Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

accepted, if the world were absolutely contingent, this would be the same as saying, that it is utterly indifferent to God whether the world exists or not--a disparagement of the world contrary to Scripture. God is a lover of life. It is a good and precious thing in His sight. No doubt a purposeless, divine caprice would be conceived to be endowed with power. But this theory of derivation, like the former ones, would partake of a merely physical, unethical character, i.e. God would here be represented as arbitrarily performing a blind, purposeless act, just as there He is made the victim of deficiency or superfluity. We must therefore seek in God an eternal reason for the world, not in God's physical, but in His ethical Essence, to which the physical is subservient. But our theory of moral derivation must not be of such a nature as to imply that God first became love, and thus blessed, by the founding of a world." In Himself He must be love and blessedness already.

3. But how can the world be derived from God's moral Essence ? Many suppose the question answered by the suggestion that “divine love is self-communicative." But communication logically presupposes a second object, to which it is made. Whence do we obtain this second thing, which is empty or receptive of communication? Thus the question recurs, Whence in the first instance comes even the idea of a second to God, an imperfect after the perfect, all-sufficient? Nor does it avail anything to desire to arrive at the notion of a world by supposing, with or without side-reference to the divine will, that God in some way transfers Himself into the condition of separateness, and out of Himself and through Himself the world arises. This has been attempted in various ways. According to the old Indian faith, a universe is arrived at by Brahma dividing himself, which is embodied in the image of Brahma's worldsacrifice,—a myth which lends itself to the interpretation that God of mere goodness, in order that a world might arise, sacrificed His divine, infinite majesty and rent Himself asunder. Akin to this is the supposition of Nicolas of Cusa, and similarly Oetinger,—that the universe arose from manifold contractions (contractiones) of the divine Essence ; for this also seems to imply a division of the divine Essence, or at least nature," even if it be in virtue of an act of volition. To the same category belongs the attempt, with several theosophists and mystics, to derive the world, as different from God, from a falling away of God from Himself, be it even in an ecstasy of love passing over into the other object, e.g. in the Valentinian doctrine of the Achamoth, although in this the other object, at least as the void (Kévwma), is usually already presupposed. Schelling, after availing himself of such a falling away, in his treatise Philosophy and Religion, in the Philosophy of Revelation ? supposes the three essential potencies, which are eternally and harmoniously blended in the divine life, to be separated by divine volition, in order that a real world may come into being. Moreover, Hegel's "principle of negativity in God” leads essentially to the same result, only that what Schelling conceives more realistically as a process of volition and freedom, Hegel regards as a logical process, which no doubt at the same time is meant to be conceived as an ontological one. All these attempts agree in this, that in them we merely arrive at a different mode of being (or different modes of being) of the divine, not at an actual world as a separate object from God. God would only have therein a repetition of Himself; and His Dúois, although not His personality, would be divisible, or, put in the best aspect, capable of multiplying and reproducing itself for ever in new forms. Besides, all these attempts do violence to the idea of love. They rend the one factor-self-communication or self

1 Gen. i. 31 ; Ezek. xviii. 23, xxxiii. 11. a Prov. viii. 31 ; Deut. v. 33. 38 32.

* $ 32, 6.

1 Philos. and Religion, 1804 (in reply to Eschenmayer's Philos. in ihrem Uebergang zur Nichtphilosophie, 1803), says: The transition from the region of the Absolute to the finite is only “thinkable as a complete breaking away from Absoluteness, only by a sudden leap (not, as the Emanationists suppose, as a continuous transition), only as the consequence of a falling away from the Absolute." No doubt in order to such a leap freedom is interpolated and postulated, which God, objectifying Himself in a counter-image-the universe of ideas-confers on this world, so that it includes the possibility of falling away. But this world of ideas is not merely in the Absolute as ideal, but also as real is “another Absolute," so that in it we still have a falling away of the Absolute from itself.

? Cf. Schelling's Werke, II. 1, Vorl. 11, II. Vorl. 1-6, Jahrb. f. deutsche Theol. V. 1, respecting Schelling's doctrine of potencies, and Heyder's art. “Schelling" in Herzog's Encycl.

3 The principle of negativity also comes specially into play in the transition from logic to natural philosophy, where the idea passes into its other form of being. Cf. on this point Trendelenburg's criticism in his Logical Investigations, 2d ed. 1862, I. 36 ff., II. 146–156 (Negation).

It may

surrender-from the other--the divine self-affirmation-without which love were not love, but a self-destructive expenditure of its powers.

