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THE DAWN
OF PHILOSOPHY

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GEORG MISCH of THE DAWN PHILOSOPHY A Philosophical Primer Edited in English by R. F. G. HULL LONDON ROUTLEDGE & KEGAN PAUL LIMITED .

G.4 1950 Printed fa threat Britain by Butler & Tanner Ltd.DER WEG IN DIE PHILOSOPHIE First published in Germany 1926 THE DAWN OF PHILOSOPHY Enlarged and first published in England by ROUTLEDGE & KEGAN PAUL LTD. Frome and London . 68-74 Garter Lane London. Broadway House.. E.

Dilthey and Husserl II THOUGHT BREAKS THROUGH THE NATURAL OUTLOOK ON LIFE ' ' 15 1 THE VISION OF THE BOUNDLESS WORLD ' i Chuang-Tzu's life I Autumn 1 Floods* 2 6 THE PARTING OF THE WAYS : from the of Buddha 17 1 3 THE RADICAL NATURE OF MORAL DECISION Spinoza 9 4 THE ASCENT INTO KNOWLEDGE : Plato's Allegory of the : Cave 22 5 THE WAY FROM LIFE TO PHILOSOPHY alism Metaphysics and Ration25 III PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER a The Unity of Philosophy in the Diversity of its 39 Historical Forms 39 Questioning : b The 1 First 46 i How the sense of wonder opened pure contemplation (theoria) as an end in itself. Schopenhauer. detached from the practical purposes of life THE GREEK TESTIMONY the way to 47 Definitions by Plato. Aristotle. Coleridge 2 THE INDIAN TESTIMONY observance of : How enquiry arose out of the religious 64 Vedic poetry to speculative theology in sacrificial rites The transition from myth 3 THE CHINESE TESTIMONY : How reflection on political responsibility arose out of anxiety to hold on to the right way of life The personal ideal and the moral interpretation of history in Old 93 Chou Culture v .CONTENTS PAGE EDITOR'S FOREWORD ix xii NOTE I MAN'S 'NATURAL' OUTLOOK AND SECURITY IN LIMITATION Introductory Statements i from Goethe.

VI CONTENTS PAGE IV THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS BRAHMA. is the vehicle of universal life. the Community. the resolution of the relationship and between Soul and God- head (Atman and Brahma) in the original unity of both From the Upanishads : : 158 158 a Mystic Pantheism The principle of world-unity (Brahma) is the Self (Atman) in the heart of man b The Breath. discovered as subjective in the phenomenon of con163 sciousness. or its cosmic equivalent. the World I The THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT realization of the Absolute by immersion 124 in the Self. and the perfect society is modelled on the divine world-order rather than on power' ' relationships From the Confucian and Taoist Classics: ' ' a The secularization of the old ethico-political monotheism and * the metaphysical significance of centre and harmony ' 211 211 b The c regularity of natural processes in heaven and earth and their relation to human culture The reign of the Absolute in the world-process and man's it part in 214 in the speculative poetry of early d Metaphysics and mysticism Taoism Two sequences : 216 3 i THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD The Cosmological and Personal Background 223 ii The Rise of Metaphysics and Ethics in the Work of Heraclitus 223 228 a The Language of the Metaphysician b Pantheism and Metaphysics c 228 235 241 251 d Systematic Arrangement of the Fragments The Logos of Heraclitus A Selections from the Book of Heraclitus . becomes the absolute and impersonal Subject 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY ' ' 170 The reign of the Absolute among men is seen as the operation of a dispassionate. Wind. non-violent power . TAG. while Brahma ( Atman) is the world-soul and the principle of knowledge naturalistic interpretation of world-unity : 159 161 c Spiritualization of the monist principle d Spirit. LOGOS : 121 Metaphysical knowledge has an original unity but a variable orientation towards the three basic factors of human life : the Self.

CONTENTS Vll THE DIALECTIC OF THOUGHT IN METAPHYSICAL PAGE 263 KNOWLEDGE I HERAGLITUS AND THE DIALECTIC OF LIFE relation 264 between the Absolute and the aestheticrational outlook of the Greeks 2 The dynamic THE DIALECTIC OF ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE : 265 The formulae of the knowing Subject the multiform world is an appearance diversified by name and shape (nama-rupa) . the Spirit knows itself as the nameless and shapeless One . the AbsoFrom the Upanishads lute is declared through negation 3 THE DIALECTIC OF ABSOLUTE ACTION positive value of the way of negation for sage and ruler From the Tao TB Ching 270 The 4 MODERN UTTERANCES THAT RECALL THE METAPHYSICAL ORIGIN a Meister Eckhart God and the Godhead : 273 277 The Vision of God c Giordano Bruno God and the World d Hegel on Spinoza's Pantheism The Absolute Substance and b Nicholas of Cusa : : 280 285 : the Causa Sui 288 VI METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION The Absolute 1 391 as the object of thought. which fulfils itself in the vision of Being THE EXISTENTIAL SENTENCE CHINESE METAPHYSICS IN THE UPANISHADS IN 2 94 2 THE NEGATIVE VALUE OF ONTOLOGICAL CONTROVERSY IN PARMENIDES 305 : 3 THE FOUNDATIONS OF ONTOLOGY TRINE OF TRUTH AND BEING THE DOC307 GENERAL INDEX 329 .

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has devoted his life's work to a combination of philosophy and the humane sciences. the Upanishads. ix A* D. left the embarrassment of discovering that in certain instances. unfinished and Parmenides. it is hoped. slightly expanded. feel at liberty merely to translate literary. who. Owing to the war to leave the final draft of the translation and. The task facing me as translator was the very enjoyable one of revising Mr. in which feeling I had Professor Misch's support. the papers were handed to me at the instance of the late Dr.Veda. the Rig. and the early Confucian and Taoist texts. and trying to reduce the whole of the exegetical material to a uniform But the task grew more complicated when it came to style. had completed most of the alterations .P. Wilhelm . Professor Misch's versions without regard to the English authoriYet this ties. early in 1946. who had come to England in the summer of 1939. and wished to add some new material dealing with Heraclitus Mr. For the purposes of the German editing the various texts. Sutton's brilliant draft of Professor Misch's prewar commentaries. had worked through the standard German versions of the texts with the assistance of equally learned colleagues. Sutton was obliged . The extent of the new material proved to be such that it was decided to publish the book in two volumes. the translator being Mr. In the meantime Professor Misch had returned to Germany. making slight alterations to such of them as the latter had written in his fluent and forceful English. Mannheim for revision and completion of the second part. Claude Sutton. and had therefore been able to present them in a form as authoritative as it was artistic and I did not. The present volume represents Way a very considerable expansion of the first part of that work the second part. necessary for the English edition by the beginning of this war. like his teacher and father-in-law Dilthey. however. appear before very long. edition Professor Misch.EDITOR'S FOREWORD ^ I ^he JL original German edition of this book was published in 1926 under the title of Der Weg in die Philosophic (" The into Philosophy "). will. The author.

intelligibility Arthur Waley's words. Myself not knowing any of these languages and therefore unable to judge of the accuracy of this or that version. man than for the scholar. most unfairly in opinion. opinion of living English experts. decided in favour of Professor Misch's revised German versions. in selection. as is inevitable with texts that may be corrupt or extant in more than one form. or that a vain attempt has been made to produce similar versions here. Though this applies mainly to the texts in Part Two. in compiling from the many sources available a version that shall satisfy the demands of accuracy and literature in equal measure. In every case I have indicated in footnotes the main source used for the English versions. from the English ones. where no English text was available. Arthur Many critics condemned it. a scriptural translation rather than an * In speaking of the late Richard historical translation. a compromise seemed the only title Since the book was. or finally that the above criteria have c ' scriptural entailed a complete disregard for accuracy. inadequate though it must be. because it fails to do what the author had never any intention of doing. my more lucidly and accurately than any of its predecessors what the Book of Changes means to the average Far Eastern reader to-day. Acknowledgments for special help and advice from living authorities are due in par- .EDITOR'S FOREWORD particularly in the Indian texts. together with alternative sources so far as known to me. It fails of course to tell us what the book On the other hand. admittedly a masterpiece of interpretation and style." This should not be taken to imply either that the passages here quoted from the various texts are comparable with Wilhelm's version. as its German an of to philosophy and shows. * 5 it was decided to make readability and of textual criteria and the to aim at. it tells us far meant in the loth century B. It only means that where the German and English authorities diverged I have. and. something approach and for the student more designed philosophically-minded laysolution. who is no classical or Oriental scholar.C. sometimes quite widely. the German source used by the author. which failing access to the in the great majority of cases happen also to be the more literary. it has some bearing on the present volume. at least call forth their leniency. ' ' ' Wilhelm's German " : Waley writes edition of the Chinese Book of Changes. May the attempted solution. the German versions diverged. It is hoped that scholars will appreciate the difficulties that beset an editor.

Dr. Essex County Librarian. and not least the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning. 2 . and to Mr. Chester. gratitude to those who enabled him to come to England during the time of the Nazi oppression and to continue his work here. who provided the basis for the two Rig. Deiniol's Library. and to tender my warmest thanks debt to Mr. HULL. Mr. Kurt Hahn. and for the scrupulous care with which he checked the manuHe in his turn wishes to express his script and the proofs. who permitted very extensive quotation from his The Way and its Power . Rait. and the associated I would like also to acknowledge libraries for the loan of books. headmaster of Gordonstown School . my to the author himself for his unfailing help on all possible occasions.EDITOR ticular to the late Dr.Veda hymns in in. A. and Mr. A. to Mr. W. Coles of Messrs. SWANAGE. Hawarden. Murray Fowler. F. C. . namely. Claude Sutton. Haloun. S FOREWORD XI Ananda Coomaraswamy. Mr. Kegan Paul. to Dr. who provided invaluable information regarding the Upanishadic material . Cambridge St. April 1949 . Vidler. R. Herbert Read. Arthur Waley. Warden of Professor Dr.

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He may have been influenced by some personality who had a philosophical attitude to things. or by standing in the midst of life and yet detached from it some book which opened a fresh vista of the world to his gaze. this other world. In . Dilthey. It seems to be something quite self-contained. meaning the plane upon which we live who are enmeshed in the illusions of common or garden existence. air we breathe. we may living thing. strangely so that. They are fond . and Philosophy is as For human integral a part of it as Religion. we all live in a spiritual world. life is essentially a piece of history. He must have come under its influence at some time or another. When this happens it strikes us like a message from another world the world where Philosophy abides and plies her craft. he still feels he is approaching it from without and groping for an entrance. Poetry. to talk of the standpoint of the common man '. as they look down on the everyday activities of men.. this spiritual atmosphere Philosophy is a not tied to any particular form . thereby following the counsel of the philosophers themselves. They are wont. * ' c etc.I MAN'S < NATURAL OUTLOOK AND SECURITY ' IN LIMITATION Introductory Statements from Goethe. We shall take this approach from without as our startingpoint. although unfamiliar to the man not conversant with it he may have come under its influence. though come upon it in a saying or a poem or a novel. Indeed. and Husserl f I ^he man who JL seeks entry into the realm of Philosophy stands in a dual relationship to it. or Science. otherwise he would not be seeking to enter. and the historical process builds up that spiritual environment which envelops us like the .

and hedges round. Seeing himself placed in the great wide world. Every one of us has his own sphere of action. full light of consciousness so that free choice. spend their daily lives . . It is a blessing for the world that so few men are born to be observers of it. for example. and those who have tried to detach themselves from it. sums it up as follows Nature forms man . us descriptions of this ' man's natural explicitly calling it left have The : great German poet. Thus a man's clothes and furniture give us . It is this inner instinct that coordinates more or less. Kindly Providence has given every man a sort of instinct which bids him act thus and not otherwise . I am like a prisoner who. Man's surroundings do not merely act upon him he in his turn upon them. Nevertheless it is the plane whereon they too. yet it shall help me not But this is a laborious underto acquiesce in anything false taking. henceforward. . If it is my power to apprehend anything true. reacts 1 Meditationes de prima philosophta. Descartes. expressed I will himself as follows : remain obstinately fixed in this way of thinking. 1 not in . and by allowing himself to be modified he modifies everything round him. . cardinal thinker of modern times. . but amid the inextricable shades of difficulties at present removed. this helps him on his way through life. his own little world within it. The things that will thus be . know full well the danger of losing all foothold. who in that faith set out to build the system of knowledge afresh from its foundations. take in we may life and of our own hand the that has been given us. when he begins to suspect that he is awakening. in his dreams. end of Book I. like the rest of us. not in any light. he transforms Nature. his own sure indications of his character. Poets state and other writers accustomed way. Goethe. and then. lest the laborious waking that must follow these soothing dreams be spent. .MAN'S ' NATURAL' OUTLOOK I of likening that existence to a dream from which they themselves have wakened. So I of fears to be roused and lazily courts the pleasant illusion.brought to light will appear very obvious but it is one of the tasks of philosophy to bring the shall consider first of all this . he stakes out. trusting to the power of thought The alone. accustomed way of life '. without his being altogether aware of it. sometimes '. the experiences he has. enjoys a fancied liberty. and furnishes it after his own image. my own accord slip back to my old opinions and am afraid to rouse myself. We c obvious into the deliberately. and yet this transformation is quite natural. . and a certain indolence draws me back to the accustomed way of life.

just as a man eats. so. he does not have to worry about the relationship they may have to one another. This stabilizing of our unconscious '. 1 " by Goethe. How many thousands of us. so he sees. an acceptance of crystallization what is analogous and a rejection of what is foreign. are life-concepts. life of things '. also any more than a painter produces a photographic copy we have to conceive them in a certain way. The essential ' difference between the common man's attitude and that of the ' scientist is excellently jformulated the average man. perceiving quite clearly the relationship things have to him. becomes a self-contained world within which he goes his way. Habit. by and by. Action and Reaction. for himself. familiar to us through everyday usage . is convincing enough but. acts and links up his experiences without really being aware that he does so. traces of a special scientific will colour. which enable us to describe them at all are The categories that Goethe employs here called categories '. existence ' takes * ' ' ' not interested in the qualities that constitute the objective nature of each . or likeness ' . of various He is things and persons which he experiences through Feeling. like an interpretation. L .MAN'S C NATURAL ' OUTLOOK joys and sorrows. his loves and hates become firmly established. point of view which give it a naturalistic are Man out chief of these which in his Enthe concepts. inadvertently about an instinctive centre. even those that fancy themselves thinkers and seekers after truth. Thus our experiences are guided by emotions such as joy and sorrow. since man is primarily concerned with the significance and value. c '. the individual's : c * We on definite form. he simply lets himself be inclined in one way or another. for all that. pick vironment. 1 The ' picture Goethe draws it is c every description. As the ordinary business of living proceeds. since certain experiences have enabled him to recognize what is analogous to him . literally. he says. drinks and digests without being conscious of his stomach. in his description. the merest commonplace ? In short. these are the concern of the scientist. rest content with a quid pro quo. And however eager a man may be to learn the properties of a thing and the causes of its effects. When we speak people '. love and hatred quite naturally. when he says that perceiving quite clearly the relationship Beitrdge zu Lavaters Physiognomischen Fragmented Bd. This satisfies his need for. our mind is not copying them . an organic life is a vital process. He feels that such and such a thing affects him in such and such a way. and does not stop to enquire why it should so affect him . perceives. The general conceptions. Determinism. there are. this eagerness is seldom an irresistible passion.

each inward or outward act. life as the starting-point of scheme. From this multiplicity of forms I am now going to select one. and yet everywhere shows the same common traits. revealing itself to the depths in its objective manifestations and thus. play. wool-gathering. I am not going to explain or classify. each member each recognizes 1 Geisteswissenschaften. : The account that follows bears on ultimate root of man's view of the world is Life. made such c world-views this the object of psychological and historical enquiry. I behave in a certain way towards men and things. of expansion to my being and increase to my powers others a sense of oppression and confinement. We shall now follow up this sketch same situation. The Each thought. prominent part in philosophy Dilthey as well as in religion 5 and poetry.MAN'S * NATURAL ' OUTLOOK things have to him. in countless forms. who went further along the road opened by Goethe. fulfil the . contemplation. contained in certain cultural or personal views of the world Weltanschauungen which play a ' 5 : ' ' ' ' ' ' . pressing forwards. Life is present to our knowledge perpetually. I am only going to describe a particular state that anybody can observe for himself. Pouring over the whole earth in innumerable individual lives and condefying stantly experienced afresh in the life of each individual our observation as a mere instant in the present yet suffering itself to be caught in the after-images of memory . is a subject for scientific investigation in so far as history and moral philosophy or the humane sciences l deal with it but our knowledge of life is. comes upon me like a concentrated thrust. demands they make on me and expect From some I draw a sense of enjoyfrom ment. insistence. . asking how and why problem they originate. : something from them in return. itself . This description is part of a systematic philosophical description of the may have to one another". calm receptivity. And whenever a man's I take up an attitude. He friend as increasing his own powers. becoming more amenable to our understanding and interpretation than in any perception and consciousness of our own experience. call it what you will like a substratum of life. abate their he at once notices and feels these relationships. each pressing forwards in a definite direction. In this condition I do not merely apprehend other persons and things as realities standing in a causal relationship to myself and to one another vital relationships extend outward from myself in all directions. in them. At the same time I experience an inner condition of rest reverie. above all. for Dilthey regarded and as lived life embodied or objectified actually philosophy in the spiritual world we live in. Life. thoughts. according to Dilthey. does not have to worry about the relationship they of Goethe's with a careful taken from the German philosopher Dilthey.

Everything in the way of tradition. his house and garden. in some particular to test the inferences continually. Scientific thought can go on checking the procedures on which its certainties rest . Since human nature is everywhere the same. whose love. of to external objects. contacts over successive generations. The seat in front of his door. of its formulation. in a strong or that. and his whole environment as being incarnate life and spirit. on our power to generalize about the instances and And even when. despite to all. whether we consider the individual experience ' 3 or the general experience. And . but common to them all is an awareness of the power of chance. Their certainty rests on the ever-increasing number of instances from which we arc able to draw inferences . and of the continual presence of death. These life-experiences include that stable system of relationships in which the selfhood of the subject is linked to that of others and The reality of this selfhood. Regular repetitions of particular experiences get recorded. these. habit is grounded in life-experiences of But always the kind of certainty achieved and the manner this kind. hate. which consists in the relations of these factors to one another. dreamier natures are led to a sense of inadequacy and a up a tissue yearning for an invisible world where things shall really endure these feel their passions surging forward in them until all is lost in illusion. to an attempt to overcome this transitoriness by setting up a rigid framework to his life . The succession of individuals gives rise to the experience of life as a whole. in modes of human through expression that become traditional . of these others. whereas the softer. and things may thus be termed the factors of empirical consciousness. they are none the less operative for that. the shady tree. these things in our neighbourhood. will be quite different from the kind of universal validity claimed by science.MAN'S 'NATURAL' OUTLOOK of his family as having a certain place in his life. it can formulate its propositions exactly and establish them in logic. our power to enjoy the fleeting moment somewhat narrow character. instance. ancestry. Self. The growth of our knowledge about life cannot be checked in this way. leads. in the course of time. and the regular relations between them. acquire ever greater accuracy and certainty. persons. the corruptibility of everything we possess. The separate events that occur when our bundle of instincts and feelings comes against fate and the surrounding world. together make up the framework of our life-experience and the empirical consciousness growing within it. the fundamentals of experience are common Thus the transitoriness of all human things and. Thus the life of each individual fashions out of itself its own world. nor can rigid formulae for it be devised. the lessons of life are not expressly brought into consciousness. value. all find their essence and their meaning in this objective incarnation. are thereby woven into of objective and universal knowledge. Reflection on life gives rise to experience of life. In this way the experience of life takes on different forms in different individuals . or fear sovereign reality determines for every man his life's meaning and . .

in short. the individuality of historical life. in Die Typen der Weltanschauung und ihre Ausbildung in den mtaphysiscken Systemen. ultimately on these conditions of man's empirical consciousness. At the very outset we meet with the historian's conception of life. the most important are those that limit my being. the sum-total of my knowledge. torical and the organic dimensions of human in life is aptly delineated Dilthey's basic concept of ' which he derives from Goethe. deal with the significance which the individual has for human life and history. strive for goods and relationship. and things will always remain the basic conditions of life itself. empirical ' there any loose. uses this concept to denote the universal that everywhere permeates the particular.6 MAN'S 'NATURAL' OUTLOOK I whatever procedures philosophical thought may adopt. thwart my intentions in an unexpected and unalterable way. regarding unique happening. indestructible as life and not to be altered by any amount of thinking. abstracting now from the factors and now from the relations between them self. Now among the experiences which make up the reality of the external world and my relationship to it. universal. He life-relationships '. the thinker in Dilthey recognizes bond between the individual and the universal. instead of remaining just a fact. everything everywhere is related to our attitude. the essential investigating this significance it seeks for something essential. and by it as a single. of course. Berlin. becomes a significant and thus an ideal fact. Therefore the individual. . in the homogeneity. imparting to life and the world an order anterior to any kind of scientific classification whatever. rest All my inferences. 1911. free-floating reality . Thus the stable structure of our life-experience is made up of our Self in relation to things and persons . typical. the conception of it as an individual life such as might be portrayed in a But whereas the historian pure and simple believes biography. pursue aims. to the totality of our existence in so far as we act. because they are grounded in the life-experiences of countless generations of men. persons. exert a pressure on it which I cannot throw off. it has roots that reach down below the lowest substratum of human history into the realm of organic nature for individuality is a The frontier region between the hisfeature of all that lives. it is an I-You-It ' Nowhere in * our 4 consciousness is 1 Leben und Weltanschauung. namely. that is to say. through and through by his vision of history. 1 Let us once more take note of the categories used in this Here speaks a man whose thought is permeated description. The historical view does. Such life-relationships underlie our experience. But individuality is a fact in another sense .

endlessly that means first becoming and become in time. world we are born into also has a stable frameown. and we find Out of that it is in accord with the ordinary business of living. the so-called his Ideas . purposes by the power of reflection. outlook upon life is that of natural human beings who imagine. willing. he writes menological General Introduction Pure judge. and the various other modes of sense-perception. and This is the ordering of all existence in space and time with its : centre. I-You-It. the corresponding values. limpid. in the soul. who. I hear them approach. will. making man capable of deeds he would never have accomplished Finally. and each that bundle of instincts and feelings a creative power can come. hearing. feel. They . ever-present depths reflection. are also I look up. their fluid gradations of perspective foreground. or not. Edmund Husserl. ' Yet we do not find that with nothing left over. has worked A out a new method ' of philosophical enquiry. which is the peculiar and when this happens there endowment of man. Thus. direction and objective a creative force which shapes things from within. work of act. the * 3 in the course of pleasure-seeking. basing himself on Aristotle and Hume. simple and lucid description of this framework is to be found in the writings of a modern German thinker. In Phenomenology. within life itself. . Through sight. them. corporeal things distributed in space are simply Our first feel. touch. : c phenoto method. Let us make clear to ourselves what this means. background. there for me. vital relationship is now experienced in its true significance and felt in its true connection with our life as a whole. ' c NATURAL * OUTLOOK life can be reduced to so Feeling and doing many pursuits they have display a certain forward-thrusting purposiveness but behind all this there is. Value. in the shape of a simple meditation which we can best carry on in the first person.. I am aware of it of all that I intuit it immediately. : ' ' whether I pay special attention to * them and. concern myself with them. Animate beings. speaking with them I understand immediately what they want or will. * ' Purpose. there originates that ideal content of whose reality we are so anxious to assure ourselves. I grasp them by the hand . . to wit. etc. must therefore add these to the fundamental We relationships enumerated above. thinking. I see there for me immediately perhaps. Into these calm. . Reality. perceive. I experience it. within which we have our being.MAN'S possessions./r0w the natural standpoint. I am aware of a world spread out endlessly in space. may retire from all aims and with dissociated emerge singular clarity. ' observing. men ing.

c ' * : imperfectly. what is more or less clearly simultaneous and definite. to the verandah. I can let my attention wander from the writingdesk I have just seen and observed. representations. through the unseen portions of the room at my back. Freely moving within my experience which brings the present to my intuition. I can follow up the connections thus afforded with the reality that immediately surrounds me. Just as it is with the ordered existence of the world as spatially present the aspect I have been considering so far so with the ordered existence of the world as successive in time. and in every waking Now '. temporally changing my view back and forth . But generally the result is different an empty mist of dim indefiniteness becomes charged with intuited possibilities or suppositions. more or less familiar. Inklings. and so forth which I just know that they are there '.8 MAN'S c NATURAL' OUTLOOK I my intuitive field even though I may them. In this way I find myself with my waking consciousness always. in relation to a world which . without being intuited too are present as realities in to pay no attention any other objects c as present at all. But not even with this sphere of the simultaneously present. then vivid flashes of representation. fetch me something out of the dimness. which forms a continuous ring round the actual field of perception. into the garden. its known and unknown. a whole chain of memories forges itself. more or less clear pictures in which I intuit all that can possibly or supposedly be in the fixed framework of space and time. to the children to all the objects concerning in the summer-house. and eventually so far as to establish the indefinitely real in the centre of my field of perception. ideas. This world ' present to me now. has its temporal horizon extended infinitely in both directions . On the contrary it extends in a fixed order of being into a limitless beyond. distinctly or indistinctly as the case may be. indeed. is partly permeated with. and without ever being able to change it. for the most part. and the only thing delineated is the form of the world the misty horizon. beams from the illuminating focus of attention with varying degrees of success. I can shift my position in space and time. I can always provide myself with new. intuited clearly or darkly. together and on a par with what is actually perceived without being perceived themselves. more or less clear and meaningful perceptions. look this way and that. What is actually perceived. simply as world * ' : ' ' : necessarily remains. a This I can pierce with dimly apprehended horizon of indefinite reality. partly girdled about by. the ring of definiteness expands further and further. But it is not necessary for them or for As to be exactly present in my field of perception. or at least fairly definite. far as I am concerned real objects are just there '. can I exhaust the world which is present to my consciousness somehow or other at every waking moment. never completely defined. its immediately living or not yet living past and future. scattered about in my a knowledge that has nothing immediate known surroundings conceptual about it and only turns into clear vision with the application of attention and then only partially and. definite.

man enjoys security of life in limitation. seemingly indubitable character enfolds and upholds us. some near. R. . the drinking glass '. secretly venerated or elaborately cultivated . without our having done anything about it. whether I choose to regard them in that capacity or not. are parts of them as such. but. with the same immediacy. ' We are certainly aware of what occurs to us here. my servants or superiors '. also W. ' ' ' arrange matters in ' reality '. 1 The characteristics of man's life descriptions have thrown into relief that we scarcely heed them even when they are pointed out. looming up in our field of vision.MAN'S * NATURAL 5 OUTLOOK It is continually despite changes of content is one and the same. the vase '. the condition in which we spend the day or '. Waking is necessary if we are to find our way about in the world and c ' . but the man who does nothing but dream is looked upon as an unpractical visionary. Effortlessly I find the things at hand furnished not only with the qualities that befit their nature. present for me. These characteristics of value and the practical character of things are constituent parts of the objects actually present. On this limitation depends the security with ' which. strangers '. Cf. The existence of the world and the manifold correlations of our life and seem his world which these so simple and obvious within it are indeed sufficiently obvious. it is there as a world of values. in our normal and natural attitude to things. Thus we speak of our waking consciousor of waking '. but this natural awareness of the phenomenal world tells us no more than that the various objects and objectives are present for us there they are. terious threads that reach far Dreaming. And sleep is a symbol of death. Allen & Unwin 93 * -Ed. relatives '. They * c ' c ' enemies '. spins mysinto our daily lives it may be . a practical world. ' ' ' . it may create a fancy-world of its own . Hedged round by an orderliness whose obvious. Here we have another stable framedreaming sleeping a value to the and work. use etc. 1 Section 27. Things present themselves immediately as objects of ' * * c the table with its books '. pleasant or unpleasant. perspective graded according modality of these three different attitudes to the world of action. some far. Boyce Gibson's 1 In that elementary version. it may be. ' : ' and so on. but also with characteristics of value such as beautiful or ugly. and I myself am a member of it. At the same time this world is not there as a merely factual world . ness. we go * about our business and pursue our aims. agreeable or disagreeable. This is as true of the people and animals in my surroundc * ' likewise are my friends or my ings as of mere things '. a world of goods.

act '. My bodily heritage. perspective of foreground. belonging either our intimate personal life or to our immediate neighbourhood. that I am aware of without ever having realized a single one of them shattered hopes. enjoying or suffering it. or acts only there but am for myself. the aims and tasks are all ranged in a similar perspective that starts to from myself. I hang my energies are not directed centre of my own . joys or sorrows in which I have share. Now and Yonder. We do not say that it thinks. fall into their proper place in our environment. or else remote in place and time. I. oneself while one is directing one's energies towards other objects. see. affect me. touch me in a vital spot. some imminent And in the far task. a life of its own. step I must take. is the very essence of our human condition . background body-bound individual with a bounded . Without this inturned knowledge that embraces both self and not-self. assimilate the world around me. on the free. originative like an apple upon the tree of my spiritual and vision. The values and goods. I am not sees. outwards from a contrary. from my own standpoint. according to the degree of their immediacy for my Here in the foreground are the urgent and weighty matters life. distance are all the values that lie on my emotional horizon. acting phenomenal or it acted upon being upon by it. and the roots of the dark. a living self. know of our doing and acting. tionably am is it merely the things and persons that. so that we do not c ' * ' c c ' 4 merely do and act in an elementary state but. as living existents. some duty I have neglected. as they encounter us. man's detachment from the urgencies of practical life and his reflection on the meaning of his actions would be unthinkable. poraneous background. It is my existence lose themselves in a feature of man's common life-feeling that we are aware of our independence . feel. Again we touch that sub* . without this awareness could not I confront you or it '. Contemwith but in is some the inevitable these.10 MAN'S e NATURAL 5 OUTLOOK and centre I myself. possess myself in my existence after the specific manner of a self-conscious being that lives in selfThis unthinking backwards-glance at possession. or ' in me '. tasks that confront my day and generation but do not concern me particularly. but 1 think. unquesNor I am the centre of Here. all the sorrow that weighs on my fellow-men and touches me although I took no responsi: bility for it. that concern me. my natural centre of gravity And yet though ' ' does not lie in myself.

these fix the value of the ends we pursue as our good. their roots spreading deep in the soil and only single leaves on top. I find some that appeal to me just as I find the things and persons of which I am conscious the goods and tasks. we can turn to the highest attainable. this fixes our life-values. every bit as definite as the orderliness of time. as Dilthey is termed that underlies our con- the mysterious place in us where. spontaneously." of action in individuals. process. feel myself emerging from a community whose warmth sustains " me. of this world of values. " Its whole only emerged in connection with an actual society. The passage we took from Dilthey spoke of a general " other descriptions of the nature of human life . ' To This self-awareness. change our direction unthinkingly. released from our confinement in life. c This wholly it unconscious to all the eyes wide comes hold the breath and open that is not a special grace bestowed on the elect . the values by which I let myself be affected. is by no means the same as selfIt does. has a stability not derived from me but coming apparently from the society to which I belong.I MAN'S ' * NATURAL ' OUTLOOK it." " Psychic events are like plants. but it remains nevertheless just one out breaking element in our empirical existence. that I I live on something and within something more than myself. I choose from among the stock of goods and tasks lying to hand in a world of common values. life-experience " This by the same thinker may serve to clarify what he means. I decide. . like these. dense totality. And the orderliness I hear . of course. men with the gift of life itself." content is but a single ephemeral phase within the all-embracing " spiritual content of history and society." am. and these the value of the " The basic trends of the will have their scene means to them. accompanying the manifold We cannot live on ourselves . are there without my having done anything about it. normal variety in which we live. It is a spiritual world that has been built up in the course of history . as part of a sciousness. give us the feeling that life is sufficiency. so sure of its unity because it is conscious of itself. of ourselves. life includes the unquestioning acceptance of the fact that I carry on my own life with a content that is not entirely mine . But the ends I pursue. but we move in it as though in a natural form of human existence in space and ." Society fixes our conscious attitude. however. I feel and reflect just as much as I see and no one can take these activities from me or undertake them for me. but not their ground of explanation. 1 1 stratum of life.

status and worth of each individual thing. we do not feel responsible for them. The mediaeval. are themselves laid current system of valuation. there would be no possibility of our breaking through the enfolding horizon. Thus the down by society in its man * ' : ourselves from ties. as Goethe This world of values says. The fundamental rule of ethical action is that what appears as a higher value should be preferred to a lower one but the rules determining which value is to be . Thus. acting energies should ever turn back from their forward-thrusting course and sink into the limpid depths of reflection. for this horizon has an upper limit just as his spatial horizon is limited by the vault of heaven. On this scale extending from above down. which is just on the horizon and limits it. with the normal. like eating. but is continually exhausting one fixed form after another and shaking off its magic. and digesting. in its purest form such ages have a mythology.12 life MAN'S c NATURAL 5 OUTLOOK I independent of time . but are not creative of philosophy. hangs the objective stability of the moral in our fluctuating pursuits we move code that binds our actions and down the and the question whether an individual scale. has coherence thanks to the perspective which determines the A society's distance. may high that have place in it may be in a fixed or a fluid order . All this would be inexplicable for however variously he might then reflect in accordance with . and his temporal horizon by the traditions that account for the origin of man and the world and know what comes after death. does not dwell on a plane of spiritual life where he could perfectly well live. our action is. and standing on our own ground. the traditions that have formed it we ordinarily take as something fixed once and for all . * value-horizon be or and the various values low. the ' arrangement always depends on the highest value at any time. when we act. natural outlook does not see any value higher than the common * value-horizon permits. and European man in particular. as we have called it. It would be inexplicable that our thinking. Were this framework of life-relationships as unshakable as the elementary facts of human existence. the most important and the most obligatory for him. our self-consciousness is only partially engaged . setting these in restless inner motion . organic epochs or the ages of faith give us a clear picture of this natural attitude. up is acting morally or not depends on whether the highest value he knows is also the most immediate. . freeing ' * * c 5 ' ' preferred to which. as a consequence of which man. drinking.

The naive vanity which measures all distances from myself as the centre of things can be put aside . it would be but the expression of a form impressed from without and developing through the mere process of living . So our next step will come from the removal of boundaries. through the ' science ' that will ultimately emerge from philosophy. articulate with the totality of our but their links with one another and their bonds between Reality and Value can be severed. In that case. which liberates. bound up with our world-consciousness. his actions. And . l it would not be knowledge. It can be shaken and bent under the assaults of the thinking mind. I. But in point of fact the framework is not rigid. Hence there would be no access to the radical questions that are the beginning of philosophy. Background . in the nature of things. simply within a stable. and even the * '. his reflections Foreground. In terms of the natural attitude an appropriate startingpoint in our enlightened age it will seem like breaking through a ' * 1 As in Goethe's Orphische Urworte : neither time nor any power shall break Th* imprinted form that grows for life's own sake. which only allows the perspective of things in relation to myself . they may hold. nor does it stand fixed for all time in its self-sufficiency. Purpose ' the these links in the chain of life-experience which we called factors of empirical consciousness and they may link up and c philosophical thought . we must strike deeper this is where philosophy begins and it is this original position that we want to recover. accepted frame-work. Centre.MAN'S c NATURAL' OUTLOOK 13 could never be directed towards the but be turned upon one object after another would Whole. may remain . we have only to extend the bounds of our life's horizon. spiritual creation would be no more than the objectification and clarification of human endeavour . for us to drop the I '-focus. limitation. It will be easy. or comparatively easy. the Reality. Reality. * connection with the natural view of the world are liable to be dissolved.Value bond) will each resist the dissolution more and more vigorously. It . As the process advances we shall find that the relationships arising out of these three factors (I. the sublime * self-assurance with which the individual I confronts the external world of things and persons can be undermined. which is. Value. But to dissolve the union of Reality and Value is only possible through the work * : of the intellect. You. To shake the self-assurance of our empirical self-consciousness.

for it will enable us. . to go still further back to the point where we can recover the original position as it really was. later on. And for the time being we shall take that step in that sense .14 MAN'S c NATURAL* OUTLOOK c I condition of things deemed to be natural '.

It shows him concentrated on the problems of conduct . the very name Buddha the Enlightened shows The the connections of Buddhism with philosophical knowledge. This selfless thinker has left us a fragment of autobiographical testimony that reveals the man behind the work. describes the Parting of the Ways '. are saga. namely The Autumn Flood. One literature. completely detached from its creator. represented above all by the great metaphysical systems inaugurated by Descartes.C. lived in the 4th century B. appeared on the scene with its claim to be scientific .. when Chinese philosophy was at its height.II THOUGHT BREAKS THROUGH THE 'NATURAL' OUTLOOK ON LIFE is that known as Plato's Allegory of the Cave. In modern times European philosophy. motives that have a universal human significance and touch the ever-present mysteries of life. like Plato. the ideas and motives that roused the young prince from his life of pleasure and drove him into solitude . who lived ' about 500 B. There is an allegory that has a similar place in Chinese literature. an autonomous world constructed out of pure thought. founders of religions are monumentalized by legend as heroes of the legends about the founder the house of Sakya. chiefly through the Buddhist religion that sprang from it . typical c of this is Spinoza's work entitled Ethics and sub-titled Demonstrated by the Geometrical Method \ This work is a selfcontained whole. by a brilliant writer called Chuang-Tzu who. of the most famous pieces of Greek philosophical now become part of the European heritage. by myth and One of Buddhism Prince Gotama of : it expresses so simply and so genuinely our '5 common human . who intended it to be anonymous. Indian philosophy was also to exert a wide and lasting influence.C.

The God of the River felt extremely It seemed to him that all lovely things under Heaven had submitted to his power. In the universe I am but a small stone or small tree on a great mountain. " There is no body of water beneath the canopy of heaven greater than the ocean. yet is never floods and droughts Thus it is immeasurably superior to rivers and brooks though I would not venture to boast on this account. for my shape comes from the universe. Then the God of the River began to turn his head. as I realize only too clearly immensity. barely visible in its smallness. You cannot explain Tao to a pedant his view is too limited. He pleased with himself. heterogeneous as they are. Had I not this day enlisted made myself the laughing-stock of all might have " " empty. peering this way and that but still he could see no shore. I You cannot explain the sea replied : to a frog in a well the creature of a narrow sphere. You cannot explain ice to a grasshopper the creature of a season. Spring and autumn bring no change . what cause have I to who take the Wider View To which the Sea God myself . At last. thought breaks through the natural endeavour that as ' attitude to life. he said with a deep " There is a proverb which says. gazed eastwards. He wandered downstream. Being thus conscious of my own insignificance.1 6 THOUGHT BREAKS THROUGH this c NATURAL ' OUTLOOK II sober document seems almost as symbolic an allegory or a legend. They illustrate the same event from different points of view. nay from island to island the distance was so great that one could not tell horse from bull. He could discern no end to the waters. and yet it does not overflow. sigh . These four passages. combine to c illustrate how.. I THE VISION OF THE BOUNDLESS WORLD c I Chuang-Tzil's Autumn Floods ' It was the time when the autumn floods come down. But now that you have emerged from your narrow sphere and have seen the great ocean. you know your own insignificance and I can speak to you of the great principles. boast ? . A hundred streams swelled the river that spread and spread till from shore to shore. are equally unknown. till at last he came to the sea. It is constantly being drained. confidently expecting to see the further shore. and my strength from the Powers of Light and Darkness. I fear it applies very well to I gaze at your limitless ! when as your disciple. going further and further east.. at its height. All streams pour into it without cease. : None like me Proves none so blind as he. addressing the ocean.

an individual man is but one. Three Ways of Thought in Ancient China. tottering as : Now : afflicted and long past his prime." replied the charioteer . 17. live on the fruit of the earth and move about in cart and boat." " Yes. an aged man bent like a roof gable. 1 Cf. " : " He is live. all of us are of a kind to grow old." Then Gotama mounted a state-carriage and drove out into the park. one for the rains. compared with all creation. Is not he. as the tip " l of a hair upon a horse's skin ? " The Four Seas 2 THE PARTING OF THE WAYS Buddha : from the life of Now Rajah Suddhodana had three palaces built for the boy Gotama. sat brooding and sorrowful. good charioteer. saying quickly they old man. and drove him back. and one for the summer and he had them fitted with every kind of gratification for the five . Now the young lord saw. Moralist and Social Reformer. 55-6. Drive me back to my rooms." Yes. leaning on a staff. if he takes his pleasure he will lose all thought of leaving the world. Giles. one for the winter. A. nor his He is what is body ? " " called an aged man. my lord. good charioteer. Chuang-Tzu : Mystic. because he has not much longer to But then. as he was driving to the park. beyond the reach of old age ? and we also. what has he done that his hair " " is not like the hair of other men. and H. the young lord Gotama when many days had passed by. like a tare-seed in a granary ? man is but one. " to inspect the pleasaunce. good charioteer. ch." But why is he called aged ? said he walked. And seeing him Gotama That man. enough of the park for today. lord . my And he. Waley. . saying " Get and let us go through the park ready the carriages. and he harnessed the state-carriages and sent word to Gotama " The carriages are ready." And he strengthened the watches and set them half a mile out in called aged. thinking : Shame upon this thing called birth." " " " You. my lord. pp. do you now as you deem fit. senses .II 2 THE PARTING OF THE WAYS IJ are they not to the universe like puddles in a marsh ? The Middle Kingdom is it not to the surrounding ocean Of all the ten thousand created things. bade his charioteer make ready the state-carriages. my lord." Then the King said : " Why would you bring destruction upon me ? Fetch dancers quickly for my son . . since to man born of woman old age comes " like that ! " the King asked : son returned so Why has my Thereupon " " ? And answered He has seen an him." Why. my am have I not passed We : every direction. decrepit. going lord. And of all those that inhabit the land. good charioteer. have not passed " beyond the reach of old age. then." answered the charioteer. my lord . " to his rooms. lord. I too prone to grow old. and because he has seen the old man he wishes to leave the world. .

" had ended his days and asked What. my lord. has making that great " pile ? drive the carriage close ended his days. and drove him back. decay and death come like that " And again the King asked as we have told above . Drive me back to my rooms. Now once again after many days the young lord Gotama drove forth. strengthened the watches and set them charioteer. good charioteer. good charioteer. and we also. have I not " " You. illness and decay come " And the King asked again as we have told above . illness. Neither Rajah nor Ranee nor any other of your kinsfolk shall see you more. thinking Shame upon this thing called birth." enough of the park for today. like that once more he made his arrangements. nor other kinsfolk will see him more. good my my : and drove him back. good charioteer. then. And Gotama saw as he was driving to the park a sick man. going to his rooms. fallen and weltering in his own water. have I not passed beyond the reach of death ? Shall neither Rajah nor Ranee nor any other of my kinsfolk see me more. to fall ill. " to him who has ended his days. lord. my lord. that neither mother. once more he made his arrangements. going to his rooms. And seeing this he asked his charioteer those people coming together in garments of different colours. since to man born of woman old age. thinking brooding man of woman since to born old birth. nor I them ? " " You." answered the And Gotama saw the corpse of him who charioteer.1 8 THOUGHT BREAKS THROUGH * NATURAL ' OUTLOOK II many days had passed the young lord again bade his make ready. my lord. by ending one's days ? nor father. all of us are of a kind to die. And he saw as he was driving to the park a great concourse of people clad in garments of different colours. good charioteer. being lifted up by some." Why. At my father's for. (The Buddha said so. nor he them. am I too prone. " It means. my lord. my lord." answered the : " But then. constructing a funeral " Why now are all pyre. my lord." Yes. " sat brooding and sorrowful. that he will hardly recover from his illness. We have not passed beyond the reach of death. " :) I was tenderly cared infinitely so. and drove forth as before. my lord. " Drive me back to my rooms. what has he done that his eyes are " not as other men's eyes. strengthened the watches and set them three-quarters of a mile out in every direction. And he." is what meant by ill ? ill." " But then. nor his voice like the voice of other men ? " " He is what is called " But lord. enough of the park " for today. age." Yes." Then. and " " : ! charioteer." Yes. good charioteer. suffering and very ill. and dressed by others. : ! a mile out in every direction. nor you " them. passed beyond the reach of illness ? all of us are of a kind to fall ill.'* " That man. good charioteer. am I too prone to this dying. sat " Shame upon this thing called and sorrowful. have not passed beyond the We " reach of illness. is meant " "It means. then. and we also. And he. monks. and did so." answered the charioteer. Why. Seeing this Gotama asked after Now charioteer : It is because some one. supremely house lotus-pools were made for .

shame.II 3 THE RADICAL NATURE OF MORAL DECISION 1 9 me . shame. illness. being myself under the dominion of birth. and disWhile I thought this. I used only unguents from Benares. thinking I too am prone to death and without escape from it. B . all gust. shame.' illness : pride of health left The unenlightened worldling. and death. prone to old age. being himthought self prone to death and without escape from it. and disgust. when he sees another dead. I caused my hair and beard to be shaved. one for the cold season. it would not become me. feel discomfort. " Endowed. Now if I. feels discomfort. should. and death. thinking without escape from it." * Further I : : . I thought. old age. feel discomfort. 3 THE RADICAL NATURE OF MORAL DECISION : Spinoza After experience had taught me that all things which ordinarily take place in life are vain and futile . I was visited by this thought The unenlightened worldling. when he sees another grown old. living in the joy of youth. were to seek Nirvana ? black hair. I . how would it be if I were to seek the ineffable peace of annihilation which is free from birth. one for the hot ' and one for the season of rains. feel discomfort. . should. " me.' While I thought this.. . all pride of youth left me. ill. being myself prone to illness and without escape from it. although my father and mother did not wish it but had tears in their faces and wept. after Dutoit's German version. my under-robe. should. old age. I sought what birth brings I. and disgust. because he I too am prone to old age and applies it all to himself. monks. and death. when I was still a Bodhisattva. monks. when I saw that all the things 1 From the Life of the Buddha in the Nidanakatha. Now if I. growing old. shame. when I see another dead. monks. being myself prone to old age and without escape from it. and disgust. shame. Now if I. and disgust. " : : Then I * thought : The unenlightened worldling. with such wealth. a young man with illness. being himself prone to old age and without escape from it. my tunic. And. when I see another grown ill. because he applies it all to himself.p. when I was not yet fully illuminated. * . And I. in another red. being himself prone to and without escape from it. illness. thinking I too am prone to illness and without escape from it. was of Benares cloth. shame. P. illness. and cloak had three palaces. all pride of life left me. when he sees another grown ill. monks. feels discomfort. monks. feels discomfort. put on the saffron robe and passed from my home into homelessness. it would not become me. after having seen what evil there is in being born. it would not become me. " Before I attained illumination. I. would it be if I who am under the dominion of birth.' While I thought this. my ing for dress in one blue lotuses. and dying. in the first freshness of life. because he applies it all to himself. nurtured with such delicacy. when I see another grown old. How then. sought what old age. and disgust.. in another white. and death bring. all blossommy sake. being myself prone to death and without escape from it.

and this prevents it from thinking of anything else. inasmuch as they are deemed to be the greatest good. which. I was constrained to enquire which would be the more useful to me . As for pleasure. avoiding what they dislike and seeking what is pleasing to them. as may be gathered from their works.2O THOUGHT BREAKS THROUGH c NATURAL * OUTLOOK II I feared and which feared me had nothing good or bad in them save in so far as the mind was affected by them. I therefore turned over in my mind whether it might be possible to arrive at this new principle. With these three the mind is so engrossed that it can scarcely think of any other good. if it does not hold the mind suspended. But after I had considered the matter for some time. I seemed to wish to lose what was certain for what was uncertain. I found in the first place that if I directed my attention to the new quest. but the more one possesses of either of them. then there arises in us the deepest pain. throughout * J I say I determined at last . For the things which most often happen in life and are esteemed the greatest good of all. the mind is so engrossed in it that it remains in a state of quiescence as if it had attained supreme good. for as I said. Fame (honor). or at least at the certainty of its existence. that if we pursue it we must direct our lives in such a way as to please the fancy of men. as there is in pleasure. then also I should be wanting in it. abandoning the others. there is not in these. nay. I determined at last to enquire whether there might be anything truly good and able to communicate its goodness. the more the pleasure is increased and consequently the more one is encouraged to increase them . but. as we can easily gather from what has been : . When I saw then that all these things stood in the way to prevent me from giving my attention to a search for something new. for at the first sight it seemed illadvised to lose what was certain in the hope of attaining what was I could see the many advantages acquired from honour uncertain. on the other hand. I should be abandoning a good uncertain in its nature. and riches. By fame the mind is far more distracted. disturbs and dullens it. that they were so opposed to it that one or the other had to be passed by. and that I should be debarred from acquiring these things if I wished seriously to investigate a new matter. and Pleasure (libido). more especially when they are sought for their own sake. to enquire to the exclusion of all other things whether I might discover and acquire the faculty of enjoying eternity continual supreme happiness. if. and an ultimate aim to which all things must be directed. The pursuit of fame and riches also distracts the mind not a little. repentance subsequently. Riches (divitiae). if at any time our hope is frustrated. But after that enjoyment follows pain. Fame has also this great drawback. and if perchance supreme happiness was in one of these I should lose it . it were not placed in them and I gave them the whole of my attention. for it is supposed to be always good in itself. Again. without changing the order and common plan of my life : a thing which I had often attempted in vain. can be reduced to these three headings : to wit. on the other hand. and by which the mind might be affected I determined. I say.

and.II 3 THE RADICAL NATURE OF MORAL DECISION 21 said. to put it no commotions of the mind at all for all these are consequences only of the love of those things which are perishable. is forced to seek it. have exposed themselves to so many perils that at last they have paid the penalty of death for their stupidity. But if they are sought as means they will be limited. nor fear. and it is free from all pain . with all my energy : as a sick man seized with a deadly disease. with all his remaining strength. and are always the cause of the death of those who are possessed by them. But the love towards a thing eternal and infinite alone feeds the mind with pleasure. and these intervals more frequent and of longer duration. they will help in the attainment of the end for which they are sought. One thing I could see. the examples are innumerable of those who have hastened death upon themselves by too great a desire for pleasure. to seek out a good uncertain not in its nature (for I was seeking a fixed good). For there are many examples of men who have suffered persecution even unto death for the sake of their riches. such as those things of which we have just spoken. But all those remedies which the vulgar follow not only avail nothing for our preservation. in order to amass wealth. especially after I saw that the acquisition of money and desire for pleasure and glory are only in the way so long as they were sought for their own sakes and not as means to attain other things. and far from being in the way. These evils seem to have arisen from the fact that the whole of happiness or unhappiness is on the quality of the object to which dependent on this alone we are bound by love. nor hatred. For I saw that those evils were not of such a state that they could not be cured by remedies. pleasure. And although at the commencement these intervals were rare and lasted for a very short space of time. I will at this point only briefly say what I understand by true it is possessed briefly. For I did not use the words if I could only deliberate on the matter thoroughly ill-advisedly . and are often the cause of the death of those who possess them. but only uncertain in the possibility of success. strife never arises. Finally. for although I could perceive all this quite clearly in my mind. for in that is all his hope placed. and that was that as long as the mind was employed with these thoughts. and honour. Nor are the examples less numerous of those who have suffered in the most wretched manner to obtain or defend their honour. however uncertain. yet afterwards the true good became more and more apparent to me. : * ' : . but even prevent it. For I saw myself in the midst of a very great peril and obliged to seek a remedy. it turned away frorii its former which subjects of thought and meditated seriously on this new plan was a great comfort to me. as we shall show in its proper place. there is no pain if it perishes. no envy if : by someone else. and also of men who. For the sake of something which no one loves. who sees death straight before him if he does not find some remedy. so it is much to be desired and to be sought out with all our might. however uncertain. By continuous consideration I came at last to see that if I could only deliberate on the matter thoroughly I should avoid a certain evil for a certain good. I could not lay aside at once all greed.

with an entrance open to the light and a long passage all down the cave. especially after we know that all things which are made. Like ourselves. in Spinoza's Ethics. I. and at the same time what is supreme good. so that they cannot move and can only see what is in front of them. namely. Treatise on tfie Correction of the Understanding. said he. because the chains will not let them turn their heads. I replied . and a strange sort of prisoners. chained by the leg and also by the neck. xiii. Naturally. show their puppets over the top. 1 : : 4 THE ASCENT INTO KNOWLEDGE of the Cave I Plato's Allegory Next. Everyman's Library No. just as we explained of perfect and For nothing regarded in its own nature can be called imperfect. he said. that it is the knowledge of the union which the mind has with the whole of nature. At some distance higher up is the light of a fire burning behind them . like the screen at a puppet-show. Now behind them. i-II. others silent. said I. which hides the performers while they I see. if this can be. . would they ? Not heads. here is a parable to illustrate the degrees in which our nature may be enlightened or unenlightened. it must be pointed out that good and bad are terms only used respectively and therefore one and the same thing can be called good or bad according to the 'various aspects in which we regard it. which project above the parapet. are made according to the eternal order and the fixed laws of nature. What is that nature I shall shew in its proper place. and between the prisoners and the fire is a track with a parapet built along it. parapet imagine persons carrying along various including figures of men and animals in wood or stone or other materials. he is incited to seek means which should lead him to such perfection and everything that can be a means to enable him to attain it is called a true good. if all their lives they had been prevented from moving their seen as little And they would have Of course. Here they have been from childhood. For the greatest good is for him to attain to the enjoyment of such a nature together with other individuals. Imagine the condition of men living in a sort of cavernous chamber underground. and in the meantime man conceives a human nature more firm than his own. some of these persons will be talking. for in the first place prisoners so confined would have seen nothing of themselves or of one another. perfect or imperfect. It is a strange picture. and at the same time sees nothing that could prevent him from acquiring such a nature. In order that this may rightly be understood. except the shadows thrown by the fire-light on the wall of the Gave facing this artificial objects. 1 of the objects carried past. 481 (Dent). But as human weakness cannot attain that order in its knowledge.22 THOUGHT BREAKS THROUGH ' NATURAL ' OUTLOOK II good.

and. then. and walk with eyes lifted to the light ments would be painful. being somewhat nearer to reality and turned towards more real objects. reality In every way. suppose their prison had an echo from the wall facing them ? one of the people crossing behind them spoke. it would be easier to watch the heavenly bodies and the sky itself by night. shadows. they could only suppose that the sound came from the shadow passing before their And When eyes. He would need. . not nearly so real. No doubt. if they could talk to one another. and then the images of men and things reflected in water. to grow accustomed before he could see At first it would be easiest to make out things in that upper world. he was getting a truer view ? Suppose further that he were shown the various objects being carried by and were made to say. Last of all. the things themselves. would not his eyes ache. in answer to questions. No doubt. And if he were forced to look at the fire-light itself. What do you think he would say. if someone told him that what he had formerly seen was meaningless illusion. After that.II 4 THE ASCENT INTO KNOWLEDGE 23 Now. should all these moveturn his head. And suppose someone were to drag him away forcibly up the steep and rugged ascent and not let him go until he had hauled him out into the sunlight. consider Yes. Suppose one of them set free and forced suddenly to stand up. he would be able to look at the sun and contemplate its nature. but as it is in itself in its own domain. such prisoners would recognize as nothing but the shadows of those artificial objects ? what would happen if their release from the chains and the healing of their unwisdom should come about in this way. but now. Yes. convinced that they really were clearer than these other objects now being shown to him? Yes. find his eyes so full of its radiance that he could not see a single one of the things that he was now told were real ? Certainly he would not see them all at once. would he not suffer pain and vexation at such treatment. would they not suppose that their words referred only to those passing shadows which they saw? Necessarily. not as it appears when reflected in water or any alien medium. and he would be too dazzled to make out the objects whose shadows he had been used to see. and later on. Would he not be perplexed and believe the objects now shown him to be not so real as what he formerly saw ? . surely. looking at the light of the moon and stars rather than the sun and the sun's light in the daytime. Now Inevitably. so that he would try to escape and turn back to the things which he could see distinctly. when he had come out into the light. then. what eacli of them was.

more to deliver his opinion on those shadows. M. Cornford. so that he could make a good guess as to which was going to come next. Now imagine what would happen if he went down again to take his former seat in the Gave. the last thing to be perceived and only with great difficulty is the essential Form of Goodness. Would our released prisoner be likely to covet men exalted to honour and power in the not feel like Homer's Achilles. is meant to fit those prizes or to envy the Gave ? Would he our earlier analysis.24 THOUGHT BREAKS THROUGH c NATURAL * OUTLOOK II And now he would begin to draw the conclusion that it is the sun that produces the seasons and the course of the year and controls everything in the visible world. at any rate. in competition with the prisoners who had never been released. Every feature in this parable. they would. he would surely think himself happy in the change and be sorry for them. Without having had a vision of this Form no one can act with wisdom. used to the darkness. Heaven knows whether it is true . for all things. 1 it is Once this is the 1 Republic. The ascent to see the things in the upper world you may take as standing for the upward journey of the soul into the region of the intelligible . VII. They would laugh at him and say that he had gone up only to come back with his sight ruined . he would prefer any fate to such a life. perceived. either in his own life or in matters of state. Clearly he would come at last to that conclusion. Yes. 514-5170. The prison-dwelling corresponds to the region revealed to us through the sense of sight. they would kill him. cause of whatever is right and good . They may have had a practice of honouring and commending one another. that he would far ' * sooner be on earth as a hired servant in the house of a landless man or endure anything rather than go back to his old beliefs and live in the old way? Yes. while his eyesight was and it might take some time to become still dim and unsteady . the conclusion must follow that. . in the visible world it gives birth to light and to the lord of light. it was worth no one's while even to attempt the ascent. F. and moreover is in a way the cause of all that he and his companions used to see. my dear Glaucon. while it is itself sovereign in the intelligible world and the parent of intelligence and truth. but this. then you will be in possession of what I surmise. with prizes for the man who had the keenest eye for the passing shadows and the best memory for the order in which they followed or accompanied one another. Then if he called to mind his fellow prisoners and what passed for wisdom in his former dwelling-place. trans. He might be required once his eyes would be filled with darkness. If they could lay hands on the man who was trying to set them free and lead them up. since that is what you wish to be told. In the world of knowledge. is how it appears to me. and the fire-light within it to the power of the sun. Coming suddenly out of the sunlight.

and out of the dim distance veiling the horizon of today and yesterday. And. men framed a picture of the life his security this na'ive feeling of the ordinary mortal. quite spontaneously. trasted it with their own ideal. The immediate objects of his daily activity. we did not succeed in putting ourselves back at the very beginning. What answers him then? Answers are there. came from an epoch of highly developed culture and enlightenment when. however. In breaking down these barriers he seemed to be breaking away from life. He senses persons and things according to new standards of nearness and remoteness. to be carried away towards some unknown. their philosophers conThe passages we have cited. like us. they were rather revivals and recollections of an original knowledge which is anterior to them both logically and historically. the goal that c * led men to break out from the security of the natural outlook. And the echo they awoke in us may just be something that the natural course of human life awakes in every man. were not the primordial utterances of philosophy . far-off goal. all striking the same note of liberation or expansion and awakening an echo in us. shewing how What we must was bound up with his limitations. In the same way the various voices that spoke to us from their several regions of time and space. which had cheered or oppressed him. even before as the question was put. the enigmas of human existence loom up before his lonely soul and call for decision. granted the sophisticated view of life in which we ourselves have grown up . Yet this merely negative description shews the inadequacy of the standpoint we have adopted This standpoint was an abstract one . become unsubstantial as shadows . and the new freedom he came to enjoy seemed due to a deliverance from his confinement in the old narrow circle of actualities and values. the collapse of seemed to come from an enlarging of his horizon. The blows of fate that shatter the established conditions of a man's life throw things out of their wonted perspective for him. According to the picture we gave of man's life. They are presented to him something . at one time or another.II 5 THE WAY FROM LIFE TO PHILOSOPHY 25 5 THE WAY FROM LIFE TO PHILOSOPHY : Metaphysics and Rationalism grasp clearly in our approach to philosophy is the note that strikes us in all the above passages. we took for hitherto. like us.

the definite methodology that was developed by the classical Greeks. could not rest content with this traditional dualism of the two . is Christianity. European philosophy religion. We of the West are accustomed to make a sharp distinction between philosophy and religion. taking. long time. or at least enabled it to lay claim to the name of science the speculative vision of Natural Science '. just as they knew nothing of the fearful religious struggles for power that are a dominant feature of European Since philosophy in the Far East did not possess. The Greek ' origin ' of European philosophy gave it an inalienably scientific character. however. confronting an objective You '. and to contrast knowledge with belief. But Christianity implanted in the inner make-up of Europeans the peculiar ' faith in the specifically Christian religious attitude called faith sense as distinct from speculative vision. the Greeks and ' ' Oriental peoples who brought forth a philosophy of their own were alike in not recognizing any such opposition between it and religion. the profound and fruitful connection between it and religion remained unbroken. and about that matter of life and death objective these things the soul's intercourse with the divine powers an all cultures childhood and in us from like atmosphere. man does not incorporate all the approaches the individual may make to the persons and things of his environment . giving and be more than human. we must include in it a incomplete certain secret stock of answers to the questions through which Thus our connects the joys and sorrows of his waking life with someThat rigid framework of life-relationships thing beyond it. Now. beliefs about the relations of things in the world. That comes from the dual nature of the spiritual turn as a c You by ' and felt to inheritance bequeathed to us by the ancient world. for a history. Out of them and in conflict with them philosophy may struggle to be born . envelop : they dominate the scene before ever philosophy appears. about the meaning of human life. all the time the I '. picture of the normal condition of human life was in one important respect . European whereas is the creation of the Greeks .26 THOUGHT BREAKS THROUGH C NATURAL ' OUTLOOK II which he finds ready to hand and adopts. feels itself addressed in its ' a power that works in all things. Western thought. so far as there is one. just as in his Positive daily life he adopts the values and aims that are current. but they may equally well quell man's inner revolt with the overwhelming force of religion and stifle his questionings as never before.

physics suggests of the Schopenhauer spoke metaphysical need of man as the 1 But in psychological root of both religion and philosophy. that is. dynamics original impulse which was responsible for the creation both of philosophy and of religion. The meaning of the word has grown in the course of history. greater fullness through the very tensions they cause. common parlance the term has such a vague and general signiseek to this original * * ' When we name ' ficance that. rather towards adapting it to the nature of Europeans. it the c another book treating of Physics. What appears be mere tradition is historical destiny . strictly philosophical work of Aristotle's dealing with theoretical * philosophy. Originally it was the title of one particular. and are productive of It remains. the hope that they could be harmonized intellectually was a vain hope .P. and to But the main relegate it to the Near East where it came from. although primarily applied to philosophical speculation. The history of European thinking since the Catholic Middle Ages. and since the Greek prefix meta means Metaphysics 1 See infra. reconciled not only by thought but in life. and our history calls us to take over our tradition and keep it fruitful and creative. life itself that same discover in of human to the then. And indeed. for the deeper a man's comprehension of them goes the more clearly he recognizes the peculiarity of each. and that in a curious fashion. and which yet makes them rivals for the sway of souls directly they come into conflict with one another. Alongside this struggle there have been. it is possible to use it in designation of a certain fundamental human trait. the highest or most fundamental science. 53-7- B* . as Schopenhauer in fact does. which he himself called the First Science '. A creative union of two such heterogeneous forces can only be accomplished deep down. is full of the struggle to reconcile Greek-born philosophy with Christian faith. repeated attempts to uproot Christianity once and for all as a phenomenon of minor importance. ever since the Renaissance. impulse the word Metaat once Thus the German philosopher itself. in the course of history very diverse influences do merge. p. trend of history is not towards the negation of Christianity. to Since philosophy and Christianity are heterogeneous spiritual elements. when Europe first achieved unity. at their and our roots. The Greek scholars who collected and arranged the after ' Aristotelian writings placed this book immediately called D.II 5 THE WAY FROM LIFE TO PHILOSOPHY 27 leading spiritual forces.

like coined for was not a proper word with a meaning of its love of wisdom but a term artificially Philosophy technical. indeed editorial. All the same. impressed by the tremendous influence which metaphysics. It is an original. has exerted for more than two thousand years over the mind of man. ' ' was the original meaning forgotten. philosophy was discredited by the developments of modern science sion for critique of knowledge '. an endemic spiritual phenomenon which must be positive significance. with Schopenhauer. when subject in a purely external way. purposes. This phenomenon is in essence philosophical. we mean . as we must call it. belongs need '. In consequence the meaning of the word has again been extended. which causes us to suffer under the limitations of the finite and yearn to go beyond them. metaphysical security in limitation '. Such is most is its usual the But it . we have knowledge of the Infinite.28 * THOUGHT BREAKS THROUGH *. this use of the word ' c for the otherwise hardly definable. finite though we are. which is an essential part of human life since it is concerned with the eternal riddles that rouse * man out of his For. so-called and the ' mistake freed the word from its strict attachment to philosophy and made it available for denoting the pre-philosophical outlook on the world. For in referring. c NATURAL * OUTLOOK II after Thus * own. impulses is not unaffected by its traditional attachment to philosophy proper. ' much more important than ' understood in all its original force and significance if it is to play its due part once more in life and even in science so far as science is not restricted to the nature of the world (Natural physical Science) but also deals with human life. that originally harmless term was misinterpreted to mean a pretentious pseudoscience dealing with what is behind the physical world. could not accept its apparent disintegration through science and epistemology . to the speculative no confined is means history. Modern historical thinkers. everyday metaphysical impulses but belongs to the sphere of freedom. meaning nowadays misleading. metaphysics by philosophy laid down in Aristotle's fundamental work. and one that it ' characterized Later. It does not * remain at the level of those vague. the term metaphysics became attached to the subject of the book as a general expresits Finally. to a metaphysical ' ' that this need. deep-seated. where man finds himself able to escape from the meshes of life and exert power over it. they aimed at appreciating its For the positive aspect of a thing is always As it occurs in its negative aspect. when speculative speculative philosophy.

from their sense of vocation and election. unless some becomes once more misty and remote . may yet turn out to be a fount from which man draws a sedative draught. again restrict his world to the indivivid . the untreadable regions ". far from being destroyed. And when that overmastering Power incarnates. he falls back into life's normal relationships these. positive value has been found that illuminates. draw a boundless confidence fication of their acts in the ultimate meaning and : justi- a meaning by no means derived from their " None conscious plannings. universal * metaphysical need '. dully practical activities of the vulgar herd. looking down on the petty. from their belief in their own mission. is the living ground of all higher action . Thus Cromwell could say climbeth so high as he who knoweth not whither he goeth. draw nourishment from the metaphysical relations of things but do not require to penetrate consciously this mysterious source. carry the others along with them. but equally that the satisfaction of this need through the ready-made answers of religion gives a crowning completeness to his security in limitation '. from the protective proximity of the Power that guides the world. nugatory.II 5 THE WAY FROM LIFE TO PHILOSOPHY 29 to the very nature of man and characterizes his freedom . as Sundays are from weekdays. Unlike Religion. are dissipated. Feelings of great exaltation die away. And. the . philosopher's way into as Goethe called them. The progress of the creative man finding his destined way even in the dark is a sign to us of the metaphysical depth of life yet his sure sleepwalker's advance into the uncertain is still not the " the untrodden. their The own star. though it might appear des- tined to destroy the naturalness of life. on their high tower. becomes a corporeal object with which one according to set rules. Philosophy cannot consolidate her power over life by means of ritual institutions . as Plato shewed. she is wholly dependent may commune . Thus the common source of religion and philosophy. the mighty men of the earth. Enthusiasm." Men possessed by spontaneous creative power proceed as if they were familiar with the road. such regularized commerce with Deity takes its place alongside the normal activities of life and plays its part in the everyday on a day set aside from the rest. from this of religious faith. gain a sureness of step like a sleepatmosphere walker's. persist only as a mood. What had been near and vidual and the social round. life's lonely individual may. but man cannot be in a perpetual state of enthusiasm.

this situation gave birth to ! . The shattering must touch not merely life and the life of my community . something unprecedented. though need not. of freedom. something absolute. by the of religion. Where she has been at work no ready-made answers and no claims of tradition can quell awakened man's questionings or his demand for assurance unless. not abolished. Wherever. political struggle. when he detaches himself from father and mother. and claims to guide life by insight alone. nor the metaphysical need which universally makes itself felt. consenting to be bound by what is evident. in the heyday of youth. and a little later. At the time when philosophy first took definite shape we meet with a most astonishing historical phenomenon. indeed. a high tide of spiritual agitation swept over the peoples of the Near and Middle East . is then most open to impulses that urge him not to acquiesce in the accepted forms and conventions. something novel. philosophy appears. how rarely does he have the power truly to apprehend what he senses. he finds that the answers they afford can stand on their own feet and justify themselves before Reason by their own inherent So philosophy lifts the human spirit into a sphere significance. and the individual must feel himself charged with the destinies of mankind. explode at a touch. in the course of history. hitherto binding culture is being broken and ethical standards are dissolving a time of social ferment. whether in the ancient world or in modern Europe.C. somehow it must touch my human life in general. in a situation such as we have shewn to be typical of the epochs in which philosophy may arise. in which only the law of rational thinking itself puts an end to questioning. a crisis when the sap of life is mounting dantime . Similarly an individual. about the end of the yth century B. When a time of inward stirring comes for the individual according to the natural law of his development. Neither the occurrences that shatter the wonted security of individual or national life. religious and institutions gerously. for institutions .3O THOUGHT BREAKS THROUGH ' NATURAL ' OUTLOOK II on the power of thought. it is at a time when an old. For.. give birth to philosophy. whether arising originally or through a renascence. and he senses on his horizon visions. to fix the fleeting appearance in enduring thoughts We find the same thing on the larger canvas of history. ignoring all dogmatisms. are in themselves sufficient to impel us to take the step from life to philosophy. Nor are the feelings of oppression or of exaltation by daemonic powers and heavenly * ' such feelings are merely tamed. Such a situation may.

Now. however. Religion is a precariously vague term when used in this * c connection. and again among the vanguard of the Greeks who had settled along the coast of Asia Minor on the fringe of Oriental civilization only there did man set forth on that path of spiritual release to which we give the Greek name of Philosophy '. who appeared towards the end of the 8th century.C. we have spoken of positive metaphysics ' or dogmas *. did play its part in the birth of philosophy thanks to beliefs concerning the relations of things. and of the devotional rites themselves. the world. who probably lived In this situation of extraordinary ferment all the B.. it repeats itself whenever philosophy takes a stride forward. and the relations of things in the world. and with a wonderful simultaneity due. since like Christianity. not an inevitable phase. but they make themselves felt whenever anyone enters its domains. It was an historical event. Yet. peoples that had a still living. it emerges from the previous situation but goes beyond it in a way that is crucial. To this epoch belong also the prophets of Israel. at the time when philosophy originated about 600 B. it can hardly be called a specifically phenomenon.C. it applies to primitive cults as well as to religions proper. each achieving grand views of Deity. and about 800 Zoroaster. * * * before appears. the two longest-lived of the first generation of Far Eastern civilized peoples. religious both of which are remote from metaphysics As to Mysticism. the birth of philosophy may seem something like the Bible story of Adam and Eve and the Tree of Knowledge. that is to say. Because it is an event in the history of mankind or the individual.II 5 THE WAY FROM LIFE TO PHILOSOPHY 31 Greek philosophy. came to profound consciousness of themselves within the orbit of a world-panorama. and more particbeliefs ' * ularly Mysticism *. As a rule Religion. But Moreover it did not occur only it is not to be considered a Fall. As such. ancient civilization of their own. the beginning of philosophical reflection intervenes in the run of earthly happenings as a creative historical process . founder of the Persian religion. Never- . man. For the motives which led man to philosophize in the first place Not merely did they move the human mind are ever present. the value and aim of human life. is regarded as the mother of philosophy '. once . and not deducible from that To indicate roughly what held the stage in any culture situation. only in India and at a few points in that world of ancient cultures China. miraculously. new. and the rising nation of the Greeks. Religion. perhaps. to mutual stimulation.

on the contrary. They range all four on the same plane of thought and understand them as different modes of expressing a primary substance of belief that Thus Hippolyte underlies the whole literature of a people. : something very permanent in these bygone stages '. it draws sustenance from the traditions embodied in the national religions. Auguste Comte.view that is. they attribute it to the world. contained equally is there c in religion and metaphysics and in art and poetry. In so far as modern positivists acknowledge this fact at all. a of in his follower writes Introduction to The Comte. '\ He steadfastly maintained the belief in science and progress promulgated by the leaders of iSth-century Enlightenment. History of English Literature : une sorte de philosophic devenue sensible." This statement points to the mutual relationships between those creative forms . We especially oppose any attempt to explain philosophy as a world-view distinguished from poetry only by the sophisticated fluid manner which it formulates this view. the metaphysical. la religion une sorte de pocme tenue pour vrai. and even deriving its leading idea of world-unity from speculative theology. all the while struggling to disengage their true and palpable content. discarding in . But we oppose the attempt to assimilate them to one another by reducing their lively divergencies to a mere variety of mental forms.* For there must be some unifying principle behind and ahead of them despite their mutual struggles. established his so-called law of the developc * ment of thought in three stages the theological. la philosophic une sorte d'art et de religion dessechee et reduite aux idees pures. Philosophy. and consigned religion and metaphysics to the dim past of civilization. Taine.view if we want to give unambiguous name to the influence that such beliefs and practices exerted on the ascent of human thought towards philosophy. and the scientific. emerges as something quite distinct from the prevailing world-view in terms of which the ordinary man interprets life and his surroundings .32 theless THOUGHT BREAKS THROUGH it * NATURAL ' ' OUTLOOK f II might be better to employ the word world. Yet it soars above this level. That is tantamount to dissolving the historical process of thought science apart in a sort of Partout Tart est " substratum that simply undergoes a series of sea-changes. Thus the history of philosophy was supposed to begin with metaphysics overthrowing But religion or theology and being in turn overcome by science. for them. as bygone stages. the systematizer of igthcentury Positivism. so far we can agree.

To mind it seems obvious that man's horizon extends step by step. It is not a product of pure thought. that is. and we must follow. up. pp. and with the daring that comes it ventures to strike a new path into untrodden country. the limitations of knowledge itself. divorced from the of knowledge spiritual impulses of actual human existence . As an empiricist. independent of time and place. each successive degree primarily as 1 See infra. get rid of this false view for the sake of its what is to appearance of modernity and of freedom from preconceptions. ' simplifying the picture that life progress the scientifically educated limited from practical life presents. In spite of the highest science and distinguished the stages leading up to it. to Philosophy. 50-2. finally. It does not float in the ether a timeless. and Science. psychology) and so. the * ' unearthly realm it opens out still remains accessible to human endeavour while giving it fresh significance and changing the established ways of life. falsely imagined such a through science to philosophy. are intellectually coherent and appear to their discoverers to have a life of their own. as do the abstract truths of mathematics and science . They are thus to be understood ' degrees of knowledge '. sensation. ideal essence. for these. he began with the lowest level considered it of knowledge. though philosophy is continuous with life. that then the advance from empiricism to science reveals a deeper-lying background against which the world becomes but that soon new limitations loom transparent to the intellect critical of verifiable facts are . In his fundamental work. But. It derives from Aristotle. . this view belongs to an ancient tradition and is loaded with them. He called his three stages Experience. by unduly higher. the path from life to philosophy is discontinuous . forcing man to press on to the discovery of the very foundations of knowledge (epistemoIt is not so. logy. he gave his 1 He explanation of the origin and development of philosophy. and he represents them as leading from sensation to philosophy. apparently so free from all preconceptions. just like Comte. the durable products of knowledge. it is ' not the inevitable result of a natural progress from lower to The intellectualist reasoning of a later age. the firm familiar structure stress of his world crumbling under the more and more experiences and thought as accumulated . the ultimate founder of the whole Western tradition of philosophy. commonly called The Metaphysics. Art.II 5 THE WAY FROM LIFE TO PHILOSOPHY 33 the authority of traditional ties .

Aristotle. The empiricism of modern science. metaphysics had been entirely eliminated and replaced by a unified system of co-ordinated sciences with an appendix of epistemology. Reason. which was saturated with the belief in evolution and progress. This is contradicted by history. for example. tracing its growth faithfully step by step. the motive force of this straight-line ' development being the desire for knowledge. It is the other way round philosophy was the mother. takes it as having been present at the starting-point of his c * namely. of development . ment requires us to submit to being guided by the actual. : he only arrived at philosophy by supposing that men naturally an idealistic supposition desire knowledge for its own sake embedded like a mote in the eye of every empiricist. for knowledge ingrained in human nature tended towards science and achieved it step by step. historical course of the subject. by Plato. This unhistorical view is apt to be The historian's conception of philosophical developmisleading. and also to the view of its straight line The empiricist's simple formulae derive from the development. it was Aristotle who introduced this notion into science. as the hunter follows the spoor. Even so. following his master. speech implying the possession of Aristotle teaches . He did violence to the actual course of development by taking it as a straight line. for the igth-century scientist.34 THOUGHT BREAKS THROUGH * NATURAL ' OUTLOOK II being valued higher according as it approaches nearer to pure But this valuation reflects his own view theoretical knowledge. not the offof science. This purely theoretical attitude was only adopted at the zenith of Greek philosophy. sensation thus reconstructing the development from its conclusion. which is so and such a desire pursued for its own sake is supposed to be ingrained in human nature since he defined man as the * talking animal '. The formulae are all the simpler since. igth-century. Herbert " Spencer Knowledge of the lowest kind is un-unified knowledge j sequence : . He makes his order of valuation correspond to a fictic tious historical succession. His explanation was inspired by a theoretical point of view involving certain preconceptions. while discarding the idealistic clement in Aristotle. Secondly Aristotle supposed that the desire spring. Thus. which always looks at it from the f ' scientific standpoint. has held fast to the theoretical conception of philosophy. Firstly philosophy was for Aristotle the final result of the same process which had previously given birth to science.

And it was first c ' in Part II of this book. and towards this centre we must make our way. * there even before the beginnings of language. Gtf. Schriften. point for the movement from life to philosophy. Every55 where says Dilthey. and reflection leads to doubt. being directed towards unity and gradually achieving it " through criticism of all dualisms. knowledge. yet it does not of itself point towards philosophy . The structure of is moreover it does not subsist prior to dynamic philosophy rationalistic tendency. after 1 Herbert Spencer. philosophy is completely unified knowledge. c So the . for at the beginning the metaphysical urge is not merely a pole. capacity shewn by the highest animals those immediately below man in the scale of intelligence to act in and on their environment with understanding '. Now. that physical laws do. thought cannot stop until it has reached valid this . 2 " life leads to reflection upon its assumptions. on the contrary it harks back to a pre-human stage For it is closely allied to the in the evolution of intelligence.e. 6. i. they make up the structure of philosophy as a whole.II 5 THE WAY FROM LIFE TO PHILOSOPHY 35 science is partially unified knowledge . ch. just as essential as the metaphysical need '. . Part i. Contrast. and this was an age of enduring significance for philosophy. Sjudien $r Grwdkgiwg First Principles. The Age of Enlightenment was dominated by it." which is contrasted with the remained the only recognized startingmetaphysical approach. Knowledge is immanent in life . 37. Obviously it has a real basis in human life. . p. does not imply contradiction but polarity and polarity is characteristic not only of physical movements such as an electric current but also of spiritual phenomena. Bd. each contrasting with the other. however. rather it forms the course of history through the meeting of these two shall be tracing their confluence heterogeneous tendencies. the phenomena in the way itself in We having explored the metaphysical movement with which philosophy begins . der Geisteswisswchqften. 1905. through doubt. VII. Together. If life is to maintain itself in the face of doubt. The rationalistic attitude is indeed an essential feature of philosophy. I. this tendency is not to be underrated. but the very centre. The rationalistic tendency seems to us the proper startingpoint simply because we are at the end of a development in the course of which rationalism has triumphed. to which we must hold fast despite the irrational tendencies of our own age." l The motive force of the development was now considered to be the rationalistic tendency of thought.

this is and capacity implies looking at them from a distance. But this Language implies a view of man's world which sees the significance of each thing in respect of the whole.view to the comprehension of the world objectively and the conception of a unitary universe. p. so that one may conjure up each thing by a word. In our description of the natural attitude we stressed this point. The modern empiricists of ethnology and anthropology. on Kierkegaard. 104. ' natur- and thought. akin to poetry rather than to science. for only when viewed from a distance can they be seen whole. as the poet does. who always want to begin with what they call the natural man '. it must reverse its forward direction and assume an attitude of detachment.36 THOUGHT BREAKS THROUGH end of the scale it is c NATURAL ' OUTLOOK II at the other guage cannot adequately express. 7. would do better to begin by under' standing Goethe's statement that the poet is the true man '. And on the way there is a gap. meant men and to their surroundings. precisely because man * Man has the power of naming things . that " reflection See is imagination in reverse. speaking of the soul's imaginative power and of the still depths of life which harbour reflection. in fact by metaphysics. 8 infra. even the most primitive. In the course of development it has been bridged. there that lowest knowledge is to be found which Aristotle lodged in what ' he called ally sensation '. 2 Reflection gives a backward The intellect normally faces towards twist to the intellect. The bound is is rationalizing tendency innate in man is not so closely 5 c up with the world and the immediate needs of life as the intelligence of the anthropoid apes. his essay supra. the talking animal *. 3 action . so as to look on life and the world from a distance . The human mind is capable of thus altering its orientation because knowledge is not merely immanent in life but 1 * * See Gf. Men. The Chinese Testimony. in the nature of life they live. But the bridge was built by philosophy. as the early be all there was Chinese put it. meaning by this the primitive c or so-called savage man. ' which were naively taken All-that-is-under-Heaven '. World ' originally things. try to understand their situation by means of perception The sort of knowledge that corresponds to this natural predisposition subserves the needs and interests of the The world men act on must. level of * capable of grasping what lanIn the case of men it first displays itself in their attitude to the world . 1 It is a far cry from that limited world. * coincide with their environment." Ed. . Rudolf Kassner's dictum in 2 p.

and this is the base from which all further progress is made. He plays on this customary instrument of reflection which. But. before the ascent begins. philosopher existence and a glimpse of the source of all life. through having its own peculiar medium life's intentions. he says. because he has a horror of the daylight. too. suddenly reaching advance. as is every historical creation. the concept. the image of the steep path out of the cave is of the way from life to philosophy. he accomplishes a grand work of Recognition that centres on the Nameless. Nowadays we no longer believe in a realm of eternal Ideas or Forms pre-existing independently of human endeavour. in naming things. he cannot turn his face to the light behind him . he must be drawn up the steep path leading out of the cave by main force. This is bridged. must be freed from the fetters which so confine him that. not a process set in motion to satisfy the metaphysical need of man and distinguished from myth and poetry only * 5 of expression. and even when he is freed and can move about. to the point where it merges in the Infinite. The path climbs symbolic a new with a all its own . Man. Philosophy is not a mere rationalization of the various worldviews. like the prisoners in the Cave. yet is in accord with reflection. But the Platonic image that depicts the reversal of our mind's direction still remains true . 37 it. In this respect his task is an ' unnatural one. and of the standard of right conduct. We may discern . lect is carried a stage further by the metaphysician. even where it advances into science. namely. ' ' it catches the essential reflex movement in all metaphysical So. The list we gave of the motives leading to man's breach with the natural attitude concluded with Plato's testimony regarding It appeared to him as a gradual the ascent of knowledge. Nor is it an ordinary flower on the tree of culture. since men are finite beings. and through the transforming energy of language. product it may even be found to have originated at one unique point in time . focus plane steeply. from of common experience to a realm of the world progression a vision of the meaning of where the achieves Ideas.II 5 tries to THE WAY FROM transcend ' LIFE TO PHILOSOPHY . Plato considers that an act of spiritual liberation is necessary. naturally blossoming forth as soon as the right season provides It is an historical the proper conditions for its full development. was ' the ' gap that is effected by metaphysics here is That reversed direction of the intel- unconsciously creative. it certainly originates at one unique point in It is not deducible from life.

spirit. she exerts a kind of compulsion upon his yielding.38 THOUGHT BREAKS THROUGH ' NATURAL ' OUTLOOK II in philosophy. . Thus no man can be forced to make a start with philosophy. And so. as it has unfolded itself in all the higher cultures during the three thousand years of its history. Rather we must say that. by our free spiritual activity. he follows along her path. a certain sort of inevitability . once she has revealed herself to him in all her inner power. but it is the inevitability of an idea that demands realization by us.

