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Meditation VI: Ground Moments in the Notion God

Absoluto-Infinite or Unconditioned Being as First Moment in the Notion God—Being Absolute further considered—Attributes of Absolute Being—Self-consciousness as predicated of Absolute Being—Pantheism and Immanence—Mysticism.

God, we have said, is The Absolute Synthesis; that is to say, Being and the Dialectic in all experience—the ultimate in Knowledge. And we have found this God in the evolution of “Subject-object”—the necessary universal in the evolution of finite mind as sentient and cognisant. To each ascending plane of finite mind the infinite Object, which is God, gives Itself to the extent of the growing finite capacity of recipience. Fixing our contemplation on our experience, we see the Object building itself up in a series of moments, which moments are the necessary universals in the subject. These moments our epistemological analysis revealed as Unconditioned (or Absoluto-infinite) Being—object of Pure Feeling: then, when the diverse separated itself in consciousness as sentient and attuitional, we saw the continuity of the same Unconditioned Being as now immanent in the Conditioned—the world of differences and contraries which, as phenomenal shapes and relations, constitute the visible universe. These diverse shapes and relations we call Phenomenon—the “appearance” of Being to man; who is himself also, as an organism, Being phenomenalised; and in phenomenal and ontological continuity with the Whole. And thereafter, we saw that in all presentations there is, all the while, being revealed to us, as the highest moment of our own complex but one nature, a dialectic whereby we rise to the dignity of Spirit. These revelations of the infinite Object in finite subject are moments in the total Notion “God”. Let us now consider these moments and ascertain more fully what they yield to Man.

I cannot “know” God in the moment of Absolute Unconditioned Being save as the “That”, But I feel Him immediately; I am aware of Him. The Unconditioned has been under a necessity to finitise Itself in an infinite series of finites in order that it may display Itself. The God whom we know lives a finite life, unrolling Himself in myriad ways; and it is as finite that I can alone truly “know” Him. It is His very Being that He unrolls, His life, not a dialectic stream; but this unrolling is in the form of the Dialectic. The Ground of all the actual and possible is in Unconditioned Being and we may call it Potentiality: it is in the “moment” of Becoming, the form of which is the Will-nisus, that I begin to “know” God.

As immanent, the universal percept, Being (we found) reaches us and is affirmed by us, not as a per se and isolated fact—a mere characteristic of things like any other characteristic. If this were so, the universe would literally be God: there would, in short, be no God. Being is the ultimate reality; it is the reality or substantia of sense-modes and of reason-forms—not lurking behind phenomena, but in phenomena and all their relations. It is the sole Ultimate: it is the beginning and the end—the first and the last. It is the noun-verb of our system—the continuum in a universe of adjectives. It is the non-finite holding the finite: it does not stand over against the finite. God, whom we are in search of, must, as we have said, be the Absolute Synthesis: nothing can be placed outside Him, nor can anything be placed outside any of the moments that constitute the Notion, God; Negation being taken account of.

As first and basal moment of all existence and all thinking and all thought, Being is. We do not abstract Being, I say, from experiences, inner or outer, and collect it (so to speak) as a universal. It is prius of all perceiving as of all things—prius and primal. It is fact and ground of both subject and object. When we reflect, we find that all things of sense or thought, including ourselves, are given to us as Being, determined thus or thus. Being, in brief, is more than merely immanent or indwelling. Being under certain modes or determinations of itself is the parts and the whole of each thing. It is what (I suppose) Schelling would call the common medium of the continuity of all natural processes.

Being, accordingly, as ultimate unconditioned ground and as immanent, are the two aspects of the first positive moment in the absolute synthesis of subjective experience, and also the last moment when the absolute synthesis is finally comprehended as a concrete totality and as a rational unity. Being is first in the beginning: Being is in every process: Being is last as consummation. It is the hurry of finite life that prevents our realising Being in its fulness and persistence. You may feel the pulse of universal Being in yourself as in all things. You feel it as the Whole, and not any one differentiated “thing,” nor yet the aggregate of “things”. The subjective dialectic affirms it; but it is felt prior to the emergence of dialectic activity. This Being-universal, absolute and immanent, is God—not the whole of God, but the ground-moment in any possible notion of God. Not the whole notion for it yields only “AMnotI AM THAT I AM”.

