Since a person feels powerless toward another who holds dominion or title over him, and considering this person sees himself as free spirit, conscious of his own valid existence in the universe, an existence manifested in a physical reality which he self-supports through his own actuality, he is thus alienated not only from the person of power who wields a direct lordship, but also from himself. As a free spirit within the realm of a self-consciousness that enjoys its freedom as a being-in-the-world, he is constantly in the process of serving another. The servant is a tool to the master. But, in truth, the master must surrender to the servant since he needs the servant more than the servant needs the master. Both alienate themselves from themselves as they serve the other. There is nothing universal that doesn’t involve self-alienation through the separateness of physical beings who, in spirit and truth, are not really separate since, ultimately, they supplement each other’s presence by making it part of their own. The universal holds differences as part of history and the changes that fill time. The spiritual, however, sees difference as alternate realms of self-consciousness of concerns; one which seeks what really matters at the cost of itself to fulfill the common good. The uniting of spirits is a sublime concurrence of concerns. And, what is the concern of one is ultimately the concern of all. Thus, community and The State are manifestations of those concerns.
Reason is the outer expression of self-consciousness and shows itself through the negation of all else that is not it. Self-consciousness, in its own inner self, seeks to make that which it is not a part of what it is. It seeks its own feelings, its own sense of life, determining that it has only itself to fulfill its needs, but must also make another self-consciousness recognize it as a self; one that needs the other while at the same moment contradicting that other so that it can be its own self-consciousness.
Being outside the other, apart from what it cannot be, self-consciousness seeks to make the other unto itself; to draw in the other self-consciousness so that it can feel nothing but itself in itself, but also in the other. It is its true activity. If self-consciousness had only itself in its reality, it would be divided in two, broken up by its own inner self and that which it wants to become, which is pure spirit. But through the other, self-consciousness is recognized as what it is and becomes, not just for itself, which it must be, but sees itself in the other, which it needs more. It carries its own dialectical formula within itself. That which it is, that which it seeks, and that which, finally, it becomes through the other for itself. It creates a unity with the other self-consciousness and does so by negating it, since without this contradiction between the two, there would be no reason for their existence as two separate beings.
This experience of self-consciousness is a unity of reason. It assigns itself to become one with another, to form a circle of consciousness that, within it is pure spirit, and outside of it, the reality of a determinate self. It is a self that seeks pleasure
through another, by being recognized as the self that it is. Through the other, the person realizes his own reality and the truth of himself. But, while embracing the other self-consciousness that it seeks to be a part of by being recognized, it destroys itself. It is no longer an individual self within its own reality, but now shares that reality with others who share the same purposeful determination. It now must share its reality at the cost of its own self-consciousness which, while desiring to have the other unto itself, becomes lost to the universal and, ultimately, is lost in the montage of life with all of its shortcomings; its pitfalls, destruction, and accidental experiences of being.
Force must relate to something, find unity in something other than itself, to be called force. It cannot be a thing that operates on its own, a force without laws. It must act, or be acted upon. It relies on other forces by an essential law, one that must exist for a force to exist.
There exist inner forces as well as outer forces. Two separate essentiality which, within their properties must rely on one another. The inner force relates to the outer by means of the laws that govern each. Self-preservation can be described as an inner force which is inherent in organisms. Its outer force, its reason for being, is expressed by the organism itself. Now this inner force would not exist if it had nothing to keep, nothing to give life to. Their reliance on one another is implicit in their being.
Nature creates its own laws which act upon the forces that are inherent in it. A living species cannot stay alive without certain laws of nature to govern it. Force, however, is the expression of law, the outer force of all things; the external creative force which produces observable phenomena. The inner force of all phenomena is that which plays upon the force of the outer and works to create perceivable objects. This play of forces is constant and self-relating. It is by this unification that they form a law. And it is the law itself that is responsible for this unification. Therefore, there is a unity of forces under law, and a unity of laws over forces. The latter governs while the former enforces.
The sense of the pure-self is discovered by dwelling within the unchangeable-ness of the universal. Not merely by pure being, but by being-in-the-world.
Reason leads consciousness through what it imagines itself to be and what it seeks to be; that is, a one-ness with the universal and, so being outside itself. In other words consciousness looks to negate its own essence to become the self-reason that ‘it is’; the purity in all things as they seem before it, rather than the corrupt objects that have been tainted by the changeableness of its own being. To become absolute essence, to find itself for itself, consciousness must be freed from its own subjective dwelling in the world; by its doubts, concerns, feelings…etc., by, not just living, but by being. And, not only immersing its thoughts in itself as being, but consuming from without the absolute purity of existence which, when unfolded, would shape consciousness into its essence. That which is unchangeable, the universal, the one-ness that never seeks its own negation, but flourishes in its actuality; an actuality that is broken in two, at its own expense, divided by the self and the universal so that the universal is one with the self and the self is one with the universal, the immersion of reality with its object, rather than the subject within its reality.
