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Title: An Interpretation of Rudolf Eucken's Philosophy
Author: Jones, W. Tudor (William Tudor), 1865-1946
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "An Interpretation of Rudolf Eucken's Philosophy" ***



W. TUDOR JONES, Ph.D. (Jena)



       *       *       *       *       *

     [Greek: Hara ohyn, hadelphoi, hopheiletai hesmen, ou tê sarki tou
     kata sarka zên, ei gar kata sarka zête meggete hapothnêskein, ehi
     de pneumati tas praxeis tou sômatos thanatoute zêsesthe. hosoi gar
     pneumati theou hagontai, outoi uioi theou ehisin.]--St. Paul
     (Romans, viii. 12-14).

       *       *       *       *       *


The personality and works of Professor Rudolf Eucken are at the present
day exercising such a deep influence the world over that a volume by one
of his old pupils, which attempts to interpret his teaching, should
prove of assistance. It is hoped that the essentials of Eucken's
teaching are presented in this book, in a form which is as simple as the
subject-matter allows, and which will not necessitate the reader
unlearning anything when he comes to the author's most important works.
The whole of the work is expository; and an attempt has been made in the
foot-notes to point out aspects similar to those of Eucken's in English
and German Philosophy.

It is encouraging to find at the present day so much interest in
religious idealism, and it is proved by Eucken beyond the possibility of
doubt that without some form of such idealism no individual or nation
can realise its deepest potencies. But with the presence of such
idealism as a conviction in the mind and life, history teaches us that
the seemingly impossible [p.8] is partially realised, and that a new
depth of life is reached. All this does not mean that the individual is
to slacken his interests or to lose his affection for the material
aspects of life; but it does mean that the things which appertain to
life have different values, and that it is of the utmost importance to
judge them all from the highest conceivable standpoint--the standpoint
of spiritual life. This is Eucken's distinctive message to-day. The
message shows that an actual evolution of spirit is taking place in the
life of the individual and of human society; and that this evolution can
be guided by means of the concentration of the whole being upon the
reality of the norms and standards which present themselves in the lives
of individuals and of nations. No one particular science or philosophy
is able to grant us this central standpoint for viewing the field of
knowledge and the meaning of life. The answer to the complexity of the
problem of existence is to be found in something which gathers up under
a larger and more significant meaning the results of knowledge and life.
This volume will attempt to elucidate this all-important point of
view--a point of view which is so needful in our days of specialisation
and of material interests. It may be, and Eucken and his followers
believe it is, that the destiny of the nations of the world depends in
the last resort upon a conception and conviction of [p.9] the reality of
a life deeper than that of sense or intellect, although both these may
become tributaries (and not hindrances) to such a spiritual life.

I have to thank Professor Eucken himself for allowing me access to
material hitherto unpublished, and for encouraging me in the work. I am
bold enough to be confident that could I say half of what our revered
teacher has meant for me and for hundreds of others of his old pupils,
this volume would be the means of helping many who are drifting from
their old moorings to find an anchorage in a spiritual world.

                                                W. TUDOR JONES.

  Highbury, London, N.,

        _November_ 1, 1912.

       *       *       *       *       *


Preface                                                   7

1. Introduction                                          13

2. Religion and Evolution                                26

3. Religion and Natural Science                          57

4. Religion and History                                  70

5. Religion and Psychology                               87

6. Religion and Society                                 108

7. Religion and Art                                     119

8. Universal Religion                                   128

9. Characteristic Religion                              151

10. The Historical Religions                            166

11. Christianity                                        180

12. Present-Day Aspects of Philosophy and Religion      206

13. Eucken's Personality and Influence                  227

14. Conclusion                                          236

List of Eucken's Works                                  245

Index                                                   249

       *       *       *       *       *




Rudolf Eucken was born at Aurich, East Frisia, on the 5th of January
1846. He lost his father when quite a child. His mother, the daughter of
a Liberal clergyman, was a woman of deep religious experience and of
rich intellectual gifts. When quite a boy he came at school under the
influence of the theologian Reuter, a man of wonderful fascination to
young men. The questions of religion and the need of religious
experience interested Eucken early, and these have never parted from him
during the long years which have since passed away.

At an early age he entered the University of Göttingen and attended the
philosophical classes of Hermann Lotze. Lotze interested him in
philosophical problems, but did not [p.14] satisfy the burning desire
for religious experience which was in the young man's soul. Lotze looked
at religion and all else from the intellectual point of view. His main
business was to discover proofs for the things of the spirit, and the
value of his work in this direction cannot be over-estimated. Hermann
Lotze's works are with us to-day; and he has probably made more
important contributions to philosophy and religion from the scientific
side than any other writer of the latter half of the nineteenth century.
But he seems to have been a man who was inclined to conceive of reality
as something which had value only in so far as it was _known_, and left
very largely out of account the inchoate stirrings and aspirations which
are found at a deeper level within the human soul than the _knowing_
level. Life is larger and deeper than logic, and is something, despite
all our efforts, which resists being reduced to logical propositions. It
is quite easy to understand how a young man of Eucken's temperament and
training should acquiesce in all the logical treatment of Lotze's
philosophy, and still find that _more_ was to be obtained from other
sources which had quenched the thirst of the great men of the past.

When Eucken entered the University of Berlin he came into contact with a
teacher who helped him immensely in the quest for religion, and in the
interpretation of religion as the [p.15] issue of that quest. Adolf
Trendelenburg was a great teacher as well as a noble idealist, and his
influence upon young Eucken was very great. Indeed, it seems that
Trendelenburg's influence was great on the life of every young man who
was fortunate enough to come into contact with him. The late Professor
Paulsen, in his beautiful autobiography, _Aus meinem Leben_ (1909),
presents us with a vivid picture of Trendelenburg and his work. Under
him the pupils came into close touch not only with the _meaning_ but
also with the _spirit_ of Plato and Aristotle. The pupils were made to
see the ideal life in all its charm and glory. The great Professor had
all his lifetime lived and meditated in this pure atmosphere, and
possessed the gift of infusing something of his own enthusiasm into the
minds and spirits of his hearers. Eucken has stated on several occasions
his indebtedness to Trendelenburg. The young student entered the temple
of philosophy through the gateways of philology and history. This was a
great gain, for the barricading of these two gateways against philosophy
has produced untold mischief in the past. At present men are beginning
to see this mistake, and we are witnessing to-day the phenomenon of the
indissoluble connection of language and history with philosophy. In
fact, the new meanings given to language and history are meanings of
things which happened in the [p.16] culture and civilisations of
individuals and of nations, and such a material casts light on the
processes, meaning, and significance of the human mind and spirit.

Eucken learnt this truth in Berlin at a very early age, and his life and
teaching ever since have been a further development of it. This fact has
to be borne in mind in order that we may understand the prominence he
gives to religion, religious idealism, spiritual life, and other similar
concepts--concepts which are largely foreign to ordinary philosophy and
which are only to be found in that mysterious, all-important borderland
of philosophy and religion.

After graduating as Doctor of Philosophy in the University of Göttingen,
we find him preparing himself as a High School teacher, in which
position he remained for five years.

In 1871 he was appointed Professor of Philosophy in the University of
Basel. In 1874 he received a "call" to succeed the late Kuno Fischer as
Professor of Philosophy in the renowned University of Jena. It is here,
in the "little nest" of Goethe and Schiller, that Eucken has remained in
spite of "calls" to universities situated in larger towns and carrying
with them larger salaries. It is fortunate for Jena that Eucken has thus
decided. He, along with his late colleague Otto Liebmann, has kept up
the philosophical tradition of Jena. In spite of modern developments and
the presence of [p.17] new university buildings, Jena still remains an
old-world place. To read the tablets on the walls of the old houses has
a fascination, and brings home the fact that in this small out-of-the-way
town large numbers of the most creative minds of Europe have studied and
taught. The traditions of Goethe and Schiller still linger around the
old buildings and in the historical consciousness of the people. Here
Fichte taught his great idealism--an idealism which has meant so much in
the evolution of the Germany of the nineteenth century; here Hegel was
engaged on his great _Phenomenology of Spirit_ when Napoleon's army
entered the town; here Schopenhauer sent his great dissertation and
received his doctor's degree _in absentia_; here too, the Kantian
philosophy found friends who started it on its "grand triumphant
march"--a philosophy which raised new problems which have been with us
ever since, and which gave a new method of approaching philosophical
questions; here Schelling revived modern mysticism and attempted the
construction of a great _Weltanschauung._ But only a small portion of
the greatness of Jena can be touched on. Eucken has nobly upheld the
great traditions of the place, not only as a philosophical thinker but
also as a personality.

What is the secret of Eucken's influence? It is due greatly, it is true,
to his writings and their original contents, for it is not possible for
[p.18] a man to hide his inner being when he writes on the deepest
questions concerning life and death. A great deal of Eucken's
personality may be discovered in his writings. Opening any page of his
books, one sees something unique, passionate, and somehow always deeper
than what may be confined within the limits of the understanding, and
something which has to be lived in order to be understood. And to know
the man is to realise this in a fuller measure than his writings can
ever show. He has to be seen and heard before the real significance of
his message becomes clear. His personality attracts men and women of all
schools of thought, from all parts of the world, and they all feel that
his message of a reality which is beyond knowledge--though knowledge
forms an integral part of it--is a new revelation of the meaning of life
and existence. Professor Windelband, in his _History of Philosophy_ and
elsewhere, describes Eucken as the creator of a new Metaphysic--a
metaphysic not of the Schools but of Life. This aspect will be discussed
at fuller length in later pages, so that it may be passed over for the

Eucken believes in the reality and necessity of his message. He is aware
that that message is contrary to the current terminology and meaning of
the philosophy of our day. Some of his great constructive books were
written as far back as 1888, and have remained, almost until our own
day, in a large measure unnoticed. [p.19] The _Einheit des Geisteslebens
in Bewusstsein und Tat der Menschheit_ is a case in point. It is one of
his greatest books, and its value was not seen until the last few years.
But the philosophy of the present day in Germany is tending more and
more in the direction of Eucken's. Writers such as the late Class and
Dilthey, Siebeck, Windelband, Münsterberg, Rickert, Volkelt, Troeltsch
--naming but a small number of the idealistic thinkers of the present
--are tending in the direction of the new Metaphysic presented by Eucken
in the book already referred to as well as in the _Kampf um einen
geistigen Lebensinhalt_.

The philosophy of Germany at the present day is making several attempts
at a metaphysic of the universe. Much critical and constructive work has
been done during the past quarter of a century and is being done to-day.
The attempts to construct systems of metaphysics may be witnessed on the
sides of natural science and of philosophy. Haeckel, Ostwald, and Mach
have each given the world a constructive system of thought. But these
three systems have not, except in a secondary way, attempted a
metaphysic of human life. Haeckel's system is mainly poetico-mythical,
chiefly on the lines of some of the pre-Socratic philosophers. Ostwald's
attempt is to show the unity of nature and life through his principle of
Energetics; and Mach's may be described as an inverted kind [p.20] of
Kantianism in regard to the problem of subject and object.

None of these has attempted a reconstruction of philosophy from the side
of the content of consciousness; in fact, they all find their
explanation of consciousness in connection with physical and organic
phenomena observed on planes below those of the mental and ideal life of
man. Such work is necessary; but if it comes forward as a _complete_
explanation of man, it is, as Eucken points out again and again, a
wretched caricature of life. To know the connection of consciousness
with the organic and inorganic world is not to know consciousness in
anything more than its history. It may have been similar to, or even
identical with, physical manifestations of life, but it is not so _now_.
Eucken admits entirely this fact of the history of mind; but the meaning
of mind is to be discovered not so much in its _Whence_ as in its
present potency and its _Whither_.[1] A philosophy of science is bound
to recognise this difference, or else all its constructions can
represent no more than a torso. Physical impressions enter into
consciousness, [p.21] and doubtless in important ways condition it,
but they are _not physical_ once man becomes _conscious_ of them. A union
of subject and object has now taken place, and consequently a new beginning
--a beginning which cannot be interpreted in terms of the things of
sense--starts on its course. This is Eucken's standpoint, and it is no
other than the carrying farther of some of the important results Kant
arrived at.

This difference between the natural and the mental sciences has been
emphasised, at various times, since the time of Plato. But the
difference tended to become obliterated through the discoveries of
natural science and its great influence during the latter half of the
nineteenth century. The key of evolution had come at last into the hands
of men, and it fitted so many closed doors; it provided an entrance to a
new kind of world, and gave new methods for knowing that world. But, as
already stated, evolution is capable of dealing with what _is_ in the
light of what _was_, and the _Is_ and the _Was_ are the physical
characteristics of things. In all this, mind and morals, as they are in
their own intrinsic nature operating in the world, are left out of
account. A striking example of this is found in the late Professor
Huxley's Romanes Lecture--_Evolution and Ethics_. In this remarkable
lecture it is shown that the cosmic order does not answer all our
questions, and is indifferent [p.22] and even antagonistic to our
ethical needs and ideals. Huxley's conclusion may be justly designated
as a failure of science to interpret the greatest things of life. Before
culture, civilisation, and morality become possible, a new point of
departure has to take place within human consciousness, and the attempt
to move in an ethical direction is as much hindered as helped by the
natural course of the physical universe. This lecture of Huxley's runs
parallel in many ways with Eucken's differentiation of Nature and
Spirit, and Huxley's "ethical life" has practically the same meaning as
Eucken's "spiritual life" on its lower levels.

Numerous instances are to be found in the present-day philosophy of
Germany of the need of a Metaphysic of Life, and of the impossibility of
constructing such from the standpoint of the results of the natural
sciences either singly or combined.

Professor Rickert's investigations are having important effects in this
respect. In his works he has made abundantly clear the difference
between the methods and results of the sciences of Nature and the
sciences of Mind. And even amongst the mental sciences themselves,
all-important aspects of different subject-matters present themselves,
and render themselves as of different _values_.

Professor Münsterberg has worked on a similar path, and has insisted
once more on the nature of reality as this expresses itself in [p.23] a
meaning which is over-individual. Professor Windelband's writings (_cf.
Präludien, Die Philosophie im XX. Jahrhundert_, etc.) have emphasised
very clearly the need of the presence and acknowledgment of norms in
life, and of the meaning of life realising itself in the fulfilment of
these norms.[2]

When we turn to the great neo-Kantian movement, we find alongside of
discussions concerning psychological questions important ethical aspects
presenting themselves. The works of the late Professor Otto Liebmann of
Jena (_cf_ the last part of his _Analysis der Wirklichkeit_) and of the
late Professor Dilthey and Dr. G. Simmel point in the same direction.
Professors Husserl, Lipps, and Vaihinger, as their most recent important
books show, work on lines which insist on bringing life as it is and as
it ought to be into their systems. The same may be said of Professor
Wundt's works in so far as they present a constructive system.

But the ground was fallow twenty-five years ago when some of Eucken's
important works made their appearance. Even as late as 1896 he complains
of this in the preface of his _Kampf um einen geistigen Lebensinhalt_:
"I am aware that the explanations offered in this [p.24] volume will prove
themselves to be in direct antagonism to the mental currents which
prevail to-day."[3] He states that his standpoint is different from that
of the conventional and official idealism then in vogue. By this he
means, on the one hand, the "absolute idealism" which constructed
systems entirely unconnected with science or experience--systems whose
Absolute had no direct relationship with man, or which made no appeal to
anything of a similar nature to itself in the deeper experience of the
soul; and, on the other hand, the degeneration of the neo-Kantian
movement to a mere description of the relations of bodily and mental

Probably enough has been said to show that the idealistic systems of
Germany are tending more and more in the direction of a philosophy which
attempts to take into account not only the results of the physical
sciences and psychology, but also those of the norms of history and of
the over-individual contents of consciousness.

It has been stated by several critics in England, Germany, and America,
that Eucken has ignored the results of physical science and psychology.
This was partially true in the past, when his main object was to present
his [p.25] own metaphysic of life. The problems of science and
psychology had to take a secondary place, but it is incorrect to state
that these problems were ignored. It is remarkable how Eucken has kept
himself abreast of these results which are outside his own province.[4]
But he has been all along conscious of the limitations of these results
of natural science and psychology. The results fail to connote the
phenomena of consciousness and its meaning. While Eucken has accepted
these results, I have not seen any evidence that any of his conceptions
concerning the main core of his teaching--the spiritual life--are
disproved by any of them. He shows us, as will be elucidated later, that
as sensations point in the direction of percepts, and percepts in the
direction of concepts, so concepts point in the direction of something
which is beyond themselves. And as the meaning of reality reveals itself
the more we pass along the mysterious transition from sensation to
concept, so a further meaning of reality is revealed when concepts
search for a depth beyond themselves. This is the clue to Eucken's
teaching in regard to spiritual life. It is a further development of the
nature of man--a development beyond the empirical and the mental. And
the object of the following chapters will be to show this from various
points of view.

       *       *       *       *       *



Eucken accepts gladly the theory of descent in Darwinism, but insists
that the theory of selection must be clearly distinguished from it.
He agrees with Edward von Hartmann that the doctrine of selection is
inadequate to explain the phenomena of life. But, as he points out,
there is much which is true and helpful in the theory of selection
even in regard to human life. "In all quarters there is a widespread
inclination to go back to the simplest possible beginnings, which
exhibit man closely related to the animal world, to trace back the
upward movement not to an inner impulse, but to a gradual forward
thrust produced by outward necessities, and to understand it as a mere
adaptation to environment and the conditions of life. It seems to be a
mere question of natural existence, of victory in the struggle against
rivals."[5] But he is not satisfied that such an explanation covers the
[p.27] phenomena of consciousness. If there were no more than this at
work in the higher forms of life, the things of value--the things which
have meant so much in the upward development of humanity--would be
reduced to mere adjuncts of physical existence. If mental and moral
values mean no more than this, they are simply annihilated. But the
values of life are something quite other than any physical manifestation;
and however much they are conditioned by physical changes it is
inconceivable that what is purely physical should be the sole cause of
them. Man would never have risen so far above Nature, and become able to
be conscious of his own personality and of the meaning of the world, had
there not been present from the very beginning some spiritual potency
which could receive the impressions of the external world and bind them
together into some kind of connected Whole. This connected Whole may be
no more in the beginning than a potency without any content, and its
roots may be discerned in the world below man; but without such a
potency, different in its nature from physical things, the whole meaning
of the evolution of mind and spirit is utterly unintelligible. But what
can this potency mean but something which includes within itself the
germ of that which later comes out in the form of the values which have
been gained in the life of the individual and of the race?

[p.28] In order to understand Eucken's conceptions concerning Spirit,
Whole, Totality, and other similar terms, this fact has to be borne in
mind. The capacity for _more_ is present in man's nature. It may remain
dormant in a large measure, but it is not entirely so, as witnessed by
the fact that men have scaled heights far above Nature and the ordinary
life of the day. And humanity, on the whole, has climbed to a height to
give some degree of meaning to the life of the day--a meaning superior
to physical impressions, and which is able to see somewhat behind,
around, and beyond itself. Wherever this happens, it comes about through
the presence and activity of the life of the spirit within man. The
spiritual life is, then, a possession of man, but it is a possession
only in so far as it is used. It is subject to helps and hindrances from
the world; it is not freed from its own content; it can never say,
"So far and no further according to the bond and the duty"; it has to
undergo a toilsome struggle before it can ever become the possessor of
the new kind of world to which it has a right.

In all this we notice something in the _new world of consciousness_
similar to what happens within the physical world. In the world of
nature no animate (and probably no inanimate) thing has received a
_donum_ which it may preserve as its own without effort. Everything that
has value has to be preserved through [p.29] struggles necessitated by
the changing conditions of the impinging environment as well as
struggles between contrary characteristics within the nature of the
thing itself. Otherwise nothing could maintain its identity and
individuality at all. There must be some core in everything which exists
as an individual thing. This individuality is seen more clearly as the
scale of existence is mounted. In the organic world each thing lives in
a more or less degree its own life, however much that life is
conditioned and even hindered by the environment. What is it, then, that
keeps the thing together? It is some point of union of elements
otherwise scattered. When we come to man we see this more clearly than
in the world below him. This core is a kind of Whole made up of isolated
impressions mingling with a potency different in nature from themselves,
and transmuting them to its own nature in the forms of self-consciousness,
meanings, values. This potency--this Whole--although present from the
very beginning as the condition of becoming conscious of anything, yet
remains in constant change. Impressions pour in through the senses,
enter the Whole that is already present; they drop their content into
that Whole by means of the senses, and the miracle of transmutation,
entirely mysterious, takes place.

This point is not new. It is a fact well [p.30] known in the history of
psychology, and played a very prominent part in the psychology of Kant.
But Eucken has deepened the conception in such a way as to be able to
rid himself of the postulates of Kant concerning God, Freedom, and
Immortality. The germs of these, according to the meaning of Eucken,
are within the spiritual life itself, and not transcendent in the form
presented by Kant or external as presented by Hegel. There is, then,
within consciousness a process in many respects analogous to the natural
process. And as the meaning of the physical universe has become clearer
through the conception of evolution, so the meaning of consciousness,
originating in a higher world than Nature, will become clearer if viewed
in a similar manner. Let us then turn to one of the most important
aspects of Eucken's work, Evolution and Religion.

Eucken's deepest, and consequently the most difficult, account of the
meaning of religion is to be found in his _Truth of Religion_ and his
_Kampf um einen geistigen Lebensinhalt._ It is important to deal with
the concept of the spiritual life at this stage of our inquiry, for it
is the pivot around which the whole of Eucken's philosophy turns.

The essence of religion is conceived by him as the possession by man of
an eternal existence in the midst of time; of the presence of an
over-world in the midst of this world [p.31]--guiding man to the
revelation of a Divine Will.

This is Eucken's main thesis, and connected with this thesis is the fact
that religion can come to birth in the soul of man only through a
conquest of the ordinary, natural world which surrounds him. The world
which surrounds him hinders more than it helps the birth of religion in
the soul. The aim of religion is therefore not the perfecting of man in
a natural sense, but the bringing about of a union of human nature and
the Divine. Religion must therefore include a "world-denial and a
world-renewal." There is not enough for man's deeper nature either in
the physical world or in the ordinary life of the hour. The natural
world knows of no complete self-subsistence, for everything is connected
with its environment, and it is in this connection with its environment
that life below man largely obtains its existence. But in man we
discover a transition stage from the sensuous to the non-sensuous, and
it is in the latter that the meaning of the former can be obtained. The
history of civilisation and culture is a history of this all-important
fact. The meaning of man is, therefore, not to be found in his
relationship to the physical world, but in his own consciousness.
Although we may not be aware of it, consciousness is the power which, in
the long and slow progress of the ages, has overcome the sensuous and
made it subservient to the [p.32] meaning and value which its own
content of experience has presented. The necessity and proof of religion
are not then discovered in anything in the external world, but in the
realisation of the fact that we are meant to be citizens of a world
higher in its nature, the birthright of which is to be found within our
own nature. The conquest of nature and the growth of culture are proofs
to man of his superiority to the world of sense impressions. This denial
of the sufficiency of the world of sense in the evolution of the human
soul, on the one hand, and the affirmation of the potentiality of a
higher world of spirit on the other hand, constitute the nucleus of the
Christian religion. Its superiority consists in giving their rights to
both worlds, and also in showing that they do not possess the same
value. This essential nature of Christianity will be demonstrated later.

We must return, then, to consciousness itself and see what may be
discovered within it concerning the meaning of religion. The great
thinkers of the ages have all been agreed as to the impossibility of
finding sufficient proofs and meanings of religion either from Nature or
from some supernatural source flowing in a miraculous manner towards our
earth. The growth and interpretation of natural science in modern times
have rendered it impossible to find proofs of religion in any external
mode. Yet the problems of man's [p.33] Whence and Whither raise
themselves with energy and even tragedy in our own day. These, as Eucken
points out, are "problems concerning our Whence and Whither, our
dependence upon strange powers, the painful antitheses within our own
soul, the stubborn barriers to our spiritual potencies, the flaws in
love and righteousness, in Nature and in human nature; in a word, the
apparent total loss of what we dare not renounce--our best and most real
treasures."[6] The loss takes place because we have been looking outward
instead of inward for support, and prop after prop has given way. This
is the situation to-day, and it has been brought about by no evil power,
but by the gradual dawning of the meaning of things. Still, it is not
the whole meaning of things, for, as Eucken points out: "But we are now
experiencing what mankind has so often experienced, viz. that at the
very point where the negation reaches its climax and the danger reaches
the very brink of a precipice, the conviction dawns with axiomatic
certainty that there lives and stirs within us something which no
obstacle or enmity can ever destroy, and which signifies against all
opposition a kernel of our nature that can never get lost."[7]

The religio-philosophical problem is, then, a return to _the Whole of
Life_. It is here that any satisfactory answer can be found if found
[p.34] at all. It is necessary to investigate the final grounds as well
as the most complete structure of Life; it is further necessary to
discover whether the movement of Life necessarily leads to religion.
As Eucken invariably presents the truth of religion, the meaning and
significance of religion are to be found through self-consciousness.
This meaning of consciousness is twofold in nature. On the one hand,
it is something that may be _known_, and, on the other hand, it is
something that is _active_ through its own inherent energy. Here we find
a difference between what we may _know_ we are and what we _are_. Our
knowledge of what we are, the conditions of what we are, the history of
what we are--all these are a help for us to be what we are capable of
becoming. But all these are not the very movement of the becoming
itself. That movement is the resultant of the spiritual potency after
experiences in the form of cognition have marked out the path for
conation. This conation is an inheritance; it is present in the form of
dissatisfaction with the present situation; it moves in the direction of
a goal which is marked out by intellect. Now, however much this conation
may be analysed, it resists being decomposed into a number of elements
which make it up, for any such number, except in the very manner they
are united, could not produce the situation. In other words, whatever
the history of this conation may be, it is now a unity or whole. [p.35]
Conditioned as it is by the surrounding world and by its own history, in
so far as it is this, it is _determined_; but it is still _free_ in so
far as it is capable of becoming a new point of departure for life and
of proceeding on its way in a world of spirit. Unless man's nature
contained within itself some unity or whole of the kind already referred
to, it would mean no more than a receptacle of momentary impressions
which would vanish as soon as their physical effects had passed away.
But man is in reality more than all this. In the form of memory and
experience he is able to hold together in a core of his being the
_meaning_ of these impressions after they have filtered into his
consciousness. That is what we find, in however obscure a way, as the
very beginning of every human life. This unity or whole, as already
stated, may be no more than a potency in the beginning of life, but it
gains in content and depth as it passes from impression to impression,
and from experience to experience. And all further impressions and
experiences have to be referred to this nucleus of the nature in order
that they may be used and may prove themselves helpful. It is in this
nucleus of the nature that everything obtains its meaning and value.

The _Whole_ consequently grows, and gradually man becomes conscious of
his personality as over against the environing world and even his own
body. This consciousness of [p.36] _inwardness_ is of slow growth,
because the natural tendency of life is to give a primary place to the
world from which we have emerged--the world of physical existence, and
also because much of that physical world reigns powerfully within our
nature. But when reflection turns into itself, it becomes aware that the
inwardness constitutes the kernel of a reality higher in its nature than
anything either in the physical world or in the physical life which the
man has to lead.

Two modes of reality now present themselves to the life, neither of
which allows itself to be conceived of as an illusion. On the one hand,
we find the physical world and our own physical nature. We discover that
we cannot jump out of these without destroying all we possess; we have
to come to some kind of understanding with the physical world and our
own physical existence. Yet, on the other hand, the consciousness of a
kernel of our being, non-sensuous and spiritual in its nature, has for
ever broken our satisfaction with the physical world and our own
physical existence. There are only two alternatives on which we can act.
Either we are to conceive of our spiritual personality as something
secondary and subsidiary to the natural world, or we are to insist on
its independence, and acknowledge it as the beginning of _a new mode of
existence._ If the former alternative is chosen, the personality can
never pass to a state of self-subsistence, [p.37] but will conceive of
reality as something which is mainly physical. The consequence is that
the personality will suffer seriously in its evolution, for such an
evolution is brought about through the recognition and willing
acknowledgment of the breaking forth of _a new kind of reality_ within
the spiritual nucleus of life. If the latter alternative is chosen, this
nucleus of life is now seen as something quite other than a quality
entirely dependent upon the physical or than a mere flowering of the
physical; it is seen as a reality higher in its nature than the physical
or even than the ordinary life of the individual. Such a situation is
forced on man when once he reflects upon the inward meaning of the
content of his consciousness. It is true that such questions may be
thrust into the background, and consequently inhibited from presenting
us with their full value and significance. And it is this which happens
only too often in daily life. The constant need of attention to external
things, the absorption of the mind in conventionality and custom as
these present themselves in the form of a ready-made inheritance--all
these occupy so much of the attention as to prevent man from knowing and
experiencing what _his own life_ is or what it is capable of becoming.
Man has penetrated into the secrets of Nature as well as into the past
of human society through close and constant attention to external
things. [p.38] He has been able to gather fragments together, piece them
into each other, and through this frame laws concerning them. It is thus
that the external world and society have come to mean more to a human
being than to an animal. The animal is probably almost entirely the
creature of its instincts and of the percepts which present themselves
to it from moment to moment, and which largely disappear. But man rises
above this situation. The external world and everything that has ever
happened on its face are not merely objects external to himself, which
contain all their qualities in themselves. Somebody has to experience
all this, and that somebody that experiences all this is _mental_ in his
nature, however much this nature has been conditioned by _physical_
things in the past or present.

