But nature too, taken abstractly, for itself--nature fixed in isolation from man--is nothing for man. It goes without saying that the abstract thinker who has committed himself to intuiting, intuits nature abstractly. Just as nature lay enclosed in the thinker in the form of the absolute idea, in the form of a thought-entity--in a shape which was obscure and enigmatic even to him--so by letting it emerge from himself he has really let emerge only this abstract nature only nature as a thought-entity--but now with the significance that it is the other-being of thought, that it is real, intuited nature--nature distinguished from abstract thought. Or, to talk in human language, the abstract thinker learns in his intuition of nature that the entities which he thought to create from nothing, from pure abstraction--the entities he believed he was producing in the divine dialectic as pure products of the labour of thought, for ever shuttling back and forth in itself and never looking outward into reality--are nothing else but abstractions from characteristics of nature. To him, therefore, the whole of nature merely repeats the logical abstractions in a sensual, external form. He once more resolves nature into these abstractions. Thus, his intuition of nature is only the act of confirming his abstraction from the intuition of nature--is only the conscious repetition by him of the process of creating his abstraction. Therefore, for example, time equals negativity referred to itself (op. cit.,b p.238). To the superseded becoming as being there corresponds, in natural form, superseded movement as matter. Light is reflection-in-itself, the natural form. Body as moon and comet is the natural form of the antithesis which according to logic is on the one side the positive resting on itself and on the other side the negative resting on itself. The earth is the natural form of the logical ground, as the negative unity of the antithesis, etc.

Nature as nature--that is to say, insofar as it is still sensually distinguished from that secret sense hidden within it--nature isolated, distinguished from these abstractions is nothing--a nothing proving itself to be nothing--is devoid of sense, or has only the sense of being an externality which has to be annulled.

"In the finite-teleological position is to be found the correct premise that nature does not contain within itself the absolute purpose." P.225 [§ 245).

Its purpose is the confirmation of abstraction.

"Nature has shown itself to be the idea in the form of other-being. Since the idea is in this form the negative of itself or external to itself, nature is not just relatively external vis-à-vis this idea, but externality constitutes the form in which it exists as nature." P. 277 [§ 247].

Externality here is not to be understood as the world of sense which manifests itself and is accessible to the light, to the man endowed with senses. It is to be taken here in the sense of alienation, of a mistake, a defect, which ought not to be. For what is true is still the idea. Nature is only the form of the idea's other-being. And since abstract thought is the essence, that which is external to it is by its essence something merely external. The abstract thinker recognises at the same time that sensuality--externality in contrast to thought shuttling back and forth within itself--is the essence of nature. But he expresses this contrast in such a way as to make this externality of nature, its contrast to thought, its defect, so that inasmuch as it is distinguished from abstraction, nature is something defective.

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