simism66 quoted from the book "Representation and Man" as saying: The universe thus conceived as an intelligible total system evolving within itself a representation of itself models nicely Hegel's conception of the Absolute evolving to self-consciousness. In Die Phiinomenologie des Geistes, Hegel proposes that we identify subject-matter and method, viewing the history of philosophy as the history of consciousness, its method as the dialectic of consciousness, and the goal of philosophical inquiry as the coming of consciousness to an awareness of its evolutionary history and, thus, to an awareness of itself as consciousness to self-consciousness. This, too, finds a parallel in the view which I have been sketching. For in treating the having by us of a representation yielding methodology of empirical inquiry as itself a fit subject for empirical inquiry, I perform also the reflexive trick of ultimately identifying subject and method. And the upshot is the same, for what emerges in Hegel's philosophy as the self-actualization of the Absolute finds its parallel here in a synoptic empirical theory of man-in-the-universe which views the epistemic activities of persons and the fundamental nature of the physical arena in which those activities occur as explanatorily correlative, neither being understandable apart from a conception of the other. When we ask whose theory this (ultimate) theory would be, however, it becomes equally appropriate to assign it to the universe as subject as to ourselves - for it is precisely a theory which posits us and our representations as necessary products of the natural evolution of that universe. We are, aphoristically speaking, the universe's way of asking itself what it is like. And in this way, the traditional dichotomy between knowing subject and known object at last disappears. Therefore God requires us and we require God. The relationship is recursive.