Hegel on the Light of Life

Bioluminescent phytoplankton, River Derwent, Tasmania

Bioluminescent phytoplankton, River Derwent, Tasmania

‘…vast tracts of sea break out into phosphorescent light…the whole surface of the sea, too, is partly an infinite shining, partly an immeasurable, immense sea of light which consists purely of points of life lacking any further organisation.’

G.W.F.Hegel Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature, Part Two of the Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences (1830), Trans., A.V.Miller, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2004, 297

Vaadhoo Island, Maldives

Vaadhoo Island, Maldives


Images: top/bottom

6 thoughts on “Hegel on the Light of Life

  1. Truth always exists. When we light up the lamps of our hearts, we may be amazed by how magically the points of life are organized. Ordinary people see with eyes, enlightened people see with hearts. Wish you all the very best, my dear friend Phil.

    Yi Ping Wang 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic photos Phil. I remember snorkeling in a moonless night for the first time next to a reef with a flashlight, and turning off the flashlight and seeing bioluminescent organisms all around me. I was in awe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Philomath,
      thanks, I appreciate your always sensitive and thoughtful comments. While I have snorkelled at the Barrier Reef during the day, your experience must have been something very special.
      Best wishes, Phil

      Liked by 1 person

      • I forgot to add, I had to be dragged in to the water. Humans are not meant to swim at night. Besides it wasn’t the great barrier, with great whites.


      • Hi Philomath,
        I did my snorkelling when I camped with a small group on Lizard Island on the Barrier Reef for a couple of weeks in the 90s (that amount of time is not allowed now I believe).

        One of the men had grown up in Poland during and after the second world war. Each day he used to say to us ‘Why don’t you all go off and have a nice day swimming and exploring’ (Cook, on his epic voyages, BTW, had gone to the highest point of the island to try to find a way out from the reef).

        I found out at the end of our time there that when we others were gone for the day, he would bring down food he had scrounged from campers who were leaving the island and then hidden in plastic bags he had hung in the trees and eat it – one ‘little’ story of the psychological damage done to people who survived the capitalist war.

        My other story concerns sharks. The man who organised the trip saw his first (reef) shark and was (rightly) completely amazed. For the next two weeks he told every person he saw about it. And that shark got bigger by the telling: from reef shark> 4′ reef shark> 5′ black tip> 6′ white tip> threatening 7′ ‘silver tip’…

        What impressed me was that several times I was with that man when he recounted his story (each time as though the first), but this still didn’t prevent that shark from getting bigger, more colourful and more dangerous.

        Best regards, Phil

        Liked by 1 person

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