It may be said that animals also, as sentient, must feel Being, and so far, have a feeling of God. Yes; so far as the first moment of the content of God is concerned they feel Him. Why not? In a profound sense animals are our fellow-creatures and akin to us. But they cannot perceive and affirm Being-Absolute. Even man's knowledge is not a comprehension of Being-Absolute, but an affirmation of the fact or “That” of the Feeling.

Being Absolute further considered.

What is finite mind? Being individuated as sentient or conscious. Put this in its lowest terms and mind is “Being that feels”. Feeling is a notion that contains the felt, or object; and that in its most rudimentary form. Even at that point at which the Feeling-potency may be said to have “become” out of the unknown there must be object, or it has not yet “become”. To get down to pure feeling as inchoate or embryonic subject, we have to think away all the predicates of a lifetime. When we have done so, we shall see that “Pure Feeling” has, for object, Being indefinite, unconditioned, absolute. I have said this when speaking of planes of mind. Finite mind from the lowest to the highest is recipient of God to the extent of its potency. The first moment in the absolute synthesis which we call God, is Being Unconditioned and Absolute. This is the Implicit of all existence; but, as such, it is mere Potentiality. We can affirm nothing of it save by what comes out of it. Its predicates are the worlds. That Unconditioned Being may live and not merely Be, it must externalise itself in individuals, and live in them as their indwelling reality. Thus at the very root-beginning of the life of an individual “subject” we find the ultimate Reality out of which all arises: and again, but with a very different significance, we shall encounter it at the summit of human reason where we almost pass into an intuitive vision of the Absolute All-One.

When we try to think the birth of things we think “Becoming”—the fundamental category of the concrete. That which was not is “about to be”. So the thoughts we think have “become” out of other things and thoughts which made them possible—not out of non-Being. Ex nihilo nihil fit. In like manner with the absolute Whole of finite experience: it “became,” not out of non-Being, but out of Being as containing the possibility of its actuality. In the words of the Schoolmen, “Prius est posse esse quam esse”.

All “Becoming” is in and out of Being. Becoming is Being on its way to that which is “not yet”. Thus we find the implicit of the actual and possible, the source and fons of things, in the very notion of Being as immanent.

In brief, Absolute Being is All-Potency; but simply because it is the Potency of all existence, it is itself an actual; and not a blind, indefinite possibility that means nothing. It is unrealised Potentiality—the prothesis of the “Become”: it is actuality in its genesis. To speak of it as “Cause” of things suggests temporal conditions.

We must begin somewhere, as Hegel says; and he rightly found a beginning in Becoming. He found in that notion the interplay of Being and Nothing. I have never been able clearly to apprehend the virtual identity of these two moments as in “Becoming”. The fact of Being seems to be jeopardised as ultimate ground by regarding it as a “moment” in traffic with Nothing as its opposed identity. There is no rest, no repose, in it; and above all, there is no potentiality in it. In “Becoming” I can see only Unconditioned Being conditioning Itself: It is the nisus generated in Being Unconditioned—which nisus is Will with all its dialectic content.

In short, what is presented to thought as the “first” in the Universal Concrete is “Being Becoming”: in other words, Unconditioned Being moving out of itself into the externalisation of what is implicit in it, by way of a process which we call the Dialectic. Thus are we compelled to think Being as absolute, potential, transcendental, as well as immanent. Being-immanent is Being-absolute becoming and become. We must, then, contemplate Being as mysterious fountain of all our rich experience, but as itself unknowable save in so far as it is immanent and declared in the world we have.

Creation, accordingly, is not the manufacturing of something out of alien elements however plastic, but merely the making manifest of the potency of Absolute Being in the form of a finite co-ordinated and rational phenomenal series. Nor are we entitled to say that Absolute Being exhausts the possibilities within it in what is spread out before the eye of man—not even if man knew the manifested whole of creation in its full sweep and meaning. That man can never do, because he himself occupies only one step of the ascending series; but, even if he could grasp the whole of the created universe, still he would find himself gazing with wonder and awe at the central and inscrutable mystery of Being, fount of all, causa sui, a sethat, as Fichte says, “which is neither subject nor object, but the ground of both and that out of which both come into being”—the Neutrum of Schelling.

“Being-absolute is in itself predicateless.” True, but it has in it the potency of all predicates. We may not say that that is “Nothing” which is Fons Omnium, that that is inert which is the source of all activity, that that is non-rational which manifests itself as Reason-immanent?1

Attributes of Absolute Being.

