Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/279

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257
THE UNEXPRESSED.

of the whole world. It seems to me that if I were to express to the world my inner life, what constitutes the core of my being, I should no longer be my own; the world would have me, I should remain but a shadow of what I had resigned, and must suddenly vanish away. So I prefer the ancient philosophers' way, who never made their own minds the subject of discussion; they had an esoteric doctrine expressed only in symbols, never in words."

"With the idea with which you started," said Spinoza, "I am in perfect harmony. If I were a theologian I might make an allegory of it: how the high-priest of the temple of Jerusalem, on peril of his life, entered the Holy of Holies but once a year, declaring the unutterable name of Jehovah therefrom, while all the people without fell on their faces. By a little 'pious fraud' we might easily substitute the idea which you have otherwise expressed; but I am not fond of such interpretations, they are usually self-deception or worse."

"Do not take the thing so barbarously literally; that is a glorious interpretation; but once, when the divine unites itself with the human, the Holy of Holies of the temple of the heart may be opened, and the unutterable incorporate itself in words. Why, it would be a good symbol, too, for many situations in life; in daily intercourse those who are near and dear to each other keep their isolated