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The notion that God created this world spectacle for the benefit of man alone is an absurd and unwarranted anthropolatry, but the notion that life first attains individual self-consciousness in man is justified in philosophy and by experience. What is it of which he alone is conscious? It is of being himself, his ego. In all earlier stages of evolution, consciousness is entirely veiled in its forms and never becomes self-aware. Only in the human state does individual consciousness of being first dawn. There may exist on other planets creatures infinitely more intelligent and more amiable than human beings. We may not be the only pebbles on the beach of life. Nevertheless the piece of arrogance which places man highest in the scale of existence contains the dim reverberation of a great truth, for man bears the divine within his breast.

-- Notebooks Category 26: World-Idea > Chapter 4 : True Idea of Man > # 237

-- Perspectives > Chapter 26: World-Idea > # 47