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Activity Of Consciousness
Aim And Method Of Naturalism
Autonomy Of Spirit
Consciousness Of The Ego
Constructive Criticism
Contrast Between Darwinian And Post-darwinian Views
Creative Power Of Consciousness
Criticisms Of The Mechanistic Theory Of Life
Crities Of Darwinism
Darwinish In General
Darwinism And Teleology
Darwinism In The Strict Sense
De Vries's Mutation-theory
Differences Of Opinion As To The Factors In Evolution
Eimer's Orthogenesis
Evolution And New Beginnings
Feeling Individuality Genius And Mysticism
Freedom Of Spirit
Fundamental Principles Of Naturalism
Goethe's Attitude To Naturalism
Haeckel's Evolutionist Position
How All This Affects The Religious Outlook
How The Religious And The Naturalistic Outlooks Conflict
Individual Development
Intuitions Of Reality
Is There Ageing Of The Mind?
Lamarckism And Neo-lamarckism
Machnical Theories Criticism
Mind And Spirit The Human And The Animal Soul
Mystery : Dependence : Purpose
Natural Selection
Naturalistic Attacks On The Autonomy Of The Spiritual
No Parallelism
Other Instances Of Dissatisfaction With The Theory Of Descent
Pre-eminence Of Consciousness
Preyer's Position
Religion And The Theory Of Descent
Spontaneous Generation
Teleological And Scientific Interpretations Are Alike Necessary
The Antimony Of Our Conception Of Space
The Antimony Of Our Conception Of Time
The Antimony Of The Conditioned And The Unconditioned
The Characteristic Features Of Darwinism
The Conservation Of Matter And Energy
The Constructive Work Of Driesch
The Contingency Of The World
The Dependence Of The Order Of Nature
The Development Of Darwinism
The Ego
The Fundamental Answer
The Law Of The Conservation Of Energy
The Mechanics Of Development
The Mystery Of Existence Remains Unexplained
The Organic And The Inorganic
The Position Of Bunge And Other Physiologists
The Problema Continui
The Real World
The Recognition Of Purpose
The Religious Interpretation Of The World
The Spontaneous Activity Of The Organism
The Supremacy Of Mind
The Theory Of Descent
The True Naturalism
The Two Kinds Of Naturalism
The Unconscious
The Unity Of Consciousness
The Views Of Albrecht And Schneider
The Views Of Botanists Illustrated
The World And God
Theory Of Definite Variation
Theory Of Life
Various Forms Of Darwinism
Virchow's Caution
Virchow's Position
Weismann's Evolutionist Position
What Is Distinctive In The Naturalistic Outlook
What Is Distinctive In The Religious Outlook

The Real World

(4.) What was stated separately in our first and second propositions, and
has hitherto been discussed, now unites and culminates in the fourth. For
if we note the vital expressions of religion wherever it occurs, we find
above all one thing as its most characteristic sign, indeed as its very
essence, in all places and all times, often only as a scarce uttered wish
or longing, but often breaking forth with impetuous might. This one thing
is the impulse and desire to get beyond time and space, and beyond the
oppressive narrowness and crampingness of the world surrounding us, the
desire to see into the depth and "other side" of things and of existence.
For it is the very essence of religion to distinguish this world from, and
contrast it as insufficient with the real world which is sufficient, to
regard this world which we see and know and possess as only an image, as
only transiently real, in contrast with the real world of true being which
is believed in. Religion has clothed this essential feature in a hundred
mythologies and eschatologies, and one has always given place to another,
the more sublimed to the more robust. But the fundamental feature itself
cannot disappear.

In apologetics and dogmatics the interest in this matter is often
concentrated more or less exclusively upon the question of "immortality."
Wrongly so, however, for this quest after the real world is not a final
chapter in religion, it is religion itself. And in the religious sense the
question of immortality is only justifiable and significant when it is a
part of the general religious conviction that this world is not the truly
essential world, and that the true nature of things, and of our own being,
is deeper than we can comprehend, and lies beyond this side of things,
beyond time and space. To the religious mind it cannot be of great
importance whether existence is to be continued for a little at least
beyond this life. In what way would such a wish be religious? But the
inward conviction that "all that is transitory is only a parable," that
all here is only a veil and a curtain, and the desire to get beyond
semblance to truth, beyond insufficiency to sufficiency, concentrate
themselves especially in the assertion of the eternity of our true being.

It is with this characteristic of religion that the spirit and method of
naturalism contrast so sharply. Naturalism points out with special
satisfaction that this depth of things, this home of the soul is nowhere
discoverable. The great discoveries of Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton have
done away with the possibility of that. No empyrean, no corner of the
world remains available. Even the attempted flight to sun, moon, or stars
does not help. It is true that the newly discovered world is without end,
but, beyond a doubt, in its outermost and innermost depths it is a world
of space and time. Even in the stellar abysses "everything is just the
same as with us."

All this is doubtless correct, and it is very wholesome for religion. For
it prompts religion no longer to seek its treasure, the true nature of
things, and its everlasting home in time and space, as the mythologies and
eschatologies have sought them repeatedly. It throws religion back on the
fundamental insight and on the convictions which it had attained long
before philosophy and criticism of knowledge had arrived at similar views:
namely, that time and space, and this world of time and space, do not
comprise the whole of existence, nor existence as it really is, but are
only a manifestation of it to our finite and limited knowledge. Before the
days of modern astronomy, and without its help, religion knew that God was
not confined to "heaven," or anywhere in space, and that time as it is for
us was not for Him. Even in the terms "eternity" and "infinity" it shows
an anticipatory knowledge of a being and reality above time and space.
These ideas were not gained from a contemplation of nature, but before it
and from independent sources.

But though it is by no means the task of apologetics to build up these
ideas directly from a study of things, it is of no little importance to
inquire whether religion possesses in these convictions only postulates of
faith, for which it must laboriously and forcibly make a place in the face
of knowledge, or whether a thorough and self-critical knowledge does not
rather confirm them, and show us, within the world of knowledge itself,
unmistakable signs that it cannot be the true, full reality, but points to
something beyond itself.

To study this question thoroughly would involve setting forth a special
theory of knowledge and existence. This cannot be attempted here. But
Kant's great doctrine of the "Antinomy of Reason" has for all time broken
up for us the narrowness of the naturalistic way of thinking. Every one
who has felt cramped by the narrow limits in which reality was confined by
a purely mundane outlook must have experienced the liberating influence of
the Kantian Antinomy if he has thought over it carefully. The thick
curtain which separates being from appearance seems to be torn away, or at
any rate to reveal itself as a curtain. Kant shows that, if we were to
take this world as it lies before us for the true reality, we should land
in inextricable contradictions. These contradictions show that the true
world itself cannot coincide with our thought and comprehension, for in
being itself there can be no contradictions. Otherwise it would not exist.
The ancient problems of philosophy, from the time of the Eleatic school
onwards, find here their adequate formulation. Kant's disciple, Fries, has
carried the matter further, and has attempted to develop what for Kant
still remained a sort of embarrassment of reason to more precise
pronouncements as to the relation of true being to its manifestation,

Next: The Antimony Of Our Conception Of Time

Previous: The Contingency Of The World

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