Imágenes de páginas

internal are both essential to the apprehension of truth. All nature would be to us a perfect blank apart from thought; sense-experience alone gives no knowledge. A problem in square-root, though worked out fully and correctly on a blackboard, would be a mere mass of marks to an untaught eye; that is to say, without a knowledge of the thought involved in the explanation of the problem, such a problem would for ever remain a blank; senseperception alone would give no explanation only reason-thought can do that. Equally, God and nature would be nothing but a blank to a person possessed only of sense-perception; as Hegel says, 'the laws of the heavenly bodies are not written on the sky.' In the expression “I think I am I'we have the triple unity of being, thought and ego, as the living concrete totality of all that is. Being is all that is. Thought is all that is and the ego contains in itself all that is as the Absolute Personality of the universe. Ego without thought and being is nothing, just as God is not God without these. God of necessity is Absolute Being, Absolute Thought and Absolute Personality. When emptied of all particularity, being, thought and ego are mere names meaning neither more nor less than nothing means. Since, however, as a matter of fact, we do think such abstractions, and such abstractions are thoughts, we are at once back again to ego, thought and concrete being. Thought is being, and I is being, therefore being is thought, which is the Triple Syllogism—the absolute reason-thought of the totality of Being ; that is of God and His universe. This Being is the absolute thought of all that is, and thought is the absolute being of all that is; Man as ego, as thinker, contains in himself the absolute unity of thought and being. This, then, is the proper qualification,

[ocr errors]

definition, vocation and destination of man. The thought of absolute being is the absolute relativity of being, and this is the infinite and includes all that is finite. Since man in his thought thinks the infinite and absolute, the finite and relative, he is in his thought necessarily infinite, and this thought alone makes him to be in the image of God, as the Bible declares.

All human knowledge begins with and contains the triple experience of self, the world and God in the unity of thought. This triple unity in thought begins in its simplest or most meagre form in abstract being, which means neither more nor less than nothing means. It is very significant that in all our dictionaries nothing' is defined as a noun or substantive.

Again, thought takes the three forms of Intuition, Reflection and the Logical Idea. Intuition is thought seeing and thinking itself in its own light; reflection is thought seeing its own particularity as the universal; while the logical idea is thought in the process of expressing the necessary relation of the soul, the world and God; in other words, the particular and the universal are united in the ego as absolute self-consciousness. How, then, do we know that our logical reasoning is true? It is because intuition accompanies all processes of reflexion and of logical reason; only through intuition are we sure that the processes are valid or possess universal validity. It is only in the light of intuition that we are sure of the facts of reason-thought and of their relation to sense-facts. This is so because reason-thought is intuition, and shines and sees itself in its own light; reason-thought is true faith, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.'

The term experience, since Kant, has played a most important part in science, philosophy and religion.


In the beginning of his Critique of Pure Reason he makes the statement that all our knowledge begins with experience, but he limited the term too much merely to the world of sense, and he declared it to be impossible to have an experience of, or to know the thing-in-itself, by which he means that we cannot have a direct experience of God and spiritual realities. He limited the term being 'to what he held to be a mere logical copula, and thought that such copula possessed no reality. With him the notion of God does not involve the necessity of the being of God, which is absurd, for absolute being necessarily contains the being of God. In this way he abolished our logical knowledge of God and all reality, but being unable to rid himself of the thought of God, he fell back upon mere blind faith. His theoretical system of Pure Reason seemed to destroy the moral element of experience, therefore to remedy this defect he introduced the moral principles of his Practical Reason. Arguing that the moral element implied the existence of God as the moral governor of the universe, he abolished, as he states, our theoretical (logical) knowledge of God and all spiritual realities only to make way for faith. In these modern times experience has come to be regarded as the supreme test of truth, whereas experience is entirely unsatisfactory as the basis of true knowledge if not based on true reason or the logical idea, since we have now an almost infinite variety of religious and even of Christian experiences. As a consequence, such experiences are mere vagaries, reducing religion to a chaos of fancies and imaginations. Kant's Critique of Pure Reason rested ultimately on this subjective experience, which has no objective reality, and consequently gives no true knowledge of God. The modern science of Biblical criticism resembles in this respect Kant's criticism of reason. Kant's pure reason was merely abstract, not concrete, and gives no logical or philosophical exposition of the facts of existence; thus it issued in a kind of agnosticism wherein reason was made to contradict itself, giving as result a mass of contradictions. Similarly the vaunted scientific' criticism of the Bible, dealing with what it calls the facts of the Bible in a superficial manner and not giving a real philosophical explanation of the great truths it contains, must equally lead to the questioning of the Divine authority of the Bible, and to agnosticism. Kant never imagined that his criticism would end in the overthrow of Christian faith, and the modern critics, equally illogical, claim by their results to be demonstrating the permanent value of the Bible, while in reality they only produce a mass of contradictions. The one objective reality pervading the Bible is the objective reality of God—the same reality which pervades the universe. It is this objective reality which gives permanent value to the Scriptures ;

'scientific' criticism, with its analytical methods, will never discover this objective reality, just as scientific dissection can never discover the operation of the spirit, life and being of God in nature. Experience is simply that through which a person passes in life, and may be either true or false; experience alone is thus no guide to the discovery of truth. The old struggle between faith and reason seemed to culminate with Kant showing the futility of reason itself with regard to moral and spiritual questionsespecially the question of the existence of God; reason was helpless in trying to prove the reality of God's existence, so Kant called in the aid of faith and his practical reason. Hegel shows, however, that Kant had not attained to the true conception of reason, though he had attained to the true conception of the concrete notion. Kant's dialectic is mere sophistical reasoning; when his reason transcends sense-perception, it results only in what he calls dialectical illusions; while Hegel's dialectic is the innate activity of the ego developing itself in man to a knowledge of the Absolute Concrete Spirit. On one side the categories are sensuous, on the other intellectual. The logical dialectical evolution of the categories is that movement of thought in the ego which Hegel speaks of when he says, ‘Only so is philosophy capable of being objective demonstrated science, and that is truth.' Hegel's dialectic is the essential activity of the Ego; it is equally the essential activity of thought and of all motion and change. The infinite succession of all objects of sense in time involves both change and creation; this dialectic is at once infinite activity and infinite negativity—a coming-to-be and a ceasingto-be-involving an infinite process, for processless or inactive being is impossible. It is permanent, active and negative. The simple negative is what Hegel calls negation—the negation of the negation ; the absolute affirmative is the inner permanent activity of thought (the Ego).

Kant's metaphysical and transcendental conceptions of time, space and physics (Natural Philosophy) do not at first form part of his Transcendental System of Logic, but they are treated as if independent; as if they existed externally to thought or Pure Reason. At the same time, he speaks of time and space as unlimited and infinite. How could he have conceived of space and time, as unlimited or infinite if thought itself, as one with reason and self-consciousness, were not unlimited ? If space and time are infinite, as he states, then nothing could exist outside of or beyond them; but already his thought, his reason as the all-comprehending unity of the totality of

« AnteriorContinuar »