At the Start
At the Start
As the present book deals with the beginnings of human existence in political existence, this chapter undertakes the preliminary task of elucidating the notion of a “beginning” (Anfang) in human existence through a contrast with the idea of a “start” (Beginn). Whereas a start lies in the past, through a beginning the future (or future possibilities) is pre-shaped through the drawing of boundaries. In this way, there is an element of freedom in a beginning that is not found in a start. This distinction overlaps with that of a first and a second birth, insofar as the bodily birth, which concerns the individual as individual, lies outside the sphere of freedom, whereas the second (or “political”) birth happens only in freedom, which is inevitably intertwined with the exercise of power in a social context. Thus the Gestalt of power, which creates humans for a second time, must be understood as the Gestalt of humanity as such, i.e., of the life of human beings with their peers.
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