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CHAPTER XII

THE SPIRITUAL NATURE OF UNIVERSAL

GRAVITATION

THI

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'HE science of Nature in its unity with the

science of thought may here be considered from another point of view.

Gravitation,' says Hegel, 'is a profound thought': 'Regarded in the sphere of Reflexion, it has only the import of the result of an abstraction ... not the import of the Idea explicated in its reality.' By Reflexion, Hegel evidently means that the nature of gravitation was not scientifically or logically explained. It was merely named a Force, without an explanation of the real nature of the Force. Then, to account for the varying velocities of the planets, in consequence of the variation of their distance from the sun, two supposed necessary forces, attraction and repulsion, were conjectured to belong, in some fashion, to what was named one force, viz. universal gravitation. These two forces were named respectively centripetal and centrifugal, one drawing to the centre and the other driving away from it; they were supposed to act independently, so that when one had spent itself, the other began to act in the opposite direction. Newton, the discoverer of what is called universal gravitation, has demonstrated mathematically its law, that 'all bodies attract and repel each other in inverse proportion to the square of their distance,'

yet, the nature of the Force, so far as physical science is concerned, is still unexplained, and therefore still unknown: and, after all, the nature of the force is the vital question. To give it a name and leave it unexplained is certainly not scientific : true science explains and proves, yet mere mathematics cannot explain or tell what gravitation is. To say that it is a purely physical force is merely assumption; mathematicians can only prove that the motion of the planets is in agreement with the mathematical formula, but not that the formula is deduced logically from the nature of the force, or the force from the formula. We certainly know as a matter of fact that force is something real and universal in Nature, but we only know this because human thought is universal and is in itself a real force or power. All force has its necessary relation and identity in the relation of ideas in the human Ego. We know nothing of a physical force separate from and independent of its essential relation in human thought, therefore the thought of universal gravitation can only be logically one with thought as the moving, guiding and directing power of the created universe. Consequently, all motion is one with the dialectic movement of the conscious power of the Ego, the universal intelligence and reason of the universe. The reign of law is not a blind reign ; intelligent design is the inner nature of everything, everywhere. If any one deny that man's thought is universal, he by his very denial denies himself, denies the universality of force, and universal gravitation ; for no one can rationally deny that the thought of gravitation is an essential element and fact of human thought : that is, if he thinks universal gravitation a fact, he thinks the infinite as spiritual. To know anything that is outside and independent of thought is impossible ; indeed, such so-called knowledge is mere conjecture, and not true knowledge or science. But each man knows for himself that his own thought is a real power, is force itself, and is at one and the same time both attraction and repulsion. Thus he has no need to resort to conjecture or hypothesis, he has simply to explain logically the nature and action of his own thought, his own reason; therein he will find the explanation of the centripetal and centrifugal forces and of the motions of the heavenly bodies. But he must not confound his reason with his fancies.

Newton warned his followers to beware of metaphysics, but to his honour, as Hegel says, he disobeyed his own injunctions, for with Newton the vast infinity of space was the sensorium of the Deity. He says: 'God is one and the same always and everywhere ; Him we know by His qualities and attributes, and by final causes—final causes are always spiritual.' If it can be shown that Newton has said that the force of gravitation was wholly physical, then he contradicts himself, for he says: "The whole of things created could have its origin only in the ideas and will of a necessarily existing Being.' UNIVERSAL THOUGHT IS AT ONCE REPULSION AND

ATTRACTION As the science of concrete logic is grounded on the three functions or three moments of the Ego, so the centripetal and centrifugal forces are based thereon. As universal, the Ego embraces the totality of Nature; as singular, it is the spirit of nature in its oneness, in the absolute centrality of all bodies in one; as particular, every separate body has a specific gravity of its own in essential relation to its universal. The Ego is the dialectic power in matter as its essential activity, or it is universal gravitation manifesting itself in the movement of its various bodies. As one, it is the repulsion of one into many ones, because thought is many in one ; as many ones it is the attraction of the many into one, because thought is one in many ones; only so are repulsion and attraction possible. There can be no repulsion without attraction, and no attraction without repulsion. If many were not one, and one were not many, there would be nothing to attract and repel. Sensethought and reason-thought are, at bottom, one. Through sense I become aware of the many, and through reason I know that every object is a thought, and that every thought is in essential relation to one universal thought, in and through my own infinite, universal reason-thought. It is thus absurd to speak of universal gravitation if the term universal does not mean the veritable, infinite, Concrete Being and Thought of God including my own thought.

The laws of motion, as discovered by Kepler, were all real and metaphysical, and Newton's mathematical formula was sound and good, but if, as we have just remarked, he regarded gravitation as a mere physical force, his metaphysics was at fault and very misleading. It was a conjectured, hypothetical cause, the real nature of which was unexplained, and therefore unscientific. So far, then, his metaphysics was unsatisfactory, because the nature of the force was not logically deduced from the concrete nature of thought, that is from the Ego, which is the entire secret of the universe. Though far from Newton's intention and wish, yet this undoubtedly tends to eliminate God from philosophy and science, and also from the government of the world. It left the real relation of God to the world unknown. Any system of philosophy, or any theory of science, mathematical or otherwise, which ignores the existence of thought as an all-pervading, intelligent force in Nature is entirely false. It cannot but be admitted that what is named gravitation is as invisible to sense as conscious thought is; therefore, if the motion of objects proves the presence and reality of gravitation, it equally proves the presence and reality of thought. Further, to regard the starry heavens as the visible manifestation of a mere physical, universal gravitation most certainly falls very far short of being as logically intelligible and certain as the conception that the starry heavens is the visible manifestation of self-conscious reason-thought, that is, of God. Thought is a fact of man's conscious experience, while gravitation, as something merely material or physical, is not so, and as a matter of fact, the purely physical nowhere exists by itself. Apart from selfconscious reason, a rational system of reason is impossible, and therein alone is God known. The world is not governed by irrational thought, while to know what rational thought is, is to know God, for a God who in His being and essence is not selfconscious rational thought is not a God at all, and so is necessarily unknown. So, because thought cannot abstract its being from itself, or from existence in general, the thought of God's Being cannot be abstracted from the self-consciousness of man, or from universal existence.

THOUGHT IS AT ONCE EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL

Nature as the external side and manifestation of thought, or as a system of objective thought, is necessarily a mechanical system of particular bodies acting in essential relation to each other. No satellite, planet, sun, or star has an independent existence; every single body is, in its very nature, a part of and dependent on the whole. All the heavenly

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