Nevertheless the historical facts. which everywhere breaks down the . c ' universal into the particular. it might seem a mere For we meet with a plurality of beginnings and first prejudice. using both words in the singular. reinforce our conviction that philosophy is a unity they help us to revitalize .Ill PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER a The Unity of Philosophy Historical in the Diversity of its Forms appearance at several points on the earth's surface in India. that idea by deepening and extending 39 its meaning. we can speak of the history. these beginnings are so obviously different that they might seem to have been chosen simply as its : made examples of the manifold individuality characteristic of living Despite this diversity. which has learnt to look beyond the bounds of the European horizon. Thus we approach the historical facts on the assumption that philosophy is a unity. If one's attention is fastened on peoples or races. once their significance is properly understood. a multiplicity at the very outset. . beginning of philosophy. naturally seeks to do the same in respect of philosophy by resolving its ideal unity into a multiAnd it is true that we do encounter such plicity of philosophies. This assumption comes from our European tradition and with our modern view of history. efforts regarding which one may well enquire whether the one name philosophy should be applied at all. and Greece. China. each with its own Philosophy environment and native culture. The historical positivism of our time. however.

geometrical.C. He.4-O PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III Historical Survey The unity of philosophy. Roman or if. seemed to be nothing less than an historical fact. The unity had historical basis in the single beginning made by the Greeks and in the continuous development that led. But this Homer is man from the earliest times his wisdom was reputed to be scientific he had been known as the first astronomer '. Aristotle. What the early Greek sages up to and including Pythagoras actually did was to take over fragments of knowledge of this sort numerical. the con- was. The Seven include personalities who shaped the political life of the time. enough. not an isolated figure. astronomical from the older cultures of the Near East and make free use of them. looking back from the zenith of Greek philosophy in the middle of the 4th century B. and at this epoch it became attitude is fundamental to the lives of some men. who lived about 600 B. This is how legend records the among at that epoch of a certain type of personality appearance men who caused a stir in the little Greek communities in which they lived. one Thales of Miletus on the shores of Asia Minor.. European peoples was tinuity interrupted by the so-called Middle Ages. an individual of lone In native Greek tradition Thales is always numbered genius.C. the trend towards the clarification of experience . But this fact does not entitle him to be regarded as the originator of philosophy. Their characteristic attitude is shewn by an Ionian word that has found a * * place in most modern languages. Such upon * * an typical of the rationalistic trend. to a fresh generaas some might say. having been established beyond doubt by the prime thinker of our philosophical tradition. : * information the informing of oneself Originally it meant all matters about which information was to be had. as excelling all others by the power of their deeds and of the speech they coined for their leading ideas. ' the Seven Wise Men '. so long as our view of its history was defined and limited by the European tradition. attributed its origin to a single man. The theoretical bias of . it was subsequently restored by the Renaissance of an ancient civilizaIn any case the facts of the Greek beginning seemed plain tion. such as Solon. Thales is singled out by Aristotle merely because as an Ionian. c ' Empire. the word history (laroQirj). the social reformer and founder of Athenian democracy. via the classical zenith and the Hellenistic culture of the tion of .

considered that all things were made of water and that the world was a living being At (Koa/tov efJLipv%ov)> full of divine powers (daipovcov nhfiQTJ). self '. to determine carefully die element in this conception that is purely Greek. not on his a of been the Greek sage type. And now follow the famous words that Herodotus puts into the mouth of Croesus. says Aristotle. The idea of Primaeval Water is to be found in the myths of the most diverse peoples . It is the more essential. This theory of his is a statement about the of all that is. Aristotle took it as his starting-point when nature Thales 5 title to be the * ' first ' out to shew that he had completed the line of philosophical enquiry it had initiated. father the of tus. historiography. therefore. but on his having personality theory *. in welcoming Solon to the city of Sardes from I have heard much of wisdom talk of Athens. What the Greeks * * did was to divest it of magic.Ill PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER * 41 Greek philosophy sprang directly out of this informing of oneThe word theory in early times meant simply looking '. when Sardes stood at the height of her power. but he undoubtedly means a living thing. a man looks at things on a journey with no other object than as We find an eloquent witness to this in Herodoto see the world. " Stranking of Lydia. how from love of knowledge you have travelled in " From pleasure of looking about you. the Greeks themselves had a myth telling of Father Ocean as the origin of all things (y&eais ndvrwv). not he set ' mere matter as we do." many lands for the " so we translate the Greek word philosolove of knowledge " " the Greek phrase for the phizing. he says c water '. who lived in Athens at the time * ' * " of Pericles. and by looking about you : sake of theory. all the wise men of the age came to this city from Hellas. ' makes its this point the conception of the unity of all that is appearance a conception fundamental for philosophy. and among them Solon. which was something other than purely speculative in the above sense. Thales does not speak of a 'god' . The Greek thinkers did not have to achieve the idea of unity by their own efforts . who had given the people their laws and then went travelling abroad for ten years in order to see the world ". the spokesman of the Athenians. ger you. Pre-scientific man had no conception . He records that during the Persian wars. Thales. one today and another tomorrow. and an idea of this kind is taken up and transplanted easily enough. philosopher rests. it came to them along with the theological speculations diffused by the religious movements of the East. your and travels.

The * Greek word for nature is * physis *. in Greece its had seen through naivete been appeared already Their criticism of it is one of the earliest records of the metaphysical beginnings of philosophy. Physis is not by any means an idea to be met with wherever human thought has advanced from myth to rational comprehension . III him everything natural '. we have already met it as such in Chuang-Tzu's allegory. precisely here that the characteristic genius of the early Greek thinkers shows itself. his predicate sticks firmly to a finite thing known. it would seem. living in the world such as he finds himself to be. They apprehended an undifferentiated unity which they denoted by 1 Gf. where it is a symbol for the Infinite . the image of the sea also plays a large part in the philosophically mature versions of pantheism. given in common experience and. It is. p. and the value of that revelation lies that thought adheres closely to the clues afforded by sense. it is an idea peculiar to the Greeks. 146. by reason of c a common nature that is in everything. His naivete consists in the fact that whereas his subject reaches out to include all that is '. on the assumption that its nature was everywhere one and the same despite variety and change. through a part. expresses of the purely material for c ' : 5 c Before this view typical of the na'ive pantheistic world-view. Now. The world as a whole can be apprehended through a particular thing.42 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER . and perceptible to the senses. as creators of Natural Science \ The early Greeks enquired into the nature of everything in the world. Thus Thales proposition a view of the world-soul and is a quite typical one. i. alive and besouled for the soul is that which manifests life. not as as he is himself. there are certain that reveal the form of the whole especially well. just one among the various things in the world. made the Greeks the ' * * which. . infra. This conception of nature is an example of the specifically Greek way of speculation or looking. selected in so arbitrary a fashion. it phenomena They reveal in the fact to the senses. But in Thales' words there is no trace of the mystique of infinity. a body among other bodies man-made. however. named. This thing called water '. This nature is not * * ' 1 by the Indian metaphysicians.e. Pantheism means that God is everything and everything is God. exhibits certain qualities that ' characterize all that is '. man included. manifest in everything equally . the way of theory we shall see in due course. from which our * physics is derived.

' 5 Consequently this trend. by the social thinking so characteristic of the Chinese. be regarded as the way in which all philosophy naturally began. which it shared with the contempora- Notwithstanding neous movement of the Sophists to wit. And as with the beginning. Later on. although here too it is obvious that the course of events was largely determined by history. Philosophy down from Heaven to earth and caused it to investigate life and morals. and this time it really is a case of decisive intervention by one individual with all the mysterious force of an unique personality. Originally it meant ornament '. Thus the beginning of philosophy in Greece would appear to be well defined in respect both of the historical circumstances . apt idiosyncrasy in this case. This formula fits the course that philosophy has taken in modern times no less than that taken in ancient Greece. Information concerning Physis was really the name of what we are accustomed to call early Greek philosophy '.Ill PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER 43 physis '. where later ages were to draw a distincbetween the growth or genesis of a thing and its essence. of focussing philosophical enquiry " " called Socrates ". It is a perfect example of the aesthetic-rational trend of the Greek mind. to this. 4. Disput. I. 10. says Cicero. . We may note that the Chinese word wen ornament originally and underwent a similar likewise meant c * Here too we have an change. the re-direction and on the problems of human life. it began to be known cosmos being a word equally characteristic as cosmology of and peculiar to the Greeks. complete and beautifully the one word c tion c ' c * ' ' ' c adorned. For we can well compare philosophy's new beginning at the time of the Renaissance with its original beginning in Greece . the so: 5 1 Cicero. post.. ancient tradition. Tusculan. coloured. Socrates . coming to mean civilization of human illustration the of the mind. after the classical period of the 4th century. V. the explains significance of the Socratic movement in terms of one general feature only. 15. The continuation of philosophy is likewise connected with the name of a single man. good and Hence the formula that philosophy proceeds from evil/ 1 cosmology to anthropology.. represented by Cicero. so with the continuation it was conceived to be an organic process. and the general spiritual situation in which Socrates appeared on the scene with the i8th century. it in which arose the cosmological. For the early Greeks a thing's essence is revealed in its origin. and thus portrayed the world as a body. and its came : original trend. Acad. 4.

C. They consist in the metaphysical and of meditations are linked up with a great work of priests religious poetry. life within the human." To coined by Pope c the Natural Philosophy then dominant David Hume opposed * his Moral Philosophy *. directing the subject's gaze upon the innermost reality of his own self. The assumption falls to the ground The Chinese of of connected with the name Confucius. the Upanishads. puts it of how men can best the be helped to live together essentially study in harmony and good order/' As to Indian philosophy. the records of ancient Hindu metaphysic. and historical world. in childhood. According * ' to the views of the time. As one of the best " All Chinese philosophy is authorities. ' ' that Greek-born philosophy was the natural one. was " The proper study of mankind is man. which actually began in England. betrayed that sort of self-confidence which comes self-confidence of the * ' enlightened The assumption from narrowness of directly vision. John Locke. Just as the individual must first learn. the natural progress of knowledge is from without inwards.44 called PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III Age of Enlightenment. Its beginning is anterior to the Confucian beginning . beginning was primarily concerned with those very matters which according to the traditional European formula were only included in philosophy as a result of the reorientation effected by Socrates. that the European way of philosophizing was the logically necessary way. had sought to prove it by way of psychology. The task of the early Confucians was to achieve a rational foundation for morality which should assure man his dignity and provide an ethical attitude to politics. social. only in its maturity directing its gaze back upon man as the acquirer and possessor of knowledge. it took the very opposite course to that chosen by the Greeks. the task was now to prove its logical necessity. the inaugurator of the whole Enlightenment movement. so in the life of mankind philosophy begins by collecting knowledge of the : J external world. the Hymns of the Veda (a word that means * ' knowledge in the special sense of revealed knowledge). philosophy. This seemed to be the inevitable line of development . Arthur Waley. just as early Greek philosophy has the Homeric poems for a backyou look beyond the confines of Europe. go back to at least the yth century B. : . This trend of enquiry came to be the permanent trend in China. This conviction of having reached the goal was typical of the man of the i8th century. namely. The motto of this later movement towards clarification. to find his way about in the world.

but the asking of it does not necessarily Thus. 33. This form of philosophy was then considered to be the knowledge of the most " knowable. the trend towards concentration on inner reality is to be found equally in European thought as in Hindu : in the last phase of GraecoRoman civilization. The Ten Principal Upanishads^ put into English by Shrec Purohit B. In the words of one of the " God pierced the windows of the body outward . Augustine asked himself What do you want " " God and the soul" " Nothing and answered to know ? " " else ? Nothing else. since religion is a force that devours all else . Swami and W. but only up to a point. but as different in different their several course as the beginnings. 1 Cf. comparable. In the European sequence of events at any rate we find the different subject-matters coming up in succession in the different epochs which philosophy has passed through since its Greek beginning. cultures are within which they occur. Fabcr Fabcr." It was a question that claimed attention to the exclusion of all others. 1937. but from a systematic point of view the various trends of enquiry. are to be ranged side by The presumed unity of origin and essence side and contrasted. p. & . and they contrasted it with that natural curiosity about the external world which they considered so typical of the unreflecting attitude of the ordinary man. as the facts of history shew. each with its distinct subject-matter. owing to the scientific method inaugurated by Socrates and Plato which has since become specific of European philosophy. each subject-matter characterizing a Thus the work of Confucius and of Socrates is certain epoch. St. when religion came to prevail over science and when Christianity was already widespread." * not one definite beginning.Ill PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER 45 ground. Again. this made them all the more convinced that their way was the only original way for philosophy in the same manner that the Greeks were convinced of the Tightness of the Greek or cosmological way . an illusion the essence of philosophy is not to be to be . Now and again a daring soul. Yeats. The Indians did not associate the beginning of their philosophy with the name of any particular man . desiring immortality. not into himself. there road which philosophy invariably follows at is its : : Ka{ha Up. The Indian beginning was the first in the merely chronological sense of a beginning . proves found in its origin but only through a survey of the whole course of its history. Upanishads man therefore looks outward. has looked back and found : himself.

III mean to theology it to be handed over. To recognize this we shall have to shift our standpoint. of course. on the contrary have a liberating effect. different What can we know ? we hope ? " Augustine. is the historical point of view philosophy appeared to a number of disparate problems presenting themselves either simultaneously or in succession. Such a point of view lays bare the constituent parts of which philosophy as a whole is but it fails to reveal any original unity in the sense composed we mean. at different times and places as if they were something static. inspired by intermingled and assimilated to the common stock of enquiry. his aim This fact will prove still treats them as subjects of careful to dispel illusion and establish certainty. But now we must go deeper and examine the nature of the philosophizing activity itself. b The which must first is First Questioning c ' The enquiry concerning in the seeker.46 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER that philosophy . somewhat naively. bound hand and foot. when initiating the subjective : approach characteristic St. Something be intuited before any reflection can take place quite different from the enquiring doubt of the the nature of that . This will reveal the unity of origin. Nevertheless that question embraces the other two precisely because they are questions. just because knowledge means knowledge of the external world '. the question What can we know ? " seems. even when he is treating of human conduct c ' " ' c ' * * and human investigation aspirations. which operates on these various subjects. the various subjects of philosophical enquiry. and leads men to discover the roots of human self-confidence Descartes. may is For when asked in a spirit of philosophical reflection it breaks down the rigid framework of life-relationships fixed by religious dogma and observance. The philosopher. finding them different. Hitherto we have examined. as the Greek cosmological beginning and the modern restriction of the word science to Natural Science clearly shew. like them. to refer to a particular set of traditionally philosophical problems. From dynamic unity. . Kant enumerated the basic problems of philosophy as follows " : Hence the was directly problems become What ought we to do ? What may In conjunction with the other two. of modern philosophy. which is a consist in . to be a clue to the real unity of philosophy.

in the breathless surge of life . Socrates approaches the problem by way of the relativity of all knowledge. or wonder will predominate according to whether our questioning of what is above and beyond us proceeds primarily from what is within us. Aristotle. by breaking up the fertile In this subsoil on which thought grows. detached [ How the sense of from the practical purposes of life ] Definitions by Plato. The task of this discipline is to define the nature of knowledge. Qualities like big and small '. he says. Schopenhauer. he says. either doubt. citing in particular the relativity of * * ' magnitudes. that is The dialogue has for its subject the logical and mathematical. Plato discovered what we have sought to describe. in connection with a theoretical problem a problem. wonder itself as expressing surprise and curiosity at once . and is celebrated first detailed discussion of the theory of cognition epistemology as distinct from metaphysics. knowledge. since he is concerned not merely with emotion. and suggests the latter element is essential to Plato's meaning." The word wonder does not wholly convey the meaning of the Greek thauma '. I THE GREEK TESTIMONY wonder opened the way to pure contemplation (theoria) as an end in itself. in fact. but with the desire for * ' c c ' ' the What question. after whom the dialogue is named. It is the creative moment and anxious to shake off all that comes now and again awestruck state of stopping short and standing still. leads to freedom. The sense of wonder ". mistrustful prejudice. This famous saying occurs. at our side. are strictly speaking . knowledge ? ". and.Ill I THE GREEK TESTIMONY of itself 47 critical intellect. characteristically enough. " is the mark of the philosopher. or anxiety. " is as and Plato shews Socrates discuss- ing it with the mathematician Theaetetus. or all round us. Bacon. or any of the other sensible qualities which we are accustomed to attribute to things in an absolute way. and found " a word for it. But in our present context. which might also be rendered by the more forceful amazement '. Coleridge Wonder is the garment of God. Philosophy indeed has no other origin.

that an old man like me. He then finds a way back through logic to metaphysics. metaphysical in origin. and later on be shorter. the bridge between heaven and earth. That shows that Theodorus x was not wrong in his estimate of your nature. the doctrine of relativity does not appear in conjunction with metaphysical knowledge of the Absolute but with an empirical system of epistemology that sought to reduce all knowledge to sense-perception. 2 Philosophy indeed has no other origin.. Hesiod.. This dialogue is noted above * * all Plato's other writings because in it he sketches a theory about the origin of the world. Sometimes I get quite dizzy with thinking of them. compared with which all finite terms. be it another This exciting theory is object or the perceiving subject himself. whether quantitative or qualitative. where the insight into the relativity of everything finite has its source. This sense of wonder is the mark of the philosopher. who neither grows size. and yet have not become so . stage of intellectual development. In order to refute this system. Indeed it is extraordinary how they set me No. * Theaetetus. I think you follow me. ! nor decreases in This subtle jest of Plato's in likening philosophy. to the goddess of the rainbow It herself the daughter of wonder hides a profound meaning. for instance. since it springs from the metaphysical conception of absolute reality. and all values are In the Platonic dialogue. 155 E-D. following the cosmological trend illustrates ' ' ' ' that marked the beginning of philosophy 1 in Greece. Theaetetus . and he was a good genealogist 8 who made Iris the daughter of Thaumas. . may within a year be taller than a youth like you.48 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III applied to them only in relation to something else. I fancy such puzzles are not altogether strange to you. He himself describes the subject of the dialogue in the archaic formula * Theaetetus' teacher in mathematics. Hence I am later what I was not before. which represents a later relative. not because my bulk has diminished but because yours has grown. and I could not be in process of becoming shorter without losing some of my bulk. I could give you countless other examples . and develops the paradoxes that result from overlooking them. It is here that Socrates lets drop that saying about wonder : We say. by heavens on earth what wondering they can mean. Socrates points out to Theaetetus the essentially logical relations of size and number. comes out very clearly in one of the later dialogues. for without the process of becoming the result is impossible. and perfectly the meaning of theory in the original wondering sense of that fundamental word.

I say is the chiefest blessing of eyesight . than which no greater good has been. sun. for it involves recogPlato's own time had seen the nizing the rationality of what is. why should we harp on the minor boons for which one who loves not Wisdom would make unavailing lament. as I hold. or sky. explains the origin of On philosophy as follows as : Sight. associated with history '. equinoctials and solstices. The Pythagoreans were the founders of the science of mathematics. hence we have derived Philosophy. This. J c 1 Timaeus. or Wanderers '. given us the notion of Time and moved us to search out Universal Nature . the starry heaven above us was. if he lost them by blindness ? For ourselves. For Plato. which had in the meantime become recognized as the basis of scientific cosmology.Ill c I THE GREEK TESTIMONY Universal Nature ' 49 (negl rov navros fifoeate). then. of all objects we see. it is a motive that leads us to determine the periods and orbits of the celestial bodies. the planets. the vision of day and night. a Pythagorean by name of Timaeus. however. inasmuch no word of our present discourse of the universe could have been uttered had we never seen the stars. bestowed by the gods on mortal man. as the chief speaker. . had been so called because their movements had seemed to be quite unaccountable. nor ever shall be. And that is a philosophical task. of of the regularity discovery planetary movement . With this achievement in mind Plato. and might learn to know them and compute them rightly and truly. Yet mathematics is not an end in itself for Plato . the science of numbers. and meant simply * looking at the world in a simple empirical sense. The same may be affirmed of speech and hearing . 47. As it is. But this wonder is not a feeling that loses itself in the Infinite . arose. it is a means whereby we can recognize the eternal order in the motions of the stars. It was the first discovery ' ' character. the only one worthy of observation. let us say that the cause and purpose of vision is this God invented it and bestowed it on us that we the orbits of understanding in the heavens and apply might perceive : to the revolutions of our own thoughts that are akin to them. the perturbed to the imperturbable . they have been 1 given by the gods for the same ends and purposes. through the mouth of Timaeus. them In early times. months and circling years. and so correct the aberrations of the circles in ourselves by imitating the never-erring circles of God. as we saw. and does so because he is introducing. The view of the heavens fills us with wonder. when knowledge had an essentially personal ' theory was. is the cause of our chiefest blessing. a representative of the older philosophy. has created Number. From such calculations Arithmetic.

of all the senses sight best helps us to know things. does not consist only in contemplation . as but one instance of something universal. indeed a moral. and it perceived the orbits of understanding " in the heavens '. and destiny science as the very highest spiritual activities man is capable of. interprets the sentence exclusively from the point of view of the particular. Not only with their own sake. but even when no action is contemplated we prefer The reason for this is that sight to practically all the other senses. in the circumstances of a given situation where he himself stood at the loom of philosophy and played his historical part . even the most outstanding individuals are creatures as well as creators. But the universal significance c ' of the sentence is not diminished by being placed in its historical context . his sentence about wonder as the origin of philosophy. starting from sensation as the lowest level of knowledge. and have but a small share of experience but the human race lives also by art (techn6) and reasoning. Philosophy. . which he declares to be a general characteristic of human All nature : naturally desire knowledge. according to Plato. aim. of the desire for knowledge for its own sake. This aim is to be attained * by bringing the disorderly and irrational revolutions aberof our souls into an order corresponding to the order of rations it ' Heavenly Reason. he translates the Platonic doctrine into empirical terms and. other than man live by impressions and memories. for. namely. Aristotle. Experience seems very similar to science and art. He explains the peculiar phenomenon Plato had discovered. In all this there are certain underlying assumptions that are Plato coined characteristic of the whole of Platonic philosophy. . . It in philosophy. man's is an unqualified affirmation of reason and has a practical. of a single experience. however. Throughout. . fulfilled. produce the effect . makes a scientific deduction of that philosophical wonder.50 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER ' III of a law of Nature. As Plato puts it Understanding (vovs) is the ruler of the Universe. from the point of view of history." Thus the consummation of eyesight : is philosophy is . but actually it is through experience that men acquire them. a view to action. and reveals many men esteem for the senses distinctions. Plato's great pupil. . . An indication of this is our for apart from their use we esteem them for . and most of all the sense of sight. And out of memory experience for many memories of the same thing finally is produced in men The animals . . it is the mark of genius to grasp in one particular aspect of a matter the essence of the whole.

poets tell D. and man should only seek the knowledge which is within his reach. since it alone exists for itself. . if the poets are right and the Deity is by nature jealous. Clearly then it is for no extrinsic advantage that we seek this knowledge .g.P. thus the myth-lover is in a sense a philosopher. It is generally assumed that what is called Wisdom is concerned with the primary causes and principles. Again among the sciences we consider that that science which is desirable both in itself and for the sake of knowledge is more nearly Wisdom than that which is desirable for its results. however. indeed we see men of experience succeeding more who have theory without experience. not receive them .. The reason for this that experience is knowledge of particulars. These things. e. since in many respects human nature is servile . because . viz the most universal. Now he who wonders and is perplexed. wondering in the first place at obvious perplexities. they are furthest removed from the senses. Therefore if it was to escape ignorance that men studied philosophy. and all those who excel in knowledge unfortunate. whereas art is knowledge of universals . for the wise man should give orders. The actual course of events bears witness to this . . practically all the necessities of life were already supplied. at a time than those is .Ill I THE GREEK TESTIMONY 5! It would seem that for practical purposes experience is no way inferior to art . whereas the latter do not. since are myths composed of wonders. . A . and this is because the former know the cause. For this reason its acquisition might justly be supposed to be beyond human power. and that the superior is more nearly Wisdom than the subsidiary . because he knows all the particulars it comprises. are perhaps the hardest for man to grasp. . it is probable that in this case He would be particularly jealous. for just as we call a man independent who exists for himself and not for another. when G . In every branch of knowledge a man is wiser in proportion as he is more accurately informed and better able to expound the causes. God alone can have this privilege ". about the changes of the moon and of the sun. . and action and their effects are all concerned with the particular. nor should he beg others. But it is impossible " for the Deity to be jealous indeed.. It is through wonder that men now begin and originally began to philosophize . so we call this the only independent science.. for speculations of this kind began with a view to recreation and pastime. . feels that he is ignorant .. That this is not a productive science. and then by gradual progression raising questions about the greater matters too. " in which case. and not for any particular utility. about the stars and about the origin of the universe. . but the less wise should obey him. Indeed. as Simonides says. . and we assume that artists are wiser than men of mere experience (which implies in all cases that wisdom depends rather upon knowledge) . Nevertheless we consider that knowledge and proficiency belong to art rather than to experience. it is obvious that they pursued science for the sake of knowledge. is clear from a consideration of the first philosophers. truly comprehensive knowledge must necessarily belong to him who in the highest degree possesses knowledge of the universal. as the proverb says.

the story . and this title of theirs lasted up to the time of Pythagoras who came. 1 a classical document of Greek philosophy. This suggests Aristotle's own method of teaching. The sub' limation of theory is complete. the story goes. asked him to name the art in which he put most reliance but Pythagoras said that for his part he had no acquaintance with any art. : divine if it is peculiarly the possession of God. This straight-line view of philosophical development has already been discussed in 2 It narrows the principle and its basic assumptions exposed. which was to discuss problems methodically. who turns everything into an object of observation. or if it is concerned with divine matters. a Cf. 1 Metaphysics. And Leon. none is more excellent. after wondering at his talent and eloquence. I. 33 ff. and God is the sole or the chief possessor of this sort of knowledge. but was a philosopher. . Leon was astonished at the novelty of the idea and asked what philosophers were and in what they differed from the rest of the world. the connection between philosophy and is a fundamental premise with the Greeks. Accordingly. Now there are two ways only in which this science is divine a many a " is . making rationalistic attitude instead of a feeling that takes possession of the whole man who does not simply put questions with his intellect. p. is illustrated in the ancient portrait of the philosopher handed down to us by the Roman writer Cicero : 5 . Aristotle supposed such an attitude to be related from " He the very start to the problems that science seeks to solve. and the process of sublimation that historically resulted has come to be regarded as the normal * c evolution of intelligence from sensation. supra. cataloguing the various possible solutions to each problem and then deciding critically in favour of one or the other as a possible avenue for thought. 983. Pythagoras. although all other sciences are more science is necessary than It is this. to Phlia and with a wealth of learning discussed certain subjects with Leon. 980. * All those who devoted themselves to the contemplation of nature were both held to be and named wise men. for all believe that God is one of the causes and a kind of principle.52 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER lie III nor must we suppose that any other form of knowledge more precious than this for what is most divine is most precious. It is the key-note of the philosophic attitude and informs the person of the philoThis sopher. Even apart from what we would call metaphysics or pure * theory speculation. ruler of the Phlians. of it out to be a purely scope philosophic wonder. This science alone fulfils both these conditions . " who wonders and is perplexed feels his ignorance "it was to escape ignorance that men studied philosophy ".

1 Tusculanae disputation**. it * ' interpreted Aristotle* it in exactly the opposite sense to that given it by sounds a more sombre note than has been heard so far. penetrated into ledge. as though coming from some festival. Heraclitus and Parmenides . echoing from deeper levels of experience where wonder at the ordered splendour of the cosmos is tinged with a melancholy amaze at the mystery of life itself. started with the Platonic conception and the sphere of the * unknowable ' . Thus Schopenhauer. the divine philosopher '. entered upon this life. and that quite the best type of free-born men. others were attracted by the prospect of gain through buying and selling. but also to what passes beyond knowc Plato himself. Plato's * sense of wonder ' Aristotle supposed. whilst there was on the other hand a certain class. so in life the contemplation and discovery of nature far surpassed all other pursuits. and just as at the games the men of truest breeding looked on without any self-seeking. for at this festival some men whose bodies had been trained sought to win the glorious distinction of a crown. counting all else . but came for the sake of the spectacle and closely watched what was done and how it was done. these men gave themfor that is the meaning of the selves the name of lovers of wisdom word c Philosophy ' . closely scanned the nature of things . . 3. as vain.Ill I THE GREEK TESTIMONY 53 continues. who looked neither for applause nor gain. The wisdom of Nature speaks out of the quiet gaze of animals for in them Will and Intellect are not far enough apart for each to be astonished at the other when they meet. So also we. replied that the lives of men seemed to him to resemble the festival that was celebrated with most magnificent games before a concourse collected from the whole of Greece . the exponent of a metaphysic of life that replaced Divine Reason by a Will of Nature. to our expectations It applies had been opened out by the great Greek metaphysicians of an earlier age. . 1 some of money has a wider application than not only to what runs counter and so perplexes us. But the significance of his words about wonder is so far-reaching that it has enabled a modern irrationalist movement to fasten upon them and adopt them as its motto. and he had entered into their labours. and partakes of the unconscious omniscience of the Great ence . There is no doubt that he believed in the rule of Reason in the universe. Thus the whole phenomenon is still firmly attached here to the stem of Nature whence it came. makes us feel ignorant and seek an explanation. V. and some were city to find such a crowded slaves of ambition and but there were a special few who. These are his words in He an essay entitled * Man's Metaphysical Need * : With the exception of man no creature wonders at its own existto all of them it is so obvious that they do not even observe it.

pagodas and mosques. and their problem is merely to refer these to phenomena that are better known. . Temples and churches. In agreement with this Aristotle also says at the beginning of his Metaphysics : propter admirationem enim et nunc et primo inceperunt homines philosophari. wonder that results from this process is conditioned in the individual by a more highly developed intellect. it is only because they have associated their special dogma of immortality with the existence of the gods. an integral part of them. spacious realm of the Animal Kingdom. and is therefore inextricably bound up with the world and Nature. i. though not indeed by this alone. the peculiar disposition of the philoconsists primarily in this. When his consciousness started he too. The lower a man stands intellectually the less of a problem will existence be for him . there appeared that amazement which is destined to become the mother of metaphysics. Moreover. conscious of the presence of death . Yet without doubt it is the knowledge of death and the consideration of the suffering and misery of life that conduce the most strongly to philosophical reflection and a metaphysical explanation of the world. It cannot disengage itself from things and confront them in their totality. of course. therefore. defending it most zealously. and although they seem to make the existence of their par- On ticular gods the main point. in Man. and along with the finiteness of all existence the vanity of all effort forces itself upon it. Very early. If our life were endless and painless it would probably occur to no one to ask why the world exists and why it is as it is . But its wonder in is the more serious in that it stands here. Hence his intellect is very far from comprehending the world in a purely objective manner. and that it should be at all. This is because his intellect still remains true to its original destiny of serving the Will as the vehicle of impulses. importance to them. there comes upon Man alone his peculiar need of a Metaphysic accordingly he is the metaphysical animal. that he is capable of wonder beyond sopher the ordinary or everyday degree.e. whereas the investigators in the Natural Sciences only wonder at rare and outlandish phenomena. everything would then be taken for granted. accepted himself without question. for him it is obvious that everything should be as it is. Accordingly we find that the interest which philosophical or religious systems inspire in us always has its strongest hold in the dogma of some kind of existence after death .54 Mother. and is thus induced to make the universal aspects of phenomena his especial problem . in all lands and . and regard the one as inseparable from the other . But this did not last long. . its PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER Only after the III inmost essence of Nature (the Will to Life objective manifestation) has pushed its way vigorously and cheerfully through the two unconscious Kingdoms and then through the long. does it ultimately win to reflection with the entry of Reason. Then it marvels at its own works and asks itself what it is. With this reflection and wonder. together with his : first reflection. thus becoming as it were the other hand the philosophical temporarily self-existent. were it not for this the existence of the gods would be of no . for the first time.

Impressed upon him early enough they serve as adequate explanations of his existence and props to his morality. and leisure if their testimony is to be acknowledged. For if anything in the world is desirable. content with poor fare. which demands a great deal of leisure. where nothing is clear but wretchedness and futility. who are not susceptible to reason fore but only to authority. distinguished by the fact that one has its testimony in Since the metaphysical systems of the itself. explanation of our mysterious existence. . The satirically minded might add that this metais a modest fellow. however. let us subject the various ways of satisfying this powerful to a general consideration. and that those who were nearer than us to the beginnings of humanity and the source of organic Nature possessed both a greater energy of intuitive and cognitive powers land a truer disposition of mind . meaning proverbs. . the Rishis. thus to transcend Nature or the phenomenal world in its efforts to explain what virtually conditions experience and Nature .Ill I THE GREEK TESTIMONY 55 in all ages testify with their splendour and vastness to the metaphysical need of man. in its more reflective moments. or. moreover. not . They are. But even if this were attainable in itself. what is behind Nature and makes it possible. they only occur and persist in advanced civilizations. follows close on his physical need. On the other hand the systems of the second kind exist exclusively for the great majority of men. they are only accessible to a very small number of men . who are not capable of thinking but only of believing . Such things show that metaphysical capacity does not keep pace with metaphysical need. so that they were capable of a purer and more immediate apprehension of the essence of Nature. Now. in addition to the cultivation of them. first kind require reflection. Such systems may therefore be termed popular metaphysics. Hence there originated in the primitive ancestors of the Brahmins. however. it is that a ray of light should fall on the darkness of our being. to put it popularly. after the analogy of popular poetry and also popular wisdom. which. makes the disparities between men so immense that once a people has emerged from the condition of But now savages no single metaphysic can possibly serve for them all. physical need is satisfied . need. Therewe always find among civilized nations two different kinds of metaphysic. Often he with clumsy fables and vapid fairy-tales. the other outside itself. known under the name of religions and are found among all nations. culture. . the grand original diversity of our intellectual powers. metaphysical By metaphysics I mean all knowledge that purports to transcend the possibility of experience. the well-nigh superhuman ideas that were afterwards set in the Upanishads of the Vedas. It would appear. prize it above silver and gold. and that we should come by some down . . and were thus in a position to satisfy the metaphysical need in a more worthy manner. strong and ineradicable. so desirable that even the dull and brutish herd would. it is made impossible by the compulsory solutions that are its forced on us. that in earlier ages of the earth's crust this was not always the case .

. pdfa (pdoa6<pixov ndog the whole vastness of the.. that religion has ultimately to do with quite a different order of things. Only to the unthinking brutes do the world and life appear obvious . necessarily vanish and that therefore not only the contradictory but also the comprehensible dogmas are really only allegories and so many accom. in whose presence the laws of the A A phenomenal world. . in minds with a natural aptitude for philosophizing. makes the claim. I now turn to a general consideration of the other kind of metaLet physic. . All this. . and in general withdraws them from investigation. mentioned above in an amazement at the world and our own existence. inasmuch as these force themselves on our intellect like a riddle the solution of which accordingly . Thus we see that in the main. the need for which man feels to be imperative. to be true religion. . Indeed. . certain dogmas that cannot even be thought clearly. has only the obligation to be true Truth cannot appear naked before the people. for thought it has acquired through culture. To the distinction established above between metaphysics of the first and second kinds we have yet to add the following : A system of the first kind. Their testimony is. and gives it no rest. for it appeals to thought and conviction. incapable of examination and thought.56 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III excepting the most savage. on the other hand. namely. which has its testimony in itself and is called philosophy. religions very well supply the place . for man it is a problem. ultimately amounts to " " the wonder that embraces Plato's avfjideiv. character of religions makes them independent of the proofs incumbent on philosophy. Indeed the agitation that keeps the interminable clock of metaphysics going is the consciousness that the non-existence The philosophical of this world is just as possible as its existence. and as such is called revelation. and has therefore the obligation. : . This allegorical modations to our human understanding. for these things bear the stamp of their allegorical nature and are the only adequate means whereby the ordinary mind and untutored understanding can feel what would otherwise be incomprehensible to it. . in everything it may say. a philosophy therefore. as we have said. . the order of things in themselves. and the more material occupies . but which impinges on our consciousness more distinctly and persistently as this is clearer and more enlightened. let alone be literally true. * ' of the mysteries that allegorical nature of religions is the symptom are to be found probably in all of them. . and for the great majority who cannot apply themselves to thought.. . some palpable absurdities. sensu stricto etproprio. would never understand the deepest and most difficult truths sensu proprio. being intended for the many who. sensu allegorico. extrinsic. are an essential part of the perfected religions. problem which has occupied the nobler portion of mankind in every age and in every clime without cease. of metaphysics. mankind without cease. . of which the crudest and most narrow-minded of us become vividly aware in our more lucid moments. which is authenticated by signs and wonders. according to which religion must speak. . . me remind the reader of its origin. . . . it might be asserted that some absolute contradictions.

like the Overture to Don Juan. for we feel that what was able to produce such a world could also have avoided suffering and It is hardest of all for Theism. being reluctantly disposed of. are still something that definitely ought not to be at all. even if they were in the justest proportion to one another and were far outweighed by good. The special nature. as though philosophy * ' had suddenly gone into reverse. since nothing can come out of nothing. but still more that it is such a wretched world. increasingly sophy philosophy because reflection no longer took as its starting-point the traditional problems of God and the external world. c'estla marche naturelle du d6veloppe** ment de Fesprit humain. the orderliness and the completeness of the physical world. The World as Will and Idea. who is really the right Expediens ad hoc. from oneself to other amazement We said. opens in a minor chord. This is the modern turn that has resulted from the revolution in our thinking brought about by Kant.Ill I THE GREEK TESTIMONY 57 is therefore at bottom perplexed and melancholy . however. when Plato 1 After Haldanc I. It follows from this that it can be neither Spinozism nor optimism. VII. but human life as actually lived* 2 Schopenhauer. and Plato Coming to these reflections after and Aristotle we experience a the objective statements of jolt. as we have already intensify philosophical . only with the historical man. of the amazement that leads us to philosophize. qualify Thus. these also must have their seeds in the find it hard to make such origin and kernel of the world itself. Book 1 still following the old tradition when he wrote (about Le monde d'abord. whereas. clearly springs from the sight of the suffering and wickedness in the world. 1 people. Not. a student of Kant and Goethe. belongs to the founders of this modern movement. To evil also belongs death. Vol. Comte was Auguste *' : 1830) : t p. Not merely that the world exists. invented primarily to account for wickedness. is the the problem rousing mankind to an punctum pruriens of metaphysics unrest that cannot be quietened by scepticism nor yet by criticism. Philo* thereafter a of became life *. evil and death amazement. . But this is only a concealed way of making something out of nothing. philosophy. who himself likened it to the Gopernican inversion of the ancient and mediaeval picture of the world. and his reflections accordingly start with the proposition that man and man alone " wonders at his existence " . wickedness. Therefore free-will was wickedness. but wickedness is merely the shoving off of the evil that palpably exists. Now. which. For man is an historical being. . Phomme ensuite. (Kegan Paul). . just indicated. a. for it assumes an Operari that proceeded from no Esse. and Kemp. an assumption if we look at the vastness." Compare this with Dilthey (about 1900) There is no road leading from world to man. 291. Chapter 17." Ges* Schr. or to inevitable necessity the Devil. * Then it was sought to get rid of evil by attributing it to matter. We are open to the possibility that sense and meaning first arose with man himself. with the individual man.

then. tracing these preconceptions to their root we shall penetrate more deeply into the " open secret ". in short. III. or a flower. place Schopenhauer alone in his We find it expressed very powerfully indeed by an eminent age. This 3 modern or ' existential thinking that gives rise to an awed amazement does not. as if it bore evidence against the fact in the right of its own eternity. Schopenhauer * sophic Eros his 1 substitutes for this idea of the philometaphysical need '. . There is time when there was nothing that within us which repels the proposition with as full and instantaneous a light. as the mere act of existing ? Hast thou ever said to thyself thoughtfully. 192. he had in mind the relativity of magnitudes which had so agitated the mathematician. This it was that first caused them to feel within themselves a something ineffably greater than their own individual nature. Not to be. which in the earlier ages seized the nobler minds. in and by itself. It is heedless in that moment whether it were a man before thee. the elect among men. to this or that particular mode or form of existence ? If thou hast indeed attained to this. and no other. are self-contradictory. as Goethe calls it. The Friend. of the origin of philosophy* Plato's saying about wonder links up with his encomium on the power of sight.58 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III coined his famous saying. p. however. Coleridge. thou wilt have felt the presence of a mystery. and from the fact that mankind is aware of this dire possibility he explains the lasting role played by metaphysics among the nobler spirits. who had also been smitten by the philosophical movement initiated by Kant and Goethe : Hast thou ever raised thy mind to the consideration of existence. p. contemporary of his. 1 In Schopenhauer the note struck was not so rich and resonant on the contrary he asserts that the " non-existence of this world is just as possible as its existence ". is impossible to be. 30. If thou hast mastered this intuition of absolute existence. without reference. The very words. The vision of divine order was to draw the thinking man to itself until he began to realize that order in the confusion of earthly existence. thou wilt have ! * ' * ' ! : learned likewise. or a grain of sand. There is nothing There was a or. that it was this. By . In this he betrays certain preconceptions which are no less deep-seated than those we stressed in the case of Plato and Aristotle. which he identified with knowledge. incomprehensible. from which he derives not quoted by Herbert Read in Coleridge as Critic. which must have fixed thy spirit in awe and ! wonder. with a sort of sacred horror. 1948.

Schopenhauer fits the birth of philosophy into the course of natural history. We shall key-thought of speculative mysticism directly. he transman to nature.Ill I THE GREEK TESTIMONY flights 59 only the highest calling satisfying this them an inferior and of thought but the religions as well. comes to life. as we life. it emerges as an historical occurrence through which satisfactory. breaks through into happens metaphysical knowledge spirit first or. Each acquires the poise proper to it. in man "." We may legitimately see in this romantic derivation of philosophic wonder only a residue of philosophy's traditional : " spiritual act from D.e. life of not out does stressed. original religious context. it is associated with the scientific doctrine of evolution. for knowledge for its own But Schopenhauer's explanation seems to us equally un- It goes too far in the direction of equating religion * with philosophy in the sense of a world-view '. if we like. as he puts it. e entry of Reason. whose " wins to reflection with the confront them poses this inmost essence ". Although he emphasises that before the be meeting but in its human mi jid can become it riddle of existence must first " things in order to crucial " capable of wondering at the " have disengaged itself from in their totality ". whose * inmost essence Nature the unfolded in the world-process. all of them from the very outset an integral part of human but philosophy. The gnawing need aroused by the riddle of existence. trace the religious world-views and the religions themselves. and through this unfolding the Ground of the universe stirs out of its c unconscious omniscience and wins to consciousness of itself. In our modern thinker. back to man's metaphysical need . is to be found right at the his He of discourse. the human this time life. becomes conscious in this man. i. We can. to solve that same riddle such an idea bring us closer to the common source of religion and philosophy than the desire. as we might and say. speaks like any pantheist of beginning is Great Mother '. when we follow up the metaphysical movement at the beginning of philosophy. c* . Divinity. intellectually cramping method of primal urge. curiously enough. imputed by Aristotle to man. hence he continues works and asks itself what it is. so he declares with The reason for this omission * ' ' the mystics. Schopenhauer ignored that historical creative act. grow organically like a plant out of its roots. sake. It is to this inmost essence of 5 nature that he quite logically ascribes the activity of philo" Then it marvels at its own sophizing .P.

The sounds we make have a general meaning which. p. that words mean something. The line of evolution leads from subhuman behaviour to a conventional system of sounds and gestures. is be caught '. we spoke of the still depths of our being that harbour reflection. as our interjections and exclamations shew. is as essential to the birth of philosophy as it is to the even more mysterious birth of language. This primary phenomenon.6o PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III beginnings with God and the external world. 7. in our description of the world of the natural outlook. then again a basic feature of human life on which it we meet once we focused our * ' attention when. consists in words and sentences. again. is not just something for the spider. They are understood by members of the group because of the connection they have with the various typical and ever-recurring situations in which the animal finds itself in relation to its environment. the very existence of any world-views whatever would be equally unthinkable. precisely because it is general. whose place in natural history is determined by the entry of reason '. serve for communication. being intelligible apart from the concrete situatranslatable into the sounds of another language. tion Human and themselves have a meaning to a fly. as it probably * designated with the name fly 1 for us. whether they be signals or mere articulations of bodily states. however. 1 mind upon which world would be unthinkable. without man's exclusive knowledge of the meaning of life and the That speech. which the intelligent animals implement by means of their so-called expressive movements '. Schopenhauer's definition of man as the metaphysical animal '. But if we isolate the act of reflection mentioned by Schopenhauer. then. In this sense. . and examine regardless of its pantheistic trappings. supra. even more important. Trying to reconstruct the sequence of events that preceded the fait accompli of human speech. coincides with the classical Aristotelian definition of man as the being who possesses logos language coupled with reason. This line of development continues right into our own speech. without which. precisely because it is reflexive. can be separated from the sound. has a twofold It gives us the knowledge that things and events application. but a thing c ' and. c c c characteristically human doubling back of the creative itself. it Cf. we discover a spiritual act which intervenes at a certain point in the evolution of human from animal intelligence. These. and words and sentences are essentially different from the inarticulate sounds of anthropoid apes.

Thirdly. for naming them implies the capacity of looking at them from a distance. we are bent on only appear * conscious self emerges through the very act of saying I '. we see only the result. as Schopenhauer It occurs on the contemplative plane. intellect. which combines both revelatory feeling and intellectual reflection. We emphasized this when we spoke of the naming of things. confounded . or philosophic amazement. For in a certain sense it is true to say that things are created by words. In philosophizing. being not merely a peculiarly intense form of these. him to an objective consideration of the amazing particular. the event that language brings to birth. already consummated. fastens the philosopher's gaze on life and the world as a whole. sopher's amazement differs from the more ordinary emotion of * * wide-eyed wonder. just as the giving full be found in the sense of wonder. rather a spiritual act of the kind described. firstly. we This reflexive objectification is essentially creative. blessing or distressing but things and must be a turning back of man's attention upon himself. To that extent the philosince philosophy springs from it. and events Both these faculties point back to things the spiritual act we spoke of. whereas in this Now event is to * 5 . as we have called it* Schopenhauer but it is not an affect in the classed it as an emotional affect strict sense. * ' seizing or the obstacle we are bent on overcoming as identifiable objects by being named. as objectification by creative reflection to weight reflex quality implied in that word. . impelling supposes. we make the amazing thing into an object of language the act is with our confront the totality of things contemplation. an objective apprehension of what the articulate creature has to deal with in its progress through the world. When we halt amazed before the incomprehensible. the spiritual act must be creative. or the peering curiosity of the naturalist. and it can be analysed roughly as follows : gives us the Basic to the words of a language are. we are thrown back on ourselves . Thus we may sum up the spiritual act. however unintentional and unconscious. but we are not put out of countenance. and.Ill I THE GREEK TESTIMONY 6l power to assign the appropriate meaning to the in question. in so far as the matters with which we are immediately concerned the prey for not only emotions and bodily states Secondly. the act is consciously achieved . whether this be helping or hindering. there processes are uttered in words. and to have gained this distance one must have become aware of oneself.

so that philosophic amazement then futility reflect the wonder in * ' The pesat bottom perplexed and melancholy '. It is the very foundation not only of philosophy but of scientific endeavour as well . does not end. appears simism that Schopenhauer so brilliantly depicts springs from a highly subjective view of life. just as we did when we sought for the unity of philosophy in the diversity of its historical forms. which is if we want to find the point where the contrasting views meet. ' something wholly original. But. The animation of mind which Aristotle saw in the phenomenon of wonder aims at grasping the object of contemplation as problem. led to suppose that philosophizing would ultimately c bring the philosopher to the condition of nil admirari '. for the solemnity of this ' existential ' emotion was powerfully portrayed by Goethe. .62 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III Seen in relation to this fundamental spiritual act. We must get behind the different objects of wonder and concentrate on the act. be human existence or the marvellous world. It is perhaps no accident into metaphysics. The two forms of marvelling do not contradict each other . completeness of the phenomenal world be a source of Aristotle declares. since problems are there to be solved. while * existential * amazement debouches Thus. flat and unprofitable. They merely refer to different objects and kind of affectivity attributed to the basic sense of c each case. most arouse our wonder may ' and but be the wretchedness joy. * * wonder underlies the rationalistic trend we shall Intellectual be examining later. the orderliness. where wonder cancels itself out The case is otherwise with the feeling scientific a we might be that brings us to an amazed standstill before existence as such. Aristotle's and Schopenhauer's interpretations of the Platonic theme are not incompatible. the the very things which. no less one-sided than the old Greek glorification of pure ' theory '. equally they may eclipsed by of human life. This marvelling. we must distinguish a wondering that tends to perish with the solution of a problem and one that survives it. which Schopenhauer had in mind and of which Coleridge renders so impressive an account. But the contrast does not affect the act of wondering itself. within the philosophic attitude. The second kind could equally well be called awe '. The vastness. c that Coleridge should make use of that word. whether it they cohere together through the structure of philosophy itself. for without this reverence before the Inscrutable all our sciences were stale.

he would appear to be * * thinking not so much of the established religions. x. . but which is felt from the * first as a transcendent Presence a Beyond \ even when it is Rudolf Otto. too. Harvey. trans. Joel. which moves in a free space. The chill of dread is man's best quality However much life struggles to defend us. For in benumbment nothing good I see. whose very name makes Faust shudder. where the supra-rational reveals itself as something unfathomable. with his belief in a transcendent deity. shrinks back with the words The Mothers like a blow it numbs my will What is this word that makes my blood run ! ! chill ? . been made responsible for the origin of philosophy. are Goethe's symbol for the metaphysical depths of Platonic philosophy. The Idea of the Holy. JVatorphil. not excluding the natural philosophy of the Greeks. . Mothers '.Ill I THE GREEK TESTIMONY on approaching the : 63 c Faust. Basel. John W. took these out that dread is in a points distinct from of its own. would call metaphysical knowledge. Oxford. as of mysticism. The immanence of the Transcendent sees the source of what we. 1 a K. Mysticism is far too hazy a substantive to be workable here . once smitten. for our part. the Tremendous ! ! The Mothers. 1903. But his saying that awe or dread is the loftiest feeling known to man. He also felt * ' within ' ". in his treatise on the idea of verses of Goethe's as a motto. p. midway between religion and philosophy. 2 Now the same objection applies to this theory as to c the popular notion that religion is the mother of philosophy '. Christianity and Islam. only of religious knowledge but of metaphysical knowledge. Der Ursprung d. 1923. This perhaps inadvertent equating of religion * * with mysticism is the more serious in that the spirit of mysticism has. quite ordinary fear and the more category turbulent emotions connoted by shuddering and horror.* '. as we could call the is indeed the focal point not here emotional experience described. is amenable to almost as many interpretaeminent theologian. empty of cult and dogma. Dread is the specifically religious feeling which unlocks for us the knowledge of things holy and divine. in the feeling of religious awe. out dm Geist der Afystik. Deeply we feel. as we noted earlier. like Judaism. But when the theologian. tions as Plato's saying about wonder. . An holiness. This experience involves " the confrontation of the human mind with a Something whose nature is only gradually to be learnt.

The Indian records portray not the dark emotion of shuddering awe but the clarity of the contemplative spirit which. 2 [ THE INDIAN TESTIMONY sacrificial rites ] How enquiry arose out of the religious observance of The transition from myth in to speculative theology Vedic poetry we have immediate access to the first stirrings of the philosophic spirit. a collection of sacramental poems dating back to a very . or. in giving the Platonic sense of wonder its existential In twist. claimed by assimilated at a later stage by the established religions and became associated with the fear of God. we can observe what manner of amazement it was that enabled the human mind to soar above the level of mythopoeic fantasy and to reach metaphysical knowledge of the infinite. was it. and this type of mysticism is a relatively late phenomenon in the order of development. Just as Goethe referred the chill of dread to the Platonic vision of the unfathomable depths of being. it by its own efforts apprehends the very thing that brought to that pass. Thus awe and dread. religion as something their only acquired specific character when the " of in the infinite the divine. Not that this or the established religions irruption is by any means universal are. where philosophy arose directly out of religious ritual. They found expression in the speculative poetry that has come down to us in the RigIn the sacred texts of the Indians Veda. arising only after the metaphysical movement of thought has penetrated the sphere of religion.64 it PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III includes the mystery cults with their orgiastic and ecstatic practices no less than the sublime speculations of certain elect spirits who had left the conventional ritualisms behind them and sought c God ' in their ' own hearts. felt by the finite ". apprehension Hegel's words. ' Only what is known as contemplative mysticism could possibly be speculative considered in regard to the origin of philosophy. finding itself awestruck ' ' and brought to a standstill. a feeling native to speculative mysticism. so Schopenhauer. was thinking of Indian metaphysics. strangers to metaphysics and : philosophy peculiar to alike. India. in their orthodox form.

each of which falls into two parts. is made up of meditations. to which we shall be giving our attention directly. The veda as a whole comThe prises four collections. In the India of that day there were neither temples nor images . as the philosopher the wisest of all the Greeks ". for Veda was the name given by the priests who collected. all. which are related to that revealed knowledge in accordance with the universal rule that revelatory texts demand exegesis. of early times poets were. which we can appreciate as achieveart. the other part.Ill 2 THE INDIAN TESTIMONY 65 early period of Indian civilization. seers and was first part contains the work of the poets or The Indian word * means knowledge . of ritual. Among these collections * * the Rig-Veda occupies a prominent glace. Ric means verse .Veda. this characteristic title is given to the work not on account of its form. ranked as the repositories of ments of high of its : wisdom. The fourth Veda is made up principally of incantations and spells. The Rig. It is called the Veda of poetic Verse to distinguish it from the Veda of Metodies and a third Veda containing the sacrificial formulae . we call the Vedic period. * * ' regarded as revelation . indeed specifically liturgical sense with reference to the ritual that forms the core of religious practice in polytheism. In dieirfthe whole is of TKe Indians reHected^Suring the period which. the two latter Vedas were simply manuals used by the priests in execution of the ceremonial of sacrifice. Heraclitus Such too was Homer's testifies.Veda occupies a position in India similar to Homer's epics in Greece and the canonical Book of Songs in China. dedicated to various gods. or * ' In the aristocratic cultures explicitly to all the gods together. religious life taking our cue from this poetry. who named him veda " ' calling. ' but here this a term vague general acquires specifically religious meaning. with ^cope but few exceptions. as a rule. the Rig-Veda differs fundamentally by reason almost exclusively religious content and the vastness of its the collection runs to over a thousand hymns. on the other hand. is a collection of hymns and prayers . it fell to the . As the monument to an epoch in which the spiritual world of the nation took shape. and these t sacrifice constituted the essence . the Rig. but here too in a religious. annotated and handed on the literature of the ancients. to the sum-total of these hallowed records. But from the two latter forms of national literature. just as we speak of the Homeric period of the Greeks. whether individually to this or that particular deity of the polytheistic religion. mostly in prose. the so-called Brahmanas.

or rather took over the function of this poetry when it started to ossify. As a modern to ossify and with it the names of the deities. so great was the time-gap. by and by there were added several other groups of works composed by the families of priestly singers whose productivity lasted till the end of the early Vedic period. is that this poetic creativity We can see this from the Brahmanas. As might be expected from the long period covered by the collection. In the prosetexts of the Brahmanas the ancient songs were often cited and interpreted as records of revelation . just as they in turn were continued in the Upanishads.0. that is. in the hymns to all the gods '. J. or rather the aristocratic community for whom this sacred literature was intended. " ' as well as in the unorthodox Veda with its magic and sorcery. The only certain thing. the differences in the religious ideas are Myths subject to alteration. Intro. speculations embedded in the : later portions of the Rig. from a time point of view. The ground-layer of the collection is formed by the songs of the different tribes of Aryan conquerors who. Among the thousand-odd see we in India 1 L. which continued the sacred literature of the Vedas.. 1923. on the basis of linguistic evidence. 17. p.Veda. . A number of tendencies can be observed.66 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III poets alone to keep the figures of the gods before the eyes of the people. in former times probably not before 15003. lasted a very long time. Thomas. indeed the whole complex of everyday domestic rites. penetrated the North-west of India . ' emerging what we can call the first stirrings of philosophy and hence. up to about the 8th century so far as it is possible to give any dates in a country where all historical evidence is lacking. life The lower levels of religious dominated by demonolatry and magic. and we can sometimes see that the interpreters no longer properly understood the hieratic language of these songs. have no place in the Rig-Veda. Vedic Hymns. * that enables us to follow this development as it went forward undisturbed by external influences. whereas ritual tends expressed. songs exhibit considerable " The Veda itself and the European investigator sums it up whole history of Indian religion shew that mythology is not : a permanent groundwork of belief but that it is in constant 55 The Rig-Veda provides us with unique material evolution. the first philosophic stirrings of the human mind anywhere. One among them is of particular interest to us the advance from myth to theoloFor of out the gical speculation.

Schopenhauer had these theosophical speculations in mind when he said of the " primitive ancestors of the Brahmins. the god of thunder and battles. supra. to whom alone 100 of the 1000 hymns are dedicated . the c ethical * : 5 (rta). the Upanishads. view. sprang from an In Vedic polytheism like the ethico-political monotheism. in this contrasting with the Chinese beginning which. wonderful efflorescence he explained by saying that the Vedic * seers or rishis belonged to the beginnings of humanity when men " were " nearer to the source of organic nature and were thus " capable of a purer and more immediate apprehension of her 55 1 essence We ourselves incline to a somewhat less romantic . In the foreground there stands Indra. as we shall see. besides him there are the beneficent to forces of nature like the sun and the dawn. some thirty-three in number. wind and storm use the appellatives familiar to us. as the guardian of which 1 Varuna was apostrophized in the Cf. p. The by a certain kind of polytheism. the " there originated the well-nigh superhuman rishis ". Ushas. that in them This ideas that were afterwards set down in the Upanishads ". Vayu and the Maruts. but is at the same time the embodiment of truth and right and makes them c binding upon mankind. Somewhere characterised god. the sublime and the abstruse equally hallowed by tradition some few philosophical pieces are preserved. stage in the development of religious ideas where the advance towards philosophy begins. the time before the separation the god of the Indian Aryans from the original Iranian stock whose silent sway keeps the world in order. in India as in Greece. With them we find ourselves at the source of the spiritual movement that reached its peak in the metaphysical compositions derived from the Brahmanas. whose cult goes back to the grey mists of prehistory. was. who regulates the course of the sun and thus the pacing of the seasons. .Ill 2 THE INDIAN TESTIMONY * 67 hymns of where texts the Rig-Veda an immense corpus of sacerdotal lore of the most diverse religious and artistic value are all c jumbled together. Homeric variety. For in those days the natural and the 5 * ethical were one and the same in the idea of the holy order in the background is Varuna. 55. but divine powers of the various kinds all being worshipped with a marked degree of imagination. whereas actually we are dealing with the gods Surya. an intellectually highly developed form of religion we find not just a host of separate divinities invoked by their proper names.

1925. In India the sacrifice was not. he is also the jovial and human god : a great drinker. a mighty eater. that inhabit the world. or. the character of the people. and in no Indra is the victorious warrior . so Vedism too belongs to the world-affirming religions as distinct from the Salvationist religions which. Just as polytheism opens man's soul to the plenitude of divine powers. point as follows : A leading modern scholar puts the The Indians of the Rig-Veda. engaged indeed in struggles with the aborigines and even among themselves. so that even for the princes it was a private affair. It came simply and solely from the spiritual much authority they exercised. above all Agni. 1 significance. he with invites the heavenly ones to invest the sacrifice invisible but nonetheless real presence. The Religion and Philosophy of the Vedas and Upanishads. The Brahmins formed an 1 A. i. from even the comparatively scanty traces of their ordinary activities to be gathered from that collection. fashioned ever anew by the priest-poets it was rated a no less worthy gift than the sacrificial victim and the intoxicating sacrificial drink called soma . Oriental Scries. B. case better than in that of Indra. in accordance usually the case with religions centred with the principle do ut des its purpose was to dispose the god in favour of the sacrificer. Keith. After consuming the burnt offerings he bears them their aloft to the gods for their aliment . together with asceticism. The tone of the great gods reflects. XXXI . the most obvious example being Buddhism.68 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III oldest songs of the Rig. The same purpose was served by the hymn sacrifice So the had a thoroughly worldly that accompanied the solemn offering . who circles round the place of sacrifice as the sun round the heavens. acting as a go-between. as it was in Greece and above all in the Chinese Empire. The priests managed to secure a firm hold on this institution. but in the main prosperous and contented with their life.Veda. while on the other hand it contained the prayer wherein the all too human wishes of the sacrificant and sometimes of the singer himself were presented to the god. work the the embody powers the god of fire. as is in ritual . a public proceeding . came to the fore in the post-Vedic era. albeit got up with solemnity and pomp. energetic warrior-people. but their power was not based on a theocracy of any kind. it concerned merely the head of the family. superhuman and yet endowed with human form. therefore. 243. p. were essentially an active. Finally there are the gods who in at ritual itself. Harvard and XXXII.

i. I. 2 Occasionally the egotism of the priestly thinkers takes on a In the song-cycle of a famous family positively worldly form. Our tongue bestirs itself at the sight of the sparkling soma.Ill 2 . through poetry. This worldliness. of singers there is a refrain at the end of each poem which is slightly reminiscent of a trade-mark : May ours be the leading voice as masters of wisdom 3 ! These priests journeyed like wandering minstrels to the courts of the wealthy princes. * Hymns from II. Has soared to the deathless gods in high heaven. offering their services at the sacrifice or urging their patrons to make a sacrifice ready. which was also expressed. RV. 1 We see the same thing thyself. RV. Such were the Seven Rishis who had received the holy gift of poetry and the implied knowledge of the deeds and powers of the Not infrequently in the gods. the Rig-Veda . but also fame and glory in competition with other singers. as for instance at the end of a hymn to Agni Thus the prayer chanted by us mortal men. Vedic Hymns. direct from the gods themselves. ! in the form of a prayer for inspiration : Reveal soma. 9-13. pales by comparison. Macdonell. The hope of otherworldly reward. our wise fathers Wrested the jewel from the gods. E. For reward there was glittering gold. they were the repository of sacred traditions. comes out time and again in the religious poems. we lift up our voice. i.THE INDIAN TESTIMONY 69 hereditary spiritual nobility. most holy Drop. a. as was customary among the nobility. 87. from god-like ancestors. songs of the Rig. lead us along the right path Under thy guidance. 16. and promising : 4 Hundredfold reward 1 to the priestly band. Thomas. II. hard as it is on the romantic * 5 picture of the forefathers of the Brahmins .Veda we glimpse the poets pride in this heritage and their confidence that they would be able to go on nurturing it. O Agni. claimed descent. 5. RV. I. 91. These families of priests who cultivated the art of poetry as their heritage. which is not the same thing as a theocracy . RV. J. horses and fair women. at once a priestly caste and a minstrels' guild. thanks not least to the inspiration induced by the draught 5 of soma : Descendants of the forefather. milch-cows. Like a milch-cow bursting with milk. Cf. .

which claim for hieratic poetry the same kind of glory that attached to heroic prowess or to the strength of the horse. abundant. prayer-force (Griffiths) . and out of this there At the same time we meet finally arose true philosophic enquiry. The word is brahma. To whom the victorious come with their offerings. May Be O their gifts on the praiseful. From whom the magnanimous princes have their enjoyment. beyond all other men. In the present context of pre-philosophical and completely unmetaphysical poetry. historically and psychologically It is this speaking. The wealthy who pour out Cattle and Recalling the blend of hero and singer in Homeric and Old Germanic poetry. it is rendered in various ways by the eminent scholars to whom we owe our translations of the Rig-Veda as * benediction ' or ' ' * * the word of God (Geldner) . glittering. It is expressed in the word that the poet uses for the * * power of his wisdom and art a power that made him the equal of the warrior-nobles. the specifically religious element underlying that development. Who shinest on the hearth among the children. despite its close connection with ritual. all-knowing Agni. In the masculine * it means priest '. Lead these and ourselves to prosperity. Agni. polytheistic poems gave way to theological speculation. despite the aura that surrounded it what it is : (owing to the magic personification of all the ritual objects and utensils). that makes it so astonishing. a synonym for the Absolute. horses the jewels among them. but it can also be employed in the neuter and in this form was destined to become the key-word of Indian metaphysics. O Be worthy of praise among us in thy mightiness. But let us try to discover in this religious poetry. Raise us. Plenty of children and rich progeny. Let us shine over the five peoples. in these verses. Myths were formed and reformed. Agni ! MAY OURS BE THE LEADING VOICE AS MASTERS OF WISDOM. or : . Give us goods and riches. unsurpassed as the sun. we might say that the Vedic union of priest and singer is its oriental counterpart. both the singers of praise and the wealthy in thy keeping still. Agni. this poetry did not remain bound to the traditional pattern of sacerdotalism but became the medium of a brilliant development.7O PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III Whether we display our prowess with the horse or the power of prayer.

Vedismus u. and Deussen. a mysterious and incomprehensible power that can manifest itself everywhere in unusual objects or processes. owing to its magical connotations. the word brahma. ance * * Secret Lore of India. The & Hermann 8 K. sacred spells But even in these formulae. a metaphysical conception that went clean beyond the sphere of religion in which anything like divine persons existed. M . especially the life of chastity . originally signifying " the supernatural entity that had taken shape in the hymns ". unique. the age-old formulae muttered by the hierophant. The * " The derivation assumed is ^/brh. the Absolute/ Geldner * defines it as the ecstatic emotion (often induced by the ceremonious partaking of the juice of the Soma plant) with which one is possessed when about to perform a deed of valour or an act of piety ' . namely mana or orenda . if not the most But conversely. W. stratum of religious ideas prior to any belief in personal. Roth explains it great St. * : ' 1932. to be thick. great. is also expressed in the word that primarily signified the sacred ritual language. striving upward towards the holy or the divine. all-highest personal God. (5) holy life. 1908. ..' " Teape himself renders " " " " it as rising in one inspired. can be conceived to be universal. Lesebuch.. Gk. whether human or animal the stratum in which the divine is worshipped as a vague generality. 2 acquired the sense of a families purely spiritual 3 The liturgical power standing over and above the gods. is generally designated by the words which these primitives use for that supercharged fluid. (6) brahma. strong *. Ed. or indeed corporeal gods. Teape. which were part and parcel of the craft of poetry as handed down in the Brahminical priest- by word of mouth. Spirit evidently on the ground that the spirit the divine afflatus. in general any pious expression at divine service) . . * * Irish bricht} to be full to bursting magic *. Brahmanismus in Bertholet's Religionsgeschichtl. (4) holy wisdom. almost inconceivable to us and still observable among certain primitives today. also the following definitions in if. pp. 218 Cf. and it is perfectly admissible to utter brahma and these exotic words in the same breath* An eminent 1 Cf. 1925. Die Entwicklung der Gottesidec in Indien. Jacobi. . or more accurately the magic of the sacrificial act. elementary. too. theology. magical utter. bruo.Ill 2 * THE INDIAN TESTIMONY ' 71 1 (Oldenberg). Certainly the power of magic. word was therefore eminently suited to serve the Indian thinkers as an expression for their conception of the Absolute. there lurked the power to the compel gods and summon them to the sacrifice. (2) holy speech. Thus it was that brahma. Geldner. Heffer. Petersburg Dictionary or Bohtlingk * as meaning : (i) devotion (conceived as a swelling and filling of the soul with a striving towards the gods. points back to a more elementary. as * prayer conceived as the will of man. This kind of belief. God regarded as impersonal. nameable. theosophy . no matter whether these were a multiplicity of anthropomorphic deities or a single. (3) the word of god . the highest object of theosophy. especially the magic formula .

or whatever other name it bears. One of the hymns to Agni The Sending priest goes forth to sacrifice. IV. art. Not in thought but in spirit.Veda to see. * RV. RV. brahma. starting off with a vision As Mitra and Varuna. 43. seers to whom the gods revealed themselves. whether it be religious illumination or artistic inspiration. describes the Vedic conception. zeal of your mind divided right from wrong. * RV. through sharing in which the individual objects possess 55 This primitive belief in the efficacy of magic. mana. 1 c 5 cunning crafts inherited from their forefathers. So in your seats we beheld the Golden One. ye. . cit. But egotism and cunning will hardly have sufficed to equip them for the work they were to do in the history of Indian thought. which only the priest can manipulate to the good of those concerned. the spiritual concentration that paves the way for illuminating c inward glow of intense vision. and advancing To This is : take the fat-spoons on his right. rooted as it was in the lucrative application of the their force . the mighty amenable Keith. 4 and using a very telling expression for it tapas.72 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III Veda scholar. preceded by a 3 hymn * to all the gods *. The divine prompting of the poet. . cit. and Geldner's note Keith. We can only understand this when we realize that although they were priests in the narrowest and most ritualistic sense they were also religious poets. describing this state as the hymns meditation . and it plays a con5 : spicuous part in Indian speculations about the creation of the world. where man's relation to the gods was * concentrated on ritual as a means to 1 make 144. attacking the current view of the primitive character of manism. goes uncommonly well with the worldly egotism of the Brahmins. with the true eyes of soma. as the belief in one power. Here we have a type of religion radically different from the worldly 5 sort. manitou. indeed for the whole spiritual history of mankind. 15. 139. after having c ' singled it out as the basis of Indian philosophy '. side by side. Cf. op. is a favourite theme of the The but at the same time they deal just as thoroughly with . One 2 : both aspects of the bardic begins has only to open the Rig. I.> p. by the power of your wisdom. p. 300. op.. a brooding in both senses of the word. with magic arts aloft the shining song. 2. This means the heat or fervour of the procreative and creative urge. I.

one of the purest forms of the ethical view of life and the world. where the birds eat sweet fruit. cry with wide eyes for but into me the mighty keeper of the world has entered. probably at about the time when Vedic literature took its speculative turn. nest and hatch out. cling to the same tree. Gf.3742 1 Cf. For the Aryans who migrated to India an analogous development might have been possible. . boon companions. What is at work here is an original and quite irreducible trend of thought which we might call.. of which he is in so marked : proud 2 supreme knowledge is the All-Father. not merely Semitic. the desire for knowledge . as is shown by the hymns of praise to Varuna which are to be found in the oldest portions of the Rig-Veda. In a charming parable of the Tree of Knowledge this craving for knowledge and its satisfaction through gnosis is illustrated by a poet who reckons himself among the illumined . J 934> P. in other words. 164. the wise into the ignorant. . with Aristotle. he speaks of this experience humbly enough.Ill 2 to his wishes. There. RV. the divine powers known only to the gods because they alone speak the true. is the sweet berry. Comparison with the Iranian Aryans makes this obvious enough . far more with the mysterious forces in and behind appearances . had. l but a knowledge that only the gods can communicate for the reason that it does not deal primarily with the things of this world. no future history in India. yet its predominance was the result of an historical decision that was taken in the early Vedic period and led to this trend being chosen rather than other possible ones. p. . It is an essential distinction between the religion of the Veda and many other religions. 50 f. of which But these this god of right and wrong was the tutelary deity. I. were constructing the Zoroastrian religion. THE INDIAN TESTIMONY 73 Communion with the gods becomes anjend in itself because it vouchsafes a vision of the invisible.. contrast to the hereditary knowledge the Father who is thanked for the The one birds. also Hume. None gains it who knows not the Father. Oxford. and also by the conception of a natural moral world-order (rte). there on this tree-top. holy language. supra. as an authoritative judge puts it. The birds cry for a share in immortality. these. eats the sweet berry. they say. 20-2. the other looks on without eating. the to before ideas back the time harking ethico-religious separation of brother-peoples. Two wisdom This gnostic trend appears to be something quite original in India. The Thirteen Principal Upanishads.

* Cf. since Aristotle remarked that the philosopher is 2 of wonders ". Einfache Formerly Halle. 433 f.. . 51.74 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER . as the Homeric rhapsodists did. also the power of speech and the gift of thought.Veda we can follow this advance. * 244 ff. 34. in interest and outlook. we riddles. The riddle is a formal element of this age-old poetry .Veda. op. In the Rig.. 3 * poems dedicated to all the gods *. life and death. its we original sense. made riddles of these wonders so as to They treat first nature and human : 1 Keith. turning myths into an object of scrutiny with the intention of demonstrating that the wonders of which the myths are full are indeed something marvellous regular puzzles or riddles to confuse the wits of the intelligent. pp. Whatever the cause. who still believed in them and did not in any sense make light of them. For here we witness the spectacle of poets. The priests. of doubt that in India from the first philosophy is intellectual. This intellectualism led progressively away from fanciful myth-making to theological speculation and beyond this to philosophy.. among the find a whole group of we know and foremost of the wonders of the rising and setting of the sun as such life. it is beyond the possibility any real value. But among the wonderful things that arouse our amazement we must count : the unity of the divine manifested in the multiplicity of its powers. which usually have to turn to the Rig. partly in question-form. including a particularly famous collection (RV. cit. Two lines can be distinguished the one leads from polytheism to a vision of the oneness clearly of the divine powers at work in the world. . supra. which. the cycling of the seasons. the other invites us to contemplate their wonderful and mysterious rule. in the other beginnings of philosophy. are initiated visible traces of the invisible progress of the gods. 1929. pp. we glimpse only as a result. and moon. myths are composed in the oddest manner. that no great stress is laid on the moral quality of the gods . 164) amounting to over fifty. I. There * * are wonders in the specific sense relating to the world of myth revelations of the divine mysteries into which the myth-makers. while it is actually in the making. 102 f. I3off. not 1 moral. sleeping and waking. partly disguised as allegories. p. just as the philosophy of India has no place in which to ascribe to morality . who belonged of course to the initiate. . this remark of the great Greek thinker. Vedic speculation confirms. only from There. In his discourse on wonder as the beginning of all philosophy " a lover of myths. III . if we want to understand the riddle in fairy-tales. Andre Jolles. c * c ' the seers of the hymns. Cf.

pursue a black course up to heaven. who. 47. feeds on the vapours which he draws into himself with his beams from the seas and rivers. also Jolles. Cf. but in such a way as to conceal the mythical meaning of the metaphors as much as possible. monstrous images we have a crowning * * example of abstract or purely cerebral fantasy. the divine order. thereby * c c ' ' * 1 Porzig. like the sun or moon. Linguistic analysis of the Vedic riddles has ascertained that anything that * * * moves. in all probability the symbols whose combination seems so infinitely grotesque to us no longer had any metaphorical character at all and were used simply like counters. has its seat. cow is anything that gives rise to anything else. and which then appear as the clouds in the sky. but the hint must appear wholly unintelligible if one takes the words in their usual sense and does not know their symbolical meaning. anything on top. veiled in water. is called wheel or chariot . Again they descend from the seat of order. (i. . anything down below is always foot '. and all the earth is drenched in their fatness.. p. op. The chariot has sunbeams and is driven by Surya. for it moves in the sky like a bird another of the many Vedic images for the sun. if fantasy it be . According to a widespread myth. Halle^igas. This wonderful phenomenon presents itself in the riddle as follows : Let him Out of his who knows tell the hidden head the cows draw milk . for instance.) The yellow In these absurd.Ill 2 THE INDIAN TESTIMONY 75 bring the esoteric nature of their wisdom into the limelight. their feet. the Sun-god. In myth. in Germanica. One of them goes " Who is his own " Thus driver and his own horse at once ? the general rule is to give the characteristic of some god belonging to the world seven horses : way that his name may be guessed . flight of this sweet bird ! in bodily form they have drunk water with birds. 141. 1 So that in this priest-language we are dealing with a rigid system of readymade concepts into which all particulars are fitted. must eat. /. This they did with the help of the metaphorical language peculiar to myth. Every morning he puts on the harness at the celestial abode where ftta. like all living things. of myth in such a This technique of making paradoxes out of the details of mythological happenings is even more crude in a riddle referring to the mythological interpretation of rain. This myth has given rise to a series of riddles. 164 : 7 . head . the sun is a chariot or a wheel. rain is produced because the sun. whence the beneficient moisture pours down upon the earth. Vedische Ratsel.

Vedische Rjitsel. things said about brahma ("discussions on the holy power in the universe": Keith). they are called brahmodya. In Vedic tradition there is a special term for these riddles .. But in the Vedic riddles there is. we are told. Knowing. . Haug. that is. Keith. 23-5p. The avowed aim is to produce impossible combinations of mythological ingredients in order to demonstrate that thought must leave the plane of the objectively sensible if it*is to come to grips with what lies behind appearances. . . 2 sacrifice It was a game of question and performance answer a game in so far as the answer was known to the questioner and the main point was to put the question in such a way as to test the knowledge and acumen of the questioned. . ceremonies and their magical 1 Vedic priests the setting of such riddles Among the power. But the game certain metres. JAOS. treating for instance of modes of song. cit. 5 c with what we would call riddles . to sacramental The brahmodyas not only deal relating speech. 164. I. This song I pass through the place of true order . 23. 1877. just as in the old Nordic kennings the profane counterpart of ancient Hindu poetry it was conc * c sidered fine style to say wounding-iron for sword and sea' The Skalds juggled with these for ship. In its fair form are many wonders. but It not the wonder that Cf.76 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER ' III ' acquiring symbolical value . 9. op. (IV. was were drawn substantially from the world of religion and their solution led back to it again. (III. philosophy in motion. " a favourite recreation during the tedious was. 435. XV. of the ". The serious in that the riddles poets themselves are quite explicit on this point fire is : Let us declare the truth where the kindled . 55) is has as its refrain : Great the gods* supreme and sole dominion ! And in another hymn we hear : Firm-seated are the Eternal Law's foundations. stallion apparently metaphorical circumlocutions completely regardless of whether they could be objectively visualized or not. .) The it is * 1 initiate plays the game with a sets sense of wonderment. something more. if we are not mistaken. Bloomfield. this weighty word in its original sense. and so on. they also refer to poetic Once more we meet technique and the practice of ritual. does not RV. 1893.

riddle ends in the : * the unio mystica^ where the individual gives up his self-contained personality in order to plunge in the abyss of the divine. Brah. The poet continues. and the vision that stills the thirst for knowledge becomes identical with initiation into the sacred language reserved for the priests and the gods. Ved.. The idea is formulated " Language has four quite soberly in another of the riddles to wise Brahmins.1 Formulated as it is here. He * This is not enters into those who are ready to receive him. since the riddle-game is simply based on the unquestioning religious certainty that we are surrounded by of demarcation between religion can. that the spirit (buddhi) of the god that inspired him is present * * * in the hymn which he. 102. the poet. transporting us in a cloak of invisibility to itself. i). The same way as the parable of the Tree of comes to a stop in the religious process thought Knowledge where God communicates himself to those who seek him. 54. Here. with seeming abruptness : : " When I the first-born of the divine order comes upon me have a share in the sacred speech (of the knowcr). has anointed in honour of * the deity (I. philosophical thinking. known the are Three parts these parts . and. 2. The universal human experience of divine inspiration thereby limited. I wander. however. is a clear and philosophy. the part is the they keep secret and do is : 1 Vajasaniyi Samhita. wonderful to 'relate. not fourth put about . Gcldncr. u. thought is the unique riddle in the inmost of every creature ". Cf. 164. There are verses where the poet touches on the mysterious activity of the line wonders wherever we go. 155. . We human mind hovering mid-way between religious and He speaks of thought roving.) As another song says. 37. p. we are tempted to find in this verse an expression of the contemplative's quest for his own self. a premonition of the theme that was to become what am I ? But that is the leitmotif of Hindu metaphysics not the meaning. but a The poet feels religious interpretation of the divine afflatus. trace the movement of thought as it passes from the one into the other.Ill 2 THE INDIAN TESTIMONY 77 lead to genuine enquiry. But the Indian poet is not priest and member of a caste for nothing. far-off regions : What thing I am I know not ! With the secret power of the mind (I. then.

its universal human significance is also appreciated . supra.. 1 RV. concentrated in the mystic syllable '. 16. Keith. 41 . 10. who was worshipped by the Hindus as the knowledge hearts as well as of life. X. On the other hand the connection of thought and poetry with priestcraft. 1 is in sharp contrast to the Greek logos. the creation of speech is attributed. 45). 9 pp. Cosmology of the Rig-Veda. an idea likewise imprinted on our by Plato : 2 From Beholding the higher light.) Another premonition this time of the famous verse handed down . 23 f. brought it about that religious strivings of the soul were expressed in an entirely human way. " that when giving things their names they sent out the first and sounds of speech. 50. darkness we have come to the light supreme. revealing the whole excellence and immaculate beauty hidden therein" (X. No doubt in the hymns dedicated to speech. for the intellectual element of language. p. X. which characterises human speech precisely by the fact that words mean something. the divine nature of speech reduces itself in the end to the sounds The everywhere audible in the natural world. 483 Wallis. it is said of the Rishis to whom. is not taken into account . god of gods. move towards him of a song source of As cattle to their pastures move . as ancestors of the bardic clan. 39 . But the essential thing for which speech is praised was its magical effect during c the sacrificial rites. (I. 25. 125. The personal note that touches us so " in the What thing I am I know riddle beginning deeply " not is typical of the songs dedicated to individual gods* Thus the poet disburdens himself in a hymn to Varuna * ' : ! : Yearning for the all-seeing one my thoughts (I. 438. in Griffiths. I. * Cf. cit. 164. Surya. and . to RV. Cf. This contrast must be borne in mind if we are to appreciate the enormous distance covered by the metaphysical movement which made both brahma and logos into synonyms for the Absolute.78 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III " language of men (I. op. although it checked the flight of the intellect. the meaning embodied in the words. 164.. as though this were a divinity. in the song of the birds at dawn as in the growling of thunder the divine buffalo who This Vedic conception of language releases the torrent of rain. 71). earliest Om supernatural power and dignity it thus acquires is very dearly bought . 71 and 125.) From such a mood come the jubilant verses at the end to the sun.

^ From death lead me to immortality . Whom then shall we worship ? " 3 Even more important than these religious conflicts about individual gods is the intellectual : * movement that led beyond polytheism to a theistic monism. This breakdown is apparent in the Rig-Veda. I. 3. or at least subjectively formulated. . This is a typical trend which comparative religion lays down as a norm. 3. VIII. From the unreal lead me to the Real. 28. that polytheism is not the starting-point for the whole history of religion. utterances. The Philosophy of the . He saw polytheism as the religion of primitives... although the religious character of the collection made the inclusion of works by atheists impossible. supra. 103. Keith. philosophy comes to birth. free-handed god (IV. as is our wont. 5. 2-) ! Thanks to this freedom the priests were able to retain their hold on the spiritual life of an aristocratic society even when the faith in the old gods was on the wane. that is to say. if ever. From darkness lead me to light. the glorious. but two things have to be noted. whose might was once so unquestioned. VIII. op. but fluid. Cf. whereas in reality it is already a highly developed stage. as is still widely assumed in accordance with the teachings of David Hume. we set up monotheism as the goal 1 Brh. the critical 2 epoch when. founder of the natural history of religion. f RV.Ill 2 THE INDIAN TESTIMONY 79 in one of the earlier Upanishads as the prayer spoken by the 1 priest before intoning the hymn to the god of his sacrifice. attacked the " Who is Indra ? Who ever saw him ? " sceptics who asked " Or again : One to another they say. the worshippers of that god. 125. 30. Veda. p. In the songs to Indra that still continued to be written. cit. * There is no Indra . Cf. . that we foreshorten the historical perspective if. p. But we hear of it indirectly. 89. Up. II. communicated themselves to the other pole of religious life where the gods confront the believer as something objective. the wise. Secondly. We have already observed that the god-creating myths were not dogmatic. Firstly.x ! The religious heart-searchings discernible in these subjective. the immortal. Within certain limits the poets could play as they wished with the holy images and yet lay claim to divine inspiration : Chide not him who gave the To foolish me gift. 3. 433. as Homer's gods and the gods of the Veda show.

56. Rigveda. greatest among 55 gods and men (Xenophanes). a . let us speak quite impartially of the uniform apprehension of the divine in all the diversity of its earthly manifestations. from beginning to end. guided by the idea of physis. op.80 of all PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III belief development monotheism in the narrow sense of in a single transmundane God who tolerates no other gods beside himself. Instead of religious belief in the otherworldly God of revelation. ultimately leaves behind the whole sphere of belief in anything resembling a personal God. and philosophical enquiry arose within the framework of theological speculation with its question about the true God. since. III. but its origin is to be sought in the initial metaphysical movement which. p. winged bird Garutman. is 164. In India we can follow this advance as an organic growth. 'what . Agni. 46. 213 . X.. 38. 2. The 1 idea of the divine I. pp. p. it can mean what is only one or only the One'. Cf. 164. 6 . we encounter metaphysical knowledge of the immanence of the Transcendent. we find the following riddle : They calling it call it Indra. 4 . Instead. going beyond pantheism or other forms of monism. By so doing we make our Christian religion the yardstick of evolution. VIII. 2 . Mitra. Hillebrand. in religious India the uniform apprehension of the gods was the first step. One occurs in other Vedic poems * ' 2 . the notion of the unity of the universe the consequence of it. and approach them by way of the speculations on the unity of the gods in the midst of which they are embedded. i. 2 . 105 . RV. 129. and yet it is the heavenTo the One the singers give many names. I. Agni. The hymns of the Rig-Veda lead us to the stage when pantheism became dominant. 88. Rigveda. * In the long riddle-song ' to * all the gods * from which we have drawn most of our examples of the brahmodyas. This view of the world was prevalent in India as in Greece at the beginning of philosophy* But whereas the Greek thinkers. The idea of a unitary God takes shape ' ' in the natural course of development as well. as we have said. The text is ambiguous . 1 Matarishvan. enquired into the uniform nature of all things and from this cosmological " beginning advanced to the thought of One god. the Veda comprises not only the earliest religious poetry but the theology of the Brahmanas as well as the metaphysics of the Upanishads. Keith. * RV. 8&. 435. cit. We have evidence for this in two astonishing shall hymns from the Rig-Veda by unknown poets. Geldner. 58. Yama. etc. Varuna.

