It is very important to try to understand his formulations mathematically, almost in the sense of mathematical sets, rather than intuitively, because if you try to the intuitive method you will allow yourself to be misled.
In any case, we have this notion of subjectivity as a condition that is made possible by being curtailed, constrained or observed by a transcendent other. In this sense we could consider the construct of “immanence” versus “transcendence”, in that those who transcend their constraints lose their sense of social and emotional and political identity. That identity only becomes possible the minute it is not infinite, since only a finite number can be known and identified. But when the actor is infinite, he may as well make no statement about its identity at all, because it could be anything, and in a sense it is also everything.
You can see then, that Hegel draws from a very general mathematical logic in order to construct his dialectics. To explain further, if one is not curtailed and constrained by any human limitation because one has defied one’s fear of death (then ultimate human limit), then one has the status of “Lord” and a relationship with infinity. One cannot be known and is unknowable. One dominates according to one’s will, but one also (perhaps unknowingly or uncaringly) sacrifices identity, when one denies a limit to one’s being. By contrast, the bondsman or slave admits a limit to his being because he fears death. Perhaps it is not so much that death itself becomes a limit, thus giving him a sense of identity in the form of a closed set, but psychologically as well, his timidity makes him submit to a master, who limits his being by curtailing and controlling his activities. As a result of this, he gains a defined – hence recognizable – identity, which we might understood as giving him “subjectivity” (i.e. he is “subject” to the master and so his range of being acquires a certain logical predictability, which in turn he learns to relate to as his real essence or incontrovertible self). The master, (who is in the masterful relation to the bondsman simply because he can defy all limits), has no socially delimited identity, and therefore no KNOWN limited emotional or behavioral range (he is not defined by the restrictions that cause others to retreat into fear and servitude). His identity therefore cannot be defined. In this sense we can say that he transcends subjectivity.