Watercolour and ink on paper, 76 x 56cm, 2016
The German philosopher Hegel argues that Jesus abandoned his disciples and left them alone to fight the Christian cause when he returned to His Father in heaven. “His disciples remained as sheep without a shepherd”. He chose the spiritual over the political. His move created the conditions for the political moment of consciousness, its utopian moment. The Christian moment of consciousness succeeds the Jewish moment which cuts the finite and determinate from the infinite and indeterminate. Christianity lifts the limitations of Judaism and the holy laws founded on these limitations by claiming that the finite has always been penetrated by the infinite, the divine. The Christian moment then undergoes a partial reversal, itself a moment when Jesus rises from the dead (the finite), appears to his disciples and tells them he has to return to His Father’s side (the infinite) but that he will come a second time to redeem the Jewish cut, to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. His job is only half done but he is confident his disciples will continue his work, motivated by his promise. He leaves religion in an anticipatory state. The Christian moment sets spirit in movement, releases it from the Jewish state. The end of all such moments of consciousness, and therefore the end of history which is but the history of consciousness, is the state of pure presence.