Temporality, Stream of Consciousness and the I in The Bernau Manuscripts
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In the Bernau Manuscripts (1917–1918) Husserl analyzes the deepest level of time-constitution in the stream of consciousness. Although the I does not seem to play any important role in these phenomenological descriptions, Texts No. 14 and 15 are an exception. In this paper I analyze the way Husserl presents the problem of the I here in its relationship to temporality and to the stream of consciousness. I begin by giving a brief account of the meaning of the methodical suspension of the I – a procedure which is typically misunderstood – in order to disclose it as the necessary center and pole of the stream of consciousness. As a center and pole of consciousness, the I should not be identified either with a moment of the stream or with the stream itself. Thus, we can reveal its special temporal character as “supra-temporal” (the I “flows above” the stream of consciousness). After determining that the I is not an experience, we reach to the methodological problem of the givenness of this I. Out of this analysis, the I appears as an “object-I”, objectified through reflection. However, with these reflections we also recognize that this “object-I” is not the original I-pole of my life consciousness, namely the “primal-I”. This “primal-I” (Ur-Ich) – which as an “operating I” should not be confused with other egological levels – appears as the necessary original “mine-ness” of all my experiences. Finally, I show that the primal I is always given together with the stream of consciousness as the innermost original intentional primal-tension.