since this spirit is determined as yet only as immediately existing, or dispersed into the diverse multiplicity of its conscious life, its becoming “other” means that knowledge concentrates itself upon itself. Immediate existence turns into thought, or merely sense-consciousness turns round into consciousness of thought; and, moreover, because that thought has come from immediacy or is conditioned thought, it is not pure knowledge, but thought which contains otherness, and is, thus, the self-opposed thought of good and evil. Man is pictorially represented by the religious mind in this way: it happened once as an event, with no necessity about it, that he lost the form of harmonious unity with himself by plucking the fruits of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and was driven from the state of innocence, from Paradise, from the garden with all its creatures, and from nature offering its bounties without man's toil.

Φ 776. Since this self-concentration on the part of the existent consciousness has straightway the character of becoming discordant with itself, Evil appears as the first actual expression of the self-concentrated consciousness. And because the thoughts of good and evil are utterly opposed, and this opposition is not yet broken down, this consciousness is essentially and merely evil. At the same time, however, owing to just this very opposition, there is present also the good consciousness opposing the one that is evil, and again their relation to each other. In so far as immediate existence turns round into thought, and self-concentration is partly itself thought, while partly again the transition to otherness on the part of the inner self (Wesen), is thereby more precisely determined, — the fact of becoming evil can be removed further backwards away out of the actually existing world and transferred to the very earliest realm of thought. It may thus be said that it was the very first-born Son of Light [Lucifer] who, by becoming self-concentrated, fell, but that in his place another was at once created. Such a form of expression as “fallen”, belonging merely to figurative thought, and not to the notion, just like the term “Son”, either (we may say) transmutes and lowers the moments of the notion to the level of imaginative thought, or transfers pictures 'into the realm of thought.

In the same way, it is matter of indifference to coordinate a multiplicity of other shapes and forms(12) with the simple thought of otherness in the Being of the Eternal, and transfer to them that condition of self-concentration. This co-ordination must, all the same, win approval, for the reason that, through it, this moment of otherness does express diversity, as it should do: not indeed as plurality in general, but as determinate diversity, so that one part is the Son, that which is simple and knows itself to be essential Being, while the other part is the abandonment, the emptying, of self-existence, and merely lives to praise that Being. To this part may then also be assigned the resumption once again of the self-existence relinquished, and that “self-centredness” characteristic of evil. In so far as this condition of otherness falls into two parts, Spirit might, as regards its moments, be more exactly expressed numerically as a Quaternity, a four in one, or (because the multiplicity breaks up itself again into two parts, viz. one part which has remained good, the other which has become evil), might even be expressed as a Quinity.

Counting the moments, however, can be regarded as altogether useless, since, for one thing, what is distinguished is itself just as truly one and single-viz. The thought of distinction which is only one thought-as the thought is this element distinguished, the second over against the first. For another thing it is useless to count, because the thought which grasps the many in one has to be dissolved out of its universality and must be distinguished into more than three or four distinct components. This universality appears, in contrast to the absolute determinateness of the abstract unit-the principle of number-as indeterminateness in relation to number as such; so that in this connexion we can speak only of numbers in general, i.e. not of a specific number of distinctions. Hence, in general, it is here quite superfluous to think of number and counting, just as, in other connexions, the bare difference of magnitude and multitude says nothing at all and falls outside conceptual thought.

Φ 777. Good and Evil were the specific distinctions of thought which we found. Since their opposition is not yet broken down, and they are represented as essential realities of thought, each of them independent by itself, man is the self with no essential reality of his own and the mere ground which couples them together, and on which they exist and war with one another. But these universal powers of good and evil belong all the same to the self, or the self is their actuality. From this point of view it thus comes about that, as evil is nothing else than the self-concentration of the natural existence of spirit, conversely, good enters into actual reality and appears as an (objectively) existing self-consciousness. That which, when Spirit is interpreted in terms of pure thought, is in general merely hinted at as the Divine Being's transition into otherness, here, for figurative thinking, comes nearer its realization: the realization is taken to consist in the Divine Being “humbling” Itself, and renouncing its abstract nature and unreality. The other aspect, that of evil, is taken by imagination as an event extraneous and alien to the Divine Being: to grasp evil in the Divine Being itself as the wrath of God-that is the supreme effort, the severest strain, of which figurative thought, wrestling with its own limitations, is capable, an effort which, since it is devoid of the notion, remains a fruitless struggle.

