Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/297

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275
PANTHEISM.

means of a third is only apparent. Two perfectly independent and unconnected substances cannot be co-existent, for where the one ceases the other begins; they exist in proportion, in the exact proportion to their limitation and negation of each other, each one thus neutralizing the absolute independence of the other. Nor can two equally perfect wholes co-exist together, for either they are totally or partially dissimilar, so that neither is perfect, because each one lacks certain perfections of the other, or they are totally similar, in which case they are identical. So that these two substances are not held together by a third, but are merely different appearances of one thing; and we can only think of one thing as perfect and independent of all others, and that is God. Spirit and matter, thought and space, are but different manifestations of one and the same being."

"Is there then a God?" asked Olympia.

"God alone is; the idea of God as necessarily includes the idea of existence as the idea of a triangle includes the idea that the three angles are equal to two right angles."

"Can we have as clear an idea of God as of a triangle?"

"If you ask. Can we have as clear an idea of God as of a triangle? I answer, 'Yes.' If you ask, Can we have as plain an image of him as of a triangle? I answer, 'No.' For we cannot represent God to