The life of God — the life which the mind apprehends and enjoys as it rises to the absolute unity of all things — may be described as a play of love with itself; but this idea sinks to an edifying truism, or even to a platitude, when it does not embrace in it the earnestness, the pain, the patience, and labor, involved in the negative aspect of things.
The goal to be reached is the mind’s insight into what knowing is. Impatience asks for the impossible, wants to reach the goal without the means of getting there. The length of the journey has to be borne with, for every moment is necessary.
The force of mind is only as great as its expression; its depth only as deep as its power to expand and lose itself.
Opinion considers the opposition of what is true and false quite rigid, and, confronted with a philosophical system, it expects agreement or contradiction. And in an explanation of such a system, opinion still expects to find one or the other.
The individual who has not risked his life may admittedly be recognized as a person, but he has not achieved the truth of being recognized as a self-sufficient self-consciousness.
In the case of various kinds of knowledge, we find that what in former days occupied the energies of men of mature mental ability sinks to the level of information, exercises, and even pastimes for children; and in this educational progress we can see the history of the world’s culture delineated in faint outline.[Wie wir in Ansehung der Kenntnisse das, was in frühern Zeitaltern den reifen Geist der Männer beschäftigte, zu Kenntnissen, Übungen und selbst Spielen des Knabensalters herabgesunken sehen, und in dem pädagogischen Fortschreiten die wie im Schattenrisse nachgezeichnete Geschichte der Bildung der Welt erkennen werden.]
Discord which appears at first to be a lamentable breach and dissolution of the unity of a party, is really the crowning proof of its success.
Because of its concrete content, sense-certainty immediately appears as the richest kind of knowledge, indeed a knowledge of infinite wealth for which no bounds can be found, either when we reach out into space and time in which it is dispersed, or when we take a bit of this wealth, and by division enter into it. Moreover, sense-certainty appears to be the truest knowledge … but, in the event, this very certainty proves itself to be the most abstract and poorest truth. All that it says about what it knows is just that it is; and its truth contains nothing but the sheer being of the thing.