Φ 778. The alienation of the Divine Nature is thus set up in its double-sided form: the self of Spirit, and its simple thought, are the two moments whose absolute unity is Spirit itself. Its alienation with itself consists in the two falling apart from each other, and in the one having an unequal value as against the other. This disparateness is, therefore, twofold in character, and two connexions arise, which have in common the moments just given. In the one, the Divine Being stands for what is essential, while natural existence and the self are unessential and are to be cancelled. In the other, on the contrary, it is self-existence which passes for what is essential and the simply Divine for unessential. Their mediating, though still empty, ground is existence in general, the bare community of their two moments.

Φ 779. The dissolution of this opposition does not take effect through the struggle between the two elements, which are pictured as separate and independent Beings. Just in virtue of their independence each must inherently, through its own notion, dissolve itself in itself. The struggle only takes place where both cease to be this mixture of thought and independent existence, and confront each other merely as thoughts. For there, being determinate notions, they essentially exist merely in the relation of opposition; qua independent, on the other hand, they have their essential nature outside their opposition; their movement is thus free, self-determined, and peculiar to themselves. If, then, we consider the movement of both as it is in themselves — i.e. as it is essentially — their movement starts only in that one of the two which has the character of being inherently essential as contrasted with the other. This is pictured as a spontaneous action; but the necessity for its self-abandonment lies in the notion that what is inherently essential, and gets this specific character merely through opposition, has just on that account no real independent subsistence. Therefore that element which has for its essence, not independent self-existence, but simple being, is what empties and abandons itself, gives itself unto death, and so reconciles Absolute Being with its own self. For in this process it manifests itself as spirit: the abstract Being is estranged from itself, it has natural existence and the reality of an actual self. This its otherness, or its being sensuously present, is taken back again by the second process of becoming “other”, and is affirmed as superseded, as universal. Thereby the Divine Being has come to itself in the sphere of the sensuous present; the immediate existence of actual reality has ceased to be something alien or external to the Divine, by being sublated, universal: this death (of immediacy) is therefore its rising anew as spirit. When the self-conscious Being cancels and transcends its immediate present, it is as universal self-consciousness. This notion of the transcended individual self which is Absolute Being, immediately expresses therefore the establishment of a communion which, while hitherto having its abode in the sphere of pictorial thought, now returns into itself as the Self: and Spirit thus passes from the second element constituting it, — figurative thought — and goes over to the third-self-consciousness as such.

If we further consider the kind of procedure that pictorial thinking adopts as it goes along, we find in the first place the expression that the Divine Being “takes on” human nature. Here it is eo ipso asserted that implicitly and inherently the two are not separate: just as in the statement, that the Divine Being from the beginning empties Itself of Itself, that its objective existence becomes concentrated in Itself and becomes evil, it is not asserted but implied that per se this evil existence is not something alien to the Divine nature. Absolute Being would be merely an empty name if in very truth there were any other being external to it, if there were a “fall"' from it. The aspect of self-concentration really constitutes the essential moment of the self of Spirit.

Φ 780. That this self-centredness, whence primarily comes its reality, belongs to the Divine Being — while this is for us a notion, and so as far as it is a notion, — appears to pictorial thinking as an inconceivable happening. The inherent and essential nature assumes for figurative thought the form of an indifferent objective fact. The thought, however, that those apparently mutually repugnant moments, absolute Being and self-existent Self, are not inseparable, comes also before this figurative way of thinking (since it does possess the real content), but that thought appears afterwards, in the form that the Divine Being empties Itself of Itself and is made flesh. This figurative idea, which in this manner is still immediate and hence not spiritual, i.e. it knows the human form assumed by the Divine as merely a particular form, not yet as a universal form — becomes spiritual for this consciousness in the process whereby God, who has assumed shape and form, surrenders again His immediate existence, and returns to His essential Being. The essential Being is then Spirit only when it is reflected into itself.