If our Epistemology is a true record of mind-events, Absolute Unconditioned Being is given as ground of all possible experience, and the nisus of Becoming is the determination of Itself. Consequently when we say of “determinates”—the knowable universe—that Being is “immanent” therein, the word serves its purpose. And yet it is an inadequate term, for it would be more correct to say that existence is Being showing itself in all the variety and richness hidden in its Potentiality. Every man, whether he is aware of it or not, carries this ground-notion about with him: it is that, as Spinoza would say, without which nothing can exist or be conceived. The tendency of finite mind is to separate it and contemplate it as an independent Being—as God abiding with Himself in His inscrutable essence. Held bound by the great thought, he seeks to name its characters, forgetting that it is only a moment in the concrete synthesis—the ground-moment in the Notion and fact God. To assign predicates is to determine that which is given to consciousness first and last as indeterminate. This is an illegitimate and contradictory proceeding; and yet it is not illegitimate to dwell on Being Absolute and to contemplate it in its soleness and universality so long as we bear in mind that it is only as ground-moment in the One God that we so contemplate it.

To isolate a moment in a one concrete of movement as if it were an independent entity and then assign properties to it is futile; but to contemplate it as a moment in its relation to the other moments of the same whole and to the existent of which it is ground is quite justifiable. It is only thus indeed that we see distinctly its true character and significance. Accordingly, while we cannot assign “properties” to Absolute Being, to say that it is a blank self-identity is merely a rhetorical way of talking of that which is the fountain of all reality and actuality. Not only does the fact of its being ground-moment yield Potentiality but we can assign to it those attributes which its relation to the finite actual forces on us. To detect a moment in a one movement and then to relegate it to the Unknowable is to deprive it of all significance in the synthesis which we are endeavouring to build up.

Now, I would define an attribute of Absolute Being as merely a re-assertion of the percept “Being” as it looms up in presence of its opposite. The opposite is the finite; and the attributes, accordingly, resolve themselves into negations of the finite. Absolute Unconditioned Being, we say, is, as absolute, transcendental; as unconditioned it is Non-finite; as opposed to the “many” of the finite it is One; as the not-particular it is the Universal; as opposed to time and sequence, it is the Timeless or Eternal; or, to put it otherwise, as opposed to change it is the During. I rightly call Being timeless (just as I say that Being is, as such, One and Unconditioned), because Being as During is not within the time-series. I cannot predicate Time of that out of which all predication and sequence emerge. To do so would bring it into a series, and I should have to look for a fresh beginning for life and thought. Professor Pringle Pattison says truly that a “timeless reality is inconceivable” (in the strict sense of that term); but it is immediately felt in feeling, just as much as Being is. These things are part of man's deepest experiences and are not to be banished into meaningless vacuity. Such experiences are factors, and necessary factors, in our knowledge of the Universal; and they cannot be ignored. But it is true that these foundations of all experience are “unknowable” save as constitutive facts. They are the ground-mystery of all things. I feel and perceive Being as immanent in the conditioned: I also feel it as the primal Unconditioned; and I perceive that feeling.

It is only as immanent in things that Absolute Being reveals its characters. It is itself the Abyss. We might call it Fons Deitatis, but this is simply repeating what it already is to us, viz., Potentiality. It adds nothing new. Now, the above attributes are not “properties” of Being-absolute in the sense that they compositely constitute it: they are attributes, by which I mean that they are in and of Being. Each is the whole of Being. They are thrown into relief in our thought,—forced upon us through the fact and the oppositions of the finite and many: that is all. In uttering them we, as a matter of fact, simply go on (like a Brahman) repeating the word “Being” in its opposition to “not-Being” or the predicates of “other-Being”. As logically prius of a possible finite and many, they are positive attributes, though logically and grammatically in a negative form; the grammatical positive being wholly within the system of negation or the created.

Accordingly, of the modus essendi of Being Absolute we cannot speak save as eternal Fons. But when I say that God is Unconditioned, Transcendental, Infinite, Eternal, One, Universal, and again, that He is infinite Love, infinite Beauty, infinite Goodness and infinite Truth, I assign to Him attributes; and this is not an idle scholastic amusement, for I thereby give utterance to all that I am not, but which I am so constituted as necessarily to affirm. I, from my finite centre, stretch out to the Infinite on every side, and it would be bad psychology even (not to speak of philosophy) if I ignored the greatest realities of my experience. In assigning such terms to God, I do not use the language of sense and imagination; for these give us only the indefinite, whereas the affirmation of the infinite is a product of the Dialectic in us: it is a dialectic necessity. Does this mean nothing in a finite being planted within the Absolute Whole? Is it not his fulfilment as a rational, ethical and æsthetic being? Even if, after all, there were no God, we should still have to affirm these things as the highest—the apotheosis of man's thought.

