the life of a people—of art, of law, of
morals, of religion, of science. All the activity
of Spirit has only this object—the becoming
conscious of this union, i. e., of its own freedom.
Among the forms of this conscious union religion
occupies the highest position. In it Spirit-rising
above the limitations of temporal and secular existence—becomes
conscious of the Absolute Spirit, and, in this consciousness
of the Self-Existent Being, renounces its individual
interest; it lays this aside in devotion—a
state of mind in which it refuses to occupy itself
any longer with the limited and particular. By
sacrifice man expresses his renunciation of his property,
his will, his individual feelings. The religious
concentration of the soul appears in the form of feeling;
it nevertheless passes also into reflection; a form
of worship (cultus
) is a result of reflection.
The second form of the union of the objective and
subjective in the human spirit is art; this advances
farther into the realm of the actual and sensuous
than religion. In its noblest walk it is occupied
with representing, not, indeed, the Spirit of God,
but certainly the Form of God; and, in its secondary
aims, that which is divine and spiritual generally.
Its office is to render visible the divine, presenting
it to the imaginative and intuitive faculty. But
the true is the object not only of conception and
feeling, as in religion—and of intuition,
as in art—but also of the thinking faculty;
and this gives us the third form of the union in question—philosophy.
This is consequently the highest, freest, and wisest
place. Of course we are not intending to investigate
these three phases here; they have only suggested
themselves in virtue of their occupying the same general
ground as the object here considered the State.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF LAW (1832)
BY GEORG WILHELM FRIEDRICH HEGEL
TRANSLATED BY J. LOEWENBERG, PH.D. Assistant
in Philosophy, Harvard University
IDEA AND AIM OF THE STATE
The State is the realization of the ethical idea.
It is the ethical spirit as revealed, self-conscious,
substantial will. It is the will which thinks
and knows itself, and carries out what it knows, and
in so far as it knows. The unreflected existence
of the State rests on custom, and its reflected existence
on the self-consciousness of the individual, on his
knowledge and activity. The individual, in return,
has his substantial freedom in the State, as the essence,
purpose, and product of his activity.