Movement of Thinking

The Harmonizer (2010)
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Conceptual thinking is form and content simultaneously. It is not that thinking is going on outside of or external to some fixed material substance. That idea would be formalistic thinking – abstract thinking or material thinking. Hegel calls thinking that goes on in its own realm, outside of that which it is thinking about, reflective thinking or reflection. When you look into a mirror you see your own reflection. A reflection is something that comes back to you – the active agent. Thinking that merely reflects on a particular object never penetrates into the object but just superficially glances off the object and comes back into itself as thinking. Thus reflective thinking is something that goes on only in the subjective mind – it doesn’t really ever leave itself and penetrate into the actual object before it. It stays only with itself. Thus in effect it creates a duality between itself as reflective thinking and the object or substance that it is reflecting on. Conceptual thinking is not like that. Conceptual thinking absorbs itself in the content, object or substance as its own thinking itself. Conceptual thinking is thus both the form and content, subject and object, subject and substance – the thought of thought, or the thinking of thinking. Furthermore conceptual thinking is the activity of the Concept itself, it is not something different from the Concept. The Concept differentiates itself because it is living, thinking or dynamic thought itself. That is why we said that the Concept IS the thing. It is not that there is a Concept and a thing that it is the concept of. Hegel is not a Kantian!



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Bhakti Madhava Puri
Bhakti Vedanta Institute of Spiritual Culture and Science

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