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reflect, at some moment or other, that the disinterested love of information, and still more the love of consistency in thought (that true scientific æstrus), and the ideal fealty to Truth (with a capital T), are all so many particular forms of esthetic interest, late in their evolution, arising in conjunction with a vast number of similar esthetic interests, and bearing with them no a priori mark of being worthier than these. If we may doubt one, we may doubt all. How shall I say that knowing fact with Messrs. Huxley and Clifford is a better use to put my mind to than feeling good with Messrs. Moody and Sankey, unless by slowly and painfully finding out that in the long run it works best?
I, for my part, cannot escape the consideration, forced upon me at every turn, that the knower is not simply a mirror floating with no foot-hold anywhere, and passively reflecting an order that he comes upon and finds simply existing. The knower is an actor, and co-efficient of the truth on one side, whilst on the other he registers the truth which he helps to create. Mental interests, hypotheses, postulates, so far as they are bases for human action-action which to a great extent transforms the world-help to make the truth which they declare. In other words, there belongs to mind, from its birth upward, a spontaneity, a vote. It is in the game, and not a mere looker-on ; and its judgments of the should-be, its ideals, cannot be peeled off from the body of the cogitandum as if they were excrescences, or meant, at most, survival. We know so little about the ultimate nature of things, or of ourselves, that it would be sheer folly dogmatically to say that an ideal rational order may not be real. The only objective criterion of reality is coerciveness, in the long run, over thought. Objective facts, Spencer's outward relations, are real only because they coerce sensation. Any interest which should be coercive on the same massive scale would be eodem jure real. By its very essence, the reality of a thought is proportionate to the way it grasps us. Its intensity, its seriousness-its interest, in a word — taking these qualities, not at any given instant, but as shown by the total upshot of experience. If judgments of the shouldbe are fated to grasp us in this way, they are what “ corre
spond." The ancients placed the conception of Fate at the bottom of things—deeper than the gods themselves. - The fate of thought," utterly barren and indeterminate as such a formula is, is the only unimpeachable regulative Law of Mind.
HEGEL ON SYMBOLIC ART.
(TRANSLATED FROM THE SECOND FRENCH EDITION OF CHARLES BÉNARD'S TRANSLA
TION OF THE SECOND PART OF HEGEL'S ÆSTHETICS.
BY WM. M. BRYANT.
CHAPTER II.—THE SYMBOLIC OF THE SUBLIME.
I. The Pantheism of Art.
1. Indian Poetry.—2. Mahometan Poetry.—3. Christian Mysticism.
The non-enigmatical clearness of spirit, which unfolds itself in accordance with its own nature, is the end toward which Symbolic Art tends. This clearness can be attained only in so far as the meaning comes into consciousness separate and apart from the entire phenomenal world. This purification of spirit, and this express separation from the sensuous world, we must seek first in the sublime, which exalts the absolute above all visible existence.
The sublime, as Kant has described it, is the attempt to express the infinite in the finite, without finding any sensuous form capable of representing it. It is the infinite manifested under a form which, causing this opposition to become manifest, reveals the incommensurable grandeur of the infinite as surpassing all representation taken in the finite.
Now, here are two points of view to be distinguished : Either the infinite is the absolute Being conceived by thought as the immanent substance of beings, or it is the infinite Being as distinct from beings of the real world, but elevating itself above them by all the distance which separates the infinite from the finite; so that, compared with it, they are but mere nothingness. God is thus purified from all contact with, and from all participation in, sensuous existence which vanishes and is canceled in His presence.
To the first point of view, Oriental pantheism corresponds. Pantheism belongs principally to the Orient, where dominates distinctly the thought of an absolute unity of the Divine, and of all things as contained in this unity.
Thus the divine principle is represented as immanent in the most diverse objects in life and in death, in mountains, the sea, etc. This principle is, at the same time, the excellent, the superior, in all things. On the other hand, because the unity is all—because it is no more this than that, because it is found again in all existences-individualities and particularities are destroyed or canceled. The One is the collective totality of all the individuals which constitute this visible whole.
Such a conception can be expressed only by poetry, and not by the figurative arts, because these represent to the eyes, as present and permanent, the determinate and individual reality which, on the contrary, must disappear in face of the one only substance. Hence, where pantheism is pure, it admits no one of the figurative arts as its mode of representation.