But even love itself seems to lead no farther. indeed be said that love is not hostile to a second existence, does not exclude it, on the contrary is able to include it; that love is not restricted and one-sided, nay, that it not merely loves the perfect, but is of such a nature as to condescend to the lowly. Still in all this no second object, such as must precede all exercise of love, is given. In order to come nearer to a solution of the problem, let us ask first, How does love first of all obtain the conception of a second ? Without doubt through the fact that love is essentially intelligence as well (32). As formerly shown, God's Intelligence is the primary seat of all possibilities. God's scientia necessaria embraces not only Himself, but all possibilities; for these too reside in Him, and His self-consciousness would not be absolute unless He were conscious of Himself as the primary cause of all possibilities, the eternal principles which govern these residing originally in Him alone ($ 27). From this follows the further consequence, that the divine self-consciousness is not complete in its perfection and self-sufficiency unless in idea it separate or distinguish itself from all that is not God, whether possible or actual. He Himself is actus purissimus, no mere potential existence. But the simply possible, as not actually existent, is distinct from Him, and God is therefore able to distinguish Himself from it, although, since it is only possible through Him, it is also encompassed by God. But when God distinguishes Himself, as the absolutely necessaryactu existent -Being, from the possible as distinct from Him, in this very act a second possible object is conceived.' Thus, from the consideration of God's all-sufficiency, not in spite, but in virtue of the same, directly follows the true transition to a second object. Through comprehending with infinite definiteness and enjoying Himself as what He is, God is the all-sufficient and blessed Personality. But in the act of comprehending Himself as what He is, is also given His absolute selfdiscrimination from every other object possible through Him, or every non-Ego. The conception of another, as a possible non-Ego of God, is given in the conception of the Ego, since with the clearness of the divine self-consciousness the inner (logical) distinction from everything possible, which is not God, must be also bound up. In this way God's comprehension of Himself would not be perfect, unless He were conscious of Himself as the actually existent plenitude or power, through which another object than Himself is possible. This conception of another is in the first instance not the conception of an actual, but merely of a possible something Else creation would be simply a work of God's Nature. The conception of a second object, the non-Ego, possible or able to exist through God, the counter-chime so to speak to the eternal self-affirmation of the absolute Personality, is withal and primarily merely a knowledge of the non-existence of a second, of a world outside God.

* These possibilities of a second object are not to be viewed as actually existent potentialities of a seminal nature, striving as it were spontaneously after existence, as if they lay concealed in the depths of God's essence. They are to be regarded primarily as mere ideal possibilities.

The question now is, whether this conception must perforce remain in a state of non-existence, or whether any reason can be discovered in God for this possible something being called into existence. Considered in the abstract, of course, even the irrational-evil-belongs to the domain of the possible. But for us this is precluded a priori, because we are speaking only of what is possible through God. The irrational can only belong to that region of the possible which His realizing will eternally precludes. It is otherwise with that region of the possible, which is not opposed in idea to God. Here comes into consideration the fact that God, who is holy Love, loves goodness as such, or goodness in itself, and not merely as it is in Him (§ 31a, 3). As holy Love He is not merely selfaffirming personality, He also loves the sentiment of love in itself or absolutely, is Amor Amoris. Thus, not merely is there no reason in Him for wishing to make Himself the only abode of love, but, on the contrary, His love finds its delight in multiplying, aggrandizing the life of love, in forming a kingdom of love. Hence, the conception of a second to God

* [Without an act of volition on God's part.] In the first edition of his Theol. Ethik, Rothe had supposed that in the act of divine self-consciousness the reality of a second (Matter) is given ; but in the second edition he corrected this.

being given it, Love, without which nothing can come into actual existence, will exert itself to bring this second, destined for the kingdom of love, into actual existence. In this way we reach the absolute derivation of a world, i.e. of a world of rational beings, who through communication of divine Love become themselves capable of love. But there is nothing to prevent divine Love desiring also another-Nature-in harmony, of course, with its desire for a kingdom of love, and even desiring the existence of another beside love in the world, and imparting to it of its fulness. Love is also a lover of life. Hence, were God to desire to keep or leave that portion of the possible, which is not opposed to God, in a state of non-existence, He would desire nonentity as such, whereas in love is delight in the existence and life of a second possible object, which it proposes to itself as an end. And thus, at the impulse of love, and inspired by it, divine Wisdom, ruling as spontaneous, creative imagination (Prov. viii. 22, 30), as architectonic intelligence, in the domain of possibilities, sketches the idea of the world as a separate rationally-organized object, — one no longer merely possible in the abstract, but destined to be realized, worthy of existence. The same pure, holy Love, that gives the impulse, withal so moulds the eternal conception of this world-idea, destined to realization, as to determine both the design of the world and the means of its accomplishment. This is the nature of divine Love, its “humility,” that, absolutely assured through its all-sufficiency of its own perfection, it has a drawing towards that which is poor and destitute of existence and life, towards the merely possible forms of existence presented to it by intelligence. There is in it a drawing to that which is low and is not, that through love and its fulfilment it may come to be. It is the very knowledge of the non-existence of a Second that is the startingpoint for God's spontaneous, unfathomable Love, in union with divine Wisdom, to generate the idea not merely of a second existence that may be, but of the roomos that is to be; and this kóduos as such is a diversity in unity, a harmoniouslyblending whole. Hence this world-idea is the world already potentially, kóduos duvápel áv. If not actual reality, neither

1 Luke i. 42, 53 ; 1 Cor. i. 28 : τα μη όντα εξιλέξατο ο θεός ; Ps. Xxxiv. 10, cvii. 9.

« PredošláPokračovať »