Hegel’s “Unhappy Consciousness” as a pattern for us all

ONE

People like to talk. They talk about things, or events. They talk about their life. That’s OK.

Only some people like to talk about concepts. If I meet someone who, instead of asking what I had for lunch, asks : “You’re French, do you think you have your own way to be skeptical? How?” – then sits and weaves a good two hours conversation with me about it, I want to keep this friend around me. No : I want to marry her!

TWO

What I do here is totally far-fetched, inappropriate and probably useless for almost all of us. What’s the point? I really don’t know. Maybe I’ll discover it while I write it?

THREE

“Unhappy Consciousness” is a concept from Hegel (Phenomenology of Spirit) – it’s very complicated, so… forget it. I just performed surgery on it to extract the pattern, the structure, the tool which is in it, then I wringunwrap it, just to see.

Hegel says “the Unhappy Consciousness is the consciousness of self as a dual-natured, merely contradictory being” : it can happen when you are in state A, you wish to reach a better state B, but there’s a moment you realize that you’re very far from it.

There’s a big gap (or a rift) between the reachable and the unreachable, the changeable and the unchangeable, and you understand it.

Euphoria meets the swamp of skepticism… You’re stuck. You met contradictions. Powerlessness. Stuck as a stuck.

Unhappy consciousness wishes relief from its misery, but it’s a surrender process which doesn’t work : thus a “perpetually self-engendered disorder”.

You have to let go. You need to take comfort. You have to find how. And you don’t.

This happens in Master-Slave couples, when the slave really tries to be exactly what his master wants him to be. Or more tricky : vice-versa. And it’s of course impossible.

FOUR :

What are other examples? How do you do – since you can not get out of it? What is it not as simple as “acceptance”? Do we have to wait? To find other paths? To admit we were wrong? Is it a selftrap? A spirit vicious circle turning like a hamster in its wheel between euphoria and despair?

FIVE :

Hegel seems to say that there’s a solution, though. It’s not in reason. It’s not in letting go. It’s not in surrender. All the logical solutions, at one point, fail and will fail.

It’s where I like it : Solutions are in the oblique.

It’s to forget some frames. To dare. To be crazy. Killing some rules. Finding the good sense of “idiocy”, the opening doors power of the fool’s wisdom. Stop the “desire to act in a comprehensible fashion”.

How to do that?

I don’t know!! Listen to strange advices? Take the wrong roads? Build on other territories of spirit? Kill your Gods and your certainties? Smell the winds ? Jump where you never jumped? What is the Revolution you need?

Where do you apply that? In your couple? In your creativity? Religion? Politics? Where are you stuck in a far-fetched way? Can you feel the energy charging inside the stuckystuck situation?

 

Let Hegel play with our mind now. Amen :

“its enjoyment becomes a feeling of its own unhappiness”

 

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : itspeteski

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