Spirit and Man: An Essay on Being and Value

Spirit and Man: An Essay on Being and Value

Spirit and Man: An Essay on Being and Value

Spirit and Man: An Essay on Being and Value

Excerpt

Before proceeding to analyze the nature of spirit and man's response to it, we have to deal at some length with the step taken by consciousness towards bridging the gap between itself and reality, that is to say, with experience. Let us begin by delineating the place occupied by experience in the context of our analysis:

(a) Experience is an activity or a manifestation of consciousness. Broadly speaking, we may say that experience is the actuality of consciousness as related to the object or objects towards which it is directed. Experience is the immediate contact between consciousness and objects. The separation between subject and object is in the nature of consciousness while the connection established between the two constitutes experience.

(b) Experience is not a manifestation of the supra-individuality or community of consciousness (its structure) but rather a function of man as an individual being. When dealing with experience we deal precisely with its relation to a concrete human subject, and his relation to the actual -- fragmentary -- world in which he dwells. Consciousness in general, as structured according to the fundamental trends discussed above, lacks experience. In this sense it is characterised by the tension between the two perspectives or fundamental categories of subject and object. Yet in the course of existence of the individual and his place in the world are characterized and determined by these categories he lives his life related to consciousness and through his meeting with actual objects. The individual's experience presupposes his status as conscious and his encounter with the objects surrounding him. For the first time in the course of our argument we come across the philosophical situation of man's real existence which brings to the fore an additional activity of consciousness, namely, experience. Were there no concrete subjects, i.e., real human beings, we would be left with two possibilities only: with either the structures of consciousness of an "ens rationale" thinking in perspective categories only, or an opaque life evoking no resonance and running its course in objective time without being en-

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