• Amity
    407
    The preface is about one tenth of the book so if you go at that pace you’ll be done by late 2020. If you were at university you’d be expected to sum it up the main points AND have a depth of understanding (usually parroting what others have said).I like sushi

    The thread is only about the Preface.
    So, we are following Tim as leader of a group discussion.
    As usual, readers are at various stages, levels of ability, and go at a pace which suits them.
    Tim has set the general pace. It is his thread. So, people can either catch up, keep up, or keep ahead and comment at appropriate point.

    As such, it isn't really helpful 'to cut to the meaning' by starting in the middle.
    But hey, setting rules or guidelines, means some like to revolt and break 'em...
    It makes for haphazard and incomplete understanding. Not usually the aim of a university course.
  • Amity
    407
    Signing off on the extraneous stuff to focus on text.
    Apologies to Tim if my entries are seen as just the kind of 'noise' you were hoping to avoid.
    Back to the Preface, armed with Glossary.
  • tim wood
    2.7k
    Pinkard #7, copied some ways above. seems more in the way of his extended argument and rhetorical appeal for what he intends to accomplish. In part, to argue for calls for an argument against; this and other paragraphs accomplish that, but in such convolutions that, while readers then may have an easy time of it, we - I- do not and have to check and recheck that I'm following the thread the right way through the labyrinth.

    It's useful background to know that the book was published in 1807. I am not a student of the Napoleonic period, but I think Hegel is writing while Napoleon is tearing Europe to pieces, at times within the sound of cannon.

    Spirit is set outside itself by the "spirits" of the age, war is a big problem, but also the move away from tyranny to new ideas of personal, social, and political freedom - and responsibility and possibility. According to Pinkard in another book, German Philosophy 1760 -1860 The Legacy of Idealism, Pinkard, 2006, all of these matters were a matter of common thought and discussion at the level of professional sports today! Truly a different world!

    The prior comfort of spirit in its traditional practices and being until that moment in history is broken. Spirit, then, goes across and to extremes in looking for salves, palliatives, pain-killers, comfort: mainly to feel better and feel good. But this looks, seems, is, to Hegel, what heroin addiction is to us today.

    The heart of this judgment lies here:

    "To meet these needs, philosophy is not supposed so much to unlock substance’s secret and elevate this to self-consciousness.... What is supposed to sustain and extend the wealth of that substance is not the concept, but ecstasy, not the cold forward march of the necessity of the subject matter, but instead a kind of inflamed inspiration."

    ------------

    I think there is going to be a lot of this rhetorical persuasive argument in this preface. In my opinion, once read and grasped it can be set aside. It's colour and background and part of his appeal, but it's not clear to me that we, now, must slog through it all in order to understand Hegel's main points and purposes.
  • Wallows
    8.5k


    He's having a bad day, @Amity.

    Cheers.
  • Amity
    407
    He's having a bad day,Wallows

    Who you gonna call ? Hanover ? :kiss:

    Cheers Wallows, are you reading the Preface?
  • Wallows
    8.5k
    Who you gonna call ? Hanover ? :kiss:Amity

    Hanny only believes in himself.

    Cheers Wallows, are you reading the Preface?Amity

    I'm wallowing through it slowly.
  • Fooloso4
    807
    #7 continues the issue of #6:

    If such a requirement is grasped in its more general context ...

    That is, the requirement that the absolute be felt and intuited. Then:

    ... it has gone beyond this immediacy of faith

    The result is the opposite of what it intended. From this stage it:

    ... now demands from philosophy not knowledge of what spirit is; rather, it demands that it again attain the substantiality and the solidity of what is, and that it is through philosophy that it attain this.

    But rather than:

    unlock substance’s secret and elevate this to self-consciousness

    it proceeds:

    ... to take what thought has torn asunder and then to stir it all together into a smooth mélange, to suppress the concept that makes those distinctions, and then to fabricate the feeling of the essence.

    In its desire for oneness or unity it ignores or destroys the multiplicity or distinct elements that are essential to knowledge of unity.

    What it wants from philosophy is not so much insight as edification. The beautiful, the holy, the eternal, religion, and love itself are all the bait required to awaken the craving to bite. What is supposed to sustain and extend the wealth of that substance is not the concept, but ecstasy, not the cold forward march of the necessity of the subject matter, but instead a kind of inflamed inspiration.

