Page:Vocation of Man (1848).djvu/109

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from thy false knowledge; but by no means to bring thee the true.

Thou didst desire to know of thy knowledge. Art thou surprised that in this way thou didst discover nothing more than that of which thou desiredst to know, — thy knowledge itself; and wouldst thou have had it otherwise? What has its origin in and through knowledge, is merely knowledge. All knowledge, however, is but pictures, representations; and there is always something awanting in it, — that which corresponds to the representation. This want cannot be supplied by knowledge; a system of mere knowledge is necessarily a system of mere pictures, wholly without reality, significance, or aim. Didst thou expect anything else? Wouldst thou change the very nature of thy mind, and desire thy knowledge to be something more than knowledge?

The reality, in the perception of which thou didst formerly believe, — a material world already existing independently of thee, of which thou didst fear to be come the slave, — has vanished; for this whole material world arises only through knowledge, and is itself our knowledge; — but knowledge is not reality, just because it is knowledge. Thou hast seen through the illusion; and, without belying thy better insight, thou canst never again give thyself up to it. This is the sole merit which I claim for the system which we have together discovered; — it destroys and annihilates error. It cannot give us truth, for it is in itself absolutely empty. Thou dost now seek, and with good right, as I well know, something real lying beyond mere ap-