"Influenced by the writing of Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Schiller, it takes as its basis the self-determination of man. But where he reassessed the idealist assumptions underpinning his concept of art, Beuys was convinced that the Ego is, in its behavior toward itself, able to lock into that need for freedom which is also at the source of human creativity within the social and political body. By returning into itself, the Ego is able to experience its free independent activity (Selbsttätigkeit)
as a creative/formative occurrence and is then willfully able to undertake such activity as the process of shaping the life-world. The return into the Ego, Beuys believed, initially ensured that the 'perceptual field' was turned 'inward' and thus empowers the Ego to experience 'its own free independent activity consciously.' The expansion of the perceptual field inwards enabled the Ego to cross a 'threshold of freedom' and in doing so recognized 'the connection between inner and outer worlds'...'"
Max Reithmann, "In the Rubblefield of German History: Questions for Joseph Beuys," in Gene Ray, Ed., Joseph Beuys: Mapping the Legacy, New York 2001, p. 139