Eucken emphasises this fundamental fact in all his books. Wherever a
being is capable of _experiencing_ impressions and of giving _meanings_
to these, we are bound to conclude that the power which does this is
something quite other than physical in its nature. It may be that such
a power has never been known except in connection with what is physical;
it may be that various chemical changes give the truer and clearer
explanation of its origin, as far as its origin can be known at all;
it may be that there was nothing of the _mental_ visible in the early
stages of its development; but all this is very different from stating
that [p.39] no potentiality for mental evolution was there. And it is
this potentiality which is the issue at stake. We have no warrant for
stating that it does not exist because it does not lend itself to be
verified by the senses. Where does _mind_ manifest itself to the senses?
It is something which does not exist in space as a horse or a tree. It
may be that consciousness has emanated from simple chemical beginnings
and combinations, but it is not a simple or a chemical thing _now_. We
divide worlds into inorganic and organic. The main principle of division
is necessitated on account of the fact that some characteristics are
present in the former which are absent in the latter. It is precisely
the same between Body and Mind, with one difference. Body and Mind are
indissolubly connected, but one cannot be reduced into the other.
However much the connection on one side may influence the other side,
the difference between a _meaning_ and a _thing_ remains. And it is this
fundamental difference which makes it absolutely necessary to
acknowledge _a world_ of consciousness in contradistinction to a world
of matter and its behaviour, whether such matter is to be found in the
human body with its mechanical and chemical changes and transformations
or in the physical universe outside our body.

It is only when the mind becomes aware of its own existence--an
existence not to be established as being in Space (or entirely in [p.40]
Time) but as a reality subsisting in itself and in will-relations--that
the efforts and fruitions of the spirit of man become intelligible at
all. But such an awareness has become a permanent possession in a
greater or less degree within the life of man. Whenever he becomes
conscious of the fact that in his own soul a new phenomenon has made its
appearance, he begins, after the willing acknowledgment of the reality
of such a phenomenon, to exercise its potency over against the external
world and over against much that is present in his own psychical life. A
Higher and a Lower present themselves to him. The two alternatives force
themselves, and there is no third: either this deeper kernel of his life
must mean the possibility and, in a measure, the presence of _a new land
of reality_; or, on the other hand, it means no more than a mere
epiphenomenon and blossoming of the merely _natural_ life. If the latter
view is adopted, the spiritual nucleus of man's nature obtains but
slight attention except on the side of its connection with the
surrounding organic world, and consequently what this nucleus is in
itself as an experience recedes into the background, and descriptions
and explanations in scientific or philosophical form step into the
foreground. But a contradiction is imbedded in this very account. Some
kind of experience of life, apart from, and higher in its nature than,
the connection of the spiritual nucleus with its [p.41] physical
history, persists in the life. The man of science is generally a good
and worthy man. He believes in the moral life, and he does not throw the
values of the centuries overboard. Such belief and valuation are not
made up of the content of the explanation of life from its physical
side, but are an unconscious acknowledgment of the presence of _truths
and values as experiences and as now subsisting in themselves_, however
much they are caused by physical things.

If, on the other hand, an acknowledgment of the reality of this
spiritual life is made, new questions immediately arise. And the most
fundamental of these questions have always been those farther removed
from any sensuous or physical domain. They are questions concerning the
value and meaning of life. It is a deep conviction of the reality of the
deeper kernel of our being that alone constitutes the entrance to a _new
kind of world_. But to acknowledge the presence of such a new world does
not signify the possession of it simultaneously with the acknowledgment.
The new world is discovered, but it is not yet possessed. There are
terrible obstacles in the way; there are enemies without and within to
be conquered. It is of little use entering into this struggle without an
acknowledgment--born of an inward necessity--of the spiritual nucleus of
our nature. Unless man has accustomed himself to hold fast to this
"subtle thing termed spirit" [p.42] he will soon be swamped in the
region of the natural life once more; and when this happens the
spiritual nucleus loses the consciousness of its own real subsistence as
something higher in its nature than physical things or than the body and
the ordinary life of the day. If the enterprise is to issue in anything
that is great and good--into a spiritual world with an ever-growing
content here and now--an insistence upon the reality of this deeper life
coupled with the highest end which presents itself to the life must be
made. Something is now seen in the distance as the meaning and value of
life--something which our deeper nature longs for, and which has created
a cleft within the soul between the ordinary things of sense and time
and that which "never was on sea or land." It is something of this
nature which Eucken discovers as the germ of all the spiritual ideas of
religion as well as of the essence of religion itself. The Godhead,
Eternity, Immortality, are concepts which arise within the soul through
a consciousness of the inadequacy of all natural things and of even
mental descriptions and explanations to answer and to satisfy the
potency and longing of human nature.

Most of the great thinkers of the ages have insisted on the necessity of
the recognition and acknowledgment of this deeper life which is in dire
need of a content. If man is not to be swamped by the external and
become the [p.43] mere sport of the "wind and wave" of the environment,
he has to enter somehow into the very centre of his being and become
convinced that the dictates which proceed from that centre are the most
fundamental things in life. This has always formed the kernel of
religion, however often men, failing to reach that kernel, have lived on
the husks. But even this very sham notifies some small attempt in the
right direction. In modern times--in the various forms of Idealism and
Pragmatism--such a need of getting at the core of being and of being
convinced that the effort is worth while, has been emphasised again and
again. "_Launch yourselves with as strong and decided an initiative as
possible_. Accumulate all the possible circumstances which shall
re-enforce the right motives; put yourself assiduously in conditions
that encourage the new way; make engagements incompatible with the old;
take a public pledge, if the case allows; in short, envelop your
resolution with every aid you know. This will give your new beginning
such a momentum that the temptation to break down will not occur as soon
as it otherwise might; and every day during which a breakdown is
postponed adds to the chances of its not occurring at all."[8]

"The Stoic and Butler also said, 'Follow God.' In each case you must
realise that, whatever you do, you take your life in your [p.44] hands;
you enter on a grand enterprise, a search for the Holy Grail, which will
bring you to strange lands and perilous seas. For you cannot say,
interpreting, 'Thus far and no further, merely according to the bond and
the duty.' In following God, you follow by what has been, what is ruled
and accomplished, but you follow after what is not yet. 'It may be that
the gulfs will wash us down'; it may be that the gods of the past will
rain upon us brimstone and horrible tempest. But he that is with us is
more than all that are against us. Whoever keeps his ear ever open to
duty, always forward, never attained, is not far from the kingdom. The
gods may be against him, the demi-gods may depart; but he, as said
Plotinus, 'if alone, is with the Alone.'"[9]

It is impossible for us, as Eucken constantly insists, to stop short of
this. Who can prescribe limits to the capability of consciousness when
it is focussed, in the form of a conviction, on the deepest problems
which press themselves upon it? There is only one objection that the
empiricist can bring forward, and that is that all such ideals can never
be proved to exist as things exist in space. But, as already hinted, is
existence in space the only form of existence? Is it not necessary for
something which is _not_ in space to make us aware of what is in space?
"If not as men of science, yet as [p.45] men, as human beings, we have
to put things together, to form some total estimate of the drift of
development, of the unity of nature."[10]

If the deepest core of consciousness is acknowledged and the vague
ideals and ends which present themselves are attended to, _something new
happens_ in the life. Life now starts on the great enterprise referred
to by William Wallace. It finds its highest reality in an experience
born within itself and differentiated for ever from the natural and even
the intellectual life. To such a conclusion man is forced; and if the
situation is evaded, something within his soul never comes to birth. It
is seen at once that in order to know the content of this _new world_,
it is necessary for a long series of struggles to take place. And to
this point we now turn.

The deeper consciousness has relegated the natural world to a secondary
place, and has further shown man that the main object of life includes
not only finding a footing against the dangers of natural things, but to
plant oneself within a spiritual world of meanings and values. This
cannot be done without _an independent and decisive act of the soul_. A
meaning of life has now revealed itself beyond that of the "small self."
This meaning can be reached only through this decisive act of the soul.
This meaning is _over-individual_ in its nature; [p.46] it is a truth,
goodness, or beauty, which presents itself as an idea and ideal formed
by the experiences of many individuals, at different epochs and in
different circumstances. Thus the individual, in order to realise his
own life, must work with material presented in the community. Such
material has been found helpful in the life of the community. It
consists of collective results made up of large numbers of single
factors. These have been tied together in the form of various syntheses.
Such various syntheses comprise a larger meaning than what ordinarily
happens from moment to moment in connection with the relation of the
individual to the external world or, indeed, within the individual's own
ordinary life. Many of the isolated, fragmentary experiences of the
individual have to give way when tested in the light of any larger
synthesis. If this were not so, no commercial, social, civilised life
would be possible at all. The more real life is now perceived to be that
of the larger meaning and value. The individual, solitary experiences
may be legitimate, for they often express wants and needs of the
individual which have a certain right to obtain satisfaction. But the
extent and limits of these rights have to be measured by some norm or
standard other than themselves, or else each individual will proceed on
his own course regardless of the rights of others. It is the presence of
various syntheses which express the [p.47] collective life of the
whole--of each and every individual--that makes civilisation possible.
Thus, in the very process of civilisation itself, as Eucken points out,
there is present a factor which is termed Spiritual, and which is not to
be mistaken for a mere flow of cause and effect, or for one mere event
following another. Eucken emphasises this all-important element of the
over-individual qualities present in human history. There is here much
which resembles Hegel's Absolute. But there is a great difference
between the two in the sense that Eucken shows the constant need of
spiritual activism on the part of individuals in order to realise and
keep alive the norms and standards which have carried our world so far;
and there is also the need of contributing something to the values of
these through the creation of new qualities within the souls of the
individuals themselves.

But the problems of civilisation and morality are not the only, or the
highest, problems which present themselves. But even such problems have
partially been the means of drawing man outside himself, and of enabling
him to see that his self can only be realised in connection with the
common good and demands of the community. He now feels the necessity of
living up to that standard. This is an important step in the direction
of the moral and religious life. It reveals the presence of a spiritual
nucleus of our being obtaining a content beyond the needs [p.48] of the
moment; it shows life as realising itself in wide connections; and the
individual becomes the possessor of a certain degree of spiritual
inwardness in the process. Even as far as this level we find the deeper
life--the spiritual life--insisting on the validity of its mental and
moral conclusions over against the objects of sense. Without this
insistence no knowledge would progress and be valid. The macrocosm is
mirrored and coloured in a mental and moral microcosm. A replica of the
external world has a reality in consciousness, and this reality is not a
mere photograph of the external, but it is the external as it appears to
the meaning it has obtained in consciousness. The meaning of the world
is thus something beyond the world itself; it is more than appears at
any one moment. If the world were less than this, if the percept could
not somehow become a concept, all progress would come to a standstill,
and we should be no more than creatures of sensations and percepts which
vanished as soon as they appeared. But these do not vanish; they persist
in various ways, as after-images, concepts, memory. Thus, in the very
act of knowing anything at all, something greater than the physical
object known is present. And Eucken would insist, therefore, that the
mental and spiritual are present from the very beginning and bring to a
mental focus the impressions of the senses. In the interpretation of
Eucken's philosophy several writers [p.49] have missed the author's
meaning here. They have, through the ambiguity of the term "spiritual"
in English, conceived of "spiritual life" as something entirely
different from the mental life. It is different, but only in the same
way as the bud is different from the blossom; it means at the religious
level a greater unfolding of a life which has been present at every
stage in the history of civilisation and culture.

But, as already noticed, the mental life is passed when we enter the
life of a community. The norms and standards, already referred to, make
their appearance and persist in demanding obedience to themselves even
at the expense of much within consciousness that points in another

But even such a stage as this does not give satisfaction to man. Much
effort and sacrifice are needed to live up to the life of the community.
And such effort and sacrifice are often the best means of calling into
activity a still deeper, reserved energy of the soul. The soul now
recognises a value beyond the values of culture and civilisation. The
Good, the True, and the Beautiful appear as the sole realities by the
side of which everything that preceded, if taken as complete in itself,
appears as a great shadow or illusion. Here we are reminded of Eucken's
affinity with Plato's Doctrine of Ideas, as well as of his attachment to
the revival of Platonism by Plotinus. Values for life, subsisting in
themselves, become objects [p.50] of meditation, of "browsing," and of
the deepest activity of the soul. Life is now viewed as consisting in a
great and constant quest after these religious ideals. It sees its
meaning beyond and above the range of mentality or even morality, though
it is well that it should pass as often as possible through the gate of
the former, and is bound to pass always through the gate of the latter.
A break takes place with the "natural self"; the mental life of
concepts, though necessary, is now seen as insufficient; and life is now
viewed as having a "pearl of great price" before its gaze. Here the
_stirb und werde_ of Paul and Goethe becomes necessary. The real
education of man now begins. His life becomes guided and governed by
norms whose limits cannot be discovered, and which have never been
realised in their wholeness on the face of our earth. What can these
mean? They cannot be delusions or illusions, for they answer too deep a
need of the soul to be reduced to that level. If we blot them out of our
existence, we sink back to a mere natural or mechanical stage. When the
soul concentrates its deepest attention on these norms or ideals they
fascinate it, they draw hidden energies into activity, they give
inklings of immortality. Is it not far more conceivable that such a
vision of meaning, of beauty, and of enchantment is a new kind of
reality--cosmic in its nature and eternal in its duration? Man has to
[p.51] come to a decision concerning this. There is no half-way house
here possible without the deepest potencies of human nature suffering
and failing to transform themselves from bud to blossom and fruit.

At a later stage in our inquiry this question will recur in connection
with the conception of the Godhead. But here it may be observed that to
decide on the affirmative side that somehow such norms and ideals which
mean so much are cosmic realities, is simply to state no more than that
an evolutionary process is taking place towards a new kind of world as
well as a new kind of existence. No outsider is competent to pronounce
judgment on the validity of the proofs possessed within this spiritual
realm. The qualifications here are beyond the range of knowledge,
although knowledge does not cease to act within such a realm. The
experiences here cannot be measured or weighed; and that a certain
obscurity is present in them is only what may be expected, considering
that the spiritual nature is farther removed from the region of nature
with its physical existence than when it deals with problems on the
intellectual level. But such spiritual proofs are found in the fact that
these realities present themselves only at the height of spiritual
development, and in the fact that they produce an _inversion_ of the
nature of man, and change the centre of gravity of his life to a more
inward recess of his being [p.52] than is open on the natural or
intellectual side.

Thus, once more, the soul is driven forward by its own necessities to a
religious reality. What can it do but grant cosmic origin and validity
to such ideals? If these ideals are not this, then, as Eucken points
out, they are the most tragic illusions conceivable.

When they are acknowledged as cosmic realities, man is in the midst of a
religion of a _universal_ kind. But the acknowledgment of these as
cosmic realities is something more than a concept. The men who have come
to this conclusion required something more than logical arguments in
order to establish this truth. The conclusions were based upon a
_specific (characteristic)_ religious experience of their own. And such
a religious experience was larger and more real than anything that could
be established in the form of concepts concerning it. As we shall notice
in a later chapter, it is somewhat on this account that Eucken
differentiates between _universal_ and _specific (characteristic)_

It becomes evident that such contents of the new spiritual world cannot
be utilised by man without effort. These realities have to pass from the
region of ideas to the region of actual experiences. In other words,
they must become man's own religion. Man has now become convinced of the
reality of a universal spiritual life as constituting, in a measure, the
[p.53] foundation of the evolution of the soul, and as the goal towards
which he must for ever move. Eucken is unwilling to speculate as to the
origin or the goal of this. The centre of gravity of life must be laid
in what may be known and experienced between these two poles. There is
a certainty which is _intermediate_ between man and the Godhead. It is
when this certainty is realised as an actual portion of the soul that
man becomes competent to carry farther--backward and forward--the
implications of this certainty. And implications of a new kind of
_Weltanschauung_ result from the spiritual experiences of the
_Lebensanschauung_ of the spiritual life. On this matter we shall touch
at a later stage in the inquiry.

At present let us confine our attention to the _intermediate_ reality
which presents itself in a form that is over-individual. It is only when
we pass out of the psychology of the subject--a matter that deals with
the _history_ of mental processes--that we are able to view the meaning
of the realities which are over-individual. As already pointed out,
these realities are not the creations of man's fancy or imagination
after reason has been switched off. They are non-sensuous realities
which have moulded and shaped the lives of individuals and nations in
varied degrees. These ideals are not to remain merely objects of
knowledge; they are to become portions of the inmost experiences of the
soul. This they cannot become without the [p.54] calling out of the
deepest energy of the individual. His fragmentary spiritual life--small
as it is--still calls for _more_ of its own nature, and this _more_ has
been seen in the distance as something of infinite value.[11] A
mountain, as it were, has to be climbed; dark ravines have to be gone
through; and rivers have to be swum across. The whole vision means no
less than an entrance into _a new kind of world_, the scaling to a new
kind of existence, and a conquest which will make the pilgrim a
participator in that which is Divine. A struggle has to take place,
because so much that belongs to the life, on the level where it now
stands, belongs to a world _below_ it. Impulses and passions, the narrow
outlook, the timidity and hollowness of the "small self"--all these,
which have previously remained at the centre of life, have to be thrust
to the periphery of existence. So that an entrance into the highest
spiritual world is not merely something to _know_, but far rather
something to _do_ and to _be_. This is the meaning of Eucken's activism.
It is not the busying of ourselves over trifles; there is no need of
encouragement in that direction. It is rather the inward glance on the
nature of the over-individual ideals; it is a deep and constant
concentration upon their value and significance, in order that the soul
may plant itself on the shores of the _over-world_. It is in granting a
[p.55] higher mode of existence to these ideals, and in preserving them
as the possession of the soul, that man finds the ever greater meaning
of that spiritual life which was present within him from the very
beginning of his enterprise. The process of forcing an entrance into
this over-world has to be repeated time after time. There are no enemies
in front, but the man is surrounded by them from around and behind him.
The indifference, in a large measure of the natural process, the rigid
instincts of mere self-preservation, the temptation to smugness and
ease, the cold conclusions of the understanding when satisfied with
explanations from the physical world, the hardness of the heart--these
and many other enemies fight for supremacy, and the soul is often torn
in the struggle. The struggle continues for a great length of time; but
the history of the world testifies to an innumerable host of individuals
who scaled and fell, who started again and again, until at last their
conceptions of the Highest Good became a permanent experience and
possession of their deepest being.

And when the spiritual life creates an entrance into this _over-world_
something happens which makes a fundamental difference in the life. The
life may again and again sink back to its old level, but what has
happened will never allow it to remain satisfied on that level. "We fall
to rise, are baffled to fight better, sleep to wake" (Browning). Life
now becomes [p.56] alternately _a quest and a fruition_.[12] The
individual has to gather his whole energies together because something
great is at stake. This is nothing less than the possession of a new
kind of reality. The struggle has yielded a conquest for the time being.
He tastes and "eats his pot of honey on the grave" of enemies within and
without. This fruition means no less than a taste of "eternal life in
the midst of time" (Harnack), and the relegating of the whole world of
phenomena to a subsidiary place.

This is the kernel of Eucken's _Truth of Religion_. The book deals with
the most subtle psychological problems of the soul, and reaches the
conclusion of an entrance by man into a divine world. All this is far
removed from the ordinary traditional conception either of God or of
religion. Perhaps the majority of mankind is not as yet ready for such a
presentation of religion. But I think it may be safely said that it is
through some such mode of conceiving religion as this that the "great
and good ones" of the world found an entrance into a divine world and
grasped the conception of the evolution of the soul as a process which
begins where organic evolution ends.

       *       *       *       *       *



In the previous chapter we have noticed how man is able to reach an
over-world which will grant him a new kind of reality over against the
whole remaining domain of existence. But the evidence hitherto brought
forth has been that of the nature of man himself. We have in this
chapter to inquire whether there is a warrant for such a conclusion
within the realm of natural science. Does science give any hint of the
presence of spiritual life anywhere in the universe? Eucken answers
distinctly in the affirmative.[13]

The conclusions of natural science have, in modern times, come into
direct conflict with religion. Traditional religion has grown up on a
view of the universe which has been [p.58] utterly discarded by modern
knowledge. Religious leaders have often had to be dragged to see the
truth of this statement, and, as Eucken points out, many are still far
from realising the seriousness of the cleft between knowledge and
religion. The theology of the Middle Ages has not yet disappeared,
although fortunately there are some signs of a great reconstruction
going on in our midst. Fortunately, this naive view of the universe is a
theology and not a religion; but doubtless even the religion of the soul
suffers when its _knowing_ aspect is perpetually contradicted by
scientific knowledge. There is such a close connection between "head"
and "heart"--even closer than between body and mind--that the use of
discarded theories of the universe and of life cannot but prove
injurious to the deepest source of life.

The mental conceptions of religion have, in the course of the ages,
undergone many transformations, and there is no reason why another
transformation should gradually not come about in the present. In Hebrew
and Greek times we discover a polytheism, after a long course of
development, emerging into henotheism, and finally, here and there, into
monotheism. The old conceptions of gods and spirits present in trees and
wells, mountains and air, are overcome. They are not so much destroyed
as supplanted by higher conceptions. In pre-Socratic philosophy we find
the gods and [p.59] spirits relegated to a secondary place, and Nature
is conceived as a system of inner energies and strivings. In these
conceptions Man is drawn closer to Nature, and the connection of his
life is shown to be closely interwoven with the life of Nature. But the
empirical aspect of this teaching was pushed into the background through
the teachings of Socrates and Plato. The "myth" regained some of its
pristine power in a new kind of way; and "God transcendent of the world
and immanent in the world" came prominently forward as a doctrine of the
universe and of life. This is the kernel of the Christian theology,
constructed through the blending of Hebrew and Greek philosophies. Such
a conception remained very largely the philosophy as well as the
theology of the Christian Church until the seventeenth century. During
this long interval hardly any progress was made in the investigation of
Nature, so that such a theology proved rather a help than a hindrance to
the religion of those who understood it. But such a theology has been
destroyed, however unwilling many people are to acknowledge the fact.
But until this fact is acknowledged, there is very little hope, in
Eucken's opinion, of the Christian religion gaining many adherents from
the side of those who understand the modern meaning and significance of
natural science. The physical universe has become a problem; and the old
solution was a matter [p.60] of speculation based upon scarcely any
observation and experiment. Eucken marks the stages which have brought
about a revolution in our conceptions of the universe as consisting of
the change brought about in the science of astronomy through Copernicus
in the sixteenth century, the founding of exact science through Galileo
in the seventeenth century, and the theory of evolution propounded by
Darwin and his followers in the nineteenth century. The whole tendency
has been to describe and explain Nature in terms of mechanism, and to
extend such mechanism into the life of man. Proof after proof has poured
upon us, and has been the means, on the whole, of establishing a kingdom
of mechanism within the realm of Nature and of human nature. Theology
and speculative philosophy went on their courses unheedful of these
developments of physical science, until in our day both have had to
reconsider the tenableness of their position, and to see that Nature and
its physical manifestations have to enter as all-important factors into
their reconstructions. Miracle is now relegated to a secondary place in
theology, and it has disappeared altogether from science; a Supreme
Being transcendent of, and immanent in, the world is not known to
science, however far it reaches into the secrets of Nature. Doubtless
the loss to religion has been here incalculable; for although the
natural scientist was able to destroy the old building, [p.61] he was
unable to construct a new one. And Eucken shows that the natural
scientist will remain unable to accomplish this, because the material
with which he deals is physical in its nature and constitutes no more
than a part--a secondary part--of what is found in the world.

The old mode of conceiving the universe, when driven from its citadel by
the new conceptions of physics and astronomy, turned for refuge to the
mystery of Life itself. Here it supposed itself to be safe. But the
development of modern chemistry and biology shows how dangerous it is to
base a theological and religious superstructure on the unfilled clefts
of natural science. The lesson here during the past hundred years ought
to be a grave warning against its repetition in the future. These clefts
have been filled more and more by the investigations and results of
modern chemistry and biology, so that the theologian is constantly kept
in a state of panic, and has to shift his camp and run away when the
tide of knowledge sweeps in with its newly discovered results. The whole
situation seems serious, but it is not so disastrous as it appears at
first sight. Doubtless the gains of science have been numerous, and have
shaken and practically ruined the old theological and metaphysical
foundations; but a halt has now been called on science itself, and its
limitations have become perceptible even to its own [p.62] leaders. It
is not quite so certain that the problem of organic life can be settled
in terms of chemical combinations and mechanism. Many scientists[14] are
agreed on this point, although they repudiate the claims of neo-vitalists
such as Driesch and Reinke.[15] No judgment can be pronounced on this
subject at the present day, and probably the problem will take a long
time before any important results will accrue. And even these results
will not solve the problem of organic life, for the manifestations of
life, the higher we mount the scale of being, are not things visible to
the senses but express themselves in the forms of meanings and

The limits of natural science become clearly perceptible when we enter
into the complex problem of the relation of subject and object, [p.63]
or of mind and body. The final tribunal in regard to the great questions
of life and religion is not natural science. This is not a matter of a
mere wish that it should be so on the part of religious teachers who
ignore the findings of science, but is a conviction of the scientists

Natural science has been so busy with the investigation of the physical
world that it has had time to remember but little besides objects in the
external world. And yet what are objects in the external world without
a subject to know them?[16] And what are the hypotheses which science
frames in order to explain phenomena but syntheses of factors framed in
consciousness?[17] What are laws of Nature but mental constructions
framed concerning similar ways of behaviour on the part of a large
number of objects? What are the fundamental conceptions which serve as
the very groundwork of the whole of science but concepts which are
explanations of phenomena and not themselves phenomena?[18]

Wherever we look, we find that our view [p.64] of Nature is in the first
place a result as well as a conviction of the content of consciousness;
that we do not perceive things and their qualities in a form of
immediacy, but only after they have entered into consciousness are we
able to know what external objects really are. The constructions of
science in the form of hypotheses and laws are a proof that the reality
of the physical world and its meaning are known only in so far as they
are known by mind, and in so far as the _universal_ (which is a mental
content) explains the _particular_ (which may or may not be an object in
the external world).

Eucken emphasises this truth in several of his books, and whenever the
truth is borne in mind the scientist becomes aware of the existence of a
reality beyond that of the objects of sense. And even when the scientist
is unaware of the mental qualities which operate in perceiving external
objects and of the generalisations formed as the result of the
impressions left by the objects in the mind, he uses these all the same.
Professor Haeckel (one of Professor Eucken's colleagues in Jena) starts
out in _The Riddle of the Universe_ with the strong hope of reducing the
whole universe (including God) into a state of material substance, and
ends with a kind of peroration on the virtues of the new goddesses, the
True, the Good, and the Beautiful.

[p.65] But an increasing number of scientists to-day are aware of the
limits of science. They know that the mental models which they have to
frame in order to interpret phenomena are not material things, and exist
nowhere except in a world of mind and meaning. Eucken's conclusion then
is that what knows and interprets is a mental quality. He would rather
call it the life of the spirit of man, or the spiritual life. A
non-sensuous power has to operate in order that the physical world may
be known at all; that power has, further, in a manner unknown, to gather
the fragmentary impressions of the senses, turn them into that which is
mental, combine them into what is termed meaning.

We are led back to the point made so clear by Descartes--to his
insistence on the presence of a thinking subject as the starting-point
for the knowledge of all existence. This truth was elucidated later by
Kant in a manner which the world can probably never get rid of.
Therefore, if so much happens in the mind in connection with the
knowledge and interpretation of the world, our view of the world _after_
this happens in the mind is entirely different from the view which
exists _before_ it happens. Thought stands over against the sensuous
object, transforms the object into a logical construction of meaning.
When one becomes aware of this, not only do the objects themselves
become most problematic [p.66] in their relation to consciousness, but
the very tools with which the scientist works--_e.g._ space and
time--become so puzzling that only by a return to a metaphysic do they
become partially explainable. And thus we are landed in a region of
idealism in the very midst of the work of natural science. Naturalism
has arisen only because the subject was forgotten in the enchantment of
the object. The attention has been turned so long on the object that the
nature and the results of the attention itself are quite left out of
account. We can all believe in what naturalism has to say concerning
organic and inorganic objects; but it has not said enough when it leaves
the power that knows the meaning of what it says out of account.

The conclusion Eucken arrives at is, then, that we must ascribe reality
to the quality that knows and interprets as well as to the thing that is
known. He ascribes reality to the physical world, but this is not the
whole of reality. This cannot be so, simply because we could not know
that the physical world was real had it not been that there was
implanted in us a mental organisation to know all this. The other
reality is that of consciousness and the meanings it formulates. Thus
natural science itself announces the presence of _more_ than sensuous
nature. This _more_ which knows the external world is the _more_ which
has constructed civilisation, culture, and [p.67] religion. This _more_
has formed an independent inner life over against the natural world. Had
it not been for this power of the _more_ to construct its inner world,
Life would have been no more than the life of sensuous nature--shifting
from point to point, and entirely at the mercy of a physical
environment. But the progress of mankind shows everywhere the growth of
a life higher in nature than that of physical or animal existence. Some
kind of total-life has been formed in which the individual can
participate; and in the participation of which he can be carried far
beyond physical things and beyond his own individual interests. Mankind
has striven after truth, and has discovered something that is beyond the
opinions of individuals, that does not serve his own petty interests,
but overcomes them and reaches out after truths which are valid and good
for all.

What is all this that has happened? What has brought it about? What is
the individual potency that knows the world and passes beyond it? What
are the ideals and norms which revealed themselves in the co-operative
movements of humanity, and only revealed themselves when humanity was at
its highest attainable level? Enough has been said to show that it is
_more_ than Nature, that characteristics are found within it entirely
unknown in Nature. We are bound to take this _more_ into account, for it
has constructed all the gains of mankind. [p.68] What can it be, in the
individual efforts of the soul and in the ideal constructions of science
and the higher ethical and religious constructions of life, but a
reality higher than sense and outside the categories of space and time?
What better name can be given to it than a Spiritual Life in
contradistinction to the life of Nature?

