Hegel - Philosophy of Mind – Universal Self-consciousness
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Philosophy of Mind - Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
§ 436. Universal self-consciousness is the affirmative awareness of self in an other self: each self as a free individuality has his own “absolute” independence, yet in virtue of the negation of its immediacy or appetite without distinguishing itself from that other. Each is thus universal self-conscious and objective; each has “real” universality in the shape of reciprocity, so far as each knows itself recognised in the other freeman, and is aware of this in so far as it recognises the other and knows him to be free.
This universal re-appearance of self-consciousness—the notion which is aware of itself in its objectivity as a subjectivity identical with itself and for that reason universal—is the form of consciousness which lies at the root of all true mental or spiritual life—in family, fatherland, state, and of all virtues, love, friendship, valour, honour, fame. But this appearance of the underlying essence may be severed from that essential, and be maintained apart in worthless honour, idle fame, &c.
§ 437. This unity of consciousness and self-consciousness implies in the first instance the individuals mutually throwing light upon each other. But the difference between those who are thus identified is mere vague diversity—or rather it is a difference which is none. Hence its truth is the fully and really existent universality and objectivity of self-consciousness,—which is Reason. Reason, as the Idea (§ 213) as it here appears, is to be taken as meaning that the distinction between notion and reality which it unifies has the special aspect of a distinction between the self concentrated notion or consciousness, and the object subsisting external and opposed to it.