' c proclaiming that the multiplicity of things is a mere name agreed upon by mortal man. VII. the wonder is that the One can be invoked under so many names. 3. the many named things are contrasted with true Reality '. and again. 82. Muller erroneously saw in henotheism the preliminary stages of . 3 It was a typical priestly device which has been observed elsewhere (in Egypt and Babylon. In a later section we shall hear a representative of the golden age of early Greek metaphysics. that the many named gods On are yet one.Ill 2 it is THE INDIAN TESTIMONY 81 also to be found in the Upanishads and in early Greek and Chinese metaphysics as the baldest synonym for the metaphysical In this riddle it serves to contrast the reality of the divine object. etc. Similarly. So that it is tempting to take that Vedic riddle in a general philosophical sense as expressing the turning away of faith in the many named gods. Gf. with all the innumerable gods who are addressed by their proper names. for Although the Vedic divinities : ! 1 Chand. Muller.. 4 . 3 Max 296 f. the apostle of unitary Being.. * * philosophy since name together with shape is the precise and very apt formula (nama-rupd) for everything empirically real. in one of the oldest ' Upanishads. 4 . VI. towards theistic monism. Following pp. on the basis of a metaphysical conception of Absolute 1 This contrast is particularly expressive in Indian Being. 2 V. The singers were fond of praising the god whom they happened to be invoking as the only true or indeed the sole God and attributing to him the deeds and titles of the other gods. and one that was coined quite early on. 6. VII. i (Agni) . infra. since they belong to ritual. and the poet who composed that verse was pondering the sacred names of the gods the names cannot be written off purely as man-made. VIII. p. Parmenides. : the contrary. 3. RV. Up. f. 1880. cannot be reduced to mere names they disintegrate in a peculiarly Indian manner by losing their individual shapes and merging or disappearing into one another. I. . so that he was identified with " All the gods in the loftiest regions of the air each in turn " 2 This proceeding is generally have united their power in <thee * * called henotheism to distinguish such a heathenish unification of deities from monotheism. 291 monotheism. It thus corresponds to the problem of the One and the Many that lies at the root of Western philosophy. 101. with the result that the Many can be conceived as One and invoked under changing personal names. But Vedic poetry still belongs to the ' 9 pre-philosophical period. 158 f. 5. Vorlesungm uber Ursprung Entwicklung der Religion. .

creator c '. begins : Agni. in the Vedic poets. p. cit. 15 . only do they assert. whence is produced the whole world. all have the same name. but they put the question with It 1 Indern. All that exists is One. Die 48. preserver '. 10 . f * The indefinite outlines of the gods are offset the only one the definiteness of the basic theological concept* by The intellectual character of these theological speculations is as apparent here as in the Vedic riddles. 103.) is a sort of logical demonstration of the unity of the universe. RV. 1 To that extent the uniform apprehension of the gods was. 141. spreading her light over the earth. like * c c all-knowing '. c ' c of the glorification of this or that particular god as the One '.82 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III instance).. 10 . One of the many songs to Agni. where the most general So ideas deriving from myth were used like mental counters. regent of the world all-powerful 5 . 76. . generally appear side by side with but they are somethe attributes of the god properly invoked times put together by the poets themselves as the characteristics of a god who betrays his speculative origin in the names by which he is addressed. Keith. that frogs. 6 and 10 . 58. 6. Entwicklung der Gottesidee bei den 67. names like All-maker or Lord of Creation '. though looking 3 different. 33. but it went deeper than c ' If we put the individual henotheistic hymns together we see that certain general predicates recur in praise of the god who happens to be accorded the position of the one true god. source of all life and knowledge These predicates. 10 . 2 This shews that a pure concept of the divine was at the bottom . One the all-pervading Sun . the to that were of divine the concrete was the unity they priests able to view the idea formally and effect a logical demonstration of it. bound up with ritual . is but One . 89 9 . for instance. and etc. . RV. c '. VII. 33. I. the god of the sacrificial . 67. Herman Jacobi. 1923. kindled in many places. One the Dawn. outlines. 50. or even clear. 6. an inference from the particular to the universal. * Gf. predicates that. (VIII. In India it came up against the to our mind highly unplastic kind of imagination that endowed the figures of the gods with no firm. p. op. cf. 9.3. familiar enough to us as distinguishing marks of the absolute concept of God. The poets stress that the same fundamental relationship between unity and multiplicity that exists in their pantheon and in the universe also Not exists in the particular phenomena of the empirical world. ' fire and the hearth.

i . and the applies to the gods themselves. 88. This affects not merely the quantitative individuation of phenomena but their qualitative multiplicity as well . 38. cf. 8 . 5. ideas about the First Man and * We recall Plato's conception of the * * more 2 characteristic of the part played I. 42. IV. I beheld thy highest form (rupam uttanarri). VIII. comparable with the being divine steeds that draw the sun-chariot. i. as fire. 81. : dawn. primary images or ideas of But the analogy would things. 19. though for the believer the answer stands " : firm enough (VIII. We ought rather to refer to certain ideas in the old texts of Zoroastrianism. II. 8 . eminently speculative thought-pattern designed to * ' ' conceptualize the relation of the individual to the universal. III. 4. 2 21. 20. as branches upon the parent stem . . how many Ushas (X. 3 But at this point we meet another. 59. he says : From There afar I discerned in spirit thine own self . Addressing the was horse that stands before him. vni. the whole world 2 This pantheistic conception being a gigantic organism. i . RV.. of unity in multiplicity is expressed in purely conceptual terms when the quality * many-formed is predicated of this or that * ' god and. 5 23. sunlight. VII. 38. 1 1. . . I. 59. visible in some unearthly spot *. VII.P. . The riddle is solved on the analogy of living organisms which afford a Thou art the same in many places " same thing glimpse of the basic relationship between the whole and its parts O Agni. 3 . by agriculture in the VI. only to be viewed with the eyes of the spirit. and not merely comoffered parable but the actual prototype of the horse as it exists in heaven. 55. 13. 35. . 7 . In a song commemorating the great sacrifice where a horse up to the gods (I. 40. D . be misleading. i ? 7 a riddle-question. 33 164. 19 . D. remains. 2 . 3. ioi> 3 43. a tree. 35. . But the real riddle of the identity of the different 44. i . i. the One is described as all-formed or having taken on immortal names '. 8 5 . who have different spheres of activity and correspondingly different names. V. I. 163). thou upon whom all other fires depend. 21).) * : l : This category is universally applicable the gods are branches of the One God who is identical with them all.Ill 2 THE INDIAN TESTIMONY 83 reference to such is phenomena are there. whose essence incarnate in the individual gods How many Agnis It is how many Suryas. the poet extols the victim as the most magnificent in his kind. by the same token.. . II. 5 . (i.

just as for instance Agni is present in the sacrificial fire or the whole is present in each of the parts. each moving on his own tremendous orbit through the universe . From all sides they approach him.) The poet knows the way thanks to his descent from the godborn Rishis who were present at the creation of the world. comparable the Platonic to the extent that it too is of universal application. the prototype and begetter of all the gods and hence the Ground of the world. however. moves .84 ethical c PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER reformist '. most secret regions? Who (in. ' pp. 67. the priests understood their own relations to Agni. cf.e. Agni as the spiritual element (a/to). everything holy this secret is more concealed than revealed when announced by poets with esoteric knowledge. by virtue of his function at the sacrifice they regard him as one of themselves : he is the priest sent down from heaven to earth. They avail themselves of certain formulae and these recur regularly. We find ourselves here at the heart of theological speculation like . up to the Ground of the universe. 211 RV. as The explicitly stated in the image of the tree and its branches. they stand still to listen to him and applaud when he declares : : The One. 1926. ff. save that in this case we are ox-soul magic which binds the heavenly world By religious logic the divine symbol is identical with what it symbolizes. 10. Reitzenstein and H. water. the god with whom they were most intimate . and so too a Primordial God. 13. with reference first to the mysterious inception of individual gods and 1 Gf. I. i. 8 Another of the poems dedicated with the vision of the Primordial to c all the gods : ' and dealing God begins knows and who can declare what pathway leads to the gods? Seen are their lowest dwelling-places only : What pathway leads to the highest.* III teachings of the prophet the First Ox or The Vedic conception of the First Horse is to be understood in much the same way. Studien * zum antiken Syncrctismus. 8 . lord of all that is fixed and of all that of all that walks and of all that flies. the ' ' first priest or Primordial Similarly there is a Primordial Fire. Priest. with Vedic conception is. . Now he describes his own vision how he wanders upwards. R. I. 54. In this manner also dealing with ritual to the earthly. Schaeder. and comes face to face with the gods. H. manifold and is multiform.

67. the work of an incisive intellect Dante's Divine Comedy presents us with an the last canto of the analogous formula referring to the birth of Christ. 437. more sensually. . for instance. " Who was the first seed resting on the navel of the puts it : Unborn? " or. and from this comes the Primordial God as ' * ' first-born of the divine order.. or the * Golden Child the 5 * * As one of the riddles (garbha. 82 the triad of principles IV. 1 RV. in spite or rather because of their absurdity. as living things. germ or seed ') of the world.a.Ill 2 THE INDIAN TESTIMONY 85 then to the Primordial God. . . 5. the primal being spontaneously produces primaeval water . Gesch. of spontaneous combustion is explained in more detail : fire is begotten ever anew by the fire-sticks. who divided the world into earth and sky. La Divina Comedia. come in their turn from Agni. p. like the blood in animals.* This typical form of expression for the supra-rational was first developed in ancient Indian theology . which circulates in plants as sap. in the Rig-Veda it is used as an intellectual formula comparable with the Christian dogma of the Trinity. Gf. it is because. they represent a typical form of theological speculaappear tion which can be observed not only in India but in other countries as well. again. KL.9 /. Paradiso. Keith. i. Philol. op. 222 .. the intellect expressly characterizes it as breaking all the rules of reason. see Deussen9 Allgem. Sitz. d. for Agni is also the spirit or principle (citta) of water (i. even at a time when logical thinking was very highly developed. p. Canto XXXIII. as we might say. " the golden phallus erect in the waters ". 58. figlia del tuo Figlio . according to a widespread myth. daughter of thy son . i. Akad. 2 We can see this 1 Vergine madre. 10). p. his own body '. Yet. heaven and earth are the begetters of the gods and of c Agni that he was his own child And said of Here the miracle of auto- genesis or. X.. but these come from plants which. Jacobi. the paradoxical union of creator and creature is worked out as a circular process in which three stages are distinguished the : the life-principle. ber. 325 . brought face to face with the religious mystery. i. Wiss. Atharvaveda. For as regards the Primordial God. 1930. Thus in the Catholic Middle Ages. the greatest and most deeply religious literary achievement of that epoch. '. The formulae crop up again and Of Indra. Preuss. Dante opens * * Paradise with an invocation to the Virgin Mary : O virgin mother. it is said that he * produced his father and mother from all things. lit. Absurd as these elaborately contrived formulae may to us. X. gold being the symbol of eternity.Phil. 2. 74. On .

then again the creator of the world is a smith or a carpenter. 1 Keith. bull and ' cow at once.Veda to the philosophy of India ". with Geldner's note. It persisted all the way from the Vedic songs and old cosmogonies till far into the age of rational explanation. the lord of prayer priests as gods and entrusted with the creation and control of the * In addition we have natural pantheism which. or Surya mounts the sun-chariot. air or wind is the life-principle of the gods (X. or. which. Cf. * bore the world. 4) . 38. . 15 . divine ancestors of the poets. Such are the grotesque irrationalities attaching to the idea of the unity of the gods and of the world. also IV. 2. 3 world. imagines the world in the likeness of a huge animal. is the one eminent modern scholar. 168) the sun bursts the shell of the world-egg wherein it itself came into being as its yolk . the ancient * seers. . surrounded by all the gods who are themselves only the immortal names which the creator assumed because he was many-formed (i 1 1. a man of colossal We shall be going into this mythological idea of proportions. V. i. Or was it. 141 f. III. or the notion of prayer constituting a realm with a ruler of its * * these too are conceived by the own. 7. p. in the words of an " when all is said and done. and abstract ideas that are not the expression of some * 5 experience but the result of speculation such as the All-maker *. 38. 434. important contribution of the Rig. perhaps. 1 If we now pursue the cosmogonic ideas of the poets we shall find ourselves completely bewildered by the profusion of views. where could he find room in the void to measure out the space for earth and sky ? Or again. of seat in the primal waters whom it is also said that they retain their old dignity had their ' J while the creator in his turn is called the old bull who. 10. takes the place of the world-principle in certain songs . and the question is. as Kant says. * ' as parents of the gods. * 3 Cf. Heaven and earth still from which heaven and earth were made . 43. The two main types of concept distinguished by the mythologists analogy with generation and birth and analogy with something artificially produced appear side by side and inter-mixed. p. infra. on the still more primitive level in question here.86 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III pattern of thought shining through the hymns that follow. 16 . the cosmic man later. who provided the com* names with and thus of the cow gave rise to the plurality panions 2 of things ? TapaSy the heat of meditation and of the procreative urge.

the giver of strength. limit at 1000 B.C. closes with the words " You will not find him who made this creation. From whom the four quarters are. Over the two-footed creatures and the four-footed creatures : And Whom shall we worship as the god of our sacrifice ? Who by whose greatness. 1 creation. 6 f. Then was exhaled the one life-breath of the gods : shall we worship as the god of our sacrifice ? Whom 1 Cf. Whose shadow is immortality. one referring to the Vedic conception of the Primordial God. p. The critical cautious note. puts the lower * * seed '. He made Whom shall firm the earth and this bright sky . In the beginning was the golden child. Thomas. we worship as the god of our sacrifice ? He who is the giver of breath. E. the Father deity who made us '. to the c ' : A hymn ' ' 5' attitude tacitly implied in this line comes to full expression in the two hymns that follow. Whose rule all creatures and the bright gods obey. 82).Ill 2 THE INDIAN TESTIMONY 87 In this fantastic tohu-bohu. lit. the other to the riddle of the world's Judging by the present state of our knowledge they can hardly have originated later than the beginning of the first millennium before Christ. Setting the seed. begetting the fire. puts at 800 B. germ '. after extollthis as the ing highest object of contemplation. : sun is Whom When shining shall we worship as the god of our sacrifice ? the great waters went everywhere. p. Garbha. of whom is death Whom shall we worship as the god of our sacrifice ? : Who by his greatness became lord of the moving world. .. measured out the Whom we worship air in the spaces : as the god of our sacrifice ? Unto whom these two. fast. 1923. it 3. these snowy mountains the sea and the world-stream together. Whom He The through whom heaven Who light established shall is terrible and earth made and the vault of the sky . Reigning over those who breathe and those who sleep. sounding a All-maker (X.C. Vedic Hymns. name-giver to the gods '. where each figure nevertheless moves with the somnambulistic certainty of divine inspiration. 2 From his birth he was sole lord of creation. and the two arms shall we worship as the god of our sacrifice ? : are. who a Keith. op. they say. now and then a single clear voice breaks forth. trusting Look up and inwardly tremble. J. There where the risen in his aid. /..

modelled on the hymns to Indra which the worshippers of that most popular of the gods wrote at the time of the decay of the old faith as a rebuff " Who is Indra ? " This sceptical to unbelievers who asked as the : question and the counter-question of the believers " were taken up by the ingenious poet then should we worship ? and used to express the quest for the true God. Who alone is god above all gods Whom shall we worship as the god of our sacrifice ? He shall not Whose laws Who Whom This of view. begetter of earth and sky.) poem makes an instant appeal. But the question : " Whom that runs through the whole poem like a refrain did not remain uncontaminated. 207. X. positions 1 Keith. none but you encompasses all these created things Whatever desire we beg of you. begat the great shining waters . op. formerly occupied by * * Indra. let it be ours We would be masters of wealth abounding. as his name shews * * was one of the speculative gods devised by the priests. More the interrogative pronoun * Who ?* (in Sanskrit ka) it name of a god. To him the theologians who had left polytheism behind them accorded the place of the one true God. or Soma. Vedic scholars have said. as a Sanskrit Prajapati or a god on his own " scholar puts it. arising out of religious hovered between two rigid. . are from everlasting. shall we worship as the god of our sacrifice ? (RV. In order to honour Prajapati they had no compunction about adding that dogmatic concluding verse.Veda the following verse comes at the end of the poem : : O Prajapati. but it becomes still more when we look at it from a literary and historical point It is. In the text as handed down in the Rig. harm us. * 5 ! it means Lord of Creation Prajapati. t p. Lord of Prayer. At any rate. the one dominated by the mythological figure of Indra. sacred offerings were provided in the ritual for ! was interpreted by the priests as the not certain whether he was identical with being that abstraction from a pronoun ". attractive 121. the deified sacrificial drink. like Brhaspati. cit. though very different.PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III He who in his greatness surveyed the waters : As they gave power and begot the sacrifice . Agni or other lesser gods in the henotheistic hymns. which falsified the whole meaning of the poem. : see how philosophic enquiry.* Thus we practice.

nor Notfind this most universal of We are astounded to being. Although the myth of creation has been embellished with fanciful speculations. all 1 Gf. power. Prajapati capable In his there religious quest. to name the three sources of religious wisdom distinguished by the Vedic poets themselves. whether by heredity or hearsay or his own unaided meditations." all antinomies laid down at so early a date. " famous poem is its beginning Being then was not.Ill 2 THE INDIAN TESTIMONY dragon-killer. . the word hiding-place . H. on the same plane from which the philosophic question had arisen. Dit Weltanschauung der Brahmanentexte. place emerged brahma. Our astonishment grows when we look round for these ideas elsewhere in the Rig-Veda . it may be said to be the seers. Being does note denote in the Brahmanas the whole of existence as a unity. we then notice that frequent use is made of them in the speculative poems occurring in the later portions of the collection. as a question. or to practise austerities. Theology tried to answer this for. contrasted with the imperfect plurality of the individual . On the contrary he speaks like a seeker after truth who is brought to a standstill before the inscrutable . it must be said. since to our mind it is bound up with the ontological development of meta" the science of Being as such and physics as defined by Aristotle : its bases ". In the other song the philosophic attitude is even more pronounced. indeed. in Prajapati the the other . and the Vedic thinker proceeds to ask whence it itself came. evolving the answer not-being or something beyond both being and not-being. 89 the War-God. it is essentially the term to denote that whence the world emerged. 12* Keith. p. Not-being as the foundation of to things is naturally subject to similar identifications . the poet does not present it with the cock-sureness of the priest possessed of esoteric knowledge. the who surprised the sun in his by theological speculation which saw first principle of creation and to that extent moved. and more so in the prosemeditations or Brahmanas that succeeded them l a thoroughly As the eminent scholar to superficial use. p. but in the long run was unable to do so of a was not setting goal to the personal god. identified in the usual light-hearted manner in one passage with Mind. albeit dogmatically. whose judgment we have so often appealed sums it up : for supra-personal divine : Even the more imposing conceptions of being and not-being prove have little profundity. or to desire to become 2 Being mere verbal intricacies without trace of serious thought. he even puts the omniscience of the AllWhat is really so astonishing about this highest in question. 485. Oldenberg.

or. cit. like a woman in the throes of childbirth. and the philosophically speaking very low We have noted a similar discrepancy level of their application. to level put it technically. op. 72) * describes Not-being as it lies there with outstretched feet *. generally serves to denote the origin of the gods and the world. mere words though they be." Porzig's observations on the special language f in which the Vedic riddles were composed point in the same direction. as we see it. The air was not. which. p. with paired concepts like unity and multiplicity. bear witness. in the cosmogonic literature of the Veda. This priestly technique of contriving abstract distinctions culminates. ligible when we put of the poems dealing with the birth of Prajapati (X. Jacobi. categories.. In these we met when already. did not. cit. ever again * " by way of explanation Remarkably enough. op. according to another interpretation. night. His paradoxical explanation becomes intel: driving the leading spirits on to further investigation ". Such fundamental distinctions. : itself . nor not-dying there was no distinction between day and . they were applied solely to the game of riddle-making. Now follows the Hymn of Creation : One Being then was not." l He means of course the name brahma. adding alongside brahma the equally pregnant word a-saty Not-being. visible and invisible. name and reality. or.go PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III There remains the singular discrepancy between the high of abstraction to which these concepts. 5. identity and difference. " It was not so much the doctrine that is certain as the catchwords that sum it up. In an admirable modern account of the evolution of the idea of God in " ideal of an absolute. nor the sky beyond. a plunging void ? And One 1 Death then was not. like an ascetic going into contortions in order to * * induce ecstasy. nor not-being. come to grips with the problems they designated . moving and moveless. 9 p. Cf. a mere intellectualization of the wonders of myth. they knew the name of it before they knew the thing. in the opposition of Being and Not-being and in the whimsical use of this eminently philo' sophic concept. however. alone breathed windlessly of Beyond it there was nothing. What kept closing in ? Where ? And whose the enclosure ? Was it water. the writer speaks of the Something standing behind and above the world. 60 ' . H. scrutinizing the Vedic riddles. supreme India. It throws a glaring light on the intellectualism indigenous to Indian speculation from the beginning. or again. Oldenburg's remark on the Brdhmanas.

Their light spread round like a horizon . but also the metaphysical principle of Not-being.C. in the brahman-atman speculations from which were derived the metaphysics of the Subject in the Upanishads. and the proposition. He alone who sees all in the furthest heaven Knows or does not know. " likewise ascribed to him. X. both demonstrably fit the cosmogonic views of the Rig. (RV.P. The whole world was one indistinguishable flood. there was fecundity Power below. and who shall declare Whence this creation was born and whence it came ? The gods are hitherward of creation Whence then has it sprung? . Desire in the beginning was made One with the first cast of thought. we try to pin down the historical beginnings of philosophy to India we are faced with the peculiarities and limitations attaching to all historical phenomena. and the breath or wind that animates the universe. . we have in the speculative poetry written from about the 4th century B. knows how it was. Plato's realization the beginning of all philosophy is revealed here in all its profundity. springs from that wonder life is i2 9 The Rig. .Veda affords us a concrete instance of how philosophy and not from thought alone. * * When. earliest known stirrings draw certain inferences 5 and as to China. we are tempted to and apply them not to India alone. as we have said.Veda .Ill 2 THE INDIAN TESTIMONY 91 Darkness was in the beginning hidden in darkness. Who Whence this created world came. Searching their hearts with wisdom The sages found being threaded in not-being. Since the intellectual movement apparent in the later speculative portions of the Rig-Veda comprises the of a philosophic kind. But was there below or above ? There were setters of the seed. Thales conception of water as constituting the uniform nature of all things. however. No. As a seed thrusting up in the void It was born of the force of its heat. And whether he made it or not. our eyes * c turn rather to Hellas. control above. By this we D* D. not only the cosmological conception of water. that everything is full of gods ". There the breach made by Vedic poetry continued.

Seen in this context the philosophical hymns of the Rig. but the trend that speculation itself took when thought turned back into the depths of the subject. old belief in the gods went hand in hand with the collapse of that How sensual enjoyment of the world so typical of Vedic religion. op. even if only sporadically. By concentrating on death the ascetics appealed to the individual's soul. It is just this loftiness of contemplative thought that prevents us from regarding the Rig. Gf. the long-haired Muni in his foul garments is depicted as having the power to ride on the winds and. 1 19. 10 : " In RV. 300 f. 275.Vedic testimony as a fully representative example of questioning born of religion. yet concerned with eliciting an * ideal content from the actualities of life. We may wonder whether must inevitably be adopted whenever man faces his condition with awestruck questioning.. the of the soul's release significant asceticism is for visionary in connection with has noticed been tapas . the ecstasy of soma Indra spread out the firmament and the realm of light. Keith.Q2 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III only that singular discrepancy between the clear conceptual ground-plan the forms and categories of the Veda. intimating that the soul should be freed of all values that make us cling on * to life as this attitude a thing of intrinsic worth. Indian ascetic thought rapidly took a mystical turn to what is beyond human life. Since Chinese philosophy took for its proper subject man's ' human ' c men in the social and political world. we come across In one of the hymns. suffering. In China we find a philosophy deeply influenced by religious and ritualistic thought. as typical as it is descriptions of ecstasy." This points to a heightening of power in the ascetic rather than to mysticism. 1 . while reflecting upon the human condition. power (dhi) already ' mean not and at this point. Reflection on life meant consideration of the vanity of worldly effort. cit. VII. 136 . and the universalization of the idea of God which this * The speculations that supplanted the interiorization implied. For. death. 6. . pp. Let us take this historical ' example of a working philosophy of life with a view to supplementing our systematic exposition of the first questioning '. to follow the track of the gods. and the welter of its speculative ideas. also RV. fantastic. borne aloft by the 1 clouds. It barely responds to the note we struck when we said that man was primarily amazed * at his own existence.Veda can scarcely bear the interpretation that they are the startingpoint of all further development. the that questioning preceded philosophy sprang from reflection upon relations with other X.

blessings on gentle-folk. THE CHINESE TESTIMONY and 93 in anxiety to do the right thing. the Book of History (Shu-Ching) and the Book of Changes (I-Ching) all relating to the religious and political life of the country and owing their sacredness to this relationship. to this belonging period has come down to us in inscriptions and A collections of a later date. we find ballads telling the legendary story of the . The King offered sacrifice for the country as a whole. unlike this document of religious aspiration.Veda . and we can hardly expect daily the Western mind to be acquainted with the spirit of ancient We now go Chinese history. were regarded as too sacred to be recorded in writing. it displays the motley secular life of early times. was not in the hands of the priests. the Chinese works were scriptures which did not assume the the character of revelation. in which religion too had its In it we find texts for dancing and music in the allotted part. They were books (ching) such as the Book of Songs (Shih-Ching). odes to be sung on festive occasions. but whereas they.Ill 3 action. for the utterances of thought born of the round refer to concrete situations. just like the Rig. the c revealed knowledge. To this end we must into details . country. y very important role in the spiritual life of the Chinese. and courteous love-songs . The Book of Songs comprises the poetry of an entire epoch. ancestral temple. explore being purpose to follow the road from life to philosophy. priesthood and priestcraft did not play a State. the religion of China being embodied in the As in Greece. sacrificial hymns and recitations. 3 [ THE CHINESE TESTIMONY on political responsibility arose on to the right way of Life How reflection out of ] anxiety to hold The personal ideal and the moral interpretation of in Old Chou Culture history Many centuries before the birth of philosophy in China a flourishing civilization existed in the Northern region of this huge part of the literature. written and unwritten. just as each father did for his family and each Prince of the realm for his domains. Like the Vedas. the core of religion. For in the Middle Kingdom sacrificial service. but. shall try to this our the of it nature questioning. these collections ' were considered sacred .

contained in the speeches of emperors and ministers and presented in a dramatic manner similar to the rhetorical history-writing of the But in the genuine parts of the Shu-Ching there are also speeches on the art of statecraft which belong to the era of the It is not unlikely that they have been tampered early songs. the Chou literaprotectors. of action. All reveal their acceptance of life by their ability to enjoy their c share in the community of the good the good being the from the of the common people toil agricultural gentry exempt who. Greeks. With the religious and political traditions of these earlier times as its background. associated with the Chou. The early Chinese interpretation of the world is quite typical of this feudal stage of social history which gives rise to a courteous civilization such as existed in Europe during the Middle Ages. but with during a transmission of nearly three thousand years whoever may have composed them we can detect in these speeches. in their turn. The Book of History is largely supplemented by the morality of a later date. about 1 100 B. ture shews us the war-like propensities of the knights and their love of the chase. invaded and conquered the Great Kingdom established in northern China more than five hundred years before. the theosophical search of the Hindus and to the wondering at the universe felt by the Greeks. cultivated the land for their feudal lord as the utterances of sovereign's rule men and ' c ' well as for their own benefit. songs of praise celebrating the kings. we find an hierarchical social order extending by degrees down from the King via the chiefs of State. too. Thus in China. barons..C. . their warlike deeds.C. a North-Western people who. These typical feudal features were political somewhat modified by the centralized State with its conditions of the large well-organized administration. we also find moral and political disorders poems that proffer advice and injustices of public to the princes or bewail the life. a reflective consciousness of the this appears to be a counterpart both to . the gentlemen took part as Accordingly. with references to their ancestors as well as to contemporary happenings . These songs and speeches stem from an age of feudalism that This period is lasted in China well up to the yth century B. Chou literature gives us the native view of life and the world that was henceforth to underlie Chinese thought. in which civil servants. warfare . side by side with traditional wisdom and moral instruction represented by the sages and minstrels of the Court.94 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III dynasties. counts to the common people. their reigns and virtues.

119. 1937. And those were foolish men Who urged us to make mischief and rebel. p. 126. which frontier : to bring peace on every We fulfil the tasks of war That the King's lands may be : at rest. trans. Arthur Waley. Firmly he grasped his battle-axe. 278.. I long to come home .. 8 Ibid. It is exceptional to : come across verses in the heroic style like the following The war-like king gave the signal. 3 ? Or again : How Why few of us are left. p. 2 Moreover the bards prefer to dwell on the hardships and miseries of war rather than on its glories Minister of War.. 6 1 The 1 The Book of Songs. Why should you roll us from misery to misery We have mothers who lack food. Ibid. p. e /4W. 1 is laid on the ultimate purpose of war. But the king's business never ends. heart is sick and sad. Allen Ibid. Truly you are not wise. p. None Stress is dares do us injury. 5 My wild geese are flying . although the splendid appearance of c ' stalwart noblemen in their war-chariots is epically portrayed. p..Ill 3 THE CHINESE TESTIMONY c 95 was regarded in the Book of Songs as service for the Prince and his concerns '. how few do we not go back? Were it not for our prince's own concerns What should we be doing here in the mud ! ? 4 The warriors give frequent and love of family : strong expression to the sentiments most characteristic of an agricultural people homesickness and The high road My four steeds are weary. Indeed. Nor is there any martial spirit. 151.. 4 p. But these were wise men Who urged us in our toil. is very far. & Unwin. The battle-songs do not extol individual contests in the chivalrous manner. 113. u8. Dolefully they cry their discontent. His wrath blazed like fire. . *-JtU.

there being no begins : Grave and dignified manners are the helpmates of virtue. brother should live in harmony with brother. In between inward and outward qualities. where the many people who attend the sacrifice ' set all quarrels aside '.96 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III At the same time the songs reflect the values of a feudal Honour. of being " neither violent nor slack. neither hard nor soft ". A didactic poem by the aged and experienced mentor of a prince distinction as yet accordance with the chivalrous ideal of %ucht und Mass. Harmony pervades the solemn assembly in the ancestral hall. This mutual right up * * refers to the correlation between a man's keeping right behaviour and his environment a correlation that underlies It the attitude of mind and body in their social functioning. habits. Inseparable from the gentleman's person and appearance was his moral worth. * maintaining the right attitude to traditional customs. bravery and glory were held in high esteem. age. The King is to * spread his ordinances in gentle harmony '. his dress and in his house. ' Hence his personal * power was bound up with his surroundings A modern physiologist. could also be rendered by power '. common to everything that could effect a definite result in a The Chou gentleman's virtue depended on his perfect manner. and you right up to the world ". Matthias as one's body is with its posture. It had not yet obtained the specific sense of moral rectitude but meant the capacity for achievement. the Chou bards extolled the virtue of self-control and moderation. the Chinese word for virtue that occurs here. This harmonious interaction within the hierarchical order was assured both by the ties between man and his environment and by the influence ' . has described this fundamental relationship in defining " neuro-muscular mechanism that keeps the world posture as a to you. The people should be in harmony with their surroundings and their conditions . Generosity and liberality distinguished the ideal Chinese gentleman as they did the mediaeval prince. in His life must shine before the world. TV. Alexander. rites in all the typical situations of social and religious life. * in of Harmony respect physical aspects of virtue was as highly esteemed at this period as it was to be later in respect of the mental aspects the individual's state of mind. a to feudal therefore Self-control was restraint morality. applies to be shewn in the bearing and appearance of the gentleman. Harmony is the keynote of Chinese thought and life.

The Chinese regard the Duke of Chou as one of the most important personages in their The Confucians turned history of nearly four thousand years. while admitting this to the irresponsible young prince. In referred to and displayed throughout in the Chou records. its this feudal morality when dealing with For the teaching of Confucius. a'/. and on religious ideas rather than on naked He exemplifies the view of life and the world previously force. records direct us to the head of the feudal or King Emperor. documents the relegate beginnings when the second Chou king. op. established the his of House the over innumerable sway petty States and tribes early : The Chou the Wu This king had a brother. line with the feudal morality. Embracing both wisdom and virtue the Chinese concept of a model or example to be imitated thus proves to be a fundamental ethical category. To be a model for others was the highest moral attribute. p. The attitudes to be maintained. It is the wise man's follies That are a rampant pest. In the didactic poem mentioned above the tutor quotes a saying : There is none so wise but has his follies.Ill 3 THE CHINESE TESTIMONY 97 of the higher ranks on the lower. On the other hand. he goes on to say : Ordinary people's follies Are but sicknesses of their own. 233.* The speeches preserved as his in the Book of History shew him to have been a man anxious to base his acts of statesmanship on moral and political maxims. We shall come back to Confucianism. King Wang. . him into " a sort of patron saint of their school ". But. Wu 1 Waley. the ways of conduct to be followed were all exhaustively studied. these to the of Chou Dynasty. They consist in speeches made society by the kings and the ministers who speak in the name of the Chinese historians king.. the rites to be fulfilled. or who address advice to the king. virtue was not * * considered a gift . distinguished by conception of ethical behaviour. it was coupled with wisdom. derived this conception from civilization life Chou force. the Duke of Chou. who ruled as Prime Minister after the death of Wang whilst the heir to the throne was under age. pattern of and the Confucians immortalized the feudal by making its ideal content an effective social . but raising it to a level of statesman* of North China.

The divine powers were conceived not theoretically and not theologically. they too thought of the world the early Chou era was an age of faith. functioning in cult invoke the term * 5 with the theistic monism that occurred in early Indian thought Greek philosophy. Chou In China the feudal system established by the princes completely transformed the Great Kingdom they . widespread among the great kingdoms of the ancient Orient and with echoes in the Roman Empire of Caesar Augustus. Monotheism in China was not the result of philosophical speculation as in Greece . Emperor's privilege to offer sacrifice to Heaven. To describe it at all we have to monotheism though Chinese monotheism was and is quite different from the creed we associate with the Hebrew prophets and Christianity. we miss the generic name for superhuman and supernatural beings provided by our words God or Deity '. rather. this world-view centred on the king. on statecraft hold a germ of humanism which Those speeches China was destined to nurture in the Far East. For they start from a concrete situation in which the sovereign faces God and humanity.98 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III For these like conscience. There was one God. It is comparable. where there was no theology in the strict sense. This strange belief exalts the majesty of the Emperor at. But. who was called the Ruler (ti) or the Supreme Ruler (shang ti) or simply Heaven (fieri). In the religiously the of king spiritual and temporal power were united. ruler of the * c It was the world or What is under Heaven (fien hid]. being concerned with man's life in this world. just as the thought of death was of paramount significance for the Hindu priests. common and ritual. through his awareness of his responsibilities. and. where Xenophanes spoke of the " One God. In China. apparently. the expense of : But the Chou State was no theocracy. the people . it preceded the as well as in c ' * beginnings of philosophy and corresponded to the idea of Empire. just as there was one King-Emperor who was called the One man *. as the singers phrased it. however. This state of affairs inevitably reminds us of a specific religion. That he was styled the Son of Heaven takes us back to the time-honoured ' * ' dogma of the god-king. person The Emperor was styled the Son of Heaven a counterpart of Heaven on earth. statesmen the idea of the Empire coloured their view of life and the meaning they gave to it. the greatest among gods and men ". his reflections on his task reveal in a moment of awe-struck questioning the nature of man's moral consciousness. but as merged in their operations.

The First Ancestor of the Chou is a culture-hero and. as such. Thus the hierarchical order of society extended from earth to Heaven through the Emperor. There was regular formal intercourse with the spirits of the departed. is hailed as the inventor of agriculture. The relationship between the One man and the Supreme Ruler was interpreted in terms of the feudal idea of investiture (ming). Shih Ching* . Books and archives were kept. Ancestor-worship was thus a social tie in the feudal organization of the State. shewing how the ancestors had dealt with situations which now cropped up again in the time of their descendants.Ill 3 THE CHINESE TESTIMONY * * 99 had conquered. enveloped in myths typical of primitive belief such as the birth-myth. ancestors of had a it assured one's one's double result pleasing own welfare and involved c illustrating their virtues * by imitating them. Far from setting up a barrier between mankind and the Son of Heaven. and many affairs of 55 * The government were transacted in the ancestral temple. the spirits were supposed * ' * * * knowledge of the circumstances of their descendants and to be able to influence them. the ways of the ancients or the old ways being considered binding in their wisdom and propriety and an example to be followed for evermore. who was the channel ' along which the will of Heaven was conveyed to the world. Merged in devotional practice this living tie was magically competent to secure man's happiness. But following the ancestral ways meant not merely imitating them and. which describes the divine origin of the tribe. There was also a human bond woven out of religious belief Practised by the head of each noble family ancestor-worship. He had been shewn the * way * (tao) of agriculture by the Supreme Ruler and c : had thereafter opened it to his followers *. The piety (hsiao) meant attendance on the dead. Victor von Strauss. Just as the Ruler of the World was overlord of the barons invested by him with their fiefs. this chthonic cult harks back to the primitive clans and tribes. the sacred position of the Emperor was the divine bond of the State. To " to have quote a Chinese scholar. he in his turn was ' * regarded as having been invested with the Kingdom by the Supreme Ruler. generally speaking. The legendary figure of the First Ancestor still appears in some of the songs of the Shik-Ching. holding on to the traditional moral standards fixed once and for duty of filial : all j it also meant participating in their * t$ their virtue or power. Events of family importance were communicated to them at their shrine.

According to it." A visit from the Spirits Can never be foreseen . the rivers. 2 Just as this statement did not impair the philosophical insight of the Greeks into the unity of Nature. cit.. Ancestor-worship. be For the were ever to heeded. p. lending their lustre to posterity '. The better reason for not disgusting them. But the sublime influence of the ancestors worked only so long as their full * ' 1 Walcy. 41. As an analogy. in wind and thunder. in any department of Nature beyond human control and of vital importance to an agricultural people. The ancestors of the reigning Heaven * family were thought of as dwelling in Heaven meaning the sky as the abode of gods and spirits. . in the high hills. nobleman they guardians they were part of his surroundings. there are superhuman. The other royal elders who * * reposed at Heaven's side worked as mediators. however. rose above the primitive level . We have met this type Ancestor-worship dealing with the cosmological beginning of philosophy in Greece. but also simply * God *. . as a social tie it went together with the divine bond of the State. so the primitive animism of the Chinese did not interfere with their belief in one Supreme Ruler. 1 Do You are seen in your house You do not escape even in the : was part and parcel of the primitive religious belief in spirits called Animism. where it is related by Aristotle that Thales. * Sec supra. surrounded by a magic radiance . chthonic forces at work in the soil of one's native land. declaring that the world is a living being full of divine powers ". The First Ancestor who * opened the way ' was worshipped as * partner in divine power '. 301-2. * * * the first philosopher \ considered the nature of all that is to of belief when * * " be one and the same. " not say Of the glorious ones None is looking at me. In the didactic poem previously quoted the young prince's mentor admonishes The him as follows : Never for an instant be dissolute. constantly observing his demeanour. we may think of the Communion of Saints in the Roman Catholic Church. in the way that we too are wont to speak of * Heaven *.IOO PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER spirits III of the departed worked on their descendants as guardian-angels and heavenly visitants. As visitant spirits they * as flitted very bright '. op. ever-present members of his entourage. curtained alcove. pp.

high above. But as days pass. still continued to exist in the virtuous and glorious career of their descendants. But whereas all the gods of the nation as well as those of the conquered people were gathered in the Roman pantheon since it was only Greek philosophy that gave the Romans an idea of divine unity commensurate with the reality of the Empire in China the concept of the one Supreme Ruler both befitting the Empire and in harmony with ancestor-worship was a genuine indigenous creation. Or again. the central feeling of religious awe is conditioned here by the very uncertainty in which man lives. Inheritor of a House unfinished. ! I. I learn from those that have bright splendour. months go by. * belongs wholly to the king's prayer type. a little Am child. these O light. In this we see that the divine beings were believed in more for their ' virtue than for their essence '. consider Rome in its early days and the of their ancestors who. This becomes clear when we read a king's prayer in the Book of Songs : ' * Reverence.Ill 3 THE CHINESE TESTIMONY IOI descendants were in power and able to practise their elevation to celestial degree by means of the dynastic ceremonies. Do not say it is high. Help Show me how my strivings . it cult patricians' was claimed. your child. Lonely and in trouble. reverence By Heaven all is seen . Going up and down about its own business. to manifest the * 1 ways of power. p. Heroic poetry represents the man called to a great task as living dangerously in the virtue of ' ' his strength . Its charge is not easy to hold. O The song Radiance. Day in day out it watches us here. This tradition held its ground even when the Republic was transformed into an Empire and the oriental deification of the monarch adopted as the State religion. not wise or reverent.. but these dynastic songs emphasize the want of virtue felt by the king in face of his heavy commitments : Pity me. . but there is a glow of true human sentiment in the sacred formula. 1 Itid. 234. as was also the concept of the Emperor's divine charge or mandate. Far from soaring to the free space within which mysticism moves.

I am not happy. as we said earlier. But the conquerors themselves also found a warning in the spectacle of : c * * : ' c . then. 233." 2 Though may be is and humility there single individual also a good deal of caution in this modesty a strong sense of the limitations of the who relies solely on his own virtue. august kings. Here we have a concrete instance of those general occurrences 3 which. Early and late will be reverent. cit. Bearing in mind those august forefathers That ascend and descend in the courtyard. arising from religious ritual is wrapped in an aura of reflection and condensed in the following sentence Heaven's charge is not easy to hold/ This set statement occurs over and over again in the dynastic songs and legends. I : have been idle . my days I will be pious. a op. Meditating on the course of history they in turn realized the uncertainty of their own condition as men of action mould the future. All III O Yes.. * the Heaven cannot be trusted kingship ming is not invariable . 30. Ibid. your child. even if he be Reverence king. many troubles that assail my house. . Thus the statement about the of the divine ming is a religious expression of the instability experience of historical change.102 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER august elders. 8 Sec supra. that causes the ruler to live in a state of anxiety. p. In continuing your plans But I. the struggling to 1 Walcy. ness. like a theme and variations The divine ming is not for ever . I come. is easily lost. p. Minstrels used that historical event as the moral of a story that glorified the new ming received by the Ghou at the expense of the conquered people.' All these general observations hold an allusion to the fall of the Great Kingdom conquered by the Chou the Great Kingdom of the Shang or Yin that had lasted for more than six hundred years. Help not equal to the there Here. The succession shall not stop l O ! And again : Am me to complete it. I have not yet finished my task. Betake myself to the bright ancestors " Oh. I your child. seem to drive a wedge into the obviousc * The realization of naturalness of human existence. c * ruined glory.

For the idea still persisted that rulership adhered to the king's person and his House an idea in keeping with belief in the magical power of the ancestors. awe. went on to " " exclaim : Boundless is the blessing. p. the and security happiness that flowed from the conquering dynasty. boundless the anxiety ! On Oh And. was something more than ordinary fear in the chill of dread '. Reverence was thus described as reverence by investiture. These 1 See supra. is part of the gift of life. we emphasized that wonder. they are part of our human condition. Taking its nature from that of the man who feels it. pointing to the young king. In this historical complex of human motives anxiety stands out like a sort of awe-struck questioning. far from being confined to In the same way anxiety philosophy. This was the and it highest praise a Court minstrel could offer to his king was not a mere courteous phrase. Like dread and wonder it. anxiety can pass from a common selfish emotion to a high The phrase that government is a sense of responsibility. the Duke of Chou put " : Yin ming" feelings. as we called it. The king's strength Chou statesmen thought of entailed But the therefore likened to a strong steed. starting from Plato's statement about the philosophical frame of mind. in his censure of the vanquished King of kept reckoning on (his possession of) the divine But at the same time. ' * the burden as the responsibilities responsibilities were twofold. House for Harping on the delights of victory. the early Chou kings were burdened by very different To have obtained the investiture of their House meant a participating in the interminable anxieties of rulership. no greater burden can be laid upon man than the task of kingship.Ill 3 historical THE CHINESE TESTIMONY 103 change undermines the self-confidence of those mighty to ensure the suzerainty of their men whose aim was endless generations. referring to the king's subjects as well as to his superior. after stating his divine charge. too. momentous political occasion one of the regents of the realm. which Goethe called * man's best quality *. as the prayers we have quoted it He shew. On the other hand. 63. a certain Prince Shih. * c burden ' often occurs in the is Chou songs and records. the minstrels praise its ming as lasting for ever '. the c Supreme Ruler. and sorrow fall to the lot of all men . . he asked his audience how can he be other than reverent ? " Again the note is struck : " : reverence. can rise above the common human In our brief analysis of religious awe l we saw that there level. As c . Now.

leading Heaven had compassion on the people of the four quarters. Oh. which was itself part of their Moral Idealism. * Since it represented the highest good the idea of determined the aims to be pursued. religious aspect of life and the world. 12.IO4 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER * III towards the above and reverence towards the below that the above meaning and below. for it represents a coherent whole that embraces a system of values.. the world was the civilized world of the Middle Kingdom * What is under Heaven was their word for both world and ideal * * . Heaven and the people. all three recur in the history of human thought. Die Typen der Weltanschauung. their hierarchy 1 1 W. and in exhorts heard Heaven. continuity. were linked through the centre where the king was. We may legitimately use this term to define the early Chinese view of the world. a positive belief in the continuity of history. Moral Idealism is a type of outlook every bit as specific of man as Pantheism and Naturalism . for man's purposes depend on his valuation of things and on the values that extend in an ordered series down from the highest good. c viction that enjoined upon the king reverence towards the below* belonged essentially to the near-monotheism of the Chinese. and as such it is to be understood here. As to the second item. the One Man. . ." King displayed Wu . made their moan to Heaven. having regard to its typical features. the Son of Heaven. c ' aim and purpose to man's life. 1 It is a typical world-view in the strict sense . Bd. And Prince Shih describes a typical case of bad government in the following " The long-suffering people. supra. ' Thus men are held to is recognized as binding. and sets an : " The condition of the the chief son of the country. act morally if they act in accordance with their position in this order radiating from the king." democratic conviction could not It is obvious that this strong fail to keep the monarch ever on his guard. VIII. wives. See Dilthey. but to be always en vedette is also characteristic of the moral For the conattitude. p. people is one of his sons when investing him with his feud. At this point the Empire * c ideal aim joins hands with the system of values '. Ges. carrying their children and words their . Schr. These three essential ingredients in any definite world-view are apparent in the Moral Idealism of the early Chou that was shaped by the politicoFor the men of Chou. 8 In a feudal society the existing values set up a rigid moral order because Empire. There may have been a certain amount of political and religious ca'canniness in this.

historical and legendary. the Chou kings regarded the bewildering sequence of events in a way that looks like historical induction. The grandsons and sons of the Shang. be reverenced in Their hosts were innumerable. Here the anxious consideration of the ruler comes in to mould the sequence of historical events in a way characteristic of Moral Idealism. the question was why God should withdraw the ming from one dynasty to confer it on another. Faced with the fall of the previous dynasty and the rise of their and fall own House. Its subject of kingdoms. to begin with.Ill 3 it THE CHINESE TESTIMONY 105 was understood primarily as the connection of events in the human. Before they conquered the Yin there had existed a glorious kingdom which the Yin themselves had laid low. And by Chou they were subdued. Even more simple but no whit less grand was the manner. Therefore God sought another House worthy of being invested c with the kingdom of the world * : August to is Wen the king . wholly in keeping with their monotheism. The Ghou was on of based belief that historical the conception continuity Fired by this faith for it is no history had a moral meaning. But God on high gave his command. Feudal morality suggested a plain and uncompromising answer : the conquered king had forfeited the ming because he had not fulfilled his duties. Mighty the charge that Heaven gave him. and historical world. was a matter for political thought. Looming up on the rather limited horizon of the Middle Kingdom it had factual reference to some few Chinese dynasties and. In the ruin of that earliest known kingdom. Since the king's rule was held of God. whose exemplary conduct represents the ideal of moral and social order to be achieved by the Absolute State. in which they solved the problem. The Chou was the rise interpretation of history was simple. Shang's grandsons and sons. not of contemplation. present events were to be seen c as in a mirror '. ! his glittering light Oh. less the speeches of the Chou statesmen and the dynastic songs offer an official interpretation of the history of the country. . This grand theme came to the early Chinese from the epoch-making events of their time. They took them as examples of historical change and looked for further instances illustrating the general truth that the divine ming was changeable. social. combined with maxims of good government and pictures of model rulers.

but so long as the king does his duty there is no need for God to act. the restoration of order is the sole action of God . Make King Wen your In whom example. . Before Yin lost its army It was well linked to God above. High Heaven does its business Without sound. The Chinese therefore envisaged the Supreme Ruler as a moral God. The change is an act ofjustice * 1 Waley. It was simply that : the present holder of his bright on another. op. is not easy to keep. The charge Do . cit. Conveying God's blessings to the people the king brings together in himself all the world's agencies. But rather tend their inward power. That for ever you may be linked to Heaven's charge hard to keep. In Yin you should see as in a mirror That Heaven's high charge is May you never shame your ancestors. His moral character.IO6 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III By Chou they were subdued . since he works through the king. chosen servants of the king. without smell. May you never thus shame your ancestors Made What . So far as action means the realization of a deliberate will to achieve a particular end. however. Heaven's charge is not forever. world But if this balance is upset then God must act. all the peoples put their trust. thanks to his central position between God above and the people This was thought to be the normal condition of the * the Balance of Power (T) maintained by the king. not bring ruin on yourselves. libations and offerings at the capital they did was to make libations Dressed in skirted robe and close cap. t pp. O ! And bring to yourselves many blessings. 1 God charged the ancestor of the Chou to make war upon the Yin and subdue this disorderly people . big and little. involving the punishment of the bad king and the reward of the good. Send forth everywhere the light of your good fame Consider what Heaven did to the Yin. * : Supreme Ruler. The knights of Yin. 250-1. He acts as below. by deposing ' charge to confer it a judgement on governance. did not imply a quality that constituted the essence of God as a being in and for himself. for God hates disorder and acts in the world to restore order.

the Duke of Chou declared mirror ruin of also the Yin. In the teachings of history the statesmen found a warning for " I take themselves . The change of the divine ming was. Without sound. Based as it was on religion and politics. and helped us while refusing to strengthen their misrule. III (Legge). ah epoch-making event. made history. The Chou statesmen were religious if a mighty : : O 1 Shu-Ching. but that Heaven was not with them. coincide with that early combination of politics with religion and morals ? These things are double-edged. the Chou interpretation of history was hard-bitten practical thinking. no theorizing. it was not that our small State dared to aim at the ming belonging to the Yin. Hence there was no need for the Chinese to resort to the idea of another and better world. as equivocal as man's nature itself. for instance. because the idea of a moral men. to manipulate it.Ill 3 THE CHINESE TESTIMONY 1 07 God." But they knew how to make for my use of history. quite literally.E. 196. since the epochs were made and marked by the rise and fall of dynasties. In an harangue to the nobility " of the conquered people the Duke of Chou explained you numerous officers. p. or to gratify the all-toohuman demand for justice and retribution by fancies of hell-fire . XIV. and in fact genuine Chinese thought did not resort to either. Driven to act in these times of disturbance God demonstrated his power in the sequence of events. just as he always worked through the king by whose instrumentality the balance of virtue was kept steady ' ' : High Heaven does its business smell. Thus the phenomenon of historical change was conceived as being restricted to those definite moments of time when the normal order was shaken. acting in the world. S.B. . Did hypocrisy this was not an example of political hypocrisy. without Although this idealistic belief in the divine moral order of the world was applied to politics and political history. We ourselves did not seek the throne/' l The divine sanction of the fait accompli was an added inducement to acquiesce in the new mingy meaning that the refractory nobility should accept We moderns may well wonder whether their changed condition. reference to the fate of ordinary or to the existence of evil in general. but was confined to God had no immediate God's dealings with kings upon whom rested the obligation to maintain the moral order by punishing the bad and rewarding the good. it did not conflict with the actualities of human life..

and his people brought back to the acceptance of his will a will beyond all reason. just as it was to the classical Greeks and the Romans. however. At the same time. these conquerors did not presume to a inaugurate new era like some oriental potentates . they regarded themselves as the successors of the former emperors. became both historical and ideal . Heaven's action in the world as exemplified by the change of ming was as rational as the duty of the holder of will the ming to maintain order in the Empire . Historical continuity rested simply on the network of past. in the sense of the Israelite prophets. But this continuity was by no means conceived as a straight-line course of action having its source in the will of God and directed towards a single end. The traditional ways of conduct were deemed constant. present and future. For the Chinese. so ' they claimed to re-establish the old ways followed by the previous dynasties and only temporarily eclipsed by the guilt of one man. declaring that ' of the ming had fallen to them. Nor was history only a continuous series of events with an upward trend . But the prophets saw history as the continual action of God. so far as there c was any historical process at all ' it was not progressive. and this order was * conceived as being immanent in the world thanks to the divine and the social tie. There was one tradition of constant ways of life just as there was one king of the world and the inheritance * epoch-making intervention ' one God. As soon as Chinese reflection turns upon the world of history we meet with the idea of continuity. Just as God's had restored order in the world.IO8 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER refrains * III man who Their * from heroic self-control forcible displays of power is religious. which constitutes whatever ' ' process there is hi human life. although the idea of Empire dominated their thoughts. and self-confidence gave way to moral sensibility. since the epochal events were all essentially alike. believing every single and particularly every singular historical event to be the revelation and progressive realization of God's hidden intentions for mankind* Thus they reflected on history in order that God's might be revealed to them. Western scholarship tends to parallel the Chou interpretation of history with that of the prophets of Israel. This natural network. The stability and permanence of the was an ideal of life. the bond * social order ultimate goal of history. By combining this static ideal with acceptance of historical change the Chou statesmen were awakened to the very matter-of-fact but nonetheless momentous notion of historical continuity.

Starting from. in that the infliction. and vice versa. there is always a good reason for the Such a morality is not a little pragmatic. and a driving force motivating. and in whatever quarter. for them. Even if you had no old men ripe in judgement. It is not that It is that But upset Heaven's great charge : ? * As a modern scholar has said " The theory of the Decree of Heaven seems to have been at once an apologia for. The Duke of Chou formulated the principle by which he came to a moral reading " of epochal events.Ill 3 THE CHINESE TESTIMONY IOQ owing to the enduring significance of the past. At least you have your statutes and laws. * op. G. to approach the past ideals that disclose themselves to him through their enduring signitries." timely intervention of Heaven resembles the role played by success in politics. small or large States decay. it is he the impulse of the present that is guiding him. his * ' This demonstration of the moral meaning of history was an attempt to rationalize the tragedy of history. and returning to. p. Creel. This attitude is really the basis of all For when the historian looks back into the past historiography. Thus the early Chou records enduring the unlike Jewish. prefigure the rational understanding of history. The theory of the Divine Decree was. 253. in order to reassure themselves in respect of their ' ' task and see that it conformed to the traditional and constant substance of the past. God but the people themselves accelerate their guilt. Tk Birth of China. the Chou statesmen illustrated them by those of the past.. And when by studious contemplation. the Chou conquest and the knitting together of the Chou State. a very concrete and practical faith which * ' ' Waley. . Belief in a moral God could be used to lay " There is no cruel oppression by the blame on the vanquished. cit. ficance. thus Whenever." declared the Duke of Chou to the conquered nobility. deeds. H. he is not just averting his eyes from the present . Why is it that you do not listen. And in the Songs we read : : God on high did not bless you . on the contrary. Yin does not follow the old ways." 2 But to look for a universal meaning in events also suited those reflective men of action who were no longer content with the self-evidence of heroic deeds. let alone f ' the ordinary enjoyment of power. the events. sense is intent on implanting in our practical consciousness present-day powers which may bring forth similar in values our own lives. and intentions of the present.

. it is this kind of reflection. is invariably caused by their guilt in the use of liquor. concerned to tackle a particular point in human affairs then and there . In * * accordance with the heroic pieces in the Dynastic Songs and derives the merit of his House chiefly from the Legends. that drives men to philosophical questioning in the midst of daily routine. in the words we have previously quoted " He kept reckoning on the divine ming" The passage goes on " and he would not promote the people's welfare. capable prove producing They even allow us to see into the growth of this moral conIn the Book of History sciousness in the heroic world of action. King fame and of his small but well-ordered State . The early Chou records belong to the pre-philosophical stage of Chinese thought. They expose the unworthy king who forfeited the investiture of his House.IIO PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III the mighty men of this world need in the ultimate meaning and they are to have confidence justification of their acts. c ' there are some documents attributed to the in which the question of respective guilt and merit arises. For. They enable us to see how far this rationalistic tendency can go when embedded in the natural religious outlook untouched by metaphysical knowledge. " Wu. drunkenness being the worst reproach cast " The ruin of States small and large. a question naturally demanding an answer at a time when ruin and Wu conquering King conquest were interpreted as divine punishment and reward." In the speeches attributed to the Duke of Ghou and Prince Shih the ever-recurring cause is deduced from a moral interpretation of history. which has a practical end in view. seeks and asks questions in his anxiety to discover the real causes of the problems that beset him. sloth. acquiescence in oppression violence such are the strictures made against the guilty and man. boastfulness. but daily honoured the covetous and the cruel. Wu : : self-indulgence." says King upon them. influence growing and the guilt of the vanquished from the decay of manners and agricultural customs. They a it of rational moral consciousness. if This early attempt to rationalize history is evidence of the rationalistic element in human thought developing in the practical The statesman who reflected on history was business of life. Having become involved in internal disorders he was unable to deal with the multitudes. while still remaining in his natural and attitude that embraces the naive or attitude to the world native view man looks around him." Irreverence. Nor did he seek to employ men whom he could respect. and who might display a generous kindness to the people .

and the multitudes of the populace '. As the head of the feudal society. */. ing disavow the expansion at which large States naturally aim. Far from Utopian pacifism the establishment of peace in the " From the limits of world meant the spread of Empire. the King-Emperor was a figure that might be thought to represent the zenith of human attainment. 164 ff. but in the person of the Duke of Chou they even demanded that the young king should himself acquire For without this knowledge he a knowledge of agriculture would be unable properly to protect all his people. the good '. he. or Welfare State." Shu-Ching. harmony between the constituents of the Empire the King. on the people. Heaven had compassion obscurity. unity through harmony '. and were able to sustain the burden of virtuous (government) and preside over all sacrifices to the spirits and to Heaven." declared the Duke ! * ' of Chou. pp. though opposthe Moral and State did not violence exalting harmony.Ill 3 THE CHINESE TESTIMONY proceeded in such a way as at last to 1 1 1 " He keep the wise in Oh. The the segregation of the gentleseamy * side of feudal culture was * ' men. and 55 1 gave them the ming of Yin to rule over the numerous States. We find in the Chou records a stock of maxims describing the Moral and the vicious in office. . feudatory families. however. Its stereotyped formulae uniting the country '. the : are c leading the people to prosperity and peace c ' ' '. pointing out that husbandry prevented young men from licence because it permitted them to live in the natural rhythm of physical labour and healthy enjoyment. he was all 1 there shall not be one who Surrounded by practical thinkers " is disobedient to the rule. our kings of Ghou who treated well the multitudes of the people. And. Heaven then instructed them and increased their excellence. his ministers. as we may term it from its European analogue in the era of enlightened absolutism. These quotations indicate the high level of political and social consciousness to which feudal morality had been raised.. offering him the fruits of their experience of political life. however. made choice of them. attitude not least in their respect for these toiling masses. Not only did they remind their feudatories of the economic and moral importance to the State of agricultural work." " There were. from the multitudes bent in agricultural The early Chou rulers show their superior statesman-like toil. IX and X. Since the family was the social unit. the sea and (the land of) the Rising Sun. the protection of widows and destitutes was especially enjoined upon the ruler.

. p. his central position between Heaven above and the people below was reflected in his appearance : He goes through his lands May high Heaven cherish him . Justice was seen above all as impartiality. ! they tremble before him fails to tremble and quake. . The Chou records foreshadow this development. and to follow * it without error was the mark of a model king. and the observance of extreme caution when administering punishment was one of the Duke's special injunctions. Justice. exerted an irresistible influence on other men via the possessor of moral * ' goodness (Jen). . as opposed to arbitrary action. As a compelling power. . Thus the Duke of Chou in his character of adviser to the young king made an appeal to the royal conscience. the feudal outlook in this respect was raised to the rank of an ideal which. Yet the monarch was to be warned that he should not overawe with majesty and exact obedience by fear. it was held. goodness was thought to operate from a hidden point in man which was the centre of his moral personality. Even so. l Truly he alone is monarch. Submissive. As we have already said. The ruler * was the upholder of right in his country \ He should * never usurp his rights or go beyond them *. was based on reasoned judgement and coupled with wisdom. cit. yielding are all the Spirits. Since the Confucian teaching on personal morality made constant references to 1 Chou culture. as an essentially personal virtue. ! Truly the succession See is with Chou. to be a model for others was fundamental to feudal In the Confucian age. To know the rule * without asking. In the age of the philosophers the theory of government became one of the main concerns of the various schools of thought. something essentially human. 330. Justice. when morality was viewed as morality. The limitations of absolutism by the customary laws were emphasized. But surrounding * * the monarch were the old men ripe in judgement . was part of * the divine charge : the ming has many statutes *. how Not one that . cp. and conscious of their worth they advocated a wise and careful choice of ministers.1 1 U PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III not different in kind but only in degree from the gentlemen who were his ministers and courtiers. one might Waley. Likewise the rivers and high hills.

or were supposed to imitate. XVIII. one of the Songs praises their descendant in the words : Day and By night he buttressed that charge great endeavours. Hence the warning addressed to the king that the * * wise man's follies were not merely sicknesses of his own but c a rampant pest \ Accordingly the king's majesty was not yet ' : separated from the king's actions as it later came to be. Glori* * fying the firm ming of the first Chou kings. his manners. So he endeavoured to secure the happy harmony of the multitudes of the people. of the model Hitherto. numerous traces of magical ideas which * interpreted the power attaching to the person of the sovereign. his ceremonial deportment. in our consideration of divine action through the king. we " Heaven leads man by across the remarkable saying : 9' softness. Now. cit. hence the true king was regarded as being prompted in his actions by God or. we have only encountered ideas commensurate with the overriding notion of a Moral God justice in punishment and reward. pp.. This saying occurs in a speech 1 attributed to the come *Sbu-Ching." All the current political ideas about rule. of course. a totally new note is struck . indwelling in the sacrifice.Ill 3 THE CHINESE TESTIMONY 113 suppose that the feudal picture of the King-Emperor foreshadowed that seemingly mysterious conception . was interas a magical agency that could fulfil the wishes preted in India of the sacrificants. all that happened was that the common people imitated. At any rate the influence exerted by the king could hardly be said to have anything magical about it . In the philosophical literature written shortly after Confucius appeared there are. protection. namely ceremonial and divination. his way of conduct. 214 ff. and compassion with the suffering people as opposed to cruel had a : oppression. in much the same way as the power of brahma. . But such ideas played no part in the practical view of life held by the Chou statesmen. but as a matter of fact the early Chou records do not lead to such a conclusion. however. lac. leadership. law etc* religious foundation . from midday to sundown he did not allow himself leisure to eat. who were wholly concerned with the art of government and considered that there was room enough for magic in other departments of political and cultural life. to put it in terms " " as following the way of Heaven. The Duke of Chou impressed the necessity for such exertions on the then heir to the throne by portraying the model ruler thus : " From early morn to midday.

and in the Confucian writings. tit. Con* sidered by itself its dictionary meaning is man '. In all contexts it derives its * meaning from the underlying conception of that which constitutes man '.. 300-2. occurs there in a different sense from that which it later acquired in Confucian teaching. Hence the difference between its meaning in the feudal texts. so goodness proves its toughness and strength in the world-wide influence it His operation. ever. * ' c ' c c ' * * . . Valid are the works of inward power . is as the foundation of * ' defined in specifically feudal and political terms. howexerts through the operation of the king. i. 2 1 The Chinese word jen. Reverence and goodness so mild Are the foundations of inner power. is final in his commands. For it was from his refusal of the divine softness that the guilty man's failure was deduced. Just * * * * 5 c * inner power or virtue approximates to the soft. timely in the announcing of them. '.114 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER of Chou. his dissoluteness and the heinous fact that he would not speak kindly with the people or promote the people's welfare '. In all lands men will conform to them. op. fit But an earlier verse of the poem says : Nothing is On all sides so strong as goodness . pliant material used for musical instruments. pp. goodness appears here as a feudal notion which distinguished the good *. III Duke ' who begins by quoting it in censure of an unbecause he would not move to softness who worthy king Here would not yield for a single day to the leading of God we encounter a peculiarly Chinese idea of divine action that c '. rendered c Waley. where it occurs only occasionally. : Thus the second quotation continues He who takes counsel widely. Far-seeing in his plans. Will become a pattern to his people. 2 in the quotations by goodness '. where it becomes the prevailing term. men will take their lesson from it. : Wood that is soft and We pliant with strings. Coupled with reverence . the gentry. 1 But its association with wood that is soft and pliant leaves room for a wider interpretation. no longer has the softness In this fundamental sense restricted meaning which the word had when used to describe the feudal virtue of moderation as being neither hard nor soft In the didactic poem it now embraces both these opposites.e. from the common ruck of mankind. Scrupulously attentive to decorum. read we repeatedly quoted appears to be fundamental.

seems to be based on a general life-experience peculiar to an agricultural people who found themselves bound by a course of natural life not susceptible to violence. In the feudal. the universality of this idea. which awareness cannot be derived from deliberate reflection but goes back to the unfathomable idiosyncrasy of the people's life. .Ill 3 THE CHINESE TESTIMONY Il5 Referring both to the exemplary rule of the king and to c ' divine guidance. this was held to be as effectual softness universal in its workings as it actually is unique in its conception. Within this religious cycle rationalism could develop. A famous book of divination. But the unquestioned practice of divination by the Chou is evidence of the density of the religious atmosphere in which the complex civilization of It ' c ' . the I-Ching or Book of Changes. religious feeling of awe * * Reverence was the first and last word in a circular movement of emotional thought. we must assert that there existed in the early Chinese world-view a definite awareness that the strongest action is by softness or yielding .P. We shall meet with this Book of Changes later . Since goodness was coupled with reverence as the foundations of virtue. the ruler's anxious meditation on his * condition and his consequent realization of the burden of * virtue were at once evoked by and evocative of the primary awe towards the above and below. Once the idea had entered into Chinese philosophy it was elevated to meta* physical or meta-ethical rank. If we realize the scope. We shall recognize its significance when we come to deal with the metaphysical movement at the outset of Chinese philosophy. pre-philosophical era the development of moral and political ideas was both supported and limited by the positive religious beliefs shaping the early Chou view of life and * * * * the world. and with it came practical knowledge and the growth of historical reflection. From this dual point of view we can understand how. divination was still an indispensable pre-requisite for the management of Like the common political affairs in the kingdom of Ghou. D. for in the age of the philosophers it was moreover it interpreted as an ethical and cosmological treatise came to be regarded as the first document of Chinese philosophy as if the deepest cravings of man's spirit could originate in the vulgar technique of fortune-telling. is traditionally considered to be the earliest Chinese scripture and is associated with the Chou Dynasty. and with Confucian teaching. practised to foresee the wisdom and the issue of their best-laid plans. the it in their anxiety statesmen people themselves. despite the rational interest.

Prince. but without recourse The same men that found fault with the to superhuman aid. c the issue will end perity \ * in our misfortunes *. Yin has lost its ming . half-sophisticated practice c was the : men mighty counterpart of the religious devotions to which the * resorted when hardening their will through prayer have not yet finished my Help me to complete it. I task. The Duke went on or whoever it was that composed this address to point out how the consolidation of the divine ming be might accomplished . Neither do I dare to rest in the favour of God. But I do not dare to say. cannot set these things right . as if I knew it. the little child. The water can support the boat. III As an obligatory religious and political ceremony this half-primitive.Il6 this PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER period was begotten. The following The quotation text will is : : enviable predicament the Duke's address begins ! : Prince Shih Heaven. . sent down ruin on Yin. I." Faced with the ruler's unso sadly unreliable." The image is very reminiscent of a famous " The prince Chinese saying of later date. Heaven cannot be trusted. that Heaven 1 may not have cause to remove the ming received by King Wen. as if I knew it. some few documents proving that the of ritual did not stifle the rational moral consciousness atmosphere which had grown up in it. whose family name was Prince Tan. which had proved ruler who House now looked round show how they an address taken from solved the problem. and invoking the founders of former 1 The Shu-Ching. XVI. by the Duke of Chou to Prince Shih. Part 5. by supposing that our people . says in illustration of " I feel as if I were drifting on the anxiety felt by the statesmen a great stream. . Men lose the ming because they cannot continue the reverence and shining virtue of their forefathers. I can only nurture the glory of our ancestors and extend it to our youthful lord. nor forecast at a distance the dread majesty of Heaven. the House will always abide in prosNor do I dare to say. unpitying. kept reckoning on the lasting rule of his illustrious for some principle they could rely on in their efforts to consolidate the divine ming. quest for something to hold on to reappears. the common people are the water. it depends on ourselves *. Tan. * . Our only course is to seek to prolong the virtue of King Wu. What is held of God is not easily preserved Heaven is hard to depend on. in the course of which the Duke. You have said. or perhaps dateless is the boat. or capsize it. In these documents man's anxious There are. i. however. . our House of Chou has received it. will never turn and rebel for the issue is with men.

' But these experienced statesmen also had good practical people against ! common murmur ' ' l Waley. since effective action was the statesman's main concern. begin well is common . was dictated by tradition and by that binding moral consciousness to be put into practice.p. should choose truthful ministers. /. well rare indeed. But within tradition-bound attitude the centre of gravity had shifted. * The take * life into their own : would. should any come to them.. 252. Always to think of the end when initiating an action was a maxim of these careful people. this * * so characteristic of their manly view of life now one thing be the focus of rational morality. yet dared to enunciate this attitude * of responsibility through anxiety as the living principle of statesman-like action. saying. the very core of Moral proves to Idealism. Man. and so not giving offence to God.Ill 3 THE CHINESE TESTIMONY 117 dynasties he recalled the principles of their religious and political As to the way to be taken there was no question . 1 This proverbial coupling of beginning and end is evidence of plain practical thinking. It led the Ghou statesmen to concentrate on the one thing that is always within man's power. Action leads man into the future as tradition binds him to the past. possesses in himself the stronghold of personality wherein lurks a latent power the power to shape things and the future. It was our " fault. it teaching. Expressed with all the discretion and circumspection of the Chinese. Realizing in anxiety the insecurity of their position with regard both to God and the people.. these men. In emphasizing the limitations of the single individual's endeavours they took all the more Hence the maxim demanding that the King responsibility. you and blame you out of respect for virtue. and as such will prove of theoretical consequence to Chinese philosophy. rebuke themselves and say. * They did so in humility '. . charge cannot be counted upon. thrown back on themselves and obliged to hands. In the Songs we read this : whose precepts simply had Heaven gave But its To To end birth to the multitudes of the people. op. To secure the future of the Empire nothing was certain but the ruler's sense of responsibility and his capacity for doing what was right. finding himself born to act. Here is a picture of the model " ministers as described by the Duke of Chou Having cultivated wisdom these men.

of the Chou statesmen. Whether God had in fact decreed wisdom to the young king. The tuition of princes and gentlemen destined to become officers of the realm plays a large part in Chou civilization. It is referred to in such a sense in a speech attributed to Prince Shih. Then he might pray to God for a lengthy reign. shows at once their proximity to. When we described reflective activity The taking life into their own hands '. circumspect and conscientious attitude of these statesmen is finally illustrated by their faith in pedagogics. vehicle for feudal traditions it became. so that in the end the complaint will become real (as reported). punish the innocent and slay the righteous. that after having * when birth of a son. longevity or The only certain thing was sudden death all was uncertain. you and make you a scandal and not constantly reflecting on your sovereign duties. life. will. in your confusion. Now education. saying. and not being moved by generosity. In con- nection with the enthronement of the young king the Prince thinks of the uncertain future of a country dependent on so he young a sovereign the by comparing political . believing them. education was not a ' mere matter of keeping up the old ways '. stills these anxious considerations wisdom in the future just as though it had been decreed to him ". which aptly in illustrates the self-reliant attitude of the Chou rulers. and their distance from. philosophy. we adopted a formula that could equally well be used to denote the philotheir attitude as c . culminating in these documents of the Book of History. which secures his " situation with that following the all depends on the training of his early inherited * the divine ming from the former * dynasties he should endeavour to inherit their virtue *. against ! When things were thus it was no wonder that men did not dare But if you do not heed this (advice) men to harbour resentment.Il8 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER III reasons for making government a matter of conscience. nor was it confined to transmitting correct manners and the chivalrous arts . The China had always included self-education. a school for moral and social Confucius was a great pedagogue. As our quotations from the didactic poem show. it combined these elementary functions with moral teaching and From being a political wisdom as in the Catholic Middle Ages. good fortune or bad. : The Duke continues " and you. thinking. at the time when philosophy began to stir in China. " The people murmur will practise deception and trickery. and fall upon your own person.

Accordingly. There was the One man *. as remote from philosophical thought in this respect as they are near it by reason of their moral. 5. the representative of mankind before God. The Chinese testimony to the * first c questioning illustrates this point. it derived partly from practical experience . It was at this * idealistic * * turn of thought that the valuation of softness came in to heroic of the action. his charge being the kingdom of the world . as we have said. When sketching the way from life to philosophy 1 we stated that the events that shatter the lives of individuals or nations but need not bring it may foreshadow the advent of philosophy * * about. * the old ways allegiance to that the philosopher looks upon the As such it is a break with the traditional But these men. But within these limitations the heroic self-justification of forceful deeds. Caring only for a principle of responsible action that would strengthen their will and magnify their deeds. not merely my life or the life of my community . we would call liberty to act on their own responsibility. the counterpart of Heaven on earth. they did not need the free atmosphere of thought in which philosophy lives and breathes . the * < feudal system for the fixed order of values. The shattering must become a life-experience . The selfreliance and independence they were so concerned with. world with his own eyes. Yet. . must touch human life in general. and the corresponding esteem of the the idea of strong and handsome man. since the Middle Kingdom was taken for the world as a whole. views and ways of life. for all their self-reliance. the of Chinese Moral Idealism has all the shape early typical limitations of the natural or pre-philosophical view of the world. the individual must feel himself charged with the destinies of all mankind. II. are. and the inner power of the nobleman manifested in his behaviour for the criterion of * * goodness. although grown independent of mere physical strength. this ideal of feudal morality 5 was unable to burst its historical bonds. This valuation idea strongest supersede was not in itself charged with philosophical thought since. ' 1 See supra. but it was destined to imbue the subsequent philosophy of the Chinese with a colouring all its own. idealistic outlook.Ill 3 THE CHINESE TESTIMONY which is Iig sophical attitude. could be transcended * * * * turned into the idea of inner power or virtue strength : ' natural * attitude of * hidden in man's personality itself. giving unquestioning '. they could content themselves with remaining thus far in the security in limitation '.

For them. how ourselves their limitations were to be overcome we Asking shall find that there was need of a reorientation in thought not in the genuine. man-centred view of things formed in this era be taken for a achievement. hence they never dreamt of questioning the security of human life itself or the grounds on which it was considered so secure. the king had only to follow the way of Heaven '. The primary philosophical concern of the men of Chou was to ensure the safety of their rule through jright conduct. matter-of-fact . . practical. the king's charge was enough ' . so far as it is permissible to speak of a point man and in the metaphysical vision now dawning. and their belief in the king's charge could exist without any idea that the whole destiny of mankind might be at stake and devolve upon the individual man. self-evident. moral-idealistic view of the world but in the ' c point of view itself.120 PHILOSOPHY BEGINS WITH THE SENSE OF WONDER in the feudal era III and yet there was no philosophy c ' unless the genuine.

is ] Divine feeling. nor yet with a general rule or principle of intellectual reflection. Philosophy does not begin with a single proposition asserting some general fact and intended to be the first link in a chain of inferences some such proposition * as is where the . LOGOS [ Metaphysical knowledge has an original unity but a variable orientation towards the three basic factors of human life : the Self. This is what the writers of the * break-through * reveal as the prerequisite basis for exaltation beyond the limits of The knowledge to be declared we may term existence. TAO. i \he beginning of philosophy is everywhere the same a declaration of knowledge of the Absolute. prate philosophia. is which In to What we find is metaphysical knowledge. . Hegel. which is also taken to be the subject-matter of metaphysics when this appears on the scene as a science the * First Science *. the Community. such as that one ought to doubt everything. human * meta- physical knowledge *. and so reach some indubitable beginning that . not the result of reflection but claims to be the basis of essential all reflection. for all the original expressions of it proclaim the One Selfsame. but it contains within itself the relationship human life which sets us questioning the inscrutable life-sustaining Ground about which we . abandon one's preconceptions. the infinite felt by the not complete until reflection comes and hovers above it.IV THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS BRAHMA. the World finite.*. is free from prejudice. its meaning of our it is One . Everything position of the predicate would be filled by the various ideas of the different thinkers .

owing to the preponderance of one of the three life-factors which. art and science have made themselves independent of one another and of philosophy. who looks and works upon the world open-eyed.122 question. drawn from various classes within the petty communities. the metaphysical gaze is focused In Greece. gives most scope for metaphysical knowledge. China and Greece. on the where neither religion nor the omnipotent State is the one overmastering reality. Thus in Greece man saw the world as Cosmos. The beginning of philosophy is therefore it contrapuntal. we find a difference not merely of cultural background but also of subject-matter. standing upon the earth and knowing in free contemplation the divine order of the heavens above him with all their stars. the principal parts being assigned to the different who made a start with philosophy. each working at the problems by himself. for whom all problems are concentrated in the one problem of the soul and the souPs progress towards self-fulfilment or immortality. each focused upon a different subject-matter. In India. As philosophy makes its appearance in the different cultures of India. origin. but individual men. The choice is conditioned by the fact that in each of these cultures one or the other of the great realities dominates most strikingly the form and features of everyday life. active in the rough and tumble of life. philosophy is the work of priestly thinkers. This historical plurality of approach. in China with life in the community . in each culture. and in Greece with the orderly observation of the physical world. where religious ritual is the overwhelming and all-absorbing reality. where religion. the creators of philosophy are neither priests nor officers of the realm. and the sages themselves are bent peoples on ties serving the State. does not impair the essential unity of It is we moderns with our highly differentiated culture. where the grand reality of the State orders the daily lives of men. Thus in India the earliest philosophical speculation is primarily concerned with the innermost reality of the Self . THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV Were it not for this philosophy would be everywhere relationship the utterances of identical . The grand reality here is a dynamic one the marvel of the world in relation to the creative personality of the individual. that hold the community together. This assignment is not due to chance but to the overruling reason of history. In China. who are accustomed to separate : . but in consequence of they are variable in respect of the kind of question and answering knowledge.

and indicating the essential part that each particular approach has played in fashioning philosophy as a whole. underlying unity. and 5 so stops short in its questioning. it was on the contrary intimately bound up with poetry. This colouring by the culture in question naturally holds the seeds of potential limitation . new c second movement E* . all the motives are present in each of the beginnings. owing to the visionary nature of metaphysical knowledge. art with the inter- for a unity is but it within that .IV THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS by assigning to 123 these different forms of spiritual creativity special field of reflective thought. Nor. had philosophy yet begun to eschew artistic expression as something specifically aesthetic. determin* of ing the fate metaphysics through the preconceptions of the philosopher for these condition a thinker's approach and attitude even when he is free from conscious prejudice. concern itself with the salvation of its each Religion. that the birth and the whole of the first movement of philosophy took place. when the various approaches manifest themselves within the unity of the P. Nor was there looming behind it a revealed religion claiming exclusive powers of salvation. science with the understanding of the We moderns have to search underlying them historical atmosphere which envelops every human then beginning proves to be a positively limiting factor. in the final labour of Platonism. a matter of form . before the separations were made. in its progress towards itself. movement of philosophy. metaphysical. Thought carries them along with it. for example. A of philosophy will then be needed to overcome this limitation and to find the point of unity in the ever-increasing diversity . life. science was destined to emerge from it later on. thus setting the course along which each unique historical effort of creation moves. but it will only appear as such after the completion of the first. uninvestigated. There was then no science independent of philosophy . emancipated science and religion will prove to be not a hindrance but a support. however. and here. again.P. At the outset. The * spiritual liberation. but one draws to the front. and necessarily. when each of the different attitudes came to be thought out intellectually by pretation of human external world. This is not to say that philosophy was exclusively concerned with a single problem in each culture that would be to specialise its aim at the very outset and to ignore the fullness of the forms it in fact created but only that it was coloured in each case by one of the predominant factors in the articulation of life* Actually. is to the soul.

Starting at one particular point of ordinary experience and attracted by the powerful reality which national and cultural life happens to absoluteness One Knowledge. he who lives in the sun. although the Indian beginning pre-dates the other two by as much as several centuries. the caste of Brahmins. and the resolution of the relationship between Soul and Godhead (atman and brahma) in the original unity [ The of both ] He who lives in man. as part of the sacred knowpoetry * ledge or Veda '. They passed on the and texts philosophical theological together with the sacred from generation to generation. philosophy discloses its own metaphysical It does not confine its reflective activity to the particular life-factor on which its gaze is fastened . the World force of its gaze lifts that factor right out of the structure of everyday relationships. they are simply different gates through which philosophical reflection may enter. What we said there about the is Brahmins of intellectual activity true also of the . We have already scrutinized these facts in our study of the Rig.124 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV they vary its expression without impairing its . Taittiriya Upanishad.Veda and the part it played in the development of speculative poetry. are the same. different breaches in the wall through which metaphysical knowledge shines. who functioned collectively as a class. We. into the sphere of the Absolute thereby declaring the latter's transcendence . records more copious and complete than those of the corresponding movements in Greece and China. finding that the records it contained are the first life visible symptoms of the philosophic spirit in the religious as the main supports of India. beyond finite actuality. The preservation of such a wealth of metaphysical texts from early times we owe to the circumstance that the transmission of knowledge and the collation of treasures so transmitted was in the hands of the priests. Copious records testify to the metaphysical movement at the outset of philosophy in India. kernel reveal at that point. but I. by the ' ' and at the factor glimpses the Absolute within the thereby declaring its Immanence \ it ' same time life- I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT realization of the Absolute by immersion in the Self.

so that they form something like a sequence. Indian metaphysics seems In India even today it still ranks as inseparable from religion. The various portions of which each of the four Vedas is composed are arranged according sophy. we find Indian metaphysics discussed in historical expositions of religion as well as of philoin a religious context. embedded as it is to a certain system. A History of Indian Philosophy. 31 f. which make the an ritual into an object of observation and * ' portion of these theological texts as European scholars call * them the Indians call them Brahmanas.E. Next to the sacred poetry integral part. Paul Deussen. Philosophic der Upanishaden in Allgem. Lesebuch. S. The c * secret meant something like wisdom '.. Phil. 2. 8 Gf. p. i. Hence they were called the * Books of the (Aranyakas). and others..IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT 125 subsequent development. Die Lehre der Upanishaden. Dasgupta. Ixxxi . i. p. as we saw. In this sense the word is already in use in the oldest 3 philosophical texts that have come down to us. 10-15. * pertaining to brahma deals not with the sacrificial ceremony itself but with the divine forces manifest in it . perhaps also to the pious attitude struck by the Veda. these texts were supposed to be so sacred that they could not be recited or studied by the Brahmin families in their village homes. 1922. Geldner. deep in the Forest * forest. which centred on sacrifice. H. as the last section of the * Brahmanas or as an appendix to them. Handed down as part of the Veda. 1923. and in Europe. philosophy occupies a special position in India. 1 Max Miiller. . as che common expression for the various teachings which answered the question meditant. only in the huts of the ascetics A interpret it symbolically. Brahmanismits in Religionsgesch. originally in prose. the brahma itself. forms the object of study and contemplation. Gesch. where it is customary to separate the two things. * This is where what we know as philosophy has its place in the ' Indians said Upanishad instead. the * Books of the Forest are succeeded by a group of texts in which the Holy of Holies. Finally. depending on the more or less close connection of the texts with ritual.* At all events * it : voL i. d. Oldenberg. 1899. when the personal union of priest and singer turned into that of priest and thinker. a branch of orthodox teaching. of the solemn performance of the ritual act come the texts. a word which is * * 1 from sitting unanimously derived by European scholars (shad) and which probably referred in the first place to the solemn form prescribed for the communication of knowledge the pupils grouping themselves reverently in a circle round the feet of the Master . Yet. pp. 38 * .B. p.