When this life of the mind and spirit of man is acknowledged, it is seen
to be the beginning of a new order of existence. There appears within it
a new kind of reality. It is the standpoint from which natural science
itself has arisen. Such an acknowledgment of life as a new kind of
reality alters in an essential manner the whole view of the world.
Nature now signifies not the whole of things, but only a step beyond
which the cosmic process progresses. Two worlds, instead of one world,
now appear--one growing out of the other, but keeping a connection still
with the other. Nature consequently gains a deeper significance of
meaning when we recognise that it gives birth to mind and spirit
--characteristics which merge into consciousness, values, and ideals.
Nature is not discarded in our new view, but it takes a secondary place.
The primary place must be given to the spiritual life--the life which is
active as an organisation in knowing and being and doing. And when this
truth is realised, this life of mental and spiritual activity becomes
the [p.69] centre from which the new reality will obtain an ever greater
content. The deepest aspect of reality is then discovered, not without
but within. This reality is now conceived as something which belongs to
a new kind of world, and this new world stands above the physical world.
Man, when he conceives of things in this manner, will be able to bear
the indifference of the physical course of existence towards the
spiritual potencies of his being. The natural process may seem to harass
and even destroy him; it matters not, for he has been led to a
conviction of the possession of qualities which have not come into
activity and power in any world _below_ him, and which have laws of
their own and goals spiritual in their nature. But all this will not
come about as a shower of rain descends. The spiritual life has to
insist on its superiority to the natural process, and to construct, with
the deepest energy of its being, ever richer moral and spiritual
contents for itself; for it is these contents which constitute the
growth of the meaning and value of the new world, as well as of its
indestructible reality beyond the process of Nature.

       *       *       *       *       *



The subject of history has obtained a most prominent position in the
whole of Eucken's philosophy. All his books deal with the subject, and
in a manner resembling one another, whatever the particular subject
dealt with may be. But the most exhaustive treatment of history
presented in his volumes is to to be found in the chapter on history in
_Systematische Philosophie_("Kultur der Gegenwart," Teil I., Abteilung
VI.), and in the latter half of _The Truth of Religion_. In the former
volume Eucken deals with history in its relation to civilisation and
culture, and in the latter the place of history in the religions of the
world is strikingly expressed.

We have already noticed in the previous chapter how he set out to
discover the presence of a mental or spiritual life in the very act of
knowing the physical world and in the constructions which form both the
basis and the apex of physical science. It was shown [p.71] here that a
life higher than the physical was present in order to be able to read
the meaning of the world. Such a life became a standpoint to view
Nature, and is the possession, more or less, of each individual. But
although the possession of individuals and _above_ Nature, the
consciousness that knows Nature is still carried beyond its own
individual life. The meaning of the physical world appears in
consciousness, through the syntheses it forms, as objective, although it
is not an object of sense but of thought; and, further, this very
objectivity subsists in the form of generalisations and meanings which
create standards for each individual in his relations with the physical
world. Eucken then concludes that there is a trans-subjective aspect
present in the conclusions of physical science itself.[19] And it is on
this fact that he bases the presence of a mental or spiritual life in
the very act of knowing at all. But it is evident that the whole of
man's potencies and relations are not confined to the knowing of Nature
and framing interpretations concerning it. There are other provinces to
which man is related--other objects besides physical ones to which his
attention is called to frame interpretations concerning them also.
History is one of these provinces. The subject-matter here is entirely
[p.72] different from the subject-matter of physical science. In the
latter the objects are physical; in the former the objects are not
things, but _will-relations._[20] We are in history dealing with the
effects of heredity and physical environment upon all organic life--man
included. But it has been already shown that man, though rooted in the
natural world and dependent upon it, is still the possessor of a world
which is above the physical. Man's roots in Nature have been unearthed
in a large measure; and his dependence on the world from which he has
emerged is greater than was suspected, and probably it will be
discovered in the future that he is still more dependent on what is
below him. But however deep his connection with Nature may prove itself
to be, he will still remain an unsolved problem if he is coolly stripped
of all the qualities he has gained since he emerged from the bosom of

We are consequently led to the higher aspects of history where the
centre of gravity of the matter lies in the _relations of wills_.

By will-relations is meant the impact of individuals upon one another
from the side of _meaning_. It is through the expressions of the meaning
of our concepts that we are able to construct an intelligible world. The
individual's [p.73] deeper reality does not consist in the percept we
obtain of him, but in the mental attitude he has expressed towards a
mental attitude of ours. The _clothing_ of meaning is certainly
physical; there is our friend's physical body in front of us, and his
speech is audible in a physical sense to physical ears. But neither body
nor speech is absolutely necessary for the expression of meaning to
another. We have neither seen nor heard many of the individuals who have
exercised great influence over our lives. Words have answered the
purpose. By this is not meant that we have not lost something of great
value in having to depend on print alone. Something of every individual
reveals itself in his body and speech which is missed when we have to
depend on paper and ink as mediums of meaning. But meaning is something
other than its medium; it is a mental or spiritual content. This content
has to be classified and interpreted. The interpretation forms here
again, as on the level of natural science, syntheses and generalisations
larger than any one individual. These are the resultants of mind with
mind and will with will. When human beings come into contact with each
other, there originates a state of things in which something is
_thought_ and _done._ What is thought and done deals with situations
outside the situation of each individual. The interpretation of these
situations is, therefore, an objective reality which becomes a [p.74]
norm for each individual. Mankind has thus created a reality which is
beyond that of the content of each individual's experience _as an

We thus see that there are presented in such norms two aspects of a very
different nature. On the one hand, we discover the contribution of each
individual, and witness events dealing with situations which succeed one
another with greater or less rapidity. This aspect is in constant flux.
It constitutes the capability of meeting the needs of the moment. All
this works well so long as the needs of the moment involve no great
complexities. But immediately the situation becomes complex there is a
turn to something besides this mere flow of things.[21] To what? It is a
turn to something whose nucleus of meaning and value has persisted in
the midst of all the flow. This is no other than one or other of the
highest of the ideal constructions which formed the basis of the life of
the community. The community had been unconsciously garnering something
over-individual and over-historical for its future use. Thus, in history
itself there is the presence of a reality higher than the individual,
and higher than the ordinary meaning of the [p.75] hour. This becomes the
standard by which everything has to be measured. Of course, this norm
does not remain static in regard to its own content. But its growth of
content depends upon the contributions made to it by individuals in
their will-relations. Something over-individual issues out of all these
relations, and this enters into the still higher over-individual norms
which are the heritage of society. Eucken consequently shows that
history itself is dependent upon something which works within
it--interpreting its events, and absorbing into itself something that is
of value. What other can this be but a spiritual life higher not only
than physical things but even than the will-relations which accrue from
moment to moment? It has already been noticed that on these lower levels
the spiritual life is ever present--present as a potency and experience
when viewed from the standpoint of the individual's creativeness, and
present as norms and values when viewed as an object of thought brought
forth through general conclusions founded on situations beyond any
single situation of the individual. Thus, we get in Eucken's teaching
the over-historical as the power which operates within the events of
history. It is what philosophy has termed the Ideal, and what religion
has termed the revelation of God. It is not correct, then, to say that
we are dependent upon the content of the moment apart from the presence
of the [p.76] content of the past in that moment in order to grasp
reality. The Past does not mean a mere series of events which occurred
some hundreds or thousands of years ago, and before which we bend and
towards which we try to turn back the world, for that would mean what
Eucken terms "mere historism." The Past has rolled its meaning down to
the Present: the Past mingled with the content of the Present is at each
point of its course something other than it was before.[22] But in any
case this aspect of the Past as presented by Eucken shows that human
life requires a great span of time which has already run in order to
create its ideals and to be raised from the triviality of the mere
moment. Goethe perceived the importance of the same truth:--

    "Wer nicht von drei tausend Jahren sich weiss
       Rechenschaft zu geben,
    Bleib' im Dunkeln unerfahren, mag von Tag
       Zu Tage leben!"

At certain epochs in the history of the world great events have
happened. Often such epochs are followed by epochs of inertia. Men bask
in the sunlight of the glory that was revealed to humanity; they receive
help and strength from what had been. But the greater the interval
between the occurrence [p.77] of that greatness and the contemplation of
it, the more difficult does it become to grasp and to possess something
of the true meaning, value, and significance of such greatness. The
greatness, as the interval grows, becomes something to be known,
something which is believed to fall upon us in an external, miraculous
manner; and finally it often becomes an object of wordy dispute and
strife. Certain periods in the history of the Christian Church give
abundant evidence of the truth of this statement. Eucken points out in
his _Problem of Human Life_ how barren in creative power, for instance,
was the fourth century. Why? An interval of nearly three centuries had
passed away since the Master and his followers had proclaimed truths and
experiences which were the burning convictions of their deepest being.
Gradually, and often unconsciously, men glided down an inclined plane,
until at last the spiritual nucleus of Christianity had largely
disappeared and little more than the husks remained. At the close of
such intervals religion becomes a number of conflicting intellectual
theories, and the worst passions are called to its support. Dogmatism
and intolerance prevail, and a blight comes over the choicest potencies
of the soul. All this happens because certain great events and
experiences of the past are conceived of as marking a terminus in the
history of the moral and spiritual evolution of the world. The [p.78]
soul is not stirred to its depth to preserve such experiences and, if
possible, enhance them. Thus the world leaves such a rich spiritual
content largely behind itself; and when this happens, it becomes a
matter of the greatest difficulty to recover it. And even when it is
recovered, something of infinite value has been for ever lost. The
present moment of the soul has to live on itself; and such a life
remains alien to depths of reality which have been plumbed by the great
personalities of history in the past. It is a want of conviction in
truth and reality that makes us seek finality in the past. It may be
that the highest personalities of our day are not able to scale such
spiritual heights as were scaled by the Christians of the primitive
Church; but unless they believe that the same power is present in their
souls they will never have courage even to make the attempt. It is a
vision of the nature of the reality which was climbed by the
personalities of the past, coupled with the consciousness of the same
spiritual power in the present, that will enable Christianity to be
lived on such a "grand scale" in the present and the future. The
spiritual experiences of the past have become over-individual and
over-historical norms for our lives; but such norms are no more than
ideas until the will enters into a relation with them. When this
happens, the individual does not only observe a goal in the distance but
also starts to move towards such [p.79] a goal with the whole spiritual
energy of his nature. And every individual who moves in the direction of
such norms brings some contribution of value from the present to be
added to the norms of the past. The spiritual life is thus individual
and over-individual, historical and over-historical, transcendent and

Eucken has worked for many years at this difficult problem--a problem so
important in the life of civilisation and religion. It has already been
hinted that the conception bears striking resemblances to aspects of
Hegel's philosophy. But there are differences. One of these was pointed
out long ago by Eucken: "The gist of religion is with Hegel nothing but
the absorption of the individual in the universal intellectual process.
How such a conception can be identified with moral regeneration of the
Christian type, with purification of the heart, is unintelligible to
us."[23] Eucken's philosophy, on the other hand, is pre-eminently a
spiritual activism. The life-process is shaped by the collective
activity of individuals; and when this activity slackens the ideals of
the over-world suffer. Man is thus called to be what he _ought to be_;
and in the process he heightens something of the value of the Ought. An
Ought and a Will are involved in the creativeness of the individual life
and of the Life-process; so that it is a mistake to conceive [p.80] of
Eucken's activism as some stirring of the individual to realise merely
his own needs as these present themselves to him from moment to moment.
He is called and destined to do infinitely more; he is to be a creator
of the Life-process and a carrier in the making of a new world; but all
this can be done only from the standpoint of a vision of a spiritual
life superior to history and to the individual himself. Vision and
action are to be ever present. In the light of the vision man becomes
more than he now is; through action the vision increases in depth and

What relation this has to the conception of the Godhead will be dealt
with in a later chapter. It is enough at present to bear in mind that,
as far as we have gone, a reality above sense, time, history, and the
content of the individual life has become evident. And it is such a
reality which gives meaning to the events of history.

It has to be borne in mind that much which is natural and of the earth
enters into history. Such effects have become clearly discernible in
modern times. Physical conditions do exercise an influence, and hem the
course of the spiritual life. The indifference of the physical order of
things to the ethical values of history is a problem which constantly
perplexes every thinking mind. No solution to the puzzles of life is to
be found in Nature. What do we discover there? "We discover enchainments
[p.81] of phenomena which seem to conduct to the creation of great
misery and which, with unmerciful callousness, drive man over the brink
of an abyss. The faintest hint would have sufficed to hold him back from
such a catastrophe; but this is not given, and consequently destruction
takes its course. Petty accidents destroy life and happiness; a moment
annihilates the most toilsome work. Often, also, we discover a chaotic
medley, a sudden overthrow of all potency, a seeming indifference
towards all human weal and woe, a blind groping in the dark; we discover
gloomy possibilities constantly sweeping as dark clouds over man and
occasionally descending as a crashing tempest."[24] Hundreds of similar
examples may be found in Eucken's books, and all point to the
insufficiency of the natural process for satisfying the deepest needs of
our being. But in spite of the fact that the natural process accompanies
Life everywhere, man has built a world beyond the world of sense.

With the entrance of the spiritual life a new mode of history makes its
appearance. This fact is to be witnessed in the tools invented by man in
order to overcome physical barriers. The growth of technics in our own
day is a proof of Nature yielding here and there to the demands of life
and intellect. This has all been brought about by mentality, and new
modes of living are the result.

[p.82] And when we enter the domain of human society the superiority of
the spiritual life becomes evident here as well. It is true that we are
as yet far from any ideals of human society which include the good of
all, and which bind all together in spite of radical differences that
will continue to persist. Systems of various kinds are presented--often
at variance with one another; but even these are evidence of a spiritual
life far above the achievements of any single individuals. What must we
do? We must all work on in the direction of the highest: and the higher
we mount the nearer we are to a point of convergence of all the
different syntheses; and out of the union there will be born a synthesis
which will include the whole family of man. We possess already such a
synthesis partially realised here and there in the lives of the greatest
personalities of history; but to the mass of mankind such a synthesis is
little more than a name, even though that name be God or Infinite Love.
The content of the name has to be realised: and this can never come
about except through a deep stirring and longing, through enormous
sacrifices, painful and recurring failures, to issue finally in a
conquest--a height attained by mankind on which the content of God and
Infinite Love will be born in the soul as a living, personal, and
durable experience. When this comes to be--and every genuine effort in
the movement of our higher being brings us nearer to it--there issues
[p.83] an incomparably higher mode of life. Thus a new history is framed
through the spiritual activities of individuals; and something of its
very nature and of the mode by which such a reality can be reached will
become an atmosphere into which future generations will be born, as well
a higher condition than has ever previously existed to hail the entrance
of human souls into the world.

Eucken insists that it is not the movement of democracy towards better
social conditions that will be effective in bringing about such a
change. Much, of course, can be effected by better social conditions.
There are needs to-day in connection with labour which ought to be met.
But at the best they can do no more than touch the periphery of human
existence. A poverty in the "inward parts" will still exist in the midst
of external plenty. But if men and women could be brought to the
consciousness of spiritual ideals and their efficacy, a disposition of
soul and character would be created which would rapidly change the evil
conditions of life and the perplexing problems of capital and labour.
Several writers have gone astray when they have imagined that Eucken has
but scant sympathy with the social needs of our times. It would be
difficult to find anywhere a man of a more tender heart. But he sees
deeper than the level of material and social needs and their fulfilment.
He sees that it is only by a change [p.84] of disposition and attitude
of the soul that permanent changes in the material well-being of the
world can come about. For it is in the soul's relation with its
over-individual and over-historical ideals that permanent qualities can
be created and preserved: it is in our own deepest being, through a
conviction of the values of sympathy, sacrifice, and love that any
genuine history can find its birth and nurture. We require to pay no
less attention to the things of the body; but the things of the spirit
must step into the foreground of life once again. Then we are working at
the heart of the Life-process--a Life-process which is the beginning of
a new cosmic process; and what will issue out of such a result will
probably be greater and better than anything we can dream of. Men are
called to this work to-day. They understand but little its significance
and its trend; they must be willing to learn from those who have lived
through these problems, and who see ramifications of the problems into a
soil deeper than is perceptible by the masses. The masses must be
willing to be taught in the things of the spirit. Hence we see the need
of great personalities who will combine in their own souls a penetrating
knowledge and an intense enthusiasm for the real welfare of mankind. A
true history can never be born outside this region; the world, without
such a conviction, can only wander out of one morass into [p.85]
another; and failure after failure will be the inevitable result of all
the attempts. Movements will have value and duration only in so far as
they are the outcome of a need of a spiritual life which includes
demands of intellect, morality, and religious idealism.

Eucken shows at the close of his remarkable article in _Beiträge zur
Weiterentwickelung der Religion_ that some form or other of the Eternal
must enter into time and its changes, and become a norm towards which
mankind will move. When this happens, mankind will not be content to
look merely beyond the grave for the redemption of the race and the
annihilation of sin. The very world in which we live is surrounded by an
over-world of ideal truth and goodness. Why should we live on "hope and
tarrying" when there is so much to be done and gained? The energies of
men run on such lines into "sickly sentimentalism" and "watery wishes,"
and nothing great issues out of our activities on the surface of life.
History becomes no more than a succession of changes of which the later
are of no more value than the earlier. All this happens, because there
is no Eternal--no over-world of over-individual and over-historical
values--present. In a large measure our very religion grants us here but
little help. It is either a contemplation of certain events in the past
which were delivered for once and for all or an immersion in the social
environment. [p.86] We remain aliens to the truth that these events can
be repeated to-day. We are not convinced as to the possibilities of our
own nature and of the realisation of the Divine in the making of
history. Our age is an age of stripping things of their connections and
qualities and of finding their essence in what they _were_ and not in
what they _are_ and _ought to be_. Even history is brought back to its
origin from savagery; and its explanation is sought in its _beginnings_
and not in its _ends_; the aspirations of the soul are supposed to be
explained in their totality when biological and psychological names are
given them; enthusiasm and conviction, which leave the level of the
daily rut and the conventionalities of society, are branded as signs of
shallowness and even of insanity. We are in the midst of plenty, and
feed on husks. The situation will not be altered until we turn from
intellect to intuition--which is no other than a turn from the mere way
in which things are put together to what the things essentially are and
ought to be in their meaning and value. When this happens, a new meaning
will be given to history, and the events of the day will be illumined
and valued in the light of the standard of spiritual ideals. Can we then
doubt that there works in history a Divine element which is
over-historical, and which alone gives their meanings and values to the
events of history itself?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAPTER V [p.87]


It has been noticed in the two previous chapters how Eucken discovered
the presence of a mental or spiritual life in the very act of knowing
any object in the physical world. And the presence of such a life
enables the percept to turn into a concept. Such a concept is something
far removed from the level of the sensuous object or of its mere
perception. We are in this very act in a world of _meaning_. When such a
meaning comes to be acknowledged, it forms a kind of standard which
interprets any future facts that enter into it. The further the progress
of the knowledge of physical objects advances the more the concepts
become removed from the level of the sensuous; as is witnessed, for
instance, in the forms of laws and hypotheses, which constitute the very
groundwork of physical science. The physical scientist, whether he is
conscious of it or not, has constructed an ideal world of _meaning_
which constitutes the explanation [p.88] of the external world. This is
a fact so familiar that it needs no further elucidation here. But there
is great need for calling attention to the power which _does_ all this
as well as to the reality of the interpretation which that power, in its
contact with physical phenomena, has brought forth. That such a power of
the mind is connected with physical existence does not in the least
explain its nature. It is not physical _now_; it is meaning and value,
and there is no such thing as meaning or value in the nature of physical
objects in themselves. Their meaning and value come into being when they
serve a purpose which the mind has framed concerning them. Eucken
insists that a reality must be ascribed to so much as all this--to that
which knows and interprets Nature. However much Nature and Spirit
resemble one another, however much the latter is dependent on the
former, Nature must be conceived as exhibiting a lower grade of reality
than mind. Indeed, Nature could not exist for mind unless there were a
mind to know it; and this fact inevitably leads us to ask the question,
whether Nature could exist at all.[25]

Eucken maintains that the insufficient attention paid to this priority
of the subject is the [p.89] defect of all the systems which have
reduced life and all its values to their lowest denominator. A naive
realism is a relic of past ancestry; it is a failure to conceive
anything as reality unless it lends itself to the senses. Had men not
grasped a higher order of reality than that of the external object, none
of the mental and moral gains of the world would ever have been
realised. Hence, man has to insist that the mental or spiritual life is
the possessor of a reality of its own, although much of the material
comprising that reality has been drawn from the physical world through
the senses. But the spiritual life has proceeded far beyond these
initial stages of knowing the world. Material of a kind other than the
physical has presented itself to it. Thus, in will-relations we find the
material itself belonging to a higher order of existence than the
material of the physical world. It is then what might be expected when
the spiritual life, within the domain of events of human history, forms
a Life-system higher in its nature than the natural process.

Eucken then concludes that Nature and History require for their
interpretation the presence of a spiritual life. Nature involves the
spiritual in the very power of mind in knowing external things. He would
not state that the physical course of things is enough in itself to
prove the existence of spiritual life. We are uncertain of any working
towards [p.90] definite ends in Nature. The whole matter belongs to the
region of speculation; and speculation based on something other than
observation and experiment has greatly retarded progress in connection
with the truest interpretation of the highest things. Eucken would
really agree here with the physical scientist pure and simple that,
however far back the investigations of the physical world are carried,
the scientist does not seem to come to anything at the furthest point
which bears more affinity to what is mental than was to be discovered at
the point from which he set out.

But in History it is different. We are here dealing with material which
is not in space, and which has not resulted through any mere succession
in time. The material, in fact, is timeless, because it is a synthesis
of factors which cannot be reckoned mechanically, and which requires a
great span of time in order to be constructed by the spirit of man. At
this level the spiritual life has gained a reality which is
over-personal as well as personal. It is true that this over-personal
reality is in the _mind_ of the individual; but that does not mean that
the reality is no more than a private experience. Its content is clearly
now higher and more significant than the individual's own life. That we
cannot locate in space this over-personal aspect of the ideal is
probably a disadvantage. But this cannot be helped; and [p.91] it cannot
possibly be otherwise, simply because the over-personal reality is not a
spatial thing. The same may be said of the content of individual
experience, even when it does not for the time being hold before itself
any ideal. But such over-personal elements mean more than was to be
found on the level of _knowing_ the world. A further development of
spiritual life has taken place; and reality has become _objective_ in
its nature and _subjective_ in its apprehension and appropriation by the
individual. Reality has, through the over-personal which has evolved in
history, obtained _a cosmic significance_; and it is out of this region
that a _Lebensanschauung_ as well as a true _Weltanschauung_ have

This digression from the subject of this chapter has probably prepared
us to see that the potentiality of consciousness and the presence of
over-personal elements presenting themselves to consciousness are the
two main elements in the construction of the several grades of reality
which present themselves on the lower level of Nature and on the higher
level of History.

But our question now is, Does the nature of man himself confirm such
statements as have already been made? And it is to man's own nature and
its content we now turn, as these are presented in Eucken's teaching.

It is probable that Eucken has done less justice to psychology from the
side of the [p.92] connection of consciousness with the external world.
He is aware, and points out the fact in several of his books, of the
close connection between mind and body; but seems to think that the fact
is sufficiently brought out by text-books on psychology that some kind
of dualism or parallelism is absolutely necessary to be held in order to
account for the content of consciousness. What exact meaning and
province should be assigned to psychology is to-day a matter of serious
dispute. Textbooks of the nature of William James's _Principles of
Psychology_ present a double aspect of the subject-matter as well as of
its mode of treatment. It is often difficult to differentiate in James's
works where one aspect ends and another begins. Psychology is presented
by him as a natural science on one page, and on the opposite page we
discover ourselves in the region of ethics and even of metaphysics and
religion. On the one side, we find the _connection_ of consciousness and
its mode of operation with the physical organism presented in terms
which emphasise the mechanical and chemical sides. On the other side,
the _content_ of consciousness itself, _after_ the connection has taken
place, is presented as a psychology as well. So that several important
writers on psychology have emphasised the need of differentiating one
aspect from the other, and of confining the meaning of psychology to the
description and explanation of the _connection_ [p.93] of mind and
body.[26] But when we pass to the content of consciousness, something
more than a mere connection of mind and body is discovered. The content
of consciousness includes the _Will_--the unrest of consciousness in its
actual situation, a dissatisfaction with its state of inertia, and a
movement towards some End. When the Will operates with the content of
consciousness we are in a realm which is beyond the physical--a realm,
too, which is other than a passive, descriptive attitude of a spectator
of things. The realm of _values_ has now been reached; and a content,
different in its nature from any account it is able to give of itself or
of its connection with the physical, starts on its own independent
course. The psychologist is "right in insisting that the atoms do not
build up the whole universe of science. There are contents in
consciousness, sensations and perceptions, feelings and impulses, which
the scientist must describe and explain too. But if the psychologist is
the real natural scientist of the soul, this whole interplay of ideas
and emotions and volitions appears to him as a world of causally
connected processes which he watches and studies as a spectator. However
rich the manifold of the inner experience, everything, seen from a
strictly psychological standpoint, [p.94] remains just as indifferent
and valueless as the movement of the atoms in the outer experience.
Pleasures are coming and going; but the onlooking subject of
consciousness has simply to become aware of them, and has no right to
say that they are better or more valuable than pain, or that the
emotions of enjoyment or the ideas of wisdom or the impulses of virtue
are, psychologically considered, more valuable than grief or vice or
foolishness. In the system of physical and psychical objects, there is
thus no room for any possible value; and even in the thought and idea of
value there is nothing but an indifferent mental state produced by
certain brain excitement. For as soon as we illuminate and shade and
colour the world of the scientist in reference to man's life and death,
or to his happiness and pain, we have carelessly destroyed the pure
system of science, and given up the presupposition of the strictly
naturalistic work."[27] Wundt presents a standpoint not quite so
pronounced, but which looks in the same direction.[28]

This fundamental difference has been recognised by Eucken, and forms an
important contribution on his part towards elucidating [p.95] the
meaning of spiritual life not only in the process of knowing but in its
new beginning in its creation of an "inner world of values." The content
present in the construction of this "new world" is other than a mental
content expressing connection of psychical and physical. Eucken
differentiates between the two aspects already referred to, and
designates the difference by the terms _Noological and Psychological
Methods_. These methods are most clearly presented in _The Truth of
Religion_. He says: "To explain _noologically_ means to arrange the
whole of spiritual life [including mental life] as a special spiritual
activity, to ascertain its position and problem, and through such an
adaptation to illumine the whole and raise its potencies. To explain
_psychologically,_ on the contrary, means to investigate _how_ man
arrives at the apprehension and appropriation of a spiritual content and
especially of a spiritual life, with what psychic aids is the spiritual
content worked out, how the interest of man for all this is to be
raised, and how his energy for the enterprise is to be won. Here one has
to proceed from an initial point hardly discernible, and step by step,
discover the way of ascent; thus the psychological method becomes at the
same time a psychogenetic method. The main condition is that both
methods be held sufficiently apart in order that the conclusions of both
may not flow together, and yet may form a fruitful completion."

[p.96] "Such separation and union of both methods and their
corresponding realities make it possible to understand how to overcome
inwardly the old antithesis between Idealism and Realism. The
fundamental truth of Idealism is that the spiritual contents establish
an independence and self-value over against the individual, that they
train him with superior energy, and that they are not material for his
purely human welfare. In the _noological method_ this truth obtains a
full recognition. Realism, however, has its rights in the forward sweep
of the specifically human side of life with all its diversions, its
constraints, and its preponderantly natural character. Viewed from this
standpoint, the main fact is that life is raised out of the idle calm of
its initial stages, and is brought into a current; in order to bring
this about, much is urgently needful by man, which cannot originate,
prior to the appearance of the spiritual estimation of values, but which
becomes his when he is set in a strong current; then, on the one hand,
anxiety for external existence, division into parties, ambition, etc.,
and, on the other hand, the mechanism of the psychic life with its
association, reproduction, etc., are all seen in a new light. These
motive powers would certainly never produce a spiritual content out of
man's own ability; such a content is only reachable if the movement of
life raises man out of and above the initial performances and the
initial motives. No mechanism, [p.97] either of soul or of society, is
able to accomplish this; it can be accomplished alone by an inward
spirituality in man. Through such a conception, Realism and Idealism are
no longer irreconcilable opponents, but two sides of one encompassing
life; one may grow alongside the other, but not at the expense of the
other. Indeed, the more the content of the spiritual life grows, the
more becomes necessary on the side of psychic existence; the more we
submerge ourselves in this psychic existence, the greater appears the
superiority of the spiritual life."[29] This difference between nöology
and psychology is pointed out by Eucken in his delineation of spiritual
life along the whole course of its development. The insistence on the
reality of life within the region of values, brought forth through the
activity of the Will, is shown to be absolutely necessary in order that
life may not sink into the level of the mere physical object on the one
hand, and into mere subjectivity and momentary changes of consciousness
on the other hand. It is a decision at this point which constitutes the
great turn to a life of the spirit and to the granting to it of a
_self-subsistence_ as real as objects in the external world; it is a
turn which includes, further, a new beginning of a remove from the
content of the moment and from the impinging of the environment upon the
subject; it is a realisation by the mind and [p.98] soul that its own
content is now on a path which has to be carved out, step by step, by
its own spiritual potency. It is in the light of what is attempted and
accomplished in this respect that the external world and all its
ramifications into the soul are in the last resort to be interpreted.
When the foundation of life is thus placed upon a spiritual content of
meaning and value, norm and end, the _first impressions_ of things are
seen as nothing more than preparatory stages and conditions to a life
beyond themselves. To come to a decision, insisted on again and again,
in regard to the reality of life and its content is not possible without
the deepest act of the whole of the soul. Such a conviction concerning
the spiritual kernel of our being is not a mere matter either of thought
or feeling or will. The three make their contribution towards the great
affirmation which takes place, but they are united at a depth in
consciousness which has no psychological name; they come to a kind of
focus within the blending of the over-individual norms and the need and
capacity of the soul for such norms. When this happens, the individual
has created a cleft in his own nature which renders it forever
impossible for him to be satisfied with the mere external aspect
produced by the first impressions of things. An inverted order of things
has come about: the sensuous world is relegated to the circumference,
and a spiritual world [p.99] dawns within the content of the soul. This
is the deepest meaning of religion; and, as we shall see at a later
stage, it constitutes the very nucleus of Christianity with its
announcement of conversion, the regeneration of the soul, and the union
and communion of man with the Divine.