    Reading all this I am constantly reminded of Plato who is perhaps a primary target here.
  • Valentinus
    466
    Reading all this I am constantly reminded of Plato who is perhaps a primary target here.Fooloso4

    It may be helpful to consider the Lutheran tradition where the democracy of conscience is opposed by "explanations" to contain it. Hegel and Kierkegaard held contempt for many of the same kinds of self righteousness that hid itself in "mysteries."

    That is not to say Hegel did not describe Plato's work as part of keeping "substance" apart. But Hegel tends to describe that element in a kind of "ontogeny recapitulates ontology" fashion. He leveled more specific criticisms toward the Neo-Platonists. I think Hegel did not view Plato as making a system. In any case, Hegel just went through great pains to say he was not talking about setting various ideas against each other directly. In terms of his exposition of how these ideas appeared, everything has a place.

    Whoops. That was opinion and speculation. I will return to my desk.
  • Fooloso4
    807


    Given that the movement of history is central to Hegel's system, Plato is not to be understood as a static moment in the past of that history but as part of its ongoing development, which means not just the dialogues but all that follows, that is, his influence on the tradition. And, of course, when, for example, he talks about "the convictions of the present age" in #6 it is clear that he is addressing more than Plato and the influence of Plato. Having said that, such things as Plato's depiction of the love of wisdom as an erotic pursuit of something one does not posses, and knowledge of the Forms as ekstasis and noesis (intuition), are things worth pursuing. But since this is not a thread on Plato I thought it worth mentioning without pursuing it here.
  • I like sushi
    1.2k
    Note: I have the Miller trans. It is worth looking at this to appreciate the use of Notion above concept. I’d also strongly argue that is indicative of an attempt to distinguish between ‘subjective’ thought and ‘sensibility’.

    I mention this because reading the quotes given above by others the distinction between the use of Begriff seems to have been entirely ignored in the translation (“Notion” and “concept”, not simply “concept”)
  • Amity
    407


    [ Interesting and inspiring to hear different takes on the text; the interaction between readers who offer
    the subjective ( opinion and comment) as well as objective matters, such as text and background. Making connections. It encourages active reading, keeping certain questions in mind ( as discussed earlier).

    The latest on para 7 in particular - speaks to me: 'The beautiful, the holy, the eternal, religion, and love itself are all the bait required to awaken the craving to bite. What is supposed to sustain and extend the wealth of that substance is not the concept, but ecstasy, not the cold forward march of the necessity of the subject matter, but instead a kind of inflamed inspiration.'

    I asked earlier : What difference would it make if a translation uses 'general' as opposed to 'universal' ?
    This might have been motivated by 'inflamed passion' and less of a 'cold forward march' but it can help progress an understanding. Most questions do.

    What difference does it make if a translation uses 'Notion' instead of 'Concept' ?
    The Hegel Glossary has both. It directs to Miller's translation as Notion.
    We need to consider both, I think. As part of the dialectic which Hegel celebrates.

    I think it helps to shape or firm up own thoughts, even as it might shake up and confuse. As we read this, it will no doubt inspire different directions of thought. Are we to dismiss this as 'opinion' ? I think not.
    Sometimes, in posts, it is not easy to separate out readings from individual speculation.
    When taking notes, I find it helpful to distinguish own thoughts or questions by use of [ ].
    I will do this here.

    Finally, I am taking time out to return to the Translator's Notes to understand the reasons for word choices. In Pinkard pdf this is on p38. And yes, I might even look at 'The Conclusion of the Book'.

    What is it all about, Alfie? ]

    'What's it all about, Alfie?
    Is it just for the moment we live?
    What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?
    Are we meant to take more than we give
    Or are we meant to be kind?'
    - Burt Bacharach
  • Amity
    407
    [ An aside
    I'm wallowing through it slowly.Wallows

    'Slow and steady wins the race'
    But, as usual, there is an opposite:
    'Time & tide waits for none'

    We have plenty of time to navigate our way through this text, with a little help from our friends.
    I quite like Tim's favourite quote: 'Be easy!' ]
  • tim wood
    2.7k
    Fwiw, my own history with this text starts with taking on Hegel in commentaries and attempting to move to the original texts in translation - and bouncing off. At that time I saw frequent reference to this preface as being "worth the candle" in terms of understanding in a nutshell what Hegel is about. So I got the text and for more years than I care to admit to, whenever I needed something to put me to sleep, the Preface could be counted on deliver in just a few pages. But in this thread I've already got further in than in all that time. Proof, I suppose, that slow and steady a) gets it done, and b) gets it done! A page or two per day and any bookshelf must eventually yield!

