Page:Appearance and Reality (1916).djvu/394

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tion of worth from reality and truth would mutilate our nature, and could end only in irrational compromise or oscillation. But this shifting attitude, though common in life, seems here inadmissible; and it was not this that I meant by a subordination to feeling. I pointed to something less possible, but very much more consistent. It would imply the setting up of feeling in some form as an absolute test, not only of value but also of truth and reality. Here, if we took feeling as our end, and identified it with pleasure, we might assert of some fact, no matter how palpable, This is absolutely nothing; or, because it makes for pain, it is even worse, and is therefore even less than nothing. Or because some truth, however obvious, seemed in our opinion not favourable to the increase of pleasure, we should have to treat it at once as sheer falsehood and error. And by such an attitude, however impracticable, we should have at least tried to introduce some sort of unity and meaning into our world.[1]

But if to make mere feeling our one standard is in the end impossible, if we cannot rest in the intolerable confusion of a double test and control, nor can relapse into the narrowness, and the inconsistency, of our old mutilated view—we must take courage to accept the other revolution. We must reject wholly the idea that known reality consists in a series of events, external or inward, and that truth merely is correspondence with such a form of existence. We must allow to every appearance alike its own degree of reality, if not also of truth,[2] and we must every-

  1. Such an attitude, beside being impracticable, would however still be internally inconsistent. It breaks down in the position which it gives to truth. The understanding, so far as used to judge of the tendencies of things, is still partly independent. We either then are forced back, as before, to a double standard, or we have to make mere feeling the judge also with regard to these tendencies. And this is clearly to end in mere momentary caprice, and in anarchy.
  2. Whether, and in what sense, every appearance of the Reality has truth, is a point taken up later in Chapter xxvi.