« PredošláPokračovať »
ment as a good thing, because by the mere simultaneous presence of its elements from the first no room would be left for its power of self-formation, whereas in a course of gradual development it can reproduce its idea, and realize itself element by element, we affirm it to be a part of man's excellence, of his original perfection, that he is also a natural being.
4. But to nature corruptibleness and death essentially belong. Man on his corporeal side belonging to Nature, so far death is for him a physical necessity. Were this, however, the whole truth, it would be out of harmony with Holy Scripture, which says, “Death is the wages of sin.”? Moreover, the interconnection of spirit and body in a teleological respect forms an apparent contradiction to this physical necessity. Nature does not merely demand the body back from man when it has fulfilled its destiny and contributed its help towards enabling the spirit by the very means of the body to emancipate itself and build up its own inner world. Not merely where it has become superfluous is it dismissed by the spirit to rest, but it is reluctantly divorced from the spirit, so that Nature, which should be governed by spirit, evinces its superiority to man in the region lying nearest him. And even the fact of the body usually becoming a burden and a less docile instrument to the more advanced in life, seems to indicate an original incongruity between soul and body, which throws doubt on their mutual relationship in a teleological aspect. Man thus does not present the appearance of a being in whom one centre dominates all the rest; but instead of the image of a perfect circle, we are forced to adopt that of an ellipse having two relatively independent foci. But this very thought brings the solution of the enigma within view. At first the body could only be loosely connected with the spirit. The true unity of the two is only the issue of an ethical process. Therefore man potuit mori, nay non potuit non mori, unless by reason of the growth of spiritual energy this necessity of death was precluded. Were perfection of energy not wanting to the spirit, certainly Nature could oppose to it no insuperable resistance without giving rise to an insoluble paradox. But Nature cannot be required to furnish an immortal part. Only spirit can be the deliverer of Nature from the yoke of corruptibleness.
* Rom. v. 12, vi. 23.
And thus we arrive at the position, that although the body by itself must of necessity die, in association with spirit, in virtue of its susceptibleness to the influence of spirit, it is not absolutely subject to this necessity. The actual entrance of death must have its reason in this, that the spirit does not possess or does not exercise the energy by which it would be able to maintain the union with the body and carry through their teleological interconnection. That the corporeal nature is susceptible to the influence of spirit, is shown by signs the most diversified. Its organism may be inspired and sustained in incalculable measure by the energy of the spirit. We thus see that sin, and the disharmony introduced by it, play a part in this matter. Apart from an abnormal course of development, the possibility of death might have remained in permanent abeyance. Only through interruption of the normal order of development is the death of human beings, such as now actually occurs, comprehensible in its necessity. Only thus does the purely physical necessity of death acquire an established position.
5. Man is designed to be the lord of Nature, first, by acquiring mastery over it through knowledge, knowledge of its forces and laws being the condition of rendering it in reality his servant. But the meaning of this lordship is, that he rules in Nature as the disposing and regulating power, exhibits in it his higher nature, and imprints on it his stamp and seal. This suggests an inner world, a world of conceptions and aims, the carrying out of which in the world is merely the realization of his supreme authority.
§ 40.—Man as Spirit. Man is specifically distinct from Nature, because in virtue of
possessing knowledge, will, and feeling, he is spirit, and thus able to make not merely the world, but himself
and God his object. 1. As spirit, man is his own author in respect of actual existence, although upon the basis or foundation laid by God. Self-consciousness is especially the spirit's own action, and that without intermission. In feeling he has existence within himself, in will he exists in a state of movement from self outwards, in knowledge in movement from without inwards. In feeling, to be carefully distinguished from sensation, is given immediate apperception of his own life, whereas in self-consciousness this apperception is mediated by the act of thought.
2. Like the other spiritual faculties so called, Feeling is receptive of infinite as of finite truth. Moreover, feeling is not merely the primitive life-form of spirit, before as yet sense and impulse, consciousness and will, have separately issued forth from the unsevered unity of spirit; but no less do knowledge and will always run out into feeling as into their restingplace, even as feelings accompany and qualify all spiritual functions.