    I stay at it with Hegel because of a layer of clouds between me and his summit. I can see his summit, but I want to get there. The risk, of course, as is the risk with most philosophy, is that when you do get there and win some real understanding, you take a quick turn around looking at 360 degrees of horizon, say at the same time, "That's it, and is that all it is," and start back down again. That is, there's still mystery there for me.
  • emancipate
    117
    It's also important to note that 'Notion' (or concept) is used here (beginning in section 6 iirc) in contrast to 'intuition'. Hegel is critiquing those thinkers, and philosophies, which propose truth can be apprehended in an unmediated way; Via some kind of direct experience. Instead truth is aprehended through a systematic process - which is what hegel regards as 'scientific'. The word begriff itself signifies a grabbing onto. Notion therefore, conveys an image of ascertaining truth through effort, whereas intuition does not.
  • tim wood
    2.7k
    When someone gets it, the encounter with that "getting" can be hair-raising. I think you've got it. The thread thanks you! Keep it up!
  • tim wood
    2.7k
    Pinkard #8 and #9

    Two, because they seem to go together.

    "8. Corresponding to this requirement is a laborious and almost petulant zeal to save mankind from its absorption in the sensuous, the vulgar, and the singular. It wishes to direct people’s eyes to the stars, as if they had totally forgotten the divine and, as if they were like worms, each and all on the verge of finding satisfaction in mere dirt and water.

    There was a time when people had a heaven adorned with a comprehensive wealth of thoughts and images. The meaning of all existence lay in the thread of light by which it was bound to heaven and instead of lingering in this present, people’s view followed that thread upwards towards the divine essence; their view directed itself, if one may put it this way, to an other-worldly present. It was only under duress that spirit’s eyes had to be turned back to what is earthly and to be kept fixed there, and a long time was needed to introduce clarity into the dullness and confusion lying in the meaning of things in this world, a kind of clarity which only heavenly things used to have; a long time was needed both to draw attention to the present as such, an attention that was called experience, and to make it interesting and to make it matter.

    – Now it seems that there is the need for the opposite, that our sense of things is so deeply rooted in the earthly that an equal power is required to elevate it above all that. Spirit has shown itself to be so impoverished that it seems to yearn for its refreshment only in the meager feeling of divinity, The Phenomenology of Spirit very much like the wanderer in the desert who longs for a simple drink of water. That it now takes so little to satisfy spirit’s needs is the full measure of the magnitude of its loss."

    9. All the same, this parsimony vis-à-vis what one receives, or this stinginess vis-à-vis what one gives, is inappropriate for science. Whoever seeks mere edification, who wants to surround the manifoldness of his existence and thought in a kind of fog, and who then demands an indeterminate enjoyment of this indeterminate divinity, may look wherever he pleases to find it, and he will quite easily find the resources to enable him both to get on his high horse and then to rant and rave. However, philosophy must keep up its guard against the desire to be edifying.

    ---------------------

    From Hamlet:
    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

    Hegel:
    There are more things known in Philosophy (science),
    than are dreamt of in your heaven and earth.

    But Hegel's polemical regard for "edification" could use some edifying explication. Near as I can tell, "edification" is just another name for making an other out the process of philosophy and standing apart from it as both judge and knower, both of which roles while necessary as instrumentalities of process, are mistakes if taken as ends. That is (as i read it) we must of course be able to know and judge, but at the same time not be satisfied with being merely those, but must proceed on to comprehension, understanding, and finally participation. Not only, then, are we part of the process, we are the process! Correction/refinement welcome!
  • Fooloso4
    807
    It's also important to note that 'Notion' (or concept) is used here (beginning in section 6 iirc) in contrast to 'intuition'.emancipate

    Yes, I agree. My earlier comment on #6:

    #6:

    Hegel is opposing his claim that:

    ... truth has the element of its existence solely in concepts

    with the claim that it is not the concept but the feeling and intuition or immediate knowing of the absolute which are supposed to govern what is said of it.
    Fooloso4
  • Fooloso4
    807
    But Hegel's polemical regard for "edification" could use some edifying explication.tim wood

    To edify is to instruct, to lift up or improve in a moral or spiritual sense. Etymologically, to build up. From #8:

    Corresponding to this requirement is a laborious and almost petulant zeal to save mankind from its absorption in the sensuous, the vulgar, and the singular. It wishes to direct people’s eyes to the stars ...

