The Phenomenology of Mind, by G. W. F. Hegel


The World of Spirit in Self-Estrangement

THE sphere of spirit at this stage breaks up into two regions. The one is the actual world, that of self-estrangement, the other is that which spirit constructs for itself in the ether of pure consciousness raising itself above the first. This second world, being constructed in opposition and contrast to that estrangement, is just on that account not free from it; on the contrary, it is only the other form of that very estrangement, which consists precisely in having a conscious existence in two sorts of worlds, and embraces both. Hence it is not self-consciousness of Absolute Being in and for itself, not Religion, which is here dealt with: it is Belief, Faith, in so far as faith is a flight from the actual world, and thus is not a self-complete experience (an und für sich). Such flight from the realm of the present is, therefore, directly in its very nature a dual state of mind. Pure consciousness is the sphere into which spirit rises: but it is not only the element of faith, but of the notion as well. Consequently both appear on the scene together at the same time, and the former comes before us only in antithesis to the latter.

Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 20:38