Doubtless all this is difficult of apprehension, mainly on account of
the fact that there is no proof for it in a manner that can be made
intelligible. But the question arises, What is the power that acts and
brings forth proofs concerning anything? It is evidently not the whole
of the potentialities of man's nature: it is no more than the
understanding dealing with the evidence of impressions. But the
understanding, when dealing with the content of the union of individual
potency and over-individual norms, is dealing with a content infinitely
larger and more complex than itself; the material is too great and
intricate for the understanding to handle; it is a fruitless attempt of
the Part to monopolise the meaning and value of the Whole. The proof
rather lies within the domain of the soul itself, and is not something
which may be tacked on to any kind of external, spatial existence; it is
the emergence of a _new kind_ of existence or _self-subsistence._ The
proof (if we designate it by such an insufficient term) is _within_ the
experience and not _without_; it is the spiritual experience itself and
not merely an account, [p.100] in the form of even valid logical
concepts, concerning such experience.[30]

The space devoted to this subject may be justified on account of the
fact that Eucken's meaning of the evolution of spiritual life towards
higher levels cannot be understood without an understanding of the
distinction between _knowledge_ about experience and the _content_ of
experience itself, as this latter reveals itself in the ways
mentioned.[31] Eucken has lately paid great attention to this matter in
the new edition (1912) of _Hauptprobleme der Religionsphilosophie der
Gegenwart_, especially in the chapter on the "Philosophy of Religion and
the Psychology of Religion."[32]

The root of the matter here seems to be the ready acknowledgment of the
content of [p.101] spiritual life as well as of the fact that it
possesses a higher grade of existence than anything in the world without
or even within the psychic life. This is granting the manifestation of
spiritual life a foundation deeper than nature, culture, civilisation,
and even morality; for it is the norms of the over-world uniting with
the spiritual nature of man which have brought forth all these. This
willing acknowledgment becomes ever necessary, because something of _two
worlds_ is now present in the life of the man. On the one hand, the
natural world, with its material elements and its instincts and
impulses, is present in the soul. But, on the other hand, all these
cannot be torn away from the life. They constitute a great deal of the
vitality and the pleasure which are the legitimate possessions of man.
How cold and soulless would life be without these! But the danger arises
when there is not present a Standard sufficiently high and powerful to
govern these, and to make them serve the higher interests of the soul.
In other words, they must be melted in the contents and values of the
over-individual ideals; they must be sanctified to subserve the higher,
absolute ends and demands of the spirit. What can we say, then, of Life
when the natural assists the spiritual and when the individual passes
out to the realm of the over-individual save that a real point of
departure into _a new kind of world_ has actually taken [p.102] place?
Even this interpretation is insufficient to explain what happens,
although it happens within ourselves; far less, as we have seen, will
any other interpretation which explains life in lowest terms suffice.
We are then, says Eucken, driven to the conclusion that such a state is
either the breaking forth of a new kind of reality or the worst of all
possible illusions. And this great and inexorable _Either_--_Or_
presents itself in every decision taken towards what is higher than the
level we are standing on. The matter here does not belong to any
speculative domain, and is not the result of fancy or imagination out of
which reason has taken its flight. The matter is concrete--tangible
through and through. The history of mankind bears witness to the
validity of it; the experience of each individual in the deepest moments
of life echoes the experience of the race. The superiority of this _new
beginning in the over-world_ has to be established over and over again
by each individual on account of the danger of sinking back to a lower
level where the main power of spiritual life is not in action. A
certainty is therefore requisite in the very beginning of the
enterprise--an enterprise which is absolute and eternal. No limits are
perceptible to the possibilities of spiritual life when the fullest
conceivable content of the soul is seated at the centre of life, and
when every outward is interpreted and governed by an inward. This
experience is [p.103] far removed from all attempts to found religion on
speculation drawn either from the physical world or from the
generalisations of logic. These have their value--they point to the
presence of some degree of spiritual life when the human mind has worked
upon the material presented to it. But the matter at this highest level
does _not_ deal with the _relations_ of life but with _life itself_ in
the light of an over-world.

Eucken is nowhere finer than when he detects the necessity for the
acknowledgment of such a spiritual foundation of life. It is not a mere
individual need, but the union of an individual need with a reality
objective to the need. If the reality were already the possession of
man, no such need could arise. Still, the reality is present in his mind
as an idea and ideal; it is present to the individual, but it is not as
yet the possession of the individual except in a measure at the best. So
that the certainty includes within itself a _realisation_ and a further
_quest_. And the very nature of the quest involves a _struggle_ of the
whole nature. The certainty has gone so far as to show that the highest
good which presents itself to the soul is the "one thing needful," and
is possible of partial attainment. When all this burns within the soul,
something of the norm or ideal gets fixed within it, and the individual
starts to conquer more and more the new world into which he is now
landed. [p.104] Often the life is driven out of its course by alien
currents; a great deal of what the man has now left behind himself still
clings tenaciously to the new life, and the whole soul becomes an arena
often of a terrible conflict. The spiritual life and its content of a
new reality may be temporarily beaten in this warfare; but the battle is
finally won if ever the deepest within the soul has been touched by a
conviction of the eternal value and significance of the new life. The
conquest is followed by periods of calm and fruition. Here the deeper
energies gather themselves together; they grant a peace which the world
cannot give and cannot take away; they create new certainties, new
demands, and new attempts for the possession of a reality which is still
higher in its nature than anything that previously revealed itself.

Gradually the soul is forced more than ever to the conviction that the
whole matter is too serious to be of less than of _cosmic_ significance.
And it is out of this that the idea of the Godhead arises. It is not a
speculative dream but a conclusion forced upon the man by the actual
situation; the material for the conclusion is not anything which
descends into the soul with a ready-made content. Eucken states that
such a view of revelation belongs to the past history of the race. It is
now no less than a revelation springing from the very nature of the soul
at its highest possible level. [p.105] It occurs only when a foundation,
a struggle, and a conquest have been worked out by the soul in the
manner already depicted. No close determinations, as we shall see later,
are made concerning the meaning and nature of the Godhead. The man is
here at an altitude so rare and pure that it forbids any logical or
psychological analysis. God is not something to be explained, but to be
possessed. When the attempt is made to explain Him, He is very soon
explained away; when he is possessed, He becomes not something other
than was present before, but _more_ than was present before; a cosmic
significance is given to the universe and to man's struggle to scale the
heights of the over-world with all its momentous values.

Here, again, the spiritual life has landed us out of psychology into the
deepest experiences of religion and into the consciousness that the
_intermediate_ realities which presented themselves as over-individual
norms and ideals are realities of cosmic significance. The Godhead is
now _possessed_. As Jacob Boehme presents it: "From my youth up I have
sought only one thing: the salvation of my soul, the means of gaining
possession of the Kingdom of God." Here, as Professor Boutroux[33]
points out, "Jacob Boehme learnt from the mystics what it means to
possess God. One must take care, so these masters [p.106] teach, not to
liken the possession of God to the possession of anything material. God
is spirit, _i.e._ for the man who understands the meaning of the term, a
generating power previous to all essence, even the divine. God is spirit,
_i.e._ pure will, both infinite and free, with the realisation of its own
personality as its object. Henceforward, God cannot be accepted by any
passive operation. We possess Him only if He is created within us. To
possess God is to live the life of God." This is on lines precisely
those of Eucken, and something of this nature seems to be gaining ground
to-day in a strong idealistic school in Germany. We may soon discover
that a true mysticism is the flowering of the bud of knowledge; that
true knowledge constitutes a tributary which runs into the ocean of the
Infinite Love of the Divine and becomes the most precious possession of
the soul.[34]

Eucken touches on this subject in an extremely interesting chapter in
his _Truth of Religion_. "This is a question of fact, and not of
argument.... Because we convinced ourselves that things were so, we
gained the standpoint of spiritual experience over against a merely
psychological standpoint. For the [p.107] latter standpoint occupies
itself with purely psychic processes, and in the province of religion
especially it occupies itself with the conditions of the stimulations
of will and feeling, which are not able to prove anything beyond
themselves. The spiritual experience, on the contrary, has to do with
life's contents and with the construction of reality; it need not
trouble itself concerning the connections of the world except in a
subsidiary manner, because it stands in the midst of such connections,
and without these it cannot possibly exist. Man never succeeds in
reaching the Divine unless the Divine works and is acknowledged in his
own life; what is omitted here in the first step is never again
recovered and becomes more and more impossible as life proceeds on its
merely natural course. If, however, the standpoint of spiritual
experience is gained, then religion succeeds in attaining entire
certainty and immediacy; then the struggles in which it was involved
turn into a similar result, and its own inner movements become a
testimony to the reality of the new world which it represents."[35]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAPTER VI [p.108]


Eucken shows that the problems of history are closely allied with those
of society. The best accounts of the meaning he attaches to human
society are to be found in _The Main Currents of Modern Thought, Der
Kampf um einen geistigen Lebensinhalt_, and _Life Basis and Life Ideal_.
The conclusions reached in these three books are the same--they are an
insistence on the need of spiritual life as a creative power in the
utilisation of norms and ideals as well as in the creation of further
norms and ideals. He points out the devious paths which human society
has travelled over: all these, in the case of society and of the
individual, are shown to lead to disaster when they depend merely upon
the environment or upon the ideals of a utilitarian mode of a
historico-social construction.

Society has gained much through the necessity of emphasising some
aspects of a Whole--of thinking and acting collectively--instead [p.109]
of emphasising merely the Parts. The history of human society, in a very
large measure, is the history of shifting the centre of gravity of life
alternately from the Whole to the Parts and _vice versa_. When the
centre of gravity remains in some kind of Whole, a number of individuals
move towards the same goal, and much that is subjective has to be
shifted to the background of life. Now, this is a gain, and it is the
only path on which a corporate life becomes possible. Men (and women
too) stand shoulder to shoulder when some kind of Whole or Ideal seems
to them to be a necessity of their nature. But progress is brought about
not only through cementing human beings together in order to move
towards _any kind_ of ideal. The energy is in the right place, but the
question has to arise as to the _nature_ of the over-personal ideal
itself. All over-personal ideals cannot connote the good of _all_, but
the good of all must be present as possessing a validity of its own
before any lower over-personal ideal can prevent landing men in
disaster. The over-personal ideals which do not include the good of all
often represent the good of a section alone, and all other sections have
to become convinced that this is a good. Thus many Life-systems present
themselves. Each of these includes a good. The problem is, How is each
section to realise that there is a good present in what each other
section presents? [p.110] There must be some common standard by which
the ideal of each section of the community can be measured, for it is in
the light of such a standard alone that the lower good receives its true
place, meaning, and value. There are, beyond all sectional over-personal
ideals, values which connote the highest welfare of everyone "who
carries a human face." These values are the results of the partially
collective experiences of the deepest in life, and have been gained in
the history of the race. They are the values which are the needs and
rights of all. Justice, Sympathy, Love--these and others are the highest
syntheses. They have, as yet, been only partially reached; and this
partial realisation is the possession of a few, and has not yet
succeeded in becoming the necessary standard which shall pass judgment
on all lower ideals. "Rights are rights," we are told. This may be true,
but something higher has to interpret them, or else one set of rights
comes into conflict with other sets and stands but little chance of
realisation. And even if realised, a whole series of complexities
immediately arises. This has been, in the main, the history of human
society. And are we able to say that society has progressed much during
the past century in this direction of illuminating lower needs in the
light of higher ones which include the good of all? Eucken doubts
whether the progress has been great. And here once more, [p.111] in
connection with the deepest meaning of society and the individual, he
sees the need of ideals which are universally true and universally
valid. This means that the spiritual life as it presents itself in the
universally true, good, and beautiful, must become the sun which will
shine upon all that is below it; it is the Whole in which the Parts must
find their function and meaning. If the life of society relates itself
to anything lower than this, the best within it cannot come to flower
and fruit. In other words, society will have to return to a conception
and utilisation of an _absolute spiritual life_ before it can gain any
new territory of eternal value. Probably quite as much attention will
have to be devoted to the Parts--to the environment, the needs of the
hour, the material comforts and happiness of life. But granting that the
possession of all these will come about, what then? We are still
wretchedly poor in the "inward parts." What we have won has not within
itself sufficient spirituality to touch the deepest recesses of the
soul. Material plenty and pleasure are a good when they are used as they
ought to be used. Where is that "something" that teaches us this? Where
is the Ought? The Ought is something outside and infinitely higher than
all the gains which the environment or the group is ever able to bring
forth. "Life," says Eucken,[36] "cannot be made simply [p.112] a
question of relationship to environment and of the development of mutual
relationships (as this tendency would have it) without the independence
of the isolated factor [spiritual life] being most seriously reduced.
And it must not be forgotten that the individual is the sole source of
original spiritual life; corporate social life can do no more than unite
and utilise. The maintenance of the strength and freedom of this
original life would be less important, and its limitation would be more
easily endurable, if human life stood upon a firm foundation and needed
only to follow quietly in a naturally appointed direction. In reality,
life is not only full of separate problems, but being situated (as it
is) between the realm of mere Nature and the spiritual world, must begin
by systematically directing itself aright and ascending from the
semi-spiritual to the truly spiritual construction of life. It is hence
called upon to perform great tasks, which cannot be carried out without
serious efforts and the mobilisation of all our spiritual forces. This
necessarily leads us back to the original sources of strength, and hence
to the individual."

This passage represents well Eucken's main teaching in regard to our
social problems. We shall ever fail in the highest sense if the
spiritual content of life is no more than a _means_ to reach material
ends, however necessary such ends may be. For in such a [p.113] manner
spiritual life--the universally true and valid--is reduced to a lower
plane; it becomes entangled in lower stages, and thus ceases to be a
"light on the hill" illumining the steep upward path. Convictions of a
spiritual nature--the very forces which have moulded society--are absent
from such a system of life which has no more than the day or the hour to
look forward to. Individual and society become the creatures of mere
impulses and passions, stimulated to activity by a "dead-level"
environment. Something of value is gained when even this kind of
environment is a good; but the response is quite as readily given to
that which is injurious, simply because the "universally true and good"
is absent as an inwardness and conviction in the soul.

Without such an inwardness and its content the deeper energy of life is
not touched, and men drift with the tide of the environment. Without the
ideals or syntheses which are, in their very nature, universal and
absolute, progress comes to a standstill, and degeneration soon sets in.
The ordinary situation, apart from the presence of the content of the
over-world within the life of the soul, swings like a pendulum between a
shallow optimism and a blind pessimism. There is no power present in the
soul to come to any fundamental decision, but life drifts on a river
between Yea and Nay; a failure to penetrate beneath the [p.114] crust of
chance and circumstance becomes evident, and the deeper values and
meanings of life disappear.

Eucken's only solution for our present-day troubles is a return to our
own deeper nature as this was depicted in previous chapters. The signs
of the times, he tells us, are encouraging; the utilitarian mode of life
is wearing itself out; the tastes of material comforts have been with us
long enough to experience the poverty of their quality; and the mad
gamble for the "things which perish" is gradually weeding out its
devotees. Eucken's solution to the problems of society is a _religious_
one. Where is the conception of religion as the solution of the
momentous and intricate problems of our day to be found in the teachings
and writings of our economists? It is not to be found. These deal either
with petty details or with laws which have no spiritual content whatever
in them. Society may proceed with various Life-systems--individualism,
socialism, or any other, but until it gets into touch with its deepest
soul, each such system of life is hastening towards its own destruction
and towards the injury of progress.

The conception of the State is presented by Eucken in a similar manner.
He points out how we stop short in our politics of dealing with the
universally true and good. Party strives against party, and nation
against nation. [p.115] Groups of all hues and cries propound their own
particular ideals as the all-important ones. Higher ideals are left out
of account, so that we find the world to-day spending its energies in
warfare concerning many things of minor importance. How can we expect
fruition and bliss to follow on such lines?

Eucken presents in a convincing manner the danger of resting upon the
external in Society and State. "We are experiencing to-day a remarkable
entanglement. The older forms of Life, which had hitherto governed
history and its meaning, have become too narrow, petty, and subjective
for human nature. Through emancipation from an easy-going subjectivity
and through the positing of life upon external things and, indeed, upon
the whole of the great universe, Life, it was believed, would gain more
breadth and truth; and in a noteworthy manner man undertook a struggle
against the pettiness of his own nature and for the drawing out of all
that was merely human and trivial. A great deal has been gained through
such a change and new tendency of life. In fact we have discovered far
more than we had hoped for. But, at the same time, we have lost
something--a loss which at the outset occasions no anxiety, but which,
however, through painful experience, proves itself to have been the 'one
thing needful.' Through its own development the work has destroyed its
own vehicles; it has [p.116] undermined the very ground upon which it
stood; it has failed, notwithstanding its infinite expansion, through
its loss of a fundamental and unifying Life-process; and in the entire
immersion of man into activity his deepest being has been sacrificed.
Indeed, the more exclusively Life transforms itself into external work,
the more it ceases to be an inner personal experience, and the more
alien we become to ourselves. And yet the fact that we can be conscious
of such an alienation--an alienation that we cannot accept indifferently
--is a proof that more is firmly implanted in us than the modern
direction of life is able to develop and satisfy. We acknowledge
simultaneously that we have gained much, but that the loss is a painful
one. We have gained the world, but we have lost the soul; and, along
with this, the world threatens to bring us to nought, and to take away
our one secure foothold in the midst of the roaring torrent of material

Eucken shows that the individual will obtain his true place in Society
and the State only when spiritual ideals have become fixed norms--norms
which form the highest synthesis to be conceived of. And Society and the
State will discover their vocations in precisely the same manner. It is
impossible to shut our eyes to the fact that things are not well with
the world to-day. The growth of the material [p.117] interests of the
world and of life has become a menace on a scale unknown in the previous
history of civilisation. There is only one refuge in the midst of all
this welter and chaos. That indestructible refuge is "an inner synthesis
and spiritual elevation of life." It is this alone which can prevent the
disintegration that is bound to follow in its absence. The petty human
element cannot be eliminated from this; and the mere life of the
hour--the life that has no substance of duration within itself--cannot
be stopped on its reckless career without the presence of spiritual
ideals within and without. If the world proceeds in its denial of the
reality and need of spiritual life and its over-world, the negation,
when it reaches its climax of disaster and despair, will "turn again
home"--to the necessity of spiritual values--and out of the ruins a new
humanity will emerge.

Thus, once more we are landed into the province of a religion of
spiritual life as a necessity in the affairs of the world and of the
State. Eucken's great plea is that the civilised nations of the world
should become aware of all this before it is too late to turn
back--before the boat has reached too near the rapids to avoid disaster.
The remedy is in our own hands. How to create the consciousness of the
situation is the problem of problems, and all individuals are called to
bring the whole of their energies to its solution.

[p.118] It is evident that some kind of uneasiness has to take place in
the deepest recess of the human soul, but the best ways and means of
doing this are not yet quite evident.[38] We know what we need and what
prevents decadence of individuals and nations. "If ye know these things,
blessed are ye if ye _do_ them" (Gospel of John). The bridge between a
knowledge of the Ought and its possession is difficult to construct, but
its importance is necessary to be brought constantly before the people.
The majority of the people have thought fit to leave almost the only
place where such an obligation was presented--_i.e._ the Christian
Church. Until they return, or some other institution higher than the
Church is brought into existence, the peril will remain. No individual
conviction, based on anything less than spiritual ideals, will suffice.
What we are looking for is in our midst; it is and has been from the
very beginning, in spite of an "existential form," largely archaic,
present in the spiritual nucleus of the Christian religion.

       *       *       *       *       *



Eucken has written less on this subject than on any of those which
constitute the headings of the chapters of this book. But he has treated
art in precisely the same manner as he has treated all other important
problems: he has shown that no great art is possible unless it is rooted
in a creativeness which is _spiritual_. In his _Main Currents of Modern
Thought_ we get an instructive account of art and its relation to
morality. His account of the development of art in modern times, from
the Renaissance to the present day, shows the ebb and flow of the
conception of the Beautiful. The check which the Renaissance received
through the Reformation in relation to art had its good as well as its
evil side. Intense scorn arose in the Protestant world for every kind of
image and decoration, because these were supposed to posit life on what
was purely sensuous and natural, and so bar the way to the Divine.
Still, the obstruction [p.120] created by Protestantism in this
direction opened a door in quite another direction. Art of a higher kind
than picture or statue arose, which was far removed from the sensuous
level and which emerged from a deeper soil within the soul. The whole
series of musical composers produced by Germany is a proof of this. The
period of the _Aufklärung_ viewed art with scant favour, but with the
rise of the New Humanism a change in favour of art took place.

The origin of this change is to be found where one might least expect
it--in the soul of the sage of Königsberg. Kant's _Critique of Judgment_
is unanimously allowed to be the greatest book ever produced on the
subject. Goethe and Schiller were influenced by it--the latter in a
remarkable manner. We find in these writers an effort to unite the Good
and the Beautiful. It is impossible to read the poetry of Goethe without
finding that great moral problems are imbedded in his conceptions of the
Beautiful. His poetry is an attempt to bridge the chasm between the
external world and the soul. His nature was too deep to remain satisfied
with the mere impressions of the senses. The union of the world
_without_ with the world _within_ gave him a view of the universe and of
human life full of originality and suggestiveness.

Schiller worked in practically the same direction. A moral standpoint of
a high order [p.121] is to be discovered in his writings, and he
believed this standard to be possible of preservation alongside of a
legitimate "freedom granted in the phenomenon." "Then the two tendencies
again became divided. Romanticism gave a peculiar definite and
self-conscious expression to the priority of art and the aesthetical
view of life, while Fichte and the other leaders of the national
movement exerted a powerful influence in the direction of strengthening
morality. The social and industrial type of civilisation, which became
more and more powerful during the course of the nineteenth century, was
inclined, with its tendency towards social welfare and utility, to
assign a subordinate part to art. Modern art arises in protest against
this and is ambitious to influence the whole of life; in opposition to
morality it holds up an aesthetic view of life as being alone
justifiable. Hence at the present time the two spheres stand wide

Eucken shows how such an antithesis between morality and art has
partially existed for thousands of years. But whenever a cleavage takes
place both morality and art suffer. On the one hand, morality tends to
become a system of rules for the performance of which a reward is
promised either in this world or in the world to come. On the other
hand, art is stripped of the distinction between the values of sensuous
things as these express [p.122] themselves in their relation to human
life. In the former case, insistence on morality (even on morality
alone) has deepened human life; it has given it a more strenuous tone;
and it has created a scale of values which alters the whole meaning of
life. But morality conceived as a system of regulations and laws has
always the tendency to harden and narrow the life, and to posit the
individual too much upon himself. Any justification from without--from
the physical side--consequently fails to give any help or satisfaction.
And man needs this help. As it is impossible for him to fly out of the
world to some region where mind or spirit alone reigns, he has to do the
best he can with the physical world in the midst of which he exists. It
is within such a world that he has to cultivate the spiritual potencies
of his own being. It is true that the spiritual potencies of his own
being are higher and of more value than anything in Nature. Still, that
does not mean that Nature has to be discarded or condemned before the
potencies of his own being can develop. Nature is not a mere blind
machine; it has produced all--including man and his potencies--that is
to be found on the face of it. It is therefore not entirely meaningless,
and the meaning it possesses is a necessary element in the evolution of
personal spiritual life. Man must enter into some relation with Nature.
But such a relation produces even more than all this. When viewed in a
friendly mood, [p.123] Nature herself wears an aspect higher than a
materialistic or intellectual one. It calls forth the best in
imagination; it enables us to feel that something of the power that
dwells within the soul dwells also in all the manifestations of
phenomena.[40] This fact is evident in all the poetry of the world, and
without the perpetual presence of Nature to the soul in the form of
wonder, reverence, and admiration, no poetry worthy of the name is
possible. Nature thus is of value in the fact that when its phenomena
present themselves to a consciousness aware not only of its _knowing_
aspect but also of its _feeling_ aspect, the union of Nature and soul
produces a feeling of reality which creates an ideal nature. "The light
that never was on sea or land" becomes now on sea and land; it
illuminates the whole scene with a "halo and glory" which was concealed
before. But there must be present "an eye of the soul" united with the
physical impressions before all this is possible. Indeed, the effect of
all this is nothing less than an ideal creation of a world consisting of
Nature and the spiritual potencies of man. It is evident that if the
_internal_ [p.124] factor, which represents itself in the form of
morality or value, is absent, the picture of Nature is quite different.
And this is Eucken's complaint in regard to much of the art of the
present day: the internal factor is absent. Seriousness is not blended
with freedom in it; or, in other words, the _inward_ has no power to
pass its quality into the _outward_. But when the _inward_ is present in
the form of morality or value, then art becomes joyous, serious,
helpful, and disinterested. This last aspect of the disinterestedness of
art was perceived clearly by Kant, and has formed an important
contribution to the philosophy and even to the religion of the
nineteenth century. When a potency of the soul, gained in a province
outside art (as is the case with morality or value), operates, there is
no danger of art degenerating into mere subjectivism; otherwise there is
a very grave danger. Loosened from morality it becomes a mere play of
decoration and fancy--a mere superficial embroidery of an empty life; it
can look on the human world and all its struggles with an indifferent
and often cynical mood. Why has all this happened? Because the inward
factor of the "strenuous mood" has been replaced by a sentimental factor
based on nothing deeper than the satisfaction of the senses; and the
result of this is found in feelings which are more psychical than
spiritual in their nature.

But that art is necessary for any completion [p.125] of life is seen by
the fact that its contribution to the soul is more than a _thought_
contribution. For the deeper life of the spirit of man is more than
thought, although thought forms an essential element of it; this deeper
life has wider demands than can be expressed in the form of logical
propositions. Eucken shows how true art is therefore indissolubly
connected with spiritual life. "Without the presence of a spiritual
world [the resultant of the union of the spiritual potencies and
external objects], art has no soul and no secure fundamental
relationship to reality, and in no way can it develop a fixed style.
We hear to-day of a 'new style,' and are in the saddle after such a
conception. But shall we find it so long as the whole of life does not
fasten itself upon simple fundamental lines and does not follow the main
path in the midst of all the tangle of effort? How is it possible to
attain to a unity of interpretation where our life itself fails in the
possession of a governing unity? We discover ourselves in the midst of
the most fundamental transformations of life; old ideals are vanishing,
and new ones are dawning on the horizon. But as yet they are all full of
unrest and unreadiness; and the situation of man in the All of things is
so full of uncertainty that he has to struggle anew for the meaning and
value of his life. If art has nothing to say to him and no help to
offer--if it relegates these questions far from itself--then art itself
must sink to the level of a [p.126] subsidiary play the more these
problems win the mind and spirit of man. But if art is capable of
bringing a furtherance of values to man in his needs and sorrows, it
will have to recognise and acknowledge the problems of spiritual life as
well as participate in the struggle for the vindication and formation of
a spiritual world. When art does this, these questions which engage our
attention are also its questions."[41]

In spite of the contradictions of life, in spite of much which seems
indifferent to human weal and woe within the physical universe, the
contradictions may be surmounted by the union of man's spirit with other
aspects of existence which look in an opposite direction. The ideal
world of art is not to be discovered by ignoring these contradictions,
but by acknowledging them to the full, and by seeing that Nature is
supplemented by man and his soul. Such a union, as has already been
pointed out, will create an earnestness and joyousness of life; it will
enable man, when any teleology of Nature herself fails to give him
satisfaction, to realise a teleology within the _substance_ of his own
life--spiritual in its essence, infinite in its duration, and the
flowering of a bud which has grown with the help of the natural cosmos.
When Nature is thus viewed as a preparatory stage for spirit, it will
wear an aspect very different from the mechanical one. Its real
teleology [p.127] will be seen: there can be no dispute about it; it has
actually produced man, and man has now to carry farther the evolutionary
process. Eucken has presented this aspect in a fine manner in his
article on Schiller in _Kantstudien_[42] (Band X., Heft 3), _Festschrift
zu Schillers hundertstem Todestage_. No one in modern times discovered
the contradictions of the world in regard to the needs of man more than
Schiller. And yet no one led a more joyous life than this "half-poet,
half-thinker." Pressed from within and without by many alien elements,
he overcame them all and found, despite his physical weakness, what a
gift life is. It is in the direction of a great synthesis of spiritual
life and natural phenomena that true art will discover the qualities for
a permanent duration. Such a synthesis will enrich the spiritual life,
and will grant it something of higher construction concerning the
meaning and value of the union of Nature and Man. So Eucken has once
more landed us into the spiritual life as the source and goal of all
true Art.