Vedic Hymns. it was thought. 25. 1 A.126 " THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS is IV What brahma ? " Subsequently it also came to denote the collections of these teachings as a whole. The systematic arrangement of the various parts of the Veda in degrees of knowledge reflects the historical development of Indian philosophy. the vision of the Good '. It is like a symbol of priestly seclusiveness. that is.. Similarly J. should not be the Upanishads clearly trodden by unauthorized persons lacking the proper equipment. We speak of the Brahmana period and the Upanishad period . if we are to believe Buddhist tradition. See his Entwicklung der GotUsidee etc. as * he called it. 483 B. 20 f. Thomas. p. the very reverse of the warm-hearted candour of the Greeks. . we have a clue of sorts in that we happen to know the date of Buddha's death. H. The stress laid on the esoteric nature of the highest wisdom is particularly striking when we compare the Upanishads with European philosophy. at about the end of the 7th century B. Jacobi puts the end of the Vedic period in which the oldest Upanishads fall. B. who were the temporal as well as the spiritual nobility* w Although separated from Vedic literature by an unknown length of time. and even that is not quite certain. These realms. chiefly the Bfhaddravvaka and the Chandogva. these basic conceptions are a direct continuation of the theological speculations in which that literature culminated.C. given at the end of this section. p. . Keith. The Philosophy of the Vedas. or the Brahmanas with theology. So that in Buddha's day the basic conceptions laid down in the older Upanishads must have been common property among the ruling classes. so far as concerned the communication of metaphysical knowledge or.C.C. back two centuries. In the last analysis that was Plato's opinion too. modern scholars put the lower limit of the first. 1 Owing to the lack of any historical or biographical references. the Indians being devoid of historical sense. But this is due only to the secret character of all true knowledge. relegating it to 800 B. On show how the speculations born of religion shake the to traditional religious ties and soar into off managed the realms of intellectual freedom where philosophy moves and has its being. since it followed the Golden Age of Vedic poetry and preceded the advent of philosophy in the Upanishads. Indeed the prose hymn set at the head of the first sequence of texts from the oldest Upanishads. not to the bigotry that the contrary might be expected of a theological doctrine.

the two basic concepts kept explicitly apart in a later group of texts. including not only the psychic functions of thinking. subjective because the oneness and wholeness hidden in all that breathes is revealed in the heart of man. hearing. far more something indivisibly one with the divine power that binds all life in the world together from within. mean it to imply anything dark or ecstatic. a genuine human experience which they interpreted ? * ' " mystically as the entry of the all-pervading God into the . it means rather that intuitive certainty which Goethe who. ' Accordingly the Sapdilya Creed. are still undifFerentiated in a total view of the Self which knows itself absolutely one with the oneness of the universe. as is the case with mysticism in the narrower sense of the word . speak a language so unmistakable that they need no comment We have here the first full enunciation of the to be understood. willing and desiring." It is the subjective certainty of the divine unity of ' existence. entitles us to speak of mystic pantheism *. with brahma. This sense of immediate communion with God that flooded through the religious thinker as soon as his vision turned back on * But we do not itself. to the This sort of does not from the world of related proceed pantheism things in which man has his place among other organisms. This c Sandilya Creed '. view of life that runs pantheistic through the whole history of : ' philosophy and the higher religions . is in personal form and refers to the whole organic-psychic unity that a man is. but from our own psychic life as human beings. truly He who knows this has no more doubt. tasting and smelling. energies of seeing. if anyone. when he knows himself. no mere spark of the divine. whole man of nature in man's heart In ancient India we can see how this certainty joins on to the Vedic singers' experience of poetic inspiration. voiced by the poet in that magnificent hymn from the Rig.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT 127 sounds like an answer to the question about the Unknown God. named after its putative author. a complete reality in itself. but the senseLife and mind. glorifying the divine Self (atman) in the heart of man.Veda " a triumphant answer. In this reality the man with selfknowledge discovers an ultimate wholeness. animal or vegetable. was a " confessed when he asked : Is not the core full. and the anonymous texts we have associated with it. we are also acquainted with it in the works of the modern writers and thinkers who rose the Christian belief in an after-life but who still clung up against * inwardness instilled by Christianity.

of an independent spiritual power in man. adjoining them. 31. again intellectual life. 18. 91 f. so it seems.128 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS vessel IV 1 We could say that the experiprepared for him. it is sublimated magic. and how this development is itself guaranteed by the stability of the class Indian philosophy responsible for the transmission of Vedic lore. 1923. obsessed with the study of ceremonial as though this complicated apparatus of sacrifice were the whole world. The inward-turning of the mind that started Indian philosophy upon its course was subsequently recognized and singled out by the unknown Indian thinkers as Hence we place this utterance the supreme direction of thought. 77. continuation of the specifically liturgical trend of Vedic religion. and the texts deriving from the oldest Upanishads immediately. The divine powers which the old polytheistic faith thought of as operating in the 1 Cf. op. It is not for nothing that a gap of some two centuries or more lies between the philosophical portions we extracted from the mass of speculative poetry contained in the human Rig-Veda. They start with ritual and end in ritual. a f. Aus Brdhmanas und Upanishaden. sacrifice stands above the power of the gods. of a as the finest thus may appear product straight-line course of But historical character of all here the religious thinking. 2 makes itself felt. but these theological treatises are something completely off the philosophical trail blazed by the solitary The Brdhmanas are more a latter-day products of Vedic poetry. . and all the manipulations. The gap is occupied by the Brdhmanas ." bolism is understandable up to a point. everything only in this light. as another expert emphasizes. and they continue it in the most bigoted theological manner. was set free in the pantheism of the Upanishads. 45. supra. 2 8 A. supra. alluding to : 3 Sacrifice bulks abnormally large. 4 p. to win his ear or to thank him. a point we have already stressed in principle. not offered to a God in The order to honour him. Jacobi. p. Hillebrandt. p. cit. extremely complex in form. at the head of our texts. Cf. 4 This symspells and incantations have a deeper meaning. An expert on these " voluminous texts puts the state of affairs as follows Their content is so exclusively turned to theological ends that they tell us very little about the beginnings of philosophical thought in India. pp." " It is. ence gained in religious contemplation and in poetic creation.. It is inspiring to watch how the continuity of development weaves the various portions of the Veda together.

and that in itself is consistent with the continuity of intellectual development in the Vedic age. what ' amounts condition to the same c thing. and unlocked a new 5 * of ideas/ world This attempt to reverse the traditional view of the origins of Indian philosophy has proved unable to hold its ground. so Brahminical theology was not the exclusive concern of the priests . It was started by the critical and philological line of research that rose up at the end of the igth century against the romantic views which had hitherto prevailed. Die Weisheit op.. cit. p. . for the birth of the world.Veda was a courtly art. Oldcnbcrg. 34 f. in the eye and the breath and so on. are reduced to constituent parts of the sacrificial ceremony. cit. in light and air. . op. p. who drew their universal categories from the liturgical milieu in which they lived. 1 Cf. 176 . pp. des Brahmanen oder des Kriegers? in Beitrdge z. 2 The fact remains that priestly thinkers were the Only in a limited sense did originators of philosophy in India. 198 ff. They maintain that the creation of Indian philosophy is to be attributed not to the Brahmins but to the warrior nobility. Even the cosmogonic speculations associated with them reveal the narrow mental horizon of the priests. op.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT I2Q world and in man. sacrificial the secular nobility contribute to this great historical process. They liked for instance to imagine the prime cause which these speculations postulated whether it be the god Prajapati or water or wind or some agency abstracted from man's psychic life like will or mind it is (manas) as making ready for the creation or. 23. pp. i. 10 . ind. Just as the sacred poetry of the Rig. Dasgupta. I ff. p.. 1908.. 143 f. 9 p. Winternitz. the Kshatriyas* One of the most outstanding advocates of this view declares " The warrior caste must be accorded the honour of having : ' effected the great revolution in the intellectual life of ancient India. but the same researches resisted such a realistic interpretation and drove it back to its proper bounds. op. cit. Geschichte der indischen Literatur.. for it was they who recognised the mindlessness of the system with its fatuous symbolism.. it was carried on in public discussions for which the great sacrificial feasts at the courts of Kulturgesch. 1906. I. said to do penance and mortify ' itself In this a formula ! that recurs even when Not-being ' is postulated at the beginning ' So great is the distance between this Brahminical theology and the wisdom of the Upanishads that modern European scholars of note have pronounced it incredible that the latter should ever have emerged from the same social sphere. 1 R. cit. Gcldner. Hillebrandt. . Garbe.

dreaming and death. One is tempted to attribute a certain materialistic tendency. As a it sometimes happens in these stories. II. Some of the texts that follow. it still did not touch the metaphysical centre. was as yet unknown. with a thousand cows and a fame and rich reward for the victor bull like an elephant from the Prince or King who presided.I3O the THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV Princes formed the traditional setting. But despite this the Absolute insisted tendency the metaphysical knowledge of on itself in the Upanishads. written in the form of question and c ' ' ' answer. i. explanation of the ' unity. although they are edited by adherents of the priestly caste. whom metaphysical movement culminates the Upanishads themselves represent as a *BAU. Moreover." 1 But high as one may rate the share of the Princes in the intellectual movement that led to the birth of philosophy. get a picture of this highly intellectual form of The Princes too played an active part. 15. and in it what we distinguish as ' mind and matter * formed a : teachings are not mistaken. Ever and again the Princes faced the learned priests with the tricky " What is brahma ? " Thus they kept theology from question : matter of fact ! : petrifying. that a Prince shows himself superior to the priest in wisdom and is requested " It is by him to impart instruction. whose essential characteristic is inertia. More the particularly initial points to who arose among the the thinker in whose teaching Yajnavalkya. and in the same way there was now instituted a sort of debating tournament. whereupon the King says a of for out order Brahmin to become the pupil of a quite Nevertheless I will Kshatriya and have him explain brahma instruct you. and this central it event clearly points to the great thinkers priests. From the narrative as a rule padding in which the major philosophical pieces are embedded we entertainment. From time immemorial there had been bardic contests. to the influence of the ruling class if one can speak of materialism at all in an age when the concept of matter. * we * they were all for a rational or natural puzzling phenomena from which. all of them discussed over and over again in the philosophical texts. the priests were in the habit of contriving a mystery phenomena like sleeping. . the fate to which all tradition-bound if inevitably succumb in time. as the Brahmodyas show. already noticeable in the pantheism of oldest Upanishads. All it did was to give the movement a rationalistic trend. * are ' typical of this situation. The age was dominated by the idea of life '.

but from thought delving down into the and its products. pp. Oldenberg. Instead of the arid stiffness. the didactic pedantry of Brahminical diction. link up with the Rig-Veda and its philosophical hymns. The two Upanishads that contain the earliest philosophical texts. cit. but with the two other orthodox Vedas. the philosophical texts. they form a special group in the whole. have We already traced this process in the Rig-Veda. we know by name. generally regarded as one of the first witnesses to the brahman-atman speculations of the Upanishads. a sudden flash of metaphysical knowledge until the light burns is to be found in a slightly different version in the but there the hymn : 5 full and steady. 49 ff. altogether different and new* There is no word about the ritual that is usually the business in hand. Aruna. . like 8 him of was a contemporary of Buddha's and came princely rank. As one of the " best authorities puts it In the context in which the passage occurs it stands out like something sui generis. are surrounded by other material which lies there like a deposit from earlier phases of development. for instance. the Brhadaranyaka and the Chandogya. detached as they are 1 Nataputta. we hear the utterance of a soul transported. Seen in this light the novel and non-derivative elements that emerged with * the birth of philosophy are all the more striking. and we can see it repeating itself on another intellectual plane in the Brahmanas. The Sandilya Creed '. preserved by the uncritical compilers whose holy dread prevented them from separating the wheat from the chaff. founder of the Jain sect.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT Master head and shoulders above all others and whose teacher Uddalaka. as in the Upanishads. sprang direct from religious life. sunk in its own vision/ 2 Because philosophy does not appear in Hindu tradition as an independent category but always as part of the sacred or revelatory Vedic corpus. as one might suppose. Brahmanas. none of the great religious thinkers of India before Buddha had come of noble stock. not from a knowledge that transcended common experience. do not. 1 Philosophy. that is.. even where. op. So far as we know. and his teacher and father. It is like an ever renewed beginning. Hence they go back direct to the manuals which the priests used for the rites of sacrifice. seems somewhat out of place. the Veda of Ritual and the Veda of Melodies. which were taken spiritual reality of religion for revelation. We must keep this in mind when reading the from philosophical pieces selected later on. then.

The word attained * Books of this sublime height of meaning as the theology of the over Brahma rose above the Forest into passed philosophy. Both had a long history behind them before they came to be philosophical concepts. as we shall hear from the Christian mystics of the Middle Ages. p. Allgem. unknown God that an answer is. more than ' Oldenberg.. 286. the word was ready at hand to provide to the question about the One. supra. The root-ideas brahma and atman run through the various groups of texts. 219 . 445 . p. so that the essential features of their meaning and its development manner. 1897. on which indeed even the gods depend.. In the Brahmana period it stood for the sacrifice itself. 1 Both words were present in India from the beginning of philosophy and both were rooted in Indian soil. op. the gods. 5th ed. Buddha. d. where the singers extolled their knowledge and 2 Brahma ability as equal to the strength of warriors and horses. Hence. 33. stands the Godhead. Thus we met it in the older portions of the Rig-Veda and moreover in a central position.. Above God. Gesch. p. pp. This history has been carefully explored by philologists and historians. theology personal being who represented the creative principle. . for they are in fact amenable more than one interpretation. are arranged in several groups so as to indicate the advance from the underlying conception of the identity of brahma They and atman to the doctrine of Absolute Spirit associated with the name of Yajnavalkya. when polytheism had been superseded by the idea of the unity of all divine powers. the central object of theology. Phil. also op. cit. born of the of still as a but thought god Prajapati. 3 Deussen. 70. p. then meant the sacred language of the hymns with particular reference to its infallible. I. v.. Jacobi. almighty Something that seemed to be embodied in the Holy Script of the Veda. The word brahma comes from the religious sphere. What this supra-personal. Schroder. 38 . and denoted the magic of sacrifice which is mightier yet than the power of the gods. p. but not in any uniform They vary in meaning. Cf. mysterious. Keith. cit. a con- ception of the impersonal nature of Deity. They came to be identified with one another as the result of a creative process of thought culminating in the speculations of the Upanishads.132 their context THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS and affecting us solely IV intrinsic on account of their meaning. . ff. * 1 cit. Indische Literatur undKultur. L. to are now established. p. I. 1905. so that by magically effective power to influence extension it came to mean the invisible. op.

which we characterize by saying that the living * breath the German Originally meaning. more easily and reverted to its beginnings once the era of : intellectual advance was over. * Brahmanas : For instance in one of the respect of his bodily condition. 7. As the purification of religious consciousness went on. the meaning of the word was refined until. * (cf. * c word * atman by soul *. atmen] it became Self and consequently individual unit. This is misleading. of a people's loftiest aspirapelling On the other hand Indian thought became static all the tions. a primordial word taken over from the national religion and charged with its atmosphere." 2 This accords with the 1 c I natural 3. did not have such deep roots in the people's it too harks back to a primordial stratum of religious past. yet is of It the words that express life-experience in one thought. finds himself as a Self* among other living individual units. for here the term * * soul is not to be understood in the familiar sense denoting the unity of the individual's inner life* In this sense the concept of a soul belongs to a late stage of development both philosophical and Originally atman meant the individual precisely in religious. as in China with its tao. . stage forms and durable of thought. metaphysical Reality itself. this * * Self connotes the living individual as a whole." " From everlasting the fathers have escaped the thick old texts darkness by means of a son. aware of his identity. VII. 5. The word atman * * speech and all is more or * less translatable. " it is said of the individual This Self changes with : Even more instructive is another of these the help of the eye. philosophical thought could. X.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT 133 divine Something really is. Despite its break with orthodoxy Oriental metaphysics assimilated the profoundest elements of it. Platonic. for the purpose of naming the Unnameable. An elementary. ' outlook on * life where the indi13. prescientific idea untainted by any religious view of man. probability. for as his Self he is born of his Self. In contrast to brahma it is a word taken from everyday general. it could be used to express knowledge of the Absolute. avail itself of a familiar form of expression. Shatapatha-Brahmana. in comsecond. in Atem. Aitareya-Brahmana. with no separaModern scholars often translate the tion of body and soul. so that it was able from the very start to accomplish what Greek philosophy only achieved in its the bringing to consciousness. is the whole burden of the Upanishads. Thus here. in the end. * the expression for what we call the goes back to the common human experience of our situation in the world.

134 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV In the vidual discovers himself as a member of the community. would we Homeric poems merely name psychic functions '. in certain organs of the body in the heart. when * the ascetics or penitents rose up beside the priests as another sort of holy man *. we read it knows that he who knows can only be won by " What Therefore the Brahmins of old did not desire offspring. desire for sons is desire for wealth. its and maintains life in the individual. It is rather the case that this development continued in the direction indicated by the empirical idea of the Self. which saw man not as an isolated individual but as a more than individual unit propagating itself from father to son down the generations." For the sonless man the world is not there . supra. we think. the animals But at the end of the movement we are now the tracing. we whose world is the Atman ? Rising above the desire for sons and the desire for wealth and the desire For the for the world they wandered into the world as beggars. p. here projected back into the past. 92 .* But as far as the idea of the Self was con- development from an empirical concept into a concept equivalent to brahma and thus fundamental to Indian philosophy took place. like the sensory functions. . * as 1 BAU. 4. had in fact been afoot ever since the end of the Rig-Vedic period. IV. What is true of the mystery of propagation is even more true of the power concerned.. 29. Even the * * ' * of functions like groups feeling and understanding . cit. The notion of whose presence is revealed by man's breathing and the beating of his heart belongs to the most primitive psychoWe speak of a * life-soul or logical conceptions of mankind. are a with the soul as self-contained unacquainted people that generates * * a life-force ' ( ' * they only know a number of different call them. from life-affirmation to complete negation of the world. " should we do with offspring. animating principle by way of distinguishing it from other Primitive soul \ primitive attempts to grasp what we call unit . aa. immortal renunciation: Spirit. Brahmanas the this of is from kind outlook formulated passage thus " : know that. independently of the upheaval that changed Vedic pantheism into a Salvationist religion. and the desire for wealth is desire for the world. p. Cf. or the There was as yet no distinction between belly or diaphragm. What is desire but desire ? l This change of feeling. for instance. when atman came Self also to express the philosophical idea of imperishable all-pervading the true. Jacobi. op. archaic man supposed these to have their seat.

It is strange to us only because Christianity has accustomed In us to the idea of a single soul dwelling in each individual. this view was entirely natural. is called the atman of all the other gods in the sense of being their life-principle . The This twofold meaning distinguishes the conception of atman from the empirical idea of it. the principle that animates the whole universe . In the Rig-Veda the c * : Wind-god. does not so to speak shut him up in himself but opens him to the world in the same way that the windows of the body '. Indian philosophy as in Greek. and the idea of the world-soul was the earliest form of unitary soul to be imagined. They distinguished thinking (manas. from the sensory perceptions . the breath Word which the ordinary word is prana just as brahma meant the of the Veda and at the same time the mysterious power ' reigning c within ' theological the Self. that produces and maintains absorbs them back into itself. the senses. Even at the time of the transition from theology to philosophy the Indians knew comparatively subtle distinctions between psychic phenomena. of these a rule only two are stressed in the older Upanishads whence our texts are drawn. We breathe in and out the air or * wind blowing through the universe is the cosmic equivalent of the atman in man. namely. far more natural than to imagine a psychic entity seated somewhere inside a man's body. Grouping of joy. Since the part which breathing plays in organic life is quite obvious. seeing and hearing. also comprises the impulses like. or. the observation of it determined one view of the soul as that which animates the body. of istic When at the end of the trend in theology led to a the conception of a single Power life in all living things and finally course. keeps the individual c together from within. are pierced outwards '. as the mental organ. to put it more precisely. between the various functions and organs of the psycho-physical unit summed c up under the term Self. sometimes too he is honoured * * as the One all-embracing God in the henotheistic sense.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT 135 mental and organic life . mind) which. though not identical with. as breath. The soul is seated in the heart for ' and is visible in. Rig-Vedic period the monpantheist view of the world. formed a landmark in man's apprehension of the divine. Vayu. Strange as it seems to us. this concept of an individualised soul that regulates and co-ordinates the interior life of a man is a late product of speculation. The thus atman came to mean the world-soul. atman which. body and soul were naturally taken as a unity in action. fear and the as .

At first sight this grouping looks like a mere classification of psychic or soul-like phenomena. hearing to space. five in number. Just as breath the animal correlate of the wind that blows through the world. Consequently those correspondences between Self and world refer only to the different parts of each breath. never to the whole and its structure. the point of view of the cosmos miniature. and here the obvious affinities stop and construction begins. sense-organs.136 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV and the organic-psychic functions and (seeing hearing) together on one plane. whereas the Hindus looked at the world from the point of view of the Self. At the same time this group of five organs and functions vital. mind. But the double idea of the atman allowed them to be so combined. so the other members of the group have their cosmic equivalents seeing or the eye corresponds to the sun. And by the same token we shall see how there was added to the primitive animating principle the much later idea of consciousness which. etc. 90. just as the multitudinous gods of the Rig-Veda were reduced to Thus in the texts there is mention of several breaths or unity. It was a favourite pastime of Hindu philosophy to list correspondences of this kind. and that in its turn leads further in the the intellectual act (thinking) c ' * ' direction of a classification of empirical reality. Reitzenstein. For the Greek notion of cosmos is utterly alien to the Hindus . in modern psybreath-forces '. op. sun. p. cit. for them neither the ' ' a harmonious ordering of parts in a whole. world nor man was The Greeks looked at man from and thus saw him as a world in c ' ' : c ' meaning the senses or psychic functions. so that for them the world was always the external world *.. * that extent the idea of c ' * ' 1 R. they went further and added speaking and breathing. A homogeneous view of the phenomena is in both cases only the result of speculation all the other psychic organs are then subordinated to breath or identified with it. . since it meant the bodily individual as well as the invisible life-force embodied in the breath. it seems to us. standpoint. psychic and mental claims to be a complete list of the phenomena belonging to the Self. The idea at the back of it all is generally described as the interplay of macrocosm and microcosm l not very aptly. To an individualized soul as distinct from the world-soul is already evolving. moon. or to the gods wind. with mythological ideas looming in the background thinking is is : subordinated to the moon. as we ourselves say from our modern. totally un-Greek and subjective. and speech to the four quarters of heaven.

but is bodiless like his reflection in water or his shadow. or more correctly his an idea worked out at the spirit conceived as a separate entity end of the Vedic period. Nor has it anything to do with for the life of which the atman partakes and in which all death . so full of mystery. which from the outset involves a relationship between the Self and the world (since only a living creature ' * breathes). is. It is very typical of Indian philosophy that a word originally meaning man should acquire the sense of spirit '. * * ' ' 4 ' ' * ' . somewhere among the shades. The association in purusha between person and spirit is something that is strange to us . however.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT is 137 chology. Primitive peoples believe in a spirit that dwells in a man. the Indians purusha '. Like atman this word comes from everyman and served to denote originally it meant day speech itself * c c * . But it also appears in a man's looking---the look that meets you from another man's eye and can bewitch you. where a word also meaning man (jen) was elevated to a key philosophical concept. The Greeks called it psyche '. purusha refers to the individual as such. when it appears to other people in their own dreams and at death it betakes c ' ghost-soul as distinct from the c life-soul '. The change is like a symbol of the difference between Indian and Chinese philosophy. according to the view current in nature immortal. sleeping. however. dreaming. the hallmark of the individual soul as a single entity. can be seen and looks just like him. The atman. this word served to express the idea of the individual's immortal soul. of its own : not so much an idea as a belief. does not yet comprise the totality of psychic : phenomena. who looks out at you person yourself from the pupil of your friend. It is . the person whether alive or dead. though in this case it was used to express the ideal of moral goodness. hence the term is hardly translatable. This ghost-soul is capable of parting company with him in the dreaming state. These ephemeral states. Appropriated by the brahmanatman speculations of the Upanishads it acquired the meaning * * c not in the spectral sense of ghost but in the legitiof spirit mate sense in which it can be interchanged for c soul \ Unlike the little * man * or * ' 1 ' atman. Accordingly. It has nothing to do with those all-important states whose sequence determines the daily rhythm of individual life waking. gave rise to another psychic concept which likewise belongs to the primitive level or the idea of the thought brought to light by the ethnologists living creatures have a share those days. except that it possesses no gross body.

The passage we have selected does not display the extravagant richness of some other texts . Ill. the Brahmins who ply The questions as well as the answers lectual levels characteristic him with catch-questions. Der indische Mythos. This profundity is more evident in the mythological than in the philosophical presentation of world-unity. nor their formation and decay. In the next two groups of quotations first one and then the other takes the lead. uncon1 In comparison with this our text scious. which expresses the root-concept of the unity of brahma and atman in one unbroken view of the whole. unitary Being". back into amorphous. 1932-3. put point-blank. sober. The varying significations of these two concepts for soul ' correspond to the part it plays in the course of the metaphysical movement at the beginning of philosophy in India. flat . governing it from within as the life-force governs our own body. is Yajnavalkya the victor in a dozen bouts against his rivals. the hero of the tourney. who does not partake of its sufferings even as we do not feel our cells breathing. When the universe perishes he draws it back into himself again. himself. An " who is All. as ' we could ' meaning of equally well ' a purusha (*) . no life and spirit. but in the form : 1 Heinrich Zimmer. 68. though the latter term predominates. so that in the version Brahmanas purusha is used along with atman and has the same significance. The naturalistic trend already apparent in the Rig. seems rational. . and from this we can see the twin-trends of advance towards naturalistic pantheism and difference is made between in the as we have ' ' it : towards a metaphysics of the spirit say. The question as to the nature of brahma is not. p. The opening piece comes from a c debating contest * held at the court of the famous King Janaka of Videha.Veda predominates in the second group of texts. c or. in the magazine Corona. authority on Indian mythology speaks of the God who exhales the whole world as his breath. but it is remarkable in more than one respect.138 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS far as ' IV it appears in the texts that follow it is translated by * or person by spirit '. the patron of Yajfiavalkya. bearing in mind the psychic metaphysical psychology. In the * ' So &apdilya Creed. as " is How generally the case. it affords no picture of the religious profundity that marks even the naturalistic pantheism of the Indians. show the different intelof most of the old compilations. vol.

period. III. c ' : . but not in Upanishads. each of them. Generally speaking." The prophecy or " He died malediction was fulfilled . itself reminiscent of the advance from polytheism to monism riddles. going number of gods being gradually reduced until in the end only one of the thirty-three remains. as we have us. At one stage of the discourse (III. 6. the our on before eyes. the highest god of the Brahmana These discrepancies. as is generally assumed at present. have no for regard chronology undoubtedly already pointed out. is difficult to answer. . however. In both versions it is put into the mouth of Yajnavalkya who. representing certain stages in the struggle of thought 1 Shatapatha-Brahmana. Your bones will not reach your home. But in an important text quoted near the end of our final sequence the doctrine usually associated with the name of Yajnavalkya is put into the mouth of Prajapati. it a flood of voices borne along by the priesthood." l Evidently this teaching was held to be a dangerous secret in those days. namely. You will die on the day. XI. throw some doubt on whether that wisest of the wise was a real historical personality. Buddha. but is not so important as might appear to The Hindus. with our sense of historical reality. cf. thinking he was something else. went beyond the naturalistic doctrine of the world-soul to reach metaphysical knowledge of the Absolute Spirit. 3 Oldenberg. according to the testimony of other Upanishadic texts.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT gods are there ? 139 In this form. Wind or Breath. 6) he is shown as the exponent of this teaching. 26. the profoundest in all Hindu philosophy. by no means isolated. something taboo . here This passage is also handed down in identified with brahma. : : shads it is quite common. his later books on the Brahmanas and the . It is not wise to challenge with words. philosophy in India is not the personal achievement of definite individuals as is it was in Greece and to a lesser extent in China . for the narrator adds in this manner robbers made off with his bones. 2 . the reverse side of their metaphysical profundity and this fact makes itself felt from very early on. 9. and not a legendary 2 The question figure a view which prevailed not so long ago. BAU. the Brahmanas there it ends not with the formula contained in That is brahma but with Yajnavalkya turning our version " You have asked me about a God to his opponent and saying about whom one should not ask. whereas even in the oldest Upani- many " Vedic we see the . It is achieved in seven steps. .

and the rich man's own daughter thrown This works on the sage. his for wisdom. is transferred to the atman itself. Hillcbrandt. The second piece in this sequence. or more generally of knowledge. Particularly noteworthy is the attempt to solve the enigma of consciousness." The to the teaching is associated with the school that gave its name Upanishad in question. to naturalistic pantheism. whose hallmark is breath (prdya). respectively the knowing * 2 Self* and the living Self*. however. duced by a story that seems like a veritable caricature of this It is expounded by an ascetic called Raikva. which can be variously translated as knowledge. such terms are extremely Oldenbcrg. cognition. A rich man. A clear distinction is made here between life. it is said. 72 f. the Kaushitaki. or else are derived by means of an genealogy from a divine source. Jacobi as the Self consisting in knowledge . visits him in his hidingplace to ask for instruction. cit. famed teaching. : 1 . and prdjna. He lifts the girPs into the bargain. But Raikva will only instruct him after the gift of six hundred cows with golden ornaments has been raised to one thousand. also showing Breath and Wind as the original forces of life." a ' ' . ' Deussen translates prdjna dtman as conscious Self Hiliebrandt as conscious* ' ' * ness . of the various philosophical doctrines to this or that particular variations on a bondage and together sounding like theme. das ist die Erkenntnis. und was die Erkenntnis ist. just as by a process of identification the gods of polytheism were merged under monism. in most cases they are unidentiartificial fiable. p. well known for his good deeds. says to her father : This face alone would have been enough to get * " you me to talk. is introshads. consciousness. the taint of dangerous innovation that once attached to it has already disappeared in the Upani- As Some of the Brahmanas had represented it as a thoroughly disreputable doctrine. the answer that is to be given thinker is more or less fortuitous . p.140 to free itself THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS from religious IV single The attribution to the first metaphysico-religious questionings. Keith as intelligent Self Hume as * intelligential Self. op. As always. who is found scraping off his scabs under a cart " the place. ' . so that the text speaks of prdjna ' dtman and in other places ofjivdtman. Oldenberg "Was der Atem ist. Die Lehre der Upanishaden. by saying that knowledge is implicit in life conceived pantheistically or is actually identifiable with breath. . The distinction. face and Shudra ! Ha ha ! All those cows. das ist der Atem. viz. where you must look for a Brahmin ".. which only becomes more enigmatic on the naturalistic premise of a world-soul. 141 f.

specifically Indian. as it was to be called in European philosophy. pp. Rcitzenstein." This proposition goes behind the empirical plane of another explanation of the riddle of knowledge. the stars his hair and so on. From Zeus came earth and starry-flashing In this famous hymn. so far as this movement went in the direction indicated by the use of that other primitive idea of the soul. not unknown among primitive peoples. But to this empirical theory the his pantheistic view of life (dyus). have already noted that purusha in common departure. 2 the vision of the universe as a divine being in human form. describing the universe a man pantheism is not. yet all his bodily parts are to be found there : the sky is his head. From Zeus everything is formed. with his marvellous objectivity. According to it the various sense- resolved in the pantheistic principle "Knowing is and breathing organs. . however. The is distinction inimitable capacity for forming no sooner made than it is : breathing knowing. 86. sky. Studien %um antiken Syncretismus. but colossal. recognized the philo1 Cf. In the Vedic poem the cosmic purusha is so enormous that our world is only the fourth part of his body. including breath. 94 ff. * man *. We mentioned this idea of the cosmic man as evidence of the growing monism towards the end of the Rig-Vedic period. with its establish a definite point of varying meanings. the wind his breath. mentioned in the same text. co-operate in every act of perception * after the manner of a common sensorium '. in Greece in an Orphic hymn. which begins : We meet it Zeus is the beginning and middle. w The next group is put together with a view to throwing light on the movement of philosophy beyond naturalistic pantheism. p. This exceedingly crude form of naturalistic amalgam of myth and speculation. Plato. a strange as of gigantic proportions. the earth his feet.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT its is pregnant in Sanskrit owing to compounds. 1 The idea goes back to a myth. there is to be found a poem. probably inspired by Iranian ideas. Now. purusha. 90). a R. Kaushitaki spokesman opposes which embraces knowing. in the later parlance originally meant simply Here we can We portions of the Rig-Veda (X. telling how the world arose out of the body of a giant. the sun his eye. goes into all the details listed in the Song to Purusha. supra.

thanks to the uncritical way in which the sacred old Upanishads What is probably the oldest of the writings were transmitted. the one belonging to the Veda of Sacrificial Formulae begins with a passage referring to the Horse Sacrifice. It is only a fragment. from the fairy-tale transformations of the Mother of the Gods and Father-God hot in pursuit of her. end and middle of all things '. just as Plato did with the notion of the god whose body coincides with * * the world. He was as * big as : man and woman joined together. * * to this anthropomorphism . 1 At this point too we can observe the continuity of development in India. is imagined as the Ground of the universe and appears as the creative principle instead of some personal creator like Prajapati. a horse was considered be to manifestation of the primpurified is ordial Heavenly Horse . Similarly. 7i6a. Nevertheless the atman is said in true * * mythological fashion to have had originally the form of a man this in the : We There is. the sun his eye.142 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV sophical meaning of the Orphic hymn . etc. " afraid in his loneliness. have already encountered We 2 There the Rig. But page of this Upanishad there is a cosmogonic fragment where the mythological idea of the cosmic man has slipped into the stream of brahman-atman speculation. a deeper. what strikes us here is the subjectivity of Indian thought with its premise of the subject who is aware of himself. like brahma. both 1 Plato. f BAU. I. atman. the wind his breath. He wanted a companion. supra. But in contrast to the objective idealism of Plato which is based on a conception of the Divine Order. in the picture of the god who is the ' beginning. Leges. here it described as an allegory of the universe the dawn is his head. he found his own idea of the Divine Order. In it the set this fragment at the head of the sequence. for the word I is put into the mouth of purusha as its first utterance before the creation of the world the very word that expresses man's characteristic awareThus the unknown thinker blunted the ness of his 'self* materialistic point of the myth of the world-giant. The text immediately goes on to a has which all the appearance of a relapse into cosmogonic myth 8 It relates how the atman was primitive anthropomorphism. 1-4. . * Cf. speculative meaning (purushd)." Thus arose the race of men. the holiest of the animal sacrifices.Veda as an object of speculation. the cosmic horse being the analogue of the cosmic on another man. 83. however. He divided himself in two husband and wife were born. 4. p.

pleasure pain. our selections in a certain systematic order. According * * to the naturalistic teaching. * the totality of the But the tit.. immortal life and is thus distinguished from as the vehicle of perishable 1 : this is the i. imperishable form of brahma.* From this it will be seen that we are not doing violence to the traditional material but are. as a heavenly paradise . Up. p. that thing pairs '. Kaus. Here. though for the pantheist these defects can be resolved in the divine whole. on all con" " All a scholiast lists them : hot and contraries traries. brahma itself.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT all sorts 143 c derived the origin of everyIn the midst of this play of down to the ants. op. in the midst of the account of his triumphal progress." * so and and forth. on the contrary. 4. breath or wind is the ultimate It is now conceived reality. The connection of the Self with its own self-knowledge which explains the inclusion of the purusha idea in the brahmanatman speculations comes out clearly enough in the remaining Only the larger piece dealing with passages of this sequence. For instance. so he looks down on Day and Night. fantasy another philosophical thought flashes into view. We are at liberty to take it in this sense. . and then. since it not infrequently happens in the old texts that metaphysical ideas or formulae suddenly appear in a context that is very different. good deeds and evil. the two forms of brahma is in need of comment. is incomplete. running through the whole empirical world but resolved in the divine Ground. trying to come closer to the original sequence of thought when we present " disfigured by numerous additions. the text so often seems nebulous The addenda and contradictory. who used to say that man is only half himself an utterance which we can take as pointing to the duality and limitation of everything finite. we recognize our old friend the metaphysical doctrine of opposites. re R.. This literary gloss bears out the view of modern critics and philologists that the text of the Upanishads is explain why and obscures the clarity and incisiveness natural to the Indian mind ". formula. compressed into a cold. Garbe. in one of the earlier Upanishads the brahma-world into which * * the knower of brahma goes after his death is described in a poetic. and in need of another. Hillebrandt. * * a chariot looks down on the two chariot-wheels. there is quoted c of a remark Yajfiavalkya's. indeed beautiful manner reminiscent of a fairy-tale. we read : "Just as one driving feels lonely. 15. For in connection with that all-too-human idea of the solitary god who changing into of animals.

while : the other three are ligible. has quite ceased to be the ultimate reality. beyond empirical reality. from the very beginning. The contrast. and thus constitutes the The difference between other. so that the multiplicity of the Real and the imperishable life-force are set side by side as the two independent forms of brahma. the essence of all transitory forms of existence. pantheistically speaking. transcendent. literally. implies more than the ' ordinary religious dualism between this world and the Hereafter '. static . it neverimperishable life. and in the eye with reference to the Self. It is rather that the duality of meaning which always. combined * * with an equally speculative concept the essence of the Real. The dualism is not final it leads by progressive stages back to the idea of unity. form of brahma. and are only made to square with each other through the gradation of essences above the sun. therefore. the new unifying * * principle being the spirit that grew out of purusha. transcending the perishable and the imperishable alike. i.e. stands the c spirit in the sun. while the essence of breath is the purusha in the eye '. stationary ' * to * ' moving (i. c generally translated by yonder '.144 totality THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV of the perishable is itself. however. but it is undoubtedly meant in the sense of ' beyond '. The * * essence of transient reality is located in the sun with reference to the world. As to the world-soul. the essence of Patent though this construction is.e. Obviously an attempt is being made here to combine the doctrine of the world-soul manifest in breath or wind with the other equally widespread view that the sun is the source not only of light and knowledge. these two forms is further defined by four pairs of opposites. one 5 c of which is the familiar mortal immortal antithesis. characterized the pure metaphysical principle apparent in the fact that brahma denoted the sacral language as well as the magical power at work in it has here been rationally analysed. the perishable. but of all life a construction of an almost scholastic kind. Breath or wind. This word there '. * ' in a likeness ' usual and to our mind almost unintel' * or bodily (murta) is opposed to ' bodiless finally opposed to (tya) is and and dynamic) being (sat) in the sense of existing here and now is a term that means. The two doctrines are mutually exclusive. we are informed that its essence is the spirit J * dwelling in the sun . ' less Thus ' . theless allows us a glimpse into the philosophical movement that was afoot and led from naturalistic pantheism to a metaphysics : * ' ' ' ' ' : ' . a manifestation of the divine principle.

where Yajnavalkya appeared as the spokesman of the monistic doctrine of breath as the world-soul. This is a cow. is something like * : ' ! this: since it was customary. the Brahmin Ushasta. but it is no accident that only three of the old gods are named Wind.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT spirit. the Absolute. which to serve illustrate the parables indwelling of the Ineffable One in the multiplicity of the empirical world. This last piece gives unmistakable expression to the ImmanIt is ence of the Transcendent. it follows that breath is a finite. the Ineffable. to involve hair-splitting distinctions. Sun and Fire. as the One. through. We would only refer to the special significance they acquire from the historical and syste- matic standpoint of the present work. The examples drawn from the sphere of myth. The last group of all reproduces texts in which the profoundest metaphysical thought of ancient Hindu philosophy the conception of Pure Spirit as the Knowing Subject. each with a special name of its own). named . limited. Systematically regarded the short piece that opens the sequence deserves particular attention. Purusha is still conceived as all-pervading spirit on the analogy of the world-soul. most of them major works of art. in this text. and not This is apparent also in the yet as the individualized soul. out. taken from one of the later Upanishads written in verse-form. Here he brings up this doctrine again. if we understand him aright. to divide breathing into various functions (in. there is at the end of the sequence a visionary. He rebuts it with the " Your explanation is like saying. 145 of the If the intuitive character of metaphysical know- ledge seems. argument " An extraordinarily cogent criticism for that is a horse what he means. but his opposite number in the contest. These texts. The reduced multitudinous gods had been to these three as the are : theologians advanced from polytheism to a unitary conception of the divine. It is taken from the debating contest held on the occasion of the sacrificial feast at the court of King Janaka. in Yoga practice. They speak for themselves and need no commentary. associated with the name of Yajnavalkya is developed in complete clarity. up. are among the supreme testaments of human wisdom. is not satisfied with it. not to say expressionistic description of purusha comparable with the Sapdilya Greed. We have already quoted another passage from it.

for he and thus reduces his critic to replies to silence. Intuition (Gottingen thesis). runs not (like) this. Yajnavalkya himself understands Ushasta's so tersely because the : ! answers not by indi* what it is that must be as Self dwelling in the cating regarded all things '. p. not Neti. 9. the subjective spirit or intelligence present in all cognition. hearer of hearing. like a You cannot of knowing/* This metaphysical conception of the spiritual subject or. We drew attention to the significance of this argument when we used it ourselves to censure the Greek equivalent of the Indian doctrine. the naturalistic doctrine holds that the Absolute a see the seer of seeing. is expounded with amazing lucidity and at the same time with a wealth of concrete images in the following To the Hindus these compositions are Holy Writ. Jacobi. 36 IV. IV. ward by an Indian thinker at such an early date and formulated Hindus had reached the metaphysical of the sheer unknowability of the Ground long before knowledge was born. BAU. 4. The formula. whereas is of its own nature ungraspable and unknowable. in place of breath or wind. 22 . namely that water is the 1 The argument against it could be put fororigin of all things. Cf. which was about 150 years ago. in the last section of this book. 15. hear the horse. and in knowledge For. and also in sense-perception. Also Joseph Konig. know the knower cow or a " thing. /. as we can equally well say. but by formulating the new metaphysical principle that the Pure Spirit manifesting itself everywhere is argument in that sense. IV. 5. 14. etc. 0. 1926. They became known at a time when a new movement was going forward in European philosophy. hearing and seeing.146 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV and known thing just like a cow or a horse . . 4 . p.. a mere particular among other particulars. III. been admired no less by European thinkers ever have they since they became known in the West. as the Ground of world-unity is a piece of metaphysical naivete which the jocular Brahmin can only make mock of. supra. 42. neti " that We shall be into this formula it occurs (like) going four times in the oldest Upanishad alone 2 later. and texts. think the thinker of thinking. the movement 1 Cf. Der Begriff der .. it implicitly in his answer He in the world. which expresses the transcendence of the " atman-brahma identity. 2. and had laid it down in an audacious Yajnavalkya formula. the view associated with the name of Thales and traditionally regarded as the beginning of philosophy in the West. and to set up such a thing. in ourselves.

IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT 147 started of Pure Reason. aph. Nietzsche. F . this being the sense in which Hegel contrasted it with the category substance and in which we ourselves take it when we equate it * ' c * 1 a Beyond Good and Evil. What Hegel calls substance and subject corresponds to what the Hindus called brahma and atman. to which the had long been limited . Phdnomenofagie des Geistes. Preface. D. stated with reference to the task with which he " So far as I can see . Hegel. by Kant's work on the theory of cognition. could. In our European philosophy with its Greek foundation the * term * subject acquired its subjective meaning quite late. which is also the concern of the present study. in his General History of Philosophy (1894-99). 1806. German A f putting task. found himself confronted : everything and expressing Truth not merely as depends on our grasping Substance but also as Subject/ 2 This declaration of principle. follower of Schopenhauer's. Likewise inspired by Schopenhauer. and this may serve to define more nearly the position of Hindu metaphysics in the world-historical context of philosophy. since it made the ego the principle of philosophy. thus posing the problem of a comparative history of philosophy. 20. the last great metaphysician produced by Germany and the West. applied by Hegel himself to the last stage of metaphysics in modern Europe. easily rediscover their own fundamental direction of thought in ancient Hindu metaphysics. treading in the of his he master. The representatives of this Idealism '. as it is called. Greek. But the European key-terms have had a history very different from that of their Indian counterparts. Hegel. . The Critique and culminating in the Idealist systems elaborated Hegel in particular. also applies to its first stirrings in ancient India.P. But more important for our purpose is a saying of world-historical horizon Hegel's . an Indian philosophy on equal footing with Greek. and German 1 philosophizing". Paul Deussen. footsteps interpreted the Upanishads in Kantian terms. 5 clearly. spoke in one of his brilliant aphorisms of the " singular family-likeness between all Indian. who knew Deussen from youth. This explains Schopenhauer's somewhat romantic appreciation of the ' * almost superhuman conceptions of the Masters of the Upanishads. and as soon as we scrutinize this difference the significance of the Indian beginning emerges all the more . * * Bearing this in mind we stressed the approach from the Subject as characterizing the Indian beginnings compared with the ( * * * Greek. tackled the by * his pupils.

which we can translate as something poured or thrown under hence something very objective indeed in acterized * * ' modern sense of that word. specifically. . to speak of the knowing subject in contradistinction to the object of knowledge. TO Sv 9 that which the object of metaphysics by traditionally translated as 'Being \ there are several different aspects under which the Aris' * One of them is chartotelian Being as such can be regarded. generally philosophical vocabulary . * translated by is hypostasis (' that which subsists ). it arose only in the iyth century after Descartes had provided the subjective starting-point for modern philosophy with his cogito ergo sum. in which ChristiInstead of the classical integration anity played a decisive part. a later substitute for the original ' 5 expression ousia. to be '. In so doing his concept of the ego was influenced by the Christian view of the * * ' ' ' c * as concepts denoting a pair say. we postulate an underlying ground or substrate for all the Both terms. Ousia means something the unity that embraces existentiality the whole being. hypokeimenon (sub* jectum in Latin). ' ' But this subjective connotation of subject as equivalent to the ego is a late phenomenon .148 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV with atman. The contrast leaps to the eye when we compare this antique meaning of the term subject the * * with the common everyday one which allows us to apply it to the human being as a person and. We are accustomed to use subject and object of opposites analogous to. a noun formed from the verb like '. shall we or consciousness and what it is conscious of. of man in the cosmos there appeared the modern opposition between the knowing Self and the external world or Not-self. existence and essence of things a word charged with all the overtones. of that * * something calling it which ' Aristotle is made *. sensible qualities of things and events in the world. But the fact of the matter is that until modern times it was only another way of expressing the fundamental category for which the term subIn respect of this category stance has established itself with us. This complete * and objective indicates a revolution reversal of subjective It can man's view of affecting reality and his place in the world* be traced back to the first centuries of the Christian era when classical philosophy itself took a religious turn. Hence by the term Aristotle himself coined. the Indian term for the Self. subject is of our whole as true words. but if you go back to the Greek terms fixed by Aristotle you will c ' c ' see that the Greek word substantia. nature. the Self and the Not-self. but also the problems. Latin are translations of Greek and literal into substance.

Brahma and it were of itself. the Knowing Subject is thought of as an impersonal or. contributing to the evolution of the European spirit lie behind that statement of Hegel's. Erdmann. J. with their fundamental vision of the unity of all life. p. But the individual did not find himself personally face to face with his God . 77. to be a of the fundamental formulation to all gnosis. what dominated in this life-relationship was the alike. has the equal And the radical religious Subjectum ou Tame meme. faith and Christian In India. Lord ? " Judaism and Christianity : " What is my Self." thinker of the igth century. without tension. better. p. the quest for the Self is even less personal . " Leibnitz. The ego of the " This apparently thing I am I know not 1 of the sense of self personal expression proved. Kierkegaard. the founder of monadology. Here too the development that invested the 'Self' with its metaphysical status was rooted in man's relation to God. happened as became the principle of philosophy before ever the idea of the individual soul was reached. 6456. namely that vessel He O on the contrary. but it is to be regarded as something its absolutely self-subsistent. thought poetic self : individual's speculative interest in the nature of man and God This is already evident in the Rig.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT 149 self-contained individual soul.Veda. likewise pointed out that truth is subThus the various historical factors Greek philosophy jectivity '. Opera philosophic^ ed. which is open only to not to the surrounding world. 1840. sense-perception. dwelling in ail things ? " but the objective : And equally in the answer which defines this Self as the * Knower of knowing *. which requires us to combine Subject and Substance. supra. who re-established c evangelical Christianity. however. are also * included in the concept of knowing '. 2 In the Upanishads. seeing and hearing. Cf. This is all the more striking since the Knowing Subject is not conceived purely as a thinking being . a view that lays stress God and on man's inner tion : life. the combination of the two Atman. . altogether quit of 1 1 empirical tie with Leibnitz. The intellectual element in knowledge is implicit in sense-perception just as it is in the highest flight of thought . it does not take the subjective form familiar in " What am I in Thy sight. . on the other hand. originally discrete key-ideas. supra-personal generality completely detached from the individual ego. think of that astonishing verse where the poet gives utterance to the riddle We " What in the moment of spiritual vision God enters into the has graced.

is meant is the amorphousness and at the same time the uni* ' ' paradoxical image in the Master's last too close our testimony. seeing in the cleavage between mind and matter the turning-point of philosophy but is simply the principle of unity and wholeness contrasted with the multiplicity of the phenomenal world and its inherent dualities. itself when we examine the points of difference between the brahman-atman speculations and Kantian philosophy with which is which pure Spirit. Oldenberg. with which we formity or unalloyed purity of consciousness our negative compound shall c infinite '. p. pp. let alone the spiritual. The true Self means of a very discourse. to unworked Uncarved Block '. 16. Philologically it is explained that prajna means cognition more in the vague sense of knowing or being conscious. IV. i. thinker of thinking '. nature of the Self. on account of its simplicity and originality. IV. Schr. * Gf.. The intelligential mass.. BAU. material the * it is the positive of . Phil. Allgem. op. 2 Nevertheless there is to our way of thinking a certain discrepancy between that image and the subjective nature of the Self. contradictions and sufferings. if we are not mistaken. 12) the compound is vijftanaghana. p. so vividly expressed by the ever-recurring formula that reduces the psychic functions of the body as well as the intellectual acts to a * This discrepancy resolves seer of seeing. compre- the various aspects of cognition. 5. 13) prajnanaghana. 4. IV. In Chinese metaphysics we the metaphysical Absolute is only points to the fact that the idea of spirit does not stand in opposition to the idea of matter as we habitually think. That is the tremendous abstraction all on which the Indian idea of Pure Spirit rests. In one version (BAU. 75.. But what. 15. 1 To our mind this image seems to contradict the subjective. d. they seem to have so close an affinity. Die Weltanschauung der Brahmanatexte. 141 ff. 22. II. of ' . as its attributes. in the other (IV. 7 II. spirit. : come across a similar image likened. since it is the 1 The discourse has come down to us in two versions. and 21 . pp. i. 121-5 . 67 f. Jacobi. Gesch. But cogitation. hending This highly abstract idea is illustrated by is here described as a mass of knowledge '. dt. quite literally a lump of knowing. with Deussen. 3. even where they form compounds with atman or purusha.I5O THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV the perceiving and the thinking individual as well as with the manifold contents of knowledge. in our texts the two words are used interchangeably. According to Yajfiavalkya the unknowability of the true Self rests on the subjective nature of spirit. ds.. ' ' also Dilthey's interpretation of mystic pantheism in his account of Hegel's youth. 2. or rather on the subjective position it occupies in the realm of knowledge. whereas vijnana means discriminative thought or exGf. Hegel's definition infinite life as in his early theological writings . Of. 4.

The general concept of consciousness as awareness of something else implies a fundamental though seemingly simple distinction. it is present Such subject or subject of knowledge '. a. We can in we put ourthis way make life and life in general. 4. and a pure or the multifarious contents of our individual transcendental consciousness. itself constituting form whereon knowledge and totality of all the possible contents of experience. though they satisfied the Hegelian requirement to a certain extent. we express by For. For. but rests. from the first. always behind it there stands the seeing eye. but. We have to distinguish between that which is present to us as object of c Knower of knowing . Conscious of myself. . IV. and through which. justify the fundamental distinction between the empirical consciousness we have of ourselves and the world. Starting from a metaphysical and religious conviction about the Immanence of the Tran- scendent they employed intellectual distinctions solely as a means to transcend. when we seek c 5 saying to 1 seem exceedingly know ourselves selves in the position of the object. consciousness as such. and to it goes back HegePs statement that everything depends on grasping Truth as subject and substance at once. since it is void of all the content iBAU. we occupy the position of the subject and that is and remains necessarily so. This transcendental consciousness postulated by Kant led metaphysics to the notion of an Absolute Ego as the philosophical principle. These reflections. III. I am at once subject and object of consciousness. However wide the scope of consciousness. 14. the limits of human finiteness. II. the ego is no longer the ego of the individual. 151 unifying principle of " knowledge. applied to our self-consciousness. as knowers. . neither individual nor anthropological nor yet determined in any the way all as to its contents. an object of knowledge.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT all . gradually and methodically. had be true and valuable. the knowing mind. a distinction. You cannot know through the knows all ? How should the Knower be known ? " l The same thought can be found in the modern exponents of transcendental Idealism based on Kant's epistemology. They searched for the atman been felt to in order to reach a Reality which. 4. makes the well' ' * known reality mysterious. 5. which you will never be able to get round. 15. considered as Knowing Subject. The Hindu metaphysicians were not interested in which embraces the these merely epistemological problems. How know Him Whom one * ' ' the ego as thinking thought and that to which.

Yajnavalkya's great discourse. full of substance. the climax of brahman-atman speculation. On the other hand we cannot just make a clean break between the philosopher and the religious thinkers who lifted the idea of Deity above the sphere of personal gods and thus created a religion without God. so full indeed that we may well speak of an Substance streamed into it from religion. are strongly aware of the difference between philosopher and priest. was. which we know to be a characteristic type of contemplative life half-way between religion and philosophy. a * theoretical atheism '. all-embracing. Subject. deriving from a later stage of developIt is at this point that we ment in East and West. Consequently. since it requires us to disregard the whole empirical content of knowledge. We Europeans. There are. objections to this . been a special and highly personal form of intellectual life. Metaphysical speculation thus enters a new phase. omnipresent. that individualizes man and makes him what he They attempted to shake off the bonds of individuality by immersing themselves in the depths of the Self until the bottom is reached : the groundless Ground where atman. simultaneously bears witness to this shifting of the ideal from this world to the world beyond. intelligential mass '. as it is sometimes called. In this dilemma we are inclined to compromise and lump the metaphysics of the Upanishads with mysticism.152 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV is. Accordingly the true Self is accounted not merely the ultimate Reality but the f * in bliss highest good or. for those who conceived it. to use the religious term. he takes farewell of his kith and kin in order to lead the life of an ascetic. for the true Self is other-worldly because detached from all life-relationships. (dnanda) * the sensuous erotic sense of religious ecstasy as well as of otherworldly bliss. from the time of the Greeks. Spirit is one with the unknowable. unifying brahma. the idea of Pure Spirit. which in India was originally one with philosophy. The sage puts on the garments of the saint who has renounced the world . w begin to question the philosophical character of Upanishadic wisdom. whose home is not on earth. incredibly abstract to our way of thinking. The philosophical idea of the Knowing Subject gives birth to the theological dogma of a divine Spirit or undying soul that glides into the human body from outside and remains imprisoned there during the brief spell of individual life. for whom philosophy has always. however.

to an immediate sense of the divine. they went behind our dogmatic theology and over-scholasticized philosophy. and this. compensating this. the unity of all life. and detachment from the bonds of the flesh in union with the All is ranked as the highest good. an indication of the real purpose of human knowledge. In the next section we shall be quoting passages from Meister Eckhart's sermons. in the other he is the typical Brahmin. cannot be altogether suppressed . As to the aims. in practically all the old texts dogma is bound up with a certain promise. there were in fact critics whose work played an important part in the revival of philosophy in the West . A dream bliss.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT 153 customary cataloguing of Hindu metaphysics in its pristine form. But what is true of that it made a passage for itself midthis return to the origins way between religion and philosophy cannot be applied to the initial metaphysical movement when the familiar schism between And when we examine this movethese two did not yet exist. among the great representatives of speculative mysticism in the early and late Middle Ages. like sacrificial magic. for them. or thinks one experiences. we find thinkers that these elements concern not so much the nature of those first metaphysical stirrings as the psychological conditions that pro- duced them and the aims they served. and more than reward King Janaka lays himself and his kingdom at the Brahmin's feet out of gratitude : for the holy teaching priestly and the recipe for spiritual liberation. wealth and fame. coincided with metaphysical knowledge of the Absolute. where the merging of the * ' Self made of knowledge individual's own life in the (prdjna A psychologist would say that the . imparting instruction to the Prince his patron and receiving in exchange a handsome reward. under the heading mysticism '. does two great expositions Yajnavalkya appear as a champion of asceticism . which shed light on the rebirth of metaphysics from the spirit of mysticism. Particularly revealing in this respect is a parable in Yajnavalkya's first discourse. indeed. his delight in earthly possessions. but one very different from the dream of other* * worldly mystic element lies in the emotional states where one experiences. Care for personal salvation naturally occupies first place. knowledge of brahma In only one of these brings with it the fulfilment of all desire. though not perhaps so categorically as with the mystics. ment for elements which may be compared with mysticism. It comes natural to European ' because. At the same time man's habitual fear of death and.

intrinsic value. 5. these abnormal states differed but slightly from those prevalent among medicine-men and shamans. Because consciousness is extinguished in it.154 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV 1 atmari) is likened to sexual ecstasy. the underlying thought being that in this empirical life of ours we are separated from the One all-embracing Spirit only by reason of our individual selfawareness. 21. on the contrary it is genuinely philosophical. " IV. much favoured closely connected with asceticism. who brought this This symbol. or the Buddhist and Christian monks who have rendered an account of But from the historical point of view we are not their transports. Samjnd means here. is the gateway to a life beyond in the full beatitude of the divine. . of waking life. It is associated in the following texts with mystic pantheism. " After death Yajnavalkya announces the liberating doctrine : attaches to deep the old texts in with most of this concurring dreamless sleep points in the same direction." * iBAU. Among the Vedic priests. therefore. There is nothing at all mystical about this idea . since ecstasy and techniques for inducing those abnormal states which help to secure divine feeling a gift of the moment in the possession of the Knower. all very much alike at all times and in all places. cit. Jacobi. the life of the universe." 2 The meaning he not of an actual return to the original What is so highly valued here is not the mind's quiescence unity. 13. visesa-samjnd. self-mortification are only two different is religious trafficking with invisible powers to an unbelievable pitch of spiritual intensity. 3. deep sleep is a symbol of individual life slipping into there is no consciousness. Cf. It is in this sense that. with the significance he attached to his feelings in so far as he interpreted them in the light of his loftiest notions of the We shall try to single out such of these feelings as have divine. itself the distinguishing mark of our life in the world* Death. its self-recollection from the distractions and interests but merely. BAU. by the mystics of a later day. consciousness of one's own personality. at the conclusion of his last discourse. as Shankara was undoubtedly right in saying. from whatever dark depths of the psyche they may have arisen. so much as with what man has made of them that is to say. op. concerned with these states.. p. 9 . which puts an end to self-awareness. the starting-point of Hindu metaphysics . attached the idea of the Spiritual Subject in which the metaphysical movement culminated. if IV. One of these is the intuition of the unity of all and to this is life.

unsatisfying to the intelligence of a thinking man. once had struggled for supremacy have ceased to be superhuman forces and become the protagonists of typically human views : the view of the average man who delights in the life of the senses. he announces that the quest for the true God then causing such perturbation among the Indian thinkers coincides with the quest for the true Self. and even then all he receives is an inadequate answer.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT 155 This low estimate of waking consciousness. this stage-scenery sets all heaven and hell in motion. Three times the game of question. the supreme deity of the period of Hindu theology lying between Vedic poetry and the Upanishads. and each time there is a gap of thirty-two years between question and answer . is here represented as the founder of the very teaching that was to oust him from his paramount position . as we can see from the remarkable exposition of it in the passage we have placed between Yajnavalkya's two great discourses. Despite the fact that the God-seeker is embodied in the erstwhile king of the gods he is modelled throughout on the Brahmin. whom Prajapati had ousted in his turn. and has only to prove himself ripe and ready to receive instruction. but is clothed in mythological form. who gets the knowledge he seeks from a teacher possessed of it. and the king of the demons betakes himself to Prajapati for instruction together with the king of the gods. is not a necessary part of the Upanishadic conception of the spiritual subject. only in the fourth and last period of study which ends with the communication of the true teaching is the gap reduced to five years. And in the F* . here represented by Indra. Prajapati. strictest intellectual and moral discipline. Indra. however. it is Although com- The gods and demons who pletely devoid of religious feeling. inadequate answer and further questioning is repeated. From this fantastic conception of a discipleship lasting for more than a century we can see the real matrix of philosophy in India the quiet. and the view of the God-seeker. Before Prajapati instructs him Indra has to remain for thirty-two years in holy discipleship. * * here branded as demoniacal . His call is heard by the Devas and Asuras. The passage is not associated with any historical or legendary person or situation from the Upanishadic epoch. the gods and demons. or so it seems for in reality his teacher is testing him to find out whether he will desist from his questioning prematurely.P. protracted activity of contemplation and mutual meditation to which those with the requisite gifts were trained : under the D.

neither does he know the other creatures/* The extinction of our consciousness of Self and the world is. knowing dream. guides introspection towards the true idea of the Self* The atman at this stage is expressly * termed * the highest purusha (uttama purusha). ' demoniacal view there occurs in the thoughtful man an inturn' ing of the mind. a symbol of the individual's immersion in the life of the universe. happy brahma. We meet " it again here. step by step affording access The degrees of self-knowledge to the realm of the invisible. . the question being what that something is. for When oneself is fast Prajapati declares no and serene. regulated by the psychological idea of purusha.. without desire. so that the journey ends in Pure Spirit. emphasis is laid on the fact that the highest knowledge is not to be snatched at one leap but comes as the reward of methodical endeavour. This is not to say. 13. with the deepening or broadening of the mind. is Purusha. the voice serves only 1 Chand. and can thus be set up as the In opposition to this principle of the sensuous outlook on life. here it is equated with the equally primitive idea of the Self as the bodily individual. generalized consciousness which must always be conscious 0f something. and. VIII. which is necessarily a concomitant of our awareness of the world. ' : I will say this/ is Self. immaterial. . This state is described with astonishing succinctness in Yajnavalkya's final answer about the true Self * : He who in the eye He looks through the eye at the world. passing through them. The problem here is rather the nature of that pure. without suffering. We observed that in the Upanishads dreamless sleep is the highest state of all. Up. which now relates to the phenomena of dream and dreamless sleep. that is asleep. He who knows for speaking. for this thinker. as one might suppose. is heightened in the realization of true Self. an idea we rediscovered in purusha . that is Self. 4-5. that personal consciousness.156 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV answers given to Indra we can tion of the idea of the Self. the nose serves only : for smelling." But Indra is not satisfied with this : " Oneself in * 5 dreamless sleep does not know I am Self . not an advantage but a defect. the subject of knowledge. in contra* ' c : diction to Yajnavalkya's teaching that individual consciousness ends with the individual. the seer the eye serves only for seeing. which the Indian thinker reveals in the systematic course of his instruction start with the ghost-soul '. who knows ' I will smell this/ is Self . As also see the progressive spiritualizain Plato.

: He who knows And looking eye. transferred direct to the ungraspable and indefinable Subject. 23-30. since there is nothing apart from him.' is Self. Both in its logical form and conceptual content it exhibits essentially philosophical features markedly different from the florid language of the 4 BAU. lies beyond the sphere where there is anything like an object of consciousness. they point to the transcendence of this all-embracing subject of knowledge in a typically Indian way. IV. thinking and knowing. But since deep sleep is for the Indian thinker a symbol of transmundane bliss. no second ? no resounding sequence of eight form. it is yet the seer that sees not . where it constitutes the empirical element in The description that Prajapati the conception of Absolute Spirit. the ear serves only think this. For the hallmark of psychic phenomena intentionality or the turning to the object of knowledge is. It is expressed in the characteristically logical form we call dialectic . exalted above waking and sleeping . At this point metaphysical knowledge of the Absolute emerges in full clarity. 3. to like intellectual acts. Modern an c I will psychology. who defines the spirit that wakes in the ' * He applies this formula not sleeper as the seer who sees not '. those sentences refer to the Absolute Subject. tasting. touching l Though seeing not. But what could he see. . and he is indestructible. so far as it considers consciousness to be of psychic phenomena.' is Self. for the Subject without a second \ the Applied to the sleeper all identical in this only thing that exists. I will hear this. together with all the teeming contents of empirical consciousness. the mind is his divine through the divine eye of the mind he enjoys all his desires in that Brahma world. us of consciousness sheds gives pure light on that paradoxical saying of Yajiiavalkya's. for there is cessation of seeing in the seer. in of form at the key-idea psychology metaphysical beginning of Hindu philosophy. We meet this intentionality '. holds that the essence of the psychic itself consists in a directedness to the object of consciousness in a word.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT ' : 157 He who knows for hearing. smelling. we shall be examining this later. only expresses the apparently sentences. trivial fact that the Self as vehicle of psychic life is continuous despite the shutting off of consciousness. while at the same time the whole basis of this * transference is removed. but also merely essential characteristic c ' to the sense-perceptions that are shut off in sleep : hearing.

1-2) a Mystic Pantheism is : The Principle of World-unity (Brahma) the Self (Atman) in the Heart of Man This whole world is Brahma . greater than Heaven itself. all works. the unspeaking. looks outward. Hume. Ananda Coomaraswamy. He who knows this has no more doubt. whose form space. or a grain of canary-seed. on top of all. Ed. Faber. Thus spake iSa^dilya. This is the Atman that is in my heart. the unspeaking. which derives mainly from Hillebrandt and Geldner. seeking the run among things that die. himself into the entangle- undying. He whose nature is is thought. Yeats. E. greater than the earth. 1937. Oxford. containing all tastes. containing perfumes. greater than the sky. containing all desires. on every height. Into that I shall enter on departing hence. in the highest worlds beyond which there is none higher. 1 The versions that follow are mostly of a very composite nature. encompassing this whole world. Of a man is made of will. (Chandogya. Therefore truth worship is Self. encompassing this whole world. containing all works. reference was made in some instances to a version privately prepared by the late Dr. B. not into himself. smaller than a grain of rice. does not (Ka{ha. From the Upanishads 1 God pierced the windows of the body outward. P. repentance. The Thirteen Principal Upanishads. 1934> and S. worship Brahma as truth. containing all perfumes. III. . whose soul all is is breath. desiring immortality. 14) And the light that shines beyond the sky. the unconcerned This is the Atman that is in my heart. THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV On that account it can be viewed on its own merits. Full bibliography in Hume. greater than all these worlds . or the kernel of a grain of canary-seed . so shall he become on entering that other world. The Ten Principal Ufanishads. this is Brahma. but also of that strange belief in the transmigration of souls which gave the redemptive religion of India its peculiar physiognomy. deliverance and bliss. Containing : Sa^dilya. The two main English sources used are R. containing all desires. has looked back and found The ignorant man runs after pleasure. IV. whose body light. or a grain of barley. man therefore Now and again a daring soul.158 unio mystica. whose aim truth. the unconcerned : This is the Atman that is in my heart. detached from its religious context. regardless not only of the specifically religious categories of sin. With whatever will he departs from this world. but the wise man. walks ments of death . and to the German version used by the author. Swami and W. containing all tastes. or a grain of mustard-seed. In addition.

13. He is not to be seen. One should is know what What is There is is there. . while Brahma (= Atman) the World-soul and the Principle of Knowledge made a great sacrifice and distributed who had come from the provinces Brahmins many of Kuru and Panchala. they name him mind. . drive them away. they . and such and such a . name him speech hearing. VIII. knows him not. 159 that light to see is the same as the light in the heart of man Beautiful and of great renown is he who knows this. " . like the fire in the fire-sticks. : shape *. King of Videha. stars there. " Then Yajnavalkya said to his pupil Sam&ravas. He desired to know which of the Brahmins was the most learned in scripture. body. they name him All these are only the name him breath when speaking." And he drove them away. in this city of Brahma. sun. Just as one finds (cattle) by a footprint. in the whole world outside. So he herded together a thousand cows. 7) This world was everywhere the same till name and shape began then one could say c He has such and such a name. the Self. Let him be worshipped as Self. and said " Let him who is the best among you drive away these cows. moon. whatever is Heaven. 1-3) Breath. Self entered into everything. earth. wind. He is hidden like the dagger in its sheath. said Yajnavalkya. names of his actions. each with ten pieces of gold tied between her horns. . 7) In a this lotus. are " you" the wisest among us ? " " I All honour to the best Brahmin ! replied Yajnavalkya. when seeing. III. When they he is breathing. everything is (Ghandogya. . Self is the track of all. Whoever worships him as the one or the other of these. they name him eye when ear when thinking. . . and whatever is not. in whom all these become one. like I.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT . (Bfhadarapyaka. my dear. or the Vehicle of Universal Life. fire. : b The its Naturalistic Interpretation of World-unity is is cosmic equivalent. there is a little house shaped and in that house there is a little space. a priest of the court of Janaka. costly gifts to the : : wisest among us " ! ASvala. . Janaka. who knows this ! (Chandogya. lightning. Even today all things are made different by name and shape. i. 4. wanted the cows." : . there ? Why is it so important ? as much in that little space within the heart as there . even the tips of the finger-nails. for by it one knows all. " How dare he call himself the But the Brahmins were angry. Wind. for he is divided. for in the one or the other of these he is divided. so one finds all by its footprint." But the Brahmins dared not.

. speech the handmaid." " Yes.e. and although one. Self. III. 3.l6o THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS to question him. i) Kaushitaki said spirit : " same mind is 1 I. it goes to the wind." Who is the one god ? " 5* " Breath. i and 8-9} The world All is made of three things all names spring from speech . Breath snatches all things to itself. 9. One . When the sun goes down. the Transcendent. it goes to the wind." ? " " " " " " " " " are the three gods ? The three worlds ." Yes. Breath snatches all things to itself. as ? is " " " " " many are there really. the vital functions. eye the watchman.. Here the immortal is veiled in the real : breath is the immortal. 1-4) The spirit that breathes is Brahma. Wind snatches all things to itself. but how many ." ? Two. So much for the gods. IV. II. it is yet one ." he said. shape. name." Of this the messenger. all : works from the Although the Self is made of these three." Yes. but how many are there really. i . among the selves." Yes. Wind .. Now for ourselves. but how are there.. They are the veil of the Self. Yajnavalkya are there really. . everything grows. his mind to breath. it is these three. 1 Breath. it goes to the wind. they contain all these gods. When water dries. Yajnavalkya " " " " " " " " " " " Thirty-three. i. Who (Bjhadaranyaka. Why then is it called one and a half? " Because as the wind blows. ear the announcer. These are the two snatchers to themselves : among the gods. They call him Brahma. Yajnavalkya are there really. When the moon sets. . his ear to breath. (Brhadarapyaka. IV " Three hundred and three and three thousand and mentioned in the list of the hymns to all the gods. When a man sleeps. his voice goes to breath. and work* shapes from the eye ." Who is the one and a half? " Wind. it goes to the wind. (Ghandogya. Yajnavalkya gods " Then Vidagdha Sakalya began " ? How many three. name and shape the real. 6) Wind snatches all things to itself. Yajnavalkya are there really. his eye to breath." The wind is one." Who are the two gods ? " Food and breath. I. but how many how many a half. but ? One and Yes. (Kaushitaki. the purifier. Yajnavalkya ? Three. When the fire goes out.

become one with this breath. " Some say that the breaths form a unity." " Do you choose for me. from the gods the worlds. ear. He looked round. so long is there life. son of Daivodasi. possesses and quickens . But breath. choose whatever you wish. the senses). but do not find it. the knowing Self. sounds. they " I am the breathing spirit. at one and the same time. from the breaths the gods (i. by his valour and prowess arrived " abode of Indra. yet one lives witness the crazed* Arms are cut off. Through breath a man may win immortality even in this world . . thoughts. Speech and all names go to it." " Mark and understand when a man is asleep and sees no dream. Speech disappears. Mind disappears. c ' : . Whoever worships me as life. . . the breaths make each of these knowable. the name of a thing through speech. yet one lives witness the deaf. saw nothing but himself. All breaths think with the mind when it thinks. as immortality. and the thought of it through the mind. Eye disappears.e. I deem that to be the best for know me .IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT l6l Pratardana. as immortality. legs are cut off. 2) c Spiritualization of the Monist Principle In the beginning the Self was alone. " All breaths speak with the voice when it speaks. For otherwise one could not know. in the body ." : me. All breaths breathe with the breath when it breathes. yet we see that one lives. its shape through the eye. its sound through the ear. so on waking from this Self the breaths disperse each to its station . VIII. All breaths All breaths hear with the ear when see with the eye when it sees. . he is (Kaushitaki. yet one lives witness the blind. 1-3) So. dwell they Together Then Indra " : Know . eye. Breath is the knowing Self. it hears. the knowing Self. all go to it. the knowing Self is breath. that should mankind. Ear disappears. mind. the body . Life is breath. through knowledge. for they are led astray by falsehood. He had the form of a man. all creatures pass daily to that Brahma-world during sleep. (Ghandogya. breath is life. " So it is/ 5 said Indra. You know Pratardana answered him at the beloved : : what is best for mankind said ." thing he said was Purusha. But. ** As from a blazing fire the sparks scatter in all directions. Indra said to him Pratardana. " But there is an order of rank among the breaths. 3. will reach the full span of life in this world and life incorruptible and everlasting in the next. III. yet one lives witness the dumb. like men who pass over the spot without knowing the hidden treasure of gold that lies beneath. together they depart. The first " That is how the word I came It is I. Therefore worship me as life. truth. So long as breath remains in the body. acting as a unity. with ail shapes.

transcendent Brahma is the Person in the right eye. Whoever of the itself: knew So it was with the seers. : . that. existent Brahma is the shining sun. and men were born. (Brhadaranyaka. immortal. existent form. He was as big as man and wife joined together divided himself into two. Purusha became afraid " " Then Since there is nothing but myself why should I be afraid ? his fear left him . static. transcendent form. Purusha. immortal. he became what he knew. Thus he created everything down to the ants. Everything except breath and its seat in the Self is his bodily. IV into being. mortal. the transcendent. she became a ewe. : creates his own being in that creation. immortal . he an ass . Purusha. they joined and hoofed animals were born. I produced it all from myself.1 62 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS " Therefore even now when a man It is I ". (Bfhadarapyaka. I." Thus it became all. Wind and sky are his bodiless. gods so with men. 9-10) Brahma has two forms static. transcendent Brahma is the Person in the sun. The essence of this bodily. static. first is . . mortal. I. he a ram . male and female. He wanted he a companion. as Yajfiavalkya used to say. 4." Such was creation. static. The essence of this bodiless. She became a mare. dynamic. Breath and its seat in the Self are his bodiless. dynamic. . she became a she-ass. and then give his name . He lay with her. dynamic . and thus man and wife were born. addressed he will ." She became a cow. mortal. . bodiless . existent. The essence of this bodily. mortal. Of a truth. so he was unhappy. And what is the shape of that Person ? He is like a saffroncoloured garment^ like a white woollen garment. As a lonely man is unhappy. She became a she-goat. She thought How should he lie with me after having produced me ? I will hide myself. He knew " I am this creation. for he is the essence of existent form. for he is the essence of the transcendent. Everything except wind and sky is his bodily. for that is the essence of the existent. fear comes when there is a second. existent Brahma is the eye. static. by what knowledge did Brahma become all ? In the beginning the world was Brahma alone. immortal. transcendent. he a goat . And indeed he who possesses this knowledge : say : . he a stallion . 4. like red cochineal. Now for the Self. for that is the essence of the existent. So much for the gods. The essence of this bodiless. he became a bull they joined and cattle were born. mortal. He thought loneliness creates fear. 1-5) If by the knowledge of Brahma men think they become all. dynamic. they joined and goats and sheep were born. immortal. there was nothing to fear. transcendent form. man is only half himself the gap is filled by a "wife. It knew only "I am Brahma. : bodily. dynamic.

takes on the shape of whatever it consumes. They call him the nothing Reality of the real '. All things that draw breath are real. fell silent. so the one inner Self of all things is unsullied by ruptions the evil of the world. The wise know him in their own Self . breath is your Self. yet sun. son of Chakra. is not sullied by the outer corof the eye. or know the knower. Brahma as " Not this. As the wind. son of Chakra. 3. : ! " ! : c 5 (Bj-hadaraijyaka. He is that As the fire. the Self that lives in the hearts of all." " Your own Self lives in the hearts of all. living in the hearts of all. what Self lives in the hearts of all ? " You cannot see the seer of seeing. 4) . He that breathes out with the breath is your Self. living in the hearts of all. what Self lives in the hearts of all ? " He that breathes in with the breath is your Self." " * ' " But. living in the hearts of all. He is your Self that lives in the hearts of all. (Bfhadaranyaka. who is Brahma. He that breathes up (aspires) with the breath is your Self." " It is What an explanation Ushasta. the immortal. Yajnavalkya." you " " But. Yajnavalkya. in the That Person on whom the worlds rest. beyond whom none may go. or think the thinker of thought. All else is vanity. 8-12) d Spirit. discovered as subjective in the phenomenon of con- sciousness. so the takes one inner Self of remains outside. but remains outside. that is a horse * Now explain to me like saying. the Self that lives in the hearts of all. yet ! dreams of the sleeper ? remains outside.IV like I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT 163 He who knows there is a flame of fire. things takes on the shape of each. not that " signifying that describe They ! Brahma. like the white lotus. III. all on the shape of whatever it enters. they and no As the others eternally rejoice. this. V. He is the one ruler. or hear the hearer of hearing. like a sudden flash of lightning." said Ushasta. the eye of the world. though one. He that breathes through you with the living in the hearts of all. nothing higher." " I have told your own Self lives in the hearts of all. 1-6) like c Who is awake. though one. II. his glory flashes like lightning. son of Chakra. so the one inner Self of all things takes on the shape of each. (Ka^ha." Thereupon Ushasta. the pure. but he is the Reality of them all. said * This is a cow. becomes the absolute and impersonal Subject " Yajnavalkya. the Spirit seen eye to eye and not out of sight. explain to me the Spirit seen eye to eye and not out of sight. the Self of all. the One creating the many out of one. who fulfils all desire.

no river. . and the moon " is set. and the fire has gone out." he answered. crops forth on his ionrnev. no pleasure. Yajnavalkya. but by emanation he made it . and inasmuch as he approaches the world beyond. does his work and returns. sleepless he watches the sleeper. the Immortal. Yajnavalkya promised to grant versing offering the king any wish. goes forth. For world and the forms of " When he takes on but when he departs at " when he death. Standing in this between world he surveys both the world and the world beyond . what then is the light of man ? " " is by the light of It his he is answered. but by emanation he " own No radiance." " the sun is set. goes forth. does his work and returns. made " * it. said in the verses : Sloughing the body in sleep. and the moon Quite so. this world and the world beyond. Forever the same. He As is is the maker. began with this question desire. does his work and returns. and the king chose to ask questions according to his Therefore Janaka." he answered." " Quite so. chariot there. he sees ever more clearly the evils of the one and the joys of the other. a man rests. who is the light in the heart. The sun is his light. but by emanation he made it ." " Quite so.164 'THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV what is the light of man ? " Yajnavalkya. what then is the light of man ? " " It is by the light of the fire Fire is his light. solitarv swan. and himself breaks it and re-shapes it. and the fire has gone out. Yajnavalkya. and speech is hushed. Yajnavalkya. what then is Quite so. " It is by the light of the sun that a man rests. goes forth. Purusha. as though a body at birth he is joined to infirmities. no lotus-pool. " " silence the To Janaka. He has in truth two stations. " It is by the light of the moon that a man rests. King of Videha. and dreams : to keep in But when once. as though wandering in thought. King of Videha. that a man rests. the. no joy. But when the sun is set. Golden Purusha. what then " is the light of man ? " " It is by the light of Self that Self is his light. returns to his station. and a third between the world of dreams." speech that a man rests. : wandering in joy. Then this Person shines in his own light." he answered. goes forth." " But when the sun is set. Yajnavalkya. does his work and returns. the solitary swan. *' When he falls asleep he takes with him the matter of this allcontaining world. came Yajnavalkya meaning secret wisdom. goes forth." " What is that " then asked the King of Videha. they were consupreme at of the the sacred fire. no pond. But when the sun is set and the moon is set. Self? " It is the Person amid the senses who is made of knowledge. he moves through both worlds. no delight." he answered. But when " is set. no road. Speech light. Leaving the lowly nest in the keeping of breath. " the light of man ? " The moon is his light. does his work and returns. falls asleep he goes beyond this in his no team of horse. death he casts off these infirmities. Pumsha.

nor outcast outcast. nor baseborn baseborn. he hastens back through the place of origin to waking awareness. since there is nothing apart from him. nothing cling to Self. there he has gone beyond sorrow. But nothing can affect him. and he is indestructible. " For the body has those conduits called Hita. or delighting in women. for no cessation of smelling in the smeller. no there second ? . no second ? " Though is smelling not. nor thief thief. many forms. free of evil. But what could he smell. yellow. for he has gone beyond all " is sorrows of the heart.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT 165 God-like. creates visions. known good and evil. scripture no more scripture. trampled by elephants. in his dreams now rising. like a hair divided a thousandfold. gone hither and thither. But nothing can affect him. since there is nothing apart from him. deep and " That is thehighestwithout form fear. But nothing can affect him. so in the embrace of the Knowing Self this Person knows naught of without or within. that is his state. mother no more mother. nothing cling to Self. and filled with white. overcome. sleep folds his wings. enjoyed himself. " There father is no more father. wearies and self. they never see '. known good and evil. nothing cling to Self. blue. falling into a well . gone hither and thither. . green. Just as a man in the arms of the woman beloved knows not what is without. so Self hastens to that where he desires no desire. it is yet the seer that sees not . hither and thither. he hastens back through the place of origin to the dream of the world. so Self hovers between dreaming and waking. Self his sole desire that is no desire . and he is indestructible. through ignorance. he hastens back through gone the place of origin to the dream of the world. " Having taken his pleasure in the dream of the world. Therefore it is said that we should not wake a person suddenly. gods no more gods. or beholding terrible Men Him " for it is see his pleasure ground. worlds no more worlds. But what could he see. " But even as a falcon or eagle. nor child-slayer child-slayer. nor hermit hermit. " Having taken his pleasure in waking awareness. There good and evil can no more follow him. . dreams no dream. or dispositions . hard to heal a man when Purusha has not returned to him "Having taken his pleasure in the world of dreams. " Even as a great fish glides from bank to bank of a river. flying in the aether. perils known when awake or he imagines himself a god or a king or the whole world. and red. Laughing with friends. There all desires are satisfied. now falling. Though seeing not. so minute are they. it is yet the smeller that smells not. . It is because of these that he sees himself killed. known good and evil. enjoyed him. nor mendicant mendicant. enjoyed himself. in all this he creates. drops down to the eyrie. what is within. for there no cessation of seeing in the seer. free of desire.

therefore we stay. They stayed with him for thirty-two years in holy discipleship. Prajapati said : into the bowl of water. dressed and adorned. obtains all his desires is in all the worlds. hears. fearless. Who free from sin and sorrow. his will is truth." " " then is the Person seen in the water. and adorned." " into a bowl of water. one sees another. That is immortal. O king. his greatest wealth. That Prajapati said : is Brahma. whether " god or demon. they said : ** Self is free from sin and sorrow. and adorned themselves and looked into the bowl of water. or in the mirror ? Who " Self is the same in all places. " An ocean of seeing. there no cessation of tasting in the taster." his utmost joy. But what can he taste. hunger and thirst." it : and " finger-nails. knowing. decay and His aim is truth. decay and death. so we are there washed. know him. IV." " and adorn yourselves .1 66 " THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS Though tasting not." Wash. Find finds and knows him. dressed. Find him. One without a second such is the Brahma world. shall perish. 1-32) " : Self thirst. his final goal. know him. with folded hands. since there is nothing apart from him. That is Brahma. fearless. that is Self. : ! . his will is truth. thinking." " The Person seen in the eye. What do They looked Prajapati said " see ? you" We see all of ourselves exactly doubled. Whoever They go without finding Self. Look at yourself in a bowl of water. it is IV is yet the taster that tastes not. smells. : (Brhadarariyaka. All other creatures live on a diminution of this joy. dressed." With a light heart Virocana went back to the demons and told " Look after yourself. hunger and 3." light heart. tastes. then tell me if you do not understand Self. no second ? l " Where there is another. dress. When Prajapati asked them wherefore they stayed. All the world knows that these were your words . and he is indestructible. even to the hair and : : The gods and demons heard said Come. obtains all his desires in all the worlds. take care of yourself them his philosophy 1 And so on for hearing. follows their philosophy. His aim is truth." " That is Self. man's highest path. : They both went away with a Prajapati eyed them and said without knowing Self. So Yajnavalkya instructed him." that Self through whom Indra from among the gods. then look They washed. touches. knows another. Virocana from among the demons. went to Prajapati. Prajapati said death. thinks. without letting one another know. him. touching. Who finds and knows him. " What do you see ? " Prajapati said : " As we are here washed. That Prajapati said is immortal. let us seek one obtains all one's desires in all the worlds.

to weep. neither does he know the other creatures. Then Prajapati said " He who moves about happy in dreams. I will explain more. since you went away with a light heart ? " " Indra said Though the body be blind and lame. I see no good in this. lame and crippled when the body is blind." Indra went away with a light heart. He is not touched by the defects of the body." Indra went away with a light heart.IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT and 167 Whoever looks after himself desires in all the worlds. I see no good in this. does not believe. I see no good in this. If the body were dead. Prajapati said Wherefore have you come back. dressed and adorned. is not slain when that is slain. Yet he seems to be chased and slain (in Wherefore even today the sacrifice. fearless. " Back he came with folded hands. yet this Self is not blind and lame." " Back he came with folded hands. But even before he had " Oneself in dreamless got back to the gods. Yet he seems to be chased and slain (in dreams). so is oneself blind. Prajapati said Wherefore have you come back. But even before he had " got back to the gods. I will explain more. Indra saw the snare I am Self. that is Self." takes care of himself. That is Brahma. fearless." " Even so is the Self. is not crippled when that is crippled. dressed and adorned when the body is washed. He is not touched by the defects of the body. neither does he know the other sleep does not know He is like one destroyed. oneself would be dead. Prajapati said Wherefore have you come back. is called does not : : : : : dreams). I see no good in this. is not crippled when that is crippled. another Prajapati : When oneself is fast asleep. to suffer." " Even so is said the Self. serene. If the body were dead. I see no good in this. dressed and adorned when the body is washed. thinking they will reach the other world. oneself would be dead. lame and crippled. I see no good in this. That is immortal. lame and crippled when the body is blind." " And he stayed Stay thirty-two another thirty-two years. They deck the body of the dead with gifts they have begged. Indra saw the snare : Though the body be blind and lame." : " Back he came with folded hands. He is like one destroyed." creatures. that is Self. since you went away with a light heart ? " " Then : years. to weep. That is immortal. : is not slain when that is slain. obtains all his man who does not give. since you went away with Virocana with a light " heart ? " Indra said Just as oneself is washed. so is oneself blind. demoniacal. to suffer. happy and Prajapati said knowing no dream. for such is the philosophy of demons." And he stayed another thirty-two years. dressed and adorned. That is Brahma. yet this Self is not blind and lame." : . Stay another thirty-two Prajapati said years. But even before he had got back to the gods. Indra saw the snare "Just as oneself is washed. : c : * Oneself in dreamless sleep does not know I am Indra said Self. lame and crippled.

etc. Yjfi." me immortality ? Give me your knowledge instead. 157. present life. hearing this Yajnavalkya exclaimed the and dear are words beloved.e. " Wind . is Self." On 1 I. Yajnavalkya had two wives. is after this there for one hundred and one This mortal body is in the toils of death. Thus spake Prajapati. on was a discourser sacred Maitreyi knowledge . is Self . Truly there is no escape from pleasure and pain so long as he dwells in the body. your life would only be like the life of the wealthy. bodiless Self. only " for speaking. 7-12) Of the two. the ear serves only for hearing. Let me settle my possessions upon you and Katayani. He who knows * : I will smell this 1 *. the voice serves only " He who knows c : hear this *. So long as he dwells yet in the body he is in the toils of pleasure and pain. lightning. but hear my words with attention. In wealth there is no hope of immortality. IV Stay another five years. body has no body . is Self . Maitreyi and Katayani. supra. then. (Chandogya. He obtains all his desires in all the worlds who finds that Self and knows him/* : " He who knows I will think this divine eye." said Maitreyi. they appear each in his own shape." " What." " If I had all the wealth in the world. the eye serves only for seeing. p. . the nose serves for smelling. Likewise when that blessed Self rises up from the body and reaches the highest light.1 68 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS " Even so . All the world knows that Indra stayed with Prajapati in holy discipleship Prajapati said : I will explain more is the Self. is Self . and retire to a life of meditation. Katayani had just a woman's wisdom. is Purusha. cloud. He who knows c : I will say this I will * '. " The gods adore him ." answered Yajnavalkya. he appears in his own That is the highest Purusha * shape. . : my " Dear you are to me. But when he is bodiless. the mind is his '. should I do with possessions that Maitreyi said : " cannot give lord. . the seer in the eye . the divine of the mind he enjoys Looking through eye all his desires in that Brahma world. Come. " ** I am going to renounce this Maitreyi. Then "years. my you say." said Yajnavalkya. it make me immortal ? " " " would Certainly not. and thunder have no but when they rise up and reach the highest light. making one hundred and one years in all. nothing. pleasure and pain do not touch him. sit down and I will explain . " He who has the intention of smelling ". Prajapati said : seat of is the the immortal. " He who looks through the eye at the world. therefore they obtain all their desires in all the worlds. Cf." And he stayed another five years. " . Now Yajnavalkya was about to begin another mode of life.

a As the sounds of drum cannot be understood apart from the drum and the drummer as the sounds of a conch cannot be understood apart from the conch and the blower as the sounds of a lute cannot be understood apart from the lute and the lutanist . . it is for the love of Self that all is dear. incantations. the nose the one resort of all scents. sacrifices. poetry. " Not for the love of wealth is wealth dear. the one resort of all scriptures . it is for the love of Self that a husband is dear. thought. Arising with them. " World abandons him who knows world apart from the Self. heard. sciences." I "I am amazed. my beloved. this Great Being is a mass of intelligence dissolved in His creatures. II. power. the eye the one resort of all colours. an ocean of consciousness boundless and infinite. the hands the one resort of all works. being dissolved there. . " all is . it is for the love of Self that wealth is dear . speech " As when a lump of salt is thrown into the water and. heard. mystic known. : doctrines. " As the sea is the one is no consciousness Maitreyi said : after death. " Gods abandon him who knows gods apart from the Self ** All abandons him who knows all apart from the Self. . but wherever the water be taken it is found salt .IV I THE INDIAN APPROACH FROM THE SUBJECT : 169 is a husband dear. " So. " Not for the love of the gods are the gods dear. mediMaitreyi tated on. aphorisms. Maitreyi. . . " Not for the love of the wife is a wife dear. " world. my I there is no consciousness. oblations. . to hear that after this Self. this world and the next." death Verse 12 from the secondary rescension at BAU. commentaries. 1 understand not lord. explanations. the heart the one resort of all knowledge. abandons " Religion Power abandons him who knows power apart from the Self. When this Self is seen. legend. ! known. " Not for the love of all is all dear. " Not for the love of children are children dear. chronicles. the anus the one resort of all wastes. meditated on. the ear the one resort of all sounds. Then spoke Yajnavalkya " Not for the love of the husband . . the mind the one resort of all thoughts. Sama-veda. gods. from this Great Being come Rig-veda. " Religion. He disappears when they disappear verily there : These are His breath . and all creatures. it is for the love of Self that children are dear. " It is Self that must be seen. the feet the one resort of all journeys. cannot be grasped again. resort of all waters. food and drink. it is for the love of Self that the gods are dear . . ** As clouds of smoke rise up from a fire kindled with damp fuel " So. it is for the love of Self that a wife is dear. the private parts the one resort of all delights. the tongue the one resort of all tastes. 4. so is the skin the one resort of all touches. all that is. him who knows religion apart from the Self. is the Self. thought. Yajurveda.

where. how and whom could one touch. the task that was solved in the case of Greek philosophy by the classical philologists of the igth century has hardly been tackled in the case of Chinese philosophy the task of preparing critical editions of the most ancient traditional texts for scientific study. suffers no hurt. how and whom could one hear. Yajnavalkya answered This Self is imperishable. as we shall find to be the case in Greece. IV." After these words Yajfiavalkya departed. does not vary. my beloved. because He does not grasp . touches another. how and to whom could one speak. because He does not attach Himself. thinks of another. is immortality. we have the fragments from the Book of Heraclitus and the doctrinal poem of Parmenides ready In China the philosophical lore dating from the earliest to hand.170 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS : IV " What I say is no matter for amazement. hears another. " How should the Knower be known ? " Maitreyi Thus I have instructed you and thus. knows another . not to be grasped. one sees another. 5) beloved. but where all has become one Self. not to be broken. because He does not break . times is such that one may well doubt whether a metaphysical movement on the Indian or Greek pattern is discoverable at all. non-violent power . speaks to another. a mass of traditional text handed down from of old which bear unmistakable witness to the metaphysical movement at the outset of philosophy. (Brhadaranyaka. not that . thanks to modern scholarship. how and whom could one know ? How know him by Whom one knows all ? " The Self is not this. of its own nature indestructible. not attached. and the perfect society is modelled on the divine world-order rather than on * * power-relationships ] In China we do not meet. smells another. how and whom could one smell. " For where there is duality. as we do in India at the time when the ancestral religion was collapsing. how and whom could one see. When we turn to modern scholarship for information about what is known at present of the beginnings of Chinese philosophy. He is unbounded. Nor do we meet the work of a great individual who embodies this original movement for us. how and of whom could one think. ! 2 [ THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY reign of the Absolute The among men * is seen as the * operation of a dispassionate. In the material that is accessible to us we have first of all to pick . As yet this doubt envelops us and threatens to block our path.

advent It the idea of national unity during the centuries of political dis- In the territorial States. sources before we let the texts speak for themselves. social The centralized feudal State in which the old Chou culture had flourished had been crumbling ever since the end of the 7th century. Jap. date fits in with the historical conditions we know to be was an age of political. on the analogy of the Hapsburg Emperor Maximilian I. for : the scene gives us a point of the time of the beginning of Chinese known when Kung-fu-tze such being the ' uncorrupted name of the Old Master of the House of Kung lived about 500 B.-deutsche f. echo the moving plaint of a royal tutor. of In this breakdown. Chou * * 1 Zeitschrift * G. according to tradition. but still sufficiently strong to symbolize typical of philosophy's and religious unrest. trans. Waley. in fighting each other for supremacy. chin. Moreover. his * floruit is known more exactly than that of any of the other great ' The thinkers or founders of religion in early times. was the spiritual authority a mere shadow of power. Kobe. 1925. Die Rekonstruktion d. III.C. . The Book of Songs. the feudal order of engaged society had broken down : Confucius was the contemporary of a ruler who.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY 1 71 tradition out the authentic portions which point to an early metaphysical hence some sort of orientation is needed about the . No. that wonderful collection of ancient songs which has already given us a picture of the compact politico-religious views of the old Chou dynasty. The later portions of the Shih-Ching. Historical Survey The appearance of Confucius on reference. All that remained of the union of temporal and spiritual power that marked the ruler of the Middle Kingdom as God's vicar on earth. It also gives us it is c philosophy. the chronicles have come down that signs to us from the 7th and 6th centuries there are accounts of disreputable Princes who no longer believed even in the spirits . A. 243-70. now emancipated and integration. Wissenschaft u. 1 The monotheistic been the creed of the ruling classes in the older We can still see the State. has been called religion that * had the last of the knights *. broke down with the monarchy. Haloun. pp. but we hear the voice of the age above all in its poetry. 551-479. to wit. who says that the young men of his day * only make mock of the teachers of the old ways and have the 2 presumption to think that everyone has a right to his own ideas '. Technik. Urgeschichte durch die Chinesen. 271.

reared me. occurrence : Than to live the life of the common people Better to have died long ago . just as classical Greek philosophy did in the Western hemiBut when we enquire into the philosophical foundations sphere. x. It is Heaven. No. mother fed me. . A. disintegration he saw going on all round him. trans. of its maxims of conduct. Brought Their good deed I would requite. . not I. s The Book of Songs. p. that is bad. in a manner that was as outspoken glorious. Philosophic. III. Cf. III. judging by the historical effect his teachings Confucianism became the mother of humanism in the Far East. thought on : cannot stop until it has reached valid knowledge/* 3 Confucius' appearance at the beginning of Chinese philosophy may serve as the supreme example of a movement of thought grounded in life With his ethical teachings he set his face against the itself. that he was no metaphysician. p. me up. 35. According to the current view one thing little as we know for sure about him stands firm He did not venture. Waley. supra. ? alone destroyed My My father begot me. Confucius' position at the outset of philosophy becomes rather more problematical. Hackmann. G. and reflection leads to doubt. 45. at that In one of these poems the problem of the theodicy crops up. : l 1 Shi-Ching. time certainly no uncommon ! . recriminations directed not merely against princes and ministers but against God himself : Why this curse is of Heaven ? ? l Where the favour of the spirits A nobleman who has come down in the world is shown meditating his fate. bred me. Why am Other people I all prosper.172 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV But the book also contains the tragic utterances of people bowed down under the calamities of the time. Chin. Cf. 1927. 283. tended me." He goes " If life is to maintain itself in the face of doubt. her Kept eye on me. as it was had. and he accomplished the philosopher's task of giving man a new sense of security based on knowledge. 2 When tracing the way from : life to philosophy we kept our eye on that characteristic process which we meet again here and " which Dilthey describes thus Everywhere life leads to reflection on its assumptions. Led me.

