Originally posted on Beyond the Suprasensorial:
Before I begin this summary, a quick word is that I’ll probably be putting off any other summaries for Hegel for a while, as my computer’s just broken and I’ve lost most of the notes that I had…
For many days I had been debating within myself many and diverse things, seeking constantly, and with anxiety, to find out my real self, my best good, and the evil to be avoided, when suddenly one—I know not, but eagerly strive to know, whether it were my-self or another, within me or without— said to me:
When Father died, Sibbern said to me, “Now you will never get your theological degree,” and then I did get it. If Father had lived, I would never have gotten it. When I broke the engagement, Peter said to me, “Now you are lost.” And yet it is clear that if I have indeed amounted to something, I did it through that step. Journals VIA8—
It was as alien as it could possibly be to my nature to want to terrify others, and therefore I both sadly and perhaps also a bit proudly found my joy in comforting others and in being gentleness itself to them-hiding the terror in my own interior being. So my idea was to give my contemporaries (whether or not they themselves would want to understand) a hint in humorous form (in order to achieve a lighter tone) that a much greater pressure was needed-but then no more; I aimed to keep my heavy burden to myself, as my cross. I have often taken exception to anyone who was a sinner in the strictest sense and then promptly got busy terrifying others.
What if St. Paul had lived in our times? His concern for people may well have caused him to discover many a method which is hidden from us. But would he, I wonder, when this became necessary, have changed the fixed and incorruptible word which offers peace?
According to the natural order of things, a younger man, and one more equal to the task, should occupy this place instead of me. Let him come! I shall rejoice to make room for him.
If Locke is right in considering the having general ideas as the distinguishing feature between man and brutes, and if we ourselves are right in pointing to language as the one palpable distinction between the two, it would seem to follow that language is the outward sign and realization of that inward faculty which is called the faculty of abstraction, but which is better known to us by the homely name of reason.