chapter  3
112 Pages

The animal (The animal organism) § 350–352

Addition. In the animal, light has found itself, for the animal checks its

relationship with an other. The animal is the self which is for the self,

it is the existent unity o f differences, and pervades their distinctness. The 10

plant’s tendency towards being-for-self gives rise to the plant and the

bud, which are two independent individuals, and are not o f an ideal

nature. Animal being consists o f these tw o posited in unity. The animal

organism is therefore this duplication o f subjectivity, in which difference

no longer exists as it does in the plant, but in which only the unity o f 15

this duplication attains existence. True subjective unity exists in the animal

therefore; it is an incomposite soul, which contains infinity o f form , and

is deployed into the externality o f the body; what is more, it has a further

relation with an inorganic nature, an external world. Nevertheless,

animal subjectivity consists o f bodily self-preservation in the face o f 20

contact with an external world, and o f remaining w ith itself as the univer­

sal. As this supreme point o f nature, animal life is therefore absolute

idealism. This implies that it contains the determinateness o f its corporeal­

ity in a completely fluid manner, and that it has incorporated this im­

mediacy into subjective being, and continues to do so. 25

It is here therefore that gravity is first truly overcome, for the centre

has been filled, has itself as object, and has therefore initiated its true

being-for-self. T he Sun and the members o f the solar system are indepen­

dent, and present us w ith a spatial and temporal interrelatedness, not one

j which accords w ith the physical nature o f these bodies. I f animal being is

now also a sun, then the stars are after all interrelated within it in ac­

cordance w ith their physical nature; they are taken back into the sun,

which holds them within itself in a single individuality. In so far as the

animal’s members are simply moments o f its form, and are perpetually

10 negating their independence, and withdrawing into a unity which is the

reality o f the N otion, and is for the Notion, the animal is the existent

Idea. I f a finger is cut off, a process o f chemical decomposition sets in,

and it is no longer a finger. The unity which is produced has being for

the implicit unity o f the animal. This implicit unity is the soul or Notion,

15 which is present in the body in so far as the body constitutes the process

o f idealization. T he subsistence o f the mutual externality o f spatiality has

no significance for the soul. The soul is incomposite and finer than any

point, but incongruously enough, attempts have been made to locate it.