    More on #8 to follow but note the movement from a time when people gazed upward followed by a turning back to the earth and now a need for elevation.
  • Fooloso4
    807
    Corresponding to this requirement ...

    That is, for ecstasy, elevation, "insight as edification".

    ... to save mankind from its absorption in the sensuous, the vulgar, and the singular.

    As if people :

    ... were like worms, each and all on the verge of finding satisfaction in mere dirt and water.

    Their eyes must be directed to the stars, to what is higher, to the divine.

    But:

    There was a time when people had a heaven adorned with a comprehensive wealth of thoughts and images. The meaning of all existence lay in the thread of light by which it was bound to heaven and instead of lingering in this present, people’s view followed that thread upwards towards the divine essence; their view directed itself, if one may put it this way, to an other-worldly present.

    In other words, the felt need for what is higher is not simply reactionary, the result of man's lowliness. There was a time when meaning was found in the thread of light binding all existence to the divine.

    Hegel's image can be likened to an inversion of Plato's image of the cave. Instead of being forced to leave the cave under duress:

    It was only under duress that spirit’s eyes had to be turned back to what is earthly and to be kept fixed there ...

    And as with being compelling to return to the cave:

    ... a long time was needed to introduce clarity into the dullness and confusion lying in the meaning of things in this world, a kind of clarity which only heavenly things used to have ...

    It is not, however, to a cave with the artificial light of the fire and shadows on the cave wall that the spirit's eyes (German Geist - spirit/mind, as in phenomenology of) were now turned:

    ... to draw attention to the present as such, an attention that was called experience, and to make it interesting and to make it matter.

    But:

    Now it seems that there is the need for the opposite, that our sense of things is so deeply rooted in the earthly that an equal power is required to elevate it above all that.

    It is not a simple back and forth movement from the heavens to the earth and back to the heavens:

    Spirit has shown itself to be so impoverished that it seems to yearn for its refreshment only in the meager feeling of divinity ... That it now takes so little to satisfy spirit’s needs is the full measure
    of the magnitude of its loss.

    The spirit has undergone a change. The felt need for elevation is too easily satisfied. Note the change from the "spirit’s eyes" that looked back to the earth from above to "people’s eyes" that must now be directed to the stars.

    Why were the spirit's eyes compelled to turn to the earthly? Perhaps it has something to do with the tension between "this present" and "an other-worldly present". Does this turn mark the advent of modern science?
  • tim wood
    2.7k
    Whoever seeks mere edification,tim wood

    From #9, I read "edification" in Hegel's usage as false teaching - deception - or false leading. Kaufman in his running commentary infers that Hegel is spreading his criticism to include persons like Schlegel and Schelling and movements like Romanticism. That is, there are strongly topical undercurrents - actually, not so much under - in this text.
  • Fooloso4
    807


    From a review of Yovel's translation of the Preface:

    The Preface explains just what this transformation of philosophy into science fundamentally involves. In the first place, it involves the repudiation of the romantic notion, associated with Hegel's friends from the Tübingen Stift, Hölderlin and Schelling, that absolute truth can be grasped only in intuition or immediate feeling. In his younger days, Hegel shared with Hölderlin and Schelling the aspiration to overcome the dichotomies of Kant's critical philosophy, in particular its denial that we can have knowledge of the absolute or thing in itself. In the Phenomenology, Hegel does not abandon this aspiration, but he rejects Hölderlin's and Schelling's conception of absolute knowledge in terms of immediate intuition or feeling. Such a conception, he argues, dissolves the rich differentiation and determination of empirical content into a "night in which all cows are black" (94).

    https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/hegel-s-preface-to-the-phenomenology-of-spirit/
  • Valentinus
    466

    Another element in rejecting Romanticism is that one of the main goals of the book is to show how individual experience is interwoven with developments of ideas that unfold over time.
    At the same time, the developments are changes in what is possible for the individual to experience.
  • WerMaat
    14

    For "edify" and "edification" the original text uses "Erbauung".
    This word ist usually used to describe a spiritual or moral type of experience. One might find Erbauung in church, in nature, or in art.
    Erbauung has positive connotations ( unless you use it in an ironic fashion), as in: it strengstens your personality. But it's usually more intuitive and spiritual, not rational and intellectual.
    I believe that Hegel thus connects the word to the romantic "Schwärmereien" he mocks. And when her states that philosophy may not be "erbaulich", he is trying to say that it is a strictly rational enterprise, not a vague spiritual feel-good Type of experience.

