they would lose that importance our hard distinctions confer on them. And, from our own point of view, these problems have proved partly to be insoluble. The value of our answers consists mainly in their denial of partial and one-sided doctrines.
There is an objection which, before we proceed, may be dealt with. “Upon your view,” I may be told, “there is really after all no Nature. For Nature is one solid body, the images of which are many, and which itself remains single. But upon your theory we have a number of similar reflections; and, though these may agree among themselves, no real thing comes to light in them. Such an appearance will not account for Nature.” But this objection rests on what must be called a thoughtless prejudice. It is founded on the idea that identity in the contents of various souls is impossible. Separation into distinct centres of feeling and thought is assumed to preclude all sameness between what falls within such diverse centres. But, we shall see more fully hereafter (Chapter xxiii.), this assumption is groundless. It is merely part of that blind prejudice against identity in general which disappears before criticism. That which is identical in quality must always, so far, be one; and its division, in time or space or in several souls, does not take away its unity. The variety of course does make a difference to the identity, and, without that difference and these modifications, the sameness is nothing. But, on the other hand, to take sameness as destroyed by diversity, makes impossible all thought and existence alike. It is a doctrine, which, if carried out, quite abolishes the Universe. Certainly, in the end, to know how the one and many are united is beyond our powers. But in the Absolute somehow, we are convinced, the problem is solved.
This apparent parcelling out of Nature is but appar-