. Was Confucius Agnostic? *Analecto% trans." 2 By the Ancients he means the old Chou culture that had flourished 500 years before and was now in the process of dissolution. but not records. instead of basing his ethical and political doctrines on : metaphysical or religious concepts he based them on history. last its historical least. limiting his view and his interest purely to the human realm. one rock of security Confucius. It is not so much said as taken for granted that his thought. . begin with. . however. As a leading American sinologist has recently said : In the shifting sea of doubts on which we who study Chinese thought find ourselves. Le the civilized world. T'oung Pao. we are faced with the more general problem of the philosophical character of the Chinese beginning. the ideal he always had before him. but elaborated with * He welded particular subtlety in China as the li or ritual \ these traditions together The superior person *. from tradition : its poetry. essential to light of his moral ideal. its morality and fine forms of conduct so characteristic of every old aristocratic society. there is. A. for the all-round education from within by interpreting them in the and thus made them essential ingredients * which is an awareness of the continuity of culture and a responsibility for tradition. paying not the slightest : . vol. This is clear enough from one of the most famous of his sayings " * I have transmitted what was taught me without making up of anything my own **. ideal incarnate. VII.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY 1 73 or rather he had no desire to subject the relations of things to individual scrutiny. of that organic age. his his school imbibed the on spiritual products acting impulse. I have* been faithful to and loved the Ancients. at least. together. its customs and. if we may believe most writers on the subject. heed to things c metaphysical '- 1 More. Creel. 1 To H. i. As we have already indicated when sketching the national view that grew up in that epoch. Waley. walled-off civilization that had once held the Chinese States. G. we understand Among those certainties of which the majority of writers on Confucius are convinced. perhaps none is so unquestioned nor so universal as the dictum that Confucius was agnostic. Confucius saw in this high. which had been an age of faith. the moral and political He or. XXIX (1933). positivistic. crabbed of his school rather traditionalism acquires seemingly another aspect when we consider that the later developments of * * Chinese philosophy lie in the direction of the nascent moral of the sciences.

because we have no direct access to Confucius. 1911. was split into a number of conflicting schools each struggling not merely for the right doctrine but for political Oral tradition gave rise to a collection of the influence as well. I. Philosophic. Instead The problem of writing. Von den Gestaltungen der Personlichkeit. 5 of philosophical import hardly existed in China before the * 4th century B. p. it repre" the views of an early Consents.C. as was also the case in longer for a : different reason there the priestly wisdom India. 1 1 . 7 f. 2 inherent in the apparently unmetaphysical of Chinese beginning philosophy is difficult to attack. Analects. in that saying attributed ' I am a transmitter. aph. All the same this trait is not as characteristic of him as it is of Socrates. is generally recognized by modern critics to be the most ancient document we have of Confucianism . by personal association with his 3 pupils. Fung Yu-Lan. 4 Phaedrus. op. also A History of Chinese Philosophy. note to VII. in Nietzsche's words.174 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV a problem summed up. the so-called Analects (Lun-Yu). keeping pace with intellectual advance. in the compilation Weltanschauung. who was enjoined not to make up anything but merely : to transmit '. Master's sayings which were later absorbed into the Confucian Canon. cit. Religion. with whom he has often been compared. when the intellectual situation altered along with the political and social. 1937. 2760-2773. p. conception c who.* In the China of Confucius* day it was not yet the custom to write down the teachings of a wise man the use of writing seems to have been confined to State documents and * much The oral tradition persisted in China than in Greece. He wrote nothing himself. as " Plato called it. and philosophy. Waley. like Socrates. may pupil anew ". 53 f. Gf. 20.. Socrates chose the living and inspired word '. Berlin. as Waley cautiously puts it. Writings political and historical records. that is to say. who lived in an extremely literary age that had long been familiar with even philosophy in verse and prose. The comparison is elaborated in an essay written by the present author. He worked only as a teacher. intervenes in the world with his It is more consistent with the class-conscious absolute will \ l * aristocrat. as in a formula. before the period of the Warring States (403-221). not a creator/ Such an to Confucius ill a with our of utterance accords great philosopher. Fung Yu-Lan. which the teacher implants in the soul of his bear whence that it the seed will sprout ever fruit. fucian school that may have been fairly close in time to Confucius 5 a Beyond Good and Evil. or the greater part of it at least. This book. though was regarded as too sacred to be committed to writing.

lasting from the 5th to the 3rd century B.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY 175 himself". Waley. a process which eventually led to his canonization. 220. We get the measure of Confucius' greatness in the historical effect aforementioned. The picture which the book affords us of the Master's personality gives us scarce an inkling of his true greatness. that is. not to say one can still discern the rationalistic basis of the moral idealism associated with the name of Confucius. moralistic interpretation of the Book of Songs. up to the unification of China under the great Empire which the so-called first Emperor Ch'in Shi-huang-ti. towards the end of the creative period of Chinese philosophy. " teaches his pupils how to behave towards their elders in the and their family superiors in public life. Confucianism consolidated its position and came to represent the national view of life and the Empire that lasted Confucianism fulfilled world. The Master himself was now looked up to as a sort of supernatural being. as was said with some exaggeration. which was truly prodigious. 1 inconsistent. Loc. It gained momentum only some centuries after the death of the Master. who at that epoch formed only one of these schools and were distinguished from the other half-dozen more important ones as the (j). by It is like Memorabilia. a function similar to that of Stoic philoin Roman the sophy Empire about the same time.D. on Chinese philosophy in Chambers Encyclopaedia^ 8 . who. * 5 . and about the way of gooda ness by which the kings of the legendary past had ruled ". i.. 1 Only momentarily was article it thrust into the 9 background in new ed. and also about traditional institutions and ceremonies. again in Waley's words.C. pillars of the old educational tradition. sit. the conflicts of the * Hundred Schools \ The Confucians. founded by force in 221* With the conclusion of the power-political struggles between the separate Chinese States an end was also put to the anarchy of opinion characterized. He appears there as an inculcator of noble virtue. Although the book is unsystematic. Despite many changes of fortune.e.. ' ' knowing of Socrates only through Xenophon's China produced no Plato. who owed their philosophical culture to the Greeks. Thus in the Chinese pacified world literati under the Han Dynasty right up to A. 1947. about the allegorical. took precedence over all of them and were determined to knit the * * into a spiritual whole. * In contrast to the Roman lords of the earth *. the Chinese themselves produced the philosophy that society required for its government.

a bare two hundred years after the Master's death. after the Sung Dynasty. In view of this historical development it is tempting to stick to the widespread view that Confucius. picture of of circles attitude certain high-ranking Confucian officials in Another picture shows the ancient sage as a period. laid down in a number of sacred books. But the long-lasting the actual multiplicity of philosophical effect of his teachings also led to the memory of the historical Confucius becoming obscured by the various pictures that arose of him when. in the upheaval following the barbarian But Confucianism held invasions. when metaphysician metaphysics became a ratiocinative science (li hsueh). undertaking attempted by * * of the term Confucianism means not merely the teachings to resolve the universe into Master but. scholastic sense of the word. were elevated to the State religion. owing compared with the European Renaissance but which set in conThe siderably earlier. in the later. Buddhism swept the country. its own even in face of this Salvationist religion to born of Indian spiritual metaphysics. what amounts to the same thing. like the term Christianity '. the so-called Classics. 1000. the pillars of culture and the champions of Humanism .D. Yet even in the old days. in due course. or. One such It reflects the positivistic that of Confucius the agnostic. the official system of ethics and paedogogics. The union of beginning and end in the figure of one man invests the traditional aspect of Chinese thought with a repose. who is regarded as the originator of philosophy in China. which tried the Sung an abstract intellectual pattern an the The so-called Neo-Gonfucians. which we would do well to bear in mind when studying schools. never completely overthrown. about A. were consciously a new movement which may be resuscitated became the adherents of Confucius. the Master's teachings. the diversity of intellectual trends passing under his name had been analysed by the most outstanding thinker ' . . the functional continuity of a spiritual power operating through successive ages. They retained this position for nearly a thousand years right up to the Revolution of 1911. if not a grandeur. developing and changing with them. having been popularized by the Buddhist monks' invention of printing. national traditions deriving from the golden age of Chinese philosophy. also represents Chinese philosophy as a whole. each different Confucian school ascribed its own particular views to the Master in order to obtain the sanction of is tradition. the State officials.176 the * THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS ' IV Dark Ages when.

inferior '. or the literary character of classical Chinese education.). in order of intellectual and ethical rank the ' He distinguished common the '. for the onesidedness and bigotedness that characterized both their mental horizon and their application of doctrine to a criticism he did not hesitate to level equally at the most life famous representatives of the school. however. have no doubts about Confucius supreme greatness. which aimed at holding society together. Confucians." His Tao remains the same in a thousand actions and ten thousand changes. We can judge only of the magnitude of this power the power itself remains wrapped in darkness for us because Confucius The darkness failed to project himself into a written work. and their speech and conduct were in keeping with the principles of morality. 108-119. be reduced to the coincidence of purpose and circumstance or to the part that chance plays in life. 1928. 93-6. As against these he says of the great " Confucian that he possesses the whole Tao '. H. Hsiin-tze (c. but there is manifest in them the steadfast inner power of the personality from action * 3 they radiate. Doubtless these and similar causes were at work. 250 B. such as the political decisions of rulers in this or that critical period. but only alongside the essential inner cause* For in the spiritual world great effects cannot. lasting for more than world-religions. two millenia. We too. but the spiritual movement which sustained him and in which he intervened so decisively. In the great Confucians he honoured consistent thinking and logical the correct * ' and the c ' they had the right educational system. Dubs. like political effects.** " Working through the Ancients he deals with the present. : whom 1 Works of Hsunt&. trans. and through one example he deals with a thousand. which is without parallel in the whole history of philosophy. who are far from idealizing him. Mencius and Confucius' * c grand-child Tse-tze." This ideal Hsiin-tze finds fully consummated in Confucius himself. He is the best " harmonizer and unifier in the world. To our mind it seems vouched for by the historical effect of his teaching.C. envelops not merely his personality. ' ' correct . H. and he looks forward to its consummation in the man who would unify 1 China. cannot be explained in terms of particular causes.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY 177 among his adherents. He criticized them. which made erudition the basis of officialdom. comparable only with the influence executed by the founders of the great This extraordinary effect. . whose coming was then expected. p.

In China the sages did not move in a closed system bequeathed to them by the theologians . philosophy had always played its part as a living force in State and society . knowledge as it was and always will be. pursued one after another ever the same course. We must reverse this transposition we want this sense the and let the texts speak for themselves if to catch their original meaning. We can go form some picture of the situation existing before this time. Warring States '.C. writings learning of the various philo- to the right action implicit in . c Hundred Schools c '. originating in the period of the coincided politically with the period of the No ment which. it was sustained by and intended for man himself. But it was alien to the Chinese to believe in the impersonal and eternal sort of revealed knowledge. Indian writings from which we extracted the resounding metaphysical testimony of the Upanishadic Masters were also compilations . which was venerated as divine or divinely inspired revelation and thus bore the title of The Knowledge the one sempiternal knowledge. but in them theological and philosophical speculation was a self-contained system where the individual thinkers. the wherein the Again. true knowledge was seen with an eye In c * it. Detached from the initial movement. just as we tried to do in our sketch of the pre-philosophical view of things We can also trace the line of developin the old Chou culture. the religious poetry handed down from time immemorial. named or unnamed. Veneration of the old traditions was no less here than in India. But these conceptions no longer have the form given them by the they occur in pedagogic original metaphysical movement itself formulae that lay down the results of this movement dogmatically.178 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV philosophical or religious writings have come down to us that back beyond the 6th or even the 5th century B. From a comparison of the two situations the fact emerges that the basic conceptions of Chinese philosophy arose at the time of the passing of the former period into the latter. Their orbit gravitated round the Veda. intellectual plane. and was envisaged in the moral their exemplary personalities history had thrown up. the results of it were transferred to another. as might be expected on the analogy of the metaphysical movements elsewhere. who is born in this world to act. so that their metaphysical character is no longer apparent at first . And they have come down to us as constituent parts of writings derived from a later period when the original metaphysics was hardly understood. sight. They traced the origins of culture back to the wise rulers of aforetime . later.

has shattered the customary picture of that epoch without putting a new one in its place. expressed in a very concrete and almost artistic manner by the time-honoured historical picture of two characteristic but antithetical thinkers standing at the threshold storied : . Modern historical and philological research. D. they are put together with a view to exerting an influence on the present an intention by no whom they are named work of a school means favourable stands it. unlike the Indian. and the supra-rational or metaphysical *. c ' 1 Marcel Granet. As is consistent with the relationship of philosophy to life. just as with had been amassed ever since about the 4th were in the great majority of cases named after some us. nous ne les saississons qu'une fois contaminees. almost always ously a matter of political influence. so it seemed.P. bears witness is somewhat discounted by the lack of historical reality The sense in dealing with the traditional material. examining the sources for a start. that bears his imprimatur. of of man consist the the after compilations only partially sayings critical for the most part they are the collective . Nevertheless the value set on an attitude to which this custom. the example of China seemed to be a particularly pure instance of the general fact we are now trying to demonstrate. p. O . The traditional lore to historical truth as the antiquarian underwas adapted to the tendencies prevailing at the time. to the highly questionable procedure whereby each school appropriated to itself the operative portions of the other's learning. .. in all innocence start with the early appearance of metaphysics in China and collate the Chinese beginning with the Indian . so that the most heterogeneous material found its way into the compilations. from the natural exchange of ideas. led. As a modern scholar describes the textual " situation Of most of the famous Masters all that remains is the name or apocryphal works The authentic works we date from the a last days of possess period riven with controversy. while on the other hand modern ideas were projected back into the past and hitched on to some famous and name so as to lend them an air of authority. Simultanewith this the rivalry between the schools. indeed. . 1934.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY 179 sophical schools B. S'il y eut des doctrines originates.C. Even twenty years ago one could. following the views then current. This duality was. namely that philosophy has a twin starting-point c the rational. 422. century outstanding thinker." * This is particularly true of the records from the dawn-period of philosophy. Pensle Chinoise.

Boddc. The c Old Master is probably a legendary figure. has destroyed the old picture and given 1 of its The Tao Te Ching. This old sage was rated an older contem- porary of Confucius. once plausible proof literary origin. and to have won a place for itself One had only to pick up this book to find knowledge at the dawn of placing of the two sages side by clear evidence of metaphysical this philosophy. Gf. The term c literally ' way '. who is supposed to have lived in the 4th century B. is of still later date. probably about the beginning of the 3rd century B. represented the rationalist trend and Lao-tze intuitive metaphysics in the form of a mystic pantheism that seemed akin to ancient Hindu to speculation. and tS means the two go together just as. and is counted * designated ' Cf. The unknown editor who put the book together it thus in order to give it the appearance of ancient but the literary fiction resulted in Lao-tze being regarded wisdom. small in scope but uncommonly rich in content. trans.D. This book.C.. was altogether too simple and artistic to be historically true.l8o THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS : IV Confucius of Chinese philosophy Confucius and Lao-tze. critical research Modern Originally the book was called Lao-tze. The famous title. . Chinese philosophical literature to have been translated and since very early times in the Confucian Classics . D. where he rebuts H. . But the symbolism side at the beginning of philosophy in China. A. 4. modern civilized languages by the comalike. as a of document regarded original metaphysics. it has been much admired for its It is the only book from the whole wide realm of profundity. Walcy. Giles* attempt (1886) to relegate the Tao TS Ching to the later Han dynasty. op. as the author. A poetico-philosophical work was its * ascribed title : him which disclosed metaphysical status even in the tao> Tao Ti * * Cking. where it has been known since the eighteenth century. evolved from the basic concepts of Chinese metaphysics.C. about the 5th century A. in pantheism. Reference is there made to Chinese writings in which the problem *937> P *7 was discussed as early as the i8th century. 1 . The Texts of Taoism (Sacred Books of the East. re-translated into all the petent and incompetent in world-literature. which simply means Old Master '. p. Fung Yu-Lan. has China enjoyed no less a reputation than and in Europe. was written not at the beginning but towards the end of the creative period of philosophy. stands for the in the extra-moral sense of virtue Absolute. XXXIX). Intro. though possibly he is the reflection of a certain Lao Tan. also Legge. cit. It was a sublime thought. the divine power Ground and the unfolding of divinity in the world go together. The Way and its Power.

2 It had all the appearance of historicity. Chuang-tzu makes him undergo this experience by bringing him face to face with Lao-tze . in the 4th century and shows with Chinese modifications It all the typical features of speculative mysticism.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY l8l among the founders of Taoism. as it still is in popular lore today. and the flier shot by an arrow. pp.C. '/. but Confucius yields the palm to the superior spirit of the mystic.). 107-8. however. Today I have seen * Lao-tze. contrasting the diswith the more tinctly intellectualistic approach of Confucius c ' 1 From the op. Waley. his derision tze. strengthened by a vision of the Infinite. scoffed at Confucius Thus of the school. As one of the most eminent Chinese scholars has recently said. too Hstin* himself. finding the core of religion in the inner experience of the soul's union with God. ' ' Biography (c. By this latter term is meant the trend of that mystic thought sprang up in China. the swimmer hooked. and can only liken him to the dragon. so that Lao-tze was regarded as a contemporary of Confucius. saw parasites. the so-called unio mystica an appears to inspiring vision which required ascetic practices for its induction. Yet the runner may be snared. " I know that birds can fly. which forms the beginning of the historian Ssu-ma Chien's Records 8 145-86 B. Behold the dragon I know not how he rides on the wind through the clouds and rises to Heaven. was Chuang-tzu. . Among the leaders of cthe Taoist movement ' a mystic who extolled the silence of the soul and who was at the same time a philosophical writer comparable with Schopenhauer. he castigated them as the outstanding representative the common * Confucians. We man who becomes aware of his Confucius likewise he depicts as a limited if very learned limitation through the experience of something infinite. The Lao-tze legend was as firmly rooted about 100 B. not least in the tart controversialism of which he was a past-master. evidently under Indian influence. since the conflict between Confucianism and Taoism has pervaded the whole history of Chinese philosophy." These humorous tales were later taken for gospel. had an example of his literary art right at the beginning of this book in the Allegory of the Autumn Floods. The Confucians above all were the butt of brilliant . man may burst the barriers of the ordinary view of life and the world. fishes swim and animals run. where he shows how. Chuang-tzu. be a manner of thinking peculiar to highly cultivated who have groups emancipated themselves from the traditional religious beliefs..C. of Lao-tze.

Karl Joel. a view presupposes two things the 4th century points to Indian influence in its of concentration and its ascetic practices. Hence there is no danger of our tracing the philosophical conception of the oneness * of the universe back to the spirit of mysticism as one is tempted to do in India and even in the case of the Natural Philosophy of the early Greeks on the analogy of the European Renaissance. 2 is ' The problem polytheism of India and Greece. himself a mystic. 1 Hu ALL CHINA . movement of Number of World Review. See supra pp.C. 31 and 63. Basel.1 82 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS rationalistic IV pronouncedly of Lao-tze all ' : " and almost anti-intellectualistic attitude Between these two extremes are to be found the other great schools of Chinese thought. is how the connection between metaphysics and mysticism grew out of the ethico-political monotheism of the older Chou period. Rectoratsprogramm. 1942. the historical fantasy. anticipated the idea of unity. was characteristically up in arms against all forms of intellectualism. are questionable. sexual technique Both assumptions of regulated breathing. 2 Cf." l The endresults of the historical development were projected back into its beginning.. The connection is shown up in the clear light of history Mencius in the 4th century B. Such * One ' : firstly that metaphysics and no independent Chinese that are identical. and this in an The question ethical sense quite opposed to mystic pantheism. of special significance because a definite monotheism preceded philosophy in China. We have already rebutted the confusion of metaphysics with mysticism in the Indian beginning of philoTo fit Brahminical sophy. as distinct from the initial when we come vaguely of * to leader of the school next to Confucius himself. Thus the simultaneous appearance of the two most representative thinkers at the outset of philosophy is more the invention. etc. But even with the dissolution of the Lao-tze legend the problem of the metaphysical movement in China still remains. Shih. of a great humorist who. secondly mysticism so far as can follow it the Taoist since we metaphysics exists. for Taoism is generally * counted as the sole vehicle of metaphysics in China. 5 speaks mystic tendencies in Mencius which are supposedly reducible to the influence of Taoism . 1903. the best-known For in China monotheism. conventionally ascribed to mysticism. The answer takes us back to the metaphysical origins of Chinese philosophy. The History of Thought in the Sept. the art hygiene. Der Ursprung der Naturphilosophie aus dem Geiste der Mystik.

C. Mitteil. doctrine of the nature of Tao was legend the only thing left for Taoism is its general relationship to primitive religious practices from which mysticism may perhaps be derived. though it changed the metaphysical knowledge of the mind's infinity into a mystic : experience. was "inundated with Indian and western Asiatic ideas''. 152 f. such as occur or the illusion of it : practices of a magical among the Shamans or medicine-men. p. The origins of Indian influence. becomes still more evident when we examine the period through which we have Taoism debatable. LXX. vor C/r. thus one of the most access to the . Sprachen. Waley. in so far as this is a method of bringing about the union of the soul with God order. to immerse itself in some ineffable experience. cit. equipment. Only at a later stage of spiritual development is the real nature of the cardinal difference between them revealed in the light of Buddhism. 3 1 a XX t . 6. 3 When Taoism was still relegated to the dim past one could look for an indigenous religious source . since Indian metaphysic derives from the subject's turning back into himself. which lies in the discovery of the Knowing Subject. in Zcitschrift der Dcutschen Morgenland. Gonrady... * A. Gescll. Jahrh. Seminars f. By and large we can say that mysticism in the sense * of a purely spiritual or inner religion that goes behind faith in personal gods and thus behind cult and dogma. A. Erkes. already China of the 4th century B. Berlin. 156.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY 183 speculation into the sphere of religion seemed to us to foreshorten its philosophical significance. Conrady. For Buddhism is a on based even genuine religion metaphysics. From Cf. 335 ff. as it were. 2 proved by the correspondence in ascetic technique . also E. %ur Textkritik des Chung-yung. In China this kind of mysticism is represented by the Taoist movement which set in about the first century after Confucius death. ascend to heaven and return with reports of their journey. (1917). p. supra. always presupposes metaphysical * * late knowledge of the Infinite and is to that extent a * phenomenon. Intro. however. who can conjure up spirits and possess themselves of their power. 146. Indischcr Einfluss in China im 4. it may appear to be only a question of words. in Asia Major VII (1932). 1 Even so. of). a philosophical recasting or 4 With the destruction of the Lao-tze projection of them ". Gf. and this is also characteristic of speculative mysticism.. movement for the prominent " modern scholars has conjectured that Lao-tze's inspired by the tribal myths of the Chinese and was. %u Lao-tze cap. following an anti-Confucianist attempt to restore the old 5 faith with the new intellectual are. p. d. oriental. pp.

in certain historical circumstances. and the Roman Catholic order of life on the Thanks other. and also that the bias in favour of practical politics was bound up with the indigenous beginnings of philosophy. This picture. between this system and the Confucianism to which it gave rise on the one hand. But the speculative substratum : the psychological point of view similar common to both finite man's knowledge of the Infinite resists such a naturalistic explanation. we have every reason to look for the preceding metaphysical movement that broke into the The analogy religious system taken over from feudal times. that picture is scarce a currency in Europe because thousand Chinese civilization became generally known in the West at the beginning . in accordance with the rule.184 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV symptoms of exaltation and hallucinatory imaginings can be found with the mystics as with the magicians the two extremes the sophisticated and the In like manner modern sceptics may explain primitive meet. speculative mysticism was of later date. picture showed us that in the political thought of the Chinese. the Tao Te Ching. During the last twenty years there has been a rationalist volte face of opinion. the metaphysician Mcister Eckhart arose among the German mystics of the I4th century. The prevalent view that Taoism alone gave a metaphysical twist to Chinese thought is plausible only so long as one has the conventional picture of Confucius in mind. as in the unalloyed religion of the : Hebrew prophets. But in China where. original metaphysical And we shall find traces again. It gained seen. precede metaphysics. We have an excellent example of this in our European philosophy at the time of its revival the end of the Middle Ages. and one which gives this negative turn of events a positive orientation. showing him as a pure and agnostic. does not stand up to criticism. As we have already years old. It was then that. following the I2th and I3th century French mystics. may serve to illuminate the point of difference. ethical monotheism was not. In the utterance of metaphysical knowledge mysticism may. and after him Nicholas of Cusa two congenial thinkers whose voices we shall hear at the end of the next section. every bit as devastating as the dethronement of Lao-tze. in that classic of the knowledge that precedes mysticism. to the picture we have gained of the political and religious outlook For that in the Chou dynasty we are ready to see this point. of Taoist mysticism. however. both metaphysics and mysticism. untouched by the philosophic spirit.

the Analects. The watch posted at the frontier says of him to his " My friends. after he has left his native State of Lu. and the care for the truth *. as though all disciples were over ? The world has long been without light and guidance. which had a sceptical ring in the matter of religion. 22 j XIV. Creel.. i. the Master's consciousness of fulfilling a mission. see H. For the passages in the Analects.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY 185 of the Age of Enlightenment . op. indeed a contrary. What it displays is the relationship between Moral Idealism and the ideal reality of the spiritual world in whose permanence Confucius In the Analects there are several sayings that express believed. cit. Analects. 1 The modern scholar whom we are " It is in what we might venture to call following here sums up the religion of Confucius that the very heart. right up to the Sung period. IX. 8 * Ibid. Confucianism was praised by the leaders of the movement. and they are in fact open to a different. La Chine Antique (1927). the late-born unless it is God's will to make that The consciousness of this kept him at civilization everlasting ? : : : . The Chinese commentators themselves. The grammatically correct reading a of the prayer-saying (VII." 2 * * This religion hardly had anything mystical about it.. of his philosophy is to be found. G. my grammatically correct whole life has been a prayer. cit." 4 It would surely : The change is indicated in H. on account of its Scholars held kinship with the ideas they themselves professed. Confucius replied is the conventional That (agnostic) interpretation. It was at this point that critical examination began. op. prayed.e." But the words can also mean and this is the reading that is " I have prayed since long ". interpretation. 1 . p. 54. now Heaven is using your master as a bell. to the picture so long because it seemed to be corroborated by Confucius' own utterances. Maspcro. Take Confucius' attitude to prayer. 3 He argues : why should the responsibility for a civilization c whose founders have long since perished. Creel. why are you sorrowful. : he was thus able to counter " Heaven knows me. Haloun. 37." The lack of recognition with same expressed most movingly in the scene where Confucius is shown at the beginning of his long exile and wanderings. VII. as seen in the most ancient Confucian document. a point discussed when one of his disciples fell gravely ill and the others asked the Master whether they ought to " It is long since I have pray for him. did not take them in a sceptical sense. above all by Voltaire. the unifying principle. Ill. The sayings are anything but unambiguous. his work despite all the tribulations his and dangers feeling is that beset him . be laid * 5 upon me. 5 . 34) is after G. 24.

philosophical method of argumentation. Analects.1 86 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV not be wrong to impute such a belief not only to the disciples. 4. 32. As Dilthey has said. in a world that had grown bourgeois probably still in the 5th century an enthusiastic champion of social reform B. II. the of an universal love which was to make end of war and evangel class-distinction. is confused with the sceptical attitude that values the Infinite. \Valey. speaking of man's imperishable metaphysical " All the greatness in history has been created consciousness for the most part by man's positive beliefs. Die Grundmotive des metaphys. as something have no negative and having no part in the shaping of life. sustaining the individual's thoughts and the * 5 5 3 * * : quiet. shallow he rounded on the Confucians whom he proofs as This shows clearly enough that Confatalists. who. Schr. namely. so as to constrain the people by fear and hope towards the love of all for alL He resuscitated the old beliefs by founding them on the new. . its actions with We wish to dispute what the most competent judges unanimously * had affirm. that the modern view of his rests on a simple agnosticism the of the which Unknowable misunderstanding knowledge superseded the traditional belief in God but which is something absolutely positive." 2 by way of reaction. power of the spirits. The stability of states and civilizations is everywhere ' ' : grounded on the living positivities of After Confucius' death there arose. but to Confucius himself. if at all. incredibly spirits .. p. Bd. Bewusstseins. Analects. but was of a philosophic tenor. p. called themselves ' ' the true knights l of the Way (tao). that Confucianism in its original state ideas to do with \ But by absolutely nothing metaphysical * * is generally understood cosmological or philometaphysics sophical speculations based on the observation of Nature. 7.C. confident certitude. or else ' * abstract theories concerning the ultimate nature of life'. 3 To our mind this seems too narrow a conception of the great * 1 2 8 VIII.98. adducing proofs for the existence of God and the and with these philosophically speaking. His aim was to revive belief in the Righteous God who rewards the good and punishes the wicked. For an historical personality of such high calibre is unthinkable without a powerful faith either religious or metaphysical. Doubt as such is sterile. Mo-tzc. and also in : human nature. stigmatised * fucius was religion certainly not the traditional patriarchal One might almost suppose faith. Ges. like the Templars of mediaeval Europe.

his opinions of men and conditions generally . intellectual vision. .P. VII. to pick out what is good and to much and take due note of it. this is the lower of the two kinds of knowledge. that gives us our frame of reference ." Or : may well be those who can do without knowledge. I am simply one who loves : : the past and who is diligent in investigating it. follow it. * which. and 27 . David Hume opposed his moral philosophy to the natural philosophy that had held the field ever since antiquity and therewith began the line of development which. only appeared in recent times. G* . And here the Analects leave us not entirely without answer. itself implicit in this union a development that * In China. . 9. cf. In our ' European philosophy the idea of a metaphysic of c a spiritual world '. These depths disclose themselves to philosophical meditation in call phenomenon we ' ' us to speak of the ' the individual's moral consciousness as well as in the life-relationships that knit society together as a State or a civilization. after the Age of Enlightenment that It was then that spelt the final end of the Catholic Middle Ages. his relations with his disciples." 2 It is hard to say whether he is being serious or ironic when he gives first place to intuitive modern European parallel is to be found in the knowledge. not a creator . it is the secularization of the religious. philosophy of life. am not one of them. and to this we must look if we want to find our bearings as regards the beginning of philosophy in China and its metaphysical character. towards the idea of intuitive understanding or. contrary points of view. led to the union of philosophy and the humane sciences and also to the historical . supra. but I " There . p. and not cosmogonic speculation. to see To hear much. where human life objectifies c life and of 1 itself. 2 Analects. secularized the religious or Christian idea of life \ where the observation of the human. A by Kant. " finds echo in other utterances : I for my part am not one of those who have innate knowledge. which also allows metaphysical ground-layer of existence.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY 1 87 historical metaphysics '. on German soil. they also express his philosophical attitude and contrast it with other. The saying that has M " been put into his mouth I am a transmitter. historical and social ingredients of existence had always preponderated in philosophy. In them it is not just a matter of the Master's teachings. 4. he says. instead of wearily climbing many steps '. 19. D. what amounts to the same thing. at once the perfectcr and destroyer of 8th century Enlightenment. 2 . wants attitude adopted 1 1 Cf. the ethico-political outlook as opposed to the mystic outlook. VII. XVI.

25). This perfection sheng. that is to say. c ' ' ' : 5 ' ' * c ' ' ' 1 Critique 8 of Pure Reason : since Leibnitz. where one of the disciples uses it to illustrate * * the key-idea of Confucian ethics. if indeed they come from him us is the fact that the typical contrast between the rationalistic and the intuitive mode of thinking a contrast which. Beyond the rational knowledge morality that forms the main corpus of Confucian doctrine there "A saintly man rises the transcendent ideal of moral perfection I cannot hope to meet the most I can hope for is to meet a man of truly noble character'* (VII. of divine intellect by those who.* It is not our business to ponder just how Confucius meant those what primarily concerns sayings. . : . sB. namely goodness (jeri). but also contrives the salvation of the whole " state (VI.1 88 ' THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS ' IV c apprehend and expound the supra-sensible object immediHe speaks with irony of the usurpation ately and all at once '. because it is not discursive like type of understanding ours but intuitive. " That is more than goodness. a metaphysic of spiritual life and yet he himself points beyond the bounds he has drawn when he declares that we can. as we saw. having transgressed the bounds of human cognition as defined by himself. This is all the more plausible in that the . But the Master. according to tradition. imagine a " which. without contradiction. is even now put forward to define the difference between the Confucian approach and Taoist metaphysics was already play" ing an important part in the primitive Confucianism of the 2 The contrast applies not only to the realm of 5th century ". The High Tone Transcendental Analysis. like the virtue of had and personality the Chou aristocrat. Yao and Shun. from the whole to the parts ". to the particular. etc. 9. proceeds from a synthesis of the general. rejoins it is more the concern of the holy man/ And in proof of this he points to the mythical rulers of aforetime. We find the case of such an ideal ruler discussed in the Analects. try to found a new to metaphysic with the aid of intuition. Waley. 28). . ch. The sage or saint is thus exalted above the good and the ethically noble \ and it might therefore seem as if the Confucian were confined to the worth of the moral idea of goodness a merely human value. the vision of the whole as such. Analects. Progress of Metaphysics lately audible in Philosophy. but also to the realm of action. which shows can be translated as holiness or god-like wisdom " when a ruler not only confers wide benefits on itself in action the common people. in the old Chou sense of politico-religious morality.

supra. can. p. they are only just above the horizon. yet Yao was able to copy it. is V while the notion aims at a suprahuman or godlike perfection. it aims rather at perfecting the human community as a whole." Inner pure play wisdom and true perfection must work out on a grand scale are This one. . But where the metaphysical or. its function is surely to lead the human being beyond himself. ruler. the central idea of goodness goes beyond the rational sphere of holiness of c ' morality. in sum. There is no greatness like to the greatness of Heaven '. yet Yao's achievements were equally glorious. . We can hear in the Analects voices preaching a purely individualistic ideal of life. the We meta-ethical rising ideas appear in the Analects. but Confucius counters them with the " Those who are only intent on keeping themselves great saying havoc with the vital human relationships. 114. is a transcendent virtue. 2 Virtues are specifically personal values attaching to the human person. yet they were not of it lord and as Great. truly sublime. From this intellectual plane there is a gradual trans- advance to the supra-rational sphere represented left by the itself mundane musings of wise rulers. But when we measure the Confucian basis of ethics against the familiar Christian opposition between man and God. was Yao. 18 and 19). 1947. * insignia of his culture (VIII. beyond the highest earthly good. 2 Gf. it characterizes a transcendent not to be attained merely by works ". rational person. if you like. The central place is occupied by pure moralism. Although related primarily to man as a conscious. the mythical Emperors and founders of culture like Yao and Shun and Yti : Sublime were Shun and Yli The world was theirs. oneness of and social morality rulership personal virtue. and points to an " absolute value .IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY 1 89 in fact derived basic idea of goodness relates to the nature of from the Chinese word for man ' man himself. say that the Confucian beginning of philosophy certainly did not consist in an ethics completely free of metaphysics. The historical problem we are 1 with explains when. the hallmark of the moral personality. And in fact the Confucian ideal of life is not exhausted in the perfecting of a personality quietly sufficient unto itself. if goodness. Waley. Hence. : : was incarnate in the holy men or godlike sages of old. the Confucian view of man shows its breadth and depth. in Chambers' Encyclopaedia. dazzling were the ! . Chinese Philosophy. So boundless is it that men cannot give it a name . as Waley says.

such as Huang-ti. the Yellow of the five sacred rulers to whom the Taoists of the 4th century ascribed their wisdom . it also gives us the names of definite historical personalities who. to which. by metaphysics at the outset of philosophy in both countries. Particularly illuminating is the comparison with Greek philosophy. We have already indicated the similarity of the two views when we pointed out that the fundamental idea of a beautifully ordered and therefore intelligible whole is common to the Greeks and Chinese alike . whom Aristotle singled out as his forerunner of Duke Chou or Kuan Chung. the permanent basis of Chinese education. .1 9O THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV instead of taking the Chinese beginning in isolation. for in their work we find philosophy beginning in a truly philosophic sense in fact Plato. Similarly we might say that Confucius has affinities with that ancient Chinese type of wise man (e. These elder statesmenphilosophers are distantly reminiscent of the Seven Wise Men who Among presided over the beginnings of philosophy in Greece. differ even more markedly from the rank and file of the cosmologists than Thales did from the Wise Men of old . them was Thales. since we have the work of Heraclitus and Parmenides for evidence. on the whole. intervened decisively in the life of the times with their Emperor. we compare it with the other initial movements immediately accessible to us. At the same time their metaphysical ideas determined the further course of Greek empiricism the ' course that was to go beyond cosmological speculation and lay the foundations of exact science. although he shows himself the Duke's superior in his leanings towards a rational interpretation of culture. These two great metaphysicians.C. statesmen and sages at once.g. Chinese philosophy is more akin than it is to Indian. for having paved the way to the rational empiricism that Greek philosophy never abandoned. comprehensive compilations of ancient Chinese philosophy is named. the most competent judge. the first reflections and political and moral maxims : names like the a famous statesman of the 7th after whom one of the most century.). the only difference being that whereas in Greece the idea is expressed in the word cosmos. Ancient Chinese tradition not only sets a number of mythical figures at the dawn of philosophy. the Duke of Chou). who rose up a century after Thales (about 500 B. called Parmenides the father of philosophy '. In Hellas its function is clear enough. its Chinese equivalent meansThis difference was bound to modify the part played civilization.

such thinking plunges into the universal ground of this reality in contrast to the scientific approach which aims at a life-alienating objectivity. by the consistency The Texts The Li Hexagram The testimony is drawn from two compilations of the Confucian school that enjoy the prestige of classical writings. compilations themselves display a lack of consistency and indeed an airy nonchalance in point of intellectual On logic that must seem very strange in philosophical literature. in contrast to the a sure sign of their creative whereas the . We shall now elucidate the ideas fundamental to the Chinese views of things in the light of the following texts. The contrast between the two schools is of secondary importance in so far as the writings. strike us. as happened in the course of the metaphysical movement. We came across this strange . in this agreeing with the interests that had dominated Chinese philosophy from earliest times. the other hand these ideas clearly go back to the prephilosophical outlook of the Chinese. the sacred book of the Taoists. show traces of Chinese metaThe two Confucian works are the physics in its pristine state. it remains bound up with the views and values that are an integral part of human reality even when. For wherever thinking is primarily directed towards human life.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY In Chinese philosophy we must admit to a gap in our knowledge at this point . is generally held to be a book of wisdom that grew out of an oracle book wisdom in the practical sense of advice Cking. social and historical. probably on the basis of oral tradition. and also from the Too Tl Ching. by the Chinese as the chief classic of their literature. but the gap concerns more the historical names and dates than the dominant philosophical ideas themselves. Book of Changes (I Ching) and the so-called Book of the Mean (Chung Tung}. these ideas are preserved. The texts in which. character exegetical matter wherein they are and compactness of their thought embedded. taken together. regarded * The / in all the difficult situations of life '.

Among intellectually and morally speaking.1 92 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV book. This canonical book is a sample of ancient Chinese compilalies in its In the course of centuries it took shape from heterogeneous fragments. Sacred Books of the East. when we were dealing with the old Chou culture. Jrvll. Here the ground layer is composed of 64 hexagrams. of the with contrasts the strangely magical figures simple aspect significance ascribed to the lines by a symbolism which. it contains passages of philosophical import which have nothing to do with the business of divination. * B. from which the In a critical analysis 1 2 Cf. of the / Ching. vol. that philosophy could ever have sprung from such a low level. ancient songs along with oracles and prognostications. 115 . commentaries which are deemed canonical. p. like one of those mediaeval edifices where you may find Saxon pillars and Roman archways amid the Gothic architecture. In those days it divination played an equally large part in public as in private life. We found it a matter for astonishment divination with tortoises. with Renaissance embellishments. * They correspond to the scores of odds and evens arrived at by The shuffling and counting the stalks of the oracle-plant. of religious practice. to us. two quite separate main components are distinguished. Finally the book is furnished with a number of comprehensive Appendices deriving from the Confucian school. referring to each individual line of the figure in question and its The commentaries in turn contain scraps of position within it. supra. .C. like the one reproduced on p. . that is. and is provided with a short To this is added a more or less elaborate commentary key. served as a handbook of divination by means of a technique that had replaced the older form of yarrow-stalks. or interpolated in it. but the Romans never achieved any philosophy of their own. by Arthur Waley. Each hexagram has its own special name expressed by a Chinese character. Thus the To this are appended. is almost unintelligible. further basic text. geometrical-looking figures made up of six parallel lines. in which certain authorities would find the origin of Chinese 1 philosophy. probably dating from the 4th century tion. The explanation of the book's philosophical the old Romans prestige extremely composite character . All are reproduced in The Texts of Confucianism. which are either unbroken or broken in the middle. 1 9 1 2 In these figures all possible combinations of the six lines are exhausted.

VII (1932). here pictured as a dragon.. instance. vol. Also in line with it is the bulk of the philosophical portions to be found in the Appendices of the / Ching. consist- basic text is amalgamated ( " : an omen ' ing of divinatory formulae in prose ". 423. Stockholm. a thunderstorm. and philosophy more* * over in the strict sense of a theory of ideas or ideology *. also held by eminent scholars. and mounts to heaven. Gonrady. 1934. but were an older type of pictogram . Asia Major. which opens the book. all-pervading. how he rises from In this the depths where he lies hid. 5. Yili-King-Studien. a peasant-interpretation text entirely in verse." The commentaries * served the same Great. verses interpolated in the under the word purpose : Heaven * we have verses about the * dragon *. originally.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY c ' 193 text or. have in fact sought in the / Ching. and a ' divination-text ' of far more sophisticated nature. the " rhyming phrases. and the explanations served the purely For logical purpose of indicating the meaning of these signs. 2 A. to the symbol for Heaven '. Accordingly the hexagrams were characters just like the Chinese names given along with them. has a rational phenomenon that the meaning of words 1 Book of Changes. as the anthropologists call it. They are made up of Confucian moral precepts together * ' : associated with the name of Plato. something distinct not only from the words themselves but from the objects denoted by them. No. an oracle-book at all but an antique form of dictionary. Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities. view the prognostications are also insertions in the original text. . manner the most formidable of all celestial manifestations. This was the point of departure for one of the most philosophically important the schools in that era of innumerable schools of philosophy School of Forms and Names. For this theory foundation in the logical forms an ideal unity. If this is so. pp. useful. 2 the basic text was not. is defined together with Heaven's most (humanly) important activity seasons called forth its : the change of 3 According to this by regular motions. 1 We shall find in either of these components. 9 Ibid. as it was called (hsing ming chio). such ' as * some authorities '. then even in the earliest times a clear field was marked off where philosophy could thrive. the scope of whose terms corresponded to the moral and political views of the Ghou epoch. 429. Such a development is in line with the intellectual advance of philosophy in that age. c ' c following explanation rightly disposing all is added : things. apart from a few stock no starting-point for philosophy According to another view.

These are regarded as emblems of tion arises direct the Light and Dark Principles which. 55. but " " also and explain all anxieties and calamities and their causes " * " all possible contingencies are represented in them ? that All this. VII. Confucius. Sect. by interpreting it In his school the oracle-book became. . like them. Round and Square. that is. The creation and classification of these and similar opposites as a typical primitive method of understanding the world is known : to us from Greek philosophy . 73. Here. Male and Female. to the observation of that fundamental phenomenon which modern Natural Philosophy calls 4 polarity '. " an ethical and cosmological treatise ". But in China the Tin. ment obviously did not spring from the content of the old book. 56. took up this recondite book with all its magic and superstition. This developwords. in Waley's morally.194 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV it with speculations concerning the origin of the world. Where specula- from the figures themselves it adheres for the most part only to the two elements constituting them. i. 11. is merely allegorical interpretation run riot. Active and Passive. Goethe remarked of this phenomenon that it was " one of the two great * Great Appendix.qualities Light and Dark. familiar enough to us from the fate of the Bible. In this table the root. ch. according to a widespread myth. as well as the historical records and the old Court poetry of the Chou dynasty. the whole of human life with all its typical situations and feelings was. however. underlie the cosmic powers. but the words have a wider significance. but from the it. 5). Hard and Soft. Sect. XI. would seem. The philosophical ideas that had been inserted into rationalist-minded thinkers did of course refer to the new 64 hexagrams. then. the broken and unbroken lines. they thought. for was it not " determine the good or bad expressly stated that they not only fortune in everything that may come to pass in this world ". perfectly illustrated by the figures . reappear among others. we have a stepping-stone from the myths telling of the conflict between light and darkness. into one of the essential ingredients of a refined education. Dry and Moist. The Principles are denoted by the terms Tin and Tang. IX. For the opposition of Light and Dark is bound up with yet other pairs of opposites Hot and Cold. the Pythagoreans devised a table often such pairs of opposites which Aristotle has handed down to us in his Metaphysics (I. indeed they accorded them a place in the scheme of things equalling that of Heaven and earth . Male and Female. and turned it.Tang antithesis served to sum up this whole scries of contraries under a single head.

Our main concern is with the fundamental thought of the oneness of the universe which underlies these speculations and. we are accustomed to distinguish as * nature and * civilization *. In China cosmogonic speculations. their * was conceived by the Chinese* It is evident that. for philosophy. only relatively late above the level of mythological much before the 4th century B. but standing out like fragments of an older tradition. unlike We which attained a high pitch of development quite rose early. who were after the nature common to everything that existed in the world. tered at random all through the assorted pieces composing this Here we meet a series of philosophical passages scat- lengthy section. aim was to comprehend the multifariousness .IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY 195 1 shall meet it again in early Greek fly-wheels of Nature "as we shall see. they enable us to see how the idea of the oneness of the universe a basic feature of all philosophy in its initial stages like the Greeks. and may prepare our minds for many of the sayings of this deep metaFor whereas with the physician. are only not thinking. have in mind word * : 1 Comment on the aphoristic essay on Nature attributed to him. It is a philosophical idea that replaced the old monotheistic religion.C. the mutability of life is more in keeping with Heraclitus than with the physical explanations of the Ionian cosmologists. so we think. the so-called Great Appendix (hsi-tu). or act as a sort of foil for them. description of the regularity of the natural processes. * and changeableness of phenomena they did not resolve empirical reality into mere percepts or vain illusion after the manner of the Indians.Tang concept plays a part in the texts that follow. Put together. the whole structure of Confucian ethics. in their the conflict between them. But they looked for the unity in multiplicity and the duration in the midst of change differently from the Greek * * cosmologists. do not find. indeed in More what the Chinese. it was of primary importance metaphysics where. ethical ideas We concerned with them here because the Tin. they were looking for the unity in and beneath the regular workings * * of the inscrutable Power that binds the polar forces together The vision this gives us of in the ceaseless flux of appearances. Clear traces of it are to be found in the most remarkable of the ten appendices to the book. the idea of Nature in the Greek sense of the When they fastened their gaze equally upon what physis. the Greek thinker lodges their creativity in their tension. . among the ancient We Chinese philosophers. Chinese the oppositcs are in a state of benevolent balance.

e. This ambiguity is not. in the form of sayings of the us a rhetorical Sage. 55 without ever acting improperly. Like it. he alone is the Sage. a sign of vagueness . is not as wide in scope as the Book of Changes. Analects. also canonical. as well c by truth ' or c ' * ' * formulated by Spinoza i in i. Some explanation is needed of the term cKeng. magnificently flowing composition whose metaphysical character is unmistakable. and thus dates no further back than the middle of the 5th century B. sift these out. the Book of the Mean is not a self-contained whole but a compilation of heterogeneous parts loosely knit together. from whom the Greek idea of Natural Law derives. as might be thought. with a consistent. . In Heraclitus. across the saying should he do so the Erinyes. but not to retire . I. : The sun will not transgress his measures . The main part treats of Confucian morality in the manner of the another.ig6 is THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV much a law governing the natural order of things as an human life the sage is above the battle. we read in the Book of Changes that for repentance ". because he knows how to adapt himself to all dualisms. to obtain. The we are longer passage left is pedagogic comments and rhetorical periphrases riddled with moral interpolations. i. Truly. Tze-sse by name. 6 Appendix IV. and . l The picture we get from the metaphysical fragments of the Great Appendix is amplified and deepened when we add to it a metaphysical passage taken from the Book of the Mean. realitas et / Ching. on the contrary the term means something very definite indeed : the metaphysical concept comprising all those significations. He alone is the Sage to destroy . but not to advance. one short and the other long. according to current opinion it is the work of one of Confucius' grandchildren. book there are passages of a metaphysical tenor. European metaphysics . to preserve and destroy. but not to let go. This book. which are written in a simpler style . us here. will find him out. we shall come not so ideal of : " the dragon exceeds symbol. handmaids of justice. and these concern . nor has it so long a history . and Confucius himself is gives picture But at the beginning and end of the extolled as a veritable saint. will be occasion and there his proper bounds " This But the Confucian commentary to this passage runs c he his bounds indicates that knows exceeds how proper phrase knows he how to preserve." Similarly. obviously later part. in one of the verses explaining the Heaven: " ' who knows how to advance and to retire. which can be translated equally as by or reality purity perfection '.C. i (35-6).

truth or reality and is a nominative form of as. 237. The whole procedure of re-interpreting something intended metaphysically. as also in the passages that precede it. unconditioned '. the phrase But the Latin word absolution has also the sense of * detached absolution. just as truth is said to be the beginning and end of all things *. infra. Side by side with the idea of the Centre we have that of Harmony. Of the Centre it is said * * y that it is the Great Root of the world *. 1917. Cf. and this is still in fact the current view. * either by V Sprachen. This fact has misled prominent scholars into placing the whole composition at the end of the first productive epoch of Chinese philosophy instead of its beginning. Set in such a context the whole tenor of the composition c 5 c is metaphysical meaning is obscured. but are indicated by brackets. so as to shift it on to another intellectual plane. a translation of the Greek TTeAecr^eVoi> .. Mitteil. ing the World-Ground and the manifest world. together representIn this sense. Similarly it is said here of truth that it is the beginning : " c 5 and end of 5 all things . It stands there like a block of granite. Cf. Here a handful of lapidary sayings are put together without any connecting words. The shorter metaphysical passage comes at the very beginning of the book. d. in translation of the Greek Kc^a>/>io/i^iw. with the result that the rhetorical panegyrics heaped on the Master seem to run on without a break.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY unum. 3 In these addenda there is an allusion to the unification of China under the new Empire. In the interpolations that run through this composition. Seminars f. Berlin. orient. and what is said of absolute reality appears to refer to the perfect man. praefatio. is typical of philosophy's development after the breakdown of original metaphysics. p. so that the passage in question can be dated. Ethics. is ' Note also that the Sanskrit satyam is properly translated ' ' * be *. since absolute amounts to perfect '. the term is taken not in a metaphysical sense but in a psychological one. also Fung Yu-Lan. 2 The Latin word or ' et perfectum J from IV. the ensuing translation of the text cKeng is rendered as truth '. * 5 * 1 Spinoza. op. %ur Textkritik des Chung-Yung. where it amounts to or sincerity '. under Heraclitus. in sat. 1 197 ' perfectio sunt familiar expression absolute reality c 2 In says the same thing. . ' being '. cit. Eduard Erkes. 5 * * In these propositions the term centre or mean (chung). the insertions responsible for that re-interpretation are left standing in the text. 370. from which the whole book takes its name. p. Jahrgang XX. 3 In the attempt we have made changed . purely on the strength of their symmetrical structure. I. its to restore the original passage. appears as the symbol for * the Inscrutable and Unfathomable. a cardinal virtue in Confucian veracity ethics. in c ' c The c I am the truth and the the sense of the evangelical saying 55 * life. the whole expressing the philosophical thought of world-unity. cf.

the universe and the * Middle Kingdom \ In its civilized world represented by the ' ' early Greek philous the following prosophy . or the great families of nobles and the people. referred to the position of the king between the Heaven above him and the earth beneath him a position of great and enabled him to maintain the balance of power in the world. the ' * organizational centre of the world conceived as a living organism. fr. Both terms are typically Chinese and at the same time characteristic of the affinity between Chinese and Greek philosophy. it means rather that cardinal point inside a whole from which radiate the forces forming and it When denotes * middle * sustaining that whole . that the Middle Kingdom was called so A ." * * universal sense the idea also crops the Pythagorean School has * up in left : Even more formation explicit is the Pythagorean conception of the interior of the circle and the sphere. Fragm. This is particularly * c * true of the term Centre *.). The circle is not bounded from outside merely. the paired concepts correspond to the distinction we in European metaphysics between natura naturans and natura naturata. 2 Cf. where they refer to Absolute Reality. that to the four directions the centre was added as a fifth that in reckoning time the Chinese devised five-year periods. " The cosmos began to be from the centre outwards. which denotes not only the Middle 5 but the point of balance. . In philosophical usage. the terms still bear the marks of their origin. In accordance with their indigenous nature we have already encountered them when dealing with the pre-philo- religious outlook of old Chou civilization. since each point along the periphery is equisimilar archaic way of looking at things seems distant from it. 323. infra. position at the same distance from the centre upwards and downwards. the term Centre does not signify merely a definite spot in space . by its periphery . since it * * * Golden Mean 5 . so far as it concerned the worldorder. or. Similarly the idea of Harmony had an ethicopolitical significance. 1 Philolaus. sophical political There the idea of the Centre. 2 The authorities tell us to have been widely prevalent in China. p. the world in its turn having the twofold sense of the Chinese tien hia (What-is-under-Heaven) namely. referring to the relationship between the ruler and his ministers.ig8 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV know therefore. 17 (Diels. to use a modern biological idea. Vorsokr. because these had a centre . the real boundary goes out from the centre. or the mean in the sense of the efficacy.

a divine form of " Who says Heaven speaks ? The four seasons go their action is : ways and all creation is brought forth who says Heaven speaks?" (XVII. For what did he do ? He watched reverently over himself and turned a grave countenance " to the south. Mencius. This still working reveals the characteristic manner in which * ' spiritual creativity itself and spiritual influence operate. The magical aura surof the ruler the remained untarnished for such rounding majesty an extraordinarily long time simply because it embodied the idea of true action so deep-rooted in the Chinese view of life. typically : wu wei or c non-action *. : spatially speak- We modern Europeans have the centre is aesthetic aspect the hidden point from which creative energy radiates and towards which the sensitive beholder must be drawn if he would understand a work of illustrated art. We meet the same point of view at the opening of the Book oj 1 Marcel Granet. all this is ' : Closely connected with the c longer deflect either way. The paradoxical formula for it action completely free of all will and purpose." direct access to this idea in its it whose place. . There. and so on. In the words of a modern scholar "In every sort of order. 19). it was assumed that there was some : pre-eminent Power guaranteeing l ing. that is. without acting. equilibrated These two conceptions of * Centre * are united because the scales * by no the ' Golden Mean the other idea of the centre. perfect or absolute action as distinct from mere doing. appeared to be central. chronological or liturgical. Penste chinoise. 103. As an absolutely unquestioned assumption this still working can be * * schools. we hear without anybody doing it. be it geographical. nothing more (XV. he says : Empire in) order. is of Heaven." And Confucius himself : Taoists coined a famous. the point of balance where Chinese held that the creative force could only work in stillness. where they are the unmoving point in the flux of appearances.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY because it lay between the Four Seas. But even from one of the " What happens of itself leading Confucians. from a background of primitive magic that can detaches still be seen It in the sayings of Confucius. traced back beyond the fragmentation of philosophy into various and is common even to those two old antagonists. p. Con- fucians and Taoists. reported to have regarded the quiet influence that emanates from some exemplary personality as the highest. 4). speaking of one of the " Shun was one who kept (the mythical Emperors of old.

where this historical change is summed up as though in a formula. but the essence is in the Centre. W. But here again the metaphysical sense of the passage is obscured by its absorption into the Confucian Canon. which thinks of world-relationships in terms of human community. though somewhat differently expressed Root of the World is untouched by emotions. state of things. waits for Heaven's appointment (ming). The fundamental the real point affinity between the Centre and effectual stillness in question is philosophy. and thus the (people of the) four quarters of the world will come He conducts his affairs reverently and to it of their own accord.52. In the canonical compilation it is preceded by a short explanation. the conflicting emotions find themselves in right relationship to the So the whole range of emotional life is represented by Centre.C. Wielding the Sceptre. he is a Sage. Liao. that amply illustrates this. those four root-emotions. politico-religious view of things and applied metaphysically. sorrow and joy '. For in human society the function of the emotions is to make individuals conscious of their relations to one another. the two pairs of complementary This is a superb example of the Chinese approach. or practising the virtue of moderation. in his Works. 1939. Accordingly it is said that ' 6 thanks to the Harmony reigning in the unfolding universe. We shall therefore set this passage at the head of the texts that follow. Cleaving to the Centre then comes to mean moving along the line midway between two extremes. 54- . So long as he does not let 1 go of the essential. 8. The Sage clings to the essential. shows how great was the change of thought that established philosophical principles in place of the monotheism of the old feudal society. What was said of the working of the divine Powers is switched to man's moral behaviour. ch.20O the . it existed before pleasure and anger. K. emotions. This is how the idea is applied in Confucian ethics. trans. THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS ' : IV the Great Mean. The The fact that these ideas of Centre and Harmony could be taken from the national. of 3rd century B. sceptre should not be shown. His treatise on the art of ruling There quite deliberately stressed in ancient Chinese is a passage in the writings of a states- man says : For ivu wei is the original Public affairs may be scattered to the four winds. PP. But to our mind the deeper version of the idea would seem to be the more original one. with a flair for eclectic philosophy. an 1 Han Fei-tze.

its political and theistic aspects. in mind when he reduced * whereas Nature or man's inborn character to Heaven's will Heraclitus was alluding with his daemon to the popular belief in each man having a tutelary spirit.. * * tragic idea of * Fate *. p. There is something strangely moving for us Europeans. opposing to this his heroic. given expert on the subject puts it thus 3 . is ' It refers only to their dispositions and tendencies. The Confucian thinker had the feudal conception of investiture (miftg). The formula following Nature or living in harmony with explanation beginning nature. is now traced back to the rational principle that our nature is what we hold in fee from God.** * We could Among the most famous of Heraclitus sayings is the one that Goethe translated " Man's character is his fate " ethos anthropo daimon. It used to denote the character of things." way : Mean also in this : * . Here again this Finally. Lyall. But in Chinese philosophy the idea of Nature is not pantheistic . regarded until quite recently as the work of an early metaphysical genius. with rhythmical prose there are few pure prose-texts among them. . who have our roots in Greek humanism. We shall meet it in Heraclitus basing themselves on him the Stoics laid it down as the fundamental tenet of pantheistic ethics.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY " : 201 What man holds of Heaven is (his) The moral world-order which. x. so that we fulfil our destiny by following Nature (hsing). is not a compact whole but a compilation. reposed on the fact that God only invests a man worthy of the throne with rulership (ming). famous book. Much of the other Taoist literature that has come down In the Tao T& Ching we have a to us takes the form of hymns. 1 L. Ltd. Green & King Chien-kiin of the Chung Tung or The Go. But at the same time we are immediately struck by the difference between these two pithy sayings. 1927). * ' : " The word nature c their structure. Intro. about finding this concurrence of opinion at one of the summits of philosophy. where we would expect to meet only the Greek genius. not has nothing to do with how things are made. all however (81 so-called Chapters all of in in even are them wholes themselves.. it means human nature in the quite simple sense of that which is An from us birth. . their external form mainly rhymed verses or verses interspersed The ' 5 pieces composing : it. the passages from the Tao Te Ching. nearly fairly short). 5 ' ' ' c Nature resounds through European philosophy as well. according to the old faith. A. in his translation with Centre Common (Longmans. 5 therefore translate the opening of the Book of the " Man's character is held of Heaven.

Chinese Phil. " since it seems. philosophical status. puerile explana- tions. in The Open . L. mutually contradictory opinions. loc. key-terms or special images and symbols . The Early Legalist School of China Court. related to this world in a fairly obviously practical and sometimes none too idealistic 5 2 As such it can be classed among the products of way rhetorical literature that appeared about that time. 367. : compendium This compendium was of Taoism '. as a modern critic has said. is confined only to certain The 81 * Chapters * are extraordinarily uneven both in content and intellectual level. when China's editor * ' 5 . these groups belong to different levels of develop1 Waley. modern historical view.ooo-year renown. 1929. and to this it owes its 2. Closer inspection reveals several totally different lines of thought. irreconcilable emotional attitudes. Thus the book falls apart when we look for the consistent thinking to be expected of a philosophical work. The book is intended to show that Taoism. despite or rather because of its exalted ideas is an superior to the other schools and able to embrace them all intention which in some degree modified the book's own attitude. forming evidently put together by the unknown with a view to influencing the present. cit. it differs from them in its peculiar combination of mysticism with the political ideas that were to unification pave the way for this unification by force. which makes the book appear somewhat time-bound. moral and political tenets taken over from other schools. 2 Political Thought. was imminent . revolutionary demands characteristic of Taoist mysticism.. But we get another picture as soon as we view the whole thing as a collective work of the Taoist school. more particuc as they were called. Chicago. 1 . p. Then the various pieces link up with one another in a way consonant with their They can be arranged in groups which all take poetic form. startling formulations of key-ideas. The Taoist doctrine is applied to the topical problems of the day the final and at the same time adapted period of the Warring States Allusions to the teachings of other schools that were to them. Tomkinson. influential about that time run through the book. so named on account larly to the Realists of their political views. however. their tone from certain ruling ideas. Nevertheless the Its portions.202 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS ' IV a short collection of this type of speculative poetry. found poems we have versified Side by side with the most procommonplaces. cannot rob it of the magic of its timeless wisdom.

the Unknowable. we think. its lasting content we get the immediate feel of is not just presented didactically More often than not the poets speak in the first person they it. the metaphysical movement can be seen in the distance. since each chapter all is necessary is to observe the devised whole that cunningly The difference is actually indicated fluctuating levels of thought. * : the findings of speculation as the fruit of pereonal experience. In our texts we have built up a sequence of metaphysical e * pieces and added a second sequence that is just as characteristic of speculative mysticism. 20 (author's rendering. though with a slight twist it now serves to put forward as * * 5 : : . textual criticism. Ed). with his visionary thought posits objectively. in the book itself the poems often speak of some sage or saint whose words are then quoted. which he knows to be unknowable. truly philosophical poem beginning ? l : Between Is there Oh and Ah what difference is there ? any more difference between good and bad ! ! 1 No. But. preceded it. in others the same theme is treated in a different and sometimes completely contrary manner. So that. with its What we have before us is a tradition of Taoist own stock of ideas. Some of the poems are just variations on a definite theme . as in the Confucian compilations. i. The passages that express this knowledge can be * marked off from the surrounding later texts without the aid of forms a diminutive. and. symbols and formulae. poetry Seen the whole Taoist movement from the 4th century to well into the 3rd is reflected in the compendium. quotes passages from it or works out an idea first broached there the elaboration being either poetic or in the form of rhetorical ornamentation or pedagogic commentary. what is of more concern to us here. Hence the difference of intellectual attitude we are concerned to indicate will become quite clear. themselves clearly indicated or that piece of prose or verse refers back to another. What the metaphysician despite the theme common to both. form recurs. . like this. avail themselves of this convention not in order to speak of them* In the mystic poems this selves but to speak for the community. For background to Taoist mysticism we have the metaphysical knowledge of the Unknowable and Unnameable which. the mystic divulges subjectively The mystical approach and the whole in an uprush of feeling. spiritual attitude so characteristic of mysticism are perfectly expressed in an astounding.e. its antecedents as well.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY 203 ment or when this different phases of thought. thanks to the poetic form it takes here.

2 8 Nos. 3 It expresses that blend of religious fervour and eroticism so typical of certain forms of mysticism. After our general observations on the problematical relation- between metaphysics and mysticism. Vedanta-Sutra. 37 . 7. 57. the c dark oneness ' or c ' ' : * ' * sequence and undergo considerable elaboration. enough probably whole history of mystical literature. more than that we can see how both metaphysics and mysticism acquire their peculiar physiognomy on Chinese soiL Taoism differs from all the other species of speculative mysticism known to us because of the interest which the Chinese mystics. They harp on the power of sensual desires and. " the Infant. This is not the evangelical Unless ye become as " it would be truer to little children . The original oneness in its untouched simplicity is likened to an Uncarved Block '. just as we speak of life in the raw or in its natural state. say that childish innocence In this sense the image is seen to lie in freedom from sexuality. 50. emphasis being * laid on the value of what is weak and low the negative pole in the movement ofJife. extol the techniques of liberation whereby the self-enclosed personality may be merged * * In the metaphysical poems there is no trace in the universe. E.g.204 In 6 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS the c ' IV * and mystic sequence the expressions mystery 1 as turn on be one occasion mysterious up might expected . III. The reflex consciousness which the mystic has of himself and of the goal of his endeavours comes out very powerfully in the images that flash through these poems. 28. also 19. . having Infant. mystic. characteristic is the image Particularly the as the ideal of the child the child of or. they speak of the Sage. Yoga-like. Waley mysterious levelling ') here to but used for the first time in the us. risen superior to the world in his meditations. however. but which hardly found root in the Chinese temperament. looks down on the ' * * worldlings like children. who. more accurately. as has the a term familiar it. of the child also occurs in certain Brahminical texts. is apparent elsewhere in this group of poems. (56) the mystical experience is explicitly referred to as the unio ' c sameness (fung y or. like the Mother or the peculiarly Chinese symbol of the Valley. 15. The Indian influence on Taoism. recur in the second mystica literally. Nor is there any room for the image of the On the contrary. * dark * : hsiien. of this asceticism. despite their ship 1 Lit. cf. 2 The other symbols for the Ground that have already occurred in the first sequence. it is particularly But even interesting to be able to view the differences in detail.

and sought human not merely outside power-politics but in a spiritual region far beyond even those vital relationships created by family ties or common causes or individual aspirations. This negative attitude to social convention made Taoism a hot-bed of revolutionary thought though it fostered anarchism every bit as much as its direct opposite. 49. 205 dis- occasional asceticism played in it As society and the regulation of the State. 1 No. of Ground the unfathomable causes that everything knowledge to come to pass as it must. They bear the stamp of the age in which it was put together.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY and their exaltation of the inner life. less moral than altogether beyond good and evil. which is not an emotion but a spiritual act amor Dei intellectualis. individual but to the sage or. and whose salutary workings may not be disturbed one iota. ethical or political as the case may be. the good man I approve. although they too have a practical point. Action * who embraces Of everything that is and everything that happens. the bliss of unitive vision. For in the metaphysical We portions there is nothing of this sort of radicalism. totalitarianism. pre- cisely because they do not sharpen the division of mankind into sheep and goats. It is the pantheistic ideal of Love. which witnessed the breakdown not only of the feudal order but of in order to include them here the middle-class society that followed it. The truthful man I believe. throw light on the distinction between mysticism and 5 * metaphysics from this angle also. 1 liar I also believe. But of the bad I also approve. From the to the true ruler and his relations with his people. in contrast to the Indian texts which continually gravitate round The metaphysical idea of Absolute Taoists and Confucians alike. but the And thus he gets truthfulness. And thus he gets goodness. not to the with refers. which they held to be a mere epiphenomenon. equably in his universal sympathy. who put an absolute value on personal and social morality. . They denied the whole value of Confucian culture. there is born that world-scorning temper c of the sage. as Spinoza : says. Moral values retain their intrinsic power and significance. including morality. mystics they sought the bond that binds men together. quite unlike the Confucians. what amounts to the same thing. These pieces are the most exciting and effective in the book.

supra. For it occurs not only in the Taoist poem but in the Analects as It is cited well. which runs counter to the ordinary experience of life and yet has a basis in life. that the saying originally had a more restricted meaning and was an old maxim of government tantamount to : " Let the ruler meet discontent among his subjects with U and not with 35 violence. Analects. For it reminds us of the Sermon on the is between Christian love and the universal of impersonal feeling sympathy born of philosophic equanimity. 10). then. 114 f. of submission over resistance. is For it is typified in this sublime form of at this point that the peculiar idea whether princely or divine. a struggle illustrated in another saying of the dislike no one ' 5 that with the world has but wherever he sees Right he ranges himself beside it" (IV. 2 No. kindness with kindness. there (XIV. 3 At any rate at the time of its discussion by the Confucians it had already been lifted on to the plane of philo' ' c ' : : sophic thought. p. . and out of this combination comes the great saying that the sage requites the mysterious power of tao). And in fact the spiritual and moral attitude we have * designated with the Stoic expression universal sympathy was as familiar to the early Confucians as the idea of quiet spon* taneous working \ In the Analects the oldest part. 8 63. is connected with the idea of Perfect Action . 3). would you reward kindness ? 55 It may be Requite wrong with justice. Waley. the struggle takes shape between Moral Idealism and pantheistic ethics. This scale of values.2O6 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV The Chinese approach metaphysical of effectual softness in ethics. where it acquired the universal meaning that moves us so deeply now. 2 (t$ injuries with good deeds This luminous saying must have been known at a quite early date. 1 In the Ta o Te Ching there is a whole sequence of poems dealing with rulership. the advantages of the weak over the strong. 36. enters into philosophy an idea we have already come across in the political and religious views of the older Chou period. neither enmities nor affections : 1 Cf. great as the difference * ' * * : It is on this common spiritual ground (IV. the soft over the hard. although not actually in the oldest part of them. 36) so as to bring out the force of the Master's " answer With what.. This is virtually the same struggle that we found formulated in the Confucian dictum Master's : "A gentleman in his dealings . note to XIV. this time * it is recorded that Confucius answered the proverb that only the virtuous are entitled to like or dislike others with the words " He whose heart is in the smallest degree set on goodness will Mount.

that the book was entitled Tao Te Ching. like ' * Constant or the * Always-so *. again. chiefly conspicuous because of the contrast they offer to the above Confucian terms metaphorical expressions like dialectical expressions like the * the Outermost Void * ' Formless Form * . Tao is a word taken from common parlance." The polarity running through the whole of the first period of Chinese philosophy for which Chuang-tze devised a deceptive symbol in his apocryphal story of the meeting between Lao-Tzu and Confucius remains. and lies through the achievement of reality. but like the Greek logos. ck'eng> which covered a whole range of meanings truth and reality. however. Further.word for the whole of Chinese metaindeed appellation physics. For the expression tao stands out from its companions and is purposely used as " the name for the Unnameable We do not know its name but : Although picked on by a single school this the key. however. truth. was an untranslatable expression. c ' c : in all to operations absolutely real. like the idea of the general qualities which are then made into nouns. to both these. the one referring to the universal the other to the universe as manifest. Some of them belong to the One the * or common stock of all philosophy. and we shall be examining it again later. Besides these positive expressions there is a series of negative ones. purity and perfection and which also had a twofold application to the Divine Power. in these the type of terminology recurs that we met in the Upanishads. unlike the Indian brahma which derives from the sacramental sphere. in the Tao Tg Ching we encounter purity. In contrast. We have already singled out the Confucian idea of the Centre with its counterpart Harmony '." is is the ordinary word for * way and * originally referred to the life . which refer primarily to our mental life and its expression in language. true. they are its man. according to the school they come from. tao call it we tao.IV " 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY Those who are only intent on keeping themselves pure play havoc with the vital human relationships.Words for Metaphysical Knowledge In the following texts various expressions for metaphysical knowledge occur. perfection. a variety of expressions for the One Self-Same indeed. The Key. or. It was not for nothing. pure and perfect . whose way as diverse as is the substance of this compendium. In addition there Ground. since it aptly expresses the latter's peculiar approach.

p. And in its metaphorical sense tao means a way not in respect of the goal it leads to. 30 cf. cit. known and nameable life-stuff. Confucian and Taoist. breath. tao is mostly employed in its popular * 1 regulation of the State. but of the course we follow. good ones and bad. . We do not know exactly when it acquired metaphysical status . as for instance in the phrase : " of Heaven from different the something very evangelist's use " I the way and the truth and the life. everyday ideas. 2 These find 1 c * Cf. the one constant thing in the they spoke of the of permutations history. This thinker rose the metaphysician attacked the Ionian cosmologists who spoke of * things like water or air.2O8 of action . Analects. However it may have arisen. pp. THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS for * ' IV way is not to be understood abstractly as * * more than centre is to be understood as a point both of them were quite concrete. as we shall see. 2 Kuan-Uu. . or. as In the same manner. 55 ff. The Way and its Power. in tracing the beginnings of historical reflection among the statesmen of the old Ghou period. who opened the way of culture. 1 77. or else old ways '. Waley. conception on a par with and no whit inferior to the Hindu conception of the spiritual Subject ascribed to Yajnavalkya. 37 and 39 also Fung Yu-Lan. both indicate which way is in question. Heraciitus the World-soul. just as we speak of the customs of our forefathers or the Romans spoke of mos majorum. t p. Taken in this popular sense the term requires somewhat closer definition so as to In the following texts. we can only see the results . not the mind's creativity itself. ' * ' ' Truth is the way signification." But tao is also employed in an absolute sense without reference * and this is how to anything outside it whose way it might be we often meet it in the Tao Ti Ching.. . reference to the conduct of human affairs and the particular extension in space any * ' c Thus. with generally. Intro. for it expresses most It is a philosophical clearly the specifically Chinese approach. more the way in which anything is done or works '. we came across characteristic turns of phrase such as that used of the First Ancestor. of the same metaphor : " am * No one comes to the Father save through me. op. which regarded aj definite. up against naturalistic pantheism. of the original metaphysical movement. when what really mattered was the all* one nature of all things. In the business of life there are many ways. In ancient Chinese philosophy too we cosmological speculations describing water or air (breath * or the breath-soul ') as the universal fount of life. tao may be regarded as the primordial metaphysical word in China. Waley.

E. all-embracing category. and to a certain extent in the Indian too. * bias of here Chinese asserts itself practical thought practical thinking as opposed to pure theory. 3. Chinese principle hypostatizes the operari. J. c Thus far the consistent with the Centre ' * ' bility that transcends the two categories postulated by Hegel as c Truth '. Aristotle. as certain modern interpreters have " Tao is not a thing. The Texts of Taoism. They likewise throw the metaphysical character of the tao-idea into relief .. which is said to be as inexhaustible as tao is unfathomable.. rightly understood. S. I. V. nor any kind of existent explained l it is more a mode of being. just as wu wei is the paradoxical negative term for it .. p. It is * neither substance nor subject '.B. 15. Intro. appearances* This practical character clings to the very idea of tao. 178. tit. Thomas Aquinas. XXXIX. 2 Gf. tao is related to the multiplicity of * * * workings or effects that proceed from it to its use (jV/wtg). This dynamic idea is absolutely explicit in the term tao." We would go further. and thus it contains a possiis it is in fact that which works everything. So it is all of there is nothing banal about such practical thinking a piece with the artistic outlook. 75. with no reference what: ever to any being that may operate \ Tao is the positive term for the Chinese idea of Pure Act *. . p. It has nevertheless a philosophical twist. Legge. * ' c ' concept which. means the active centre that regulates the balance of power in the world. De gen. in the ontological thought of the * Upanishads. which sees the concrete side of * * : . Cf. or as. that Being is the highest. The idea goes so completely beyond the view associated with Plato and Aristotle. In the * 1 op. the Existential Sentence asti (It is) has its counterpart in neti) neti (Not this. i... Regarded as a fundamental philosophical concept tao occupies the place in Chinese meta* physics that is claimed by Being in our own philosophical The tradition. for the basic categories of Chinese philosophy are determined by its reflections on the nature of life as lived. Fung Yu-Lan.C. As that which works all things. anim. Summa Theo. not much before the 4th century B. as to come out on the other side of it in tao the ultimate Reality * c is conceived not as being but as working or being at work ' ' : c ' .IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY 2OQ speculations came not at the beginning of philosophy but only at the time of its intellectual advance. not that !). In the two complementary ways of apprehending an axiom the we have made out of Scholastic European philosophy 2 The proposition deriving from Aristotle operari sequitur esse.

tension could hardly be exin than this vision of the universe as a perfectly frictionless It is typically Chinese since. not in its form. As a modern interpreter of the Chung Tung observes " The way need not be one fixed way for all. showing Truth as the Way of Heaven '. p.. the world-order consists in the harmonious working relationships of individual units of life. The ways run together and do not clash." : Just 1 as. As sun and moon give light in turn. the world-harmony into which the world-centre unfolds is described c thus : As the four seasons revolve. where it continues to emit its radiance in the moral ideal of universal sympathy \ Likewise of a and the notion spontaneous organic world-order reappears in the compendium of Taoism . op. A..210 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV Tao TS Ching this practical ground-relationthe defined paired concepts Tao and TS -the Way and by ship or it works . 2 This power is also sky. The final test of its Tightness l lies in the result of the way. In the Tao T3 Ching this effectual softness is elaborated to the full and lifted on to the plane of metaphysics. Lyall. Chambers Encyclopaedia. system. these go together like the ideas of its Power the way later portions of the is Centre and Harmony in the Chung Tung. instead of the abstract order based on a Natural Law valid for all such as we find in Greek metaphysics. . p. 8 Fung Yu-Lan." that goes ahead often looks as if it went back. And the ideal of frictionless harmony that makes everything go by itself. the power of the Unmanifest * * * Way is manifest in the fact that From the stars keep their places in the follow their seasons due order*. * the hieroglyphics of history may be read that rhythm which "If any movement the Taoist discerns at work everywhere : goes to an extreme in one direction. smooth-running. In the ensuing passage from that book. extraordinarily effective power of softness * * which underlies the virtue or inner power of the ruler. cit. it must change into its 3 Or in the words of the Tao T& Ching " The way opposite. 9 loc. 2 Waley.. also ideal of The harmony without pressed more : corresponds to the value laid in the old Chou culture on the t or yieldingness '." This conception is illuminated by the texts from the / Ching with which we have prefaced our quotations. who lives in and through history. cit. L. 182. Intro. xi. without any collisions. So all things grow together without harming one another. op. underlying the conflict between Confucianism and /. the declared in the world of man.