    "Only the rooted knowledge to high sense
    Of heavenly can mount, and feel the spur
    For fruitfullest achievement, eye a mark
      Beyond the path with grain on either hand,
    Help to the steering of our social Ark
      Over the barbarous waters unto land."[43]

       *       *       *       *       *



We have followed Eucken's system developing step by step from the stage
of knowing the world up through the evolution of spiritual life in
history, in the soul, in art, and in society. Everywhere the
investigation has revealed a progressive autonomy and duration of
spiritual life in the midst of all the kaleidoscopic aspects of the
objects which presented themselves to consciousness. Something spiritual
has persisted and evolved in the midst of all the changes, and the
changes have been utilised by this deeper potency of the soul. Through
the evolution of this spiritual potency changes have been brought about
in the external world, in human society, and in the individual soul.
This spiritual potency has bent things to subserve its own inherent
demands. The union of conation and cognition within the soul has brought
forth everything that has happened outside the natural process of the
physical world, and much even of that world [p.129] has been made
subservient to man. When the attention is turned to this "fact of facts"
concerning the work of spiritual life, individually and collectively, it
is impossible to consider it as a mere addendum to the natural process,
however closely connected it may be with that process. Sufficient has
been said to prove the superiority of spiritual life over the whole
aspects and manifestations of Nature. The question, then, cannot be laid
aside concerning the nature of the life of the spirit in itself. What is
it now? What is it capable of becoming? Why should its evolution snap at
its highest point? Why cannot the power that has accomplished so much in
the history of our world, and has always done this the more efficiently
the more a remove from the realm of the sensuous took place--why cannot
such a power proceed farther on its course? And what limits can be set
to it? The pertinency of such and other questions cannot be doubted. The
spiritual life has ascended too high and accomplished too much to be
treated with indifference. And yet that is the way it is being treated
only too widely to-day. Men hesitate to grant to it a reality of its own
because of its close connection with mechanical and chemical elements.
They half affirm and half deny its reality. The question arises, What is
reality? Eucken agrees with the great idealists of the world that
reality in its highest manifestation is [p.130] something that pertains
to spirit and meaning rather than to matter and its behaviour.[44] Our
rigid clinging to a meaning of reality from the side of its physical
history is doubtless a remnant of a race--memory which may be largely
physical in its nature. We find a difficulty in conceiving as yet a
reality existing in itself--existing in itself though material elements
have helped it on its upward course. But even here it is not at all
certain that nothing but material elements have operated in this
fundamental process. Men have by now known enough of the connection of
mind with lower processes in order to be aware of a mystery present in
the whole operation--a mystery which does not yield itself to the

But even such a past history of the spiritual life is not all that can
be said concerning it. It is _now_ in process of evolution, and its
greatest work is always accomplished not by looking backward but
forward. The whole universe has operated in bringing spiritual life into
existence. Are there any reasons whatever for concluding that the whole
universe is not co-operating _now_ in its further development? Life,
civilisation, culture, morality, and religion are proofs that this life
of the spirit is moving onward and upward. It does not move without
checks and entanglements [p.131] from without and within, but in every
"long run" it is gaining some new ground and tilling it as its own. It
dare not turn back; it dare not throw away the pack of the _Sollen_ (the
Ought) off its shoulders. The over-individual norms have planted
themselves too strongly in the heart of humanity to be ever uprooted.
The meaning and value of life now lie in a _beyond_. It is not a
_beyond_ within any physical region that _was_; neither is it, so far as
we know, a _beyond_ in any physical region that _is to be_. It is a
_beyond of the spirit_; and as it is the most real and most requisite
possession of man, how can it have anything less than a _cosmic_
significance? The future of spiritual life is therefore governed not by
something that is _to be_ in the cosmos, but by something that is _now_
present in it--by the acknowledgment, assimilation, and appropriation by
man and humanity of spiritual norms which are far beyond their present
actual situation.

The whole meaning here is that something _sub specie aeternitatis_ has
to take the foremost place in life. We are beings who perpetually
_move_. Eucken and Bergson are both emphasising this to-day. But the
latter deals with the movement alone; he has no notion whither we are
going, nor can he possibly have until he revises very largely his
conception of the function and meaning of intellect in life.[45] But
[p.132] Eucken states that we do know whither we are going. What are the
over-personal spiritual norms and standards but stars by which to steer
the direction of our course over the tempestuous sea of time? Everyone
who guides his life in connection with reason guides it by means of some
norm or other. Even the daily avocation requires this in order to be
fulfilled. And the norms which furnish guidance to the spiritual life
have originated and are utilised in precisely the same manner as those
of the daily avocation. The only difference is that there is more
meaning and value in the former than in the latter. But each is a
_Sollen_ and constitutes a _beyond_. This _Sollen_ is a certainty; it
exists, and its existence is _in itself._ It is the star for the
_Wollen._[46] The Will is our own; the Ought is not our own; the fact
that we possess it as an idea is no proof that it has become a
possession of the whole of life. In this sense the Ought has an
objectivity and a subsistence of its own. The Will has to travel in the
direction of the Ought, and its course is mapped out by this Ought at
every step of its progress. Hence, in order to reach towards the
_Sollen_ the nature of the _Sollen_ must become known. As noticed in
previous chapters, such a movement towards so high [p.133] a goal
becomes a difficult task--a task which demands the activity of the whole
spiritual nature. Man's dependency and the meaning of his life are thus
set before his eyes, and the aspects of momentary existence are valued
as of secondary importance. Unless this meaning of the norm becomes
clear, life will revolve around the reality nearest-at-hand, and will
consequently fail to unfold the deeper spirituality of its nature. "And
if all depended on the brief flash of the moment, which endures but the
twinkling of an eye, only to vanish into the dark of nothingness, then
all life would mean a mere exit into death. Thus, without eternity there
is no spirituality, and without connection there is no content of life.
But what is enthroned in itself above Time becomes for the man who wins
such a spirituality, first of all, an immense task which allows itself
to be grasped on the field of Time alone; and, also, the Eternal which
works within us and which hovers before us on the horizon of Eternity
can become our full possession only through the movement of Time. To
wish to check the course of Time means not to serve Eternity, but to
ascribe to Time what belongs to Eternity."[47]

It is not said by Eucken anywhere in his writings that the _natural_
sources at which Life drinks must be abandoned. These remain with us as
long as we are in this world of space and [p.134] time. But these are
not found in the same place, neither is the same importance attached to
them, once the meaning and value of the over-personal norms and the
potency of spiritual creativeness have come into union with one another.

What Eucken means by universal religion is the establishment of this
independency and supremacy of spiritual life over all else in the world.
We have already dealt with this aspect in former chapters; the
conclusion was reached that everywhere the presence of a life of the
spirit made itself felt, and gave a meaning and interpretation to all
life and existence. That is the conclusion Eucken arrives at in his
_Kampf um einen geistigen Lebensinhalt._ The problem of religion _qua_
religion is hardly touched. But, indeed, what other than religion can
all these conclusions mean? Norm and potency are emphasised. An
elevation above the world and above the "small self" has taken place.
But something still has to be done before we have entered into the very
heart of the matter. The problems which arise after all the conclusions
previously arrived at are acknowledged must be taken into account.
Having come so far in regard to the value and meaning of spiritual life,
we are bound to go _farther_. No point occurs where we can find a
terminus. Though we have already been constrained to grant the norms a
reality of their own, we have only just touched, here and there, [p.135]
upon their _cosmic_ significance. The matter thus reaches a further
point than we have yet touched. What justification is there for granting
spiritual life this cosmic significance?

Attention has already been called to the fact of a distinction between
nature and spirit. But attention has now to be directed to the necessity
of emphasising the reality of spirit. The nature of spirit is revealed
most clearly in the life and content of human consciousness. No
anthropomorphic standard from without can come to our aid to establish
the existence of spirit. The standard is to be found within the
consciousness itself. A distinction has to be made between _nature and
spirit_. However much they resemble each other in the beginnings of
life, spirit has travelled far beyond nature or matter. It has developed
for itself an essence which may be designated as _substance_. The chief
characteristic of matter is that it occupies space; but spirit, though
connected with, and largely conditioned by, matter as it exists in
space, is now something quite other--something which has to be granted
an existence of its own, and which forms the beginning of a _new kind of
world_ and unfolds a _new kind of reality_.

The reality of spiritual life is not discovered in anything which is
external to life; it is to be found in life itself. The reality is
revealed and, indeed, created by an act of the spirit of man. Such an
act must be the act of one's [p.136] own deepest being. But although
such a new reality is not to be found in anything external to life, yet
the very revelation points, as we have already observed, to something
which is over-individual. Even the meaning of the reality itself, from
its _immanent_ side, is something quite other than the natural life and
its contents. It is something revealed, but not as yet possessed; it is
hard to be reached; and even within the man's own nature obstacles and
hindrances of various kinds are to be found. But the new reality
persists in the midst of the hindrances; the man discovers himself as
the possessor of a deeper kind of truth than was present and operative
in the ordinary life. A cleavage is therefore made between the "small
self" and the spiritual life. In the degree the former wins through the
calling forth of the deepest activities of the soul, in that degree does
the transcendent aspect of the new reality urge itself upon man. And
when the two aspects--immanent and transcendent--of the reality are
firmly grasped by the soul, the soul moves upward in the exploration and
possession of its new world.

The failure to enter into this region of religion is due to the fact
that men often attempt to construct religion on certain so-called
faculties of the soul. Some attempt to discover and establish religion
through the power and conclusions of the intellect. It is evident that
when the knowing aspect of consciousness [p.137] takes such a leading
part, and deliberately ignores the affective and active aspects, no more
than a segment of the reality can be discovered, and such a segment
leaves out of account important elements of human nature. If the
affective aspect takes the lead at the expense of the other two aspects,
we are here again in a region where only certain fragments of our nature
are touched. If the active aspect busies itself without carrying along
with itself the content of meaning and value to be discovered in
consciousness, the true element of the greatness of the reality is
missing. Eucken shows in his _Truth of Religion_ that there must be a
point in the soul, at some deeper level than any of the three, where the
three are working conjointly.[48] It must be so, because what is now at
stake is more than knowing a thing; it is to _be_ the thing we know we
_ought to be._ It is unfamiliarity with such a truth that brings a
difficulty into the mind when face to face [p.138] with the problem of
religion. The mind has not learned how to attend to the truth in its own
self-subsistence, but posits this truth in its relation to the
conditions in the external world which brought it forth.[49] Thus the
conception of truth is made up very largely of its history on its
physical side, and this history of the truth comes to possess the entire
meaning of the truth itself! The road to religion, in its deepest sense,
is barred to everyone who fails or refuses to grant the deeper reality
which presents itself within the soul _a self-subsistence._ The only
existence of such a reality can be its own self-subsistence. The reality
is now conceived as something quite other than an existence in space; it
exists for consciousness and can persist within consciousness.

When reality is conceived as a substance subsisting in itself, the
passage to the Absolute is opened. This Absolute is the most universal
and complete meaning and value which the soul is capable of possessing;
its very nature forces itself upon man as being true; and its value has
revealed itself in its being the only power which will carry farther the
spiritual evolution of the soul. If such an Absolute is left out of
account, it is evident that the most universal [p.139] truth which
presents itself to life as absolutely necessary cannot enter into the
deepest recesses of the soul; it cannot be more than a subsidiary
element accompanying lower intellectual elements of life, which are more
closely allied on such a lower level with physical processes of the body
and with the physical world. And when truth is treated in this manner,
it cannot possibly make its abode and become a power in the soul.
Consciousness hesitates to create a further cleft within itself because
the evidence of truth at such a height as this does not lend itself to
the senses. The result is that the full power of the truth fails to
produce effects on the consciousness, and thus keeps it on practically
the same level as that on which it has been accustomed to work. The
higher truth--the higher spiritual life--has not become anything more
than a fact of knowledge or a probability. It has not become one's own
life. It is only when this higher aspect of spiritual life becomes
_one's own life_, and is acknowledged and used, that it is ever possible
for man to become the possessor of an original energy, of an independent
governing centre, and so to realise himself as a co-carrier of a cosmic
movement. This is the presupposition of religion: it testifies that
within man's soul there appears something higher than sense or
intellect, but which remains surrounded by alien elements which impose
checks to its further development. It is quite evident that the
appearance of [p.140] truths which are absolute and complete within the
life is in direct antagonism to much that was previously present within
it. This fundamental fact, however, is not evident without a great deal
of attention paid to the nature of the higher elements which present
themselves. Without comparing the values of the higher and the lower
elements, how is it ever possible to know what they are and what they
mean? When the whole being attends to both elements--higher and
lower--there is no possibility of making a mistake concerning the
_different_ values of what are presented. A higher grade of reality
reveals itself over against all that had been previously gained. The
soul is forced to admit that something of a higher nature than it
hitherto possessed seeks admission. And this Higher, if it enters into
the whole of life, so far from revealing itself as a continuation of
what had already happened, reveals itself as something which is
discontinuous with the ordinary life, and superior even to the highest
attainments of the intellectual life. And it is this aspect which
produces the conviction of such a revelation as being _objective_ in its
very nature. It belongs to something or somebody outside our own
individual experience or achievement. That there is much which is
mysterious in all this, is only what might be expected. But the very
fact that the Higher comes with such power when the soul expects,
assimilates, and appropriates it [p.141] is a proof of its existence
somewhere at the core of the universe. It cannot mean an illusion; it
brings changes of too fundamental a nature to be no more than that. Its
very value and the enormous difficulty of turning it from being an idea
into being a possession demand too much energy of the soul to allow of
its being dismissed without any more ado. It contains elements so
different in their nature from the ordinary life of the hour as to
render it impossible to be considered of no more than of subsidiary
importance. For it has to be borne in mind that the values and norms
farthest removed from the regions of sense and intellect appear only
when man follows the drift of his own higher being; it is not when he
remains effortless and satisfied with the life of the hour that such
values and norms appear. They appear when the ordinary life is seen
through as no more than a stage for the further evolution of the soul
through the grasping of a higher kind of reality than has as yet
presented itself to it. As Eucken says: "Religion proves itself a
kingdom of opposites. When it steps out of such opposites, it destroys
without a doubt the turbidity and evanescence of ordinary commonplace
life, and separates clearly the lights and shadows from one another. It
sets our life between the sharpest contrasts, and engenders the most
powerful feelings and the most mighty movements; it shows the dark abyss
in our nature, but also [p.142] shows illumined peaks; it opens out
infinite tasks, and brings ever to an awakening a new life in its
movement against the ordinary self. It does not render our existence
lighter, but it makes it richer, more eventful, and greater; it enables
man to experience cosmic problems within his own soul in order to
struggle for a new world, and, indeed, in order to gain such a genuine
world as its own proper life."[50]

All this is not a matter of speculation, but of fact. And it is in the
recognition of this fact that Eucken's philosophy of religion
constitutes a new kind of idealistic movement--a movement tending more
and more in the direction of Christianity. But he differs here again
from the absolute idealists and the pragmatists. The former base their
Absolute upon the demands of logic, whilst Eucken bases all upon the
demands and potencies of life; the pragmatists emphasise the primary
place of the will in the development of the inner life, but they have
certainly ignored the presence of over-individual norms, as the goal of
volition, whilst Eucken holds to the necessity of both. With the
absolutists the relation of the Absolute with the will is not clearly
perceived, and consequently the Absolute becomes merely an object of
thought and contemplation; and in all this the individual does not
become aware of a burning desire to move in the direction of the goal.
[p.143] The pragmatist leaves the individual at the mercy of the
momentary content of consciousness; this content is quite as likely to
be trivial as to be great; and hence there is no absolute standard
present to determine the nature and value of this content of the moment,
and consequently no more than a life of effortless drifting can issue
out of all this.

This blend of absolutism and pragmatism is richer in its content than
either of the two. Each has missed something of importance, and it is
here supplied by Eucken.

Norms and potency become two indissoluble factors in the evolution of
the higher life. As already stated, the norms have an objectivity of
their own, and consequently when they enter into life, life becomes
conscious of their being something _given_ and not brought into
existence by its own potency. It is out of this conclusion to which life
is forced that the doctrine of Grace, found in some way or other in all
religions, is to be accounted for. And it is out of the consciousness of
the interval between norm and achievement that the sense of _guilt_
follows man whenever he penetrates deeply into the deeper experiences of
the soul. Grace and guilt--naming only two experiences of the soul--are
not remnants of a traditional theology, but essential elements which
accompany the deepest experience of the soul. When they are wanting, it
is most probable that the soul has not plumbed its own [p.144] existence
to its very depths, but has rather chosen to be satisfied with what lies
but a little way beneath the surface--with what does not cause too much
uneasiness, but is sufficient for a life to persist as a good member of
the society by which it is surrounded. Only half a religion can become
the possession of any individual who does not at least pay as much
attention to the nature and value of over-individual norms as he pays to
the nature of the environment and of the ordinary life. It is always a
sign that humanity is drifting to the shallows of life when it looks
upon religion as the flowering of the mere natural life of good custom,
earthly happiness, and ease. Whenever the tragedy born in the conflict
between norms and ordinary life is absent, the very elements which
constitute greatness and the "taste of eternity" are also absent. It is
on account of this fact that Eucken insists that no individual or nation
that loses its own deeper religious experience can be really great or
true; for the purest spring of human life and conduct is wanting, and
the whole life issues from a shallower stream. It is impossible here to
enter into the truth of this matter; but our individual observation
concerning men and communities is almost enough of itself to verify the
statement. That such a higher spiritual life is a reality may be
evidenced further through its effects. It changes the whole relationship
of the man [p.145] who has experienced it to everything he comes in
contact with. New convictions and new points of view have now actually
occurred within his soul; man has become conscious of a spiritual
inwardness, brought forth through the presence of an over-personal
spiritual life coupled with his own spiritual needs. With the possession
of such spiritual elements, how is it possible for him any more to look
upon the world and human life with the same eyes as before? The dawning
of a new reality has made him a new creature; he is now compelled by his
own deeper nature to preserve and to reflect the light which is within
him; and all this brings prominently forward the need of something other
for the progress of the world than the first look of things is able to
show. It is in such manner as this that we must account for all the
ideals which have moved mankind from the level of animalism and greed to
the level of civilisation, culture, morals, and religion. The work is
far from being completed: the world still clings to the old level of
ordinary life, and is so slow to grasp the value of the life of
spiritual ideals. Still, something has been accomplished in the course
of the ages; and although, probably, the progress has not been
continuous, there has been a gain in the "long run." But the point to
bear in mind is that it is the power of the over-individual ideal which
has carried the race along. Ideals have been perverted, it is true; they
have been [p.146] drawn down and mixed with what was inferior in its
nature, yet they have never been completely destroyed in this evil
process. They have still a marvellous power of disentangling themselves
from human perversions, and of revealing themselves once more in their
pristine power and glory. "But the spiritual life declares its ability
also positively within the human province through a persistent effort to
move outside the 'given' situation, through a tracing out and a holding
forth of ideals, through a longing after a more complete happiness and a
more complete truth. Why is not man satisfied with the relativity which
so obstinately clings to his existence? Why has he a longing for the
Absolute in opposition to such relativity, and through this plunges
himself into the deepest sorrows and distractions? This has happened not
only in special situations of individuals, but in the whole process of
culture; indeed, the upward march of culture would have been impossible
without a striving of man from a level above his 'given' position and
even above himself. Was not subjective satisfaction more easily reached
by him in the semi-animal stages of his existence than in culture and
civilisation with all their toils and tangles, and does the progress of
culture and civilisation with all their mechanical appliances make him
in the merely human sense happier? What else could compel him to step
into this perilous track but the necessity of his own nature [p.147]
revealing to him the presence of a new order of things?"[51]

The whole of this movement is from within without. Even the physical
world has to enter into consciousness before it can be known and
interpreted; even the over-individual norms have to be accepted and
interpreted by the spiritual potency before the reality which they
possess in themselves can become our own personal reality. We receive
from without on the plane of Nature and on the planes of mentality and
spirituality. The consciousness does not evolve its content on any level
of its progress from itself alone. Material from without has to enter
into it. But the whole of this material will become one's own possession
in the degree it is attended to after it has entered consciousness;
something has to happen to the material _within_ consciousness; it has
to awaken a potency, and has to distil its own content within that
potency. But as this potency is not of the same nature entirely as what
presents itself as possessing value, it is clear that the higher element
which presents itself has to enter into a struggle for the throne of
life with elements of a lower order. As this all-important fact has been
dealt with in a previous chapter, there is no need to dwell on it again;
but it is well to bear in mind that the fact [p.148] constitutes an
important element in Eucken's conception of "universal" religion.

"Universal" and "Characteristic" religion do not constitute two
different religions, but two grades of the one religion. In "Universal"
religion Eucken deals very largely with the intellectual grounds of
religion. He is aware that it is necessary for us to carry our whole
potencies into religion. Intellect is one of these, and we cannot afford
to construct our religion on what comes into perpetual conflict with
intellectual conceptions. Eucken has shown that intellectual
conclusions, if they are carried far enough and include the whole of
their own meaning, lead us into religion. We have already noticed how
the presence of norms and standards were necessitated by the very theory
of knowledge itself. It is a great gain for man to know that this is
so--that in so far as knowledge testifies anything in regard to religion
and spiritual life it affirms more than it negates. It is of enormous
advantage to be assured that knowledge is on our side in the quest for
something that is deeper than itself.

Further, Eucken conceives it as the function of religion on this
"Universal" level to present, on the other hand, the actual situation.
What but knowledge can reveal to us the difference between spiritual
norms and ordinary life, between intellect working alone and intellect
merged with the spiritual potency of one's [p.149] being? We are bound
to know these and a hundred other things. They all go to prove that
there is justification for the movement of spiritual life in the
direction of an over-world, and in its hope for the possession of a new
grade of reality. It is well and necessary to affirm all this before we
enter on the "grand enterprise." When an affirmation, based upon
insight, is made, there will be present within the soul a greater power
to resist hunting after shadows or slipping to a lower level when we are
in the very midst of the quest. And, indeed, on this very level of
"Universal" religion something besides the mere knowledge of religion
has taken place. Values which are intellectually true are bound to
exercise some influence on the life. Thus, something of the nature of
the higher reality has touched the soul and will of man. We _know_ in
what we have believed. This is a stage which must be passed through, for
we can never feel certain upon a higher altitude unless we are certain
of what had led to it. And although, on the higher altitude, there is
the merging of intellectual truth in something higher than itself, still
what is discovered on this higher level is richer in content if we can
call up at times intellectual affirmations for its support.

But "Universal" religion has its limitations, and has to pass into
something more characteristic, specific, and personal. The over-personal
norms, which are spiritual in their very nature, [p.150] have not only
to be interpreted, they have also to be appreciated and reverenced. The
_How_ of their appearance, after it is settled, takes a secondary place,
and the norms in their own value and subsistence are attended to. Thus,
they become not merely ideas having some kind of reality of their own,
but also become revelations of the very nature of the world; they become
the source of all creation; the one spring of all being. In other words,
they are made to mean the Godhead; they mean the creation and sustaining
power of all life. A communion with the Godhead now takes place, and man
finds himself in possession of experiences brought about without the
intervention of the world. Thus "Universal" religion culminates in a
"Characteristic" or personal religion. And to this culmination, as it is
presented by Eucken, we now turn.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAPTER IX [p.151]


On the level of "Universal" religion great changes have taken place in
life. The consciousness and conviction of the reality of a new kind of
world have arisen; the sensuous, and even partially the intellectual,
domains have been relegated to a secondary place: other values, higher
in their nature and more universal in their scope, have attracted the
attention of mind and soul. In all this a change has taken place in the
disposition as well as in the will. Prior to this change the character
had not become conscious of its own inwardness, but remained subservient
to the norms of social and moral inheritance. Some amount of morality
and good will have issued forth in this manner, and, indeed, the gain
cannot be overestimated. But it is evident that something further has to
happen if the movement of society is to proceed onward and upward, and
if the energy for such a movement is to be discovered within the soul.
The whole material which enters into consciousness has to obtain a
deeper meaning [p.152] than it hitherto possessed. And this happens on
the level of "Universal" religion. The _spiritual_ is now recognised as
the highest manifestation of life; and this spiritual is seen to be
something which has to be gained through a struggle which calls the
whole nature into activity. Such a movement from the less to the more
spiritual proceeds side by side with the _freedom_ of the individual.
Freedom has now taken a new meaning. Hitherto it meant little more than
the consciousness of the individual moving along the line of least
resistance. The effort to move in such a direction is generally
pleasurable; and when it tends to become painful the individual gives up
the effort. The highest norms were not present with a categorical
affirmation of their reality and value. But when they are present, the
will is turned from the direction of ordinary life and its ease to the
conception of the meaning and value of the highest norms. Something,
appearing as of intrinsic value, now makes itself felt, and stirs the
whole nature. Thus, a _new movement_ begins; the _passive_ attitude of
the soul gives way to an _autonomous_ attitude and movement. The will,
consequently, is conscious of a deeper need than any hitherto
experienced, and therefore calls into being some deeper elements of its
own in order to reach its goal. The whole nature has now affirmed the
_idea of the good_, which had dawned upon it as an imperative. It is in
[p.153] such a moment that the real nature becomes free--it becomes
conscious, through and through, of the possibility of leaving its old
world and of ascending into a new one. This is, in Eucken's words, the
real spiritual evolution (_Wesensbildung_) of human nature. This
evolution, which, prior to this, was considered very largely as a kind
of gift of the environment, is now perceived as capable of realisation
only in so far as the spiritual norms are willed. When we examine the
progress of humanity, we discover that it has taken place in this
manner; a task had to be set and the whole nature had to be called forth
to realise it. The result is that a new creation takes place in the
history of the world. Such a creation becomes a new norm in the moral
world, as well as a possession in the life of the individual who has
struggled to realise it.

Such a spiritual process, after something of its nature has been
realised, finds necessities laid upon it on all hands. Once we have
stepped into the very centre of spiritual norms and ideals they begin to
reveal with a wonderful rapidity and impressiveness their own intrinsic
content and value. "Universal" religion has enabled us to realise that
we are dealing with "grounds" which are a demand of the deepest nature,
and with convictions which seem, without a doubt, "to ring true." The
man has found a shelter in the midst of all the chaos and welter of the
natural process, [p.154] and his deepest reason has not failed to come
to the assistance of his spiritual need. He now becomes conscious of
security and even of victory in the enterprise before the battle has
really begun on an arena outside his own nature; a conviction is being
brought into being within his deepest soul that the best and strongest
elements in the universe are on his side. Although hindrances and
entanglements of all kinds increase in number, the increase in spiritual
certainty, and faith in the final issue of his life, have grown at a
greater ratio. Such a man has settled his destiny; he has come to the
great spiritual affirmation of life--an affirmation which has to be
repeated so often, and which each time distils something of a higher
order within the soul.

It is evident that such an affirmation of the reality of spiritual
ideals, which have now an existence of their own, should lead us
farther. If they mean so much, why cannot they mean more? If they
subsist in themselves, they must be what they _are_. They are to us
meaning and value of infinite significance. But such and other spiritual
characteristics are _not things_, and, as we have seen, not mere
projections of our own individual selves. There is nothing short of
personality and over-personality by which they can be even partially
designated and determined. We are forced to this conclusion if they are
to be objects of communion and union: and we are forced [p.155] further
to gather the Many into the One. That was what was done on all lower
planes. Why stop short here, because infinitely much happens when the
Many find their points of union and meaning in the One?[52] We have said
that infinitely much happens when the Many find their meaning in the
One. A need of the nature has arisen which demands this, and it has
arisen at its _highest possible level alone_. Such a nature will never
become absolutely certain of the meaning and value of all that has led
up to this until the One obtains a self-subsistence. If this effort
fails, the whole effort of development towards unity and inwardness
fails. And when such a chain of effort snaps at its highest link of
spiritual development, everything that had entered into the process at
all the levels below it snaps along with it in so far as it had any
validity whatever in the light of what is higher than itself.

But the fact that this conception of the One, conceived as Absolute
Spiritual Life, has produced so many effects of the highest kind is a
proof of its existence. Qualities come into being which can never come
with such power in any other way. The spiritual experiences, revealed at
such a level, have something to say on this matter. These experiences,
[p.156] although aware of the meaning of universal concepts, have become
aware of something higher still: Knowledge has given place to Love; a
region has been reached beyond all the contradictions of the world and
beyond all the dialectics of knowledge. It is a region which includes
the good of all without injuring the good of any; and all the meaning of
the world and of life is interpreted from this highest standpoint. This
is the essence of "characteristic "or specific religion. On the level of
"universal" religion, God was seen from the standpoint of the world; in
"characteristic" religion the world is seen from the standpoint of God.
The appearance of the world is consequently different from each
standpoint. All must now be viewed and valued from the standpoint of
"characteristic" religion, from the standpoint of the One--the Godhead;
and if humanity is ever to be brought to this standpoint, the nature and
the meaning of the One have to be presented to it. And it is this, as
Eucken shows, which has been partially accomplished by the religions of
the world. Their founders were personalities who had scaled the heights
towards the "holy of holies" of the One; they descended into the plains
to reveal what they had seen and heard and experienced on the heights.
They had been able to commune with the Alone, and their natures had been
completely transformed. In passing thus from the stage of "universal"
[p.157] religion to the higher stage of "characteristic," men have
discovered a further security and spiritual evolution of their whole
being. Their views of man and the world have become changed; they now
long to make mankind the possessor of the "vision splendid" which has
meant all for them. Communion with the One as Infinite Love has revealed
to them a peace and a power which are far beyond all the lower unities.

