Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/245

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223
DISCIPLES OF DESCARTES.

rupted Oldenburg. "I have no perfect assurance of that fundamental truth which should serve me as a rule, and I still do not know whether any inner intelligence dwells in me or not?"

"Either such an one would speak against his own consciousness, or we must believe that there are men who, by birth or prejudice, that is, through outward circumstances, are spiritually blind. For such do not think about themselves; whether they agree with or doubt anything, they do not know what they do; they say they do not know, and then even do not know that they do not know. They do not say it absolutely, for they are afraid to recognize their existence as know-nothings, so they must remain silent if they will not recognize anything that yet comprises a truth. In short, with such it is impossible to speak of knowledge, for in daily life and intercourse they are obliged to recognize of necessity that they exist, that they use their judgment, and witness on oath in favor of one and against another. But if anything is proved to them, they do not know whether the proof is there; deny, agree with, or dispute, they know naught of it; they are soulless automatons. For reasonable men, however, proof lies in the spiritual eyes. We can see the unseen things, which are but the objects of our thoughts, with no other eyes than with these proofs."

"You are becoming quite enthusiastic," said