it is paradoxical to tie a truth so intimate as that of self-consciousness (the return of being to full and irreducible sovereignty) to these completely external determinations. Yet it is easy to perceive the deep meaning of these determinations if one returns to the essential without further delay. In the first place, the paradox is carried to an extreme owing to the fact that politics considered in terms of "the dominant international economy" only aims at an improvement of the global standard of living. It is in a sense disappointing and depressing. A point must be uncovered where dry lucidity coincides with a sense of the sacred. This implies the reduction of the sacred world to the component most purely opposed to things, its reduction to pure intimacy.