It is of value, in the midst of all the complexities of life, of the
partial interpretations of the various branches of knowledge, to have
passed through the several stages below the One. Some must guard the
highest citadel of religion and keep open the avenues to Infinity,
Eternity, and Immortality. And the greater the number who are able to do
this, the better for the world and for the individual. But a taste of
this Infinite Love can be obtained without all this. Just as some of us
are able to walk without a knowledge of the bodily mechanism and to eat
and digest without a knowledge of the history of our bread, so the
deeper spiritual potencies inherent in man are able to find a vast
amount of satisfaction by resting upon and trusting in a Love Absolute,
Eternal, and Infinite. Here, man is in a region of infinite calm beyond
the distractions of the world and of knowledge. He cannot remain here
for any great length of time; he has to return to the world, but he is
never [p.158] again the same being after having scaled the "mount of
transfiguration." "Religion holds as certain and conclusive that this
new inner foundation is the greatest thing of all and the wonder of
wonders, because it carries within itself the power and certainty of the
overcoming of the old world and the creation of a new one; it is on
account of this that religion longs for the conviction of the whole man,
and brands the denial of this as pettiness and unbelief. The world may
therefore remain to the external view as it appeared before--a kingdom
of opposition and darkness; its hindrances within and without may seem
to nullify everything else; they may contract and even seemingly destroy
man and his spiritual potencies; all his acts may seem fruitless and
vain, and his whole existence may seem to sink into nothingness and
worthlessness. Yet, through the entrance of the new life and a new
world, everything is transformed from within, and the clearness of the
light appears all the more by contrast with all the depth of the
darkness. Indeed, in the midst of all the mysteries of existence, hope
and conviction and certainty will consolidate our experience, so that
ultimately evil itself must serve the development of the good."[53] Or
in the words of Luther: "This is the spiritual power which reigns and
rules in the midst of enemies, and is powerful in the midst [p.159] of
all oppression. And this is nothing other than that strength is
perfected in weakness, and that in all things I can gain life eternal,
so that cross and crown are compelled to serve and to contribute towards
my salvation."[54]

Eucken shows how this idea of God comes from the Life-process itself.
The Godhead is present, not as an external revelation but as the ever
fuller meaning and experience which have been carried along in the soul
in its passage from the natural level to the highest spiritual plane. At
its summit the development unfolds its true spiritual content of Love.
The Highest Power--however much there still remains dark concerning
it--has had communication with man, is present within his soul, has
become his own life and nature, as well as his self-subsistence over
against the order of the world. Here Love is raised up into an image of
the Godhead--Love as a self-communication and as an essential elevation
of the nature, and as an expression of inmost fellowship.[55] "There
originates a mutual intercourse of the soul and God as between an I and
a Thou." It has already been stated that Eucken insists that no close
determination, in an intellectual form, should be given to this
conception and experience of God. The idea of a personality of God is
not an intellectual idea presented in any doctrinal form; it is an idea
[p.160] born _within_ the _Life-process_ on its highest levels. On such
levels it becomes obvious and indispensable. Man may be clearly
conscious of the symbolism of the idea, and yet, at the same time, grasp
in it an incontestable intrinsic truth which he knows to be far above
all mere anthropomorphism. Eucken shows that it is not merely a human
greatness that has been transferred to the Divine, but that the whole
meaning here is a return to the source of a Divine Life and its mutual
communication with man; and therefore the whole process is not an
argument of man concerning the Divine, because the Divine has to be
apprehended through the Divine within us. "All opposition to the idea of
the Divine personality is ultimately explained by the fact that an
energetic Life-process is wanting--a Life-process which entertains the
question not so much from without as from within. Whenever such a
Life-process is found, there is simultaneously found, often in overt
contradiction to the formal doctrinal statement, an element of such a
personal character of God."[56] But this _immanent_ aspect of the idea
of God is accompanied by a _transcendent_ aspect. We have noticed
already that the very nature of the _Ought_ included a transcendent and
objective aspect.[57] The same fact becomes evident in [p.161] religious
experience. The two poles--immanence and transcendence--are
complementary. The former shows that something of the Divine nature has
been implanted within human nature; the latter shows that more is in
existence than we have already possessed. Spiritual norms never decrease
but increase in splendour the nearer man is to their attainment.
Something is here discovered which is not found in the world; it is a
kind of transcendent summit, a mysterious sublimity. And an approach
towards this summit produces experiences never to be possessed in any
other kind of way. As Eucken himself puts it: "If this sublimity
superior to the world secures an abode in the soul, and, indeed, becomes
the inmost and most intimate part of our being, and enables us to
participate in the self-subsistence of infinity, it opens up within us a
fathomless depth, in which the existence that lies nearest to our hands
is swallowed up, and it makes us a problem to ourselves--a problem which
transforms the whole of life--whilst it enables us to understand and to
handle what at the outset appeared to be its whole life as a mere phase
and appearance. Thus it is the same religion which opens out from God to
man and which simultaneously opens itself out in man himself and becomes
a great mystery to him. Therefore, in the idea of God the intimate and
the ultimate must both be present if religion is to reach its full
development and to [p.162] avoid the dangers which everywhere threaten
it."[58] Both these aspects interlace in one Life-process; the unity is
present in the manifold, and the ultimate present in the intimate.

According to Eucken, it is out of such an experience as we have noticed
that the idea of immortality becomes a firm belief and faith within the
soul. The idea cannot be proved scientifically, simply because its
spiritual content is greater than anything which is _below_ it. The
whole proof lies within the experience itself at this, its highest
summit. "The Infinite Power and Love that has grounded a new spontaneous
nature in man, over against a dark and hostile world, will conserve such
a new nature and its spiritual nucleus, and shelter it against all
perils and assaults, so that life as the bearer of life eternal can
never be wholly lost in the stream of time." We are here in a region
farthest removed from sense and understanding; but the remarkable thing
is that the conviction of immortality does not dawn on any lower level;
it is not on the lower levels a portion of spiritual experience. It
seems as if an element of immortality is only to be gained at a certain
height of the spiritual life. On all levels below, men seek for proofs
in the analogies of Nature, in the supposed return of the spirits of the
dead, and in the craving found in their own lives. All these proofs have
one thing in common: they [p.163] are all of a lower order of value than
the meaning which the content of experience gives to immortality on its
highest level. For at this highest level the proof is not something
happening outside the man; it is the deepest part of his own being which
now actually possesses a taste of life eternal. It seems, then, that
there is no answer to the problem outside ourselves, because it is not
something to be known, but something to be experienced after long toil
and a stirring of the nature to its lowest depths in the drift of all
that is highest and best.[59] It is sufficient for us to possess a life
which is spiritual and timeless in its nature: and when such a life is
possessed, empirical proofs are neither demanded nor desired. It is
within one's own new and spiritual world that proofs are now discovered,
and they are timeless and spaceless in their own intrinsic nature. "Do
this, and thou shalt live." If the man has to negate all concerning the
preservation of his natural individuality, the new world he has gained
for his soul will have abundant affirmation within itself, without the
support of any earthly props. It is his own highest life which testifies
to him that "death does not count" at all.

Eucken's whole plea is that spiritual life at the point of its highest
manifestation should not be interpreted by anything below itself.
[p.164] We have already noticed how, on lower levels, spiritual life was
even there interpreted by its _norms_, and not by its connections with
what was _below itself_. The disappearance of miracle in religion is an
indispensable stage which must be passed over. It is necessary only on a
mid-level of religion, and has really been far more of the nature of a
symbol than of a fact. It is at our peril that in religion we give up
such a symbol until a more "inward wonder" has happened within our own
soul. When the self-subsistence of the spiritual life and the reality of
the norms of the over-world, now all united in God, are experienced, all
miraculous manifestations of the Divine, imaginary or real, are
relegated to a secondary place. They all belong to a point which the man
has passed; they are milestones to which he can never return. "An evil
and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign
be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet." As Eucken points out,
"This is no other than the sign of spiritual power and of a Divine
message and greatness." The movement from signs and miracles is a
movement from the outward to the inward, from percept to spirituality;
and the essence of religion, as a reality in itself and as an experience
of the soul, is to be found by taking such a step. The centre of gravity
of life has now been shifted from the outward to the inward. To
accomplish this means nothing less than a [p.165] struggle for _the
governing centre of life_. Unless we succeed in this struggle, the inner
life will reach no independence and subsistence of its own. Even when
the struggle succeeds in gaining its longed-for depth, it has not
removed for once and for all the contradictions from without and within.
Difficulties, from the lower side, will accompany the spiritual life in
its higher evolution, but once it has become conscious of its own Divine
nature and certainty it will gain sufficiently in content and power to
relegate them all to the periphery. Something has happened within the
soul which can never be obliterated. As Eucken says: "The contradiction
is now removed from the centre to the periphery of life; it can
therefore only touch us from without, and is not able to overthrow what
is within; it will not so much weaken as strengthen the certainty,
because it calls life to a perpetual renewal and brings to fruition the
greatness of the conquest."[60]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAPTER X [p.166]


We have noticed in the two preceding chapters how Eucken distinguished
the two stages of religion--the "Universal" and the "Characteristic"
--and how he showed the necessity of both stages. As man cannot escape
from the conclusions of his intellect, it becomes necessary for him to
come to an understanding with those conclusions; and although such
conclusions do not form a complete account of life in its deepest
aspects, still they are indispensable for him in order to know that he
is on the path towards a further development of his spiritual nature.
Hence the grounds of religion have to be emphasised by the conclusions
of the intellect. But though intellectual conclusions, as we have
already seen, warrant us in holding fast to the presence and reality of
a life of the spirit and to the possibility of an evolution of such a
life, all this does not mean that such an evolution is actually reached
through the affirmations of [p.167] the intellect. The road of spiritual
development is marked out, but we have to travel over that road
ourselves. Something more than an intellectual acknowledgment of the
existence of such a road is necessary before the actual movement takes
place. When the actual movement does take place, when the intellectual
conclusions come in contact with a will arising from our deepest needs,
the matter becomes personal--it becomes something that has to be
affirmed by the blending of intellect with the deeper spiritual
potencies. The vision at this higher stage constitutes not only the
certainty of a path for man--a path which leads to higher regions--but
brings forth hidden energies in order to start him on the enterprise.
The whole vision is now seen to be possible of realisation only through
personal decisions of the whole nature in the direction of the
over-personal values which present themselves. These over-personal
values increase as the soul passes along the upward path and as it
grants a self-subsistence and unconditional significance to these
values. There follows here an increase of spiritual reflection; the
content of the vision is loosened from sense and time; its
self-subsistence becomes more and more real and more and more and more
different from all that was experienced on any level below; knowledge
steps into the background, and love and appreciation now guide the whole
movement of [p.168] the soul. As we have already seen, when this
happens, the idea of God as Infinite Love presents itself, and the
soul's main task is to climb to the summits "where on the glimmering
limits far withdrawn God made Himself an awful rose of dawn." Religion
is at such a level more than an intellectual insistence upon its
grounds; the soul looks now rather to its summits. Hence the two stages
of Universal and Characteristic religion become necessary. And it is not
always true that the Universal mode ceases once the Characteristic mode
is partially realised. The soul has to descend from the heights into the
ordinary world below. And as it now sees the world with new eyes, it
sees much more to be condemned than was previously possible for it to
see. There comes the constant need of certifying the validity of its
experience on the heights, and of getting others who have never
attempted the experiment to do so. The man possessed of something of the
vision within his own soul proclaims his "gospel," and conceives of all
kinds of ways and means by which humanity can be drawn towards the same

This is the meaning which Eucken attaches to the origin and development
of the union of universal and specific religions as these have been
revealed in human history. The intellectual grounds of religion as well
as something of the actual spiritual experiences are presented by the
founders. Every kind of [p.169] religion has originated in this manner.
They are all attempts at showing that a _here and now_ and a _beyond_
have united and become potencies of life, and can become actualities.
The _here and now_ always points to a _beyond_, and the _beyond_, when
it is realised, returns to the _here and now_ and always transforms it.
Thus, we are in the midst of two worlds which are continuous with one
another just as the valley is continuous with the base of the mountain.

Such historical religions do not, then, originate in the collective
experiences of humanity, but in what has actually happened in the life
of unique personalities. These personalities have become, as it were,
mediators between God and man. Such religions adopt the most diverse
forms, because the personalities have given of the content of their own
personal experiences, and no two experiences view anything from
standpoints precisely identical. The historical religions may
consequently be narrow in their outlook. The personalities are dependent
upon their race, place, training, and inheritance for the particular
intellectual presentation of their religion. Thus, each historical
religion has its own view of the universe and its own morality. But the
value of no historical religion is to be judged from this standpoint
alone. Such views of the universe and such morality must have appeared
to them somehow as a good--as [p.170] ways and means to what lay
_beyond_. We may have outgrown such ways and means; other ways and means
higher in their nature may have become our inheritance. But these higher
ways and means could not have evolved out of their lower stages had not
some element of the _beyond_ instilled itself into them. The historical
religions could never have flourished on immorality and superstition,
however much of these we may discover in them. It is the _beyond,
over-personal_ element which has kept them alive, and this element has
always had a hard struggle to overcome and transform _the here-and-now_
elements. Whenever the historical religions are traced back to their
sources, there is discovered an element _above_ the world in the souls
of their founders and of their immediate followers. As Eucken puts it:
"To these founders the new kingdom was no vague outline and no feeble
hope, but all stood clear in front of them; the kingdom was so real to
their souls and filled them so exclusively that the whole sensuous world
was reduced by them to a semblance and a shadow if they could not
otherwise gain a new value from a superior power. The new world could
attain to such immediacy and impressiveness only because a regal
imagination wrestled for a unique picture in the tangled heap of life,
and because it invested this picture with the clearest outlines and the
most vivid colours. Thus the new world dawns on humanity with [p.171]
fascinating power, rousing it out of the sluggishness of daily routine,
binding it through a corporate aim, raising inspiring ardour through
radiant promises and terrible threats, and creating achievements
otherwise impossible. This prepared road into the kingdom of the
invisible, this creation of a new reality which is no merely serene kind
of play but a deep seriousness, this inversion of worlds which pushes
sensuous existence down into a distance and which prepares a home for
man within the kingdom of faith--all this is the greatest achievement
that has ever been undertaken and that has ever worked upon human soil.
... Their works seemed to carry within them Divine energies; wonders
surrounded their paths; their life and being bridged securely the gulf
between heaven and earth."[61] Now, Eucken shows that it is of great
importance to acknowledge these personalities in order that life may be
brought into a safe track. Enough has already been said of the
impossibility of finding a sufficiency for life and death within the
span of ordinary existence. And as this is so, a whole span of past and
present has to be taken into account. The world cannot move a step
towards the heights of the future without this. The real future is the
blend of what _was_ and _is_ forming the standard and the receptacle for
what is _to be._ We have already noticed how such a standard [p.172]
evolves; and how, when it is followed to its utmost limits, it merges
into the conception of God. But as all this is a conception spiritual in
its nature--devoid of flesh and blood as its clothing--it becomes
extremely difficult for the majority of mankind to hold fast to its
reality in a world where flesh and blood mean so much. Something more
tangible is craved for by man as a proof of an over-world and of an
over-personal life. Such proof men are able to obtain in the great
religious personalities of the world without having to go through the
intellectual processes of discovering the grounds of religion. Men are
able to view this spiritual truth as they view a picture. It becomes
easy to understand how such personalities have been raised beyond all
human valuations to a likeness to God and even to an equality with God.
Such personalities were the highest conceptions which men could possess
of the Godhead. This seems to have been a necessary stage in the
evolution of the religious life as well as of religious conceptions. And
even to-day attention is not to be diverted from such personalities. The
question whether they were or were not gods has become meaningless. What
psychology is able to fathom the soul of any individual? Every attempt
at doctrinal formulation states less than was present within the souls
of such personalities. But, on the other hand, it does seem necessary,
[p.173] according to Eucken's teaching, to avoid confusing such
personalities with the All. They were great; they possessed elements
above the world; but none of them possessed the whole that is in

The truth concerning these founders of religion seems to lie in the fact
that they realised a depth of life beyond the world, the intellect, and
the span of ordinary life. It is this fact that needs to be brought
prominently forward in our day. And such a fact becomes an experimental
proof of the presence and efficacy of the Divine within the soul and
points to an upward direction the total-movement of the world. If such a
fact does not succeed in holding for itself a primary place, other
subsidiary facts will colour and weaken its true spiritual content and
value. This is the road on which speculative and superstitious ideas
have found an entrance into the historical religions. When such is the
case, the spiritual reality is gradually weakened, is lowered to the
level of intellectualistic dogma, until it ultimately becomes, though in
the guise of religion, the worst enemy which spiritual religion has to
encounter. All hard and fixed dogmatic settings of religion usurp the
supremacy of the spiritual life itself.

Eucken shows this in connection with religious
institutions--institutions which were meant by their founders to be
essential but [p.174] still subservient to the needs and aspirations of
spiritual life. Thus, genuine religion is measured by a doctrinal
standard or by a sacrament. These may possess an incalculable value in
religion, when used as means and not as ends; but they may, and often
do, issue in its degradation to a stage which is hardly a spiritual one.
Every historical religion possesses some absolute truth, but does not
possess the whole truth; and also each historical religion possesses
some elements which have to pass away. But this matter will be dealt
with in a later chapter.

The main service of the historical religions is to bring home to us the
fact that in the course of human history a spiritual life above the
world has again and again dawned on mankind through the experiences and
works of great personalities. To realise intensely such a fact is to
realise the fact that all this can happen again in a more concentrated
form than is actually presented in the slow and toilsome effects of the
results of the collective life of the community.

It may be well to refer here to Eucken's classification of the religions
of the world. This classifications consists of _the Religions of Law and
the Religions of Redemption_. The Religions of Law maintain that the
kernel of religion lies in "the announcement and advocacy of a moral
order which governs the world from on high." God has revealed His will
to man; [p.175] if man obeys, rich rewards await him in a future life;
if he disobeys, painful punishment is sure to follow. Man himself has to
select one of the two alternatives, and he believes himself able to
choose. The Religions of Redemption consider such a view false and
superficial. Now, there is no doubt that the Religions of Law are stages
which are of value when men are incapable of grasping the difficulties
and complexities of religion. The whole of religion on this level of Law
is a replica of the relations which obtain on a smaller scale between a
sovereign and his subjects, or between a master and his slave. Authority
is something purely external. The two Religions of Redemption--the
Indian and the Christian--seek the meaning of religion in a very
different manner. They both agree that human capability, which seems so
evident to the Religions of Law, is the most difficult and important of
all questions. They agree further that the essence of religion does not
consist in guiding life for the sake of something that life is to
participate in or to avoid in the future; they agree that a change must
happen within the soul in this world, and that this change only comes
about through the aid of a supernatural power. But these two religions
differ fundamentally in their different ways of looking at the world. To
the Indian religions, the existence of the world is an evil; the world
is itself a kingdom of illusions. "All in it is transient [p.176] and
unreal; nothing in it has duration; happiness and love are merely
momentary, and men are as two pieces of wood floating on the face of an
infinite ocean which pass by one another, never to meet again. Fruitless
agitation and painful deception have fallen upon him who mistakes such a
transient semblance for a reality and who hangs his heart upon it.
Therefore it behoves man to free himself from such an unholy arena. This
emancipation will take place when the semblance is seen through as
semblance, and when the soul has gained an insight right into the
foundation of things. Then the world loses its power over man; the whole
kingdom of deception with its evanescent values goes to the bottom, all
the excited affections caused by the world are extinguished, and life
becomes a still and holy calm; it reaches the depth of a dreamless
sleep, enters, through its immersion into an eternal essence, beyond the
shadows; it passes, according to Buddhism in its most definite
interpretation, into a state of entire unconsciousness."[62]

How different a spirit from all this breathes in Christianity! In
Christianity the world is good as far as it goes, but it does not go far
enough. Something of the revelation of the Divine may be discovered
within it, but this is only a segment of a greater whole which comes to
realisation within the soul. Here, the world is not cast away, despite
all its limitations, but [p.177] is perceived as the only sphere where
spiritual experience may exercise itself and draw out its own hidden
potencies. Tribulation is to be found in the world; but a standpoint
_above_ the world, gained by cutting a path right through the world, is
possible. When such a standpoint is reached, the world is seen as it
ought to be seen and used as it ought to be used. But this aspect of the
meaning of the world in the Christian religion will be dealt with later.
It is sufficient to state here that Eucken considers Christianity
superior to all other religions by virtue of the fact that it overcomes
the world, not by fleeing from it, but by transforming it. It views the
physical world as a stage upon which the life of the spirit has to
realise all its possibilities; the world and all that is within it take
a secondary place: the primary place is now accorded to the world of
ideals and values as these merge into love and the conception of the

The question of the finality of the Christian religion in its purely
historical sense has been discussed by Eucken in his _Truth of Religion,
Christianity and the New Idealism_, and _Können wir noch Christen sein_?
In these three works he arrives at the conclusion that no one religion
has a claim to the name "absolute religion," because even Christianity
itself cannot be more than a partial, though the highest, manifestation
of the Divine. And what Christianity has been and is in [p.178] itself
as a force in the history of the Western world cannot be the same as
what it was in the personal experience of its Founder. It is not
something which descended once and for all into the world, and so
remains its permanent inheritance. It is the most priceless inheritance
we possess; but such an inheritance has to be discovered again and
again. All this cannot come about without calling up to-day the same
spiritual energies as were needful for the tasks that were present when
Christianity started to conquer the world. Its aspects of "world-denial
and world-renewal" render Christianity the very religion we need. "It is
the religion of religions," but a statement of this fact does not mean
the realisation of the fact. The same energy and aspiration are needful
to-day as in the days of yore. Christianity, whenever it has lived on
its highest levels, has struggled for two tremendous facts at least: the
insufficiency of the world and the regeneration of the world in the
light of the Divine. It is not a repetition of what the Founder said
concerning religion. What the Founder said cost him enormous labour to
discover and to possess. We shall gain so much and no more of the same
spiritual substance as we put the same kind of energy in motion. In
order that we may unravel the complexities of our day, a spirit similar
to his spirit must become ours. When such a spirit ceases to exist,
Christianity will become merely a [p.179] name; its power will have
disappeared, and men can delude themselves into believing that they
possess it when in fact they are the possessors of but little of its
spirit and of much of its form. But the possession of the same spirit as
that of Jesus constitutes the further development of Christianity, and
this further development is nothing other than what we have already
seen--the experience and efficacy of an eternal order of things in the
midst of all the changes of time. Thus we are thrown back once more, not
upon our bare individual selves, but upon the presence of the Divine
within the spiritual life itself. Christianity is therefore not
something that has been completed in the past, but the highest mode of
conceiving and of experiencing Life in the present; it becomes an
inward, personal and spiritual experience; and its duration and
expansion depend upon the increase and depth of such a spiritual

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAPTER XI [p.180]


It has been noticed how "Characteristic" or "Specific" religion means
the carrying farther of the implications of "Universal" religion. It is
not only necessary to know the "grounds" of religion, as these reveal
themselves within the conclusions of the intellect: we have to plant
ourselves upon these "grounds"; we must _be_ what they _mean_. Thus,
religion becomes a personal task--something that can never be realised
until the whole nature comes to constant decisions of its own and acts
upon those decisions in the light of what has expressed itself in the
form of those over-personal norms which have further developed into a
conception of, and communion with, the Godhead. We have noticed further,
how this essence of religion was realised in the lives of great
personalities in history, as well as in the religions which they helped
to found.

Eucken does not hesitate to affirm that the highest of these religions
is the Christian [p.181] religion. The core of the Christian religion
consists, as we have already noticed, in its presentation of "a
world-denial and world-renewal" in a far higher degree than any of the
other religions, and also in the fact that it presents the union of the
human and the Divine in a clearer light than before. We have noticed,
too, how the Indian religions had to condemn the world in order to
penetrate to the very essence and bliss of religion. Mohammedanism
affirmed the world in too strong a manner, and its eternal world
constituted a kind of replica of the present material world on an
enlarged scale. The Jewish religion evolved through a series of stages
which finally culminated in Christianity. The Roman and the Greek
religions presented too many pluralistic aspects to be able ever to
reach the highest synthesis whereby the Many found their meaning,
interpretation, and value in the One.

Although the Christian religion cannot be designated as absolute
religion, still it may be designated as the highest and most perfect
manifestation of the Divine. The meaning of the term "absolute religion"
involves a conception impossible to maintain, on account of the fact
that in all religions some spiritual truth is discerned and realised.
The term "absolute religion" is also false on account of the fact that
no religion can contain the whole that is to be revealed and
experienced. Christianity [p.182] is best valued when it is seen, not as
a completion of the revelation of the Divine to man, but as a revelation
which has to be preserved, deepened, and carried farther. In the soul of
the Founder of Christianity there was doubtless present far more than is
expressed in the Biblical records, and far more than actually filtered
into the individual and collective consciousness of the earliest
Christian communities. But we cannot live on what has occurred in the
life of any other individual or community except in so far as this
enters also into our own individual and the collective consciousness. We
have already touched on this aspect of the impossibility of obtaining
sufficient strength for the warfare of the present in anything that
occurred in the past. Some measure of strength--and no psychology is
able to say how much--can be obtained from a vision of the spiritual
meaning and significance of the life of the Founder. But there is very
great danger in looking here alone for the sole source of all the help
we need. The spiritual principles of Christianity have been operating in
the world ever since the Master presented the Gospel which he lived and
died for. The problem of Christianity is thus a twofold problem. On the
one hand, we have constantly to go back to the Fountain-head, because it
is here that the stream is purest. But we have, on the other hand, to
enter into the religious current which surrounds us; and this may be not
so [p.183] pure as it was at its source. Alien waters have entered into
the current--waters of very different taste from those which even the
Founder expected. These have doubtless polluted the stream. But, on the
other hand, good elements--primary and secondary--have entered into the
deepest nature of Christianity itself. These have to be taken into
account. They have been necessitated by the new and ever more complex
situations and conditions into which Christianity has had to enter from
generation to generation. It was comparatively easy for Christianity in
its early beginnings to include within its compass the whole of life.
But by to-day life has branched off in so many new directions;
perplexing problems of knowledge and life have made their appearance. We
dare not dismiss these to a region outside the sphere of influence of
Christianity. Christianity, if it is to remain and increase as a living
force, has to interpret these problems; it has to help us to distinguish
between the chaff and the wheat.

What, then, is the true meaning of Christianity? Eucken shows that it is
not possible to determine the nature of Christianity without realising
that the nucleus common to all religions lies in the fact "that they
manifest and represent a Divine Life, and that such a Life in its inmost
foundation is superior to its external configuration and activity, and
is able to withstand all the changes of time, and to [p.184] maintain
within itself, in spite of all its curtailment through the human
situation, _an eternal truth_." This nucleus lies deeper in Christianity
than in any other religion. But even Christianity itself is not a pure
spiritual nucleus. Much, as we have already noticed, has gathered around
it--much that reveals a lower grade of spirituality. All this
constitutes the clothing of Christianity. The clothing has been changed
again and again in the past. What reason is there for affirming that it
cannot be changed again? It is therefore necessary to differentiate
between the _Substance_ of Christianity and its _Existential-form_. The
Substance constitutes the fundamental Life superior to the world, and
has been present throughout the whole of the Christian era; and it is
this Substance which has raised men beyond the merely human situation;
it is the Substance that has enabled men to overcome the world, and
afterwards to see the world from the standpoint of the Divine. In this
work of differentiation we are dependent in a very large measure upon
the results of knowledge. Such results do not grant us the Substance of
Christianity, because this is something which has to be lived into in
order to be possessed. The transformation which occurs on account of a
change in the Existential-form may indeed prove helpful to the spiritual
nucleus itself, because it represents a truth of the intellect-a truth
which does not conflict with any [p.185] knowledge outside its own
sphere. There are many dangers to be discovered in this process of
interpreting the spiritual nucleus. A mode of interpretation whose
meaning has very largely passed away is bound to prove injurious,
because it comes into sharp conflict with a newer and more comprehensive
meaning, and consequently Christianity fails to win the support of those
who are acquainted with the new Existential-form. And even the
individual who retains the old clothing, and looks upon it as being
something of the same nature as the spiritual nucleus, is in danger of
basing a portion of his religion on a foundation of sand. But, on the
other hand, he who is aware of the flaws of the old Existential-form
without having assimilated the Spiritual Substance which lies beneath
it, is in danger of drifting from religion altogether. The only way of
serving best and carrying farther the development of the Christian
religion is to grasp and experience deeply the fact that the Spiritual
Substance is something entirely different from its form of existence.
Its form of existence is an attempt to account for the Substance; it
consists of intellectual concepts. And as with everything else in this
world so with religion; mere intellectual concepts change, and cannot be
more than receptacles used by the human mind to enshrine the things
which are presented as meanings and values within the soul.

[p.186] Eucken pays great attention to the necessity of this process of
differentiation between the two elements in Christianity. There is a
need to-day of a new form of existence for Christianity; but the
satisfaction of this need will not grant us the spiritual nucleus
itself. The spiritual nucleus is something to be gained not by means of
knowledge, but by means of love. Eucken goes so far as to state that the
idea of love and love of one's enemy as presented in Christianity forms
a new element for the redemption of the individual and of the race. To
grasp this idea and to penetrate into its nature is to solve all the
problems of life and death. This is the Eternal element in the Christian
religion. It is found, it is true, in other religions; but why should we
look for it elsewhere when it blossomed with such divine glory in the
life of the Founder? This is the highest spiritual synthesis
conceivable. The world has known nothing greater, and nothing greater is
to be known. This is the Eternal element in Christianity which has to be
possessed and preserved and furthered. If we ask the question concerning
the success or failure of Christianity in the future, the answer is to
be found by answering the question, Is Love to God and Love to man found
within it to-day? If we are able to answer in the affirmative, we are
thereby answering the question in regard to the future duration and
conquests of Christianity. And if it possesses [p.187] this element
deeply enough, it can adopt any existential-form which appears true
without any kind of alarm. If we have to answer in the negative, there
is no guarantee as to persistence of Christianity in the future.
Anything less than the spiritual nucleus of Love is lacking in strength
necessary to withstand the storms of the future.

We thus see that the essence of Christianity and its durability do not
lie in any kind of theology: it lies within the Spiritual Substance
which has abode within it throughout the centuries. Here will the world
find its peace and power; here will all social complexities be solved;
here will the meanings and blessings of the spiritual over-world of
goodness and love become the possession of man. This is what Eucken
means by contending that it is not the business of Christianity to deal
with social problems in any light but the light of Infinite Love.
Without an experience of this deepest source of Christianity, we do not
possess the equipment for doing anything more than patching and
re-patching the evils of the world. And all our patching, when but a
small span of time has passed away, will leave the situation just as it
was, or probably worse. Every solution will give birth to a new
complexity; the world may be incessantly active in connection with the
betterment of the social situation,'but we shall never heal the wounds
of individuals and of nations until they are [p.188] brought to the
depth of the spiritual life revealed in Christianity as Eternal Love. "A
warm love towards all humanity runs through Christianity; it longs to
redeem every individual; it gives man a value beyond all special
achievements and on the other side of all mental and moral deeds; it has
been the first to bring the pure inwardness of the soul to a clear
expression. But it has also, through the linking of the human to a
Divine and Eternal Order, raised life beyond all that is trivial and
merely human with its civic ordinances and social interests. He who,
with the best intention, views Christianity as a mere means for the
betterment of the social situation, draws it from the heights of its
nature, and deprives it of the main constituent of its greatness--the
emancipation from the petty-human within the depths of the human itself.
It is essentially the nature of Christianity that it transplants man
into a new world over against the world that is nearest to our hands; it
has planted the fundamental conviction of Platonism of the existence of
an Eternal Order over against the world of Time amongst a great portion
of the human race, and has given a mighty impetus to all effort. But it
has, though it separated the Eternal from Time, brought it back again
into Time; and through the presence of the Eternal it has, for the first
time, proposed to mankind and to each individual a fundamental inner
renewal, [p.189] and through this has inaugurated a genuine

Acknowledging such a nucleus as constituting the very substance of
Christianity, Eucken proceeds to show the necessity of preserving and
unfolding the nucleus against the changes of Time. The nucleus has to be
preserved over against Nature. It has been noticed in previous chapters
how modern science has presented us with a view of Nature immensely
vaster than that presented in Christian theology. Such a view has
destroyed for ever a large number of the theological conceptions of the
past. The earth has been reduced to a subsidiary place within the
cosmos; and any attempt to return to the old conceptions is bought at
too high a price. A new mode of thought in regard to the interpretation
of the physical universe has come to stay, and the sooner the Christian
Church comes to an understanding with it the better for the Church
itself. And this new mode may be gladly accepted, because it cannot
touch the nature and destiny of the _soul_ of man. We are not able to
view the perfect circle of things, but we are able to [p.190] trace a
segment of it in the fact of the unmistakably cosmic character of the
spiritual life. The progressive intensifying of the Life-process has
made the fact abundantly clear that Nature is not the final reality it
was supposed to be by the scientific mode of the past, but that it
signifies no more than a "human vista of reality." And, as we have
already observed in connection with the Theory of Knowledge, the nature
of that "vista" is determined by a mental process and a construction
beyond Nature. Nature appears as no more than an environment when once
the power of Eternal Life has appeared within the soul. An insistence on
this power and _its_ capacity has raised man to a level from which he
recognises the "priority of spirit" in spite of all the "palpableness of
sensuous impressions." Man thus appears great as against Nature; but
there is more than enough to make him humble when he views himself in
the light of that truth which constitutes the Spiritual and Eternal
Substance of Christianity.

