In his youth, Hegel interprets recollection and its function as a faculty of the intellect perpetuating the dualistic interpretation of distinction, within a mechanistic understanding of time, which is understood as succession. As Hegel’s system matured—bearing witness to a renewed view of temporality, no longer understood as a chronological succession of “before and after,” but rather as a circle wherein the “after” precedes andfounds the “before”—he attributes to Erinnerung the complexity of the dialectical movement. The latter becomes manifest in spirit’s capacity to retrieve its own freedom both in a negative sense—as freedom from given contents—and in a positive sense—as the capacity to constitute reality by redefining the given contents, thereby proving itself as the process determining history and time rather than as their outcome. It is within this process that Erinnerung enables us to go past religion, which ties mankind to a specific world and history, and enables spirit’s free development.
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