Page:Egotism in German Philosophy (1916).djvu/40

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

more intimate and present fact that intensely, vaguely, deeply I feel that I am, or am tending to be, something or other. My Will or Spirit, the rumble of my unconscious appetitions, thus absorbs my ideas, my ideas absorb their objects, and these objects absorb the world, past, present, and future. Earth and heaven, God and my fellowmen are mere expressions of my Will, and if they were anything more, I could not now be alive to their presence. My Will is absolute. With that conclusion transcendentalism is complete.

Is such transcendentalism impossibly sceptical? Is it absurdly arrogant? Is it wonderfully true?

In so complex a world as this, there is room for a great number of cross-vistas: when all has been surveyed from one point of view and in one set of terms, nothing excludes the same reality from being surveyed from a different centre and expressed in a different notation. To represent a man, sculpture is apparently exhaustive; yet it does not exclude painting, or the utterly disparate description of the man in words; surveys in which there need be no contradiction in the deliverance, though there is the widest diversity and even incommensurability in the methods. Each sort of net drawn through the same sea catches a different sort of fish; and the fishermen may quarrel about what the sea contained, if each regards his draught as exhaustive. Yet the sea con-