The Night of the World

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What Hegel called the "Night of the World," the abyss of radical negativity.

Does this not bring us back to the famous passage from the beginning of Hegel's Jenaer Realphilosophie about the "night of the world"?

The human being is this night, this empty nothing, that contains everything in its simplicity - an unending wealth of many representations, images, of which none belongs to him - or which are not present. This night, the interior of nature, that exists here - pure self - in phantasmagorical representations, is night all around it, in which here shoots a bloody head - there another white ghastly apparition, suddenly here before it, and just so disappears. One catches sight of this night when one looks human beings in the eye - into a night that becomes awful.[1]



  1. G.W.F. Hegel, "Jenaer Realphilosophie," in Fruehe politische Systeme, Frankfurt: Ullstein 1974, p. 204. Quoted in The Stellar Parallax: The Traps of Ontological Difference.
  2. Žižek, S. (2000) The Fragile Absolute, or Why the Christian Legacy is Worth Fighting For, London and New York: Verso. p. 81-2, 102