XII. with occasional emendations by author. once astir. The Texts of Confucianism. vol. When. disclose the original metaphysical movement to which we no longer have direct access* a The secularization of the old ethico-political monotheism and the metaphysical significance of centre and ' 5 * * harmony (From the Opening of the Book of is the Mean) rules The man who like the Pole-star by inner virtue he remains : in his place while all the others revolve about him. the Centre. through their convergence towards a common centre. Man's nature is held of Heaven. as it was bright .B. S. The Centre is the Great Root of the world Harmony is the pervading Tao of the world. (Not for a moment may the Way be left : Could it be left it would not be the Way) . there are certain fundamental conceptions common to both. Once Centre and Harmony are attained. * Where pleasure Are not yet astir. so the following texts deriving from the traditions of different schools complement one another and. . That is called Harmony.E.P. more obvious than the invisible and anger. sorrow and joy there is . Heaven and Earth are poised and all things grow. light. the Way.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY 211 Taoism. Ed. they are rayed round the Centre. cultivate Tao is called Teaching. . . b The regularity of natural processes in heaven and earth and their relation to human culture (Metaphysical Fragments from the Great Appendix to the the / Ching) * Canonical Book of Divination : I saw Eternity the other night Like a great Ring of pure and endless All calm. Confucius. 1 Quotations after James Legge. . H . D. To To follow one's nature is called Tao.. is Nothing Nothing is more open than what is hid .

Holding to their ways Sun and Moon emit their light in due sequence. 32-4) What we call Tao consists in the alternation of Yin and Yang. they keep themSo when we examine the essences and causes of all selves alive. Its sway keeps the world in motion. the thus take each other's place in producing When the cold goes. Haloun instead of constant as in Legge. of contraction and expansion that the good and useful is produced. 258. the moon sun comes. the sun goes. in. When the caterpillar coils itself up. " They cannot abide that with which they have abiding communion. p. v. Cold and warmth thus take each other's place and so the year is rounded out. When the moon goes. Spirit (shen). Yet day is ." * ' ' ' * * . . 5-6) When light. To go beyond that To wrest the last (secrets) from is to touch on the inconceivable.. (II. Time in hours. i. 1 (II. in which the world And all her train were hurled. the spirit and then understand the changes that is the fullness of power. 161. It is stored up in everything profitable. p. . day out they profit by it. It is What the supreme source of overflowing power and mightiness. years Driven by the spheres Like a vast shadow moved. supra. But unlike the Sage it is untouched by sorrow. the changes in life until we reach the inscrutable and spirit-like in them. the coming expands. 1 Reading due or proper for cheng after G.212 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS And round IV beneath it. Most men know nothing of it. Sun and moon comes. The nature of each and every thing is completed by it. it straightens out again. Henry Vaughan. By high and low things are ranged in order of rank The honoured and the humble take their place accordingly. 2 It there in everything good. the warmth comes. 24-7 . we learn how to use them most fully . The going contracts. Heraclitus : daily to that Brahma-world but do not find it . one upon the other. 2 Cf. the cold comes. Everything good is brought about by it . When the warmth goes. passage from Chandogya Upanishad : "All creatures pass " also infra. days. Heaven's way and Earth's way disclose themselves in due fashion.. It is by the influence. When worms and snakes go to sleep in the winter. v. The good see it and call it Goodness The wise see it and call it Wisdom. is unfathomable in the workings of Yin and Yang is called (II. Good fortune and bad succeed one another as is due. All the world's motions duly unite in one. 32) Heaven is high and honourable earth low.

we call it spiritual. These were regarded as the elements of the 64 hexagrams. He Thus he knows traces things to their beginning and follows all that can be said about life them to their end. LL On the death of Pao Hsi there arose Shen Nung. When a sequence of changes has run its course. 2 And thus the cycle of changes is made known. in his own person he found things for consideration. . (II. and to classify the qualities of the myriad things. Of when Pao Hsi 8 same at a distance. 213 Movement and So ranged And In Heaven the earth the thing-pictures are perfected. The advantages of ploughing and weeding were then taught to ail the world. i) Looking up. looking up he contemplated the emblems exhibited in Heaven. Yao and the Shun. and death. ii. He invented the making of nets of various kinds by knitting strings He probably took the idea together. from the third Trigram. it will continue for a long time. and bend wood to make the ploughhandle. He probably took the idea from the I hexagram. so that the people did (what was required of them) without being wearied. and old. On star-pictures. Hsiang and of the earliest mythical Emperors. He contemplated the markNear ings of birds and beasts and the suitabilities of the ground.e. Earth and hsing. After the death of Shen Nung there arose Huang-ti. Looking down. iv. When it has bodily form it is called an object. the Sage contemplates the luminous signs in Heaven. Given its lead. and looking down he surveyed the patterns shewn on earth. (I. at hand. 2 8 4 6 is at rest. They executed the necessary changes. i. another change sets in. 4 Thereupon he first devised the Eight Trigrams in order to display the qualities of the spirit-like Mind. 21) ruled the world. we call it a model. When we dispose and use it.* in position the things divide into classes. Indeed they exerted such a spirit-like influence on the people that the latter felt impelled to admit the changes as right. k'i fa. 11-15) The appearance of anything is called a semblance. . I. . Heaven moves. Hence it was that " these (sovereigns) were helped by Heaven . He fashioned wood to make the ploughshare. both for hunting and fishing. 5 And when benefit derives from it in personal and external that everybody uses 1 affairs so it. in things everywhere. One Hsiang. they had good fortune and their every move was advantageous ". (I. thus happiness and unhappiness come into being.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY rest are the eternal rule . Thus he knows the cause of darkness and light. he examines the configuration of things on earth.

(The performance of Truth consists in choosing the good and grasping it firmly * . own nature can fulfil other fulfil Fulfilling all And 1 men's nature he can thus fulfilling the nature of things a people's . IV What was before the What follows after is Regular alteration is Since Change always extends everywhere it is called all-pervading. The following rendering is the author's own English 30-31 . L.. no action. . The Eight Trigrams made fortune And thus it possible to determine good and bad made 3 possible the conduct of the Great Business. 8 . A. hold unswervingly to the Way : That is the virtue of the Sage. Legge. the nature of things. Truth. version. It goes on in stillness. xii. 19-35 . 2 The two First Forms produced the Four Emblems. (I. II. Truth without effort. Ed. XXVIII . Lyall. 53 . Chung Tung. E. called objects of use. ? Were How not the most subtle thing in the world in the world could it bring all this about it : (I. The Four Emblems the Eight Trigrams. it without thought. cit. 62) here is the Great Ultimate Change That produced the two First Forms. XVI-XVII. x. Where there is Truth there is light. Its influence pervades all the forces at work in the world. unmoving. 78) Change : there is no thought in it. true Only the wholly He that can fulfil his man can fulfil his nature.E. op.214 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS forms of things is called Tao. c The reign of the Absolute in the world-process man's part in it the and (A Metaphysical Passage from the Book of Perfect Mean) 4 Truth is the The To To To perfection of be centred in possess way of Heaven. Of living. yil-XII.B. 55. 1 The observation and application of Change in human affairs is the whole business of life. Truth is the way of man.} The light shed by Truth is called Nature. fwg. k\ houa. 18-26 . S. Yin and Yang ? Hsing. vol. The Great Learning and the Mean-in-Acfon. Cf. R. called change. Hughes. Truth revealed by the enlightened is called Teaching. Where light. pirn.

it grows it full of light . Large and firm. Without truth nothing would be . it becomes evident . / But what of the incompletely true ? The incomplete can also attain Truth and Reality. Made evident. and real. He that lives in the fullness of Truth And from Tao springs the knowledge a kingdom or a family is omens . Truth is the beginning and end of things . it takes shape becomes visible . Unceasing. . Things are completed through knowledge* Knowledge and mankindliness are man's natural virtue . Visible. . it grows high and light. Being large and firm it supports things . in their that is fitted to assist Heaven and earth and growth Forms a third with them. When a kingdom or family is about portents. Altering them. . therefore large and firm . moves things it alters them Moving them. Full of light. it lasts . it covers them . it extends far and wide Extended. it completes them. They are the Way which brings the Outside and Inside together.IV He He 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY to assist 215 is fitted Heaven and earth in their work of change and work of change growth. so Tao proceeds of itself. As calamity or woe draws near He knows in advance whether good or evil will come. Large and firm like the earth. High and light like Heaven.. (Self-completion comes about through mankindliness . In the involuntary movements of our bodies. of things to be. . As Truth is complete in itself. Extended and lasting. about to rise there will be happy to perish there will be signs and They are seen in the yarrow-stalks. it transforms them. Only the wholly true in the world can work change. Extended and lasting. Thus it is without bounds and endures without end. Once true it Shaped. Thus those that live in the fullness of Truth are like the spirits. When is in Tao. Lasting. Truth is not satisfied with its own completeness : Through it all things are completed. High and light.. . in the tortoise.) Therefore perfect Truth is an unceasing act.

All things are divided. Tao is the by-name we give it . Waley. word. As the four seasons revolve. xxxviii. . The ten thousand creatures owe their existence to is Great Tao like it and it does not disown them . points of brightness. but light is thrown on it by a passage in the 'First " Heaven and earth are separate. far-reaching. etc. 1 The passage is ambiguous. : : " & Ed. without substance. it can go that. Interpolation But now take the heaven above us with its brilliant. But great power works mighty changes. etc. unfailing. That existed before heaven and earth . 2 The tao of Heaven and earth is large." " 8 Only the most holy in the world can be quick. Dependent on nothing. Brings to completion without acting. As Heaven and earth hold and sustain all things. . The Way and Its Power. Changes without moving. Without sound. 1934. The Tao of Heaven and For in And earth can be put in a single their creation of things they are not divided. thus they bring forth life inexhaustibly . d Metaphysics and mysticism in the speculative poetry of early Taoism i Universal sympathy and the ideal of selfless action (wu-wei) 4 ) (A Metaphysical Sequence from the Tao Te Ching There was something formless yet complete. : 3 . (25) a boat that drifts . high. Like a fathomless spring. All pervading. long-enduring. Waley's consent. As sun and moon give their light in turn So all things grow together without harming one another. Their ways run together and do not clash. shrewd.. Certain slight modifications by the author have been made with Dr. 1 2 . Interpolation wise enough to rule. 3). substantial.2l6 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV Whatever is like this shines unseen. It can go this way . : yet in their workings"they fall into classes (II. . yet they have a will in common. It gushes forth for ever and ever. Appendix to the / Ching Man and woman are apart.. unchanging. all things under heaven. That is the power by which Heaven and earth are made great From an infinite distance. Little powers pour away like little streams. Cover and shelter all things. clear. Allen Unwin." 4 All quotations from A. . One may think of it as the mother of Its true name we do not know . yet their work is together.

Push Hold fast To To See. How different the words that Tao gives forth ! . quietness and security. dangerous to tamper with. And of the ten thousand creatures none but can be worked upon by you. (16) Those that would gain what is under heaven by tampering with it I have seen that they do not succeed. Sound of music. the all-inclusive. He who has room in him for everything is without prejudice. He who knows the Always-so has room in him for everything . Return be kingly is to be of heaven . Therefore it may be called the Small. For among the creatures of the world some go ahead. just because he never at any time makes a show of greatness. To know the Always-so is to be illumined . smell of good dishes Will make the passing stranger pause. This return to the root is called Quietness . be of heaven is to be in Tao* Tao is forever and he that possesses it. lose it.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY 2 1 J Yet having produced them. Therefore the Sage * discards the absolute. And asks for nothing from them. Quietness is called submission to Fate . some follow . enough to Quietness. What has submitted to Fate has become part of the Always-so. Some Some the (29) extreme '. all things howsoever they flourish to the root from which they grew. Not to know it. peace. means to go blindly to disaster. The ten thousand creatures obey it. yet do no harm. shall not be destroyed. To be without prejudice is to be kingly . whither they go back. are loading. So too the Sage. in fact achieves greatness. Therefore it is called the Great. I have beheld them. Makes no claim to be master over them. it does not take possession of them. Some blow hot when others would be blowing cold. He who All is holding to the Great his Form goes about his work in the empire Can go about work. For that which is under heaven is like a holy vessel. harm it. Tao. Those that grab at it. some tipping out. Though his body cease. though it covers the ten thousand things like a garment. Those that tamper with it. (34) far enough towards the Ultimate Void. are feeling vigorous just when others are exhausted. Though they know not that they have a master .

but when they are dead they become brittle and dry. . To be dispassionate is to be still. there is nothing solid to see . And The man I believe. Sage. the whole empire will be at (37) When he is born. in his dealings with the world. water and rock. If one listens for it. . 1 can enter even where there is no space the value of action that is actionless. man is soft and weak . Brings dispassion . We things are done. Truly. And so. But of the bad I also approve. Few indeed can understand. Truly. And The thus he gets goodness. but the liar I also believe. Of the good man I approve. the hard high. He uses the heart of the people as his heart. fright For the world's sake he dulls his wits. so flavourless If one looks for Tao. the soft and weak set on (76) What is of all things the most yielding Can overcome what of all things is most Being substanceless it That is how I know But that there can be teaching without words. seems like one dazed with truthful . the tree that has the hardest wood will be cut down *. The ten thousand creatures would at once be transformed.2l8 So THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS ! IV thin. * * and mighty are cast down . Yet if one uses it. sees The Hundred Families all the time strain their eyes and ears. ten thousand creatures and all the plants and trees while they are alive are supple and soft. must restrain them by the blankness of the Unnamed. what is stiff and hard is c The a companion of death . thus he gets truthfulness. it is inexhaustible. in death he becomes stiff and hard. And if having been transformed they should desire to act. If the barons and kings would but possess themselves of it. (35) Tao never does it . The Sage all the time sees and hears no more than an infant and hears. of itself. Value in action that is actionless. there is nothing loud enough to hear. hard. what is soft and weak is a companion * of life \ Therefore the weapon that is too hard will be broken. 1 (49) Waley's note Waley's note : . all Yet through The blankness of the Unnamed rest. make? no judgements of bis own. (43) The Sage has no heart 2 of his own .

The Doorway whence issued all Secret Essences. 48. 64. is but the mother that rears the ten thousand creatures. 58. shut the doors. 67. And till the end your strength shall not fail.IV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY Without leaving his door He knows everything under heaven. 2 Waley's note : Tao. rids himself forever of desire can see the Secret Truly. the One. 14. Or rather the Darker than any Mystery *. 19. H* . increase your doings. yet achieves everything. the universe. and the Many. l ) The Way that can be told is not the Unvarying Way The names that can be named are not unvarying names. 27. Sees all without looking. (47) Does nothing. For the further one travels The less one knows. and to the Metaphysical Sequence 2. : '. 81 . 65. different in * This * (i) That which was the beginning of We may speak of as the mother He who apprehends the mother 2 Thereby knows the sons. It The Named * was from the Nameless that Heaven and Earth sprang . And he who has known the sons Will hold all the tighter to the mother. of And till your last day no help shall come to you As good sight means seeing what is very small So strength means holding on to what is weak. 55. * all * things under heaven all tilings. the reader may perhaps agree that to this Sequence also belong 10. 59. 1 Though it is impossible to draw the line too sharply. but nevertheless are he that Only * name* same mould * we can but call the Mystery. Open up the passages. its each after kind. 22. Essences . 38. These two things issued from the same mould. 17. 70. And to the end of his days suffer no harm * Block the passages. D. 78. He that has never rid himself of desire can see only the Outcomes. Without looking out of his window He knows all the ways of heaven. 5. the Whole.P. 30. 36. 80. Metaphysical vision passes into the unio mystica of ascetic and universal love into anarchism the collapse of the ancient order and the sage's way of ii the : perfection (A Mystical Sequence from the Tao Te Ching . Therefore the Sage arrives without going.

utility of the utility of the We vessel depends. We turn clay to make a vessel But it is on the space where there is nothing that the . But it is on the space where there is nothing that the wheel depends. 4 we should recognize (u) He who knows like the male. Is It is there is like an empty vessel That yet may be drawn from Without ever needing to be filled. it is on the spaces where there is nothing that the utility of the is. This is called resorting to the Always-so. But as substanceless image it existed before the Ancestor. (6) The Way It is the progenitor of all things in the world. All glare tempered. And being He has all He returns a valley that receives all things under heaven such a valley the time a power that suffices to the state of the Uncarved Block. too.22O THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV He who Is having used the outer light can return to the inner light thereby preserved from all harm. within us all the while . yet cleaves to ignominy Becomes like : . Therefore. And the Doorway of the Mysterious Female the base from which heaven and earth sprang. house depends. All tangles untied. yet cleaves to the black Becomes the standard by which all things are tested And being such a standard He has all the time a power that never errs He returns to the Limitless. bottomless all In it We (4) We put thirty spokes together and call it a wheel . . . just as we take advantage of what the utility of what is not. And being such a ravine He knows all the time a power that he never calls upon in vain. It is like a deep pool that never dries. (52) The Valley Spirit never dies. sharpness is blunted. And pierce doors and windows to make a house . receiving all things under heaven'. This is returning to the state of infancy. Was it. : . it never runs dry. He who knows glory. It is named the Mysterious Female. Becomes He who knows the white. yet cleaves to the female a ravine. the child of something else ? cannot tell. All dust smoothed. Draw upon it as you will.

! ' ! sign. cannot be harmed. I alone am inert. All dust smoothed. And for that very reason is highest of all Between Is there * ! creatures under heaven. is full of people that shine alone am dark. like a child that has not yet given a Like an infant that has not yet smiled. But wherein I most differ from men Is that I am proud to draw sustenance from the Mother's It was when the Great Way declined That human kindness and morality arose It was when intelligence and knowledge appeared That the Great Artifice began. 1 Waley's note : father. '. He who has achieved it cannot either be drawn into friendship or repelled. It was when the Six Kin * were no longer at peace That there was talk of dutiful sons . elder brother. (28) Those who know do not speak Those who speak do not know. men alone am never brought to a stop. As though feasting after the Great Sacrifice. All men have enough and to spare I alone seem to have lost everything. Let all sharpness be blunted. 221 Now when a block is sawed up it is made into implements But when the Sage uses it. . (56) Oh and Ah what difference is there ? any more difference between good and bad ? What others avoid I too must avoid How false and superficial this is All men are wreathed in smiles. I alone. The greatest carver does the least cutting . Cannot be benefited. Cannot either be raised or humbled.TV 2 THE CHINESE APPROACH FROM THE COMMUNITY . intractable and boorish. as though I belonged nowhere. Block the passages. depressed. This is called the mystic union. it becomes Chief of all Ministers. * ' (20) . Mine is indeed the mind of a fool. Shut the doors. So dull am I. breast. son. Blown All I adrift. I seem unsettled as the ocean . I droop and drift. husband and wife. As though going up to the Spring Carnival. All glare tempered. ' Truly. They look lively and self-assured . younger brother. can be put to some use . . All tangles untied. The world I .

penetrating. Watchful. abstruse. more benighted will the whole land grow. because such men could not be understood I can but tell of them as they appeared to the world Circumspect they seemed. Yet yielding. more laws are promulgated. So long as I love quietude." : my 8inner I have inside myself. like one who in winter crosses a stream. kept . 1 prohibitions there are. Murky. the people will of themselves go straight. as one who must meet danger on every side. So long as I act only by inactivity the people will of themselves : more become prosperous. (18) Of old those that were the best officers at Court Had inner natures subtle. more pernicious contrivances will be invented. poorer* the people will* be. " state of the Uncarved (57) Through what vision. through the light of Waley's note clever people. * in the belly * . to be understood. So long as I have no wants c The 1 people will of themselves return to the Block'. Blank. . can only be won if rules are broken *. to become in the end full of Too deep And : : life and stir ? Those who possess Tao do not try to fill themselves to the brim. mysterious. i. as a troubled stream Which of you could assume such murkiness. Therefore a sage has said So long as I * do nothing * the people will of themselves be transformed. as one who pays a visit . as ice when it begins to melt. more cunning craftsmen there are. the more ritual avoidances. Yet receptive as a hollow in the hills. as a piece of uncarved wood . Waley. And because they do not try to fill themselves to the brim They are like a garment that endures all wear and need never be renewed. more thieves and bandits there will be. Ceremonious. to become in the end still and clear? Which of you can make yourself inert.222 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS strife ' TV Nor till the fatherland was dark with Did we hear of loyal slaves '. But the adherence of all under heaven can only be won by Battles letting- How By The The The The The The The The do I know that it is so ? this. * (15) if rules are Kingdoms can only be governed alone.e. more sharp weapons 2 there are.

or Complete (hen kai pan). to that vital positivism of theirs which stamps their early efforts with the mark of science rather than metaphysics. At the time when philosophic minds in Greece were becoming conscious of their specifically metaphysical task. Thought is the highest and Wisdom is the speaking of truth and the doing of it. tao). 223 In Tao the only motion The only useful quality. For though Being itself all is creatures under heaven are the products of Being. while giving ear to Nature. hypothesis or preconception namely. by the religion-born idea of the unity of the In Greece.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD is returning weakness. Heraclitus. * is no \ means the Perfect Being by Metaphysical thinking Greek in feature of its initial stages . the product of Not-being. that Reality was itself adapted to thought and could be surveyed as a whole by the Such an anticipation of the conceptibility and transintellect. interested in the physical aspect of the doctrines or ' opinions (doxai) of the ancient thinkers and founders of philo- this Greek philosophy is apt to overbecause later Greek tradition was itself . One-and-All The stress traditional view of early chiefly * positivism. but abstract concepts having the 5 * * 5 * * as logos . as names for the unnameable subject of meta* c words deriving from the national physics. it appears to be somewhat alien to the people who gave us Homer and the Doric temple. such c * * the Wise \ the Absolute *. on philosophy outstanding the contrary. however. this unity rested more on a certain universe. i The Cosmological and Personal Background tracing the course of Western philosophy from its Greek origins we find. (40) 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD virtue. parent wholeness of the universe evidently took the place given in Oriental metaphysics to the mystery of the Immanence of the Transcendent. . It runs counter to their objective view of the world. not primordial religion (like When brahma and * form of propositions. as everywhere at the beginning of philosophy. the first steps towards a rational comprehension of the world had already been taken impelled. the One .

1 was an event of cardinal importance. The word infinite with all its associations is. the transmundane God could. * * ' ' 1 Cf. During the Renaissance. answering perfectly to the fundamental Greek assumption of the reasonableness and wholeness of the universe rather than to any metaphysical vision of the Unknowable. pierced through the sensuous. Since mediaeval Christianity considered the universe to be finite. the word Greek philosophy. It has acquired this meaning in the course of history. He goes on to " And into that from which all things arise they also say Now in Homer. 31 f. infinite makes its Foreshadowing this event. myth-enveloped picture of a heavenly vault spanning this world like a lid. of the earth . Thus all the philosophers anterior to Socrates and Plato are put on the same level of thought.224 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV sophic schools. 2 Cf. for us. with his powerful the time of Thales Infinite (apeiron) ". during which it came to be used as an attribute of God. metaphysics. " : 5 : ' thought.words of European its own again. Anaximander. . . V. This suggests that a reorientation of inspection it and we may hazard that it was brought thought occurred about by the rise of metaphysics which. His idea of the Infinite thus proves to be a cosmological one. propounded a grand theory of the evolution and structure of the universe . The profound meaning it has for us derives from the conflict between cosmology and Christianity a very fruitful 2 one. infinity is a regular attribute as is meet. when the early Greek view of innumerable worlds came into infinite was one of the key. appearance in the cosmological beginnings of We meet it in the only genuine saying handed down to us from ' ' the Origin (arche] of all things is the This utterance comes from Anaximander. But on closer proves that the thinkers who lived before Heraclitus and Parmenides moved on quite a different plane from those who came after them. infra. describing his completeness and perfection as compared with the finite world. supra. a symbol of the Absolute. But when Anaximander introduced this arresting word into Western philosophy there was no idea of a transcendent God contrast. by simple * * be represented as infinite. as we intimated earlier. inspired by the Babylonian conception of the * boundless extent of the heavens and the of world-cycles generation and destruction. but Ionian science dispelled this nai've view. 4. who was the greatest of Thales disciples. as we see from the metaphysical utterances of the mystics." return. and.

hot cold. with its stress on the Immanence of the Transcendent. opposed a boundless. early Greeks a-peiron was negative not only etymologically but it signified something that was far from being also in meaning ' ' c ' He c : * ' . for such maxims are just as original and spontaneous in Greece as in China. which together enabled this people to create Natural Science. man stands upon the earth and finds above him the holy ordinances of life bearing at all points on the world in which he acts. c ' and to characterize it as * ' infinite by transcending the limita- tions of man's natural horizon. an inexhaustible something which everlastingly fashions itself into them. In the Odyssey the . and the belief in the power of arithmetical proportion. Now the same difference of approach revealed by comparing the Greek beginnings with the radicalism of early Indian metaphysics. For though apeiron is a primitive idea akin to Chaos '. But in Greece. each a cosmos moulded in order and and thus it too must be transpicuous to thought. by a system of densities.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD 225 looming behind it. and fire or stars at the circumference. one dry. It enabled him to specify that out of which the innumerable worlds are formed. accounting for the position of earth and water at the centre. This boundless body separated off from itself a mass of heat and a mass of From these two opposites. Again. the universe itself for the Infinite as such is imperfect and is not transfused by it thus differs essentially from any rationally comprehensible cosmos* * In this connection we may note that the word infinite has a But for the positive ring for us. with air in between. pre-Socratic stage so fruitful for philosophy as in the country of Confucius. it is because it is regarded as being accessible to aesthetic reason the origin of all things it must be dynamically related to the worlds that proceed from it. the other moist. 5 * * : Absolute. though not in the first. though the universe unfolds from the Infinite. qualitatively undetermined and unformed body to the formed ones. despite its negative formation. He framed it for the sole purpose of comprehending the universe through its own nature. which is virtually unknowable. the Greek thinker constructed his theory of world-order. and cold. emerges equally clearly when we compare the maxims of conduct in the two types of culture . The theory is imbued through and through with the Greek preconception of the aesthetic reasonableness of the world. This beauty relationship illustrates the difference between the cosmological and the metaphysical view. too.

* he seems almost a creature of perfection. But this Greek flowering was of brief duration. Pittacus of Mitylene. Following on those impetuous. . though he may at first says. was formed and transformed by named and nameless thinkers. and finally as to its logical outcome (VI). into the discussion like a mighty archer. so in the light of our common humanity that. the most prominent feature is unquestionably a practical knowledge typical is Man 5 the ' 3 wily The name based on a combination of theory and practice in one person. Such were Thales of Miletus. then as to the forms of thought approit (V). he discipline. And of the picture of the Seven and the farings ways ' Wise Men that imprinted itself on the mind of the Greeks. 3420. his thoughts illuminate his acts. * bathing his personality within a limited sphere. " 1 whom one may chance to meet. our Solon . both now and in former times. trenchant and pithy. Almost at once a growing conflict sets in between rational and metaphysical In Indian metaphysics a primaeval store of knowledge thinking. these philosophers expressed a superior manli- which he considered typical of Spartan breeding and " Even the commonest sort of Lacedemonian ". ' ' does . possessed of all the available knowledge. so that all of a sudden one feels like a veritable child in comparison with him. maxims coined by ness. therefore. when one and the same key-note of metaphysical thinking is heard for the first time in Greece too at the outset of philosophy. When Plato had occasion to refer to the Seven Wise Men with whom it was customary to begin the story of Greek philosophy. Bias of Priene. Greek and Oriental thinkers are agreed firstly as to the unequivocal meaning of the metaphysical task. Many. when the right appear moment comes. priate to 1 Protagoras. and ready to make free use of it by personally intervening by word and deed He shows his superiority by what he at the critical moment. knowledge of the Absolute now declares itself and takes the form of that cosmological approach so characteristically Greek but in complete accord with the primordial utterances of the Orient. he attributed He held that the practical precisely this frame of mind to them. Wise Man is given to one who is shrewd and wellinformed. youthful efforts to understand the world. throw some striking saying. *" It is all the more eventful. somewhat poor at conversation will yet. to him alone.226 c THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS Wise IV ' Odysseus. who knows the * in men '. have recognized that the power of and uttering such sayings belongs to the man of perfected culture. .

Another consequence of this development. assailing with all the force of originality a world that grows steadily more intelligible. and fell into ruins so that only scanty fragments have survived to our day. it is the starting-point of a continuous historical it development through which philosophy becomes what the centre whence all knowledge and all conduct ideally is : radiate. Hence philosophy in Greece does not stay put in its beginnings. was that the work of the early Greek philosophers. The structure of philosophy as a whole. rather. Homer included. each seeing the world * theoretically through his own eyes. in the sense that all in India further progress ultimately leads back to them. And * Plato speaks of the old struggle between the philosophers and the poets. not being binding in character and lacking the sanction of religion. it was dispersed. Heraclitus. unlike the early Upanishads and the Chung Tung or even Tao TS Ching. which worked like a leaven in the mass of traditional thought. * ' 1 See supra. for instance. a struggle which he himself carries on in the educational part of the Republic. . p. But in Greece metaphysics springs from the historical action of personality. untrammelled by religion or politics. overlaid by later classical forms. rather they are like the voices of single instruments breaking for through a symphony. wanted the Greeks to discard Homer. and each voice its following. Thus. On the other hand the soil was prepared for that historic union of metaphysics and ' * empiricism which engendered Science. Heraclitus and Parmenides emancipated metaphysics from cosmology and enabled it to set up as the rival of religion. By raising the Greek talent for * pure theory on to a higher plane where it could turn into metaphysical reflection. 41 ff. as was the case and China . however. which we have to thank the Greeks. springs from the co-operation of many thinking personalities. the ties between metaphysics and culture are not so close as in the East. Each has his own name. did not remain intact . the sayings of the first Greek metaphysicians are not to be taken as the supreme spiritual effort of a whole nation . Precisely because of this wealth of personality and this originality of thought. the teacher of the whole Greek nation.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD 227 In China the rise of metaphysics is to be inferred from its results.

I think. same streams. replied of it is excellent . His book. as supposed by those who try to explain the philosopher's language . also. propounded the " doctrine that everything departs and nothing remains" (ndvra intellectual fc Greek tradition permits us lucidity of philosophic rationalism. One of Heraclitus basic ideas has become a sort of : * %o)Qei xai ovdev p. is the work of an author of whom it may truly be said that le style c'est Vhomme \ His style." We are reminded of the Here as there the story of Confucius' meeting with Lao-Tze.6vei)." Or This antithetical step into the same streams. proverbially obscure. Heraclitus was a contemporary of Aeschylus." : step twice into the Heraclitus himself put it differently . the first known philosophical work in prose. who lived about 500 B. won him the nickname the Dark \ It is recorded that Socrates. particularly in the great lyrics that paved the way for Ionian philosophy as well as for Attic tragedy. we stand before the work of a great Heraclitus of Ephesus.C. to grasp this contrast at its root : in the linguistic expression of 5 thought. when asked by Euripides " What I have understood for his opinion of the book. the time that saw the rise of Confucius in the Far East set forth Here. and immediately intelligible form Plato.228 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV ii The rise of metaphysics and ethics in the work of Heraclitus omnipresence of a in and behind the changthe The Absolute is viewed as Meaning (Logos) which is sensed [ ing face of the universe and the play of forces within the soul] a The Language of the Metaphysician first time. enigmatic profundity of the metaphysician is contrasted with the * * : " " All is flux In a similar proverb (jtdvra gel). who discursive recognized the importance of the archaic thinker. it had been developing along with the consciousness of individuality in post-Homeric literature ever since the days of Hesiod. for the individual. It was not just literary fashion. for ever We step and do not mode of expression had been is typical of him. In the Greece his philosophy in a book which bears his name. of his day there was already a marked consciousness of authorship . he said : "You cannot " other waters are flowing to you. what I have not understood except that it needs a Delian diver.

collected. hang together and thus show themselves to be parts of a consistent whole. Herakleitos von Ephesos. namely. to understand them correctly. His dynamic view of reality applies to the inner form of his thought as well. ruminating the meaning of life in solitude by the seashore. the * All-one ' (One and All : hen kaipan]. p. The two sayings speak of the same river . dynamically. it is rather modified in such a way as to be merged in the torrent of occurrence. viii. all more or less : * ' : short. although we cannot of course envisage the outward form in which the sayings were once arranged. because the book has been lost. These fragments. but the idea of duration they postulate is not defined more closely by the predicate. In this way he formulates the that the systematization : : principle of pantheism. divorced from the context they once occupied. he had unbosomed himself in * ' shrill outcries. 1 Hermann Dicls. Equally paradoxical and yet illuminating is the " The sun is new every day. 1 Nor associated Mysteries does it show a merely freakish individualism or the aesthetic expression of subjectivity. quoted from every conceivable angle. we would have Each saying is a whole to know what came before and after. indeed of a philosophical system. Accordingly the fragments of his book are not fragments in the sense of broken-off bits which.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD 22Q in the light of the oracular or prophetic style that was in vogue ' when with it the religious movement and the ' were spreading over Hellas. using a combination of symbol and logical paradox. 2 It is more the case that Heraclitus affords an example of the power of poetic and philosophic utterance. so that. preserved in the writings of later thinkers from Plato and Aristotle to the Church Fathers. as has also been supposed in the modern analogy put forward between the sayings of Heraclitus and the aphorisms of his elective affinity Nietzsche as though." saying Well over a hundred sayings of Heraclitus.." by One and One from All ". a 1901. to evoke a vision c * of the Irrational. lie there unconnected. The image of the river differentiates what in reality is an undifferentiated whole duration in the midst of change. Ibid. Heraclitus himself hints at the inner consistency " of the parts in the saying that begins Connections are made " the and the not and All from whole and ends whole. save is not of the rational kind we are accustomed to but accords with the intuitive character of all This can still be seen in the fragments as original metaphysics. the changing process of life itself. have come down to us as citations from his book. .

By pushing one aspect to its extreme. which is not a thing but a process. In speaking of fire c ' logists had spoken of * water * or * air ' or the * world-breath \ It was in this sense Heraclitus seems to be substantializing life. like the power to draw and compel us into this c movement. that Aristotle interpreted the saying . 5. But this whole is not absolutely self-sufficient . in the proposition where Heraclitus propounds " This world. * : One whole. each saying is something of a link. as trenchant as it is short. who has his eye on the to use its complementary antithesis. pointing beyond itself to the one centre about which the metaHeraclitus' language has physician's thought is always circling. . isolates one aspect of empirical reality and contrasts it with another equally important aspect. he shifted the unique metaphysical conception on to the same intellectual plane on which Thales and his successors had moved in their attempts to explain the world's structure. to think beyond the thesis to is * postulated here as the vehicle of universal change. Heraclitus pursues the single metaOne such physical movement of thought from various angles. is and ever shall be ever-living Fire. kindling in Measure and dying in Measure. Heraclitus forces his hearer. and thus open to reality in all its multifarious aspects. Both aspects appear side by side. This other aspect is governed by the rationality and orderedness of everything that happens in the world. becoming does not merely express man's consciousness of tranl it also sience. polished a diamond glittering in its own light. pp. According to him the ultimate principle which is the subject of metaphysics is to be seen under a matter being distinguished from fourfold aspect of causality : 1 Cf. as the * of things. Thinking as a Greek. which is fundamental to the religious outlook . to the point of paradox. was created by no one either god or mortal . but was. as he styled it. 57. drawing together and pulling asunder '. But the postulate is open to some nature physis as the older cosmomisunderstanding. of the devices employed is the magic of the extreme '. and by the phenomenon of constancy in the midst of change. one the cosmological principle of his philosophy and the same for all." Fire. supra. a phrase coined by Nietzsche for his own description of philosophy. and he classified all these various cosmological principles under one category the category of * material cause *.23O in the THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV manner of an epigram. is the alluded to in the image of the starting-point life-process The proposition that everything is in flux or in process of river.

which underlies the whole rationale of early Greek thinking. c 3 or substratum of the worldof first efforts of philosophy. But. or the ideal basis of it : his ever-living * and dies '. Seen as an attempt to grasp the Fire kindles nature of life. since genesis implies decay stands in opposition to the idea of rational order that Heraclitus expresses in the same breath. Heraclitus works with the two elements composing it. the original task of the metaphysician as yet unlimited by that classical framework of categories which came to be accepted as binding in our Western tradition. the whole saying is an instance of dialectical thinking which effects a synthesis of contraries the fundamental thought i. see. by a mortal. in the work of Heraclitus. substance means something unchanging the essence of reality as distinct from its becoming '. This dynamic view of reality which.e. However one may take it. when he says of his * * Here ever-living Fire that it kindles and dies in measure '. * c * 5 Heaven and earth '. in contrast to the classical theory which held essence to be * c the result of growth. For. of one of these categories. While not actually employing the word physis. What we distinguish as two separate elements when we use these abstract terms appears as one in the conception of physis. mind. is and ever shall be (i. for all the Greek thinkers were. in Aristotle's judgement. in speaking of that which the * * world was. fire). is tautological.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD 23! form. thus artisuggesting what we would call natural as opposed to ficial since he denies that the world development. though stressing the rule of measure . He conceives this as growth from within. as he cunningly adds. and efficient cause from final cause. of the * primary substance * Little as we know * ' c ' c * * * * ' * ' being that eternal life includes both birth and death. he is describing what the classical epoch was to regard and define as * essence * But he puts this idea forward with a living reality in (ousia). unanimous in regarding Nous as king of according to Plato. from the traditional standpoint of Aristotelian logic. we the process.e. emphatically is made by a god or. The first of these is c becoming or growth. When the Ionian thinkers set out to investigate the nature of things they were only aware. a belief he shares with other Greek thinkers . In the next part of his saying he uses the copula to represent the other ingredient of physis. To attribute such a ridiculous those to by implication thought who believed in the accounts of the creation of the world by gods was tantamount to exposing the whole idea of anything ' made *. we have the belief in the binding force of reason.

5. since the authorities c who quoted him were chiefly interested in causal explanations and not in the significant phenomenon of the polarity of all Nature '. to speak with Goethe. which we may call * rational ' for short. Frankel). 422 (22 9. div. But. Frankel 's IX. 2 he gave ' countless examples of the contrasts that exist in the world. 22 I. p. edition of the present volume. p. 9 43. 3 But even from the fragments of his book we can see that Heraclitus made his this phenomenon of his starting-point. : mind. II. Heraclitus are told.232 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS relationships of IV and proportion or the simple did not. h. The second sequence. One of Heraclitus' most astonishing " utterances runs will Diels. Among the fragments that in most modern editions are arranged without any semblance of order we can find sayings which group themselves into pairs. the idea of strife. 214. The sequence. more precisely. verbally expressed to me. since we are immediately struck by its truth. number. like a motto. He was less concerned with explaining problems the structure of the world than with interpreting its meaning. in Genesin. 8-u. Frag. change or the perpetual transitions in which life consists or. . with reference to H. and Quaest. i). Only a few * we 1 of them have come down to us. begins with the image of the river and leads on to his ideas about fire. Diogenes Laertius. d. vol. p. which is essentially different from the purely rational procedure whereby conclusions are drawn from a single principle. conversion of every qualitative state into another and. which is thus challenged to view the opposites as a whole. supra. immediately in the unfathomable Ground of the universe. and finally the ideas of right. based A I was there following on Diogenes Laertius. Qu r. III. last but not least. To begin with. ist German 33 H.. quoted in Diels. Vorsokr. enquire very closely into the individual of cosmology. the soul. so another authority tells us. 7 (Diels. 58. 5th ed." We are inclined to take this saying by itself. or else both are taken together in order to sink the the c ' Though you travel in every direction you never find the bounds of the soul. 8 Cf. the sayings. logos in the various connotations of this word still to be investigated by us.. conjecture. 194. c ' All through them there run two sequences of polar ideas first together subserving interpretation reality. 4 it forms part of a saying about the sun. referring to the life-process. To this end. as we learn from modern scholarship. comprises the ideas of measure and proportion. law and One or other of these two basic aspects preponderates in ethos. Philo. we shall follow the movement of thought that leads from one proposition to another by a process of dialectic. 1 A 2 A 4 Cf. so deep is the logos of it. IX.

a featureless flow without c ' end : on the contrary. and dies when it sets. all existing forms dissolve in the river of life. everywhere prevalent in the dawn-period of philosophy. the sun is yet absurdly small as a sense-phenomenon. sun and soul are among the most closely related of living things. What we distinguish as bodies and souls or matter and mind. For. to qualitative differences. in the stream it is of birth and decay. the term psyche which he uses for the soul means not only the individual soul of a man but the life that man shares with everything in the world. as one might think. As soon as we try to fathom the soul it carries us into the boundless. the logos all reality. rules like a supreme of the order within binding and limiting. Taken in words must seem absurd. this factor is so profound that attempts to get to the . which no man can see. Rather. The sun's fire too is kindled anew every day when the orb rises. it implies is the rational factor.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD it 233 which isolation these as big as a man's foot '. whether they are wise or foolish. like the sun. On the other hand the soul. As against the apparent form of the sun Heraclitus But for him this is not the formlessness of psychic life. is immeasurably big. Heraclitus views as a living unity so absolutely undifFerentiated that he even reduces the distinctions of rank among men. and a double one at that. in the philosopher's eyes. of the latter wet. giver of light and life. for the saying about the soul this sound meaning. as in it. Heraclitus is not. As living entities sun and soul are of the same kind and nature . saying that the souls of the former are dry. Known and honoured by all as the mightiest star. the primitive view. to make declares to be * mock of sun's disc as the delusory nature of sense-perception it appears to us with the sun itself. Indeed. souls are born of the burning vapour or fiery wind that rages in the upper Heraclitus shared regions of the world. This boundlessness is. all But. no disadvantage. that human souls draw their nutriment from cosmic powers or living substances akin to them.e. and are nourished by it. in the life soul. confused the But as a foil has a statement paradoxical sets the essential contrast merely superficial. Sun and soul are contrasted in another and less obvious sense. i. sun and stars included. it has no bounds at all unlike the sun with its rigidly circumscribed orbit. contrasting them in the sense that we contrast the physical and the psychical. according to his teaching. For it does not imply anything irrational. since. the very thing which. for we cannot credit the philosopher with having unless it were in jest.

Die Entdeckwg des Geistes. Another example of the artful way in which Heraclitus links separate sayings into pairs leads deeper into the progressive movement of his thought. after empha > ing the superiority of the human species. the ape is to man.234 T HE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV bottom of it must plunge into the infinite. But the form in which he did so. though he still Heraclitus seems to be drawing * ' c * clung to the idea of preternatural divine powers operating in the * world. Behind this pleasantry there is a recognition that the sun. Frankcl. then. Phil. the terms of the proposition being analogous in comparison with is to geometrical progression. set up a contrast between the physical and the psychical : against the uniform order or regularity of the course of Nature there rises up a realization of the infinity of the mind. 59. 2 The * dark * thinker adopts. life. 1938. it would seem. although nobody had ever been deceived as to its real size. H. Jnl. its orbit by do is so firmly bounded that it can be surveyed in its entirety In this sense. But when we consider what Heraclitus meant by God we realize that he had in mind something that goes beyond the geometrical progression from the sub-human to the super-human. In wisdom. when philosophy was bound up with religion. In so measuring our human condition : on his native religion. the two sayings obviously the intellect. ' 1 Gf.. as he " " puts it in another saying. to use the words of a modern scholar. a purely rational procedure. He spoke of God in the manner of a metaphysician. The depth-dimension which Heraclitus discovered in the soul or for whose discovery l is seen as by the earlier poets he found the lasting formula of and not the stream of just part something conceptible psychic In an analogous manner he points out the rational factor. 1946. Amer. Bruno Snell. or the variable relations this factor has with the life-process when he makes mock of the sun on account of its apparent smallness. beauty and all else man but an ape compared with God. may not transgress his measures . He did not share the belief in the immortal gods of the Homeric pantheon." It was not unusual for Greek literature to stress the limitations of human knowledge in 5 Heraclitus day. for the Greek gods as depicted by Homer are anthropomorphic although immortal and superior beings. A Thought Pattern in Heraclitus. * Cf. . p. is characteristic of him and of his * thought-pattern *. Heraclitus only widened the theme by speaking of man's lim" tions in general. 32. " The most beautiful ape is hideous man. where the consecutive increase in Man is as inferior to God as values is in the ratio of a : 4 8.

arriving at the divine from the human by way of progressive comparison without. " The fairest cosmos is but a heap of garbage emptied out at random. b Pantheism and Metaphysics In our philosophical tradition Heraclitus is rated a pantheist. whom we meet in pagan China as well as in ascetic India. But he could always temper his characteristic perfection attitude of world-affirmation with the consciousness of the imperfection and limitation of all human being and doing . in a saying that is at He . His thought. The progression leads from the imperfect to the more perfect perfection. while remaining within the and ends with divine confines of pantheism. are one. this critical awareness appeared in the early stages of Greek philosophy and contrasted strongly with the glorification of the god-like holy as . beautiful. to mark the distance from the human to the divine. reality and pantheistic view of the world. We have to make a jump beyond the For the pantheist. The subject stresses the highest qualities which the Greeks associated with the cosmos.IV to 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD 235 denote the Unknowable One. He went yet further in one of his most startling paradoxes.'* This saying has been handed down to us as an we may even see in it a flat example of inconsistent thinking contradiction of subject and predicate. turns away from the obvious difference between man and the most man-like animal to the immeasurable distance between man and God. not to be taken purely logically it is more a means to shake us out of our accustomed views and draw us into the metaphysical movement of thought. But to put the perfection of divine world-order itself in question is something no pantheist can do. the predicate shatters these associations by ascribing to the world the very But this contradiction is qualities opposed to beauty and order. i. man. using the contrast between the finite and the infinite. aiming at transcendent completeness. using the word in the singular a term for the object of metaphysical knowledge. Here we have the voice of Heraclitus the metaphysician. everywhere present at the beginning of philosophy.e. ordered state of things . Seen from that end the two comparisons seem out of proportion. who has knowledge of the infinite. * * Heraclitus was expressing this awareness in his geometrical progression. a complete. however. proclaims himself a representative of this view. and this is a pan- theistic thought-pattern. which allowed him.

with the result that the divine Ground contains no more than is unfolded into actuality. p. II. Der entoncklungsgeschichiUchc Pantheism. Schr. it was a question of merging these spirits in the idea of a unitary God. a term that occurs in identical form in two of ' 1 W. who attacked the conception of a transmundane God. about whom Goethe . apparently contradictory. yet complement one another and point to the open secret of metaphysics which we characterize dialectically as the Immanence of the Transcendant. Bd. Logos wisely one. is offset by another " Of all whose discourses I have heard none understands that the Wise One is apart from all. Ges. to the total exclusion of transcendental postulates. Its essential feature is therefore the introjection of all divine powers and . an older contemporary of his the AllOne hen kai pan." These two sayings. although at the same time every fragment of world 1 reveals the divine Whole When the pantheist formula was first framed it shining within. superbly hides his person behind the Wisdom he utters.. as his original achievement in philosophy. asked : How should he stand outside. itself an expression of the : * ' : monistic principle. Dilthcy. In his avowal of pantheism Heraclitus takes over the formula coined by Xenophanes. thence to control his finger whirl the And on mighty whole? With this typically modern criticism in mind we are accustomed to define the philosophical significance of pantheism in terms of the contrast between Immanence and Transcendence. it was rather directed against pre-philosophical polytheism which knew the divine powers only as indwelling spirits. had not this animus against Transcendence . the early Greek philosophers in Giordano Bruno. This formula." But this are where Heraclitus things saying. Pantheism teaches us to take the world and life as we find them. Hence. who is All-One. values into the real world. he calls it to have recognized that the Ground of the universe the Wise One '. Heraclitus no doubt had this historical situation in view when he claimed.236 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS : IV " once typical of his whole cast of thought Hear not me but the in and thus be one with the Word that all me. 330 f. has persisted in European philosophy all indeed in modern times it has even acquired through the ages a new lustre as the symbol of the fight waged by the free spirit of philosophy against the other-worldliness of traditional Thus we re-encounter the monistic pantheism of Christianity. .

In connection with these up-and-down * cycles on the wheel of births ". If God. the truly Wise One.vov. but lives \ This dynamic principle accords very well with the idea of world-cycles of events . as that which is perpetually changing. and fire for all things. shared. since it is not a fixed * quantity that is *.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD c 237 is the earlier Upanishads l would say for apart from all *. indeed periodicity was a self-evident fact to all thinking persons right down to modern times. Heraclitus describes the empirical world of reality. The ever-living fire subsists only in its transformations. the Infinite and Absolute. ever-living fire " c ' * : * * effect. Of God. IV." " . using xe%Q>Qiafj. Chand Up. This "all an are . however. of the the Greek Latin short. " cosmos . like Fire. is necessarily unfolded into world. to use an Indian term. fullness or * he is both surfeit and hunger *. what amounts to the same thing in this case. is the prime cause of the world. The " 1 Katha. He bases his cosmological explanations on the monistic assumption that everything that was once there. " : II. that equivalent ' Heraclitus has here stumbled on the conception of the Absolute '. Here the transcendental trend reaches a climax. as a state of privation or * hunger*.. since the coincidence of opposites is one way of expressing what is inexpressibly perfect. of which the typical monist wanted to deprive it. . in which the pantheist saw the whole plenitude of God.. how the Heraclitean movement itself when we view it from the cosmological This is of thought presents beginnings of Greek picture changes when we place the Greek context of the other early philosophical in the metaphysician philosophy. it only means that the metaphysician in him had advanced beyond the prescribed world-view that he himself In the fragments we can see this advance taking place under various aspects.. he is so in the metaphysical or. as goods for gold and gold for goods ". We Seen in this historical context the transcendentalism on which the philosopher prides himself is not inconsistent with pantheistic monism . the religious sense. 7 The The Wise One is neither born nor dies 18 : Self of the gods . he says " The way up and the way down are the same." But even within the framework of this cosmological theory the transcendental trend makes itself felt. 3. he says that its origin. exchange things for fire. restoring to the distinction * * * between up and down the quality of a value-judgement. where the cause is superior to the is in the origins of things... but calls the World-conflagration where everything returns to surfeit *.

Shakespeare has made us familiar with the image of the dream of life and that strange feeling of unreality which often comes over us in moments of contemplation 5 : We are such stuff little life As dreams are made on . such as permits the philosopher to soar above life while yet remaining in it. Compared with the priestly thinkers of India. evaporate under the touch of metaphysical Discontented with any value save the Absolute.238 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV in India and the Far East. and secondly his realism. comparison will at once sages for China. For then the intellectual achievement he claims for himself the advance to the idea of the Absolute appears as the primary event common to all such beginnings. an excerpt from which we placed at the beginning of this book. his lack of illusion. Upanishads and the Taoist writings. and challenge mankind to awake from the dream from which they themselves have awakened. As one of the great. * metaphysicians describe what we called the world of man's * natural outlook as a tissue of flattering fancies like a dream. show the peculiarly Greek form it took in Heraclitus work. former leads back to the difference between the Greek beginning and the Indian. finding in alert consciousness an image of that which they claim for metaphysical thought : . enmeshed in outmoded opinions. As a metaphysician Heraclitus rounds on the vulgar behaviour of men who. Everywhere the philosophers give the waking state precedence over sleep and dream. which Heraclitus effected for Greece just as movements Yajnavalkya had effected it for India before him or the legendary On the other hand. We can feel this different valuation from the first word of the texts that follow. We mean firstly his open and unbiased attitude to the world in The general. and our Is rounded with a sleep. of good and evil. the thought. as we saw. lasting symbols of man's metaphysical consciousness it recurs in We meet this in the modern European philosophy in Descartes' Meditations on Metaphysics. He shared the ascetic's belief in the liberating power of knowledge. the latter to the relationship between Greek and Chinese philosophy. but had another conception of knowledge and also of the kind of freedom which philosophy is supposed to provide. image not only in Heraclitus but also. even the delusive security of life in limitation. enjoy All the fixities. Heraclitus appears as the all-round healthy man who has no need of ascetic practices to rise to a contemplation of the Eternal.

over and above this normal use of the symbol another. but the sleepers turn aside each to a world of his own ". is Understanding is only possible speaking. he saw sense-perception as a means of communication between the individual soul and the world of . we produce them out of ourselves the spirit shines in its own light '. however. contrary application in keeping with their asceticism. But he adds ears are bad witnesses for men with barbarian souls/* by which he means souls without understanding of the language of sensebarbarians do not understand the language of data. it is up to us to understand the meaning that indwells in the world its logos. hear. Although caught up in the whirl of metaphysics he clung fast to the ground-relationship between man and world. " Eyes and experience are what I prize most ". The waking state they regard as the lowest step here we are in the fetters of sense-perception and desire. just as the country they have strayed into. But with the masters of the Upanishads we encounter side by side with. and that it is the stupidity of the " many to live as if each had a wisdom of his own ". and the soul's union with the Infinite. Thus. he set no special store by intuition or any other unusual means of ourselves forfeit.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD 239 the bringing of the mind into contact with truth and reality. or rather. Things speak to us because they carry their meaning in themselves . So also basis of meaning. But though we regard these dream-images of delight and oppres* sion as real. Heraclitus held aloof from such an extravagant idea of spiritual freedom. with an eye to its intellectual element. : * * on the things. sought myself. His philosophical purpose. The highest stage of all is dreamless sleep. the superiority of the waking to the sleeping state on the fact that " the waking have a common world. Following their practice of abnegation the Indian thinkers invert the accustomed gradations between consciousness and sleep. Although highly conscious of the novelty of his metaphysical advance. self : : knowledge on the contrary." His way was not the Indian method of subHe based jective immersion . " the things one can see. it led to the self via the world. was not exhausted in rational One of his most exciting sayings is "I have explanations. . analogous to language. which symbolizes the total liberation of the spirit from the empirical world. forfeit to the world and : Dream means passing from this lostness of the towards a greater liberation. indeed from the person as a self-contained unit. since in dreams the spirit makes a world of its own out of the materials of the phenomenal world.

which was also the period of the Iliad : " Would men " 2 ! 1 8 Cf. In attributing a positive and creative value to strife he introduced the heroic The Homeric epics played. who extended the original musical concept to the whole universe. Diels. supra. Greek philosophy. . and projected into it the qualities which. In this aggressive way he down his central conception of the nature of reality : the flame of life is lit when opposite forces meet. that is to say. ' : c ' * * resonance. in early attitude into philosophy. But Heraclitus makes an equally essential distinction. With the Homeric world before his eyes great Heraclitus poured derision on the poet who had written in the in and that strife might perish from among gods and In his ignorant delusion the poet failed to see that he " for if strife were was praying for the destruction of the world : " would be no : to perish all would perish "* There Again no and low. the simple. A . cit. l In the Heraclitean system harmony is likewise of fundamental of its importance. 96. The Greeks held fast to it all through their first philosophically creative period. 107. p.240 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV The early Chinese thinkers had an equally unbiased view of the multiplicity of appearances. 210 f. op. Hence harmony was regarded as the principle of world-order. the taut or dynamic harmony like that of It is the tension that resolves itself in the bow or the lyre '. But in China this view was expressed by saying that each individual thing follows a cycle own without colliding with others on its pre-ordained orbit. and living thing without the harmony without high 3 In China as in India thinkers opposition of male and female. " * * all know the War winged words of the saying : We is father of Heraclitus personified Strife as one of the divine forces at work in the world. 2 XVIII. in the eyes of the national religion. Better than open harmony is hidden " a harmony harmony where the opposites are joined in a * unity of tension." turned away at a very early stage from the primitive heroic attitude. t f. He puts no particular value on open harmony '. 200. Conceived as unity in diversity it is one of the root-ideas of all Greek philosophy from the Pythagoreans on. the part played in India by the Rig-Veda China by memories of the peaceful order of life in the State of Chou. in articulation. and also in action and strife. amicable agreement of " different things. were all and king of all/* laid proper only to great Zeus himself. The affinity between Greek and Chinese philosophy is again evident at this essential point. 197 22.

not without justice. * or tensional harmony belongs to a different category taut of ideas. musical consonance is based on the simplest of * numerical proportions. name they : . but to the unfathomable Ground. whereas to the archaic mind coming-to-be and * do not form a continuous process. since for us the continuity of the process is an essential part of the flow '. according to the Pythagoreans. in a way all his own. It is to this sphere of the vinculum * rationis that simple open harmony belongs. them so radically as to lose their ordinary connotation altogether. . Hence the proposition about strife being the father of all has its counterpart in the proposition that c thought is common to all '. has been called the successor to the tragedians. which relate not to empirical reality (with a view to disclosing one or the other aspect of it). war and peace. or even in the proposition that all is flux. For in such a harmony the unity of aesthetic pleasure and intellectually transpicuous order becomes perfectly clear since." . living reality particular aspect is offset the fact that all permutations are aspect by another image of the c strife * ' ' * : * ' : governed by Reason. to us if do not allow us partially. Heraclitus sets in motion the metaphysical process which is everywhere characteristic of " the beginning of philosophy God is day and night. at least to our mind. Heraclitus puts his conception of the life-process more aptly in the ' of warring forces than in that of stepping into a river.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD 24! great tragedians and long after as well thanks to Plato who. This theoretical formulation is inadequate. has the phrase. which 2. winter and summer. to Heraclitus' even only The . but each passing-away Thus he consists in the passing of one state into its opposite. But even this to be lives the death on an abstraction which singles out one rests paradoxical image This of the life-process itself. c A Systematic Arrangement of the Fragments as The fragments reconstruct handed down Book. Of like nature are the ideas concerning the * living * law or the rational fire \ These substantives are not defined * * * rational but are modified by by their attributes living *. Harmony is their name for the in of i is ratio the : On the other hand the * hidden *. octave. Thus. which reads almost like a formula what is coming of what is passing away. They no longer mean a definite thing that we all know and can * * * * * * become dialectical symbols pointing into the Infinite. surfeit and hunger .

underlies the whole work. they show a rational progression. distinguishing each thing in its nature and showing how it truly is. and theology . But other men know not what they do when awake. yet men understand it as little it as before.242 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS classical philologist to IV eminent whom we owe the authoritative compilation of the fragments deriving from the pre-socratic thinkers. sequence is already The first ing came at This after the first given because the beginning of the book : is we know what say- everlasting. as also in his formula for metaphysical knowledge. we can hear very clearly the chorus of all the different voices in the metaphysician's appeal to unthinking men to awake them from their torpor. leads by a continuous process of thought from natural philosophy to anthropology. it is not of the linear kind such as.* Nevertheless the different groups do not constitute mere variations on a single theme the ground-theme of all original metaphysics but. so various groups can be made into sequences which all have the same inner structure. Only. yet states it objectively and impersonally. as we saw. in the later philosophical systems. to that extent our arrangement is " the whole shines out consistent with the pantheistic view that of all the parts ". as one succeeds the other. in order to get round any such attempt. In these the metaphysical movement of thought which. even as they forget what they do Word from in sleep. with no arrangement of any kind. we must rather compare the sequences to concentric circles and say that in the end the whole course returns ethics to its starting-point. 1 " In omnibus partibus relucet totum " . wanting in experience when pass according they examine the words and deeds I set forth. Nicholas of Cusa. has. of For though all things come to hearing men to this seem Word. Sounding like a fanfare of trumpets this exordium asserts Heraclitus* confident awareness of the metaphysical task he has performed. bearing in mind the witnesses to the beginning of philosophy in the Orient. Just as a number of the sayings that have come down singly can in fact be paired off. At the end of this section an attempt is made to arrange them systematically. But. goes forward and assumes ever new shapes . according to the content of the fragments themselves. It is as though Philosophy were declaring itself for the first time in Greece in its full import. . which is echoed. emptied out the i3O-odd sayings all in a heap.

which denotes the total life of the cosmos as well as the individual soul. I D.. His saying about the flux of things ends with the words We are. 9 and 10 \ cf. . itself to the heroic attitude of the thinker under the guise of the life-creating struggle of opposites. first.e.P. while on the other hand the fundamentally scientific view of the periodicity of worldevents emerges from the religious conception of a moral worldIt is on this ethical and religious substratum that the order. the propositions. Heraclitus emphasizes the consequences of * this. metaphysical or transcendental trend is based. just as the sun is new every day *. 269. together singly. and they merge into a unity as do birth and death *.IV * 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD 243 almost word for word. 5 . l The tone of the second sequence is set by the specifically Greek approach from the physical world. Katha Up. and are not/ He says we * in order to include himself in the changing world-process. where it is said of the One that it is ' within all. .. * ' ' ' ' 5 On and dry not made up of two ' 1 Isa Up. To be and not to be are not so much contradictory as polar characteristics of the human condition. which embraces everything. in accordance with the double meaning of the word psyche. as hot with cold a logical view the phrase is one affirming what the other denies i. This unity of life-process is contrasted with the individual's with moist. The * * to be is to be understood here as a qualitative predicate is which contrasted with its opposite. he finds the most trenchant and most universal expression for the riddle of life by reducing the contrariety inherent in ' 3 : ' c c ' : * * : * * it verb to the basic opposition between being and not-being. v. also infra. or of as Nature Goethe calls '. The third sequence relates to the human soul and has been put "I have sought together with reference to Heraclitus' saying on first to the The group joins myself. existence of persons for such an opposition would involve a rather it forms a single proposition describing contradiction the whole within which the contrary predicates are differentiated as opposed poles of this whole. presents fly-wheel polarity *. They shew us the two salient philosophical aspects of empirical reality the perpetuand the order rational changing ally life-process reigning within taken at then We see how the great it." preceding one. Since it is part of cosmic life the individual soul partakes of the same * * the philosopher conceives to be process \ and this process * common the essence of everything in the world. outside all. Using the personal pronoun instead of speaking objectively of man in general. it. p. in the Upanishads.

at the bottom of the soul. one of whose characteristics is this capacity for ! presented as an organic clear that the rational factor " " increases. Central to this is the c ' idea of phronesis that is. therefore. but it is deep down in the soul directs man's self-development an idea for which the time was ripe. Although a constituent part of the universe. by reason of its own logos. thought or reflection . as Goethe growth with no set goal . he identified the unfathomable energy of man's far rational nature with his capacity to grow in spiritual stature. " it. the idea of logos. whose logos is so deep '. stabilized by some unchanging element in one's being. relate to the formation of personality. prevented the Greek thinker from identifying the still depths of the soul with the Absolute after the manner of the These went clean beyond the psychic functions and found. the personal pronoun Heraclitus likes to push a particular aspect of things to extremes in order to demonstrate its inadequacy. which is a basic feature of all spiritual and * : c ' moral calls life. To dissolve individual life in the continuous flow of transitory states is tanta- mount to denying personal identity. Heraclitus took the opposite from merging the boundless soul of the individual in the Absolute. the Infinite as the priestly thinkers of India." In destroying the static idea of the self in the name of Life he replaced it by a dynamic one in the name of Reason. In this connection we meet that exciting saying about the infinity of the soul. in the next group of sayings. when we consider Pindar's formulation of the ethical goal : Become what you are (yevoi* The combination of knowledge of the Infinite with olog loot). and it is on The foundation proceeds apace which . the soul of man lifts itself out of the natural processes akin to it." The quantitative phrasing has a qualitative connotation. The discovery of the unfathomable depths of the human soul thus goes together with the experience of its capacity for increase. "I have the significance of which we feel in his utterance : sought myself. the ever-striving ascent Spontaneous spiritual development " is or. Historically speaking. To this we must add the other saying " Such is the logos of the soul it increases itself. innermost reality of the course : Self. so far as one's person is commonly regarded as secure. the humanistic ideal we owe to the Greeks had its philosophical foundation in Heraclitus.244 TttE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV empirical awareness of himself which expresses. just as we speak of the higher life to which man is called. Hence personality becomes a problem.

1 speaks The idea of phronesis is directly connected with Heraclitus' " definition of wisdom The speaking of truth and the doing of this Heraclitus * 9 : it. in this by metaphysics great historical event remained a problem. The fourth lated this Man's character famous saying that : " sequence centres is on the saying which Goethe transhis fate. so true science which is what he has " in mind is bound up with Much learning." Just as personality constitutes itself through the combination of practical thinking and objective " understanding. like Confucius. his writings we can even see how ethics. . Part I. the term philosopher makes its appearance for the first time. a scion of the noblest stock of his native city. and. p. 1 Faust. basis of moral personality is drawn from an aristocratic tradition. 201. quite the contrary. that you are only a man. while giving ear to Nature. This new name for seekers after knowledge was to supersede conventional idea of legendary sages and responsible personality. or. ' ' possession of it." We have already met the whole idea of an crystallizes independent moral personality when we compared it with the 2 In both cases the rational corresponding Confucian dictum. was then in the ascendent. supra. took shape on the basis of the hierarchy of values that had been elaborated in the aristocratic order of society. as he puts it. to the realiza- holy men who had full tion of his limits in the sense of the Apollonian exhortation : " Know thyself" i. but. which he detested. made it his task to bring the ideal human content of this order into the full light of consciousness and so give what was passing away an In the case of Confucius the part played air of permanence. little understanding. Heraclitus. growing out of the initial metaphysical movement.e. just as Heraclitus' observations regarding the soul and spirit lead not to the glorification of man as a god-like being. since we have no access to the Master's teachings in their original form." In a kindred saying (" Lovers of wisdom must inform themselves of very many things "). a Cf. Thus in this sequence too the movement of thought finally veers towards the transcendental. * ' of reason and science as man's supreme strength *. and we can see that In the founder of the personal ethos was a true metaphysician. the study scene. But Heraclitus speaks to us direct. through listening to Nature ". living at a time when the feudal order was crumbling. but taking no part in its political life because democracy. Ephesus.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD that 245 grounds human dignity and the soul's ' the In the same way Goethe nobility highest virtue (arete}.

The fragments tell us how he set about it. Heraclitus the metaphysician likewise " declares that man alone distinguishes right from wrong before whole character of ethics his metaphysics and there . which. whether personal or social . Filled with the thought of absolute good. It is sickness that makes health pleasant . so he reverted to the polar " character of feelings and values in human life. and to adhere that is the mark of the to the distinction between good and evil of of everything is aware the two-sidedness realist. ' a typical formula is Beyond good and evil '." While ascribing the comprehensive evil or unjust in the vision that nothing ugly. Just as he understood world-events in terms of the polarity of nature. the combination of is not an individed displayed harmony but is full of tensions. . who clearly : human. ethic such as we find in the wisdom of the Upanishads and in Lao-Tze comes to a halt in the ideal of exalting the spirit of man beyond the sphere of finite values. But he elaborates it with a view to correcting human valuations." Possessions may be of all kinds. But to take the world seriously despite knowledge of the Absolute. Accordingly he develops the theory of the relativity of values. Heraclitus* discovery of this on depends as wide a range of application as his insight into has relativity the torrent of occurrence. This attitude enabled Heraclitus to combine the metaphysical knowledge of Absolute good which transcends all finite values. satiety hunger.246 THE fcRtMO&DIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS True to the IV work. by methodical analysis. resulting from the union of heterogeneous tendencies. God all is fair and good and just ". which it does because it sees no difference between what we would call But a purely metaphysical practical and theoretical philosophy. is one of the basic theories of original metaphysics. world. All original metaphysics has an ethical streak in so far as it sets up an ideal of conduct." This interpretation also extends to the moral " Men would never have values and man's moral consciousness known the name of Justice were it not for these (evil) things. like the theory of the relativity of all qualities and quantities. weariness rest." Such a lordly view is only possible if the mind's eye is fixed on the Absolute the mark of the metaphysician. to the transcendent : Deity alone. but their valuation him who enjoys them. evil makes good. he illumines our common human valuations by " Asses prefer chaff comparing them with those of the animals to gold. as described at the beginning " of his book To distinguish each thing in its nature and show : how sees it truly is.

penetrating as a philosopher below the political stratum. He criticises or rather caricatures the way of life of the common man in order to contrast the bestial character of the mob with those ideal moral cratic values whose vehicle personality is. In the same way the philosopher speaks Homerically of* ' imperish- good on earth renown being the universal recognition of a man's worth. for he decries them his own all. As a pendant to the saying about the ethos " of personality we have The people shall defend their law like : their own walls." The long as the to the laws itself. had laid down this idea of political freedom when. A man's value was determined by his say. many of the statesman to " one of the Seven Wise Men of popular lore that he amounted to more than the others ". as the people's spokesman. freedom of the aristocrat gives democracy its due. from the point of view of reformist conception of philosophy which leaves all Homer previous wisdom far behind. In the Greek this opinion is so expressed that Bias has more logos than the others as we should means more '. Just how he did that is revealed in a saying which is so significant .IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD 247 with an appreciation of moral personality and so to base his innate aristocratic outlook on a philosophical foundation consistent with his views about wisdom and virtue. but he established the binding force of law at a yet deeper level. in an aristocratic respect. however. included. which. Among the fragments there is a size- able group of sayings about famous men who had moulded the spiritual life of the nation. society. so citizens is based on their submission or the constitution which the community has set Solon. He appropriates the aristo" few good ". voice the public opinion of these men. He does not. one fixed point in the He assumes the office of judge in this relativity of valuations. science any more than there was of a self-contained individual souL ' whom this saying is attributed Bias of Priene. All the time the great thinker keeps his eye on the twosidedness of reality. he since there was as yet no fully developed idea of constatus. he is rather concerned to correct it . he gave the Athenians their constitution. had fallen to the poet as the highest able renown since time immemorial. We can see in the fragments how he performed this task with the passionate strife of political opinions raging all round him. and remarks The are bad and axiom. from Homer and Hesiod to Pythagoras and Xenophanes. the democrat among the Seven Wise Men. Heraclitus stuck to the ethical ground-relationship between freedom and duty.

As parts of the universe we are dependent on what is common to all '. and this ground-relationship he illustrates through the familiar relationship of the citizens to the law and order of the polis. on what into makes it laws. * consciousness/ So far as he saw this strange phenomenon at pervading divine reason. Those who would speak with understanding (vv vy) ". Here the pantheist is speaking. : c manifesting itself in us as us to follow Nature and adapt our enables phronesis. on the mere fact that these positive is : * ' . But the bond between the citizens and their legal constitution. appears to be crying down the democratic idea of the state based on law. Just as our souls are borne along on the current of cosmic life. With the many different city-states of Greece in mind Heraclitus declares that their law and order derive from one source which lies in divine reason. He " For all human laws are fed by the one divine/* continues This saying is a landmark in the history of European thought. for it signifies nothing less than the conception of Natural Law '. is not as strong as the divine bond. even more firmly than the city stands on the foothold of law . Thus the pantheistic conception of man's relation to God reduces itself to the relation between human and cosmic reason. * : * on that and embraced by it. since it reposes all. That is to say the binding.THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS that IV its full we must follow it step by step if we want to exhaust meaning.e. but in reality he is endowing it with a higher status. he related it to reason . * But he points to the political sphere only to go beyond it : even more firmly than on the foothold of his native law must a man stand on the power that welds all life into one. of the on its law does not rest unifying power legality. This extraordinarily powerful idea was born of pantheism. which. so the reason in us draws its strength from the all. the city-state to which they belong. which modern psychology regards as the distinctive quality of the individual soul. begins." He starts off with an inimitable pun in which he condenses the two elements he had analysed in his definition of wisdom to follow Nature and thus make our words true. and the same is true of the rational will. Over and above He the particular social bond stands the universal cosmic bond. he " must take their foothold on what is common to all (vvq)). proceeding from the relations of the parts to the whole. consciously Heraclitus possessed no word for will to the common whole. he tells the democrats. just as he said of the world-order that it " is made by no one either god or mortal ". " . i.

whether from convention or mere whim. be joined to the divine power from which objectifies c ' '. self-creating reality. pantheism and the artistocratic . c ' : We c ' i.e. as the ear to Nature '. might be taken as a kind of party- slogan . bond This organic and moral ligature is that binds the individual soul to the ' speak of Natural Law where Heraclitus speaks of the ' * natural discipline of reason (nous) . and that of Nature. by giving the reason that * 5 rules the life. law it is but seen in terms of Heraclitus' conception of natural an example of his creative method of combining such elements as heterogeneous tradition. world the has at the same time a metaphysical significance. Though he did not claim that the best man in the state had the prerogative to set himself above the law. for instance. He employs the democratic-sounding * word law only to formulate an aristocratic political maxim. absolutely Here we encounter the political ideal that Heraclitus opposed to " the democratic law-state. as Plato did for the philosopher * * : ' name of law *. Heraclitus made it possible for us to construct such a paradox by deriving the legality of human laws from a spiritual Ground above the political sphere and. seeing that it combines two that of law. By voluntarily submitting to the laws. which diametrically opposed ideas ' ' meant down or set up laid originally something by man. his Once conception of the ruler's rights is similar to Plato's. Heraclitus goes on to say of the one divine law which he declared to be the source of all political " order that It ruleth where it listeth.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD 249 have been introduced by a political legislator or by human convention it rests on the universal reason it embodies or . a term taken from man's The pantheistic idea of divine law social ' c king '. And it is law also to obey the counsel 5 of one if he be the best. We are hardly aware how paradoxical this way of speaking really is. issues the oneness of all life. again we glimpse the system underlying Heraclitus 5 thoughts. and sufficeth for all and more than all ". thus voicing his own idea of what is right and lawful. By itself that maxim. living. the citizens will of their own accord. apparently thrown together so planlessly. as objective as the living universe. at the same * time. So this movement too has a transcendental But the Greek thinker does not follow this trend trend. sage gives as it were organically. similarly we speak of * laws with reference to the physical world. he gives weight to the immanence of Transcendence.

including the sopher Mystery cults. comes to an understanding of the universal oneness and. counsel law.25O THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV As a pantheist. who. political leadership was coloured by his conception of personality. ' ' { ' ' ' ' ' . outstanding individual in political it is life. on whom are to society's stability they are not the final rationale of social order. He extends this difference beyond the span of individual life and * in such a way that we must perforce hero's death exalts the ' an expression of personal convictions which it would On the other hand he speaks as a philoin on his attacks popular religious customs. he understood human law as the incarnation of the divine spirit indwelling in the universe. to realize this individual is able to fulfil the mediatory role that gives the law its * possible for relationship to the it is man. as he explained in his the work. In this sense law is the mediator between the transcendental Ground and the it imposes a right order. From the strife that is the testing-ground of men he derived not merely the division of society into bond and free but also the distinction between men and gods a distinction take it as be fruitless to discuss. and the binding force or sanction which falls to them is Above the citizens' obedience to law therefore not absolute. listening to the nature of things. factor according to which the individual's value is the hence his the authority of the . the fundamental affinity between individual and universal. no different The in intellectual introduction to his own where. the significance. on to the cosmic force he called War the attributes of Olympian Zeus. common embodied from what in ' what is common to all '. logos that speaks through him. Necessary as they activities of man. His pantheism cut the ground away from under It was not for nothing that he projected traditional religion. point is not the person but the life. realizes by reflection '. that is. the philosopher sets the attitude of the wise man. The difference of status which the aristocrat draws between the few and the many provides the starting-point for the final sequence of fragments dealing with Heraclitus' views on religion. ' all-empowering Reason. significance of the in his view. Because thinking being. modelling his words and deeds on the insight so gained. as a One. is. in ' a free and responsible manner may be just as authoritative as The Greek thinker was far from demanding the people's The value he set on subjection to a leader whose will was law. consciously and purposefully. Such a laws their role but at the mediatory gives metaphysical dignity same time limits their power and meaning.

In his presentation of it. For. logos one of the key.P. " In the beginning was the Word.words of European metaphysics and theology. in the singular (e. d The Logos of Heraclitus It is hardly possible to deal with the logos as it appears in the sayings of Heraclitus without taking some account of the associations it has for us in our own religious and philosophical The reverberations of that tremendous exordium to traditions. John. and the Word was with God.g. in the last and * immortal an antithesis of fundaresort. and the Gospel of St. each living the death and dying the life of the other/ He could hazard this audacious thought because as a metaphysician he had a conception of divinity very different from that of the pure pantheist.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD religion regarded as something absolutely primary. The gods. " running all through the fragments returns to its source at the book's beginning and thus debouches into the mainstream of original metaphysics. mortals. phrase. that of mortal c c ' * anthropomorphic gods of the national religion differed from men solely on account of their being above decay and death. the conversion of one state into its opposite in accordance with the To the striving contraries through which principle of strife \ Heraclitus illustrates this universal law there belongs. have made The Johannine D. Doctrine of the logos can be derived partly from i* . whose basic feature is everlasting change. which all go to demonstrate the polarity of nature. etc. immortal . What distinguishes the Greek beginning of philosophy from in the it the Indian We and Chinese can be summed up a must therefore concern ourselves with little word logos. since the Homer and abolished that difference. he takes the two as mortal Immortal gods. while employing the Homeric " men ". psychological and ethico-political With this idea of the Absolute the movement of thought portions. speaking of God : 5 God is day and night. more closely. polytheism took to be superhuman forces manifesting themselves in the world. the Word was God ". 251 which puts He this destructive whom thought even more radically. universals forming just one pair of opposites among others. we see the same transcendental trend at work in the religious portion of the book as in the cosmological. are on the contrary an integral part of the life-process. Heraclitus of mental importance for religion."). Thus he " can boldly say Immortals mortal.

E. pantheistically conceived as immanent in the material universe. pp. The Fourth Gospel. all equivalent and all of equal weight. was not esoteric language of the referring directly It is rather exclusively to the Absolute. . Hoskyns. de Remusat. as recent scholarship has but it would be misleading to deny on that score any . adapted for them logos was the technical term for Divine Reason. even go so far as to suggest that logos is the real meaning of these Wisdom I shown primordial metaphysical words. by way of imagery and parallel formulation. Generally speaking. This kind of polyphonic utterance is characteristic of his style and corresponds to his many-sided view of the world. when Greek philosophy became absorbed in Neoplatonism and revelation was regarded as the highest form of knowledge. a kind ofpneuma that ordered all things according to its law. the case that the philosophical use he makes of the term illustrates and the peculiarly creative character of his metaphysical knowledge of the Absolute. and this for the simple reason that as yet no proper philosophical terminology existed. arising within the metaphysical movement at the outset of philosophy and being promoted to philosophic rank in turn. brahma and tao. his ideas to their own particular form of pantheism . Supremely conscious of his original powers of authorship. each indicating the particular metaphysical approach of the culture that gave it birth. We incline to a different view. Heraclitus availed himself of the ambiguous nature of everyday words to indicate. his sayings are composed of living words rather than technical philosophical terms and abstractions. unlike brahma which. The Greek word was a living part of everyday speech. also * meaning word *. though from the clitus. though in basic intention he is at one with the Hindu symbol. 1940. logos centred upon the mystery of the Theophany the manifestation of God to man. Thus invested with a halo of mysticism the word appears as a late Western counterpart to the Modern scholars 2 original Eastern expressions for the Absolute. philosophy. I. 1 2 E. was taken over associations. At a still later stage.g. Herain endowing the word with philosophical dignity.252 the THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV literature of the Hebrews. Richard Wilhelm. priests together with its magical unlike the Again priestly thinkers of India. connection between the Christian usage of the word. We observe the three words. C. going back to the archaic thinker. 152-4. A. the unequivocal his vision. meaning of metaphysicians. and Greek The Stoics.

they may be regarded as forming the elements of a common metaphysical language whose grammar is physics are many. The fundamental logical phenomenon of Meaning denoted by the word logos acquired. a man does not understand what somebody is saying and asks him " What did you say ? " he would. and his names for the unnameable subject of meta- He. In its ordinary usage it meant speech or discourse . but by the simple fact that words and sentences have a meaning. ' meaning to things and their own intrinsic meaning. in Heraclitus we see this is language actually taking shape before our eyes. dialectic. is regard Meaning purely as a logical phenomenon that was the work of Plato . He did not. points to the Absolute by way of the coincidence of opposites. however.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD 253 too. Heraclitus probably had no conassigning ception of the former element. The creativity of the human mind itself. But however varied and ingenious his expressions for the Absolute may be. since logos in the speech of Heraclitus' time marked the sphere of the purely * * ratiocinative processes. We make a distinction between speaking * and * meaning something *. which we seek to understand. when engaged in the processes of thinking and knowing. he saw it rather under a metaphysical aspect which was in full accord with the objective attitude of Greek There is indeed an objective side to this phenomenon thinking. in Heraclitus. a specifically philosophical dimension and was made the basis of any rational comprehension of the world. the subjective side of our logical phenomenon. and in Greece the pre-eminence of speech was not determined by its holy or magical qualities. he would be told that he was * saying nothing *. The only difference phrases handed down by that instead of stereotyped tradition. The choice of the word logos for this transcendent Reality may at first sight appear somewhat contradictory. as it was in India. have " " * ' ' *- : to ask : What do you mean ? Similarly. so meaning designates both the intellectual act of of * * ' ' ' meaning '. they do not impair the essential oneness of that transcendent Being which his thought can only represent dialectically. if he were a Greek. who thereby deprived meta- . whereas in logos the two things are deemed to be an The word cannot indicate mere talk \ When original unity. was again the discovery of a later thinker Kant. when somebody just making words or chattering. Together with the utterances of the Indian and Chinese beginnings. Just as thought or knowledge refers equally to the activity of thinking or knowing and the thing thought or * known.

