A non-objective being is a non-being.
Suppose a being which is neither an object itself, nor has an object.
Such a being, in the first place, would be the unique being: there
would exist no being outside it - it would exist solitary and alone. For
as soon as there are objects outside me, as soon as I am not alone,
I am another - another reality than the object outside me.
For this third object I am thus a different reality than itself;
that is, I am its object. Thus, to suppose a being which is not
the object of another being is to presuppose that no objective
being exists. As soon as I have an object, this object has me for an object.
But a non-objective being is an unreal, non-sensual thing - a product
of mere thought (i.e., of mere imagination) - an abstraction. To
be sensual, that is, to be really existing, means to be an object
of sense, to be a sensuous object, and thus 'to have sensual objects
outside oneself objects of one's sensuality. To be sensual is to suffer.
Man as an objective, sensual being is therefore a suffering being--and
because he feels that he suffers, a passionate being. Passion is
the essential power of man energetically bent on its object.
But man is not merely a natural being: he is a human natural being.
That is to say, he is a being for himself. Therefore he is a species-being,
and has to confirm and manifest himself as such both in his being
and in his knowing. Therefore, human objects are not natural objects
as they immediately present themselves, and neither is human sense
as it immediately is--as it is objectively--human sensibility,
human objectivity. Neither nature objectively nor nature subjectively
is directly given in a form adequate to the human being. And as
everything natural has to come into being, man too has his act
of origin--history--which, however, is for him a known history,
and hence as an act of origin it is a conscious self-transcending act
of origin. History is the true natural history of man (on which more later).
Thirdly, because this positing of thinghood is itself only an illusion,
an act contradicting the nature of pure activity, it has to be cancelled
again and thinghood denied.
Re 3, 4, 5 and 6. (3) This externalisation of consciousness has
not merely a negative but a positive significance, and (4)
it has this meaning not merely for us or intrinsically, but for
consciousness itself. (5) For consciousness the negative of the
object, its annulling of itself, has positive significance, i.
e., consciousness knows this nullity of the object - because it
alienates itself; for in this alienation it knows itself
as object, or, for the sake of the indivisible unity of being-for-itself,
the object as itself. (6) On the other hand, there is also this other
moment in the process, that consciousness has also just as much superseded
this alienation and objectivity and resumed them into itself, being thus
at home in its other-being as such.
As we have already seen, the appropriation of what is estranged and
objective, or the annulling of objectivity in the form of estrangement
(which has to advance from indifferent strangeness to real, antagonistic
estrangement), means likewise or even primarily for Hegel that it is objectivity
which is to be annulled, because it is not the determinate character
of the object, but rather its objective character that is offensive
and constitutes estrangement for self-consciousness. The object is therefore
something negative, self-annulling - a nullity. This nullity of
the object has not only a negative but a positive meaning for consciousness,
since this nullity of the object is precisely the self-confirmation
of the non-objectivity, of the