1. As the chief example of such pantheistic poetry, we may still cite Indian poetry, which, apart from its fantastic character, offers us a brilliant illustration of this phase.
The Indians, indeed, as we have already seen, set out from universal being and the most abstract unity, which is then developed into the determinate gods, the Trimurti, Indra, etc But particular existence cannot maintain itself; it allows itself to dissolve anew. The inferior gods are absorbed into the superior, and these again into Brahma. Here it is already manifest that this universal being constitutes the immutable and identical basis of all existence. Indeed, the Indians, in their poetry, show the double tendency-on the one side, to exaggerate the proportions of real form, in order that it may appear the better to correspond to the idea of the infinite; on the other, to allow all determinate existence to be canceled in presence of the abstract unity of the absolute. Nevertheless, we also see the pure form of pantheistic representation appear with them from the point of view of the imagination, which consists in causing the immanence of the divine substance to go forth again in all particular beings.
We can, without doubt, discover in this conception a marked resemblance to the immediate unity of the real with the divine, which characterizes the religion of the Parsees; but with the Persians the One—the Supreme Good-is itself a physical existence, namely, the Light. With the Indians, on the contrary, the One-Brahma-is merely the being without forms, which, when it has assumed one, has assumed all. Manifested in a multiplicity of individual existences, it gives place to this pantheistic mode of representation. Thus, for example, it is said of Krishna (Bhagavad Gita, VIII, 4): • Earth, water, wind, air, fire, spirit, reason, and personality are the eight component elements of my natural power. Yet behold in me a higher essence which vivifies the earth and sustains the world. In it all beings have their origin. Thus, be assured, I am the origin of this universe, and also its destruction. Beyond myself there is nothing superior to myself. All existing things are attached to me as a row of pearls on a thread. I am the vapor in water, the light in the sun and in the moon, the mystic word in the holy scriptures, in man the virile force, the sweet perfumes in the earth, the brightness of the flame, life in all beings, contemplation in the solitary. In living beings I am the vital force; in the wise, wisdom; glory in illustrious men. All real existences, visible or invisible, proceed from me. I am not in them, but they are in me. The whole universe is dazzled by my attributes, and, know well, I am immutable. It is true the divine illusion, Maya, deceives not me myself. It is difficult to surmount it; it may follow me, but I triumph over it.” In this passage the unity of the universal substance is expressed in the most striking manner, as truly immanent in all beings of nature and as elevating itself above them by its infinite character.
Similarly, Krishna says of himself that he is, in diverse existences, whatever is most excellent. “ Among the stars I am the sun which darts his rays; among the planets, the moon; among the holy books, the book of Canticles ; among the senses, the interior sense ; Meru among mountains; among animals, the lion ; among the letters of the alphabet, the vowel "A;' among seasons, the season of flowers, springtime, etc.”
This enumeration of what is best in all, this simple succession of forms which must, without ceasing, express the same thing, notwithstanding the wealth of imagination which, from the first, appears to be displayed in them, is none the less monotonous in the highest degree, and, on the whole, empty and fatiguing, just for the reason that the idea is always the same.
2. Oriental Pantheism was developed in a more elevated, more profound, and freer manner in Mahometanism, and in particular by the Mahometan Persians.
Here is presented, chiefly from the poetic side, a peculiar character.
Indeed, while the poet seeks to see, and really sees, the divine principle in all things, and while he abandons thus his own personality, only so much the more does he feel God present in the depths of his soul thus enlarged and rendered free. Thereby is born in him that interior serenity, that intoxication of happiness and of felicity, peculiar to the Oriental, who, in disengaging himself from the bonds of particular existence, is absorbed into the eternal and the absolute, and recognizes in all things its image or its presence. Such a disposition has an affinity with mysticism. In this respect we must especially designate Dschelal Eddin Rumi, who furnishes the finest examples. The love of God (with whom man identifies himself by an unlimited resignation, whom alone he contemplates in all parts of the universe, with whom he connects all, and to whom he traces back all) constitutes here, as it were, the center whence radiate all ideas, all sentiments, in the various regions through which the imagination of the poet runs.
In the sublime, properly speaking, the most elevated objects and the most perfect forms are employed only as ornaments of Deity ; they serve only to reveal His power and His majesty,