3. On the side of Will man is not merely a cause in general, but a free cause. Freedom manifests itself first as choice between one finite and another, as liberum arbitrium specificationis, But directly an infinite good, especially morality, enters the field of consciousness, a choice of infinite importance is presented—the choice between good and evil, in comparison with which the former distinctions, between which choice lay, dwindle into insignificance, choice between them shrinking into mere by-play. In respect of moral good, it is requisite that it be willed freely,—constrained neither by determination from without, nor yet from within by a constitution not due to freedom; for otherwise in the matter of good and evil, man were no real cause, but God alone would be the agent in the proper sense, which would amount to moral Acosmism. In the second place, it is requisite that goodness be willed because it is goodness and not its opposite, for only thus is it really willed as such, or as what it is. The first step in this process is a distinction in knowledge, which in the next place has to assert itself through the will in the form of excision of the possible not-good, in the form of decision for the good. That this discriminative decision may be possible, both goodness and its opposite, as at least possible in itself, must stand for an instant clearly before the vision, and in this sense the possibility of evil, like the law of gradual progress, is involved in the world's excellence, in the possibility of the realization of moral good ($ 37). But the non-existence as yet of the desired unity of will with goodness is a very different thing from evil, which is a falling away from normal progress, a starting aside from the straight path. Gradual advance is the necessary condition of spontaneous exertion in building up our moral being, and without the possibility of evil goodness would be an innate quality, exercising such power over us that its realization through our will would rather take the form of a physical although conscious process. By which of the two paths the development of mankind has proceeded, by simple progress in good or by actual emergence of evil, is matter of history, The necessity of the latter never has been or can be proved. The attempts at proof lead to Manichæism or to the resolving of evil into illusion. The possibility of a sinless development of man, in absolute harmony with his idea, must always be held fast, and at the same time the possibility of his passing through all the stages of life without fault and yet being true man. Evil can never be part of man's nature. When it exists, it is removeable, conquerable, because eternally excluded from the idea of
4. The COGNITIVE ASPECT, or consciousness of self, of the world, and of God. Remitting all details to psychology, let us here dwell simply on the two last points. As self-consciousness ripens, it becomes aware of its absolute dependence on God, apprehending itself in its basis which stands in a passive relation to God. Man feels himself under the control and at the disposal of an absolutely higher power, and this God-consciousness is the basis of freedom in opposition to the world. It has different degrees, accordingly as God is recognised merely as power, and in the light of physical, or also in the light of moral, categories. God-consciousness is not identical with conscience, and still less to be derived from it. We know and are acquainted with God first as absolute power. But through moral, in distinction from religious consciousness, the latter itself receives accessions. The deeper we penetrate into the nature of good and evil, and the more we perceive that the former brings us inner harmony and happiness, the purer and richer becomes the idea of God, which, as formerly shown, stands in most intimate association with the good. Thus the religious element is enriched by the interweaving of the moral, in such a way, indeed, that the clearer man's moral self-consciousness becomes, the more his moral character also is referred back to God in His moral capacity, nay, is primarily deduced from Him. Thus in conscience God's voice is heard, despite the fact that it is the voice of man's own true nature as well. Conversely, the idea of God assures to the contents of conscience the character of unconditional validity, and corroborates the sense of unconditional obligation. Objectively regarded, the awakening of moral consciousness in conscience is a divine origination. God implants the moral, existing in Him and conceived and willed by Him as the good, in man's knowledge. God's knowledge is originative of knowledge. But this origination on the part of God is carried into effect through man's own spiritual energy, without which the moral could be no part of his knowledge. This spiritual energy begins with the individual element. Moral knowledge, implanted and self-developing, may precede the evolution of God-consciousness, and in the first instance be merely a knowledge of man's own moral nature or of the moral relations of life. But only with God-consciousness, and that of a moral kind, do the clearness and energy of moral self-consciousness become complete. From the very time of man's origination, God-consciousness is struggling as it were to break through, and is occupied in the formation of a rational consciousness of self and the world.
1 Even Schleiermacher maintains the same. : As Schenkel supposes.
5. GENERIC CONSCIOUSNESS.-Humanity is willed by God as a unity indeed, but a unity in diversity, i.e. as an organism. In self-consciousness man knows himself to be an individual, beside whom stands the plurality of individuals forming the genus. This plurality, too, is based on the development of each individual. Nature, being without spirit, can furnish no substitute for this. As spirit man needs to be stimulated by corresponding spiritual instruments, and therefore by beings of his own class, different from him and yet receptive to him as he is to them. To plurality belongs variety, and by this means the one humanity is divided into species. The principles of variety are the roots of races, nations, tribes, families, individuals. Variety is expressed not merely in corporeal but in spiritual differences, and in the present temporal life humanity