for Hegel, there is no One at the beginning, every One is a return-to-itself from the two. The One to which one returns is constituted through return, so it is not that One splits into two-One is a Two of which one part is nothing. Here is how, in an extremely condensed passage, Hegel formulated the gap that separates the dialectical process proper from Plotinian "emanation" : "The simple unity, its becoming, is that sublation of all predicates-the absolute negativity; the coming-out [emanation: Herausgehenl is this negativity in itself-one should not begin with oneness and then pass to duality:'" The last part says it all, directly rejecting the standard notion of the dialectical process as the deployment or division of the initial or immediate One into Two-one should not begin with oneness and then pass to duality. Why not? Because the One is only constituted through the passage to duality, through its division. The unexpected consequence ofthis fact is that, contrary to the common notion that the number of Hegelian dialectics is 3, in other words that Hegel's goal is to overcome all dualisms in a higher "synthesis:' to reconcile the opposites in an encompassing third medium, the proper number of dialectics is 2: not 2 as the duality of polar opposites, but 2 as the inherent self-distancing of the One itself: the One only becomes One by way of redoubling itself, by acquiring a minimal distance towards itself.