Reason is the first stage of the experience of the universal one-ness. It shapes consciousness into accepting what is, but only by denying itself at its own expense. Reason can only set the stage toward absolute purity, but must break off from itself if consciousness is to reach its pure essence; an essence that is outside itself, coming back into itself through its own spiritual purity.
Consciousness seeks that which it cannot change by denying itself its individuality, by becoming one with the unchangeable world and assigning itself to the beyond. This is its object, its knowing, giving to the incarnate unchangeable-ness its essence since it sees itself as that which must be broken, that whose actuality belongs, not to the self, but to the universal. The Unchangeable world, in turn, bestows upon consciousness its gifts in the form of knowledge, power, and abilities. It does for consciousness what consciousness cannot do for itself, which is to change and manifest itself as a being-in-the-world.
Through this manifestation, consciousness surrenders itself and denies its essence by uniting with the world; a world that negates itself by giving consciousness back its essence and setting it free to seek an unchangeable existence.The negation is played out on both sides and, through this, negates each other resulting in the purity of spirit; a spirit that seeks the ground of its desires by breaking into two actualities: One which embodies the Unchangeable, and the other which needs what the Unchangeable brings to it, which are those things that consciousness can consume and work on.
The chasm between the Unchangeable and the Changeable is where consciousness finds itself and works to free itself. It cannot be a free spirit if it is caught between two worlds. By negating itself consciousness reaches that unchangeable existence which has a term of inevitability; a sequence of movements that emerges towards a divine moment of freedom and the true ground of that freedom, which is eternal satisfaction combined with the essence of being-of-spirit and the world in which it finds its own true self. It is through denying itself that spirit becomes pure and unchangeable. The Unchangeable world is the last form of that purity and the underlying manifestation of the essence of spirit.
Understanding is self-consciousness and the realization of its independence from things other than it. It serves consciousness in a way that keeps it both separate from consciousness and the same with it. Thoughts that fill self-consciousness do so at the behest of consciousness, and they are taken to be the truth of all things outside of it. But, self-consciousness can only serve itself. It is the recognition of the self, since consciousness provides the means of self-recognition. However, there is a third element of the self that is a force against self-consciousness. That is the self of self-consciousness; the “questioner and the interrogator” of all things. It defines guilt, happiness, love, hate, and so on. It is the dividing force that separates consciousness from itself and leads it from the universal to the primitive; from everything that is external to the internal and the destructive.
The fear of death is what awakens self-consciousness to the world and holds it in place. It sets up perimeters and boundaries and leads self-consciousness into its otherness. It needs this otherness to have something to retreat from, thus it alienates itself in its belonging to the world. And the world alienates itself from consciousness so that it remains as an ‘over there’ rather than an ‘over here’. It must be an unchangeable world, a self-liberating world, in which self-consciousness finds refuge while simultaneously remaining separate from it.
In its separation it denies its relationship with the world in which death is a part of. In its seeking refuge in the world, self-consciousness finds the otherness that defines itself, which it desires so that it can stay ‘other’ from the world. It duplicates itself. It does so in being both part of, and apart from, all things. Its essence is, thus, never complete and never true to itself. It must always search and find other essences, other objects which have within themselves a truth for consciousness, and an independent form that can be self-identified and overcome. A form which is always ‘there’ and other, while the self is always ‘here’ and belonging to its-self.
What the understanding knows itself to be, it knows only through self-consciousness. It is not an independent understanding, nor can it be off by itself drifting within consciousness. It must be the foundation of self-consciousness, so that it is understanding what is infinite in its movement and existence. All objects are considered infinite, in that they exist for consciousness, however they negate themselves once self-consciousness takes them to be what they are, which are objects other than it; objects that merely fill perception, but, in truth, could only be for themselves for consciousness. Nothing is independent, simply because it could not exist without being an other for consciousness. It is the purity of self-consciousness which rejects all things outside itself and gives them existence only by acknowledging its own self. But, by negating objects, it also negates itself since it cannot exist without something else to recognize its existence. This is the only independence that consciousness experiences, which, in truth, is only an imagined independence. Thus, the attempts to separate the self from objects is through the understanding in which these objects are there for consciousness, and can only negate themselves. The truth for self-consciousness is another self-consciousness, one which is aware of itself by alienating itself and revealing the self that it is by being other than what it is. It is for-others-for itself by being other than itself. Consciousness of the self within itself is pure spirit and the essence of the manifestation of spirit, which is both itself and an other together in one entity.