The reconciliation of the Divine Being with its other as a whole, and, specifically, with the thought of this other — evil — is thus presented here, in a figurative way. If this reconciliation is expressed conceptually, by saying it consists in the fact that evil is inherently the same as what goodness is, or again that the Divine Being is the same as nature in its entire extent, just as nature separated from God is simply nothingness, — then this must be looked at as an unspiritual mode of expression which is bound to give rise to misunderstandings. When evil is the same as goodness, then evil is just not evil nor goodness good; on the contrary, both are really done away with — evil in general, self-centred self-existence, and goodness, self-less simplicity. Since in this way they are both expressed in terms of their notion, the unity of the two is at once apparent; for self-centred self-existence is simple knowledge; and what is self-less simplicity is similarly pure self-existence centred within itself. Hence, if it must be said that good and evil in this their conception, i.e. so far as they are not good and evil, are the same, just as certainly it must be said that they are not the same, but absolutely different; for simple self-existence, or again pure knowledge, are equally pure negativity or per se absolute distinction. It is only these two propositions that make the whole complete; and when the first is asserted and asseverated, it must be met and opposed by insisting on the other with immovable obstinacy. Since both are equally right, they are both equally wrong, and their wrong consists in taking such abstract forms as “the same” and “not the same”, “identity” and “non-identity”, to be something true, fixed, real, and in resting on them. Neither the one nor the other has truth; their truth is just their movement, the process in which simple sameness is abstraction and thus absolute distinction, while this again, being distinction per se, is distinguished from itself and so is self-identity. Precisely this is what we have in sameness of the Divine Being and Nature in general and human nature in particular: the former is Nature so far as it is not essential Being; Nature is Divine in its essential Being. But it is in Spirit that we find both abstract aspects affirmed as they truly are, viz. as cancelled and preserved at once: and this way of affirming them cannot be expressed by the judgment, by the soulless word “is” , the copula of the judgment. In the same way Nature is nothing outside its essential Being [God]; but this nothing itself is all the same; it is absolute abstraction, therefore pure thought or self-centredness, and with its moment of opposition to spiritual unity it is the principle of Evil. The dffficulty people find in these conceptions is due solely to sticking to the term “is” and forgetting the character of thought, where the moments as much are as they are not, — are only the process which is Spirit. It is this spiritual unity, — unity where the distinctions are merely in the form of moments, or as transcended — which became known to pictorial thinking in that atoning reconciliation spoken of above. And since this unity is the universality of self-consciousness, self-consciousness has ceased to be figurative or pictorial in its thinking; the Process has turned back into it.

Φ 781. Spirit thus takes up its position in the third element, in universal self-consciousness: Spirit is its own community. The movement of this community being that of self-consciousness, which distinguishes itself from its figurative idea, consists in explicitly bringing out what has implicitly become established. The dead Divine Man, or Human God, is implicitly universal self-consciousness; he has to become explicitly so for this self-consciousness. Or, since this self-consciousness constitutes one side of the opposition involved in figurative thought, viz. the side of evil, which takes natural existence and individual self-existence to be the essential reality — this aspect, which is pictured as independent, and not yet as a moment, has, on account of its independence, to raise itself in and for itself to the level of spirit; it has to reveal the process of Spirit in its self.

Φ 782. This particular self-consciousness is Spirit in natural form, natural spirit: self has to withdraw from this natural existence and enter into itself, become self-centred; that would mean, it has to become evil. But this aspect is already per se evil: entering into itself consists therefore, in persuading itself that natural existence is what is evil. By picture-thinking the world is supposed actually to become evil and be evil as an actual fact, and the atoning reconcilement of the Absolute Being is viewed as an actual existent phenomenon. By self-consciousness as such, however, this pictured truth, as regards its form, is considered to be merely a moment that is already superseded and transcended; for the self is the negative, and hence knowledge — a knowledge which is a pure act of consciousness within itself. This moment of the negative must in like manner find expression in the content. Since, that is to say, the essential Being is inherently and from the start reconcited with itself and is a spiritual unity, in which what are parts for figurative thought are sublated, are moments, what we find is that each part of figurative thought receives here the opposite significance to that which it had before. By this means each meaning finds its completion in the other, and the content is then and thereby a spiritual content. Since the specific determinateness of each is just as much its opposite, unity in otherness — spiritual reality — is achieved: just as formerly we saw the opposite meanings combined objectively (für uns), or in themselves, and even the abstract forms of “the same” and “not-the-same”, “identity” and “non-identity” cancelled one another and were transcended.