Not only do we find the two different elements present in the
Christianity of our day; they are also apparent in the presentation of
Christianity found within the Gospels themselves. The miraculous
elements in the Gospels exhibit a number of contradictions; and an even
more serious objection to them is the fact that they come into direct
conflict [p.191] with the scientific interpretation of Nature. As Eucken
says: "To place a miracle in that one situation would mean an overthrow
of the total order of Nature, as this order has been set forth through
the fundamental work of modern investigation and through an incalculable
fulness of experiences. What would justify such a breach with the total
mode of reality ought to appear to us with overwhelming, indisputable
clearness. Has the traditional fact this degree of certainty, and cannot
it be explained in any other way? Who is able to assert this with entire
assurance? If the superiority of the Divine was, on this particular
occasion, to be proclaimed in a tangible manner, why did all this happen
for a small circle of believers alone, and why did it not happen to
others? There seems, however, to have been necessary a certain state of
the souls of the disciples to make them see what they thought they saw;
but in all this there is found a psychic and subjective factor in
operation--a factor whose potency is very difficult to define and to
mark its boundaries. It would have been a fact of a wonderful nature if
the souls of the disciples, from within, became suddenly and without
intermediary convinced of the continuation of the life and the presence
of the Master: all this would have been no sensuous miracle--no break in
the course of Nature. But we have to bear in mind how times of strong
religious agitation and [p.192] convulsion are so little qualified to
judge concerning external phenomena, and how easily a psychic state
solidifies into a supposed percept! Within and without Christianity
there are numerous examples of the sensuous appearance of a dead person
being considered to be fully authenticated by the narrower circle of
friends. Savonarola appeared more than a hundred times after his death,
but always to those whose hearts clung to him; and to fifteen nuns of
the convent of St Lucia he gave the consecrated wafer through the
opening in their _grille_."[64]

Eucken shows that an inability to accept the miraculous element in the
Gospels need not prevent anyone from being the possessor of the
Spiritual Substance. The spiritual content of Christianity is a content
which lies beyond the region of physical phenomena, whether those
phenomena are natural or are supposed to be supernatural. Christianity
is dragged down to a lower level by confusing its mode of existence with
its spiritual kernel. Religion is able to subsist without such aids
simply because it has discovered the true wonder within the spiritual
life itself. We do not know what future investigations may reveal from
the scientific side. It may be that Nature will appear more and more
mechanical in many of its manifestations; but even if this should prove
to be the case, it can produce no injury whatever to the nature [p.193]
and content of spiritual life. It may be, on the other hand, that the
scientific movement now proceeding in the direction of neo-Vitalism will
produce results which will modify and even overthrow the mechanical
conceptions of life, and thus enable the future to construct a
Metaphysic of Nature.[65] The battle between these two schools of
science is proceeding to-day. But even if the final issue should be a
decision in favour of mechanism, the destiny of Christianity or of the
human soul does not depend upon such a decision. If the issue should
turn in favour of the vitalistic conception, great gains are bound to
accrue to religion; for thus a warrant for a belief in a reality higher
in nature than what is termed physical will be established and shown to
be at work in the origin and constant "becoming" of physical phenomena.
The main point for us to-day is to hold fast to the superiority of
spiritual life to all that we know concerning the physical universe.
Unless this is done, we shall lose the deeper inward connections of
life, and shall be in danger of sinking back to the level of
naturalism--a level from which the culture and religion of the Western
world have partially emerged. Further, the spiritual nucleus of
Christianity [p.194] must be preserved over against the changes of
history. Changes in human society threaten Christianity more directly
than even the changes of Nature. These changes, in so far as they are
judged by a spiritual standard to be good, can be accepted by
Christianity, but only on the presupposition that Christianity has
learned how to differentiate between its Eternal Substance and its
temporal form of existence. The mere flow of the events of Time is
insufficient to produce a religion of substance and duration, for here
we are dependent upon the content of the moment. This aspect has been
already dealt with in the chapter on Religion and History.[66] A similar
necessity for differentiating between the Eternal and the temporary
which Eucken enforced in regard to Christianity applies in his view to
all the movements of the world. Whatever form--scientific,
philosophical, social, theological--these movements may take, they have
all to find their meaning in a Standard which is Eternal. Whenever such
a Standard has been recognised, mankind was able to move in an upward
direction; whenever it was absent, the complexities of knowledge and
life increased and had no light to reflect upon themselves, and no power
to [p.195] raise themselves to a higher plane. When the Eternal and
Substantial is present at the governing centre of life, all of reality
that can possibly present itself to man is viewed in an entirely
different light. Great spiritual movements cannot possibly arise from
any shallower source. There must be present in all such movements a
consciousness of something of Eternal value, and a faith in the
possibility of attaining a higher grade of reality in the midst of all
the fragmentary factors which present themselves. Religion is thus
viewed as a movement which takes place not by the side of life, but
within life itself. A power of immediacy grows within the soul; it is
now able to sift and winnow, to select and to reject; it is able to
penetrate into the difference between first and second things, and to
relegate all minor things to their lower sphere.[67]

It is of no avail to ignore this difference; and neither is it of any
avail to ignore the difference between the _old_ and the _new_
existence-forms of Christianity. The old and the new conceptions cannot
possibly flow together. One mode has to take a primary place, and the
other a secondary place. The old intellectual presentation of
Christianity has, in many ways, become inadequate. But [p.196] still it
cannot be thrown overboard in any light-hearted manner, if for no other
reason than that it has grown along with the growth of the Spiritual
Substance itself. Some kind of shock, and even loss, may be temporarily
experienced in parting with it; but this is a process that has to be
passed through; and once it is passed through, the new clothing of
Christianity cannot but help man to see a richer meaning in the Eternal.
It may not fit quite so compactly for a time; it may not merge easily
with the Spiritual Substance. We are far less comfortable in a new suit
of clothes than in an old one; but comfort is not the only criterion in
regard to the things of the body or of the soul. There may be a need for
a change, and our needs are of more significance than our comforts. The
change from old to new can be accomplished when the difference of
Substance and Form is clearly perceived, and when the Substance is
preserved in the midst of the change. This is one of the greatest tasks
set to the Christian Church to-day, and no one is competent to undertake
it if he has not experienced in the very depth of his own soul the
meaning of the Eternal as the essence of the Christian religion. Eucken
has grasped this truth in an unmistakable manner; and he sees nothing
but disaster for religion in any attempt to present a new clothing at
the expense of ejecting the Eternal kernel. But still he insists that in
[p.197] theology the claims of the new forms are overwhelmingly
necessary and just.

When we turn to Eucken's conception in connection with the place of the
personality of the Founder in the Christianity of the present, we are
treading on very difficult ground. This is a question which cannot be
decided by the cold, calculating intellect. Without a doubt, there is
here something unique in the history of the world--something which no
psychology can fathom and no logic can construct into exact
propositions. But here once again, the two elements--the Spiritual
Substance and its Form--are apparent in the life of the Founder, and in
our conceptions concerning his life and death. But we need not fear that
any real loss will accrue if we hold fast to the indisputable fact of
the presence of a divinity within his life--a divinity which has to be
repeated on a smaller scale in our own lives before we are ever able to
have even a glimmer of it. It is out of such a spiritual experience that
the life of the Master can gain its real value and significance for us.
But in the past there has been a tendency to see a good deal of this
significance in theological constructions which have now ceased to
contain any genuine meaning. At the best these constructions could never
mean more than the best intellectual presentations of good men.
Something besides them--deeper than them all--had to appear before any
soul could be [p.198] converted to the things of Eternal Life. Here
Eucken shows that metaphysical concepts such as the Trinity have tended
to become purely anthropomorphic and mythological, probably necessary at
a certain level of religion, but which have now been superseded by truer
conceptions of life and existence. There is no longer any meaning in
asking whether the Founder was a "mere man" or a God. He was an
intermediate reality between the two. To measure the depth and content
of his soul is a presumption of shallow minds; to determine in a
speculative manner the exact nature of his divinity, and to formulate
imposing doctrines out of all this is quite as presumptuous. It is
sufficient for us to know that he overcame the world, that the Godhead
dwelt in a form of immediacy within his soul. All this is an
experimental proof of the working of the Divine upon the plane of Time.
But such Divine breaks in pieces if it is subjected to exact
determinations. Some account of it we must have: the understanding
demands this; but that account must include what the best light of
knowledge has to throw on the subject. But when all is said, something
infinitely greater remains unsaid, and yet to be experienced--something
that requires the soul to exert itself in order to experience what all
this means. When face to face with the meaning and value of the life and
death and spiritual resurrection [p.199] of the Founder of our
Christianity, we are face to face with an eternal reality revealed
within the soul of the "son of man." At such a depth of our nature, the
petty questions concerning how much or how little was present disappear
into the background of life, and we are able through such a vision to
pass to the Father. When emphasis is laid on such a fact as this,
Christianity will again become a religion of the spirit--a religion
which will unite all mankind at a point of unity beneath all close
intellectual determinations and differences. And Eucken points out that
it is not in the life of Jesus alone that we can obtain such a vision.
But we do not gain the vision by merely _saying_ this. If we know of any
other character who _was_ so much and who _did_ so much, probably we
shall obtain there what we need. But in the Western world at least we do
_not_ know any such character; the essence of his life and personality
has been always connected with the conception of God. But this is not
the sole conception and, as Eucken says, we cannot bind ourselves
entirely to this one point in Christianity. The narrow paths which lead
to religion are many; we have to draw help from all quarters where the
Divine has been revealed. But the danger lies in merely knowing so many
such paths while walking on none of them. The personality of Jesus will
remain in Christianity, and the world in its darkness will turn again
and [p.200] again to that palpable proof of the Divine seen on such a
summit, and endeavour to scale the same everlasting hill of God. "Here
we find a human life of the most homely and simple kind, passed in a
remote corner of the world, little heeded by his contemporaries, and,
after a short blossoming life, cruelly put to death. And yet, this life
had an energy of spirit which filled it to the brim; it had a Standard
which has transformed human existence to its very root; it has made
inadequate what hitherto seemed to bring entire happiness; it has set
limits to all petty natural culture; it has stamped as frivolity, not
only all absorption in the mere pleasures of life, but has also reduced
the whole prior circle of man to the mere world of sense. Such a
valuation holds us fast and refuses to be weakened by us when all the
dogmas and usages of the Church are detected as merely human
organisations. That life of Jesus establishes evermore a tribunal over
the world; and the majesty of such an effective bar of judgment
supersedes all the development of external power."[68]

We may bring this chapter to a close by once more pointing out Eucken's
insistence on the Spiritual Substance of Christianity and the need of a
new Existential-form. The Substance was present in the life of the
Founder; mankind has to turn to that fact for one of [p.201] the
experimental proofs of the Divine. But such a fact is not sufficient. It
is something which happened in _someone else_, and not in ourselves. The
fact is to serve as an inspiration that something similar shall and can
happen _in ourselves_. When this is realised, we become conscious of the
power of the Divine within the soul; and the problems of our own day are
seen and interpreted in the same spirit as that in which Jesus faced and
interpreted the problems of his day. Such a spiritual experience will
become a power to use all the good of life, and thus sanctify it in the
very using of it. The over-personal norms and standards have now become
our own possession; they enable us to see the world as it ought to be
seen and to work for the realisation of the vision; and the norms mean
even more than this, for we have already seen that they point to
something _beyond_ themselves and yet continuous with themselves. They
point to Infinite Love as the very essence of the Godhead. The reality
of the over-individual norms and the conception of the Divine as
Infinite Love thus induce in us a conviction of the possibility of an
evolution of the spirit and of a reality beyond sense and time. The
Eternal thus enters into Time and overcomes Time. This is Eucken's final
conclusion in regard to the Christian religion and the destiny of man.
But all this has to be experienced before it [p.202] can be realised.
"The task to-day is to work energetically, to labour with a free mind
and a joyful courage, so that the Eternal may not lose its efficient
power by our rigid clinging to temporal and antiquated forms, so that
what we have recognised as human may not bar the way to the Divine as
that Divine is revealed in our own day. The conditions of the present
time afford the strongest motives for such work. For once again, in
spite of all the contradictions which appear on the surface of things,
the religious problem rises up mightily from the depth of life; from day
to day it moves minds more and more; it induces endeavour and kindles
the spirit of man. It becomes ever plainer to all who are willing to see
that mere secular culture is empty and vain, and is powerless to grant
life any real content or fill it with genuine love. Man and humanity are
pressed ever more forcibly forward into a struggle for the meaning of
life and the deliverance of the spiritual self. But the great tasks must
be handled with a greatness of spirit, and such a spirit demands
freedom--freedom in the service of truth and truthfulness. Let us
therefore work together, let us work unceasingly with all our strength
as long as the day lasts, in the conviction that 'he who wishes to cling
to the Old that ages not must leave behind him the old that ages'
(_Runeberg_), and that an Eternal of the real kind cannot [p.203] be
lost in the flux of Time, because it overcomes Time by entering into

Eucken is aware of the various Life-systems which present themselves on
every side as all-inclusive. But he sees no hope for a real spiritual
education of mankind until every Life-system shall seek for a depth
beyond the _natural_ man and all his wants. And such a movement is
visible amongst us to-day. It needs to be possessed and proclaimed. The
redemption of the world depends upon its success. The Christian religion
is such a Gospel. "But a movement towards a more essential and
soul-stirring culture--to a progressive superiority of a complete life
beyond all individual activities--cannot arise without bringing the
problem of religion once more to the foreground. Our life is not able to
find its bearings within this deep or to gather its treasures into a
Whole unless it realises how many acute opposites it carries within
itself. Life will either be torn in pieces by these opposites, or it
must somehow be raised above them all. It is the latter alone that can
bring about a thorough transformation of our first and shallow view of
the universe as well as the inauguration of a new reality. Man has
emerged out of the darkness of nature and remains afflicted with the
afflictions of nature; yet at the same time, with his appearance upon
the earth the darkness begins to illumine, and [p.204] 'nature kindles
within him a light' (Schopenhauer); he who is a mere speck on the face
of a boundless expanse can yet aspire to a participation in the whole of
Infinity; he who stands in the midst of the flux of time yet possesses
an aspiration after infinite truth; he who forms but a mere piece of
nature constructs at the same time a new world within the spiritual life
over against it all; he who finds himself confined by contradictions of
all kinds, which immediate existence in no way can solve, yet struggles
after a further depth of reality and after the 'narrow gate' which opens
into religion. Through and beyond all the particular problems of life
and the world, it behoves us to raise the spiritual life to a level of
full independence, to make it simultaneously superior to man as an
individual and to bring it back into his soul. When this comes to be
there is at the same time a transformation of his inmost being, and for
the first time he becomes capable of genuine greatness.... These final
conclusions strengthen the aspiration after a religion of the spiritual
life.... Such a religion is in no way new, and Christianity has
proclaimed it and clung to it from the very beginning. But it has been
interwoven with traditional forms which are now seen through by so many
as pictorial ideas of epochs and times. Earlier times could allow the
Essence and the Form to coalesce without discovering any incongruity in
this. But the [p.205] time for doing this has irrevocably passed away.
The human which once seemed to bring the Spiritual and Divine so near to
man has now become a burden and a hindrance to him. A keener analysis, a
more independent development of the Spiritual and Divine, and, along
with this, the truth of religion, do not succeed in reaching their full
effects if religion is looked upon as merely something to protect
individuals, instead of as that which furthers the whole of humanity
--as that which is not merely a succour in times of trouble and sorrow
but also as that which guarantees an enhancement in work and
creativeness. The situation is difficult and full of dangers, and small
in the meantime is the number of those who grasp it in a deep and free
sense, and who yet are determined to penetrate victoriously into it, so
that the inner necessities of the spiritual life may awaken within the
soul of man. Whatever new tasks and difficulties lie in the lap of the
future, to-day it behoves us before all else to proceed a step upward in
the direction of the summits and to draw new energies and depths of the
spiritual life into the domain of man; for this kind of work will
prevent the coming of an 'old age' upon humanity and will breathe into
its soul the gift of Eternal Youth."[70]

       *       *       *       *       *



In this chapter some of the most important problems of the present day
will be touched upon in the light of Eucken's Philosophy of Religion.
Reference has already been made to Eucken's account of the limitations
of various Life-systems, of their struggle with one another, and of the
necessity for a religious synthesis which will include their most
important results within itself.[71] The answer as to the possibility
and necessity of such a synthesis constitutes the kernel of Eucken's
Philosophy of Religion. He has succeeded in a remarkable manner in
assessing the results of science, philosophy, sociology, art, and
religion. In them all he has discovered the presence of a reality which
is non-sensuous in its nature, and, which reveals itself [p.207] in
judgments of value that carry within themselves their own _necessity_
and _self-subsistence_. This is his conclusion in regard to the work of
the spirit of man on whatever plane of knowledge or experience that
spirit works. Man's spirit has to carry all its knowledge and experience
into its own conative spiritual potencies. We thus see that everything
becomes an aid to the unfolding of an ever greater degree of reality
within the spirit of man. It is then within the _spirit_ of man that
everything finds its interpretation and value. Whatever interpretation
is given to anything apart from the union of the _whole_ potency and
cognition of man's spirit is only a partial interpretation. And it is in
the failure to recognise this truth that so many Life-systems have set
themselves against the higher aspects of philosophy and religion. The
most important question has not been asked: What is the relation and
value of all results in connection with the deepest potency and
necessity of man's spirit? Are these results capable of enriching that
spirit of man when he becomes conscious of them? These are the questions
which Eucken continually asks and answers in his great works; and it is
this fact which makes his teaching so valuable and superior to all the
Life-systems of our day. It is difficult to think of any aspect of
experience which Eucken has left out of account. He has not, indeed,
interpreted [p.208] in detail all the Life-systems in vogue, and no
human being is capable of achieving such a task; but he has clearly
perceived the flaws which lie in them all. And this discovery of his has
revealed a flaw common to them all. That flaw consists in ignoring the
presence of a spiritual life as the great workshop where every form of
reality finds its truest meaning. This flaw is so serious in that
several Life-systems have thus over-estimated the importance of their
results by neglecting to take into account the potentialities and
necessities of man's spirit. Let us, then, try to trace this defect in
connection with some of the most important Life-systems in vogue to-day.
When the various systems of _Idealism_ are estimated, they seem to
present aspects of reality with vast portions of human potencies and
experiences left out of account. _Absolute Idealism_ is based upon the
demands and implications of logic. Its doctrines would have taken a very
different colouring had it considered that the necessities of Logic have
to be adjusted to the necessities of Life. Such systems are of little
value to the soul, because the needs of the soul were not taken into
account when they were formulated. This fact was the main cause of the
late Professor James's rebellion against all forms of Absolute Idealism.
He felt that they bore no relationship to human life and its needs, and
consequently could not exercise any important [p.209] influence on life;
they could not move the will, for no possibility of reaching the
Absolute was offered to man. All the conclusions were in the realm of an
_intellectual universal_ and not in the realm of _spirit_. They must be
unreal in the highest sense on account of this very failure. They have
presented their half-gods as realities outside Nature, human nature, the
pressing ideals of life, and even God Himself.

Eucken shows that any true Life-system has to start with Life itself.
There may be interpretations needful which have no implications for
Life, and these have a right of their own; but when such interpretations
are carried further, when the subject who _knows_ such interpretations
and who _uses_ them is taken into account, then the interpretations
found on this level are something quite different from what they were
when the whole spirit of man was not taken into account. Eucken
consequently comes to the conclusion that philosophy has not completely
fulfilled its vocation until it has become a philosophy of _Life_--until
the truest meaning of every object is discovered in its relation to all
the necessities of the spirit. And it is here that his teaching comes
into conflict with so much that goes by the name of Idealism. How can
any system be more than a half-truth when its final meaning is presented
with but little attention to the highest aspect we know in the world
--to human life in its struggles and conquests, [p.210] in its living
and loving, and its forward movement towards some distant goal? The
special value of Eucken's teaching lies, then, in the fact that it
interprets what happens, can happen, and ought to happen within life
itself. No system which leaves out the soul with its possibilities is
complete. This has been done too often in the past, and is being done
to-day. Is it, then, a wonder that philosophy has given so very little
help to Life in its complex problems without and its sharp opposites and
contradictions within? Life is more and needs more than a philosophy of
words, devoid of power, can offer it. Life, when at its best, believes
in the all-power of its own spiritual potency; it has faith in the
possibility of ascent from height to height, as well as in the
possibility of an incessant progress not only of individuals but of the
whole of mankind.[72] A System stands or falls according as it is able
to conceive of Life in such a manner. And Eucken has done this as
probably no other living philosopher has done it.

If we turn to _Immanent Idealism_, we discover the same failure. It
emphasises the presence within consciousness of what is idealistic and
noble, but it leaves out the objective and imperative character of what
is present. It also forgets that the possession of ideals as ideas is
only the initial stage of such ideals becoming a very portion [p.211] of
the deepest substance of soul itself. We may deceive ourselves even with
the contemplation of the best ideals; they can never become truly ours
until the will is set in motion and the whole nature is stirred to its
depths in order to press forward to what it perceives as having infinite
value. Something has inevitably to happen within the depth of the soul
before its real creation can advance. Eucken here, again, has perceived
this truth and presents it everywhere with great power. His Philosophy
is an _Activism_ of the most powerful type. He is aware that to _know_
and to _be_ are so far apart. But his Activism is not a mere movement of
the individual's will, brought forth by anything that has grown within
it as a private inheritance. The Activism is started and kept going on
its course by the over-personal norms and values already referred to. It
is the union of norm and will that constitutes the full action. Life's
greater meaning and value is, therefore, not a ready-made possession; it
is rather something already possessed, and a vision of something _more_
in the distance to be possessed.[73] The presence of the Divine within
the soul is not the same prior to the search and after the search. This
is [p.212] one of the most distinctive features of Eucken's teaching,
and constitutes a necessary supplement to certain presentations of
Immanent Idealism prevalent in various forms to-day.

When we pass to _Materialism_ in its various forms, we find Eucken
conscious of its poverty and its caricature of life. It is caused by
excessive absorption in the sensuous object with all its manifold
relations. But it is possible to believe in all that it states; for it
can never really say anything concerning the deeper meaning of spiritual
life if for no other reason than that it cannot penetrate into life's
deeper experiences. It is a stage in human thought which is passing
away. What will become of it after Professor Haeckel's passing is
difficult to imagine. One thing at least is certain: as a complete
system of the universe or of life it is doomed.[74] A mechanical
interpretation of the universe is legitimate: we may have to adopt more
of such interpretations in the future. But there is no need for any
alarm from the sides of philosophy and religion. Their citadel is not
built upon a _thing_, but upon a _thought_; and the gap between the two
increases in the degree in which our knowledge of Nature and Man
increases. Eucken has many great things to say on this subject in his
larger works. Doubtless he would agree with some of the [p.213]
advocates of _Naturalism_ in regard to the meaning of the physical
universe, but such agreement would not be an admission that _all_ had
been said that could be said concerning the need and the possibility of
a _Metaphysic of Life_.

The one word _More_ constitutes all the difference. This _More_, with
Eucken, is the beginning of a new order of existence and of value where
the physical order ends. His work consists in interpreting this _More_,
and we have already seen whither the _More_ leads us: it leads us into
spiritual norms and their values, and these in their turn led us into
Infinite Love in the Godhead. The failure to see the value of all this
is due to the inattention of the advocates of Naturalism in regard to
the non-sensuous structure of mind: the _Thing and its relations_
monopolise them so completely that they are blind to every reality
non-sensuous in its nature, although they possess some amount of such
reality in their very knowledge and adoration of the _Thing_. Our
troubles will continue to accumulate, and the prospect of the future
will grow extremely dark, if the grip which physical things have on the
world to-day be not relaxed. The very physical powers which we have
helped to create, and which hitherto have proved of service to men, will
mean our destruction unless something of the _More_ which is beyond them
be found as a possession and an activity within the governing centre of
life. This is Eucken's [p.214] plea over against the various forms of
the Naturalism and Materalism of our day. These are not enough for man.
But man is so slow in recognising this fact. The appeal of Spiritual
Idealism is considered to be something which is vague and useless. Our
deepest reality and the source of all true energy have been robbed of
their efficacy by our absorption in scraping together physical elements
of chaff and dust. How often does Eucken show our dire poverty in the
midst of all this external plenty! The all-sufficiency of all forms of
Naturalism condemns itself through its failure to pass beyond itself.
Had there not been some who did pass beyond the _Thing and its
relations_ the spiritual values of the race would have been annihilated.
"As soon as we demand to pass beyond mere awareness to a genuine
knowledge, we discover our deplorable poverty, and must confess that
what is termed certain seems on clearer investigation to rest upon a
totally insecure foundation."[75] "It is not natural science itself
which leads to naturalism, for, indeed, no natural science could arise
if reality exhausted itself in the measurements of naturalism; but it is
rather the weakness of the conviction of the spiritual life; it is the
failure of certitude in regard to the presence of a spiritual existence;
it is the unclearness concerning the _inner_ conditions of all mental
and spiritual activity which a shallow and popular philosophy [p.215]
presents--it is all this which turns natural science into a
materialistic naturalism."[76] The strength of materialistic _monism_
does not lie in any proof of there being nothing but mechanism in this
wide universe, but in its energetic propaganda against certain
traditional theological forms of ecclesiastical religion--forms which
are rapidly being disowned by the leaders of religious thought. Even
monism concedes that "it is better being good than bad, better being
sane than mad." This concession, and the attempt to live according to
it, constitute a proof of the presence in some form of a non-sensuous
reality and value in the constructions of materialistic monism itself.
Hence, Eucken's conception of spiritual life cannot be got rid of after
all. It will remain so long as men live above the animal level and
strive to ascend to something higher still.

When the _neo-Kantian_ movement is examined, we find that its long and
honourable history presents us with gains which cannot be measured. But
we have already noticed that in so far as this movement has specialised
within the domain of the connections of mind and body, and has attempted
to reduce psychology to the limits of the relations between the two, it
is largely outside the _inner_ meaning and value of the life of
consciousness. [p.216] Its work has proved useful in many important
respects. It has made man realise that the connection of body and mind
is not so simple a matter as materialistic naturalism would lead us to
suppose; and it has shown, on the whole, the impossibility of reducing
consciousness to mechanical elements. Even in the various forms of
psycho-physical parallelism the factor of mind and meaning stands apart
in its origin from the factors of bodily movement. But neo-Kantianism
has developed on higher lines than those of physiological psychology. It
has dealt with the presence of an inner world of thought--a world of
values and judgments of values, of norms, imperatives, and
ideals--realities which are not presented in any scheme of natural
science. It is impossible to read such a great book as the late
Professor Otto Liebmann's _Analysis der Wirklichkeit_[77] without
discovering this truth. In this great work, as well as in his _Gedanken
und Thatsachen_, Liebmann shows how man is more than a natural product.
[p.217] "Natural science," he tells us, "is a very useful, and, indeed,
an indispensable handmaid to philosophy, but it is in no manner the
first, the deepest, the most original basis of philosophy."[78]
Liebmann's successors, especially Windelband, Rickert, Münsterberg,
Adickes, and Vaihinger, work on similar lines. And there is a great deal
in Eucken's teaching which tends in the same direction. But he goes a
step further than all the neo-Kantians. We have already noticed how he
gives judgments of value and spiritual norms a _cosmic_ significance. He
finds that when these norms and values have awakened with great
clearness within man's spirit they inevitably lead to the conception of
the Godhead. And it is in this work that Eucken's Metaphysic of Life
becomes a _religious metaphysic_. As values and norms mean so much when
a reality is granted them by the truest of the neo-Kantians, they come
to mean infinitely more when they are acknowledged as somehow
constituting the foundation and the acme of all existence. Eucken's main
desire is to establish such norms and values beyond the possibility of
dispute and beyond the constant changes of Life-systems. They mean for
him what is present within their spiritual content as a realisation as
well as the _More_ to which they still point. His teaching is not
contradicted by anything in the neo-Kantian movement;[p.218] he accepts
its transcendental reality and lifts it out of the realm of
individuality and of history into a cosmic realm. After having followed
the implications of the neo-Kantian movement so far, he feels compelled
to take the next step. For unless that next step is taken, some of the
deepest potencies of human nature fail to come to flower and fruit. When
the step is taken, they do blossom and bear fruit. Is not this a
sufficient justification for taking the "next step"? It is; for man
cannot allow any potency of his being to remain dormant without
suffering a loss; and on this highest level of all the loss must be
incalculable. "Thou hast created us for Thyself, and our heart will
never find its rest until it rests on Thee." That confession of
Augustine is Eucken's confession also; and it is the implication which
such a confession contains that constitutes the significance of his
message to the world. He is in the line not only of the philosophers but
of the prophets and the mystics. The ladder of knowledge reaches, like
Jacob's ladder, up to heaven itself--to that pure atmosphere where
knowledge, merged in a deeper reality, becomes something so different
from what it was before. An eternal blessedness has now become the
possession of man.

