|Hegel's Thoughts on Reality
Hegel believed that all real things
in the world are ultimately one, so he is a monist (considers everything one). Hegel also
stated that the study of history is "the thought that Reason rules the world."
Hegel had a reoccurring idea that Reason, and Reason only rules the world.
"Substance is essentially
Subject," in other words, reality in it ultimate state can be best described by
spiritual terms. Therefore, reality is essentially spiritual. "Being and thought are,
in themselves, the same," even if we do not treat them as such. This helps prove
Hegel's theory that all things are ultimately one, and even if we think things are
complete opposites they are really the same in the end. Thought can comprehend reality
because it is its "heart and soul," because Spirit "governs the world"
as "its immanent principle."
Hegel explains his notion of
"The Absolute Idea". He says that "The Absolute Idea" has personality
within it. He also says that everything "is error and gloom, opinion, striving,
caprice, and transitoriness: the Absolute Idea alone is Being, imperishable Life,
self-knowing truth, and the whole of truth." This, he states, is "the only
object and content of philosophy [as well as] art and religion." To Hegel, this
"Absolute Idea" is God himself. Apart for "The Absolute Idea" is
nothing, therefore "The Absolute Idea" in itself is all of reality.
One of Hegel's most famous sentences
is "What is rational is actual and what is actual is rational." This does not
prove that anything exists, but it does help Hegel say that God is real. Earlier Hegel
says that "The Absolute Idea", which is God, is rational, therefore with this
statement, Hegel proves that God, who is rational, is actual.