Page:Guideforperplexed.djvu/51

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certain knowledge. The passage, "And He rested on the seventh day" (Exod. xx. ii) is interpreted as follows: On the seventh Day the forces and laws were complete, which during the previous six days were in the state of being established for the preservation of the Universe. They were not to be increased or modified.

It seems that Maimonides introduced this figurative explanation with a view of showing that the Scriptural "God" does not differ from the "Primal Cause" or "Ever-active Intellect" of the philosophers. On the other hand, the latter do not reject the Unity of God, although they assume that the Primal Cause comprises the causa efficiens, the agens, and the causafinalis (or, the cause, the means, and the end); and that the Ever-active Intellect comprises the intelligens, the intellectus, and the intellectum (or, the thinking subject, the act or thought, and the object thought of); because in this case these apparently different elements are, in fact, identical. The Biblical term corresponding to "Primal Cause " is rokeb ba'arabot, "riding on 'arabot." Maimonides is at pains to prove that 'arabot denotes "the highest sphere," which causes the motion of all other spheres, and which thus brings about the natural course of production and destruction. By "the highest sphere " he does not understand a material sphere, but the immaterial world of intelligences and angels, "the seat of justice and judgment, stores of life, peace, and blessings, the seat of the souls of the righteous," etc. Rokeb ba'arabot, therefore, means He presides over the immaterial beings, He is the source of their powers, by which they move the spheres and regulate the course of nature. This theory is more fully developed in the Second Part.

The next section (chap. lxxi.--lxxvi.) treats of the Kalam. According to the author, the method of the Kalam is copied from the Christian Fathers, who applied it in the defence of their religious doctrines. The latter examined in their writings the views of the philosophers, ostensibly in search of truth, in reality, however, with the object of supporting their own dogmas. Subsequently Mohammedan theologians found in these works arguments which seemed to confirm the truth of their own religion; they blindly adopted these arguments, and made no inquiry whence these had been derived. Maimonides rejects a priori the theories of the Mutakallemim, because they explain the phenomena in the universe in conformity with preconceived notions, instead of following the scientific method of the philosophers. Among the Jews, especially in the East and in Africa, there were also some who adopted the method of the Kalam; in doing so they followed the Mu'tazilah (dissenting Mohammedans), not because they found it more correct than the Kalam of the Ashariyah (orthodox Mohammedans), hut because at the time when the Jews became acquainted with the Kalam it was only cultivated by the Mu'taziiah. The Jews in Spain, however, remained faithful to the Aristotelian philosophy.

The four principal dogmas upheld by the dominant religions were the creatio ex nihilo, the Existence of God, His Incorporeality, and His Unity. By the philosophers the creatio ex nibilo was rejected, but the Mutakallemim defended it, and founded upon it their proofs for the other three dogmas. Maimonides adopts the philosophical proofs for the Existence, Incorporeality, and Unity of God, because they must be admitted even by those who deny the creatio ex nihilo, the proofs being independent of this dogma. In order to show that the Mutakallemim are mistaken in ignoring the organization of the existing order of things, the author gives a minute description of the analogy between the Universe, or Kosmos, and man, the mikrokosmos (ch. lxxii.). This analogy is merely asserted, and the reader is advised either to find the proof by his own studies, or to accept the fact on the authority of the learned. The Kalam does not admit the existence of law, organization, and unity in the universe. Its adherents