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contrast with the world of the divine, the empirical individuality, especially man, has a higher import and reality, man being able to become Buddha or to enter into Nirvana by deliverance from the misery of finitude. The occidental religions, in which the tendency to self- and world-consciousness preponderates, have quite the opposite starting-point and character. In the world of the West-Aryan nations, who are especially endowed with practical force of intellect, from the first the actual world is emphasized, not treated as illusion. There the heavenly powers, the worship of sun, moon, and stars, retire into the background. On the other hand, the earth (yala), which is the soil of firm reality, takes a place in the circle of primary deities, and under the influence of a higher divine principle a new, younger world of gods emerges from the earth, is born upon it, or, as in the case of the heroes, is raised from the earthly, from the sphere of the human race, to heaven. So is it in the Hellenic religion, the richest in influence in ancient heathenism, so in the Roman. The German race of Asen, which is preceded by the world of evil giants, belongs to this class, whereas the Allfadur remains in the background. A reminiscence of the breach between the WestAryans and the primitive oriental conceptions (of Uranos, Varuna, the heaven or boundless space, and Kronos, boundless time) is perhaps still to be seen in the story of Prometheus and his relation to Zeus, who formed man by the aid of the celestial fire he had stolen. In the west, therefore, the deification of the world of divided existence has its proper place. Here alone the gods attain to more distinctive, definite personality, and a rich creation of myths along with histories of the gods presents itself; whereas in the east the particular divine forms remain without sharp outline, and never quite cast off the symbolic or general character, in virtue of which they represent the one existence merely under one of its aspects. Hence, for example, many arms, eyes, faces are attributed to them. Certainly, in proportion as polytheistic personification—which even in Plato's recollection is a later addition, dating only from Homer and Hesiod—makes progress, the absoluteness, or absolute infinity and unity, of the idea of

1 He also predicts to Zeus the end of his dominion, as a similar destiny threatens the demigods.

God retires into the background. But this is not altogether a retrogression. For in the form of personality, now attained, scope is given for the more concrete divine attributes, especially those of a spiritual and moral order, to play a more definite part; and to this extent progress is to be recognised in the advance from the indefinite Divine, the Universal conceived in a physical manner, to spiritual individuality. But, on the other hand, to these polytheistic personalities of the west absoluteness is wanting even in regard to the higher predicates now possible. Absoluteness stands outside and above them, impersonally, e.g. as eiuapuévn, serving most definitely as a counteractive to limitations of the Deity precisely where the divine personalities have assumed artificial forms and most fully cast off the merely allegorical signification. But the more the reason gains in strength, the more the idea of absoluteness makes headway against the multiplicity of divine personalities, without yet being in a position to conceive the one absolute in a personal manner; for, so long as the confounding of God and the world is unsuppressed, so long as God or the Absolute is supposed to be merely the universal substance of the world itself, it is impossible to conceive Him in a personal way. Thus, the fair, rich world of gods falls a sacrifice to scepticism, which lays bare the irreconcilableness of absoluteness and personality necessarily belonging to the heathen standpoint. Thus, these sharply-cut forms of the gods withdraw into the abyss of the One existence, so that, where religious feeling continues to operate, the One only existence, Óvtws ov, is the final goal, a process fully carried out in the religious philosophy of Neo-Platonism.

In taking a general survey, therefore, of the western and eastern fields, we see that the religious process in heathenism, instead of advancing in a straight line, moves in a circle. The two essential factors in the idea of God, absoluteness and personality, substance and subject, diverge in opposite ways. In both cases heathenism so apprehends them as to make it impossible for them to unite,” while, on the other hand,

1 Whereas formerly the Deity was worshipped without name in the breathing of the wind in the oak-tops at Dodona, the oracle is said to have commanded a name to be given to the Divine.

* Personality is conceived simply as finite individuality having the principle

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it is of supreme religious importance for the divine to be conceived both under a personal and absolute aspect. Accordingly, these two factors seek mutual combination and interpenetration; and this is the precise reason why the two principal groups in heathen religious history exchange places by a circular course. In this subjection to the necessity of circular movement may be seen the incessant toil both of human reason and divine government. Heathenism, indeed, thereby fully confutes itself, but without getting farther, and without being able to do away with that confusion between the divine and the world, which is the ultimate reason why personality and absoluteness cannot find, but necessarily exclude, each other. On heathen soil no union of the two aspects is reached, but merely a transference from one extreme to the other, and thus each of the two principal forms of heathenism ends in the opposite of that which was its chief element and point of departure. The eastern form, starting from a profound sense of the infinite being or substance, ends with denying it, and nothing is left it but an undeified subjectivity. So in the Chinese religion and Buddhism. The west, beginning its independent life with freedom and subjectivity, ends with the oriental absorption of the world and freedom in the substance of the ÖvTWS ov, with which oriental heathenism had begun. Each of these principal forms runs through a long career and attains high culture, but of such a kind that in both cases the spirit sinks back into a state of unsatisfied poverty. But while these two great masses, despite their opposition, are mutually transposed, because they confound God and the world, either deifying the world pancosmically, or dissolving it in God acosmically, the dualistic schools endeavour to escape this circular movement, at least those which establish the ethical antithesis of good and evil, of which physical dualism' is merely a prelude. They clothe the absolutely good Being with personality, although not as yet with omnipotence, since they rather assume a simultaneous antiof the universal, the absolute, outside it, while the absolute substance is conceived, not as self-existence (with which personality is easily reconcileable, as it contains the causal principle of everything not having self-existence, see above, $S 31, 32), but merely as the universal world-substance itself.

