Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Phenomenology of Spirit, Preface, paragraph 12

But this new world is as little a perfected reality as is the new-born child, and it is essential to bear this in mind. The first appearance is only its immediacy or its concept. A building is not finished when its foundation is laid; and just as little is the attained concept of a whole the whole itself. When we want to see an oak with all its vigor of trunk, its spreading branches, and mass of foliage, we are not satisfied to be shown an acorn instead. In the same way science, the crowning glory of a world of spirit, is not found complete in its initial stages. The beginning of the new spirit is the outcome of an extensive revolution of manifold cultural forms, the price of an often tortuous path and just as frequent struggles and efforts. It is a whole which, from its successive stages and its extension, has returned back into itself; it is the resultant simple concept of itself. But the reality of this simple whole consists in those figurations, which have now become moments, developing anew and taking shape, albeit in their new elements, in terms of the meaning now attained.

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