Φ 783. If, then, from the point of view of figurative thought, the becoming self-centred on the part of the natural self-consciousness was actually existing evil, that process of becoming fixed in itself is in the sphere of self consciousness, the knowledge of evil as something that per se belongs to existence. This knowledge is certainly a process of becoming evil, but merely of the thought of evil, and is therefore recognized as the first moment of reconciliation. For, being a return into self out of the immediacy of nature, which is specifically characterized as evil, it is a forsaking of that immediacy, and a dying to sin. It is not natural existence as such that consciousness forsakes, but natural existence that is at the same time known to be evil. The immediate process of becoming self-centred, is just as much a mediate process: it presupposes itself, i.e. is its own ground and reason: the reason for self-concentrating is because nature has per se already done so. Because of evil man must be self-centred (in sich gehen); but evil is itself the state of self-concentration. This first movement is just on that account itself merely immediate, is its simple notion, because it is the same as what its ground or reason is. The movement, or the process of passing into otherness, has therefore still to come on the scene in its own more peculiar form.

Φ 784. Beside this immediacy, then, the mediation of figurative thought is necessary. The knowledge of nature as the untrue existence of spirit, and this universality of self which has arisen within the life of the self — these constitute implicitly the reconciliation of spirit with itself. This implicit state is apprehended by the self-consciousness, that does not comprehend (begreifen), in the form of an objective existence, and as something presented to it figuratively. Conceptual comprehension (Begreifen), therefore, does not mean for it a grasping (Ergreifen) of this conception (Begriff) which knows natural existence when cancelled and transcended to be universal and thus reconciled with itself; but rather a grasping of the imaginative idea (Vorstellung) that the Divine Being is reconciled with its existence through an event, — the event of God's emptying Himself of His Divine Being through His factual Incarnation and His Death. The grasping of this idea now expresses more specifically what was formerly called in figurative thinking spiritual resurrection, or the process by which God's individual self-consciousness(13) becomes the universal, becomes the religious communion. The death of the Divine Man, qua death, is abstract negativity, the immediate result of the process which terminates only in the universality belonging to nature. In spiritual self-consciousness death loses this natural significance; it passes into its true conception, the conception just mentioned. Death then ceases to signify what it means directly — the non-existence of this individual — and becomes transfigured into the universality of the spirit, which lives in its own communion, dies there daily, and daily rises again.

Φ 785. That which belongs to the sphere of pictorial thought — viz., that Absolute Spirit presents the nature of spirit in its existence, qua individual or rather qua particular, — is thus here transferred to self-consciousness itself, to the knowledge which maintains itself in its otherness. This self-consciousness does not therefore really die, as the particular person(14) is pictorially imagined to have really died; its particularity expires in its universality, i.e. in its knowledge, which is essential Being reconciling itself with itself. That immediately preceding element of figurative thinking is thus here affirmed as transcended, has, in other words, returned into the self, into its notion. What was in the former merely an (objective) existent has come to assume the form of Subject. By that very fact the first element too, pure thought and the spirit eternal therein, are no longer away beyond the mind thinking pictorially nor beyond the self; rather the return of the whole into itself consists just in containing all moments within itself. When the death of the mediator is grasped by the self, this means the sublation of his factuality, of his particular independent existence: this particular self-existence has become universal self-consciousness.

On the other side, the universal, just because of this, is self-consciousness, and the pure or non-actual Spirit of bare thought has become actual. The death of the mediator is death not merely of his natural aspect, of his particular self-existence: what dies is not merely the outer encasement, which, being stripped. of essential Being, is eo ipso dead, but also the abstraction of the Divine Being. For the mediator, as long as his death has not yet accomplished the reconciliation, is something one-isided, which takes as essential Being the simple abstract element of thought, not concrete reality. This one-sided extreme of self has not yet equal worth and value with essential Being; the self first gets this as Spirit. The death of this pictorial idea implies at the same time the death of the abstraction of Divine Being, which is not yet affirmed as a self. 'That death is the bitterness of feeling of the “unhappy consciousness”, when it feels that God Himself is dead. This harsh utterance is the expression of inmost selfknowledcre which has simply self for its content; it is the return of consciousness into the depth of darkness where Ego is nothing but bare identity with Ego, a darkness distinguishing and knowing nothing more outside it. This feeling thus means, in point of fact, the loss of the Substance and of its objective existence over against consciousness. But at the same time it is the pure subjectivity of Substance, the pure certainty of itself, which it lacked when it was object or unmediacy, or pure essential Being. This knowledge is thus spiritualization, whereby Substance becomes Subject, by which its abstraction and lifelessness have expired, and Substance therefore has become real, simple, and universal self-consciousness.