To say that God is just or good or merciful or holy, precisely as we understand these properties in ourselves, is an illegitimate anthropomorphism; for it is to say that the infinite is finite. On the other hand, to say that He is source of the ethical and æsthetic ideals in man, just as He is source of the Dialectic, is to say that these things are God as immanent in His creation, God as finite; and if this be so, they are in God as infinite. All the finite is not only of God but in God under the category of the Infinite. To say otherwise is to deny the Oneness and Continuity of things.

It is God-immanent, meanwhile, that chiefly concerns us. We are profoundly concerned to know, not what God is in His absoluteness (which we can never know), but what He reveals Himself to be in His immanence. The fact and form of that immanence physical, rational, moral, æsthetic, is what we can know of God, if we set the right way about it. And that knowledge is the Truth of God and in God as revealed in the Man-moment of the infinite evolution of the Divine nature.

Absolute Being, Philo and Scotus would say, is above all predicates; others would seem to suggest that it is below all predicates. The supra-rational One of the neo-Platonist is unconscious; and the endeavour to save the purity and honour of God as transcendent is overtaken by the Nemesis of Nothing in the “One above the One” of Plotinus. In Being Absolute we find the deep repose of Being and also the activity postulated in its potentiality. But how it all is in its own self-identity, we can never say. And if we could, the great Object we contemplated might be a transcendent creature, but not God.2

As with Being-Absolute so with “The Absolute” in the sense of Absolute Whole. I have endeavoured to show how it is that subjective reason affirms “The Absolute,” in the current philosophical sense, as comprehension of the total possible and actual in which, if anywhere and anyhow, there is the resolution of all possible contradictions, physical, intellectual and moral. I have endeavoured to show how this affirmation is generated. But to “know” this Whole, I have said, is impossible for a finite creature, just as it is impossible to know The Absolute in the sense of Absolute Being. An “absolute synthesis” of man's experience is always possible; a “synthesis of The Absolute” is for ever impossible, because it would involve, inter alia, a reduction of Being-Absolute to determination or categories; while, as regards the Absolute Whole, the fact of the Infinite which accompanies all thought assures us, in the most emphatic terms, that there always must be a further and immeasurable. Doubtless, “The Absolute,” in the sense of Totality, if apprehended, would expand, probably transmute, my thought or notion of God, nay, also the character and significance of all finite things; but, as I have frequently said, it could never cancel what is the truth on my plane; for the God of finite reason who can be “known” is a moment and actuality in the ever-evolving, ever-living Absolute in its most comprehensive sense; and is, consequently, for man the Truth, the Way and the Life within the Absolute whole.

Self-Consciousness as predicated of Absolute Being.

May we not say that Absolute-Being is self-conscious spirit—Absolute Ego? Certainly the movement out of the attuitional subject whereby self-consciousness is effected is the highest manifestation of infinite Mind as finite; but I am not justified, because of this alone, in bringing God-Absolute, who conditions all things, under the category of self-consciousness. I do not know and cannot know what God Absolute is in His self-identity. To call Him or It “Absolute Spirit” appears to me to be dogmatism. Let us keep within critical and epistemological lines. We are in the presence of inevitable mystery. As Absolute, God is shut up in Himself, so to speak; and when Being-Absolute goes forth into its negation as immanent therein, it does not, as I have said, leave itself and forgo its absoluteness. It merely determines itself. We must remember that we are in the region of Pure Thought and be on our guard against imagination. “In all development,” says Hegel, “God never comes out of His unity with Himself.” Being Absolute “is not (again to use the words of Hegel) a mere basis out of which differences spring, the truth rather being that all differences are here enclosed,… not inert and abstract but the absolute womb, the eternal impetus and source from which everything proceeds, to which everything returns”. We have a creation as a matter of fact, whose first moment is Absolute Being as now immanent in its own negation. It is Absolute as well as immanent —not, therefore, involved in the Total which it holds in its bosom.3 The Unconditioned, out of which conditioning comes, is not within that which it conditions. And yet, in terms of our argument, this Being Absolute is not a neo-Platonic “One” above all reason and all sense—an unknowable x; for it is Potentiality—the Womb, the Abyss. Accordingly, that which in Being-immanent is revealed, Being-Absolute contains, e.g., all determined Being as undetermined; and if it be not a person, it contains personality; if it be not a self-consciousness, it contains the potentiality of self-consciousness. As immanent, on the other hand, it can be shown that It reveals Itself on this plane of its infinite activity (see Meditation X.) in the “form” of self-conscious Ego. But all we men can find out is only one aspect of infinite and ineffable Being. Our human plane does not exhaust the inexhaustible. Nor can we ever know what lies behind and above, unrevealed and inaccessible. Not to know the Absolute, it will be said, is to affirm that we have not absolute knowledge. That is so. Were it otherwise and could we grasp the Whole, then Faith, Hope and Ideals would then be unmeaning words to us, and we should vanish from our spiritual place in the vast system.