Cf. 57. supra. fail to understand what they see prime relationship and hear because they wander about in the world like strangers in a country whose language they do not know. etc. he stresses not merely the necessity to adhere to the truth in word and deed a Zoroastrian would have c spoken no differently but the importance of giving ear to Nature '. 1 Heraclitus. : are open to the possibility that sense and meaning first arose 55 with man himself. he says. as a classical thinker. 4 connection with cosmic transformations it is said that one and ' the same logos reigns over the beginning and end of the process. in whom that is disturbed. making a series. characteristics of empirical reality which we can only call suprac rational or unfathomable. This natural affinity he represented as an act of communion analogous to communication by language. in his definition of wisdom. was later to become. following Kant. in mathematics. by The noun extension. who in this manner will reveal her truths to our underThe comparison of man's relationship to the world standing. co-ordinating. reckoning. that the world is laid out in an aestheticrational order which can be surveyed as a perfect whole. group since they are all meanings of the one word. the term for relation and proportion. And. p. hence. To that extent the part played by the logos concept in the Heraclitean system is consistent with the basic preconception of the early cosmologists. arranging . note a. Dilthey " could assert There is no road leading from world to man. such as the idea of depth being the J * 5 1 Ces. This rationalizing tendency is in its turn connoted by the word logos itself. The verb has the primary sense of placing. p. The fragments dealing with the rational order of the universe gener* * measure (* the sun ally contain the more specific expression in may not transgress his measures . Unreflecting people. naturally started the other way about and insisted on the innate conform- We reason to cosmic reason. can see how the various Now the simplest way to grasp the meaning of things is to render them transpicuous to thought. but on one occasion. . Likewise.254 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS IV physics of its old foundations. 291. His use of * Logos must be seen in relation to that preconAt the same time he attached to his logos certain ception.y VII. Heraclitus* use of it lies in this direction. with a community of men all speaking the same language is more than an analogy it affords us a vantage-point from which we ability : of human significations of the word logos effortlessly themselves into the articulated whole they in fact are. Sckr.).

sect. distinguish each thing in its nature and show " stream of consciousness ". Brought face to face with the Boundless in his investigation of the nature of things. corresponding to the two-faced a dualism that can be summed up in the energy of all logic * c * distinction between understanding and reason as defined 2 This double meaning enabled Logos to become the by Kant. as its Aristotelian name prima philosophia This brings us to the element of communication in that community of language such as the natural relationship between man and world proved to be. acquired in Heraclitus over and above its rational physiognomy a supra' from arbitrary. Heraclitus describes his book as this which mankind is now hearing for the first time. It acquired this meaning during the Ionian enlightenment. laid claim to the status of shows.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD 255 equivalent of boundlessness. . Critique 1 * 2 of Judgement. arrived at the soul's irrationality . key-word of Greek metaphysics which. which is in fact one of the main characteristics of life. and logos emphasizes its rationalist tenor by indicating his line of pro" to cedure. he recognized and the capacity of the human spirit for increase. 1 It would be truer to say that he interpreted the soul's irrationality c as deriving from the unfathomable depths of the logos itself. but conversely it is the destiny of human language to express the truths so perHere again there is a definite rational starting-point : ceived. the epic lyric and we have * already quoted. far : ' speculations of the oriental thinkers. He thus discovered the connection between conceptibility and unfathomability. while reason (Vernwfi) aims ultimately at the Infinite. but he did not understand them as something specifically the depth-dimension of psychic life psychological in contrast to the physical . rather he attributed them to the peculiar logos of the soul. and thus points to the new type of literature that was to supplant forms derived from the past. but his essentially Greek faith in the rule of nous prevented him from this In way he life a structureless and featureless process. unlike the metaphysical rational one. 76. William James' Understanding (Verstand) aims at the relations pertaining between things finite and conditioned. Not only must man give * * * in order to perceive her truths. the special form which the all-pervading rational factor takes in the depths * 3 of man. which distinguish men from other animate beings. science. ear to Nature * logos means speaking in prose as distinct from speaking in poetry. that is to say. and was a symbol of In the dazzling opening the rationalist trend of that movement. namely. reducing psychic to ' Hence the word logos/ which gave its name to logic.

truly is ". an absolute term without a plural and as such having no reference words it might be. as in the case of objective knowledge. as yet unnamed the realizaspecies of creative work which he called Philosophy tion of Meaning through the free spiritual activity of man." He makes this distinction between his work and his person with the social function of philosophy in view. Heraclitus was highly conscious powers of authorship and the originality of his vision. which all-ruling Reason. in the name of logos. " " the Word is from everlasting Heraclitus declares that and all things come to pass in accordance with this Word ". and. Here he is laying the foundations of the whose chosen instrument is analysis and whose method. Heraclitus extols the declaration of the metaphysical knowledge which he has achieved in his own work as a task incumbent on all men. Thought is common to all *. for one and the same logos * runs through man as runs through all things. paradoxical remark that after the first hearing of it as before ". he emphasizes the objective. as we have seen. to any particular person whose claim can be from to therefore.. those who heed the author's meaning rather than . He thus gives it a place within the sphere of action. everlasting '. : of his Although. reflection is part of our common humanity. But once again. that " book and its subject-matter. For. which is to act as the spiritual bond of the community. just as the Herarefers equally to his it out of its common * ' c clitean principle of cosmic living '. His sarcasms serve the double purpose of stressing the necessity of this task while leaving men free to decide whether they will accept it or not. Heraclitus lifts usage and makes a universal principle of it. he : goes on to say. loses its appearance of absurdity. At the logos is same time the : ideal existence of this * * everlasting of a dynamic kind it demands to be understood* It is both the omnipresent and transcendent Meaning of the universe and the means to its own realization.256 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS it IV how scientific goal is the fragments dealing with the logos of the psyche. offers to the world this new. all-pervading and ' By his ambiguous use of this Word '. impersonal nature of his work and " Hear not me but exalts it as something universally binding the Word in me . thus applying it to the subject of metaphysics. change fire is described as * ever- In view of the objective ideality of logos taken in this " the men understand it as little sense. even though he decries their deafness. Logos.. the meaning of the term is extended beyond the confines of the rational.

that only emerged with the crystallization of metaphysical knowledge in the concept of Absolute Being. " in accordance with which all things come to pass ". Lamennais. ' : reflected in modern times. will acquiesce in this meaning and. as we shall see in the final section on Parmenides. human * of human life while relating it to the ultimate Ground of reality. his intention was rather to point to the philosophical activity that must underlie any system of that kind.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD 257 the controversial figure of the author. who child's play *. Intellectual dogmatism was as alien to the Heraclitean logos with its multifarious nature as But this mention of truth c ' were mystic flights to the Beyond. It is to be noted expresses both meanings at once. Because of this dual relationship his logos is the perfect symbol of man's * predicament midway between the two grounds . should not predispose us to take his word in the sense of a timelessly valid dogma. echoing Heraclitus' own definition c of wisdom. and the anti-metaphysical view. on the contrary. that 1 man alone assigns Meaning to the universe." in of the One Self-same. there was no purely theoretical idea of truth in the scientific sense as yet . as the European counterpart to the primordial metaphysical words of the East. Moreover. through their recognition of the universal harmony. may itself take up a position midway between the two extreme interpretations of spiritual reality in our own the mystical view of late antiquity^ that logos is tradition the agent of a Theophany. In so far as the realization of the everlasting logos is dependent on man's striving towards the truth. be it the Absolute or that unity born of the harmony of opposite tensions. and. find themselves in harmony with one another. mankind the truth uniting that in the Greek one verb Myeiv A '. Perreur separe. opinions were He did not set out to build a system of abstract truths such as would command general acceptance . Heraclitus kept the philosopher's task in touch with the ground measured man by God. modern thinker puts the idea as follows : " La verite l The realization of logos is a means to reunit. For Heraclitus. .

same streams . for ever other waters (641-2 . We not. . are like the deaf present. was made by no one either god or mortal . (B 2 . as they say. is. D 34) and they meet the familiar like strangers. to pass according to this Word. absent though (B 3 . (Not in then that all B is D 49) . the Wise One Absolute ("apart from all".. hearing. (B 92 D 2) as each live many in me. step and do not step into the same streams to all : we are and are . and the (B 39 . distinguishing its nature and showing how it truly is. i) when each thing in D Fools they are who. 04) They cannot abide that with which they have abiding communion. Hear not me but the Word and thus wisely be one with (B (B 18 i . men seem wanting in experience they examine the words and deeds I set forth. D 80) * 1 * * present versions are based on a new German translation by the author. even as they forget what they do in sleep. that all things are one. Early Greek Philosophy. (B 94 : . Nor like children . and ever shall be ever-living Fire. Adam Black. cold . Word D 50) 108) Of all those whose discourses is I have heard none understands that . warm grows day. things into being and pass away through (B 62 Strife. 126) The sun is new every (B 32 D 6) D 12) You cannot step twice into the are flowing to you. Know and that War come is common and that Strife Justice . Cold grows warm. one and the same for all. right-hand reference to Diels 9 Fragmente The and thus differ & der Vorsokratiker. 1945. We the to all. Ed.) D Cosmos This world. the moist dries. (B 93 It is not meet to act and speak like the sleepers. 4th ed. D 73-4) .258 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS Selections IV l from the Book of Heraclitus Thus speaks Heraclitus of Ephesus. dry moistens. from those of John Burnet. But other men know not what they do when awake. D . son of Bloson Logos This Word is from everlasting. Left-hand reference to Burnet. but was. following their parents. kindling D 30) in Measure and dying in Measure. the must follow the common yet though the Word is common if a had wisdom of his own. (B 20 . yet men understand it as little For although all things come after the first hearing of it as before.

(Not in B . B 71 . and from Water. . and Fire for all things . will not transgress his measures . : D D 60) the first in turn become the last. and . a pleasure for souls to become wet.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD 259 All things are an exchange for Fire. Sea. Soul. : (B2i. (B 29 . D 90) The transformations of Fire are first. . D 101) direction you logos of it. (B 22 . The sun is as big as a man's I (B 80 foot. D66) How The world. D 64) D 124) The random. (B 78 . * (B 72 * . Though you travel in every will never find the bounds of the soul. (Bgia . (B 79 D 5 2) Psyche have sought myself. half Fiery Wind. 3. (B 68 . Water comes from Earth. (B 73 . all The way up and way down are the same. should he do so the will find him out. 36) . (B 69 The quick and the dead. 031) death for souls to become Water as it is death for Water to become Earth but again. D 115) man in his cups is led unsure of step when his soul A by a beardless youth. Di6) Rational Fire) steers the course of the (B 28 fairest . 45) D Such is the Logos of the soul : it increases itself. cosmos is but a heap of garbage emptied out at (not in B . young and old are the same. can one hide from the light that never sets ? (B 27 thunderbolt (of . 94) D Fire coming upon us will judge and convict all things. and is measured by the same Measure (logos) as before it became Earth. as goods for gold and gold for goods. but the sceptre is the child's. For the last are moved about to be the first. A It dry soul is is wisest and (B 74-6 . staggering and is wet. (Earth) pours itself out as Sea. 23 It is . D 88) The sun Erinyes. 116) . the wakers and sleepers. (626. so deep is the (Not in B. D 117) best. D 118) D 77) D * Thought is universal ("common to all"). whereof half becomes Earth. Time is a child playing draughts . handmaids of Justice.

experience are what I prize most. (B 15 . D 35 ) The things one can see. (B 19 To be The the habit (ethos) of God. and Wisdom is the speaking while giving ear to Nature. little understanding else it would have taught Hesiod and Pythagoras. : (B 48. : We ! D Much learning. He was deceived by little ' leave what we have boys killing lice and shouting at him * seen and caught. D 112) many (B 49 things. (B 96 . dust. and to these they hold fast . they want to live and run upon their dooms or rather rest. (Not in Lovers of wisdom must inform themselves of very B. of truth and the doing of (arete). weariness. things are steered through all things. and carry what we have not 56) (Not in B . most beautiful ape is hideous in comparison with man. and barnyard fowls in Asses prefer chaff to gold. rational is D 4 i) D 78) wisdom. and they leave children behind them and thus more dooms. evil (makes) good. Men let Homer. beauty and all else man is In but an ape compared with God. souls. rest. (Bi35 D55) The eyes are trustier witnesses than the ears. . hear. (B5 2 D6i) If happiness consisted in bodily pleasure. purest : > : hunger. not man. we should call the ox D 4) (8510 happy eating bitter vetches. (B8. (B86. (698-9. to men undrinkable and death-dealing. D 47 D ) The most esteemed of them know but fancies. 28) Wisdom is one : it is to know the Thought by which all .260 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS is IV Thought the highest virtue it. D82-3) Ethos Swine wash in mire. Those who seek gold dig much earth and find but Sea-water is little. Dso) . (B io4 . D 9) 53 . Dio7) just like themselves be deluded in their knowledge of visible things wisest of the Greeks. satiety to . D 4o) Let us not vaguely conjecture about the greatest things. (B D 37) (851. D 102) Eyes and ears are bad witnesses for men with barbarian (B 4 . (B 1 18 . Xenophanes and Hekataios. Dm) Being born. D22) to fish drinkable and lifeand most foul giving. (B 16 . It is sickness that makes health pleasant . yet of a truth Requiting Justice shall overtake the artificers of lies and their false witnesses.

(Bin. Greater deaths win greater destinies. * the best among them. man were to talk to a house. . Ephesians. (B no . and And they pray to those images as if a not knowing what gods or heroes are. (Bin. with buys (B 105-7 . saying We will have none who is best among us . if there be any such.vat. 049) Let the Ephesians go hang themselves. that you may stand convicted of your evil ways. (B 121 . let him be so elsewhere and among is : And One it is law also to obey the counsel of one. D walls. The fallen in battle are honoured by gods and men. D 104) Presumption needs putting out more than a house on It is : fire. they would be doing a thing of shame. (6114. and sufficeth for all and more others. It ruleth where it listeth. (8103. D 121) Those who would speak with understanding must take their foothold on what is common to all. 27) D (Whom would Heraclitus punish maenads and wardens of mysteries ! ?) Night-walkers. But Hades is that same Dionysus in whose honour they go mad and (B 127 . if he be the best. 5 than all.IV 3 THE GREEK APPROACH FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD is 26 1 Man's character his fate. and leave the city to beardless youths . D 33) ten thousand to me. even more firmly than the city stands on the foothold of law . (B 102 . for all human laws are fed by the one divine. for they cast out Hermodorus. 015) keep the feast of the wine. . magicians. (B 101 . while the many are glutted like beasts. (For) the mysteries practised among men For were are unholy mysteries. 29) * * * like their The people shall defend their law own (B 100 044) (B 113 . D 85) For the noblest choose one thing above all others Renown incor- ruptible. they die such things as they look not (B 122 . (Bgife . D D 119) May you never lose your wealth. it D 43 ) hard to fight against the desiring heart whatever it wants the soul. D 114) Theos There awaits for nor men when dream of. not knowing that many are bad and few good. D 13) D 96) D 24) D 25) . every grown man of them. (B 124-5 J & 1 5) it not to honour Dionysus that they go in procession sing the phallic hymn. (Not in B . 125) For what rhyme or reason have they ? They follow the poets and take the crowd for their teacher. (B 126 ! Cast out your corpses rather than dung (B 85 .

Men (evil) would never have known the name of Justice but (B 60 for these things. It rests in change. (B 47 . D 54) Nature loves to hide. hold 102) some wrong and some (B6i D . but its work is death. winter and summer. H. 62) D * * * right . (B 44 .262 THE PRIMORDIAL METAPHYSICAL WORDS They rise IV the dead. again and become watchful guardians of the quick and (B 123 . the drawing together discordant. To God all things are fair right. D 67) The Wise One may and may of Zeus. And One from Better than open harmony is hidden harmony. (B 36 . Zeus ' from Zijv. Dio 3 ) * * * The unhoped for it is for is not to be found save by hoping against hope D 18) hard of discovery. Frankel conjectures oil. . 2 not desire to be known by the name (865. (B 7 . (B 1 1 . to be D 53) The bow Immortals dying the life (/tot) is called life (jSfoc). D 84) Beginning and end meet in the circumference of the circle. mortals of the other. (B66. gods. . (B 59 . like that of the bow or the (645. (B 10 . D 23) Men do there lyre. some men and king of all some he has shown some he has made bond and some free. 063) War is father of all . and good and but men . to live. . surfeit and hunger . war and peace. The Lord of the meaning 1 2 : he shows is oracle of Delphi neither reveals nor conceals his it in a sign. D 123) God is day and night. 032) (B 83 . each living the death and (B 67 . is not understand how the contrary is at one with itself: a harmony of opposite tensions. as when fire l mingling with spices is known by the perfume of each. the harmonious and the All and All from One. but he takes to himself divers shapes. D48) mortal. immortal. (B 7 o. and inaccessible. 93) D The word c not known for certain. D 10) Connections are (made by) the whole and the not whole. 051) and the pulling asunder.

word logic *. self-same. Greece and China is JL due not merely to their common aim. since it comes closest to our European logic. dialectic '. to define the relation of logic to metaphysics. by a dialectical process which establishes the coincidence of sense-experience opposites and the identity of what has been distinguished ] similarity discernible in the metaphysical of beginnings philosophy in India. the aim also affects the logical form and the manner of expressing this We call this form of thinking original knowledge of the Absolute. it describes a method of philosophical speculation which in various forms permeates the whole history of philosophy. into individuality totality. which is turned towards the one. a word coined by Plato for the strict method of investigation in true philosophy. We use it here in a narrower In this sense sense. shall start with the We We Greek type. and now dominant. In the initial metaphysical movement this speculative method is to be met with in a definite form whose typical features have been striking I * * indicated in the heading to this section.THE DIALECTIC OF THOUGHT IN METAPHYSICAL KNOWLEDGE [ Definition of the Absolute : by contrast with the world of multiplicity is resolved into unity. transcendent object of thought . the finite into the infinite. 263 . shall try to describe it more closely. This will lead us to the variations on the typical form. and one that has long struggled for precedence in our own philosophical tradition with the related. Chinese and Greek beginnings. each corresponding to the various metaphysical approaches in the Indian.

the passing of one state into its polar opposite. yet grasped any rational understanding of life. 224. Coming-to-be and passing-away are not therefore two independent acts of the essentially unknowable world-ground. to a vision of the transcendent This and which as must be the ground of ungraspable Ground. Just as all metaphysics sets itself against the world of the natural outlook '. Hegel. as was the case with Anaximander who. because of his moral and religious interpretation of world- away order. because bound to measure *. and whatever passes away dies the life of what is coming-to-be. 1 something Heraclitus 5 dialectic endowed the antithetical Conceived as process of becoming with a twofold significance. is itself bound by the vinculum rationis that holds the cosmos together. the essence of which is that life is ' begot by opposition * . In Heraclitus dialectic was not simply a movement of thought but an illustration of the antithetical movement inherent in reality c itself. while on the other hand all change. supra. The bold was that whatever comes-to-be of what is passing away. . but together they constitute formula for this lives the death * reality-dialectic ' 1 Cf. so the sensible forms and modes of things resolved themselves for Heraclitus into everlasting c momentary this process of becoming. declared that everything that comes into being must pass as a punishment for having come into being at the cost of else. becoming disclosed * the nature of living reality.264 THE DIALECTIC OF THOUGHT I HERAGLITUS AND THE DIALECTIC OF LIFE relation [ The dynamic between the Absolute and the ] aesthetic-rational outlook of the Greeks 9 From the fragments of Heraclitus book we have gained some idea of how the dialectic of this deep thinker altered the whole face of philosophy. who brought the dialectical method to perfection. defined the truly dialectical as " grasping led him beyond pantheism the contrary in its unity ". and only finding rest when the mysterious point of union flashes upon the mind. the dialectic of life. p. or. as 9 we might say. But of an counterpoint of states coming-to-be and passing-away is not just a symbol of the transitoriness of the finite. The philosophical task now tackled by Heraclitus was to think the two opposites measure and reality into a single idea : the oneness of the universe. Here we have an example of thought moving dialectically from one fixed concept to its opposite.

In accordance with the intellectual bond between the subject and object of knowledge. through the coincidence of opposites. divisione naturae. in all its transcendence. Though common to the Greek philosopher and Oriental metaphysicians alike. and the one law divine which ruleth where it listeth '. Chinese metaphysics occupies in this respect also a place midway between c * ' ' : moved about the Greek and the Indian* 2 [ THE DIALECTIC OF ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE the knowing Subject diversified : The formulae of is . the wakers and are the same. the movement of dialectic can be observed purely on its own. Thus thought passes from the coincidence of opposites to the identity of what has been distinguished sleepers. vanish in the divine Ground. 30. Johannes Scotus Erigena. It is different with the Indian testimonies. we rightly God a pure Nothing. it is in the former case characterized by paradoxical ideas such as the contrary at one with itself '. so that the logical point of view from which we are now considering it is already anticipated in the grouping of the fragments themselves and needs no further elucidation. your Nothing. as they do in the religion-based metaphysics of the East. the Indian metaphysicians see the whole . and the first in turn become the last. For the last are be the first.V2 THE DIALECTIC OF ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE 265 the enigmatic unity of the cosmic life-process. Goethe. In this. They shew that even at this extreme point Heraclitus preserves his own the opposites that constitute the grain of idiosyncrasy of vision the empirical world do not. II. Here. its style and its inner structure. I may find my All. in keeping with the approach from the subject. for which the lyre strung for music is as much a symbol as the bow strung for battle. " : The quick and all young and old to the dead. but are contained in it in the manner of a tension. the multiform world an appearance by name and shape (nama-rupa) shapeless One the Spirit knows itself as the nameless and the Absolute is declared through negation ] Forasmuch call as He De is sublime. . as it circles round the Absolute. The combined dialectic of thought and life in Heraclitus determines the whole character of his work." This typical form of dialectic turns direct to the Absolute and tries to express it.

. neti}. . a Even such today all things arc made different by name shape shape. It is at this point that dialectic intervenes and transforms the empirical idea of the subject into the metaphysical idea of Absolute Spirit. they name him mind. . Let him be worshipped as Self. The empirical idea of the subject is already given in the distinction breathes. so the knowledge of it is characterized negatively by that docta ignorantia or wise nescience whose formula we place at the end of the following sequence. the formula of infinite negation lifts it clean beyond the sphere of predication into sheer transcendence. they . and When he is breathing. even the tips of the finger-nails. since these are no longer. like the Absolute itself. * He has such and such a name. when seeing. He is hidden like the dagger in its sheath. so by it one knows all. speaks and the sense-organs. as in primitive thinking. the Self. * kind of thus-ness or not-thus-ness to the metaphysical every * subject. moves towards the * ' order to resolve the multiplicity Absolute Spirit is defined by the negation ! : 4 ' * * c ' inexpressible. or sense-phenomenon Similarly. Self (cattle) is the track of all. they name him speech hearing. sees. Whoever worships him as the one or the other of these. Thought seizes on this substrate in of the Real into unity . And. the One. Just as one finds one finds all by its footprint. At its head we set one of the formulations of world-unity quoted in the last section. in whom all these become one. like the fire in the fire-sticks. Here it illustrates how dialectical thinking advances beyond pantheism and. is not imagined in the likeness of a gigantic organism but is conceived pantheistically as the world-soul. for he is divided. names of his actions. knows him not. not that By denying (neti. Self entered into everything. and such and then one could say *. they name him All these are only the name him breath when speaking. by the way of negation. they name him eye when ear when thinking. He is not to be seen. the opposite of multiplicity. for by a footprint. the vehicle or spiritual subject of the psychic functions. of every particular not this.266 THE DIALECTIC OF THOUGHT c ' V empirical world as a diversified representation by name and shape. thinks. From : the Upanishads This world was everywhere the same till name and shape began . hears. . slipped spiritual substrate instruments . for in the one or the other of these he is divided. identified with the psychic functions but are regarded as their between the Self which ' 9 while beneath the functions themselves there is a the One as opposed to the Many.

because It does not break . They call It the the real. 4. such as motion 1 2 Cf. 1 It is not bounded. neither burning like fire nor flowing like water . That which makes the eye to see. beyond the unknown. All things that draw breath are real. - Ed. knows it not. . nothing higher. but cannot be thought. but needs no voice Alternative reading Both readings in harmony with the theory being expounded. " There touched I what touched not back ". cit. without measure. 2 know that as Brahma . not that c ' ! nothing like Brahma. not short. not how to teach it. 3.Ed. without space. XI) Negation is not the only method used by the Indian metaphysicians to point into the unknown . know that as Brahma . 8. but does not breathe with the breath. . not knowing. II. That which makes the breath to breathe. not what is worshipped as such. 8) Eye. can be traced back to the era stock-piece of pre-philosophical speculation and is to be met with in Vedic In the hieratic conundrums which the priests sprung on poetry. without inside or outside . without ear. This is the Self of which they say No. know that as Brahma . 9 p. The unknowing think it within knowledge The knowcr knows it beyond knowledge. but cannot be spoken. not what is worshipped as such. without eye. who declared we know it to us. . they also use the This way of thinking and speaking. tongue cannot approach it nor mind know . know that as Brahma . note i. without wind. Thus have we heard from our ancestors. That which makes the Whoever knows it not. without shadow. knows Whoever knows. III. without energy. not long. 6 . 26 .V2 THE DIALECTIC OF ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE c ' ! 267 not grasped. not what is worshipped as such. but cannot be seen. without taste. it there is consumes nothing. III-VIII . etc. signifying that They describe Brahma as Not this. but It of Reality is the Reality of them all. That which makes the mind to think. without attachment . It lies beyond the known. a coincidence of opposites. 9. nothing consumes it. without smell. because It docs not attach itself. not attached. Meister Eckhart : " : That which makes the voice to speak. without breath. of metaphysical logic. III. op. to speak ". without darkness. suffers no hurt. Cf. contraries of the most general order. no because It does not grasp . without voice. (Kena. not fine. (Brhadarapyaka I. 7 . This is what the Brahmins call the Imperishable. voice to speak. without mouth. not what is worshipped as such. not broken. 336. That which makes the ear to hear. but cannot be heard. does not vary. It is not coarse. Hume. one another. know that as Brahma . not what is worshipped as such.

life itself. I. included the man found most mysterious in himself thinking. or a grain of canary-seed. V and are combined. the of sight. indeed grotesque images devised for the mystery of the birth of the gods. containing all works. 2 Sitting firm in the heart yet moving. the unspeaking. and the alternation of waking and sleeping. 1 Or again. This formal juxtaposition of opposite qualities went hand in hand with the equally paradoxical. in connection with thought : Divine thought. enigma organic enigma psychic paired opposites lay ready to hand. as we have already noted. with a view to illustrating the marvel- lous nature of the things to be found in myth. so that the poets could use them like moulds for their riddles. or a grain of barley. for Heraclitus.268 THE DIALECTIC OF THOUGHT rest. 164. a Vajasaniyi Samhita. 30. 34. to it are appended two other more formalized usages of the coincidentia oppositoriim. We begin with the a$dilya Creed . roving afar in the waker yet returning to the sleeper. and last power but not least. or a grain of mustard-seed. Astir yet fixed in the midst of the flood. mode of and on the more exalted plane thinking speaking priestly We of speculation attained by the Upanishads. 6. or the kernel of a grain of canary-seed . smaller than a grain of rice. of which the last deserves special attention among the opposites that coincide at infinity is expressly included the immanence-transcendence antithesis itself. whose soul all is is breath. such as begetting one's own parents or being one's own child. containing perfumes. therefore. containing all desires. . the highest of all. thus things that : : Life while breathing rests yet moves speedily. These. Since the vehicle of life is breath. one of the riddles on this subject describes the miraculous life-force that circulates in the blood. This is the Atman that is in my heart. serves to denote such different phenomena fully recognized to be different as the and of of life The the life. thus demonstrating the characteristic significance of the vision that was. containing all tastes. : He whose is nature is is thought. whose body light. whose aim truth. encompassing this whole world. the unconcerned. the swiftest thing. The same antithetical formula. the alternation of waking and sleeping. or indeed in the world at large. Once again the dialectical movement starts from pantheism and ends in the Transcendent. or shall now meet the same the idea of the birth-giving bull. 1 RV. whose form space.

V

2

THE DIALECTIC OF ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE
is

269

This

the

Atman

that

is

in

my

greater than the sky, greater than Heaven these worlds ;

heart, greater than the earth, itself, greater than all

Containing all works, containing all desires, containing all perfumes, containing all tastes, encompassing this whole world, the unspeaking, the unconcerned This is the Atman that is in my heart, this is Brahma. Into that I shall enter on departing hence. He who knows this has no more doubt. Thus spake Sandilya,
:

6a$<Jilya.

(Chandogya,

III,

14)

Self is to be thought of as the hundredth part of the hundredth part of the tip of a hair and yet it partakes of infinity.
(!vetasvatara,

V,

9)

The One
Out of
Is far

unmoving, yet swifter than thought. Senses lag, but It hurries ahead. Past others running, It goes standing.
is

it

comes the breath that works
it

all.

Unmoving,

moves

;

away, yet near ; Within all, outside all.

(Isa,

IV-V)

negation was indicated by the Indian metaphysicians themselves when they explained that neti, neti meant the * Reality of the real * or as we can also render the * Indian satyasya satyam the truth of the true *. This formula reveals yet another possible way of expressing the mind's step beyond the empirical plane. The concept of reality or truth is raised to a higher power when the expression of it is doubled in the genitive construction. It is a figure of speech not unknown to us and frequently to be observed in ancient Indian literature ; 1 In these pre-philosophical, but it even occurs in Vedic poetry. speculative, religious poems it has a twofold significance in * * * * phrases like the light of the light or the eye of the eye ; for Hence these may refer either to the sun or to the god Indra, as much to the prime cause of a phenomenon attention is drawn like light as to the highest and most perfect form of it. This way of speaking fits in very well with the kind of pantheism evolved by Hindu religious-mindedness on the philosophical level ; for to the pantheist all things are two-faced, since behind their outer or
visible aspect there lurks

The meaning of infinite

an

inner, spiritual one.
'

The formula

about the

'

truth of the true

Upanishads, as a synonym 1 Gf. Oertel, ?um altindischen Ausdrucks-Vcrstdrkungs-Typus,
Wiss. Philol Abt., 1937, III.

recurs, particularly in the older for the -absolute reality of the All-one,
Sitz. Ber.

Bayr. Akad.

270
into

THE DIALECTIC OF THOUGHT
which
it

V

was the aim of metaphysical contemplation to plunge Indeed, like the mystic syllable Om> signifying affirma springboard for the self's immersion in the universe. 1 is it ation, But here again we can see how the Indian metaphysics of the
the
self.

spirit goes beyond pure tive figure is modified

pantheism.

The meaning
c

of the duplica-

when we

set it alongside the similarly

constructed formula for the knowing Subject, the seer of seeing, the knower of knowing ', etc. Then, to the reinforcement and intensification of expression there is added a bending back of the

psychic functions upon themselves, a reflexion in the literal sense c of the word, which corresponds to our self-consciousness '. But * the Self to which that total consciousness refers is here the Absolute Spirit. We catch an echo of it in a saying like the
5

following

:

Those who know the breath of the breath and the eye of the eye and the ear of the ear and the understanding of the understanding, know Brahma, the age-old, from everlasting. 2

3 THE DIALECTIC OF ABSOLUTE ACTION
[

The

positive value of the way of negation for sage ruler ]

and

The

typical dialectical formulae for the Absolute which we found in the Upanishads also occur in the Chinese texts* There is an excellent example of the way of negation in a notable poem from

the Too T6 Ching

:

Because the eye gazes but can catch no glimpse of
It is called elusive.

it,

Because the ear

listens

but cannot hear

it,

It is called the rarefied.

Because the hand

feels for it

but cannot find

it,

It is called the infinitesimal.

These three, because they cannot be further scrutinized, Blend into one. Its rising brings no light ; Its sinking, no darkness.
Endless the series of things without name On the way back to where there is nothing. They are called shapeless shapes, Forms without form, Vague semblances.
1

E.g. Svct. Up.,

I,

13

;

Mait. Up., VI, 32

;

cf.

Oertcl,

loc.

cit.,

p. 30,

Brh. Up., IV, 4, 18.

V3
Go Go

THE DIALECTIC OF ABSOLUTE ACTION
towards them, and you can see no front them, and you can see no rear.
;

after

Yet by seizing on the

Way

that

was

You can ride (dominate) the For to know what once was,
That
is

things that are now. in the beginning,
(14)

the essence of the

Way.

The coincidentia oppositorum is systematically worked out in a series of verses quoted in another poem as deriving from the old c proverb-makers '. In the traditional collections the poem bears " the telling title The Identity of the Different ".
:

The way out into the light often looks dark, The way that goes ahead often looks as if it went back. The way that is least hilly often looks as if it went up and down, The power that is really loftiest looks like an abyss What is sheerest white looks blurred. The power that is most sufficing looks inadequate, The power that stands firmest looks flimsy. What is in its natural, pure state looks faded. The largest square has no corners, The greatest vessel takes the longest to finish,
*

*

;

*

*

c

*

Great music has the

faintest notes,

The Great Form is without shape. For Tao is hidden and nameless. Yet Tao alone supports all things and

brings

them

to fulfilment.

(41)

consciously elaborated here was already noticeable in the metaphysical passage from the Book of the Mean, which shows scarcely a trace of Indian influence. There
that
is

The pattern of thought

it

was

said of the ultimately real or true
:

"

:

in the world can

than what

is

Hence

it

is

hid, nothing astonishing to

work change ", and is more obvious than the

"

Only the wholly true Nothing is more open
invisible/*

come

across a

poem

in the Tao

Ti

docta ignorantia as

Ching that corresponds exactly, in substance and attitude, to the formulated in the Kena Upanishad :
a disease.

To know when one does not know is best. To think one knows when one does not know is Only he who recognizes this disease as a disease
Can The
cure himself of the disease. sage's way of curing disease

Also consists in making people recognize their diseases as diseases and thus ceasing to be diseased. (71)

expressions for the Absolute, like the eye of the eye *, the seer of seeing ', etc., reappear in the Chinese, the only difference being that the relation which bends back upon
reflexive
c

Even the

*

*

6

272
itself is

THE DIALECTIC OF THOUGHT

V

not that between knowledge and the knower, but between
society
:

man and

The ways of men are modelled on those of The ways of earth, on those of heaven The ways of heaven, on those of Tao, And the ways of Tao on itself.
;

earth

;

(25)

The Chinese approach

to metaphysics does
c

more than modify
'

the typical forms of dialectic, it gives them a special content. But the idea that defines this content, non-action (wu wei), is

an eminently dialectical idea. For it does not negate action as such, only what is regarded as action from the empirical point
of view, the sort of activity aiming at individual ends. The this of of to the ideal action negation points perfect metaphysical the pure act whose prototype is the silent reign of that divine
' '

power which

rules the world.
c
'

'

Non-action

'

is

thus practically
c *

analogous to the Nothing where, as Goethe said, the All c ' may be found. But in contrast to the negative theology of the Indians, the Chinese idea of absolute action does not refer simply to deity ; its purpose is to integrate the metaphysical ideal

with man's moral

life,

indeed with

politics.

This was the note

struck in our earlier quotations, proving the existence of a metaIn the physical movement at the outset of philosophy in China.

present instance, where we are more concerned with its logical form, we shall select a number of further pieces from the Tao * Ching, which bring out the positive meaning of non-action \ its

*

*

T

absolute value

and inexhaustible

utility.

Less stress

is

laid

on

the relativity of human valuations and distinctions although, like the relativity of all qualities, this too is a perception common
to original metaphysics everywhere.

The application of dialectic to life and the problem of acting in the world recalls Heraclitus' reality-dialectic, however opposed
the Chinese notion of
*

effectual softness

*

is

to the heroic ideal of

the Greek.
is because every one under Heaven recognizes beauty as beauty that the idea of ugliness exists. And equally, if every one recognized virtue as virtue, this would merely create fresh conceptions of wickedness.

It

Being and Not-being grow out of one another and easy complement one another Long and short test one another High and low determine one another The sounds of instrument and voice give harmony to one another Front and back give sequence to one another '.

For truly

'

;

Difficult

;

;

;

;

V4

UTTERANCES THAT RECALL METAPHYSICAL ORIGIN

273

Therefore the sage relies on actionless activity, Carries on wordless teaching,

But the myriad creatures are worked upon by him disown them.

;

he does not

rears them, but does not lay claim to them, Controls them, but does not lean upon them, Achieves his aim, but does not call attention to what he does. And for the very reason that he does not call attention to what he does He is not ejected from the fruition of what he has done. (2)

He

What
Yet

is

most perfect seems
is

to

have something missing

;

unimpaired. What is most full seems empty ; Yet its use will never fail. What is most straight seems crooked ; The greatest skill seems like clumsiness,

its

use

The greatest eloquence like Movement overcomes cold,

stuttering.

But staying still overcomes heat. So he by his limpid calm Puts everything right under heaven.

(45)

To remain whole, be twisted To become straight, let yourself be bent. To become full, be hollow. Be tattered, that you may be renewed. Those that have little, may get more,
!

"

"

Those that have much, are but perplexed. Therefore the sage Cleaves to the Primal Unity, Testing it by everything under heaven. He does not show himself, therefore he shines ; Does not distinguish himself, therefore he is distinguished ; Does not boast of what he will do, therefore he succeeds. He is not proud of his work, and therefore it endures. He does not contend, Therefore no one under heaven can contend with him. Thus the ancient saying, " To remain whole, be twisted "
!

Was no

idle

word

;

For true wholeness can only be achieved by return.

(22)

4 MODERN UTTERANCES THAT RECALL THE METAPHYSICAL ORIGIN
In modern times philosophy makes a new start the only time it has done so since its beginnings in the ancient world. But because education in philosophy, and Christianity itself, had

274

THE DIALECTIC OF THOUGHT

remained linked to the ancient civilizations, this new start did not go right back to the beginning but was both an original growth and a renewal of what was already there a breaking-up of virgin soil and a harvesting of crops ripened from soil that had long been
;

Here the lack of Primordial Words of native origin and metaphysico-religious import, like brahma and tao, was even more complete than with the Greeks, who at least had their logos and attempted to employ the name Zeus for the One and
cultivated.
c
'

*

Consequently the various strata of development, each of which has its proper place in the original structure of philosophy, lie alongside one another and what should have been the natural means of expressing thought a word going back quite spontaneously to thought's own element is here mingled with
All
'.
;

other elements.

on the foundations laid by the Greeks of the later Classical period and is closely allied to that later mystical form of Platonism called Neoplatonism, which ChristiThe position at which metaphysics anity absorbed into itself. may arise out of religion was occupied by the Christian faith and this in its turn had been intellectually harmonized with Greek philosophy by a process that began with the Church Fathers and was to be consummated in the great Scholastics of the 1 3th century. In the total field that embraces religion and theology, philosophy and science, boundary-lines had already been marked out before original thinkers began to blaze trails for In order to establish the idea of Unity they had to themselves. overcome the dualism inherent both in Christianity and ArisAnd they had also to free their minds of totelian metaphysics. the seductive idea of intermediaries functioning somewhere between heaven and earth an image that the Neoplatonic Christian experience did mystics had impressed on men's minds.
action rests
;

The whole

not create a philosophy of its own, but it did contain the germ of a new spiritual view of life by substituting the vital bond of Love and Faith for the Greek one of Reason. In the history of philosophy the Christian era was not the beginning of a new epoch, although this new way of life was bound to have a profound
influence
felt

on philosophical thought.

The

influence

made

itself

mostly in the tensions, conflicts and reconciliations between faith and knowledge, not in any positive new directions in philosophy. Only comparatively recently, with the intellectual
that started at the turn of the igth century, did the specifically Christian attitude to life lay the foundations of a

movement

V4

UTTERANCES THAT RECALL METAPHYSICAL ORIGIN

275

metaphysics of the spirit corresponding to the Indian approach and this movement has now led us to rebuild from the subject on new It is all the more important, logical bases. philosophy in an historical such as this, to stress the differtherefore, survey ence between the attitude of the believer and that of the thinker ;
;

for the latter alone constitutes philosophy.
c

The

difference affects
'

not only Greek philosophy, where the Nous was insinuated behind all world-relationships like a substance, but Indian philosophy as well. Because of its religious trend and its conception of the spiritual Subject, it may be compared with the divine vision of the Hebrew prophets, at least in its spiritual intensity. But the comparison only shows up the gulf between the philosophy of the

Upanishads and Judaeo-Christian monotheism. As we have said is man's relationship to God, a person his to person relationship where the believer can call upon God God in the hour of need, and conversely be called upon by God in his sin. There is no place for this I-You relationship in the
1 elsewhere, the point at issue

metaphysics of the Upanishads, since they began with an intuition of the oneness of all living things, and, meditating on this oneness, brought the mind face to face with a supra-personal divine Being. We can say broadly that Christianity and Judaism on the one hand and Islam on the other form a domain of their own which constitutes religion in the proper sense of the word, since in it religion moves in a sphere that from the very beginning was free of metaphysics. For this reason it seemed necessary to disregard as far as possible the Judaic and Christian bases of intellectual life in the West, because the present study is essentially concerned with philosophy. Approached thus, from the purely intellectual standpoint, the new vistas that Christianity brought into the world will become all the clearer. To survey them with an unpre-

judiced philosophic eye

is

still

a

task,

Although drawn from Christian thinkers, and sometimes even from representatives of the Church at the time when she held
undisputed sway in Europe, the following texts are not of an exclusively Christian tenor. They merely have a Christian The personal relationship between man and God is colouring. illustrated by the use of the words Thou and You instead of the objective He and It ', which we always meet at the
*
'

*

'

'

'

'

metaphysical origin in the ancient world. Belief in the infinite worth of each individual soul had in the meantime been instilled into new peoples and new races, whereas formerly there was no
1

Cf. supra, p. 149.

P.P.

K

which is the same wherever philosophy begins. He is one of the few philosopher-mystics of modern times whose names have become popular as the prophet of the new idea of an infinite universe. he says in effect. The Dominican monk Eckhart. was one of the most remarkable figures of the i5th His chief century. the metaphysician need not alter his position when he turns to the For the interpretation of the world of nature and appearances. Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa. birth of philosophy cannot The thinkers we quote represent different phases and tendencies in the process. The new be assigned to any definite point in time. a view inspired by Copernicus. and a contemporary of Dante. Our texts describe this innovator's central c 5 coincidence of opposites the very term idea. It was Nicholas of Cusa who * * * * Unity . They indicate a certain line in the complicated historical process of thought that leads from the peaks of Scholasticism to the classical system of metaphysics created in the iyth century. In the following texts he reveals it in terms of Christian faith. universe is considered to be the unfolding of what. bursts the bonds of dogmatic theology and struggles to light. ' The Italian poet-philosopher thesis to secularize the idea employed the Copernican hypoof the Infinite. was contemporary with Shakespeare. commonly called Meister Eckhart. with his mind concentrated on the * internal or * essential * aspect of the Absolute visio DeL Giordano Bruno. a Dominican monk like Meister Eckhart. it is pointed the way. Starting arousing with the immanence of the Transcendent. when Humanism was already widespread. De Docta Ignorantia (1440). is work. played a great part in man's consciousness of the natural world. entitled only the external or accidental aspect of the Absolute* In the historical conditions of the Renaissance this new orientation of thought favoured the re-establishment of the Greek foundations of science. in Deity. which was the we have used to indicate the dialectical process so characteristic of the original metaphysicians. The modern thinker coined the term after becoming conscious of that process thanks to an experience which he deemed a purely personal inspiration. His tragic fate made him a symbolic figure : born in the age of the Counter-Reforma- . recognition of the individual soul The texts illustrate this struggle. likewise a German.276 THE DIALECTIC OF THOUGHT V at all. but an apostate. Impelled by this momentous recognition metaphysical knowledge. emerged as a metaphysical genius among the 14th-century German and Dutch mystics who foreshadowed the Reformation.

but all voices and all sounds must perish and perfect silence be there. Art never so quick to think of this fit thee . . " Stand in the gate of God's house and proclaim The Heavenly Father speaks one Word his word. pursue it not with the it human senses. and in his struggle for the freedom of thought he ended at the stake (1600). just as when the air is bright obliged and pure the sun must pour forth and cannot be contained. Bruno. . before that it is not heard. (Watkins. Indeed it were a very grave defect in God if. that thou canst not without harm exchange this state for (XXXV) of all. Think not it is with God as with a human carpenter. If thou wouldst catch the spirit of truth. God forestalls thee always. as he called the Cusan. a Meister Eckhart : God and the Godhead I Extracts from his Sermons Nothing we say of God is true . that it is shared. is impossible. It is so swift. that the preparation for this working or infusion is jointly his and thine : know then that God is bound to act. what fitness and desire it. Evans.V4 UTTERANCES THAT RECALL METAPHYSICAL ORIGIN 277 tion he became a victim of the Inquisition. are yet linked by the current of history.. extol his word. so that none would know of it nor hear it were not room made for it in the ground of our hearing . 1924). finding thee so barren and bare. he wrought no excellent work in thee nor primed thee with 1 Quotations after Meister Eckhart. . Absolute stillness. Bruno derived his strongest impulses to philosophy from the book of the great discoverer '. This Word lies secretly hid in the soul. Fain wouldst thou partly fit thyself and let God partly but that cannot be. These three thinkers. . de B. trans. any other whatsoever. i. to pour himself into thee so soon as he shall find thee ready. F. to overflow into thee. Know Pfeiffer. who can do or leave undone at his good It is not thus with God : for finding thee ready he is pleasure.." and that he speaks eternally and in this Word expends he all his his entire God-nature he utters in this Word and the whole might of creation. comes rushing. a hushed stillness : . . absolute idleness is the best . The Cusan was deeply influenced by Meister Eckhart . ed. directly influenced c a keywork of Western metaphysics and elicited comment by Hegel. separated though they be by centuries. C. in his turn. Listening to their utterance of metaphysical knowledge we seem to discern something supraSpinoza. vol. (XV) The Lord says. to act. But granting. who works or works not as he chooses. whose Ethics is historical in these European beginnings.

in the depths. that aught should be so is not to be endured by nature's God. therefore. and the sun sends forth light both from its own disc and from the bowl. great or small. my their colour. All creatures give up their life for being. . THE DIALECTIC OF THOUGHT For know. The sun sheds its beams on all creatures. she was God's work. If thou seemest. it and all their petals. his own working and ever-during work. And to my inner man they savour not of God's While yet gift but of ever and aye. I alone prepare all creatures to return to God. the heavens must either draw it up to them or. ! ! wherein he loves himself God loveth all things Again I say what I have never said before. God becomes and unbecomes. . by the everlasting truth and by my souL God and Godhead are as different as heaven from earth. The shining of the mirror as it reflects the rays of the sun. . Apprehend me. With the love wherewith he loves himself God loveth all creatures not as creatures. and the Love is God. only as the gift of relishes creatures as creatures. In the love in the soul a : Now mark. Take heed what ye do. All creatures enter into my mind. nature's Lord. God loves himself and his nature. bending down. And all God becomes yet both God and the soul are what they creatures in the soul. yet it is not the case. great that it was naught other than the soul God's nature. Wherefore stand still and waver now for the moment thou not. his being and his Godhead depend upon his working God be praised in the soul. But their fragrance I give Why ? The fragrance is in me. lest turning away from God never turn back to him again. . So with God. For were any emptiness under heaven. I will say something When God made man he wrought have never said before . fill it with themselves. within and speak wine and bread and meat. is in God. and suffers no diminution. But to return to my discourse : God enjoys himself in all things. By speaking. I stood in the Ground. . not to find him and to be wholly empty of him. In the love wherein he loves himself God loveth all creatures. his being and his Godhead. there to become mindful in me. God. I say further : the inner and the outer man are as different as heaven from earth. His work is Love. is still in the sun. yet he is not the soul. When God worked God be praised in the soul he was in love with his work. (IV) I work like unto The work was so himself. . Now mark. God is in the soul with his nature*.278 . in the flow and . creature. whatever it might be. All creatures go to their highest perfection. out what is My outer man I do not see. on no account permits anything to remain empty. their gaiety. I see the lilies in the field. . I come back now to inner and outer man. I take a bowl of water and place a mirror in it and set them in the sun. and on whatsoever it sheds its beams it passes into that thing yet loses nothing of its brightness. And God is a thousand miles more different. forth. The shining of the soul are. as it doth But relishes nothing as inner my man God. Yet the sun becomes what the mirror is. God becomes. his being and his Godhead. but creatures as God. I beseech you. God cannot leave anything void and glorious gifts unfilled .

should stand so free of all things as to be unaware of what God is doing in him. the soul and the highest passes away. (LVI) While yet I stood in my first cause I had no God and was my own I wanted not and desired not. there is no work for it to do and no working but Godhead works not in it. doing Only when I flowed out did all And why do they not speak the Godhead ? creatures speak God . God and Godhead differ after the manner of working and not-working. . free will and took on my created nature. But when I suffered the loss of my free of God and of all things. and these come nearest the mark. inwardly as well as outwardly. and knows all things. lies most in love. but is such that it can neither gain nor lose. And if it could be that a flea were possessed of intellect and could intellectually plumb the eternal abysm of God's being whence it was sprung. When creatures were and took on creaturehood. itself neither knowing nor loving as the powers of the soul . and of this naught can be said. It knows no Before and no Afterwards. It is so emptied and bare that it knows not how to act in itself. and there I stood. . . Never did it contemplate anything of work. None will have missed me God All in . Whoso knows this thing. and in this wise a man may be poor. knower I wanted only myself and no other thing of myself in divine truth what I wanted I was. but that there exists in the soul one thing whence both knowledge and love flow. The masters say that God is being and a rational being. Now we contend that God in himself is not the final consummation of things created and thus not so great a plenitude as the least creature has in God. and my (striving to) break through (into God) is a far nobler thing than my first flowing But when I come into the Ground. Godhead is one. . But I say that God is neither being nor reason. but was God in his creatures. When I go back into God there is no more forming in me. God was not in himself God. . . ! . I say. neither does he know this or that. Which is why God is free of all things and therefore is all things Now mark well and in earnest I have often said and the great masters have also said that a man must be quit of all things and works. in knowledge and in love .V4 : UTTERANCES THAT RECALL METAPHYSICAL ORIGIN 27Q fount of Godhead. Therefore. . : . angel are die same Many masters have said that happiness . nor does it wait for anything to be added. . that it lies love. I have come or whither I go. But we say that it lies neither in knowledge nor in love. Others. none asked me what I wanted or what I was there was none to ask. God was not God he was what he was. knows wherein happiness lies. God works. none will ask me whence flow and into the depths. . rather it is always the same in itself and enjoys itself after the manner of God. a man should be so empty. where I was and willed what I was and was what I willed. . we would say that God together with all that God is could never give fulfilment and satisfaction to that flea. . Wherefore we pray that we may be quit of God and taste of eternity for there. and what I was I wanted. if he is to be a fit place for . but was sheer being. into the out (from God) fount of Godhead. then I got me a God before creatures were. .

and by reason of my birth's eternal nature I can never die from my eternal birth I have always been. since he himself is the operation one's own is to keep up a difference. that by the eminent 2 painter. Yet when I break through (into God) and stand passive in the will of God. free of God's will and free of all his works and of God himself. so that if God chooses to travail in the soul God must be his own workshop. f : . Emma Gurney Salter. There I am what I was . Therein I was myself. as he likes to be. When I came out of God all things proclaimed : God is. For in breaking through I find that God and I are the same. Now let us put it differently. are many excellent pictures of such faces for example. in his most excellent picture in the Governor's house 1 8 E Quotations from The Vision of God. Granting that a quit of everything. I had never been. then I am neither God nor creature . of himself and of God. work in. there I neither increase nor decrease . (LXXXVII) b Nicholas of Cusa I : The Vision of God * If I strive in human fashion to transport you to things divine. for thus I acknowledge myself a creature. that of the archeress in the market-place of Nuremberg . Roger. But in my birth all things were born and I was mine own cause and the cause of all things. . Now among men's works I have found no image better suited to our purpose than that of an image which is omnivqyant its face. One of the great masters says that his breaking-through was a nobler thing than his flowing out. What I am in time shall die and come to nothing. G. Then I receive a thrust which carries me above all angels. understand this is not needful. and for this reason I am mine own cause. Salter's note Presumably Roger van der Weyden (1400-64). things. And for this reason I was born. must needs use a comparison of some kind.28O THE DIALECTIC OF THOUGHT to is V Finding a man so poor. From this thrust I conceive such surpassing fullness that God as he is in his divine works does not suffice me. nor all To things with me. for it is of the day and passes with the day. 1928. that man is not in the strictest poverty poor. being made to appear as though looking on all around it. Wherefore I pray to God to quit me of God. yet if it is still in him to provide room for God's working. wanted myself and knew myself. for there I am the motionless cause that moves all . And had I willed it. Dent. both of my being that is eternal and of my being that is in time. making this man that I am . God is his own patient and his own operating To keep a place of room. then I am more than all creatures . God in his work does not purpose that a man should have in him the place in which God does his work . and shall eternally remain. God had not been. of all creatures. God man . And had I not been. poverty of spirit means quittance of God and of all his works. by the painter's cunning There art. now and for ever more. But this cannot make me blessed. am now. trans. then I am that which I was and shall remain. we say that so long as this is so. . because sheer being is above God and above difference.

this faculty (since it is the perfection of seeing) must no less really pertain unto the reality than it doth apparently unto the icon or appearance. from whatsoever quarter he regardeth it. and this to such a degree that one on whom it resteth cannot even conceive that it should take care of any other. then. (Preface) at Brussels . and abideth All limited modes of seeing exist entirely freed from all variation. surpasseth in keenness. and one to westward. Wherefore limiting pure and simple limiting not being limitable. . all and each alike. Without Absolute Sight there can be no limited sight . I think.V4 UTTERANCES THAT RECALL METAPHYSICAL ORIGIN 28 1 the Veronica in my chapel at Coblenz. the other more quickly there is no doubt but that Absolute Sight. who is the very summit of all perfection. if one perceive an object slowly. seem to look upon each and all at one and the same time. as he knoweth the icon to be fixed and unmoved. a little way off. and of the whole universe. and. And while he observeth how that gaze never quitteth any. toward the west. in speed. For if the sight of one man is keener than that of another among us. without limitation in Absolute Sight. In the first place. and many others elsewhere. And. ye will marvel how it can be that the face should look on all and each at the same time. he seeth that it taketh such diligent care of each one who findeth himself observed as though it cared only for him. while one to southward shall think it looketh towards the south. it embraceth in itself all modes of seeing. And it shall seem to a brother standing to eastward as if that face looketh to the east. . I send for your indulgence such a picture as I have been able to procure. in the castle . For God. in the Absolute. if the countenance portrayed in a picture can things. For the imagination of him standing to eastward cannot conceive the gaze of the icon can be turned unto any other quarter. Yet. it should be presupposed that there nothing which seemeth proper to the gaze of the icon of God which doth not more really exist in the veritable gaze of God Himself. on a north wall. He will also see that it taketh the same most diligent care of the least of creatures as of the greatest. ye shall set up in some place. of Brixen. and for no other. strength the sight of all who actually see (Ch. This picture. and in . And each of you shall find that. he will marvel at the motion of its immovable gaze. and greater than can be conceived. it looketh upon him as if it looked upon none other. is whence all sight springeth. I) . let us say. and shall stand round it. such as west or south. . brethren. lest ye fail in the exercise. is called Oe&$ from this very fact that He beholdeth all Wherefore. the angel holding the arms of the Church. . and look upon it. if one will with difficulty distinguish objects near him. Then let the brother who stood to eastward place himself to westward and he will find its gaze fastened on him in the west just as it was afore in the east. because Absolute Sight is the limiting of limitations. setting forth the figure of an Omnivoyant. For every limitation existeth . First. while another can make out those at a distance. and this I call the Icon of God. which requireth a figure of this description to be looked upon. .

letteth not go of being. God. or feeling. whether from the from the west or south. although we natures. and without it were utterly unable to exist. Thy Being. and the more he shall study to look on Thee with greater love. Thou dcsertest me not. sense. the Being of life. to be. and so with the other attributes. None can see Thee save in so far as Thou grantest a sight of Thyself. Lord. He. sight. or tasting. and to move is to stand. who lovcst me. because any one of His attributes is affirmed of another. (Ch. taste.282 THE DIALECTIC OF THOUGHT V For without limiting naught is limited. is naught else but Thy very Self. then. and thus Absolute Sight existeth in all sight. turned toward all faces that look upon Thee. that face seemeth turned toward me. diversity as we cannot exist in God. although we in divers ways use of God divers words. And so all Theology is said to be stablished in a circle. . in God and which all otherness that diversity which (alteritas) is is unity. it seemeth in like manner itself to look on me. Lord. V) is To behold else naught O me glance is Love. because through it all limited sight existeth. according as I move my Even so is Thy face face. understand . Thy glance. yet because He is Himself the Absolute Ground. or touching. by so much shall he find Thy face more loving. to wit. since Thy my look is didst turn Thy being. Whence. coincideth with the Absolute. Lord. smell. not identity proper. than that Thou art seen of me ? In beholding me Thou givest Thyself to be seen of me. according to the divers signification of each word. is Thy seeing. Ill) Absolute Reason. on all sides Thou guardest me. (Ch. after the same fashion. or smelling. and. while I look on this pictured face. Lord . then. Thou who art a hidden God. Hence Thou art ever with me. IV) Thus. touch. for that Thou takest most diligent care of me. who looketh on Thee with loving face will find Thy face looking on himself with love. Lord. hearing. attribute to intellect. . and all diversity is identity. even so it is with Thy love. II) to c ( Thou mayest in consequence remark how all attributes assigned God cannot differ in reality. fCh. yet in Him sight is not other than hearing. it. and. although in one sense we attribute unto Him movement and in another rest. and Thy love. and if Thou (Ch. being the Absolute Ground of all formal embraceth in Himself all natures. . But God. And since it is deathless. than in mind to taste Thee. which is the reason of all things. when Thou beholdest me with pitying eye. . I exist in that measure in which Thou art with me. and to run is to rest. I am because Thou dost look Thy glance from me I should cease at me. . nor is that sight aught else than Thy seeing him that seeth Thee. since Thou art very Sweetness. And just as Thy gaze beholdeth it never turneth aside from me. He who looketh on Thee in wrath shall i east or . Lord. and intellect. it abideth ever with me. or understanding. by reason of the perfect simplicity one-foldedness ') of God. Thy so attentively that Lord . What else. and to have is with God to be. Thus. is Thy face. reason and so forth.

Wherefore it behoveth him to go beyond all visible light. . beyond all veils. IX) Thee Lord my God. I behold in the entrance of Paradise. . For him. he knoweth that he hath drawn nigh the face of the sun . by the very fact that he named For the wall beyond it I should know that it was not Thy name. and is thus seeming darkness to the eye. .. it and in colours when striveth to invisible.. because all this is less than that which it seeketh. darkness or ignorance into which he that seeketh Thy face entereth when he goeth beyond all knowledge or concept. and never can know. that I know not what I see naught visible. howbeit unveiled it is not seen. (Gh. It is as when the eye of flesh. when I shall have attained unto that which is unknown to every intellect. and in a riddle . And the more that dark impossibility is recognized as dark and impossible. who art Absolute Necessity. it is not that which he seeketh. (Ch. the more truly doth His Necessity shine forth. the Helper of them that seek Thee. beyond all the grasp of reason. . all things green. veiled. and did anyone say unto me that Thou wert called by this name or that. muffled up in limitation and passivity. and draweth nigh. This mist. first it beholdeth it veiled in and in all things that share its light. looking through a red glass. man seeking to see a light beyond his seeing knoweth that. beyond even the highest ascent of the intellect. and that which every intellect judgeth to be most far removed from truth. or. my God. O I see. And beyond that. if he then know himself to be in a mist. . but that very darkness revealeth Thy face to be there. the denser he knoweth the mist to be. while I am borne to loftiest heights. there. so long as he seeth aught. is the state below which Thy face cannot be found except veiled . for that mist in his eye proceeded! from the exceeding bright shining of the sun. and I know not what I see. whichIseeTheeistheendofallmannerofsignificationinnam. Wherefore. and to admit the coincidence of opposites. I behold Thee as K* D. then. for This alone I know. But behold the light unveiled. it goeth beyond all A visible light. until above all faces a man enter into a certain secret and mystic silence where there is no knowledge or concept of a face. and there to seek the truth where impossibility meeteth me. judgeth Thee. art Thou. that darkness which is a mist. the place he entereth must needs lack visible And while he is in light. cloud. And I know not how to name Thee because I know not what Thou art. who must go beyond all light. looking through a green glass. In all faces is seen the Face of faces.es Thus. It is as when our eye seeketh to look on the light of the sun which is its face . the mind's object.P. Even so the eye of the mind. and is more unveiledly present. thinketh that it seeth all things red. by so much the more truly doth he attain in the mist unto the light the stars.V4 like UTTERANCES THAT RECALL METAPHYSICAL ORIGIN 283 manner find Thy face wrathful. He who looketh on Thee with joy shall find Thy face joyful. VI) Hence I observe how needful it is for me to enter into the darkness. after the same sort as is his own who looketh on Thee. according unto the nature of its limitation and passivity.

who art the end ending all things^ art the end whereof there is no end. a knowing ignorance? Thou. Now we cannot but admit the existence of finite Thus we admit beings. Therein the opposition of opposites is an opposition without opposition. O my God. contradiction existeth not without becoming other. Lord. in regard to the intellect. and thus an end without an end. we must needs admit the infinite. and because Thou art infinite Thou art infinity that. God. The end. Thou. because it is infinity. But what. then. sayest unto me 3 : without otherness because it is unity. doth he not enter into what is undefined and confused. by him who knoweth himself to be ignorant of Thee. God art the if Thou end of Thine own self. Thou. then. or infinite* This eludeth all reason because it implieth a contradiction. is infinite. who art infinity ? The intellect knoweth that it is ignorant. even as an end without an end. because Thou art infinite . or beheld. Thou. the intellect to become ignorant and to abide in darkness if it would fain see Thee. art Very Absolute Infinity. and thus. wherefore we cannot but admit the infinite. and the invisible beheld. is without contradiction. or comprehended. Thou. which is its own end. which I perceive to be an end without an end. and the inaccessible attained. art the Opposition of opposites. to wit. because therein having is being. THE DIALECTIC OF THOUGHT V By reason of this Thou mayest not be attained. or named. my God. for Thou art whatever Thou hast hast an end. and that Thou canst not be grasped because Thou art infinity. He that approacheth Thee must needs ascend above every limit and end and finite thing. who art infinity. this coincidence is a contradiction without contradiction. and the impossible to be a necessity. I admit darkness to be light. but in itself. when I assert the existence of an end without an end. ignorance to be knowledge. But how shall he attain unto Thee who are the end toward whom he striveth. is Infinity simplicity itself. Thou art therefore an infinite end. seeing that all that is said of absolute simplicity coincideth therewith. just as otherness in unity is even so in infinity contradiction O . above which is the Infinite. Yet in simplicity otherness existeth without becoming other because it is simplicity itself. just as the end of things infinite is an end without an end. the essence of the end is not ended in any place other than the end. but I am unable to grasp how without an end an end should be an end. Thus. Thou art an end. Lord. or the end without an end. The intellect knoweth that it is ignorant of Thee. the coincidence of contradictories. Howbeit. and every end which is not its own end is a finite end. canst only be approached by him whose intellect is in ignorance. because it knoweth that Thou canst not be known unless the unknowable be known. if he must ascend above the end ? He who ascendeth above the end. into ignorance and obscurity which pertain to intellectual confusion? It behoveth. God. or multiplied.284 infinity. Since Thine end is Thine essence. or the ultimate end. And Thou. because Thou art the end of Thine own self. Since we admit the existence of an end of the finite. How can the intellect grasp Thee. For to understand infinity is to grasp the ungraspable. is this intellectual ignorance ? Is it not a wise.

My yearning. their own nature. c Giordano Bruno : God and the World 1 should God stand outside. species propria. and yet Thou abidest beyond reckoning. art not to be understood. corpore. But all on this side infinity rnay be greater. So that what works in him. Wherefore my desire is led by the eternal beginning. Wherefore. natura animantia. . throned and sphered amidst the aether. their own soul. my God. 1789 " . his spirit gives. Thou wouldst not be the end of desire. And Thou art beginning without beginning. desire covet not-being ? desire itself cannot rest. principio et uno. possessing the principle of self-motion. is infinite. . and yet to abide incomprehensible and infinite. their own intelli. Thou art infinite that Thou mayest be the end of all ! O desire. Intellectual desire is not turned toward that which can be greater desirable. himself in nature too. because the more I attain the end of my desire. bright with Thee. because Thou art the How should treasury of delights whereof no man can desire an end For whether the will covet being or not-being. opposition. XIII) Fount of riches. The measure of his strength. Wherefore. who is infinite. Thou wiliest to be held in my possession.* There are innumerable worlds like ours. cf. God. that Thou mayest be comprehended. leadeth me unto Thee it spurneth all that is finite and comprehensible. messengers of nature. (Gh. from whom it cometh to be desire. gence 1 . art Very or more O which alone I yearn in every desire. UTTERANCES THAT RECALL METAPHYSICAL ORIGIN 285 And in infinity the opposition of opposites: existeth without (Gli. : die Lehre des Spinoza. the more I understand that Thou. quot in illius gremio et corpore vivunt. hoc general! spiritu. XVI) Infinity for . Goethe. quod est natura propria. unto the end without end. dialogue V. thence to control And on his finger whirl the mighty Whole? He moves within the world and loves to view How Nature in him. quam habeant tot. I. therefore. but is borne on into infinity. and unless Thou didst abide infinite. and end without end. Goethe had in mind the following the Proem to passage from Bruno's De Immenso Non est Deus vel intelligentia exterior circumrotans et circumducens. Thou dost come down. a living mirror of the infinite Deity. and pursuing a course through the heavens like ours and they are called runners. also Lagarde. Jacobi. Dignius enim illi debet esse internum principium motus. For it is right and fitting for them and for the effect 2 From God and the World ". ambassadors. being led by Thee to Thee. Quotations translated from De la causa. for in these it cannot rest. Lord. The end of desire. Vber Ed. by so much the more I attain Thee. H. . and is and lives. anima. Thus Thou. and infinite . in F. but to the knowledge of which I cannot approach more nearly than that I know it to be infinite. Accordingly I spura as delusion any idea occurring to me which seeketh to show Thee as comprehensible.V4 itself.

It can neither be measured nor taken for a measure. limit. either from without. depth and height are alike because they have a common boundary . because there is no place outside it. a wondrous virtue which is endowed with mind. that is. Infinite and Unchanging . I cannot change its place. because the Infinite. a living art. . change because there is nothing into which it could change. are but the outward form of one and the same substance. or from within. and not less present in any one of the individual beings which we see as parts of the same . . since nothing is external to it. It is subject to no change. Just as the human soul is indivisible and one being. depth and height are alike because they are boundless. consistent and unmoving. and infinite. because it is itself each and every thing. . It is not matter. nor does it impart form or configuration. There is but one absolute possibility. Its harmony is everlasting harmony and unison itself. seeing their structure. . It does not comprehend itself because it is not greater than itself. but one reality and one deed. not foreign to itself not hesitating but producing all things easily out of itself. the variable manifestation of an invariable and eternal being . as light spreads effortlessly through space One may by a kind of similitude call the Universal One a sphere. nor any final definition. . . In a sphere length. Matter pours forth all things from her own lap . De Immense So the universe is one. the One. and moveless. . nature itself is the inward workman. It is not begotten. because it is not one and different. that the motion of the heavenly bodies should be natural and from within. which is beyond proportion. It does not compare and cannot be compared.. colours and other qualities. This Parmenides rightly called . since it is at one and the same time and all at once everything that might possibly be. one and all.286 THE DIALECTIC OF THOUGHT V of the most perfect cause. properties. shapes. sustains and moves it. and the essence is one. The thing is one. only a complete event is unfolded before our eyes .. giving realization to a matter which is its own. One also is the greatest and best whose nature it is not to be apprehended and to have neither end. this whole host of individualities is more like the ichors and blood in a living body. but it is no sphere. as fire shines and burns. but one and the same The countless beings in the universe are not therefore in a mere receptacle or space . It can neither increase nor decrease. there is but one matter or body. . though wholly present to each part of the body in that it simultaneously holds the whole of that body together. it cannot be comprehended because it is not less than itself. Form or soul is but one . infinite. No other and no new substance is brought into being through the evolution of these limbs . because it has and can have no shape and no limit. and in this being all forms lie involuted as the invisible members in the seed. nor It is therefore infinite and illimitable. so the being of the universe is one in the Infinite. All the differences we perceive in bodies. . admits neither of multiplication nor diminution. but in the universe length. It is not form. because all being is its own It cannot suffer being. so that in very truth the whole and every part is one in substance.

and those bear no less proportion to eternity than these. has no part. What is more contrary to it than the curve ? line than the circle ? But in their principles or their minimum they coincide. more than all. straight. whether you be a man. great. and he was the centre of each and every thing. there is no difference between the infinite circle and the straight line . The Coincidence of Opposites which Let us note the illustrations of the identity of contraries. What is more different from the straight First the signs of geometry. in actual fact. simultaneously and perfectly. Wherefore it was no empty phrase when the ancients said of the Father of the gods that he filled all things and had his seat in every part of the world. however small therefore. the greater a circle is. the discoverer of the finest secrets of geometry. save the unalterable and omnipresent One . the centre from the circumference. everything that can possibly be. The individual tilings. but only a new mode of being. The differences of number. its substance is the one substance . For. and thus one with the whole. the more nearly it approximates to straightness . proportion and condition in things rest on the composition. in actual fact and at one and the same time. only not in the same way. The same is true of all . the The universe is all centre.V4 Where UTTERANCES THAT RECALL METAPHYSICAL ORIGIN 287 there is no measure there can be no proportions. the finite from the infinite. all number and all mag- nitude. as the Gusan. The universe comprehends in itself not only all being but also all modes of being . one in all and that through which one is all. less for one however and no . ceaselessly modifying one another. but they are not ail that can be. saw through divine intuition. a plant or any other individual thing. centre is everywhere and the circumference nowhere. And you also will remain equally distant from the Infinite and equally out of proportion to it. All belong to one being. The same contraction of matter that governs the form of a horse cannot at the same time govern the form of a man. from it will not be difficult to conclude that all things are one. configuration and suchlike modifications of the substance which in itself remains one and the same. and in the simplest possible way. As a line which is greater in magnitude than another approximates more nearly to straightness. nor any parts which are differentiated from the whole. In the universe the point does not differ from the body. part part greater and greater proportion to the Infinite than another. A part of the Infinite would Within it there is no itself be infinite. in infinite duration there is no difference between the ho&r and the day. the greatest from the least. because the idea of the Infinite dissolves all individualities and differences. individualities without exception. In this wise Solomon could say that there was nothing new under the sun.. so the greatest of all ought to be superlatively. They are . or the sun. for moments and hours are not more in number than centuries. between the year and the century. and between the century and the moment . it is. All is vanity.. beyond it is nothing. or again. seek no new being. between the day and the year. so that in . an ant.

how to extract the contrary There is hold this ? : that is deepest magic. Therefore. so that God disappears and only nature remains. To know. the concave relies on the convex. it is in the height of happiness that the foreseeing are most timid. . because there is a substrate. and the miser loves the liberal-handed man the best. the overbearing with the humble. ning of generation . So minimal warmth and minimal cold are the same. principle. . Doctors fear when one is in the best of health . unfitting substance and in root. corruption is nothing but a generation. The simple thought underlying truth is simply and solely the One SubSpinoza's idealism is this stance. . So also the principle of corruption and generation is one and the same. Why do we Because where the principle by which two things are comprehended is the same. therefore. the principle of their being is also the same. Thus the maxiand the minimum come together in one existence. let him regard and contemplate the minima and the maxima of contraries. Spinoza's opponents act as if they were interested on . God is unity. he who would know the greatest secrets of nature. The movement towards cold takes its beginning from the limit of greatest heat. Thus not only do the two maxima sometimes concur in resistance. the Absolute Substance in which. it is very simple and on the whole easy to comprehend . hatred of the of that. on the contrary. The end of decay is the begin- mum . term. the world has disappeared. the vehement comport with the long-suffering. and are one and the same thing. is reality it alone is God Spinozism is accused of atheism because in it no distinction is made between God and the world . it makes nature the real God.288 THE DIALECTIC OF THOUGHT V the end the infinite straight line is an infinite circle. and therefore transmutations are circular. generation is hate. friendship and strife. d Hegel on Spinoza's Pantheism The Absolute Substance As regards the philosophy of Spinoza. . but even the maximum and the minimum concur through the succession of transmutations. a corruption. And as the contraries are perceived by one and the same sense. The curved is based on the plane. and both in the maximum and in the minimum contraries are one and inOne contrary is the principle or starting-point of the different other. : . or lowers God to the level of nature. the greatest poisons are the best medicine. therefore they belong to the same substrate. . as thought and extension . In love of the the love of this the hatred is fitting. after having discovered the point of union. the two minima in concordance. whose attributes are thought. Love but one potency in two contrary things. The viper gives her own antidote. . love and hate. and only this absolute unity is real. hate is love in the end . and extension or nature . continuation and concurrence of both. But it is not so much God and nature that Spinoza sets up in mutual opposition.

. has 110 substantiality whatever only God has. but that is a false. (2) Only God exists. Spinoza has the great proposition : all determination is negation. and they cannot forgive Spinoza for thus annihilating them . . His Absolute Substance is nothing finite. not the natural world. the finite things of nature. but they forget that nature and the individual disappear in this same identity. but finite things also have being to exactly the same extent. Modern philosophy centres on Spinoza either Spinoza or no philosophy at all. Reason. We . Spinoza is above this dualism . their vanity. save that the as it stands is false because it proposition only expresses one side of from Seen the other side negation. compromise. religion rise in revolt against this. having no self-existence . everything else is only a modification. negation is the negation of negation. it is merely a form of God . since according to him worldly or finite existence. is only appearance and delusion. God is honoured and supreme. . therefore God alone is Substance Spinoza's line of thought is quite correct. alone has substantiality . Consciousness and personality. Spinoza maintains that there is no such thing as the world. Because negation was conceived by Spinoza so one-sidedly. 289 is God's account but what they are really concerned about : not . the finite has no real existence. Since God is essentially positive and affirmative. without petrifying into dualism. the whole universe. an amicable It synthetic union. Consequently our philosophical need is to the of these differences in such a way that the unity apprehend difference does not elude us but proceeds eternally from the One Substance. cannot remain satisfied with this also '. The relations between God and the finite (ourselves) may be expressed in three ways (i) Only the finite exists and therefore only we exist. and God does not exist that is atheism. as ultimates. individuality. then nature or say the individual man is God.V4 UTTERANCES THAT RECALL METAPHYSICAL ORIGIN . the world on the contrary being only an affection or mode of this Substance. where people set up their own arbitrary will. and hence affirmation. philosophic thought. if we turn its preconceptions into concepts. God but something very finite themselves. in and for itself it is nothing. the general. hence God does not exist. It is the ultimate Ground. not itself substantial. the identity of thought have before us two definitions and extension. so is religion. The atheism of the first attitude. there is no room in his system for the principle of subjectivity. however. it can be shewn it ' : . represents the popular view that the one side has as much substantiality as the other ." Quite right . They opposite " If God is the identity of mind and nature. its essence rests on negation. Here the finite is conceived absolutely. Spinozism might equally well * be called Acosmism '. even thought (in contrast to extension) is determined therefore implies negation . is not the standpoint of Spinoza for whom God is the one and only Substance. this lack of difference. Since the determined is the finite. : that everything. (3) God exists and we too exist . Therefore the allegations of those who accuse Spinoza of atheism are the direct of the truth : with him there is far too much God. . Spinoza's system is pantheism and monotheism raised to the level of and .

and at the same time the negation of : " This is a purely speculative notion. whereto every philosopher must have come. remark in general that thought must begin by placing itself at the standpoint of Spinozism . 1 1 Hegel. cause of itself is a noteworthy expression. by and large. I understand something whose essence involves existence. This is. at the same time produces only itself. a negation. while operating and distinguishing an other *. He says By the causa sui. that alone is substantial. and unworkable. the cause of itself. 1895. hence only the non-determined. and5 this unity will ever be the question at issue. The soul. . the non-particularized and general. indeed a fundamental notion in all speculation. Elizabeth S. Frances H. to be a follower of Spinoza is the essential We all philosophy. the proposition that all determination is negation . beginning of Causa Sui Spinoza's first definition is of the Cause of itself. like everything else that is limited. Spinoza expresses the simple unity of self-contained thought as the Absolute Substance. is truly real . Haldane and Paul. to demonstrate that the particular and the individual easy is something limited. 286-7. if Spinoza had further developed what lies in the causa sui. 280. * is the cause which. Simson. Now As regards the determined things Spinoza formulated fore truly real. his * substance * would not have been rigid this loss. for we imagine that the But the cause of itself effect must stand in opposition to the cause.2 90 THE DIALECTIC OF THOUGHT is V and secondly the particular and individual. Spinoza's idea. For when man begins to philosophize." The unity of existence and universal thought is asserted from the * The very first. It is the Eastern view of may things which first found expression in the West in Spinoza. Being contingent. the soul must bathe in this aether of the One Substance. the spirit. lacking true reality. is the liberation of the mind and its absolute foundation. The establishing of itself as an other is loss or degeneration. trans. The cause in which the cause is identical with the effect is the infinite cause . and in the production therefore does away with that distinction. vol. Lectures on the History iii. this negation of all particulars. Kegan of Philosophy. or that cannot be conceived except as existent. the very idea of which depends on something else. 1256. pp. in which everything that we hold true has disappeared . is an individual thing and as such is limited. it is not truly self-subsistent and is not therethat which it is self-subsistent.

Ed* * existential sentence ' is used interchangeably 2QI . pinning down each new content by means 4 of the telescoped sentence is '. nor with the debased literary and pseudotoday as philosophical phenomenon. subjectless do with the German school of so-called Existential Philosophy '.VI METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION The Absolute as the object of thought. movement in philosophy finds conclusion in a static form. Thus the existential l sentence * is '. of course. enfolds the Inexpressible . is the one chosen to signify what the Primordial Words could only dimly apprehend. but is the sole and specific word whereby Thought decides in favour of itself and establishes. destined to become a logical symbol. as we say. metaphysical recognition to distinguish it from metaknowledge % because in it the unknowable becomes physical an object. For that which 1 ' is '. The little word is is * * an element in what logic was later to claim as its copula every assertion that belongs to it simply by virtue of the assertoric form and has nothing to do with its content. as cognized * * This recognition declares that the object of metaphysical thought is the Absolute. its own peculiar claim. popularly known ' * existence '. It is not selected from among a number of other possible words. It is simply a denominative adjective formed from The use of this * word here has. which we may call ' * ' . that to which the impersonal. it does not merely bring it to (it) our notice but also comprises the indescribable plenitude of Being. through metaphysical knowledge. * The ' its or Metaphysical. in the vision of Being which fulfils itself First. that which is. nothing to In the following exposition the term * with the postulate of being '. It thus enables all possible judgements to be reduced to the uniform scheme * A is B 5 Now this word which was. mainly of French origin. Existentialism '.

doctrine of Being is seen to be not the idea of becoming but the method of negation employed by the Hindu metaphysicians to Not only do they deny express their knowledge of the Absolute. The traditional view opposes the Eleatic doctrine of Being to doctrine of Becoming '. is the Absolute. belonged to Magna Graecia. neti). which at the time about 500 B. only roughly defined by the doctrine of becoming. p. To the reality-dialectic of Heraclitus. and this ontological direction of thought was then its supreme position in Western philosophy through the * work of Plato and Aristotle. with the Absolute for its object.METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION VI sentence (esti in Greek. 1 The ontological tradition of the West reveals its historical character when we set Parmenides against the initial metaphysical movement as a whole. ontology . But Heraclitus' insight into the changing face of the universe was . Being defines the first * c c * and logic * Nothing that '. and it is on that level of metaphysical thinking common to both of them that we encounter the true contrast which concerns us here. comes to rest in a and Reason is filled with self-confidence when it vision of Being finds that the reality of the intelligible world is accessible to it and comprehensible within the forms of logical thought. Cf. Parmenides and Heraclitus belong together . He founded the School of Elea. since it is based mainly on differences of cosmological doctrine. the totality of Being as contemplated and made the object of thought.C. As exponents of early Greek metaphysics on a plane quite beyond the reach of the cosmologists. This opposition the Heraclitean does not go to the philosophical heart of the matter. 27 f. unlike the word metaphysics '. Ontology or the science of raised to * ' * Being philosophy in terms of its subjectmatter. or. are the two poles in distinguished Occidental and Oriental * metaphysics from one another. c ' ' only the starting-point for his reflection on life and the world. . asti in Sanskrit) refers. which was applied to this branch of philosophy through the merest accident. whose European representative we took Then the real and radical contrast to the to be Heraclitus. as we say. all quality to it but they describe it in negatives (neti. In Greek philosophy this achievement is associated with the name of Parmenides. Pure Thought. on the shores of southern Italy. whom Plato called the father of philosophy. affirmation originally and negation. there is opposed the Parmenidean concentration on knowledge of being. thereby ' asserting that it lies beyond the sphere of predication. supra.

He began with the idea of being in order to demonstrate that it was bound to lead * In this way he to nothing '. That there was nevertheless room it in our European thinking we owe largely to Plato himself. tried to do in his book entitled Logic. become means both to be and not to be '. since to The way of negation has. Born in an era of intellectual enlightenment. the last great metaphysician of modern times. your Nothing. as his name shows. this had made its influence felt in European negative theology as The two sayings we set at the head of the well. and the he could blend the Indian Greek beginnings. Ever since the days of antiquity. and as such it was in fact somewhat remote * * * ' 5 ' ' ' from early Greek philosophy. and he expressed the sublime insight so gained in " the famous saying to the effect that the Absolute is beyond He could speak thus because these two essence and truth ". was of Irish extraction. p. the Ireland of that time gth century culture. shall see You " still less time and place Nothing in the endless void. Lying on the the fringe of the Mediterranean world. I may find my AIL" Since these two opposite extremes All or Nothing are expressions hinging on the same thing. something typically Oriental about it. scene where he describes Faust's Journey to the Mothers : Mephistopheles " : No space around them. 1 ' pure Nothing by the early mediaeval thinker Johannes Scotus Erigena who. they had inevitably to be brought into contact when considered logically as conceptions of the Absolute. . God is there described as a * played a leading part in the restoration of European Johannes Scotus passed on to the West the kind of theological speculations that were current in Byzantium when the Greek Church Fathers were busy Christianizing NeoGoethe is giving utterance to this tradition in the platonism." : . This is what Hegel. metaphysics ' last section reflect that fact. for 1 Supra. To which In Faust replies this. when Greek philosophy took a religious turn.VI The * METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION distinction is 2 93 last not exclusive. 265. where he developed all the fundamental categories. as any thesis entailed its antithesis. thought The synthesis of both was to be the category of becoming '. for our ears. he revived that original metaphysical enquiry into the unfathomable Ground of the universe.

1927. 10010. Martin Heidegger. Accordingly it is not confined to the West. being is already posited in advance. metaphysics is identical with " the proper religion of the philosophers is the true theology is ". Sein und eit. 3 the secret places of the heart as being. III. this most universal physics. i. 21. This threefold definition of the Absolute was what of study a consequence of the brahman-atman speculations of early times and is to be found already in one of the older Upanishads belonging to the Vedic period * : 5 * c * : : He who knows Brahma his desires. thanks to the work of Parmenides at the end of the metaphysical movement in Greece. obtains all Aristotle. which corresponds to Aristotle's view of the nature of meta* Aristotle used the concept being *. dwelling in and in the highest heaven. 10035. i. Up. too. to quote a telling modern comment. intelligence. in his definition of the fundamental * * science. namely thought and bliss concepts which also have their place in Aristotelian metaphysics since. 8 The attributes are satya. as the master himself tells us. "what is in respect of its being *. 2 1 Deussen instead of ananta> infinity. 2 In our classical Indian definition of the Absolute (brahma). Metaphysics IV. jndna and ananda. of concepts '. the latter after Tait. It would appear that this ontological level of thought came to the fore at a definite point in the evolution of European philosophy and as the result of a certain necessity. but emerges wherever the initial metacomphysical movement reaches its logical culmination. . recognition is to I THE EXISTENTIAL SENTENCE IN THE UPANISHADS In order to shed light on the place occupied by the Existential Sentence in the Upanishads.2Q4 METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION V concepts had already been established as complementing one another. we shall start with a definition of the metaphysical object framed by later Indian thinkers for school use.. 4. but it is not posited by itself as the On the contrary it is bound one ground-concept of philosophy. A parative survey will shew that the ' ' movement c leading from 5 metaphysical knowledge to metaphysical be found in the Indian beginnings. bliss. the prima philosophia traditionally known as meta" There is one science that investigates being as such physics " and what is proper to it as such * or. 2. * * * up with two other concepts. as he called it.

The other is taken from the most remarkable of the so-called middle-period Upanishads and is based on the subtle psychological distinctions laid down in the post-Vedic period Yoga together with a refined technique of concentration It is. however. my son. they differ from one another as it were in language and name. in fact it joins on directly to the conception of Absolute Spirit in which this movement culminated. conceited and proud. he returned home. some people say that in the beginning this world was all Non-being. the : My a time there lived Svetaketu. but did you ask your teachers about the teaching that makes the unheard heard. this world was simply Being. none of our ! My ! said Svetaketu.VI I THE EXISTENTIAL SENTENCE IN THE UPANISHADS 295 Even though it lacks the exclusive insistence of Greek philosophy. " son You are so conceited and proud. thinking himself learned. after that teaching you know everything. Being was produced. : " reality but their gold. the unthought thought. they differ from one another as it were in language is What " and name. having no By knowing one piece of base metal you know all things made of that metal . having no reality but their clay. learn . otherwise they would surely have told me. But do you teach me. in line with worked out by the Indian ascetics. In proof of this we now bring together two it lies ' ' important testimonies. : . One without a second. Uddalaka said thinking yourself so learned. One without a second. father ? Uddalaka said : " By knowing a lump of clay you know all things made of clay . son of Uddalaka. Indian speculation nevertheless asserts the claims of thought to m^ake the Absolute knowable despite the fact that simply and beyond the sphere of predication the solely through postulate of being which is itself born of thought. To be sure. at twenty-four. father." " Svetaketu said Certainly my revered teachers cannot have known this. " By knowing a nugget of gold you know all they differ from one another as it things made of gold . Yajnavalkya's first The teacher. that teaching. which was purely theoretical. Uddalaka said " In the beginning." At twelve he found his teacher . son Find a teacher. having no reality but that metal." " So be it. " So. and that from this Non-being. my dear. Uddalaka Om ! Once upon " said : unknown known ? " " family has remained a Brahmin in name only. having completed his study of the Vedas. the development we traced in the metaphysical movement of the Upanishadic epoch. were in language and name. occurs in one of the two oldest Upanishads and is associated with the name of Uddalaka Aruni.

11-14. 2 What is of particular interest to us is that it is obviously determined by the doctrine of being . p. food '). " It c thought. Up." mythological. i and 2. but solves it by means of the mythological idea of propagation. lightning and fire. One without a second. Gf. " how could Being be produced from Non-being ? On the contrary." said Uddalaka. in the beginning this world was all Being. pp. for the three elements or gods are set up as the one thing that truly exists and are thus contrasted with all other sense-phenomena. supra. until finally the doctrine traced back to the wise men of aforetime : and wisdom. including sun. thought. Hence our text does in fact give us the rational principles of a theory of elements. op. men famous for their learning " this in mind when they said Let none say there we have not heard. known. also Jakobi. 142. Would I were many * I will it emitted heat. a mechanistic explanation of the phenomenal world. these. In this struggle between the rational and the ! ances. 59 f.' Thereupon Similarly produced water. the former gains the upper hand. 161-2. . just as the instructive fragment we quoted earlier shows philosophy making a characteristic start with the ego but ending in a cosmogonic myth. are postulated in the subsequent advance of Indian cosmology as the basic materials from which everything in the world is composed." (Chandogya. And so on for of emanation is moon. or rather falls back on to the level of mythical thinking. 1-2) This rational view of Being only flashes up for an instant and then the teaching passes over without a break into the beaten track of cosmogonic speculation. The * * three prime qualities or gods correspond to the elements water and earth and fire. together with air and ether. and water produced solids (literally. its shape Reality is just these three forms. 1 2 Brh.METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION " VI But how can this be. Sun a name or a way of speaking. 1 But even within The the cosmological framework there is a certain rationalistic trend. themselves once revered as gods is : as sun disappears . . Oldenberg's interpretation in Die Lehre der Upanischaden. Cosmogony is basing itself here on the basic philosophical problem of the One and the Many. . VI.cit. however. ' passage goes on to tell us how being (sat) produced out of c itself the prime qualities that underlie the multiplicity of appear- propagate heat myself. moon and fire." They knew everyanything The : thing. had is great householders of the past. 4. my son. I..y pp. cf. 1-4 . my dear.

VI

I

THE EXISTENTIAL SENTENCE

IN

THE UPANISHADS

They knew that redness, no matter where found, was always heat, whiteness always water, blackness always food. They knew that a thing, no matter how strange it looked, was 1 always a combination of those first three gods.

