Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Phenomenology of Spirit, Preface, paragraph 11

For the rest, it is not difficult to see that our time is a time of birth and transition to a new period. Spirit has broken with the hitherto-existing world of its existence and imaginations and is about to let all of that to sink into the past, and has begun the labor of its transformation. It is indeed never at rest, but engaged in ever-advancing movement. But here it is like the birth of a child; the long quiet period of nourishment is interrupted by the first breath – a qualitative change – and the child is born. In like manner the self-cultivating spirit slowly and quietly ripens the new form, dismantles one part after another of the structure of its previous world, the tottering of which is only indicated by isolated symptoms. Frivolity and ennui spreading in the established order of things, the undefined foreboding of something unknown, indicate that something other is approaching. This gradual crumbling away, which did not alter the general look and aspect of the whole, is interrupted by the emergence, which, in a flash, all at once situates the structure of the new world.

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