A potentiality, whose very definition is that it is the implicit of the Whole, cannot be other than full. The Hegelian cannot object to such a conception, for, as Dr. Hutchison Stirling says, the Hegelian Idea is synonymous with Ego, and Ego is “boundless intussusception of thoughts all in each other and through or thorough each other but all in the same geometrical point”. Let us accept this “realisation” of Ego as a suggestion of the imagination. That the prius, viz., Being-absolute and potential must contain in some way Ego, as it contains all the actual and possible—the Phenomenal, Feeling and the Dialectic is obvious; but that it itself should be Ego after the pattern of the finite Ego is by no means clear. Nay, that it should consist of “thoughts” is an assumption. Universal Being-immanent which gives the reality of the whole is at the same time Being-absolute and potential we have found, and, as such, is Prius and Ground; but when we try to take a step further, we plunge into a mist profound, and nescience seems to me to be the only sane attitude of a finite mind. As I have so often said, we begin truly to “know” God only when He is Act—the Will-nisus of determination into the other of Himself—Absolute Being as Becoming. In His outerance we have His utterance to His creatures.

At the same time, Potentiality tells us something. It tells us that Absolute Unconditioned Being is not a silent motionless sea, for, in effecting a world, it effects what is implicit in itself. It is not, to use Plato's words, “an awful unmeaningness, an everlasting fixture”. It is not a numerical unit we behold; not a “somewhat” emptied of even the vague sentience of a protozoon; not a mere negation of the Finite and consequently a blank; not Being equal Nothing. It is Being as a Positive, the Yea of the Universe, in se and a se,—the Absolute God in the ground-moment of His mysterious Being. We contemplate an AM which gives forth activity and, therefore, is Activity. Its predicates are the finite universe which it, as immanent, sustains and penetrates and to which as Dialectic it gives form. Our line of argument thus brings us again to the consideration of—

Pantheism and Immanence.

If we hold that the world, as an aggregate of finites, is the Whole of God, we are blind pantheists: if we say that the world is the reflection or image of His entire Being, we are seeing pantheists; but we may, notwithstanding, save the individual and finite for itself, if we include the fact of Negation within the Absolute. If, on the other hand, Eternal Being in creating the world “simply posits itself as its own difference” (as Hegel says) while at the same moment “the difference is eternally done away with and absorbed,” and Eternal Being “does not get to be otherness in any serious sense” we are (it seems to me) thorough-going pantheists, and the individual and freedom are not saved: all the less if we allege that Eternal Being, or “Absolute Idea” or Spirit or Ego (whatever we may call it), determines itself in a necessarily evolving dialectic (i.e., is determined by inner necessity and is “Spirit” only when that necessity has accomplished itself). We are delivered from this monistic pantheism not only by the fact of Negation whereby every existent is the centre of itself, but also by the fact of the moment of Being-Absolute. Assuredly God, as immanent in all and comprehending all, posits therein His own difference; that is to say, it is Himself that He posits and not anything else: but, in doing so, He does not exhaust Himself. He remains Absolute and Transcendental Being, the Deep which we cannot fathom.

