— Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, livro Lectures on the Philosophy of History
Here it is sufficient to state that the first step in the process presents that immersion of Spirit in Nature which has been already referred to ; the second shows it as advancing to the consciousness of its freedom. But this initial separation from Nature is imperfect and partial, since it is derived immediately from the merely natural state, is consequently related to it, and is still encumbered with it as an essentially connected element. The third step is the elevation of the soul from this still limited and special form of freedom to its pure universal form ; that state in which the spiritual essence attains the consciousness and feeling of itself. These grades are the ground-principles of the general process; but how each of them on the other hand involves within itself a process of formation, constituting the links in a dialectic of transition, to particularise this must be preserved for the sequel. Here we have only to indicate that Spirit begins with a germ of infinite possibility, but only possibility, containing its substantial existence in an undeveloped form, as the object and goal which it reaches only in its resultant full reality. In actual existence Progress appears as an advancing from the imperfect to the more perfect; but the former must not be understood abstractly as only the imperfect, but as something which involves the very opposite of itself the so-called perfect as a germ or impulse. So reflectively, at least possibility points to something destined to become actual; the Aristotelian δύναμιςis https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CE%B4%CF%8D%CE%BD%CE%B1%CE%BC%CE%B9%CF%82 also potentia, power and might. Thus the Imperfect, as involving its opposite, is a contradiction, which certainly exists, but which is continually annulled and solved; the instinctive movement the inherent impulse in the life of the soul to break through the rind of mere nature, sensuousness, and that which is alien to it, and to attain to the light of consciousness, i. e. to itself.
Lectures on the History of History Vol 1 p. 58-59 John Sibree translation (1857), 1914
Lectures on the Philosophy of History (1832), Volume 1