    ... Interesting Reading project! Thank you for bringing this Text to my attention!
    I'll be following along with the German original. I'm a German native, so the original text is actually easier for me to read... Let me know whenever you need any further explanation on German words and phrases
  • tim wood
    2.7k
    Glad you're along! And it strikes me that you alone (probably) can judge whether our translations are reasonably "on." In the English it's pretty clear that Hegel is sometimes wielding a rhetorical lash with which to beat his opponents with irony, a sneer, contempt, and humor! In English, anyway. Such occasional remarks that you might care to make, then, imo, would be a valuable addition!
  • tim wood
    2.7k
    Pinkard #s 10, 11

    Again, two paragraphs that seem to work together.

    "10. Even to a lesser extent must this kind of science-renouncing self-satisfaction claim that such enthusiasm and obscurantism is itself a bit higher than science. This prophetic prattle imagines that it resides at the center of things, indeed that it is profundity itself, and, viewing determinateness (the horos) with contempt, it intentionally stands aloof from both the concept and from necessity, which it holds to be a type of reflection at home in mere finitude. However, in the way that there is an empty breadth, there is also an empty depth, just as likewise there is an extension of substance which spills over into finite diversity without having the power to keep that diversity together – this is an intensity without content, which, although it makes out as if it were a sheer force without dispersion, is in fact
    no more than superficiality itself.

    The force of spirit is only as great as its expression, and its depth goes only as deep as it trusts itself to disperse itself and to lose itself in its explication of itself. – At the same time, if this substantial knowing, itself so totally devoid of the concept, pretends to have immersed the very ownness of the self in the essence and to philosophize in all holiness and truth, then what it is really doing is just concealing from itself the fact that instead of devoting itself to God, it has, by spurning all moderation and determinateness, instead simply given itself free rein within itself to the contingency of that content and then, within that content, given free rein to its own arbitrariness. – While abandoning themselves to the unbounded fermentation of the substance, the proponents of that view suppose that, by throwing a blanket over self-consciousness and by surrendering all understanding, they are God’s very own, that they are those to whom God imparts wisdom in their sleep. What they in fact receive and what they give birth to in their sleep are, for that reason also only dreams.

    11. Besides, it is not difficult to see that our own epoch is a time of birth and a transition to a new period. Spirit has broken with the previous world of its existence and its ways of thinking; it is now of a mind to let them recede into the past and to immerse itself in its own work at reshaping itself. To be sure, spirit is never to be conceived as being at rest but rather as ever advancing. However, just as with a child, who after a long silent period of nourishment draws his first breath and shatters the gradualness of only quantitative growth – it makes a qualitative leap and is born – so too, in bringing itself to cultural maturity, spirit ripens slowly and quietly into its new shape, dissolving bit by bit the structure of its previous world,
    whose tottering condition is only intimated by its individual symptoms. The kind of frivolity and boredom which chips away at the established order and the indeterminate presentiment of what is yet unknown are all harbingers of imminent change. This gradual process of dissolution, which has not altered the physiognomy of the whole, is interrupted by the break of day, which in a flash and at a single stroke brings to view the structure of the new world."

    -------------------

    It is some work to read these, but the rewards are there! I think these paragraphs are best savoured for their style. Readers of Kant, and here Hegel, et al, will have noted a from time-to-time genteel but crushing brutality of rhetoric and invective directed against their critics and enemies that sometimes animates their pages. .