Φ 786. In this way, then, Spirit is Spirit knowing its own self. It knows itself; that, which is for it object, exists, or, in other words, its figurative idea is the true absolute content. As we saw, the content expresses just Spirit itself. It is at the same time not merely content of self-consciousness, and not merely object for self-consciousness; it is also actual Spirit. It is this by the fact of its passing through the three elements of its nature: this movement through its whole self constitutes its actual reality. What moves itself, that is Spirit; it is the subject of the movement, and it is likewise the moving process itself, or the substance through which the subject passes. We saw how the notion of spirit arose when we entered the sphere of religion: it was the process of spirit certain of its self, which forgives evil, and in so doing puts aside its own simplicity and rigid unchangeableness: it was, to state it otherwise, the process, in which what is absolutely in opposition recognizes itself as the same as its opposite, and this knowledge breaks out into the “yea, yea”, with which one extreme meets the other. The religious consciousness, to which the Absolute Being is revealed, beholds this notion, and does away with the distinction of its self from what it beholds; and as it is Subject, so it is also Substance; and is thus itself Spirit just because and in so far as it is this process.

Φ 787. This religious communion, however, is not yet fulfilled in this its self-consciousness. Its content, in general, is put before it in the form of a pictorial idea; so that this disruption still attaches even to the actual spiritual character of the communion — to its return out of its figurative thinking; just as the element of pure thought itself was also hampered with that opposition.(15) This spiritual communion is not also consciously aware what it is; it is spiritual self-consciousness, which is not object to itself as this self-consciousness, or does not develop into clear consciousness of itself. Rather, so far as it is consciousness, it has before it those picturethoughts which were considered.

We see self-consciousness at its last turning point become inward to itself and attain to knowledge of its inner being, of its self-centredness. We see it relinquish its natural existence, and reach pure negativity. But the positive significance — viz. that this negativity, or pure inwardness of knowledge is just as much the selfidentical essential Being: put other-wise, that Substance has here attained to being absolute self-consciousness — this is, for the devotional consciousness, an external other. It grasps this aspect-that the knowledge which becomes purely inward is inherently absolute simplicity, or Substance — as the pictorial idea of something which is not thus by its very conception, but as the act of satisfaction obtained from an (alien) other. In other words, it is not really aware as a fact that this depth of pure self is the power by which the abstract essential Being is drawn down from its abstractness and raised to the level of self by the force of this pure devotion. The action of the self hence retains towards it this negative significance, because the relinquishment of itself on the part of substance is for the self something per se; the self does not at once grasp and comprehend it, or does not find it in its own action as such.

Since this unity of Essential Being and Self has been inherently brought about, consciousness has this idea also of its reconciliation, but in the form of an imaginative idea. It obtains satisfaction by attaching, in an external way, to its pure negativity the positive significance of the unity of itself with essential Being. Its satisfaction thus itself remains hampered with the opposition of a beyond. Its own peculiar reconciliation therefore enters its consciousness as something remote, something far away in the future, just as the reconciliation, which the other self achieved, appears as away in the distance of the past. Just as the individual divine man(16) has an implied (essential, an sich) father and only an actual mother, in like manner the universal divine man, the spiritual communion, has as its father its own proper action and knowledge, while its mother is eternal Love, which it merely feels, but does not behold in its consciousness as an actual immediate object. Its reconciliation, therefore, is in its heart, but still with its conscious life sundered in twain and its actual reality shattered. What falls within its consciousness as the immanent essential element, the aspect of pure mediation, is the reconciliation that lies beyond: while what appears as actually present, as the aspect of immediacy and of existence, is the world which has yet to await transfiguration. The world is no doubt implicitly reconciled with the essential Being; and that Being no doubt knows that it no longer regards, the object as alienated from itself, but as one with itself in its Love. But for self-consciousness this immediate presence has not yet the form and shape of spiritual reality. Thus the spirit of the communion is, in its immediate consciousness, separated from its religious consciousness, which declares indeed that these two modes of consciousness inherently are not separated; but this is an implicitness which is not realized, or has not yet become an equally absolute explicit self-existence.

Absolute Knowledge

1. Christianity.

2. Which implies such opposition.

3. The Roman State.

4. From a hymn of Luther.

5. As in neo-Platonism.

6. e.g. in Christianity.

7. Cp. “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John xiv.). “If I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you” (ibid. xiv.).

8. "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. xxviii.; also xviii.20).

9. viz. Christ.

10. The life and work of the historical Jesus.

11. v. p. 764.

12. The angelic hosts.

13. The Christ.

14. Christ.

15. I.e. between spiritual consciousness and objective idea.

16. The historical Christ.