object at the same moment that I am conscious of the sensation.—I have found the solution; I am immediately conscious of my act, only not as such; but it moves before me as an objective reality. This consciousness is a consciousness of the object. Subsequently by free reflection I may also become conscious of it as an act of my own mind.
My immediate consciousness is composed of two elements:—the consciousness of my passivity, i.e. sensation, and of my activity in the production of an object according to the law of causality; the latter consciousness connecting itself immediately with the former. My consciousness of the object is only a yet unrecognised consciousness of my production of a presentation of an object. I am only cognisant of this production because I myself am the producer. And thus all consciousness is immediate, is but a consciousness of myself, and therefore perfectly comprehensible. Am I in the right?
Spirit. Perfectly so; but whence then the necessity and universality thou hast ascribed to thy principles;—in this case to the principle of causality?
I. From the immediate feeling that I cannot act otherwise, as surely as I have reason; and that no other reasonable being can act otherwise, as surely as it is a reasonable being. My proposition,—“All that is contingent, such as in this case my sensation, must have a cause,”—means the following: “I have at all times pre-supposed a cause, and every one who thinks will likewise be constrained to pre-suppose a cause.”
Spirit. Thou perceivest then that all knowledge is merely a knowledge of thyself; that thy consciousness never goes beyond thyself; and that what thou as-