Page:Appearance and Reality (1916).djvu/290

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consider Nature as possessed of extension, and we have seen that mere Nature has no reality. We may now proceed to a series of subordinate questions, and the first of these is about the world which is called inorganic. Is there in fact such a thing as inorganic Nature? Now, if by this we meant a region or division of existence, not subserving and entering into the one experience of the Whole, the question already would have been settled. There cannot exist an arrangement which fails to perfect, and to minister directly to, the feeling of the Absolute. Nor again, since in the Absolute all comes together, could there be anything inorganic in the sense of standing apart from some essential relation to finite organisms. Any such mutilations as these have long ago been condemned, and it is in another sense that we must inquire about the inorganic.

By an organism we are to understand a more or less permanent arrangement of qualities and relations, such as at once falls outside of, and yet immediately subserves, a distinct unity of feeling. We are to mean a phenomenal group with which a felt particularity is connected in a way to be discussed in the next chapter. At least this is the sense in which, however incorrectly, I am about to use the word. The question, therefore, here will be whether there are elements in Nature, which fail to make a part of some such finite arrangement. The inquiry is intelligible, but for metaphysics it seems to have no importance.

The question in the first place, I think, cannot be answered. For, if we consider it in the abstract, I find no good ground for either affirmation or denial. I know no reason why in the Absolute there should not be qualities, which fail to be connected, as a body, with some finite soul. And, upon the other hand, I see no special cause for supposing that these exist. And when, leaving the abstract point of view, we regard this problem from the side of con-