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"You-Consciousness"—Towards Political Theory: Etty Hillesum's Experience And Symbolization Of The Divine Presence

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Chapter Summary

For Etty Hillesum, God or You was the inner source(s) and term, the origin and end, of all her human desire: her 'writing'. This awareness of the divine presence actuated Hillesum's You-Consciousness. If we want to understand both what consciousness is and how it manifests itself not only in a personal experience such as Etty Hillesum's, but in relation to other human beings or in relation to nonconscious aspects of reality, we have to study You-Consciousness in the concrete. This chapter looks at Etty Hillesum's experience and symbolization of the divine presence as "You," i.e. her ongoing dialogue with God or You through writing. It then reflects on the consequences of such experiences for political theory today. From Etty Hillesum's life and writings, we can learn that a very personal experience and struggle with life can actually bring one to the point of acknowledging that there is 'God' or 'You'..

Keywords: divine presence; Etty Hillesum's experience; Etty Hillesum's writings; God; political theory; You-Consciousness



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