Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/301

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279
PANTHEISM.

rupted Oldenburg, "and ask, Is it not merely a refined materialism to which you return?"

"Were it rational, it would be justifiable, but I come to quite another result. The only and exclusively enduring substance, which to me remains the only conceivable one, is not the rough clod which cannot in any case be got rid of. I do not materialize spirit, I spiritualize matter."

"How do you explain with this eternally identical substance the origin of the world?"

"The idea of cause and effect is innate in us, and recognized by external evidence. If you follow up the train of effects and causes you must at last come to a first cause; this first cannot be the result of any other; it contains the reason of its existence in itself; it is cause and effect in its original uncreatedness; is God in his revelation as world. The origin of the world is the origin of God himself; the one is not imaginable without the other. The world is the only external manifestation of the existing God. If God has the power in himself to create the world he must create it, for in him dwells no power that does not immediately proceed to its exercise; a latent, useless power would be imperfection which we could not ascribe to God as the ideal of all perfection. It can neither be a casual nor an arbitrary external, nor a similar internal motive which sets this power in motion; not external, for God, as the epitome of all per-