The Mind also manifests itself in human affairs. Art is the sensuous expression of creative Spirit and is a rational process, and the philosopher can study art for the representation of reality that it really is. The philosopher can study religion and see that it is the highest nonrational manifestation of the Mind. In Christianity, the highest evolution of religious expression, the incarnation symbolically reflects the truth that the infinite is manifest in the finite and not distinct from it. In philosophy, Reason is revealed as the rational process. Through the concepts of philosophy the philosopher may know Reason as it has been and as it is in itself. The history of philosophy thus reveals the development of Mind itself in its quest for its own unification and actualization. The greater the historical perspective accorded the philosopher, the greater and richer the vision of the system and of Reason's own self-comprehension in the system.
Absolute Mind also manifests itself in the individual, who develops from a subjectivistic state to an objective rational consciousness through developmental phases of family, society, and state. To Hegel human history is the progression from bondage to freedom. Freedom is achieved as the desires of the individual are integrated into the unified system of the state, in which the will of one is replaced by the will of all. This theory is shown in his division of history into three stages, the first of which is in the ancient orient where only the ruler was free, the second in Greece and Rome where some were free, and modern world where all are considered free. This view of history divided Hegel's followers into left- and right-wing camps, with leftists like Marx turning the dialectic of Spirit into the dialectic of economic conditions and rightists stressing the unity of the state and breathing new life into Protestantism.
Perhaps no other thinker since Kant has had a comparable influence on
philosophy, art, religion, and literature."