Feuerbach on Consciousness.....
- Consciousness is self-verification, self-affirmation,
self-love, joy in one's own perfection. Consciousness
is the characteristic mark of a perfect nature; it
exists only in a self-sufficing complete being. Even
human vanity attests this truth. A man looks in the
glass; he has complacency in his appearance. This
complacency is a necessary, involuntary consequence
of the completeness, the beauty of his form. A beautiful
form is satisfied in itself; it has necessarily joy
in itself - in self-contemplation. This complacency
becomes vanity only when a man piques himself on his
form as being his individual form, not when he admires
it as a specimen of human beauty in general. It is
fitting that he should admire it thus: he can conceive
no form more beautiful, more sublime than the human.
Assuredly every being loves itself, its existence -
and fitly so. To exist is good. Everything that exists
has value, is a being of distinction - at least this is
true of the species: hence it asserts, maintains itself.
But the highest form of self-assertion, the form which
is itself a superiority, a perfection, a bliss, a good,
From 'The Essence of Christianity' by Ludwig Feuerbach