Here we haye the crucial opposition between what the mind conceives to be truth or reality, and mere names. Sure of its power to make the unknown known ', philosophical thought
c

applies the same formula to a rational explanation of the world as it did in regard to the Absolute at the beginning of the text, where the postulate of being was perfectly logical. So we shall

hardly be wrong if we see in this the foundation of the theory of elements announced here. In Uddalaka's doctrine of being, truth is conceived as substance ', to use the Hegelian formula. His teaching therefore naturalistic with goes together pantheism, which regarded the Atman as the life-giving principle of all things, the world-soul. Uddalaka supplements the materialistic explanation of the origin of man and the world from the three god-like elements by saying " of the Being that produced them I will enter into the three 2 gods with my living Self and disseminate name and shape.* This immanence of being within the plurality of the empirically real is the other main point of Uddalaka's teaching. He demonc strates to his son that the world-soul is the invisible finest essence contained in everything that has life, and in ourselves too* Step by step he proclaims in allegorical form the liberating knowledge that man is one with the Infinite, the all-pervading brahma, driving each step of the lesson home with the tremendous " formula It is the Indian Tat tvam asi " You are That p to Greek Kal of the nav counterpart Xenophanes and
c
:

'

:

!

Heraclitus, where the approach from the cosmos corresponds to the Indian approach from the subject
:

" Uddalaka, son of Aruna, said to his son Svetaketu My son, know the nature of sleep. When a man sleeps he is united with Therefore they say of him that sleeps being, he has found himself. that he has gone to his own '. " As a bird fastened to a string, after fluttering this way and that and finding no other resting-place, settles upon its fastening, so the mind, after fluttering this way and that and finding no other resting-place, settles upon the breath ; for mind has breath for a
:
c

fastening.

.

.

.

"

When
1

mind

man dies, dear, his voice goes into his mind ; his to breath, his breath to heat, and the heat to the highest divinity.
a

my

Chand. Up., VI,

4, 5-7.

2

Ghand. Up., VI,

3, 2.

298

METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION
finest essence the
is

VI
That
is

That That
"

whole world has
!

for its soul.

reality.

Self.

Svetaketu

As the bees, different flowers and
*

my

dear,

You are that. make honey by
all to

gathering the essences of

" . Very well, my dear " Strike at the root of that great tree, sap oozes out but the tree Strike at the trunk, sap oozes out but the tree lives. Strike lives. The living Self fills the at the top, sap oozes out but the tree lives. tree ; joyfully it stands there, drinking the moisture. " But if life leaves a branch, the branch withers. If life leaves another branch, that branch withers. If life leaves a third branch, that branch withers. When life leaves the whole tree, the whole
.

the essence of this flower or that ', so all creatures pass c have passed into Being '. Whatever into Being and know not, they were in this world, tiger, lion, wolf, bear, worm, moth, fly, gnat, mosquito, so they become. That finest essence the whole world has for its soul. You are That is reality. That is Self. Svetaketu that." " " said Svetaketu. Explain once more, father
say,
I

am

mixing

one, and no particular essence can

We

!

!

.

tree withers.

"

Even

so,

my

dear, the
die.

but Self does not for its souL That is
it
;

body dies when the living Self has left That finest essence the whole world has You are That is Self. Svetaketu reality.
! !

that."

Here, father." " Cut it." " I have cut it, father." " What do you see there ? " " Little seeds, father." " Cut one." " I have cut one, father." " What do you see there ? " " " Nothing, father " This great Nyagroda tree has sprung up from Uddalaka said essence so fine that you cannot perceive it. Believe what I say, my That finest essence the whole world has for its soul. That is dear You are that " That is Self. Svetaketu reality. " " said Svetaketu. once more, father " Explain well, my dear Very " Put this salt into water and come to me in the morning." Svetaketu did so. Uddalaka said " Bring me the salt you put into water yesterday evening." Svetaketu looked, but could not find it. The salt had dissolved. " " How does it taste ? " Taste it here," said Uddalaka. " Salt." " " How does it taste ? " Taste it in the middle," said Uddalaka. "
!

" " said Svetaketu. once more, father " Explain dear well, my " Very me a fig from that Nyagroda tree." " Bring
. . .

:

!

!

!

!

.

.

.

:

Salt."

VI

I

THE EXISTENTIAL SENTENCE

IN

THE UPANISHADS

2QQ

" " How does it taste ? " Taste it at the bottom," said Uddalaka. " Salt." " Leave it and come to me." " It is the same everywhere." Svetaketu did so and said " Uddalaka said ; Although you may not perceive Being, it is here. That finest essence the whole world has for its soul. That You are that." is reality. That is Self. Svetaketu 1-2 and 6; 9, u, 12, 13) VI, 8, (Chandogya,
:
!

While not wishing to diminish the impression that this passage must make on the sensitive reader, we must in fairness point out
that
it is

which it have before us

not to be taken by itself but as part of the doctrine to forms the conclusion. We shall then see that what we

is only another, admittedly very powerful, exposition of the naturalistic pantheism which we thought we had left behind when, at the beginning of the text, we encountered the

concept of Being as the only adequate expression for ultimate Being appeared to be reality, and as the refutation of Not-being. understood as a logical category, since this concept was presented " " in the form of the ; teaching which makes the Unknown known but now it is once more related to a definite, material substratum
albeit so
*

fine

s

as to

be

invisible

just as

was the case in the

analogous theory of breath or wind. All that has happened is that empty space has been substituted as a symbol for this pantheistic idea of the world-soul, Compared with the above passages from the Chandogya

Upanishad, which, like most early cosmogonic speculations, display a bewildering assortment of themes all woven together, the other text that testifies to the existence in ancient India of an ontological doctrine is remarkable for its lucidity and conciseness. That is because, following the usual approach of Indian metaphysics, it turns to the Absolute Subject and not to Substance. It traces the gradual ascent of knowledge through the invisible

a method already known to us from The Prajapati's instruction of Indra regarding the true Self. from a which well rank comes major composition may passage with the great discourses of Yajnavalkya the story of Nachiketas. His father, having bestowed all his goods on the priests, hands his son over to Death, and now in the House of Death the young man receives instruction from Yama, the god of Death himself, on the subjects of death and immortality

realm of the psyche

:

:

Know

then the Self as the Lord of the chariot, which

is

the

body

;

Intellect as the charioteer,

and mind

as the reins.

300

METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION

VI

are the senses the steeds, and the objects of sense are their pasture ; c Self at one with senses and mind is called the experient '. He who has no understanding, whose mind is infirm and unsteady, Loses control of the senses, like wild unbiddable horses. But if he has understanding, steadily reining his mind in, Then are his senses good horses, docile, evenly-stepping. Those with no understanding, impure in their actions, unmindful, Race past the goal and go journeying onward to reincarnation. Only the understanding, the pure in heart and the mindful, They alone reach to the goal from which there is no more returning. Over the senses the objects of sense, of which mind is the ruler ; Over the mind the intellect ; over the intellect Atman ; Over the Atman unmanifest nature ; over that, Spirit. that is the end of the journey. Nothing is higher than Spirit Not to be seen is the light of the Self that is hidden in all things, Yet it is seen by discernment, the subtle eye of the seer. Stilling all speech in the mind, let the mind be stilled in the Knower, So shall the Knower be still, in the Self whose knowledge is stillness. Wake up Here ye the wisdom ye seek, at the feet of a Master Hard is the path, say the poets, sharp as the edge of a razor.
:
!

Then

!

Formless, changeless, deathless, touchless, odourless, tasteless, he who knows that is saved from death's Endless, beginningless
:

clutches.

Viewless

it is,

Those who know

of invisible countenance, no eye can see it ; it within them become by that knowledge immortal.

When, with the senses, the mind is hushed and the intellect stirs not, Man, say the sages, comes to his highest condition. This they call Yoga the yoking of sense, the becoming one-pointed ; Yoga is truly a coming-to-be and a passing away* Neither by speech nor by mind nor by vision can we apprehend It ;
:

How

indeed apprehend
'

It,
',
*

When

Only by thinking
It is

It Is

except by saying It Is ? is It grasped in the truth of both natures
3

*

*

;

grasped as

It Is

,

It is

as It truly IS. (Katha, III, 3-15 ; VI, 9-13)

known

at the

Here the Existential Sentence comes not at the beginning but end of the passage, and the preceding exposition leads up

to it step by step. It starts by describing the stages of meditation and the immersion of the Self in its own inwardness ; how

the bottomless abyss of Spirit can be

made
all

accessible to the

thinking Subject,
Reality,

who
the

is

finally challenged to

a vision of Absolute
qualities.

beyond

Yajfiavalkya's striving towards the Absolute follows the way of negation, thus affording yet another instance of the dialectic of thought in metaphysical knowledge. The passage might very well end at this point, with a bare indication

senses, discourses, this

devoid of

As

in

VI

I

THE EXISTENTIAL SENTENCE

IN

THE UPANISHADS

30!

of how such knowledge is to be achieved. And in fact one of the two existing versions does end with the words
:

Formless, changeless, deathless, touchless, odourless, tasteless, he who knows that is saved from death's Endless, beginningless
:

clutches.

But in the other version the instruction goes further. Once again there is an account of the gradual advance into inwardness,
:
:

" Viewless culminating in a negative definition of the Absolute no eye can see it." But instead it is, of invisible countenance of lingering in the abyss of the Infinite after the manner of the mystics, or awaiting divine revelation, the thinking subject is

thrown back on

its

own

resources.

The
:

soul

must reveal

its

own truth through the power of objectification ; and this is ' ' accomplished in the realization of being only by the thought c * 9 * It be grasped at all. Although the statement is It is can
made
an
rather abruptly, and the section to which it belongs is itself addition for, like most of the Upanishads, the Ka{ha is a
:

compilation the tail-piece is not a mere appendage. The " What question had been put at the beginning of the discourse " The Existential Sentence do we know of the infinite brahma ? gives answer to this question and so marks the advance from

metaphysical knowledge to metaphysical recognition. But, clearly as the sentence is expressed, the actual formulation * * of it is far from clear. The word is (asti) serves not merely to fix the secret knowledge of the true Self in conceptual form ; It is, it also seeks to overcome the last remnants of dualism. * * difficult to make out what the both are however, exceedingly * whose identity is apprehended in the assertion of being '. On ' both the authority of the Indian commentator Shankara, two forms of Brahma ', the immanent form and refers to the the transcendent form that were distinguished in one of the older 1 In this sense the immanence of the Transcendent, Upanishads. the core of metaphysical knowledge, would be postulated as true On the other hand and such is the reading of certain being. modern interpreters 2 it could also refer to our dual apprehension of the Transcendent, both by infinite negation (neti, neti] and
'
'

by absolute affirmation
the thought that
to anything else
'
'

(asti).
c

The thought
'

that
'

c

It

is

',

and

is It Not That 'i.e. is without relation and without quality, are said to coincide. They are of one being in so far as they mean one and the same thing,
1

Brh. Up.,

II,

3

;

cf.

supra, p.

143-4, 162-3

2

E.g.

Hume,

op

cit.,

p. 360, n. 6.

3O2

METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION

VI

namely that which is. Being would here be simultaneously In this sense, then, the defined by the thought of what it is not. of Indian doctrine expresses the unity Thought and Being, the core of metaphysical recognition which we shall find formulated in full clarity in Parmenides. This thinker undoubtedly took
But, being, the object of pure thought, as Absolute Reality. ' whereas the Indians were content to assert 'It is and leave
it

same

as a metaphysical doctrine, Parmenides, while making the assertion, tried to 'demonstrate the necessity of Being in a
c

purely logical way. It was only Plato, however, who brought out the logical force of the copula '. We must distinguish, he says, between an assertion of the existence of something, as when we say, " This is a tree," and the positing of Being in the allembracing sense, where the effect of the copula is to elevate the thing spoken of, even if it be nothing ', to an object of thought by the very fact that we speak of it. The question is whether Indian ontology points in this purely logical direction or not. Since, as we have said, the Katha is a compilation, we can only reach a decision by taking into account the trend of Indian philosophy as a whole ; and this trend would seem to indicate that the doctrine of being does not rest on a purely logical basis*
c

in mind, we must realize that we are with The religious and ritual backthinkers. dealing priestly the doctrine is clearly founded on ground remained, although argument. A nearer comparison would be with Old Testament theology ; we are thinking of the Bible story of the God of Israel appearing to Moses in the burning bush :

With Greek philosophy

Then Moses said to God " Behold, if I go to the Israelites and say to them, The God of your fathers hath sent me to you \ and ? what shall I answer them ? " they ask me, What is his name " I AM THAT I AM.' Then God said to Moses and he said,
:

*

*

*

:

cc

Thus

shalt thou say to the Israelites,

'

I

AM hath sent me to you
is

;

'

"- 1

This strangely abstract revelation

modern

scholars thus

:

Hebrew

explained by many theologians of the time of the

early prophets interpreted the proper name of Jehovah etymologically ; they supposed that it was the third person imperfect

of the archaic stem he is (and (to be), meaning manifests himself continually) ', with the additional connotation of remaining the same. Here the magic connection between name and person seems to have been sublimated, and the name is made to declare the essence of God, since God's essence consists
1

'

HWH

'

c

Exodus, III, 13-14.

VI

I

THE EXISTENTIAL SENTENCE

IN

THE UPANISHADS

303

The Schoolmen of the Middle Ages, a synthesis of Christian theology and Aristotelian Meister Eckhart philosophy, readily seized on that passage. " I THAT I as follows denotes pure it interprets He affirmation to the exclusion of every possible negation." takes it as expressing simultaneously God's consciousness of Himself and His own Absolute self-absorbed Being. 1 From this there clearly emerges the point of departure from purely philoThe theologian is content to accept the first sophical ontology. being as an immediate one ; but the philosopher principle comes to it by a process of mediation by logically demonstrating the impossibility of not-being he asserts the necessity of being. We shall see this process at work in the ontology of Parmenides. But in Hindu speculation the negative way held its own despite the Existential Sentence, and persisted side by side with absolute The latter too had an irrational religious streak, affirmation. since the magic syllable was used extensively in meditation. In one of the middle-period Upanishads the negative-positive " What that is, know aspect of brahma is formulated as follows as being and not-being ", 2 a formula strongly reminiscent of the somewhat arbitrary manipulation of these same concepts in early Vedic poetry. 3 It affords us a glimpse of the discussions still going on in the various philosophical and theological schools about that old antithesis, even after a rational system had been worked out in the post- Vedic age. At the same time it shows once again the point in logic where the mysticism that came to the fore in India parts company with theology as well as philosophy. By venturing beyond the intellectual plane in its efforts to bring the mind into direct communion with the Absolute, Indian mysticism tries to transgress, to by-pass, the sphere of discursively logical thinking constituted by the antithesis of being and not-being, and to reach the Infinite by concentration as the arrow attains its mark. We find a characteristic example of this in the following text from one of the younger Upanishads, or more accurately from the verses (karikd) where the substance of the teaching was condensed for school use. The anti-logical trend could hardly be illustrated more sharply than in the * conclusion, where the propositional forms that veil the Truth are listed, including not merely the simple antithesis of affirmain His perpetual existence.

trying to effect

'

:

AM

AM

'

:

*

Om

5

:

*

1 Sum qui sum *, puritatem affirmationis exclusa Et notandum quod bis ait omni negatione ab ipso Deo indicat, Rursus quondam ipsius esse in se ipsum et supra se ipsum reflexivam conversionem et in se ipso mansionem sive fixionem.
*
:

2

Mundaka

Up.,

II,

id.

a

Cf. supra, III, a, p.

89

f.

Is-not is '. Here we are not concerned with this product of post-Vedic speculation so much as with the defence of the doctrine of being and the light this defence throws on it. unmoved. Undreaming is a light unto itself. . . that is what we call Substance. Being cannot be the cause of Not-being. seemingly in motion. how can he maintain the intrinsic everlastingness of the imperishable ? That which in its very essence is fundamental. Hearken and observe that there is no contradiction in our teaching They teach the Becoming of something that Is. They contradict one " " What Is-not. . which of itself has not become. . Not-being cannot be the cause of Not-being. Nor can Being be the cause of other Being. the perishable not imperishable. and without duality . everything is unoriginated that is the teaching of the scripture. Is-not '. We them we do not contradict ! its own works. the fool confuses himself with Only ' and Is-not is not '. in reality knowledge is unbecome. through illusion. and negation but the is ! what teach that Becoming takes place in that which Is. since God alone exists and nothing else a view not to be found in the older Upanishads and one that was only read into them later. the combination ' . seemingly having objects. Since origination is incomprehensible. and this cannot lay itself aside. . the stable and the unstable. . and so is unchanging. Seemingly becoming. . but unlike ourselves. without objects . ' * 1 Because Being embraces everything. living creatures we see in dreams appear and disappear. immobile it is. . become subject to change? The imperishable is not perishable. we The Unbegotten. original and uncreated.304 tion METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION VI assertion and then the negation of In verses these we also meet with the oft-cited negated view that the empirical world is without reality and our own belief in it a delusion. all those living creatures : they are and are not . . " In thus contradicting one another cannot become says the other. . appearances seem to be before our eyes . . * shining once and for ever c Is '. through an illusion. others " Is-not. unintelligible appearances are imagined to be apprehended as if they were really present. 1 And how could Not-being possibly be the cause of becomes perishable through Being ? Just as in waking life. certainly cannot become says the one party. accept their testimony as regards Not-becoming. so in dream too. As the so are Unsleeping. . Nor can there ever be an origination of that which Is-not out of that which Is. But equally. But how can a Being which has not become (lit. ' * both parties shew that they are non-dualists and testify that there in that Some which : ! ! is no Becoming. another What Is. not been born). Never can a thing become other than its own substance (or nature : If anyone holds that a Being which is in itself imperishable prakfiti).

If there is If there was a time before there being.g.VI 2 NEGATIVE VALUE OF ONTOLOGIGAL CONTROVERSY ! 305 of both and the double negation l These are the four alternatives which only veil It from him . very much like an echo of the karika we have just quoted. Ed. This is characteristic of the Chinese Truth being conceived neither as approach. there must have a time before the beginning began. . i.e. I do not know which of them are any way connected with reality or which are not at all connected with reality. there must also have been a time before the time before there began to be any not-being. (d) is the negation of what is negated. the great philosophical writer who is regarded as one of the founders of Taoist mysticism in the 4th century B. nothing smaller than Mount T'ai. there must have been a time before the time before the beginning began. resulting from the rejection of discursive and logical thinking. there must also be not-being. (a) is called the ' stable ' ' * form. double negation. If some that are so connected and some that are not so connected are connected with one another. which led to * * substance nor as subject but under the aspect of power or f rule in the Taoist sense. ' ' * Ma^ukya Karika. It is drawn from the collection of Taoist texts named after ChuangTzu. brahma-world free of duality where there is neither beginning. middle nor end what more could such a one desire ? 2 2 THE NEGATIVE VALUE OF ONTOLOGIGAL CONTROVERSY CHINESE METAPHYSICS IN In ancient Chinese philosophy there is. We then have the introduce a subject and predicate. e. talking about being and not-being and still do not know whether it is being that exists and not-being that does not exist. and does not exist and not-being that really exists do not know whether I have said something that means anything or said nothing that has any meaning at all. began to be any not-being. I will now say them a beginning. so far as we can see. Only from the negative point of view. the sublime One is untouched by all Whoever has attained to the condition of the All-knower. or being that I have spoken. (b) not. 68. IV.C. * ' God God is is. just as an experiment. But here am I. do we see Chinese philosophy coming to grips with the idea of being. (b) the unstable form. (c) the statement that God is not following scheme : (a) ' is true. then as regards truth or falsehood the former cease to be in any way different from the latter. the this. * * * Take the case of some words. Nothing under Heaven is larger than a strand of gossamer. (d) the statement that God is not ' is not true. no Postulate of Being. and if there was a time before the beginning began. and the assertion of what is negated. 82-5. 38-41. 3-9. No one lives longer than the child that in : ! 1 The meaning of these prepositional forms becomes quite clear when we * God ' and ' true '. 45. If there was However. The testimony that follows sounds as an object of controversy. (c) is the combination of both.

Gf. Starting with not-being and going on to being. Are we to go on piling arbitrator upon arbitrator in the hope of someone eventually settling the matter? If we are not thus to wait in vain. there must be more language in which it can be Thus their one thing together with their talk about the one stated. the ten thousand Heaven and earth were born when I was born All this the sophists one I are but and them thing. But if there were indeed only one thing. where the Stranger says in criticism of dualism : say that hot and cold or some such pair really are all things. but three?" Similarly. there are those who say ' (2446-6) ' do our best to find out what they mean by reality ? Surely. Must we not Again. or may we not both be right or both be wrong ? But even if I and you cannot come to an understanding. among things have proved. real ? Are ' " you applying two names to the same thing. or what do you mean ? This question. and thus live out our days in peace ? What is meant 1 The Chinese Methusaleh. reply. does the right and I am really wrong ? fact that you are not a match for me mean that I am really right and you really wrong ? Must one of us necessarily be right and the other wrong. . and on the other hand "it is equally absurd to allow anyone to assert that a name can have any existence ". So then I and you and he can never reach an understanding. two things. Let them answer ' You say that there is only one thing ? ' ' this question.306 dies in its METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION VI 1 swaddling clothes. " for on the one hand it is surely absurd for him to admit the existence of two names when he has laid down that there is no more than one thing ". as you say. Plato's Sophist (243D-E). What then would happen if one started with being and went on to being ? Suppose I am arguing with you. of us. Does the fact that I am not a match for you mean that you are really Or if I get the better of you. entrust them to the care of eternity. If it is someone who agrees with both of us. will be difficult for the monist to answer. and you get the better of me. someone else will surely be a candle to our darkness ? Whom then shall we call in as arbitrator If it is someone who agrees with you. then : do/ they will * And there is something to which you give the names Yes. what can we do but smooth out our differences with the Heavenly Pounder. And in order that anyone should state this. in criticism of monism " that the All is one thing. the fact that in our dispute ? he agrees with you makes him useless as an arbitrator. much less an ordinary man. to a point where the cleverest mathematician could no longer keep count. And their one thing together with their thing And so it goes talk and my statement about it makes three things. the Stranger continues. 2 on. what exactly * ' does this expression convey that you apply to both when you say that both are real ' * * * or each of them is real ? are we to understand this reality you speak of? Are we to suppose it is a third thing alongside the other two and that the All is no longer. If it is someone who agrees with me. the fact that he agrees with me makes him If it is someone who agress with neither useless as an arbitrator. the fact that he agrees with both of us makes him useless as an arbitrator. there would be no language with which to say so. makes two things. the fact that he agrees with neither of us makes him useless as an arbitrator. won't they ? ' ' Is it the same thing as that to which you give the name one ? Yes. ** 3 You who How : We . one soon gets to three. no one dies sooner than P'eng Tsu.

in a lofty philosophical poem. then what is would be different from what is not '. If what 'is so really is so '.C. Forget . where Parmenides describes the elevation to philosophical knowledge as his own personal experience an elevation that springs from his religious attitude as well as from D. . who preserved his religious attitude even as a thinker. of so and not so '. the divine annunciation of truth in Parmenides appears only as the outward literary garb of a doctrine that has no religious character at all . it is the very opposite of religious revelation. indeed.P. . It was here that Ionian-born philosophy found a new home. split off infinite. p.VI 3 FOUNDATIONS OF ONTOLOGY IN PARMENIDES 307 c by smoothing out our differences with the Heavenly Pounder? It means the smoothing away of is and is not '. Parmenides set down his metaphysical doctrine. But although the religious garb is merely draped round the philosophical figure of the work. which managed to clothe even the haziest and most abstract ideas in concrete form. as revealed to the youthful seeker by a goddess. . whereas Nachiketas received the doctrine from the god of death in the loneliness of the forest. If what is really is '. It fits the beginning of the poem. just as the Indian thinker of the Kafha Upanishad used the legend of the revelation vouchsafed to the young Nachiketas to body But the Greek philosopher forth the brahman-atman doctrine. Walcy. infinite. it is not entirely inappropriate. a revealed religion that had spread throughout the Greek civilization of southern Italy and Sicily during the first half of the 6th century B. In contrast to the Indian poet. as regards its logical form. spiritual exertion. The heavenly journey for the sake of revelation is a religious idea that is perhaps even more widespread than the encounter with death . Cf. for it testifies to the thinker's trust in the power of reason to apprehend the truth. it would be * is not so '. Parmenides took it over from the Orphic mysteries. . Thnt Ways of Thought in Ancient China. forget and may be fitted Both were back again on to the . 1 Parmenides is conscious that the 24 f. THE FOUNDATIONS OF ONTOLOGY IN PARMENIDES DOCTRINE OF TRUTH AND BEING Coming back from Indian and Chinese mysticism : THE to the of one is to the the sensitive Greeks. L . found himself conducted to the region of Light by the Daughters of the Sun. doubly lucidity philosophy and plasticity of Greek thought. and there would be no room for argument. if what is not really is not '. 1 from the 3. and there would be no room for different from what c ' * c ' c ' * c * ' ' ' * ' ' argument.

he led the life of a wandering minstrel. (i) Parmenides is traditionally placed after his older contemporary Xenophanes. once the goal has been reached it is no longer a man but Reason and she speaks somewhat monotonously. he left * Asia Minor. and went to the Dorian colonies in southern Italy and Unlike Pythagoras. In the meantime it is perhaps not unrewarding to try to approach this sublime achievement from the human side. a professional poet or rhapsode '. so let us take a look at the historical process from which it emerged. He took part in that ethical and religious movement whose chief exponent was his contemporary. evidently for economic reasons.308 METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION VI revelation vouchsafed to deserved. the birth-place of Parmenides. is distinguished among the early Greek thinkers because. man and founder of a religious order. Xenophanes. which also gave its name to the Eleatic school. indeed everything human. to ' He him in his youth did not come unhas found the road to the region of Light thanks righteousness and justice '. that it is avenging right. the goddess of tain the order of the universe. an Ionian by birth. the existential * sentence or Postulate of Being. since pure cognition demands a superhuman and " divinely free " cast of thought. Pythagoras. those divine powers which mainMoreover Dike. beyond human strength ". hitherto the scene of the philosophical stirrings of his time. who became a subject for legend as a Sicily. 570-475) he settled in Elea in lower Italy. The Proem thus illustrates what Aristotle says in his Metaphysics about the " believed to be acquisition of philosophic wisdom. personal. subsequently disappears : first : . despite his declaration Hear ." In Parmenides everything not me but the Logos in me . a genuine . This personal note is confined to the Proem where. herself that speaks * since the truth is comprised in a single sentence. who is supposed to have been his teacher chiefly because at the end of a long and adventurous life (c. Like Pythagoras. Xenophanes is known holy to us as a definite personality with strongly marked features. like Heraclitus at the beginning of his book. Parmenides speaks in the In Heraclitus the personality of the thinker is person. The all in verse form that have been handed down lively utterances to us under his name show a revolutionary tendency. appears in person in order to unlock the heavily bolted gateway to the domain of truth. " audible all through the work.

Thus he opposed ' the new good wisdom that equips a man for practical living. " glow like charcoal embers ". Nor is it fitting that he should flit from place to place. Neither in form nor thought like humankind. to man's beliefs and ideals. if cattle and horses and lions had hands. scarlet and green to individual sallies he attacked these Going beyond Homer's human gods and mocked the whole principle of rainbow. he was aiming at something positive. and could use their hands to paint with and to produce works of art like men. p. and have The Ethiopians say that their gods are snub-nosed and black . and voice and form. all thinks. venerated as gods. holding them up to ridicule. all hears . John Burnet. greatest among gods and men. who took it over from Xenophanes . 1945. He worked in the spirit of the Ionian enlightenment. : pantheism that underlay the Ionian concepts of world-unity and condensed it into the formula Iv Kal nav One and All. Effortlessly he sways all by the power of his mind. saying that the stars in heaven. unmoving. 119. behold "." The doctrine he propounds is. Early Greek Philosophy. purple. 1 But Xenophanes was not content to amuse his audience with witty polemic . the celestial "a cloud. reformist ethos c to the chivalrous values glorified by strength of men and horses is our Homer " : Better than the Wisdom. now we shall hear the resounding tones of the original verses themselves : One God. What men call Iris. and each would make the bodies like their own. as a reformer. All of him sees. for ever . and cattle like cattle. however. We hear him speaking in prophetic " fashion But now I am come to another matter and will point the way. a pure God-concept that could hold its ground in face of rationalist thought. is in reality anthropomorphism Mortals deem that the gods are begotten clothes like theirs. Why. but enriched it by applying its realism to the conduct of life." He opposed it above He the traditional religion and to polytheism in general. employed the findings of Ionian cosmology as a means to all to destroy the current notions about the gods. We have already met this pregnant formula in Heraclitus. 1 Gf. then horses would paint the forms of gods like horses.VI 3 FOUNDATIONS OF ONTOLOGY IN PARMENIDES 309 which is something of a novelty in the cosmological of Greek beginnings philosophy. And he remains in the same spot. quite conHe seized on the sistent with the cosmological approach. : as they are. the Thracians that theirs are blue-eyed and fair-haired. .

3IO
In
this

METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION

VI

God-concept, knowledge is proclaimed the essential of all-embracing divine unity knowledge as distinct from the life-soul, the animating principle of naturalistic pantheism. But this knowledge is not spiritual in nature ; it is Once more we are struck still conceived as a psychic function. this to Indian the presents approach from the by the contrast
characteristic

subject : the corresponding texts from the Upanishads tell us that c But of the first utterance of the primordial god was I am '. l

the

One God Xenophanes

says, literally, that

he

is

"

all eye, all

thought, all ear ", meaning that he sees, thinks and hears as a whole, unlike man, who exercises these different psychic functions

with a separate organ for each, and again unlike brahma, the " seer who sees not ". The Greek thinker conceives God plasticform human is transcends God who the ally ; yet not formless ; that told are him in the shape of a we Xenophanes imagined sphere. An unimaginable idea, to our way of thinking, this world-sphere filled with divine perception and thought. But we can see what this unimaginable thing is intended to mean. For the Greeks, the sphere was the most perfect figure. God, who is One and All, is sheer perfection of being ; reality and perfection
are one.
in

But

this pantheistic
:

Xenophanes

doctrine bears an individtial stamp the functions of the One God are reduced to the

psychic or specifically intellectual functions of perception and thought, which are exercised totally and spherically in every part of him ; whereas in man the differentiated organic functions lead to a fragmentary knowledge at most. It is to be noted,

however, that although Xenophanes attacked the traditional anthropomorphic notions about the gods, he still uses man as a He reaches it by starting-point for his purer concept of God. of that he raises the intensification, is, way supreme human
faculty,

locates in intellectual knowledge, to the highest imaginable power. This going beyond the human limit does not, as it did in India, mean passing from the finite to the infinite.

which he

The Greek way does not rush into the illimitable it proceeds from human limitation to divine perfection, whose symbol is the The God who is all eye, all thought, sphere, which is totality. all ear is all-knowing, and on this omniscience reposes his " Effortlessly he sways all things by the power omnipotence of his mind." So far we are still in the mainstream of pantheism, the undercurrent of early Greek thought with its fundamental idea of
;
:

1

Cf. supra, pp. 143, 161-2.

VI
*

3

FOUNDATIONS OF ONTOLOGY IN PARMENIDES

3!

I

physis '. But divine perfection as postulated by in his pure God-concept also demands immobility, meet with a shift in man's attitude to reality which

Xenophanes and here we

may

serve to

introduce us to the revolution in metaphysics brought about by Parmenides. For it means nothing less than a break with the old view of the world as a living, self-generating reality epitomized ' c * in that idea of nature or physis '. have examined this

We

view in our study of Heraclitus, who was its chief advocate. The unity of the world was felt to be quite consistent with multiplicity and change, or rather the two were bound together without contradiction because they so manifestly belonged together unity
:

in diversity presented itself visibly

and

concretely in the primary

phenomenon of metamorphosis. This philosophically naive pattern of thought is now discarded. Instead, there emerges a rational and moral evaluation of appearances motion or, to put it more generally, change is a sign of imperfection and hence " And he remains in the same incompatible with divine dignity Nor is it fitting that he should flit from spot, unmoving, forever, place to place/* The unseemliness that is to be removed from the God-concept affects chiefly the Homeric deities, who wander about on Olympus and even visit mankind ; but the criticism also applies to mutability in general, of which change of place is only one instance. The moral point of view is likewise of general application, though Xenophanes levels his main strictures at the national epic poetry
:

:

:

Everything that is a shame and a disgrace among mortals Homer and Hesiod have ascribed to the gods stealing and adultery and
deceit.

We can measure the force of this apparently very middle-class
when we consider that Plato adopted it and banned Homer's poetry from the educational curriculum of his Republic on moral grounds. So we shall hardly be wrong if we trace the
outlook
idea that locomotion is something undignified a peculiar idea indeed in a sensuous and artistic people like the Greeks to the moral consciousness and its perfectionist requirements. Since man's character should be steadfast, stability is presumed to be part of the nature of perfect being, which, in Plato's words,
possesses

the calm and rational ethos that nearly always remains the self-same". 1

"

Out

of

this reformist
1

movement, then, was
X,
604.

crystallized that

Cf. Plato, Rep.

312

METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION

VI

concept of unchanging unity which was to become one of the cardinal principles of Western metaphysics, theology and science. Looking at the extraordinary influence this concept has had on
the history of human thought, we might suppose that the belief in God's immutability rests more on the rationalistic axiom propounded in Christian theology by no less a person than St.
5
: :

" ' Only that which remains immutable truly exists. Augustine " Here we have a striking parallel to the Indian axiom That alone is real which is not subject to change." We moderns, who are no longer deceived by the seemingly irrefutable truth of such

an

idea, turn to the assumptions that made it so convincing to European thinkers for two thousand years and find them in the
*

rational notion of true
in
this belief is
is

'

being

in other words, in the belief

The appearance of logical reasoning. what we are now witnessing a unique phenomenon the historic occasion of its birth. Approaching by way of Xenophanes, we shall rediscover the
an ontology founded on
:

pure God-concept namely, unity, * * marks used by Parmenides to immobility in the define his vision of pure being. Nevertheless these similarities only show up more clearly the distance between the respective planes of thought on which the reformer and apostle of theistic monism, and the poet of metaphysical recognition, move. It is a distance like that which separates Heraclitus from Xenophanes, as Heraclitus himself points out when he stresses how different his
qualities
totality,
is from all previous philosophies metaphysical of the immanence of the Transcendent as opposed to knowledge pure monism. But the distance from Xenophanes to Parmenides For here the supra-empirical character of pure is even greater. is being independent of any relationship to the world, be it named * Immanence * or * Transcendence *. We can try to derive the Parmenidean concept of being from

he claims

for his

philosophy

:

by elaborating the contradictions inherent in the latter. A single entity, the one and only God who is all eye, cannot at the same time be all ear and all thought such total seeing is no longer a seeing that could be distinguished from hearing or thinking. The various functions of divinity, once abstracted from experience, lose their definiteness as soon as they are all raised to their highest power and used collectively
Xenophanes* God,
dialectically,
;

as a designation for divine perfection. Their combination is c tantamount to a hazy vision of total reality labelled God ', and
for this total reality (so runs the

argument) the term that then

Vl3
*

FOUNDATIONS OF ONTOLOGY IN PARMENIDES

313

and authentic is metaphysical of kind dialectical this construction in the Hegelian being manner glosses over the crucial issue, which is that the ethical and religious attitude of the reformer Xenophanes clashes with the supreme position accorded by Parmenides to purely theoretical knowledge. The conflict can be seen very clearly in one partipresents itself as both appropriate
'.

But

cular instance.

So

far as

philosopher in Greece before Heraclitus to cast doubts on the adequacy of the this
divine perfection
:

we know, Xenophanes was the first who followed him in human mind to grasp

There never was nor will be a man who has certain knowledge about the gods and all the things I speak of. Even if he should chance to say something complete, he himself does not know it ; yet all may have their fancy.
This observation
reflects the religious

movement

of the time.

But we have another saying of Xenophanes in this connection, which links that movement with the Ionian enlightenment and
declares his faith in the progress of

The gods have not revealed all but by seeking they find in time what

human knowledge things to men from the beginning,
:

is

better.

belief in progress, of which Xenophanes witness, springs not so much from the intellect although of course it has its roots in the growing enlightenment as from the consciousness that man can produce
is

The emergence of this
first

the

and only

something worth while through

his

own

efforts

and

aspirations.

Examining the momentum that the idea of progress has gained " in modern times, Dilthey explains it by saying that it lies less
in the conception of a goal to be achieved than in man's own experience of his struggling will, of his life's work, and in the

joyful consciousness of energy

*

V

It is possible to

hear

this

fundamental ethical experience echoing out of the Proem, though the doctrine itself is utterly detached from all human Fully conscious of the opposition which the religious struggle. movement had set up between human opinion and divine knowledge, but in defiance of this dichotomy, and setting his face
equally against the docta ignorantia that had claimed the prophets of metaphysical knowledge from earliest times, Parmenides asserts recognition of the Absolute to be within reach of man the philosophizing man who, thanks to the divine light of reason, may " far from the beaten track of men ". find the way that lies
1

Dilthey, Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften, 1883, Ges. Schr.,

I,

pp. 6, 97.

314

METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION

VI

and put into the mouth of a goddess, the knowledge to which the philosopher attains is nevertheless presented in the logical form we have come to regard as charProclaimed as
the truth
acteristic
is

'

5

an

of human reasoning. The disquisition of the goddess instructive lecture in abstract terms, not a visionary revela'

power of winged words '. She expounds her doctrine step by step, progressively and discursively, with impressive but monotonous repetitions. It is the very opposite of the creative form of metaphysical knowledge such as we found in Heraclitus, where the movement of thought, seeking to get to the bottom of things, continually rose and fell in the rhythm of the sayings, circling round the unfathomable and drawing us There thought moves dialectically into this circular movement. between polar opposites measure and reality in order to bring
tion through the

both

the central unity to the forefront through the combination of here, because of the underlying unitary vision, it proceeds ;
*

from mutually exclusive opposites being and not-being, truth * and * opinion 5 in the sense of conceit and it uses these fundamental antitheses to prove the doctrine and refute all other
possible theses.

This discursive thinking appeals to the

critical

understanding and thus distinguishes the Greek communication of established knowledge from the authoritarian method of the Hindus, which went from master to pupiL The goddess herself appeals to the young man's powers of judgement "Judge by
:

reasoning the much-debated proof I utter*" The discourse starts off in an extremely abstract
:

manner with

two irreconcilables being and not-being. Such a beginning might be a mere intellectual tour de force of the kind we have
already encountered in the early cosmogonic poetry of the priestly thinkers of India noncommittal, fancy-free, serving only to
further^ if that were possible, the mystery surrounding The Greek metaphysician, without a difference on the other hand, who is intent on raising his intuition of worldunity to the level of discursive thought, starts with the two most extreme possibilities that can be imagined by pure reasoning, in order to confront the mind with the alternative either there is " " being and not-being cannot be ", or not-being is and necesis As a ". there is tertium the sarily possibility that the thing quid fact not be is in to distinguished at all, with the distinguished

darken
the
'

still

One

V

:

1

Cf. supra, p. 89

f.

VI

3

FOUNDATIONS OF ONTOLOGY IN PARMENIDES
"
to

315

be are the same and not the same ". but here Parmenides is attacking a train of thought which did exist and which he contemptuously Eminent philologists have long calls that of the two-headed '. conjectured that Heraclitus is meant, and we can accept this conjecture despite the misgivings that have recently made themWhat Parmenides wants to score off is the belief selves heard. 1 in becoming ', the evolutionary cycle of genesis and decay so characteristic of the early Greek view of the world. This view was raised by Heraclitus to a high level of philosophical reflection, which Parmenides dismisses as vain wonder in the face of changing reality. He can speak like this because he himself
result that

be and not

to

A purely conceptual possibility
c

4

'

out to construct the phenomenon of becoming logically, by combining the ideas of being and not-being a combination that harbours a logical contradiction. Thanks to this construction he can put forward his own refutation of all previous philosophy the denial of genesis and decay without ever stepping outside the sphere of pure thought and without naming the thinkers he is attacking. The refuting, like the distinguishing and the proving, is presented as a divine task. Only after its completion and as the result of the exclusion of all other intellectual possibilities does the doctrine itself appear, resting on one side of the alternative : " There remains * but one way, whose word is being V*
sets

c

'

Derived in this manner, by pure reasoning, the existential sentence does not entail any reference to the metaphysical object such as attaches to it in the Indian testimonies* could regard

We

mere logical form, the ground-plan of proposition where the * subject has still to be filled in e.g. God is or the One and All is were it not that in the numerous repetitions of the
it

as a

*

f

*

sentence being itself appears as subject, either in the form of the verb in the indicative or the nominative singular of the noun, 2 and this is strengthened all the more by the double negation : " Not-being is not.*' From these usages of the existential sentence we can see what a formidable abstraction has been achieved ' ' ' c the being of what-is is taken as a thing by itself, without ' c reference to any definite object of which being might be asserted ; on the contrary, being-as-such is elevated to the object of metaphysical knowledge.
:

*

*

In order to appreciate this abstraction, let us compare the Parmenidean doctrine with modern formulations of the way in
1
*

K. Reinhardt,
cart
;

lori /i4v

Parmenides (1916), in refutation of Zeller and Diels. fvcu ; T<& &v l/z/ievcu. See infra, p. 325, note i.

D.P.

L*

316

METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION

VI

which philosophy begins with the postulate of being. Leibnitz "In philosophizing I start from the fact that something says exists. Hence, since nothing is without a reason, there must be a reason why something exists rather than (potius) nothing, and the reason must lie in the res necessaria" * Here, in contrast to
:

Parmenides,

something

is

totally rejected empiricism, the existence of taken as a fact of experience ; from this fact thought,

who

following the fundamental principle of reason, must go back to ' a res necessaria *, a necessary being substantial to the world as

a whole. But even without invoking the principle of reason we can, indeed we must, ask "By the very fact that something, or not are we referred back to some being which anything, exists, is \ not merely contingently upon another existent but to the exclusion of all such contingency a being, therefore, which
:

*

question was put thus in the early part of the 2Oth century by one of the most vigorous thinkers of the last generation who were concerned with the revival of metaphysics
absolutely
is

c

'

?

"

The

nature of philosophy he took as his starting-point the problem of the " order of the most fundamental evidence ", with a pointed allusion to the Cartesians who begin with universal doubt :
in

Germany, namely

Max Scheler.

In

his discussion of the

" The

first

presupposed since
*

and most immediate evidence, which is already it constitutes the very meaning of the words
*

doubt about something (about its existence or about the truth of a proposition), is the self-evident realization which asserts
that there
* * . .
.

is

something

first and most immediate realization and of the 2 most intense and ultimate philosophic amazement No, matter where I turn, in every single case picked at random from one category of being or from several intercrossing categories this realization becomes clear to me as the most incontrovertible
. .
. .
.

nothing the object of our

The

that there is not or, more drastically * * fact that there is not nothing is at once

.

1 From a fragmentary note by Leibnitz on the Axioma perfectionis. Cf. Dilthey, Die Function der Anthropologie in der Kultur des XVI und XVII Jahrhunderts (1904), Ges.

Schr.,
8

II, p. 467.

This bears out what we said earlier (p. 58 ff.) about Schopenhauer and Coleridge, who likewise found the prime cause of philosophic amazement in the mystery and * marvel of existence as such. Plato's wonder ', we noted, was aroused by a logical ' * than existential ; while with the Indians the and more was intellectual paradox dominant theme was the enigma of the reflective mind what am I ? a purely Parmenides, too, betrays subjective attitude compared with that of the Greeks.
the same objective and intellectual bias as Plato ; but, although he elevates being into a key-concept of philosophy, his insistence on pure theory is such that he opposes recognition of being to wonder thauma because this contains an affective or a-logical element. He therefore speaks slightingly of wonder as characteristic of those who are stupefied by the apparent diversity and mutability of the phenomenal world.
* *

2 Cf. impossible. when it Since Parmenides. Erkennens. " of which. as follows : A thing is and anything is 1 Scheler. or what amounts to the same thing for him." . Here speaks the Christian thinker who. 1921. naf. necessary when its opposite is impossible. Max . Of course. we see the difference between the modern philosophical viewpoint and that of the Greek thinker. p. He denied the possibility of nothing which possibility. * . after the fact of being ". if it had to be proved Here.VI 3 FOUNDATIONS OF ONTOLOGY IN PARMENIDES 317 evidence so clear that it surpasses in clarity everything that could be conceivably compared with it. who graduated in the school of Husserl. Vom Wesen der Philosophie und der moralischen Bedingung des phil. the founder " This of the phenomenological method. the Christian thinker says. the unthinkability of nothing. when laying down contains a contradiction. Parmenides associated if and Kierkegaard he visualized it at all. which can be formulated somewhat *. phenomenology advances for such a view " The fact that something exists. the man who has not gazed into the abyss of absolute nothingness will completely overlook the supremely positive nature of the realization 55 that there is something rather than nothing. a man only becomes nothingness " when is preceded by that capable philosophic wonder attitude of humility which obliterates the self-evident character of at all. phenomenon that must arouse our wonder. 2 adds realization would not be self-evident. 5 : Parmenides asserts on the contrary that nothing cannot The Greek thinker has not " gazed into the abyss of absolute be. In Vom Ewigen im Menschen. I. * Scheler. p. finally looked for religious regenera- tion in too* Roman Catholicism. the bare existence of any existent. 7 f. despite Nietzsche c nothing with the idea of empty space. a good deal of groping. and therefore unthinkable. is alien to his way of More alien still is the reason which the spokesman of thinking. Parmenides wants not only to prove the postulate of being but to show that it is the one thing possible and necesTo regard the very existence of something as a metaphysical sary. even more clearly than in Leibnitz note. This demonstration brings to light a definite and typically rationalistic view of necessity. is enough to arouse our wonder because it blots out the which is undoubtedly there of there being nothing possibility : ' 5 . he demonstrated the necessity of being. so Scheler says. is undoubtedly there and through the impossibility of not-being. let alone primary because presupposed in any 55 case of doubt about something. supra.

the core of rational metaphysics..*' thinking and that for the sake of For thou canst not find thought apart from is : uttered . How we are to understand the teleobject ' nature of thought we learn from the reason given in ological the following sentence. There are in this proof two inter-related assumptions which found apart with the probe of logic. Hence thinking is inseparable from being. where speech (or thought expressed in sentences) is reduced to its propositional form in accordance with Parmenides' ruling interest in theoretical knowledge. The first is the unity of thought and speech. p. we would ask. This formula turns on the identity of thought and ' ' being " : One and the 1 same is which thought is.. But.e. can voclv re KCLI OVVGKZV cart Hoffman. wherein it besides what is. what is. mental evidence the primary thing for him was not being but thinking or reason logos. or more accurately in * sentence any containing the verb to be '. was guided by this unspoken idea of logical that in the order of the most fundanecessity. why does Parmenides say that not-being. . Parmenides never uses the * we must keep word for * ' thinking * (voeiv) 2 by junction with 8 saying' (Myiv). preconceptions to which he gives the clearest possible expression in the formula that constitutes. * which the modern thinker posits as an abysmal possibility. Die Sprache und die u. thought can only be where it is uttered. The second is the unity of speech and being speech in the above sense of a proposition. . since in the philosopher's opinion speech is confined to propositional sentences.318 his postulate METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION VI of being. And this belief in the primacy of logical thinking is it not already apparent in the fact that he truth in the form of an alternative. i. 1923. and that this way of enquiry is cernible ? This question leads us deep into the preconceptions that underlie the Parmenidean doctrine of being. is utterly undisimpossible '. but always in conIn our study of the logos of itself. and then enunciates the plumps for one side of it since the other is unthinkable ? Thought we must admit ' ' c * ' ' ' ' is all . for there is and shall be no other In the first of these three sentences the classical sentence being is defined as stating the identity of thought and being that at which thought aims a tentative expression for the * * * of thought. as we have said elsewhere. As to the first. Cf. in speech. * According to it. archaische Logik.

'Phaedo.. that the discourse It is here that the other assumption comes in to which thought is bound itself consists in the utterance of * 6 the being of what the discourse is about* Plato what is singled out this assumption too. 8 241^. he found in it the basic " What do you intend to signify when problem of philosophy * " * 2 To pose this question at all you use the word being ? means doing away with the apparently self-evident statement * that not-being cannot be *.g. note a. The other side is the * c the ontological side. since. once they are made the object of contemplation. 2440. The same view now it is characteristic of presents itself from the other side thought to mean something. Accordingly he defined thinking as a kind of discourse (logos). the inward dialogue carried on by the Whereas the stream mind with itself without spoken sound 35 which flows from the mind through the lips is called discourse. merely which is embodied in the word said. 2370. 302. This assumption is so deep-rooted that even Plato stuck to it. precisely. . Parmenides. both are equally affected by the proposition Is '. neither what is nor what is not has any advantage over the other in respect of its being *. the spokesman of the Eleatic school and discourse are the same thing. Ibid. p. p. e. ' * : : V 5 ' ' ' * ' * its 1 existence. . l So far we have dealt with only one side. as * since he would Plato pointedly remarks. 5 Sophistes. hypostasis existence to the postulates of pure thought. 263*. of the Parmenidean basis of philosophy. Cf. since we can also attribute I. takes * ' c ' being although Cornford has real *. thus turning the philosopher. And on that same logical view this proposition in its turn means nothing more than the objective character of what it posits the logical postulation of something as distinct from the assertion of linguistic expression * : and only reaches its . . the logical side.e. rather. c we noted to talk : goal through language. ' and so speak of ' ideal objects. though he did not share Parmenides* views about it . 4 For. on a purely logical view. but the meaning is bound up with its Heraclitus. however. except that what we call thinking is.VI 3 FOUNDATIONS OF ONTOLOGY IN PARMENIDES 319 that the verb of that noun never means but to say something with a definite meaning '. Cf. ' ' 6 as distinct from real existence. thinking Stranger '. cf. or rather he gives this famous definition through the lips of the " Well. into a parricide have to go against the father of philosophy once he realized " that the truth about the nature of being is to be sought in the * realm of logic ". 99*. 306. if indeed doctrine of that which is (rd 8v) we can speak of sides where the identity of both is asserted. concepts or mathematical abstractions.

242^). differ from the words of general speech. which embraces everything being in this sense as the metaphysician he was . which may have a double sense or alter their meaning according to circumstances. indivisible etc. every concept meaning and everywhere. Preface. the logical and the intuitive. Sophistes. as Kant says. by reason of their negative form immovable. but they exhibit : certain differences in keeping with the new logical plane of thought.32O METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION localizes it VI as obviously he in prepositional forms of speech equivalent to existence. And in fact. 1 These two attitudes. so concepts. . thus ascribing to the latter the universal scope peculiar to the sphere of logic. by the intuition of world-unity in fact Plato spoke of this intuition as the gist of the poem. as said we earlier the to which on. In each case the discursive method of proof is carried through monotonously. we shall find it in the fundamental logical phenomenon called the concept *. independent of time and place. unborn. We have here a model of the logical form of indirect (* apogogic *) we lump these negative terms together and look for the phenomenon to which they all belong. respond. The appear side abstract terms differ from the others with which they by side. and the intellectual possibilities reduced to an alternative. He takes * ' Being into its characteristic marks '. izBa (cf. shown in the keeping of promises and so on. and immobility on the other. There is thus an analogy between logic and ethics in so far as both are based on reason. These marks. once defined. despite the rational and highly discursive exposition of his doctrine. Just as the moral personality is distinguished from the immoral by its reliability. 2 both in theoretical and in practical cepts are ideal units of remains the same always : 1 Parmenides. where Parmenides proceeds to analyse his conception of that can be asserted or denied. We saw this ethical ideal at work in Xenophanes' concept of divine immobility. 2 Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten. qualities Xenophanes unity and spherical totality on predicated of his God-concept the one hand. the necessity for each mark being proved by the impossibility of its opposite. and as a metaphysician he was guided. as he calls them (they have since become a technical term in logic. more particularly in the theory of the One ' They corconcepts). are worked out in the middle portion. imperishable. are of two kinds : abstract and intuitive. Con* proof* If once fixed.

Nor is it divisible. since it is all alike ". 169. Stenzel. The apparent in the * v intuitive character of this group of marks shows itself in the fact that. It is all full of what is. it is pointed out that his peculiar an honour merit consists in the discovery of the concept accorded to an Socrates. As eminent scholar traditionally " The of the in which comments discovery concept. * * This metaphysical reference cannot be seen in the abstract qualities taken by themselves. 13. but it becomes immediately * * intuitive characteristics of being. the unity and totality of being are expressed in a " It is all alike* It is variety of ways or described in hints for c We Eleatic logic ended in scepticism. Cf. But in Parmenides the simply c In practical trend of pure reason is ousted by the theoretical. That is why our part would discovery of the concept in the logical border-line phenomenon of Absolute Being. pp. certain historical evaluations to which the work of Parmenides has recently been subjected. but the discovery of being as an adequate concept for the Absolute of metaphysical knowledge. makes it everywhere taste salty. we are told in refutation of its alleged diversity basis : . It is now all at once. was considerably prejudiced ' c ' : " fact that conceptual thinking came up against such a peculiarly uncomfortable object as Absolute Being. one. So once without a second the hear we majestic harmony of the original witnesses. for what is borders on what is. and to his simile of the lump of salt which. p." These " concrete and positive marks underlie the others. again of Absolute Being enumerated by Parmarks the Among 1 ' J." What Parmenides calls the homogeneity or continuity of being corresponds to Yajriavalkya's definition of brahman-atman as an " intelligential mass ". it rests in itself. 1917. and continuous. many people see the merit of Parmenides. and similarly in respect of the other negatives immobility and immutability we get the underlying positive " The same and abiding in the same. 2 And when we are asked " For how couldst thou find a birth for it ? How and whence could it have grown ? " we think of the One : ' of the Indian metaphysicians. Studien zur Enwicklung der Platonischcn Diakktik. . a border-line by the concept that was bound to entangle thought in insoluble contradictions.VI 3 FOUNDATIONS OF ONTOLOGY IN PARMENIDES 32! ultimately only the same reason is speaking it is philosophy that the application differs ". in contrast to the monotony of the purely discursive formulations. when dissolved in water." l say that the point at issue is not the ' : whole and unique. 298-9.

what he has in mind is the perfect geometrical figure of the circle . From a contemporary of Parmenides. bizarre. When Parmenides says that being is without beginning or end '." Instead. to the same thing in or. * it not need that is in of negative terms. such as an unlimited straight Parmenides expressly denies this line extending to infinity. So understood. limita- Being is not only limited it is perfectly complete it is further characterized by the fact that what amounts no way contradicts infinity on the contrary. it : He " It the limits (perata) that enclose limits of its mighty bonds is speaks with emphasis of immovable within the . concept of an Absolute bonds of the And indeed we meet here with a idea that from the familiar utterances on Greek differs peculiarly the mystique of infinity. thinking. hearing. we noted that the progress from the human to the divine did not go from finite to infinite. we have the saying Men die : . ever since they started thinking scientifically about figures and numbers.. The One with nothing outside itself. he tion in . in connection with religious consciousness. it bears in itself its own limits. 5 limit that girdles it about/ This view needs some for it to seems contradict the explanation. It is every way equal to itself and tends to its limits uniformly. Sufficient unto itself. anything '. because the One God who is All was imagined in all too human fashion as seeing. but by way of intensification. " the founders of mathematics). from the imperfect to the perfect. though we might have been prepared for it by Xenophanes and Heraclitus. for this. . it is complete on every side . the boundless extension of a continuous magnitude. i. between the metaphysical idea of the Absolutely Infinite and the mathematical idea of simple infinity.e. plastic expression for what the Indian metaphysicians could only hint at by way of negation or through the magic syllable of affirmation.. * ' : expresses the metaphysical conception of absolute or perfect infinity in the sublime simile with which the goddess of Light closes ' * her discourse on well-rounded truth : the simile of the sphere. for hard necessity keeps it in the . was c a symbol of eternity for the Greeks. In Parmenides the idea has become an image that every thinking person can understand a positive. It is not difficult to see the metaphysical meaning of the image. There. it is its All do in mind the difference we need is bear complement. " boundless extension to his continuum of being Since there is a furthest limit.322 METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION is VI menides also that of limitation. Alkmaion (who belonged to the Pythagorean school. Xenophanes' idea of the spherical God struck us as a little.

VI

3

FOUNDATIONS OP ONTOLOGY IN PARMENIBE3

" as can the because they cannot join the beginning to the end stars in heaven, which pursue their orbits throughout eternity. Compare this with the saying of Heraclitus on the union of " Beginning and end meet in the circle's circumopposites ference." But in Parmenides the meaning of the symbol does not lie merely in the circle's uniform peripheral limitation, which The runs back upon itself and is to that extent unlimited. limitation comes not only from outside but equally from the " inside ; this spherical being is described as everywhere equally
:

bound from the centre ". Pythagorean ideas are at work here, but, odd as they seem, they are of more than merely antiquarian interest, and once understood, any thoughtful person can
1 appreciate their symbolical power. It was the Pythagoreans who set up the paired opposites ' * * limited unlimited (instead of limited the active limiting
'

c

'

:

might be more accurate) as a fundamental category in mathematical theory. Speculating about the nature of numbers, they " took the evens as unlimited, the odds as limited Even numbers arc those which have equal parts, while odd numbers have " 2 When the odd Again unequal parts and a middle term. is divided into two a left unit over is in the middle ; equal parts but when the even is so divided an empty place is left, without a master and without a number, showing that it is defective and 8 This geometrical rather than serial view of incomplete/*
:

5*

:

numbers is the counterpart of the idea that the circle is shaped from within in both cases the limitation proceeds from the that centre holds the whole thing together. The same idea quiet turns up in Pythagorean cosmology, where the central fire, the
:

weaves the world the mentioned unlimited* limiting Pythagoreanism in our study of ancient Chinese philosophy, where we came across the idea of the centre as the * great root * of the world. 4
divine

power together by

at rest in the heart of the universe,

We

this idea, in China as in Greece, sprang from an and religious outlook. Plato tells us that the great Parmenides was a man of the Pythagorean kind in his attitude to life. But the ethical and religious background has completely vanished from his doctrine, which he spun out of his brain, as well as from the simile of the circle which symbolized the synthesis of infinity and perfection.

We

found that
'

ethical

'

*

*

K. Reinhardt, Parmenides, 1916, p. 12 f. Aristoxenos, frag. 81, in Diels, Vorsokratiker, 45 B, 2 Philosophy, p. 288.
* 8

1

;

cf.

Burnet, Early Greek
f.,

Ibid.,

45 B, 28

*

See

supra,

pp. 197

211

324

METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION

VI
as

Kant defined the metaphysics founded by Parmenides
'

a

Nevertheless the impression this science of pure reasoning '. thinker gives us of utter detachment from life is subject to one

Like the cosmologists before him, Parmenides too tackled the problem of empirical reality, although he dismissed
limitation.

mere seeming (as opposed to being '), and our knowledge of it as mere opinion (as opposed to truth '). In the second part of his poem he sketches out a cosmological theory. He puts it into the mouth of the goddess of Light, but with an ulterior
it

as

'

5

'

*

'

c

motive that is decidedly human the youthful seeker after truth, she says, once he has found it, will have no need to lag behind others in the clash of human opinions. We gather from this that Parmenides was by no means loth to compete with the This portion of the doctrine is, like the first part, cosmologists.
:

aware of the hypothetical nature of all man's explanaIt presents tions about reality, so that it is not a mere appendage. a new attitude to scientific investigation. But, in our present context, we can disregard this turn of events, however important historically, and confine ourselves to the first part of the work.
critically

The Way of Truth and Being
chariot as far as ever my heart might the glorious way of the Goddess, which carries the Knower through all the cities of the world. Along this way I was borne ; for upon it the wise horses drew me straining at the chariot, and the maidens pointed the way. And the axle, glowing in its socket, gave forth the sound as of a pipe ; for it was sped by two whirling wheels, one on either side, and the daughters of Helios left the abode of darkness and hastened to send me into the light, their hands drawing the veils from their faces. Yonder are the gates of the ways of light and day, and a lintel guards them above and a threshold of marble below ; the towering portals are stopped with great doors, and requiting Justice holds the keys that fit them. Yet the maidens beguiling her with soft words cunningly persuaded her to lift with all speed the fastened bar away from the gates. These, as they swung back one after another on posts rich in bronze, socketed and set with nails and clamps, opened a wide space between. Straight through them, on the broad way, the maidens guided the horses and the car, and the Goddess greeted me kindly, and took my right hand in hers, and spoke to me : Welcome, youth, that comest to my abode in the car tended It is no ill chance, but Right and Justice by immortal charioteers that has sent thee forth to travel on this way. Far, indeed, does it lie from the beaten track of men. It is meet that thou shouldst learn all things, as well the unshaken heart of well-rounded truth as the
horses that
desire

The

draw

have brought

me and set me in

my

O

!

VI

3

FOUNDATIONS OF ONTOLOGY IN PARMENIDES

325

Yet this also thou opinions of mortals, wherein is no true belief. wilt have to learn, how the things that seem should be judged by him

who

passes through all things.

I will tell thee, and do thou listen and lay my of enquiry that are to be thought only two ways ' l the one, (asserting) of and * not-being cannot be ' this being The other, is the way of persuasion, for persuasion attends on truth. this, I tell thee, is a not-being is and necessarily is (asserting) way that is utterly undiscernible ; for thou couldst not know notbeing that is indeed impossible nor utter it. For thinking and being are the same.

Come now and

tale to heart, the
:

c

*

'

Behold the far distant nevertheless firmly present to thy thought, what is from what is, whether it be scattered abroad in an order or pressed together It is all one to me, wherever I begin ; for wherever it be I shall return there again What can be spoken and thought, must be ; for being is and nothing cannot be. These things I bid thee ponder ; for this is the first way of enquiry from which I would hold thee back. But secondly I hold thee back from the way whereon mortals who know nothing, wander two-headed ; perplexity guides their wandering thoughts, and they are borne along, deaf and blind, in vain wonder, undiscerning crowds who hold that to be and not to be are the same and not the same, and that the way of all things goes back upon itself. Never shall it be proved that what is not, is. Do thou restrain thy thought from this way of enquiry, nor let the habit that comes of
for thou canst not sever
.

.

.

,

.

.

much

experience drive thee along the way of the unseeing eye and the buzzing ear and tongue ; but judge by reasoning the much-

debated proof I utter. * There remains but one way, whose word is being *. On this whole way there are many marks being is unborn and imperishable, and unique, and immovable, and without end ; nor * was it ever, nor ( will it be ', since it is now all at once, one and continuous. For how couldst thou find a birth for it? How and whence could it have grown ? I shall not let thee say or think it came from that which is not, for that which is not cannot be thought or uttered. And what need could have stirred it up out of nothing, to
: '

1 The clause we here translate as " (asserting) ' being * " is, in the Greek, an and grammatically subject) ess statement, OTTOJS cart, usually translated impersonal * It is '. Thus Burnet, Early Greek Philosophy, and, following him, Cornford, Plato and Parmenides. (W. Kranz, in his new edition of Diels (1934) translates : " . . . der " 1ST ist.") This translation NIGHT Weg, dass 1ST ist and "... der Weg, dass ' * looks more accurate ; but, because the word it then refers, if to anything, to the metaphysical object, it is most misleading here. In the case of the corresponding Indian formulation of the existential sentence, the enquiry turned from the very beginning on the Absolute and the best way of expressing it. Parmenides, on the other hand, is enquiring into the mode of thinking and the expression of thought ; hence he starts methodically from the sphere of logic, where affirmation and negation * confront one another and are not to be resolved in mysticism. For him, being ', be the is is a it taken to although it rules this sphere, primarily logical supposition ; Absolute only as the result of the identification of logic and ontology.

326
arise later rather

METAPHYSICAL RECOGNITION
than sooner
?

VI
be altogether

Hence

it

must

either

out of what is, 1 her fetters does not loosen itself. Wherefore beside Justice anything or permit it to come-to-be or to perish, but holds it fast. The decision concerning these things lies in this either being or But the decision has been given, as is necessary, that the one not-being. way must be left alone as unthinkable and unutterable, for it is no true way, and that the other way is the way of truth and being. How could what is be going to be in the future ? And how could If it came to be, it is not, nor is it, if it is going it have come to be ? to be. Thus becoming is extinguished and perishing not to be heard of. Nor is it divisible, since it is all alike ; nor is there more of it here than there, to hinder it from holding together ; but it is all Hence it is a continuous whole, for what is borders full of what is.
or not at
all.

Nor

will the force of belief suffer to arise

:

on what
It is

is.

immovable within the limits of its mighty bonds, without beginning or end, since becoming and perishing have been driven afar, and true belief has thrust them out. The same and abiding in the same, it rests in itself and remains
constant in its place ; for hard necessity keeps it in the bonds of the limit that girdles it about. Wherefore it is not permitted that being should be imperfect ; for it is not in need of anything if it were, it would be in need of everything. One and the same is thinking and that for the sake of which thought is. For thou canst not find thought apart from what is, wherein it is uttered ; for there is and shall be no other besides what is, since destiny has fettered it to be whole and immovable. Therefore all that mortals have agreed upon, believing it true, is a mere name : becoming-and-perishing, being-and-not-being, change of place and various colour. But since there is a furthest limit, it is complete on every side like the mass of a well-rounded sphere, everywhere equally bound from the centre. It cannot be stronger or weaker in one place than in another ; for there is nothing to hinder it from attaining to uniformity, nor could what is be more or less than what is, since it is all inviolable: For it is every way equal to itself and tends to its limits uniformly. ' * Here/ said the goddess, I put an end to all trustworthy reasoning and thought concerning the truth.' 2
:

Sec K. Rcinhardt, Parmenides, p. 42. In preparing the above version, reference was made to Burnet and Gornford, but the reading of certain specifically philosophical points follows the author's own German translation. Ed.
2

1

GENERAL INDEX

GENERAL INDEX
Absolute, the, object of metaphysical

knowledge, 48, 70, 71, 121, 124,
130, 132, 145, 146, 150, 153, 157, 170, 197, 214, 224, 225, 226, 228,

237, 238, 244, 247, 251, 252, 253, 257, 263, 265, 271, 276, 291, 292, 293. 295. 297, 300, 302, 303, 313,

Being, Parmenidean doctrine of, 257, 292, 297, 307, 308, 313, 318 F. science of (Aristotelian ontology), 89, 148, 292, 294 Bias of Priene, 226, 247 Book of Changes, 93, 115, 191, 192, 193, 196, 211 ff.

321 Action (see also Non-action), 205, 270 ff. Being (Reality), 81, 257, 300, 302,
321 Subject (Pure Spirit),
27<>>

Book of History, 93, 97, no, in, 113, 116 Book of the Mean, 191, 196, 200, 201, 210, 211, 214 f., 227, 271 Book of Songs, 65, 93, 95, 96, 97, 99,
100, 101
f., io6f., 112, 113, 114, 117, 171 n., 172

132, 139, 146, 149, 152, 156, 157, 163, 266,

295, 299

Substance, of Spinoza, 288-90

Books of the Forest, 125, 132 Boyce Gibson, W. R., 9 n.

Acosmism, 289
Aeschylus, 228 Ages of faith, 12, 98, 173 Agni, Hindu god of fire, 68, 69, 72,

Brahma,

70, 71, 76, 78, 89, 90, 113, 127, 130 et seq., 207, 223, 252,

267, 269, 273, 294, 297, 301, 303,

80,83,84,85,88
Attareya-brahmana, 133 Alexander, Matthias, 96 Alkmaion, 322

310 two forms of, 143, 162 Brahmanas, 65, 66, 67, 80, 89, 90
Brahmodya, 76, 80, 130 Breath, 133, 134, 139, 141, 143, 144, 146, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 208, 266, 268, 297, 299
Breath-soul, 208

Amazement,

see

Wonder

Anaximander, 224, 264
Ancestor worship, 99, 100 Animism, 100 Aquinas, Thomas, 209 n. Aranyakas, see Books of the Forest

Brhadaranyaka

Upanishad, 126

n.,

27 f., 33, 34, 36, 40, 41, 47> 5> 52, 53> 57> 5, 59, 62, 73, 89, 100, 148, 190, 194, 209, 229, 230, 231, 274, 292, 294, 303, 308 Aristoxenos, 323 n. Aruna, 131, 295, 297
Aristotle, 7,

130 n., 131, 134 n., 139 n., 142 n., 146 n., 150 n., 151 n,, 154 n*, 157 n., 159, 160, 162, 163 ff., 170, 267, 270 n., 296 n., 301 n. Brhaspati, Lord of Prayer, 88

Bruno, Giordano, 236, 276, 277, 285 ff.

Asat,

90

Asceticism, 90, 92, 134, 153 f., 182,204 Asti, 30, 209, 301 Atman, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 142, 147, I49 156, 158, 268, 269, 297, 300 Augustine, St., 45, 46, 312

Buddha, 15, 126, 131 Buddhism, 68, 176, 183 Burnet, John, 258 n., 309 32511., 326 n.
Caesar Augustus, 98 Causa sui, 290
Centre, 104, 199, 209, 323

n.,

323

n.,

and Harmony, 197, 198, 202, 2iof. Chandogya Upanishad, i26n., 131,
156 n., 158, 159, 160, 161, i66f., 212 n., 237 n., 269, 295, 296 ff. Ch'in Shi-huang-ti, Emperor, 175

Bacon, Francis, 47
Being, 209, 291, 301, 303 and Not-being (Nothing), 58, 89, 90, 129, 243, 265, 272, 292, 293, 295, 296, 299, 302, 303, 314, 315,

Chou

culture, 93 etseq., 171, 173, 178, 182, 184, 192, 193, 194, 198, 206,

317

208, 210

329

109 n. 36. prophets.. 261 Herodotus. 244. 274 Chuang-Tzu. 276. 251. Martin. Hume. 231. 187. see Sleeping Dubs. K. 240. Meister. 44. 71 n. Paul. 53. 27. 132. 140 n. 16. 316 n. 224.. David.. 128 n. 315 104 n. 58.. 72 n. 256. *97> *9 8 > 200. 200 n. 293 Heidegger. 207. 224.. 234 n.. 173. 211. 63... 267 n. 183 n. 201. 309. Chung. H. Duke of.. I29n. H. 207. 46. 47. 64. 109. 198. E.. 189. 301 n. 4. 195. interpretation of history.. Hermann. 42. 43. 246. 83. 127. is8n. 288 f. 129 140 n.. 211. 176. 230. 264. 98. 223. 129 n. 15. 6. 108. 228. 7... n*> 323 n Dilthey. 292.. no. 63. 258. 254. 229 n.. 193 n.. 148. 276 Cornford. 2. I74n. 259. G. 150 n.. 114. 113. R. 71 n. 43. 76 n. unity). 258 n. Harmony Dante. 40.. 72 n. 122. 29. 64. 71. Johannes Scotus. 3> Exodus. 85 n. see Book of the Mean Cicero. Fung. 225. 103 Dreaming. Hackmann. 285. A. 265. 17 n.. 260. 260 Hegel. 179 Griffiths. 45. 3ii Hoskyns. 79. (see also Centre). 44. 103. 236. 323 Hermodorus. 70. A. 240. 15** 209. 293 Conrady. 15. 148. Dread.. 65... Ghost-soul.> 194. 73 n. i58n. 234. 186 Goethe. 156 Giles. n. Cosmology. 228 Existential Sentence. Homer. Agni Hindu god Humanism. 129 n. A... 276 Descartes. 140 n. 190 Creel. 98> 127. 196. 293 Erkes. E. 262 n. GENERAL INDEX 103. 35 Garbe. 260. God. 227 et seq.. 185 n. 135. 43. 147. 143 n. 311 Hillebrandt.. 238 Deussen. 30 * > 33> 35> 3 8 > 3^5 295> Hekataios. R. 197 208 n.. 137.. 32.. 158 n. 135 Heraclitus. 277. 85 n. 302 of. 62. Eckhart. 41 Hesiod. I25n. 118.. 212 Han Fei-tze. 208 n.. G. 4. E. Hoffman. 171 et seq. C. 63 n. 98. 48 n. 153* 154* 267.Yung. 143 n. 272. in. i?7n. 197. 6. Christianity. 81. 319 n.. 309. 177. M. 57> 58> 62. Auguste. Greek.. 108. 97. J. H. 223 ff. 227. 174. 181. 125 Hebrew n. 171 n. 297.. 180 n. 252 n.. 185. 2 ion. 294 n. 57 n. 206. 80. of. 26. 147. 259 Frankel.. 199 n. 212 n. 176. 237. 183 188. 24 n. 80 n. 149* *5 n.. Yu-lan. 312. 1 18. Haloun. i8on... 150.. 65. Marcel. 243. 245 Analects quoted. 273. the one (see also One. 70 n. H. 294 n. Copernicus. 277> 303 Erigena.. W. 194... 264. 276 Heraclitean. Coomaraswamy. 181 Hughes.. 39 f - moral. 275 De docta Ignorantia (see also Knowing ignorance).. R. 13 n. G.33 Chou. 44. 232 n. 232. 197 n. 247. 158 n. E. see Humane sciences. F. 201. Dasgupta. 268. 294. 149. n. 187 Hume. 31. 245. 186.. 172. 2. 100. 125 n. Euripides.. 207. 214 n. 97. 58. 272. Granet.. 31.. 109. Hen kaipan. 79. 12.. 258 Cosmos and civilization.. 98.. 208.. 33... 291. 86 n.. 107. 247... 236 n. 74. 106. Hsiin-tzu. 29 . 236. 96.. 45. 173. 45. 63. 262 Harvey. 196.. 127. H. n. 325 n. 117. 170. Confucius. 80 n. E. 80. 201. A. 311. 121. Haug. 116.. 190. 3.. 105 ff. 52 Coleridge. 44. 232 n. 3*3> 3*5> 3I9> 322. . 187 172. 57. 184. 228.. 35. 4.. Geldner. see One and All Henotheism. n. 173 n* Cromwell. book Fire. 136. 132 n. 209... 265.. 80. Wilhelm. 206. Comte. 190 102. Diels. 31 8 n. 241.

236. 146 n. 203. Maspero. Jacobi. 63. 322 Isa Upanishad. 81 n. 208 n. 153. see Book of Changes Idealism.. 190 Kuan TZU. 117. 135. E.. 250 ff. 232. 138. James. 312 Indra. 37. 89 n. Hermann.. 9 201 Misch. 292. 68. 185 n.. 243 n. 86 88 n.. 183. 88. 304. 277. 184. 145. 92 n. 317 ignorance.. 187. 301. 228. 140. 278*. 154 n. U4n. 199 Metaphysical need. 242. 133 n.. 276.... 98. William. 137 Locke. 287 Nidanakatha. 141. 71. 80. 200 n. n. 147. 72 n. 80... 90 n. 201. 264 Negation (way of). 317 Liao. 137. 78 87 n. 214 n. 147 Leibnitz. 246 . 207. 317 331 n. 149.. 104. 59. 68 n. L. 46.. 180 212 n. 266. Moral. 143.. 74 n.. 150 n. 324 Kassner. 199. 207. 60. 161 Maximilian I. Joseph. n.. 180. 284. 258. 126 n. 216 f. Kshatriyas. King of Videha.. 301.. 163. 307. 119. 150. 301 Nicholas of Cusa. 147. 209. 79 n. B. see Confucius. 248. 271 Max. 307 Nataputta. 203. Mapdukya Karika.. Life-experience. 7 f. 145. 182 n. 242 n. 57. 75. 209 n. 322 146. Husserl. 125 n. n. 265 f.. 134. 130 Kuan Chung. 92. 230 f. 1 86 Miiller. the. 79 . John. 6. 153. 299 Infinite. K. 296 n. Kena Upanishad. 12. Kant. 67. Kung-fu-tze.. 249. 44 Logos. 53 ff. 113. 71. 59. 53 f. 254. 304 f. 58.. 182 ff. 19 n. 239. Georg. W. 272 3<>3> Konig. 302. 269 relationships. 268. 152 f. 180 Lao-Tze.. 72.199 Maitri Upanishad. 115. 211 n. 104. 129. Janaka.. 184. 210 n. A. 264 Mencius. 73. 310. 241. 64. 236. 265. 302 Mo-tze. 325 n. Joel. iirfi.. 269. 74 n. 132 n. 36 n* Kaushitaki Upanishad.182. 230. 247. Metaphysics and mysticism. 71 n. 128 n. 144 Lao Tan. 245.. 289. 249 Nature. 78 ritual. 45 i6o. 124. 201 n.. 126 267. 182.. 160. 77. 60. 151. 255 n. 131 n. 223.. 243 n. 146 Kranz. 182. 259. 149. 228. n. 300. Natural Law.. 149. 76.. 200. 307 Keith.. Rudolf.. 78.GENERAL INDEX Schools. 5.. 149 soul. 177. 299. 35. 230 . n. 80 n. 210. i74n. 196. A. Andre. 6. 266.. 257 n. German. 182 n. 317 Non-action. 171 Measure. K Jolles. 320. 41. Monotheism (theistic monism). 128. 1 02 et seq. 79. 255. Language. 224 f.. the. 276. 6 1. 206 Immanence of the Transcendent. 275. *53> *59> *% James. 161.. Katha Upanishad. 225. 105. 229. Moses.. W. 119. Mundaka Upanishad.. 26. 99. 188 M 63 n. 112. 316. 270 n.. 319 Lun-yu. .. Knowing 313 Mysticism. H. 223. 244.. 209. 175. 178 Shih. Neti. 225.. 82 n.. 75 n. Magic. 289 139. 145. 271.. 150. 76. 269. n. 85. 181. 82 n. 183. 183.. see also Metaphysics and mysticism speculative. Hundred Hu Legge.. 280 ff. 292. Nietzsche.. 216. 174. Kierkegaard. 46. Analects Lyall. see also Physis. 253. 31. 303 132 n.. 204. 140 n. I-Cking. 63... 151. 276 Ming. Jen. see Confucius Lamennais. 204 subject. 185. 200. 270 Nachikctas. 237 n.

118 Shih-Cking. 266.. 91. 47 f. 158. 195. i5on. 181. 143. Sentence Prajapati. Phaedrus. 272 Reflection. 251. 140 Prdjna. 128. 158. 128. 259 Purusha. 132 n. 266. 44 Porzig. 323 . 269. 53> 57> 58.. 296 Safldilya Greed. 78. 292.. 142. 131. R. 141 n. 276. 61.. 93. 80.7i. 116. mystic syllable. 271. 74. 224. Prince. 54. (prima philosophia). 89. 93>9 8 > I0 3> I IO > IJ 9> HO 39 Read. 81. 268 n. 105 Shankara.. 190. 156. 58 n. 141* 142. 317 Schopenhauer. 59. first 316 n. 307 et seq. 13. 49> 52. 31. 315 n. 264. 224.. 131. 257> 286. $ta. 10. 127. 40. 27. 236. 232. 323 Om. 250 Reflex movement of thought. 289. Republic. 123. H2 280 n. 311 Pindar. 35 f.. 245 Self. 24 319 ff. 68. 316 n. 248 f. 241. 264. Positivism.H. 140 Psyche. 104. 81.294 Natural.9on. 247 Shakespeare. 138. 258. 306 n. 60. 31 1 . 268. 127. K. 47. Rudolf. 243. 227. 223 see Existential Postulate of Being. 268 coincidence of. Herbert. 128. 259.. 132. 231. 132. 176. 276 Rig-Veda. 5. 198. Science. n. Sleeping (dreaming and waking). fyetseq. 168 Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans. 40. n. 245 f. naturalistic. 67. no. 129. 292. Emma G. 69 41 Person. . 244 Pittacus of Mitylene. 263. 141. 303 One. 90 n. Otto. 223. 142 n. 143. 149. 102. 138. 90. Sophist. 145. 283. 224. 303. 307. Kingdom of. Opposites. Bruno. 36 f. 230 f. Renaissance. 141. 223. 265. 182 138. 27. 141. 286 and All (hen kaipan). 90. 83. 296 n. 136. 229. 271 Reinhardt. 263. 124. 148. 26. 142. 302. 104. i33n. 297> 299... 276 Shang. 128. 323 n.. 264. I39> I4> *45> 182. 29. 287 Reality-dialectic. 325 n. 226 Plato. 54.. 205. 139 n. 164.. 42. 76. 30. 65.. 236.33* Non-existence (see GENERAL INDEX also Being and Not-being). 45> 47> 4^. Questioning. Shih. 154. I55> *5 6> I57> i66f.. 55. 269 Sat. 194. 233.. 42. 132 n.. 234 n. 32. 93. 270. 301 Shatapatha-Brahmana.. n. 134. 9. 144. 15. 299 37. 103. 92. 240. Leges. 308. 126. 49> 50. . 165. 144.. 46. 208. L. Schroder. 53 147. 137. 225. 28. see Purusha Physis (see also Nature).. 121. 302. 227. 326 n. 22. i39n. 229. 319.89n. 108. 28.. 73> 75. Alexander. 247... 60 f. 79. 60. 190. 10. 142. Timaeus.. 156. 103. 135.. 84 n. the. 49 Polarity. 63 244. 124. 292. 67. 127.. 135. see Book of History 34 f. 34. 270. 319 Protagoras.. 302. 53. Parmenides. i45> J 5^ l6l > l62 > 164. 240. 25. 267. 32. 125 131 n. 268 Snell. see Book of Songs Shu-Ching. 269 n. 274> 297.. 127. 243. Pericles. 128. von.. 43. i?4> 175... 251 Polytheism.. 150 n. n. 35. 229. 226. 140 Prana. Pantheism. 27. 170. 243.. 293. . 137. 180. 169. 320 n. Max. 294. 129. 45. 75 n. 320. 249? 253. 33. 139. 182. 190. see 226 . 132. 316. see Being and Not-being Oertel. 40. 56. 322. 295. . 238 f. 310 Parmenides. 270 n. 136 n. 92. Reitzenstein. the (see also unity). 154. 235 f.. 7. Rishis. 227. Salter. 194. Atman 309 Pope. 144. 309 mystic. i3> J 167.. 174 n. 58 Nothing. 42. 88. 208. 60. 26. Relativity of values. Ontology. ff. Scheler. Seven Wise Men. 63. 70.43. 138. Phaedo. 226.. 209. Oldenberg. 121.

73.. 190. 1 16 Wu-wei... Hippolyte. 237. 47. 271 f. 185 KnowWaley. 183 n. 218 n. 145. 212 Yoga. 295. 11711. Yin. 277. 262. 209.. 274 Zimmer. 54. 67. 300 Zeller.. 254 . 208 n. 201. 109.. Herbert. 140. 147 f. Vedic 90 252 Strauss. 299 Wu. Prince. 223. 14. 1 80. 48 Xenophanes. 129. 44.. 131. 41. 318. 272 Solon.. 15. H2n. 133.. 35 6 Spinoza. 228. 48 Theory 227 (theoria). 86 Svetaketu. 102 n. Subject (see also Absolute and Voltaire. 299.. 47> 333 4. Victor von. 124 n. 81. 321 n. 79.. Tao TtChing.. 238.. 250.. 295 f. Wen. 143. 90. 51. 95 n. 48.. i iQ. 75. 97 n.. Water. 145.. 92 7?> 96. 300. 227. 201. Wonder. 32 Tan. Unio mystica. Values... 50. 236. 226. 266. 124 etseq. Hindu god of wind. 138 n. Uddalaka... 1 Upanishads. Absolute. 1 321 Softness. 107. 102. 105. I26n. 210 Winternitz. 200. 44. 91.. 100 n. H4n. 320. I2gn. 78. Hindu sun-god. 299 Yeats.. 321 Yama. Zoroaster. 45.. 189. 135. 41. J. 202 Tse-tze. 116 Taine. 90. 15. 145.. 41. 315 n.. 269. 208. 55. 73. 207. 80 Vayu. 310 Ushasta. divine (see also the One). 295. 68. 219 Unity. 66. King. 206. 62. 247. 206. 224.. Ssu-ma Chien. 192. 45 n. 260. 325 Zeus. L. W. 47 f. 206. 57 f.. 240. Kingdom of. 41. 77. i8on.. 270 Swami. 163 Vajasaniyi Samhita. Varuna. 53. 297 f. 80. H. Spencer. 216 n. 75. 171 n. 2ign. 181 n. 48. 158 n. 146. 91.. 99. 295. 67. 238. 184. 86. 69 n. 116 Theodorus. Tomkinson. 132. 83. 145. 245 f.. B. in.. i59266. 226. 17 n. 99 n. 181 n. 206 et seq. as first principle. 297> 299 Surya. 208. 136. 42. 131. 297. 125 et seq. 127. 9 f. i?3n. 158 n. 208 174 186 n. Svetasvatara Upanishad. 44. 45 n. 131 Veda of Sacrificial Formula. 141. 1471. 88 Soul. 175 Yajnavalkya. 230 Theaetetus. King.. 78.. Thomas. 206. 91. 80 f.GENERAL INDEX Socrates. 302. 270 f. 188 n.. see Rig. 87 n. 269.. 104. 268 n. 146. Teape. 80. 146. 209 and Substance. L. Tapas.Veda riddles. 175. 252.. see Atman n. 1 10. 210. 85 86. 132. Thales. 97 n -> 205. i?4> 223. 105 (or Welfare). 150 et seq. 65. 142 Veda of Verses. W. 181. State.. i72n.. see Non-action 104. Taittiriya Upanishad.. 76. 191. ing Subject). 105. 139. 308 ff. Moral 1 1 1 67. 297 f.. 19 ff-> 57> i9 > J 275>294f. 42. 177 n. 31. 135 Veda of Melodies. 193. 98. M. 216 et seq.. 47. 67. Shree Purohit. 288 f..J.. Stenzel. 209. 3' 6 *> 325 World-soul. 43. 66 n. 185.5 222 n. 121. 52. effectual. 42. 72. 74> 9> 94* I0 3> 3i5. 202 n. 40. 91. 40. 182. 34. 270. 322 Xenophon. 289. 69.. 175. 195. 83. 247 Soma. 239> 243^ 246. 74. Hindu god of death. 116 Tao. 65.. 130. 146. Yin and Yang. 99. 42. 186. I77> 183. Stoics. 100. 106. 103. Arthur. 210 n.. 268. 71 n. 250 of thought and being.