    And imo, it's worth keeping in mind the forces in play during and before Hegel's writing. Folks then had not radio nor TV nor professional sports; instead they had a new awakening of philosophy that in its topics concerned the very fabric of their lives, from tyranny, however benign, to their own lives and purposes, to freedom - and the French Revolution to Napoleon's wars, brutal in themselves, that were rearranging everything about European life and that from devastation promised new possibility. The Enlightenment had irrupted into common life, and common life, apparently, had grasped it with a firm hold and were talking and writing about it, and weighing every nuance on finely tuned scales.
  • Fooloso4
    807
    10:

    Hegel is not entirely unsympathetic to the impulse of those he is criticizing. The impulse is to seek the infinite and divine and stems from spirit's loss (#8) The problem is that it sees science as the very thing that limits rather than frees the spirit. They

    ... intentionally stands aloof from both the concept and from necessity, which it holds to be a type of reflection at home in mere finitude.

    What it fails to see is that:

    The force of spirit is only as great as its expression, and its depth goes only as deep as it trusts itself to disperse itself and to lose itself in its explication of itself.

    But they:

    ... While abandoning themselves to the unbounded fermentation of the substance ... suppose that, by throwing a blanket over self-consciousness and by surrendering all understanding, they are God’s very own, that they are those to whom God imparts wisdom in their sleep.

    11:

    This kind of intellectual passivity or receptivity:

    ... is interrupted by the break of day

    For:

    ... spirit is never to be conceived as being at rest but rather as ever advancing.

    As with gestation and birth there is:

    ... the gradualness of only quantitative growth [and then] it makes a qualitative leap and is born.

    In the same way:

    ... in bringing itself to cultural maturity, spirit ripens slowly and quietly into its new shape, dissolving bit by bit the structure of its previous world, whose tottering condition is only intimated by its individual symptoms.

    The activity of those Hegel is critical of in #10 is seen as:

    The kind of frivolity and boredom which chips away at the established order and the indeterminate presentiment of what is yet unknown are all harbingers of imminent change. This gradual process of dissolution, which has not altered the physiognomy of the whole ...

    But with Hegel the process:

    ... is interrupted by the break of day, which in a flash and at a single stroke brings to view the structure of the new world.
  • WerMaat
    14
    I like that summary! But basically, Hegel is still criticizing and deconstructing the main ideas of German Romanticism in §10, right?

    Hegel is not entirely unsympathetic to the impulse of those he is criticizingFooloso4
    Well, yeah, he gets where they're coming from. But isn't he accusing them of choosing the easy path, which they claim leads to deep understanding but is really just a superficial dream?

    In §11, when he chooses the metaphor of the child:
    However, just as with a child, who after a long silent period of nourishment draws his first breath and shatters the gradualness of only quantitative growth – it makes a qualitative leap and is born – so too, in bringing itself to cultural maturity, spirit ripens slowly and quietly into its new shape
    Do you think that he's picking up the bud and flower metaphor from earlier?
    I think he is. Again, it's about development. Things are changing, that's his message. But the new is not refuting or replacing the old, the old is merely developing into the new. As in, the old state of things is a necessary precursor to the new.

    And while we're looking at metaphors: note that §10 ends in a sentence about sleeping and dreaming, i.e. Romanticism, while §11 ends with the "break of day" of Enlightenment.

    But I'm not sure yet what this "qualitative leap" is supposed to be exactly?
  • Fooloso4
    807
    But basically, Hegel is still criticizing and deconstructing the main ideas of German Romanticism in §10, right?WerMaat

    Yes. But one point I was trying to make is that from a historical perspective, and this means the working out of self-consciousness, we should not just dismiss what they say as wrong - even though they are, it is part of the development.

    Well, yeah, he gets where they're coming from. But isn't he accusing them of choosing the easy path, which they claim leads to deep understanding but is really just a superficial dream?WerMaat

    I think his own development went through a similar stage but he was able to see beyond it and why it is self-defeating.

    Do you think that he's picking up the bud and flower metaphor from earlier?WerMaat

    It's another metaphor for development, but here there is a shattering of the gradualness, a qualitative leap - birth, a new world. In addition, and more importantly, here we are dealing with development but birth of self-consciousness.

    And while we're looking at metaphors: note that §10 ends in a sentence about sleeping and dreaming, i.e. Romanticism, while §11 ends with the "break of day" of Enlightenment.WerMaat

    Good point. I think there might also be a religious note - revealed truth coming in dreams, that is, from above as opposed to the spirit's working itself out and realization.

    But I'm not sure yet what this "qualitative leap" is supposed to be exactly?

    Birth is not just gradual development it is disruption, a new beginning.
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