Hegel’s Logic and the Self
If the Phenomenology of Spirit represents the steps within the Hegelian system leading to the altar of initiation, the Science of Logic1 is our participation in the mysteries themselves.2 For the Logic unfolds as a single living organism of pure thought in which consciousness, freed entirely from the world of the senses, treads the path of knowledge which is the unfolding of the Absolute Idea. Like the Phenomenology, then, Hegel’s Logic unfolds like a living being, maintaining throughout a unity in the multiplicity of moments through which it passes. But whereas in the Phenomenology the organism whose growth, ripening and maturity is described is self-consciousness – the ‘I’ or self is planted like a seed into the sensory world of sense-certainty and grows through a rich organ schema (the many forms of consciousness) until it achieves the condition of absolute knowledge at the end of the Phenomenology –, in the Logic it is the Idea itself whose organic structure is laid bare. Corresponding to the Phenomenology’s forms of consciousness are thus the basic categories of thought and philosophy – being, becoming, space, time, essence, appearance, cause, effect, subject, object, idea… etc. –, the main moments of whose relations to one another Hegel attempts to present using the dialectical method.