Monistic Pantheism conceives the world as emanant, not immanent, God. But the world is not an emanation: God is immanent in the world: He is the reality and life and all the displayed wealth of creation; but not immanent so that all is to be regarded as the mere breathing of Being. Absolute Unconditioned Being which is only one moment in the notion God generates in itself the Will-nisus as a Dialectic, and this is the instrument and form of its Becoming. The universe has been truly called the “Thought” of God; but the total synthesis is not the “Thinking” of God. We have to take account of negation. The world is at once “Thinking” and accomplished “Thought”—a concrete of Being, Negation and Dialectic; and at every moment it is being re-thought. Only, I say, through the fundamental contradiction of Being and Negation do we save the individual and man for themselves as over against God, and liberate ourselves from Monistic Pantheism. We can no more “understand” Negation as an ultimate metaphysical and physical fact than we can “understand” Being. The truth seems to lie in the contradiction of these two factors constituting one concrete; but not capable of conciliation save by the absorption of one in the other, which means either an atheistic world or an acosmic God. Pantheism, I repeat, whether of Substance or of Logic, conceives the created as emanation—a helpless emanation, an exhalation and inhalation. On the contrary, God is immanent as Being and affirmation in a Willed world—a world which is the offspring of the Dialectic.

Mysticism.

Were we to restrict ourselves to the notion of God as Being which, as immanent and absolute, we first and always feel, and thereafter rationally affirm, as a felt, we should, as I formerly said, be mystics. All religion, doubtless, is mystical in its foundations, and, without this fundamental mysticism, man creates for himself gods, but does not see God. The mystic feels Being and awaits its inspiration—the divine inflow. And is it not the fact that, although our finite and petty pre-occupations exclude and occlude the stirrings of Being in us, yet it is ever knocking at the door of formal and limited ratiocination and trying to enter in? Were we, however, to stop at this point of the great argument, we should be mystics I say; perchance Buddhists. We do not stop here. The revelation has more to say about itself. The genuine mystic does not care to analyse the process that goes on in his own inner recesses of mind. It is not worth his while. But if he did, he would find that, in granting the Ground-moments in the Notion of God, he granted knowledge; for he perceives and affirms (which is to know and not merely to feel) Being-universal as content of feeling. Nay, more, if pushed hard and maieutically questioned, he would have to confess that the object “Being” contains more of content in it than he was himself aware of. For let each mystic ask himself only this one question: “Is it blind Being I worship as God?” If not, what then?

The mystic is impatient even of creation in his noble passion for the All-One. For creation is particularisation and is, so far, a departure from God—the Sole and Eternal. He abjures definite thinking on principle; for all that defines eodem actu limits. Silence is better than speech. Even his own personality he would fain abolish. Thus on the practical side, a genuine mystic is not fitted for the give and take and struggle of life: his sense of civic duty tends to vanish along with his sense of personality. He is apt to be weak, febrile and self-indulgent, while, it may be, tolerant, sympathetic and kindly. Mysticism, accordingly, tends to demoralise and devitalise by causing abstention from ordinary moralities. It is the sensualism of reason, and it is also inverted Egoism. Its attitude to human life is the luxury of renunciation, not the toil of sacrifice. But the mystic, notwithstanding, serves an important purpose by emphasising the Infinite in man, and bringing down all finite aims to nothingness. The mystic intuition is not the whole Truth, but only the Ground-moment in the Absolute Synthesis.

And yet, the mystic is supremely right. The function of reason is to determine; but, with all its determining, it can never wipe out the universal and undetermined that lies at the root of subject-object—the positive of Absolute and Immanent Being which Feeling yields to consciousness. In one aspect of things, indeed, Reason is an impertinence. It is the Feeling of Being that first, and also last, connects me with the “Whole” of God; without this, the conclusions of Logic yield only a barren and detached fragment. “The Real is greater than Thought,” it has been said: I would add “than the possibility of thought”; for all thought is necessarily limitative. Even the universe as “thought” of God limits Him, even though we say that the limit is within Himself. He is more than the universe.

Let us conclude now that Absolute Being unconditioned, and immanent as the universal in the conditioned, are the first two moments in the concrete Notion—God; and that they are in truth One fundamental moment in different aspects. If so, it appears to me that we are far on our way to find how we must think God—the way in which Man thinks, and must think, God whether this man or that man is aware of it or not. But even if it be the way in which Man thinks, and must think, God, will it, after all, be the great God Himself? Assuredly not; but only the man-necessity of Him: that is to say, the aspect of His eternal and immeasurable Being which has actualised itself on this plane of His infinite possibility.

Note.—See Appendix, Note 5.

  • 1.

    See Appendix, Note 3.

  • 2.

    See Appendix, Note 4.

  • 3.

    The Hegelian Logic does not give the transcendence to be found in the Philosophy of Religion; although it implies it when it is said that the categories are God prior to His externalisation.