Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/313

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291
PANTHEISM.

but merely ascribed to her by us, for we give things relations which they do not possess. All these ideas merely arise because we compare things of similar form and species, and then discover faults and failings where none such exist. Everything is perfect, for each thing must be compared with itself alone. Error and confusion always arise because we prefer to measure things by ideals, that is, with universal ideas which we have acquired or imagined. The ideal or pure idea of any given thing should only be derived from itself, from its own nature and attributes. Then the complaint ceases, that the world does not realize our expectations. Each force exists and appears according to its own laws, not according to an ideal. What does not follow inevitably from the necessary working of the natural cause is no part of the nature of a thing, and all that necessarily follows from the nature of the effecting cause must of necessity be. Beyond this we cannot and must not demand anything; there is no rule and no obligation beyond, and we can apply no higher measure. Peter Blyning is, when viewed on his own merits, as perfect as the most perfect Adonis. He can no more desire other feet than he can demand wings, for the fundamental cause of his being merely suffices for this form, and for no other. Do you think it an imperfection that an ox is an ox and not an eagle? To every stage of human existence it is permitted