The three stages of consciousness are concurrent. They share the same levels of consciousness. They are, however, separate in a way that one will supersede the other at any given moment. All three are not recognized as acting in unison. Frankly, they are not even conscious of each other, although one cannot be without the other.
Consciousness is being conscious of being conscious. It is the first level of consciousness and one where there are no beginnings or endings; no demarcations, limits, boundaries, etc. It is just ‘consciousness.’ The second level is self-consciousness. Being conscious of what we (consciousness and self-consciousness) come to be. We understand that we are a self with a personality, a kind of nature that leads us in one particular direction from consciousness, but, having it tarry along as a permanent object and a being that gives being to the self. The third level is the consciousness of another consciousness: an outsider who is guided by its own self that acts and reacts in the same way as its self would take it. When we view another self, when we ‘act’ out by viewing, speaking, listening, and so on, we are no longer in a mode of self-consciousness, and we are even further from the first stages of consciousness. We become absorbed in another conscience, one which holds our own consciousness in a kind of trance, although we don’t recognize it as such. We think of it as communicating, although, as we do so, we are no longer the self which we purport to be. We are now the self that acts out; the self that lingers within another realm of time. It isn’t until we are alone in thought, in our own presence, when we revisit our own self-consciousness and do away with the other. We come upon our own judgment, our own pure-self-movement. These are the absolute moments, the
moments of “infinite spirituality” when nothing comes between self-consciousness and consciousness except the reflection of one into the other. This infinite spirit is the self in recognition of itself; an embracing of its own consciousness as consciousness of something, and a negation of itself so that it could live again in the realm of its being while, at the same moment, denying its existence as being and living through the desires of the ‘self.’
Self-consciousness is conscious of itself only by negating its first-consciousness, which is the awareness of itself of being aware; a light turned on, if you will, bringing an entire space into view. Are we aware of the darkness first, or what is in the darkness, what lies behind the covering, the shell around nothing but itself until is it broken through by the light?
What is first is consciousness itself; being that is being; life that is life and awareness, recognition and assertion. Self-consciousness needs the self to know what it is, but negates itself in doing so. Once it knows itself as self-consciousness, it becomes first-consciousness until another distinction moves it aside and the self, once again, makes its appearance. And, so on. This is the way that the self relates to itself; knowing itself as self-consciousness in the form of first-consciousness, which vanishes and reflects simultaneously. This doubling of consciousness is its life and rebirth, its appearance through appearance, and the force which ‘desires’ to be taken to the point where it no longer is what it is to itself, but what it is outside itself as self-consciousness.
Experience nourishes self-consciousness. It is its inner-world, its life-giving process. It throws a veil over consciousness so that it can ‘peer within’ and find its other self by negating itself. This other self gives consciousness its state of awareness, but it is only aware and has no being. Self-consciousness breaks through the veil and conceals consciousness, as it follows the path of awareness and breaks through; as a light that empties the darkness from the space, but only really grounds it. The ‘desire’ of self-consciousness, the absolute object of its being, is to supersede first-consciousness and become one with it while being other than it. It only comes to understanding through its process, and can only see itself by reflecting from what it was; by infinitely reappearing out of the darkness into full light and, then, reducing the light as absolute darkness approaches, in the form of first-consciousness, which it needs to reappear.
The idea of inversion is one which the understanding takes into account the logic of its experience, the stability of differences which are not really differences, but are in unity. It is the world of opposites in opposition to themselves which is immediate and encompassed in one thought. A bitter tasting fruit is inwardly sweet. The appearance of light is actually darkness. The color white is actually black, and so on. This is what consciousness takes in immediately as the truth of the appearance of things. It understands good from what is evil; purity of one color from what is variegated. It is the first thought of change and contradiction which comes to consciousness and takes the self-expression of forces beyond their appearance and into their inner being. It is one simple process that the understanding takes what it perceives and places it in opposition to that perception. It sees the relation of objects and their reliance on each other to remain opposed. And, it is through these differences that they are actually the same. And the opposition of these differences is embedded in their relation so, in effect, they oppose themselves by inverting themselves only to follow by becoming an undifferentiated unity of opposites forming one thing that is perceivable to the senses, but not perceivable to itself. In appearance it is real to the understanding, and processed as a thing existing, but to itself it cannot exist. It is only for another once it makes an appearance, thus it destroys itself in its appearing. It inverts its own being, becoming unstable in its stability; inconstant in its constancy. The understanding sees the thing as a self-expressing force, but that force immerses itself in the same law that grounds it as a force, thus it can no longer express itself as a force since it immediately is inverted into its opposite, which is its inner being. Logic immediately changes an object for perception to take place. Its inwardness is not replaced, only that which reason sets it out to be, by inverting it from its opposition, or nothingness, into a self-fulfilling object present to the understanding.