The whole of Hegel’s work basically points to a substantial disconnect between how we conceive of the world around us, ourselves, our consciousness…well, everything really…and what actually is. He is grappling with the essences of things — the things-in-themselves — before our perception and consciousness take hold of them. And his central point — and one reflected by his frequent use of the term Verkehrte — is that we get things turned around, entirely twisted, and utterly mistaken, by holding onto our representations of them (i.e. in our mind). Our highest virtue is to let go of this misapprehension…because it is false. And Hegel posits that this is precisely what spirit prompts us to do.
In this sense, when we think we are being rational and systematic; when we amplify our conclusions in cultural agreement; when we codify “the truth” in rigid ways…we are essentially turning reality upside down. We are missing the mark. And the more we invest in these false (i.e. incomplete) representations, the further away we get from what is. So the spirit’s movement — indeed the very dynamism of life itself — is all about rectifying what presents as the arrogant misunderstanding of human intellect, and getting closer and closer to the Absolute. And Hegel assures us that this evolution is possible and evident; that the seeds for both our own misery and misapprehensions AND our liberation from those mistakes are within us — an imperative of the spirit’s movement in the world. But this isn’t a purely analytical exercise…oh no. Not at all.
Anywho…that’s my take.
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