"In several religions of lower standing, such as the Slavic and Celtic. ? So Ormuzd in the Persian, Allfadur in the German, religion.

thesis of absolute good and evil, an antithesis which they endeavour to transcend by their eschatology, or by hope. But it is in the Hebrew religion first that the two factors, absoluteness and personality, not merely seek, but begin to find each other, by incorporating the ethical idea into the divine personality conceived as almighty. The absolutely Holy One, who is also almighty, is able and willing to stand security for holiness even in the world; and this very fact is the beginning of a process of revelation advancing from moment to moment, although at first merely ideal, the final goal of which is divine Incarnation,

2. But the fundamental defect in heathenism, just instanced, is a rich source of further perversion of religion and morals. It is a direct consequence of the breaking up of the idea of God that none of the personal deities possesses absoluteness in regard to the properties attributed to it, whether of a physical, logical, or moral order. None of these deities is endowed in heathenism with omnipotence, nor therefore with omnipresence and omniscience. Just as little does eternity belong to them; for even if, e.g. in the Hellenic and German mythologies, despite their vulnerability and liability to suffering, they are immortal, still they are not gods that have always existed, but gods that have come into existence. Nay, they are threatened by the decree of destiny with the destruction, if not of their existence, of their rule. In India they have even to do penance in order to their existence as separate beings. On the other hand, the unity, into which the world of gods returns, possesses absoluteness indeed, but is a cheerless void and waste, without life, consciousness, and ethical character. Destiny, it is true, is the absolute power superior to gods as to men, but blind, hard, pitiless. It is nothing but the impersonal law, the iron necessity of nature, which owes its only glimmer of righteousness (e.g. in Négeois) to the fact that, as formerly shown, the idea of righteousness has some connection even with the logical and physical.—Because in heathenism either absolute power or absolutely conscious will is wanting to the divine, heathenism fails to reach the idea of

Other religions, like the Egyptian, Syrian, Phænician, arrive merely at a successive dualism, e.g. an alternating victory of the good and evil powers in every annual cycle,-a circular movement precluding, again, all advance.


creation. If one of the Hindoo cosmogonies says: “ Thought was," and from the act of thinking derives the being of a universe, the apparent loftiness of the conception vanishes when we reflect that what is thought, the universe, reaches merely an illusive existence, a fact which is evident in other supplementary cosmogonies, e.g. in the deceptive mirror of Maya, or in Brahma's world-sacrifice, according to which the self-partition of the divine, and therefore mere negation, is supposed to be the principle of the world's origination. The dualistic element lying in this is condensed in other religions into eternal matter, whether this is conceived as primeval chaos, as in the Phænician, Syrian, Hellenic, Roman religions, or as the world of giants, as in the German. The Persian religion conceives the Deity as merely forming the world, while moreover making the evil power take part with the good in the work. Zeruane Akerene, the supreme formal unity of the two principles, appears to be simply a later addition, perhaps from without. In older Parseeism the monotheistic element is contained in Ormuzd, who figured as the pure primeval spirit, over against whom certainly stood a world of evil spirits, at first without a head.—But the chief consequence of the confounding of God and the world, which is common to heathenism, was, that the unholy could not be kept aloof from the Deity. That the Deity indeed, especially the king of the gods among the Hellenes and Romans, maintains justice upon earth, is a widely spread conviction. But the Deity is not known as holy in Himself in a positively ethical, not merely negative sense. This is especially shown in the jealousy of the gods. Although they are the bulwark of justice in men's relations to each other (so much so, that a confounding of the religious and civil is prevalent, and that in a form making the former in the main a means in order to the latter), still they are inflamed with jealousy of all approach of mortals to the greatness, power, and dignity of the gods. In this respect the justice of the Deity or His self-affirmation has not yet overcome a certain Egoism, although He may be conceived as communicative and gracious in so far as the majesty of the gods is not obscured, but confirmed by the act. The reason why the self-affirmation of the Deity must needs assume this jealous character lies in the fact that, taken strictly, heathenism

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