Eucken has a great deal to say regarding the _Historical_ Life-systems
of the present day. [p.219] He is aware that the neglect by German
thinkers of the fundamental importance of Hegel's teaching on this
question has meant a heavy loss. That loss is already perceived, and
Hegel's value in the realm of the Philosophy of History is being
rediscovered. Men are more and more feeling the necessity of conceding a
validity and objectivity to the concepts of History. The work of the
late Professor Dilthey[79] in this respect is of great importance, and
has strong affinities with Eucken's teaching on the same subject. But
Dilthey's objectivity and validity stopped short of religion in the
sense in which religion is presented by Eucken. Dilthey gave the norms
of History a transcendental objectivity and considered them sufficient
for man. But Eucken, as already stated, while granting all this and even
insisting upon it, finds that the norms of History do not include the
whole that human nature needs. The "next step" has to be taken whereby a
reality is revealed beyond the confines of the best collective
experiences of the human race. Once more, we are landed in the
conception of the Godhead. The step became inevitable, because the best
[p.220] historical concepts, in their totality, pointed to something
still beyond themselves.

During the past few years Eucken has devoted much attention to the
Life-system presented in _Pragmatism_. He is alive to the value of much
of the work of the late Professor William James and of Dr F.C.S.
Schiller. He feels that Absolute Idealism is too abstract and too remote
from life to move the human will. It is too much like placing a man
before a mountain, and asking him to remove it. The very magnitude of
the object weakens instead of strengthening the will. Pragmatism has the
merit of insisting that the task be done piecemeal, so that man may not
lose heart at the very outset. And some kind of goal is present in
Pragmatism. But Eucken's main objection to Pragmatism is that, however
adequate it may be at the beginning of the enterprise, it will tend, as
time passes, to turn man in the direction of the line of least
resistance, and so be degraded to the level of the ordinary life and its
petty demands.[80] His Activism is entirely different from James's
Pragmatism. James depended too much upon the "span of the moment" and
its immediate experience. There is in this "span" often no cosmic
conviction present in consciousness to proclaim that the action is
[p.221] "worth while" at all costs. While constantly demanding the need
of effort in order to experience the deeper potencies of spiritual life,
Eucken insists that such effort can enter into a current only in so far
as norms and values are clearly perceived as the meaning and goal of
spiritual life. A _universal_ of meaning and value must be perceived,
however imperfectly it may be, before the individual can call his
deepest nature into activity. And what is such a _universal_ but
something beyond the flow of the moment and beyond the realm of ordinary
daily life? Such a _universal_, too, must have an existence of its
own--an existence and a value which are beyond the opinions of any
individual or of any group of individuals, even if such a group were to
include the whole human race. It is clear, then, why Eucken parts
company with Pragmatism.

If, finally, we view his attitude towards the _Religious_ Life-systems
of our generation, we find words of warning and of encouragement. His
whole work culminates in religion. But he teaches us that we have to
learn from the sides of knowledge already presented in this chapter. And
it may be said that the Christian Church (or any other Church) has yet
to learn this lesson. It still seeks to find its revelation in what
_was_, and in modes which come constantly into direct conflict with the
results of the various Life-systems already referred to. It wants the
fruits of religion without tilling [p.222] the ground and nurturing its
plants. Its insistence on placing the basis of religion in myth and
miracle dooms it to a greater disaster in the future than even in the
past. Eucken sees no hope for a "revival" of religion in the soul until
an inverted order of conceiving reality takes place. The religious
synthesis from the intellectual side is to be obtained by passing
through the grades of reality explicit in the various Life-systems, and
by abstaining from the imposition of barriers which forbid anyone
roaming and "ruminating" within these. If one condition is obeyed, this
is the most fruitful way to construct a new religious metaphysic which
will supplant traditional theology. That condition is that the various
Life-systems form a kind of scale which extends from Matter up to the
Godhead. The new religious metaphysic will then mean a real philosophy
of values.

Does this constitute an impossible task for the Christian Church? It
will remain impossible so long as we look upon the essence of
Christianity as something which descends upon us apart from the exertion
of our own spiritual potencies. It is a consolation to know that the
highest reality may be experienced without having to undergo a training
in the methods and implications of science, history, or metaphysics. But
the experience here cannot possibly mean so much as the experience which
passes through and beyond the implications of knowledge to the [p.223]
Divine. Such an experience as the latter must be richer in content. And
even apart from this, it produces something of value on the intellectual
side--something which grants religion a security in the eyes of the
world. When the Church tends in this direction, its faith will come into
comradeship with the various branches of human knowledge as these reveal
themselves on level above level. Christianity has nothing to fear, but
everything to gain, from the development of all the branches of human
knowledge. Its source being Spiritual and Eternal, why should opposition
be presented to any development of the lower realities in science,
Biblical criticism, history, and philosophy? This lesson is not yet
learned, and Eucken pleads for its acknowledgment. "If we consider how
much is involved in such a change in the position of the spiritual life,
and if we also present before ourselves what transformations
civilisation, culture, history, and natural science carry within
themselves, we see clearly the critical situation in which religion is
placed, because these surface-changes are not of the essence of
religion. Through the mighty expansion and the fissures which these
changes bring about, the old immediacy and intimacy of the soul have
become lost, and religion has now receded into the distance, and is in
danger of vanishing more and more. The derangement of things which such
changes cause occurs [p.224] not only in connection with their own facts
and material and against their old forms, but the effect proceeds into
the very character and feelings of man and into his religion. And yet,
when we examine the matter more closely, we find that such changes cause
not so much a breach with Christianity as with its traditional form, and
that they seek to bring about a fundamental renewal of Christianity. For
when we penetrate beyond the motives and dispositions of men to their
spiritual basis, all the changes are unable to contradict what is
essential to Christianity, but they even promise to assist this
essential element in its new, freer, and more energetic development. But
we have to bear in mind that all this will not descend upon us like a
shower of rain, but will have to be brought forth through immense labour
and toil. It becomes necessary to replace that which must pass away, and
to reconsolidate the essentials which are threatened. All this cannot
come about save through an energetic concentration and deepening of the
spiritual life, save through a struggle against the superficiality of
Time regardless of all consequences, and save through a vivification and
integration of all that points in the right direction."[81]

[p.225] This passage illustrates well Eucken's whole attitude regarding
Christianity. It is evident that much remains to be done within and
without the Church. Within, radical changes are to take place; but
always in the light and with the preservation of the spiritual
substance. Without, the indifference of a vast portion of the civilised
nations of the world has to be reckoned with. It is an immense problem,
often enough to dishearten good men and women. How can men be moved from
their inertia and their resentment against the deeper demands which
spiritual life makes upon every human being? That is the problem of
problems and the task of tasks to-day. No clear solution of it is yet
perceptible. But in the meantime, those who care for Divine things and
who have experienced some of their power within their own souls must
hold fast to all they possess, and labour unceasingly to increase the
spiritual value of their possession. Probably catastrophes have to
happen in order to bring the world home to religion and God.

Rudolf Eucken's gospel is a proclamation of the necessity of religion
and the possibility of its possession. This, according to him, is the
final goal of all knowledge and life. If religion is not this, it is the
most tragic deception conceivable. "Religion is either merely a
sanctioned product of human wishes and pictorial ideas brought about by
tradition and [p.226] the historical ordinance--and, if so, no art,
power, or cunning can prevent the destruction of such a bungling work by
the advance of the mental and spiritual movement of the world; or
religion is founded upon a superhuman fact--and, if so, the hardest
assaults cannot shatter it, but rather, it must finally prove of service
in all the troubles and toils of man; it must reach the point of its
true strength and develop purer and purer its Eternal Truth."[82]

The fact that the influence of Rudolf Eucken's personality and teaching
is spreading with such rapidity and power from west to east and from
north to south is a proof that an increasing number of men and women are
aspiring after a religion of spiritual life such as was presented by the
Founder of our Christianity. All the Life-systems of our day must
converge towards such a conception of religion.

       *       *       *       *       *



In this chapter an attempt will be made to present in a brief form some
of the most important aspects of Eucken's personality and influence. His
training and the relation of his teaching to the German philosophical
systems of the present have already been touched upon in some of the
earlier chapters. But no account of Eucken's teaching is complete
without a knowledge of his personality.

We cannot understand his personality without bearing in mind Eucken's
nationality. He is a man of the North. A mere glimpse of the deep blue
eyes reveals this immediately. His ancestors lived in close contact with
Nature, and faced the perils of the great deep. The history of the men
of the North has witnessed, along the centuries, a struggle for
existence as severe as any struggle known in the history of our world. A
trait of Eucken's character almost entirely unknown in England is his
deep sympathy with the small nations [p.228] of Europe, and especially
with those of the North. He has written and pleaded on behalf of Poland,
Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. He finds that small nations, when
their independence is preserved, have the tendency to bring forth
original characteristics of thought and life, which are only too apt to
get lost in the bustle and mechanism of the great nations. He has shown
us on several occasions how much the world is indebted to its small
nations for the ideas and ideals which have shaped its destiny. He
believes with his whole soul that _size_ does not necessarily mean
_greatness_. When we compare the greatness of Palestine and Greece with
that of the larger countries of the world, the latter sink into
insignificance when weighed in the balances of the spirit. He has,
during the past few years, several times pointed out a danger to
personality and character from the vast organisations which have been
created in the various departments of life during the latter half of the
nineteenth century. The deeper personality of man has receded more and
more into the background through the growth of such organisations. This
fact is clear in the realms of commerce and of politics. We call a
nation "great" in the degree in which it succeeds in outstripping other
nations in its exports and imports, or in forming alliances with its
neighbouring states or with other nations. A large portion of the gains
which accrue from such [p.229] unions is purely accidental, and these
gains cannot possibly touch the essentials of life. The explanation of
this is the fact that the centre of gravity has been shifted from mental
and moral racial qualities to qualities which are far inferior in mental
and moral potency and content. Thus, we witness the painful inversion of
values which has taken place during the past fifty years. Every "small
nation" has to take a secondary place, has to become subservient to a
nation which may possess for its inheritance but few qualities besides
those of expansiveness and force. The small nation is forced to submit,
to develop on lines entirely alien to its original potencies, and to
labour with might and main to fill the coffers of the rich nation. The
old calm and peace, as well as the originality of the small nations have
thus too often been cruelly uprooted; the characteristics of working on
their own original lines, and of producing something of essential value
in the history of the world, have been largely shorn of their initiative
and freedom in the case of several of the small nations of Europe.
Superficiality and indifference to deep national and spiritual traits
become the primary things, and the life of the small nations, as time
passes, tends to become mechanical and servile.

When we survey the work of the small nations of the Western world, we
discover achievements which have been of immense [p.230] value in the
civilisation, culture, morals, and religion of Europe. And what a
distressing sight it is to witness the attempts of larger nations to
crush the spirituality of the smaller ones! The attitude of Russia
towards Finland and Poland is known to all. A greed for territory and a
passion for ready-made values are characteristics which are only too
evident to-day in the case of some of the Great Powers of Europe. We
need, as Eucken points out,[83] a new standard of valuing the national
characteristics and the relationship of nation with nation. Such
standard must include moral judgments and human sympathy. It is the
presence of spiritual powers such as these which constitute the really
deep and durable elements in a nation's progress. "When righteousness
goes to the bottom, then there is nothing more worth living for on the
earth." Eucken's philosophy cannot be understood apart from his intense
interest in mankind and its spiritual development. He goes, indeed, so
far as to say that this is the sole goal of philosophy; its message is
to create new spiritual values in the life of the individual and of the
race. Our systems of philosophy are painfully defective in this respect
to-day. Man, as a being with a soul, is little taken into account in
most of them. Is it surprising, therefore, that philosophy has not
succeeded, [p.231] for centuries, in interesting or influencing the
intelligent world at large?[84] It will not succeed in doing this until
the deepest needs of mankind are taken to be something more than objects
of psychological analysis or of logical generalisations.

Eucken's personality is rooted in a deep love for humanity and its
spiritual qualities; and herein lies the essential reason of his
championing of weak nations and pleading for the preservation of their
original spiritual characteristics. These qualities are pearls of too
great a price to be lost in a world where so much tinsel passes as what
possesses the highest value.

It is not difficult to see why the small nations of the North feel that
in Eucken they possess a true friend who sees clearly what they feel
instinctively, and who points out to them the path of their spiritual

It is impossible, also, to understand Eucken's system of philosophy
without taking into account his religious experience. This aspect has
already been touched upon, but it requires elucidation from a more
personal point of view. Eucken's philosophy is the result of the
experience of his own soul. It is something which can never be
understood until it is lived through. Everything is brought back to its
roots in the needs, aspirations, and inwardness of the soul. One must
become "converted" [p.232] before he can understand Eucken's teaching.
Something has not only to be understood but to be lived through; the
body and the external world have to be relegated to a subsidiary place;
the intellect has to merge into the spiritual intuition which is deeper
than itself. It is after one has been willing to pass through this fiery
furnace that the great "illumination" begins to appear. And such an
illumination will increase in the degree that service and sacrifice are
willingly undertaken for the sake of the infinite spiritual gains which
remain in store.

This element in Eucken's personality draws him to everybody he comes in
contact with, and draws everybody to him. He has drunk so deeply of the
experiences of Plato and Plotinus, of the great Christian mystics and
moralists of the centuries, that he sees the value of every soul that
comes to him for help. It is far from Eucken's wish for these matters to
be published. And the present writer will only state the fact that
nobody, however ignorant and obscure, has failed in Eucken to find a
father and guide. Hundreds of men who had either lost or had never found
their moral and spiritual bearings in life have succeeded in doing so
through coming into contact with him. The present writer remembers well
many a conversation among students of six or more different
nationalities, concerning the secret of Eucken's teaching [p.233] and
influence. Imagine Servians, Poles, Swedes, Scotch, English, and Welsh
meeting together after a philosophical lecture to discuss the question
of the spiritual life and wondering how to discover it! Eucken's
personality had created in their deepest being a need which could never
more be filled until the Divine entered into it. In the class-room the
great prophet makes it impossible for us to content ourselves with
merely preparing for examinations. The teacher's exposition and
inspiration are creating a deep uneasiness in us. We feel how limited
and shallow our nature has been when we are face to face with a man who
reveals to us the eternal values of the things of the spirit; and who
reveals them not as they have merely been revealed by the great thinkers
of the world, but as he himself has felt and lived them. We all become
impressed with the fact that we are in the presence of a power above the
world; and the feeling of pain is changed into a feeling of strong
optimism in regard to the possibilities of our own nature. We feel that
we, too, in spite of our limitations, can become the possessors of
something of the very nature akin to that which our great teacher
possesses. Eucken works a change in every man and woman who remain with
him for a length of time. Many of us understand something of what Jesus
Christ meant to his disciples; how he created an affection within their
souls which all the obstacles of the world [p.234] could never
obliterate. Eucken has done something of the same kind, on a smaller
scale, for hundreds of his old pupils.

These pupils are found to-day from Iceland in the North to New Zealand
in the South, and from Japan in the East to Britain and America in the
West.[85] Many of them have risen to eminence, and all of them have
experienced something of a spiritual anchorage in the midst of the
tempestuous sea of Time; all alike cherish an affection for their old
[p.235] teacher--an affection which is one of their dearest possessions.
They have helped to spread his spiritual teaching, and, along with his
books, have made his name known in all the civilised countries of the
world. Some of Eucken's most important works have already appeared in
half a dozen languages. The demand for them increases everywhere. This
receptivity is a good omen of better days. The world is beginning to get
tired of the mechanism and shallowness of our age, and is once more on
the point of turning to the spiritual fountains of life. Where can it
find a better guide to lead it to the waters of life than in Rudolf

       *       *       *       *       *



It will probably prove helpful at the conclusion to indicate the main
contents of Eucken's greatest works in order that the reader who turns
to them for the first time may be able somewhat to find his bearings.
The whole of Eucken's works turn around the conception of the _spiritual
life_. This fact must be constantly borne in mind. The term has been
repeated so often in all the previous chapters that the reader may be
inclined to think that some other expression might well have been
exchanged for it. But no other term serves Eucken's meaning, and the
recurrence of the term has to be endured in order that it may yield of
its rich content.

It has been shown how Eucken establishes a _new world_ with its own laws
and values within the spiritual life. The spiritual life possesses
grades of reality: it reveals itself from the level of connection of
body and mind and of ordinary life right up to Infinite Love in [p.237]
the Godhead. Such a reality is created within the total activity of the
soul; but it is not mere subjectivism by virtue of the fact that its
material comes to it from without.[86] And Eucken shows that it is thus
a life partly given to man, and partly created by him. The "given"
elements have to enter into man's soul. This they cannot do without much
opposition. With the persistent energy of the total potency of the soul
a world of independent inwardness is reached--a world which will have an
existence of its own within the soul, and which will become the standard
by which to measure the values of all the things which present

It is this superiority of the spiritual life which constitutes the
essential factor in the evolution of the individual's personality as
well as in civilisation, culture, morality, and all the rich inheritance
of the race. Such an inheritance can be developed farther by the [p.238]
full consciousness of the spiritual life and by the exercising of it
from its very foundation.

In _The Problem of Human Life_ Eucken sees in the message of every one
of the great thinkers of the ages, however much he may differ from them,
the vindication of a life higher than that of sense or even of
in-intellectualism. In one form or another, they all present some world
of values which is born and nurtured within the mind and soul. All these
thinkers stand for something which is great and good. Eucken attempts to
discover this core in their teaching; and in the midst of all the
differences some spiritual truth and value make their appearance. This
volume has undergone many changes, and is now in its ninth edition.

In _The Main Currents of Modern Thought_ Eucken deals, in the first part
of the book, with _the fundamental concept of spiritual life_ as this
reveals itself in the meanings of Subjective--Objective,
Theoretical--Practical, Idealism--Realism. The middle portion of the
book deals with the _Problem of Knowledge_ as this is shown in Thought
and Experience (Metaphysics), Mechanical--Organic (Teleology), and Law.
The third portion of the volume deals with the _Problems of Human Life_
as these are presented in Civilisation and Culture, History, Society and
the Individual, Morality and Art, Personality and Character, and the
Freedom of the Will. The final portion deals [p.239] with _Ultimate
Problems_; and the two chapters on the Value of Life and the Religious
Problem bring out the deeper meaning of spiritual life.

This volume has undergone many changes. When it appeared in 1878 it was
little more than a history of the concepts we have already referred
to.[87] But at the present time it deals with the history of the
concepts, a criticism of these, and finally the presentation of the
author's own thesis regarding the reality of an independent spiritual

In _Life's Basis and Life's Ideal_ he analyses the various systems of
thought which have been presented to the world. He finds many of these
deficient; but although something that is contained in them has to pass
away, they possess some spiritual element which requires preservation,
and which is valid for all time. None of these systems is final; they
have to preserve what is spiritual within them, and also merge it in
some newer revelation gained for mankind. Every system of the universe
and of life has to move; it has perpetually to drop something of its
accidentals, and continually strengthen and increase its essentials.
Everywhere emphasis is laid on the fact that the spiritual element
[p.240] must be preserved and increased at whatever cost, for it is an
element of the highest value for the world, and constitutes the energy
of the world's upward march.

In the _Einheit des Geisteslebens_, as well as in the _Prolegomena_ to
this, the necessity of a spiritual conception of knowledge comes to the
foreground. All systems of Naturalism lack enough spiritual life within
themselves to meet the deepest needs of the race. Man is _more_ than all
such systems. Even on the grounds of the Theory of Knowledge itself man
can be proved to be _more_. Eucken deals in these two books with the
content of consciousness: that content reveals what is a Whole or
Totality, what is beyond sense, what includes within itself the isolated
impressions of the senses or of the understanding, and what is therefore
_spiritual_ in its nature.

In the _Kampf um einen geistigen Lebensinhalt_--a book of the greatest
value--we find Eucken at his best. His attempt here is to deal with the
struggle for the spiritual life and the certainty of its possession. He
shows how man has emerged out of Nature, and how he has moved in the
direction of gaining an inner world during the long course of
civilisation, culture, morality, and religion. Through titanic struggles
this inner world becomes man's possession, and constitutes the true
value and significance of his life. Man now realises that it is this
world of spirit and values [p.241] which constitutes the only really
true world. Issuing out of this possession of the ever richer contents
of this inward, spiritual world, the personality constantly becomes
something quite other than it was, and its possession adds to the
inheritance of the spiritual ideals of the world. At this source man is
in possession of a power of a new kind of creativeness in any field of
knowledge or life he may be obliged to work. Nothing blossoms or bears
fruit without the presence and the power of spiritual life in the
deepest inwardness of the soul.

In _The Truth of Religion_ Eucken roams in a vast territory. All the
oppositions of the ages to religion are brought on the stage, and are
made to reveal their best and their worst. He shows how every system of
thought, devoid of the experience and activity of the deepest soul,
fails to engender religion. He shows over against all this the
intellectual warrant for religion, and passes from this to the personal
search by the soul for what is warranted by the intellect and by the
deepest needs of one's own being. This has been the meaning of the
religions of the world, and this meaning finds its culmination in

Eucken's smaller books, such as _The Life of the Spirit, Christianity
and the New Idealism, Können wir noch Christen sein?_, and _The Meaning
and Value of Life_, present certain aspects of the larger volumes in a
simpler form.

Eucken is at present engaged upon the [p.242] completion of a work of
great importance dealing with _The Theory of Knowledge_. His system has
been stated to be in need of this important corner-stone, and he has
hastened to meet the demand. The book will deal with the "grounds" of
the life of the spirit in an even more fundamental manner than any of
his books. A preparatory work, small in bulk--_Erkennen und Leben_--has
just appeared in German, and will be issued in English in the spring of

In _Erkennen und Leben_ Eucken shows the need of clearness in regard to
the concept of the spiritual life. This work is an introduction to his
forthcoming work--_The Theory of Knowledge_. He shows that the Problem
of Knowledge can only be answered through a further clarification of the
Problem of Life. It is, therefore, necessary to show what such a Life is
and how it may be lived, and, finally, how it makes Knowledge possible.
This is the only way by which the final convictions of Life are able to
possess greater depth and duration.

Knowledge is possible only in so far as man participates in a
self-subsistent life. Without such a self-subsistent life many
intellectual achievements are possible, but they do not deserve the name
of Knowledge.

Such a self-subsistent life must be operative in the foundation of our
nature, but it must constantly receive its material from the most
[p.243] important meanings and values of the world. The self-subsistent
life dare not feed on the mere analysis of consciousness or on the
material which it already possesses.

History shows how a self-subsistent life is not created through the mere
succession of events, but is always found as a life which is superior to
the perpetual changes of Time. Consequently, every real Knowledge has
something _sub specie aeternitatis_ as its essence, and this
differentiates it from all mere relativism.

The movement of History culminates alternately in _Concentration_ on the
one hand, and in _Expansion_ on the other: _Positive_ and _Critical_
epochs alternate. Both aspects are necessary for the growth of life.

In modern times the growth of the Expansion-side of life has destroyed
in a large measure the equilibrium of life; and the task to-day is to
construct a new Concentration-side.

Such a new Concentration is possible: the experience of History
testifies to its presence in several epochs; and there is a deep longing
for it in many quarters to-day.

In order to attain to such a Concentration the "dead-level" life of the
present must be overcome, and a turn must take place towards a new
Metaphysic of Life.

Such is the problem to-day, and no complete answer is to be found in the
past systems of Metaphysics. "The possibilities of Life and [p.244] of
Knowledge are in no way exhausted, but it is only through our own
courage and actions that the possibilities can become actualities"
(_Erkennen und Leben_, p. 161).

The various systems of Thought need a synthesis which will include them
all. It is difficult to-day to obtain a theory of life which does not
leave out of account some essential elements. Is there a possibility of
discovering such a synthesis? I believe that Eucken's works answer this
question. But we wait eagerly for the appearance of his greatest work,
and I think that, when it appears, he will more than ever deserve
Windelband's designation of him as "the creator of a new Metaphysic."

       *       *       *       *       *

APPENDIX [p.245]

       *       *       *       *       *


1866. "De Aristotelis docendi ratione."  Pars I. De particularis. This was
       the Doctor's dissertation at Göttingen University.

1868. "Über den Gebrauch der Präpositionem bei Aristoteles."

1870. "Über die Methode und die Grundlagen der Aristotelischen Ethik"
       (Separatabdruck aus dem Programm des Frankfurter Gymnasiums von 1870).

1871. "Über die Bedeutung der Aristotelischen Philosophie fur die Gegenwart"
       (Akademische Antrittsrede gehalten am 21 November, 1871). This was in

1872. "Die Methode der Aristotelischen Forschung in ihrem Zusammenhang mit
       den philosophischen Grundprincipien des Aristoteles."

1874. "Über den Wert der Geschichte der Philosophie" (Antrittsrede, Jena,

1878. "Die Grundbegriffe der Gegenwart." This was translated by Stuart
       Phelps in 1880, and published by Appleton of New York. The fourth
       edition has been translated  by M. Booth, and has been published by
       T. Fisher Unwin in 1912. The title of the third German edition was
       changed to "Geistige Stromungen der [p.246] Gegenwart."
       The English edition is entitled "The Main Currents of Modern Thought."

1879. "Geschichte der philosophischen Terminologie."

1880. "Über Bilder und Gleichnisse in der Philosophie": Eine Festschrift.

1881. "Zur Erinnerung an K.Ch.F. Krausse" (Festrede, gehalten zu Eisenberg
       am 100 Geburtstage des Philosophen).

1884. "Aristoteles Anschauung von Freundschaft und von Lebensgütern."

1885. "Prolegomena zu Forschungen über die Einheit des Geisteslebens in
       Bewusstsein und Tat der Menschheit."

1886. "Die Philosophie des Thomas von Aquino und die Kultur der Neuzeit."

1886. "Beiträge zur Geschichte der neueren Philosophie." (Second edition,
       1906, under the title "Beiträge zur Einführung in die Geschichte
       der Philosophie.")

1888. "Die Einheit des Geisteslebens in Bewusstsein und Tat der Menschheit."
       This will be published by Williams & Norgate.

1890. "Die Lebensanschauungen der grossen Denker." The ninth edition
       appeared in 1911. Changes and additions have been made in each
       succeeding edition. English translation (1909) by W.S. Hough and
       W.R. Boyce Gibson under the title "The Problem of Human Life, as
       viewed by the Great Thinkers from Plato to the Present Time"
       (published by Charles Scribners' Sons, New York; and T. Fisher
       Unwin, London).

1896. "Der Kampf um einen geistigen Lebensinhalt." (Second edition, with
       many changes, 1907.) A translation of this volume will be published
       by Williams & Norgate in the spring of 1913.

1901. "Das Wesen der Religion." (First and second editions.) This essay
       was translated by W. Tudor Jones in 1904, and was published for
       private circulation. It is now out of print, but will soon reappear
       together with another essay, "Wissenschaft und Religion."

1901. "Der Wahrheitsgehalt der Religion," 1901. (Second edition, with
       numerous changes, 1905; third edition, with changes, 1912.) The
       second edition was translated by W. Tudor Jones, and published by
       Williams & Norgate in 1911 under the title of "The Truth of Religion."
       A translation of the third German edition will be published at the
       close of 1912.

1901. "Thomas von Aquino und Kant: ein Kampf zweier Welten."

1903. "Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Philosophie und Lebensanschauung."

1905. "Was können wir heute aus Schiller gewinnen?" (Kantstudien: Sonderdruck).

1905. "Wissenschaft und Religion." This comprises a chapter in the collection
       of essays entitled "Beiträge zur Weiterentwickelung der Christlichen

1907. "Grundlinien einer neuen Lebensanschauung." This volume was translated
       by Alban G. Widgery, and published by A. & C. Black in 1911 under the
       title of "Life's Basis and Life's Ideal."

1907. "Hauptprobleme der Religionsphilosophie der Gegenwart." (First edition,
       1907; fourth and fifth editions (with additions), 1912.) The first
       edition was translated by W.R. Boyce Gibson and Lucy Gibson under the
       title "Christianity and the New Idealism: a Study in the Religious
       Philosophy of To-day." This is published by Harper & Brothers, London
       and New York.

1907. "Philosophie der Geschichte."  This is an essay in the volume entitled
       "Systematische Philosophie" in the series "Kultur der Gegenwart."

1908. "Sinn und Wert des Lebens." Third edition (with many additions), 1911.
       The first edition was translated by W. R. Boyce Gibson and Lucy Gibson
       under the title of "The Meaning and Value of Life" (Publishers:
       A. & C. Black).

1908. "Einführung in eine Philosophie des Geisteslebens." Translated by the
       late F.L. Pogson under the title of "The Life of the Spirit" (third
       edition, 1911).

1911. "Religion and Life" (the Essex Hall Lecture for 1911). This is
       published by the Lindsey Press, London.

1911. "Können wir noch Christen sein?" A translation of this is in

1912. "Naturalism or Idealism?" (the Nobel Lecture, translated by
       A.G. Widgery). This is published by Heffer & Sons, Limited,

1912. "Erkennen und Leben." A translation of this work, by W. Tudor Jones,
       is in preparation, and will be published by Williams & Norgate in
       the spring of 1913 under the title of "Knowledge and Life: An
       Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge."

1913. "Erkenntnistlehre." This volume will appear early in 1913. The
       translation will also appear during 1913, and the book will be
       published by Williams & Norgate under the title of "The Theory
       of Knowledge."

       *       *       *       *       *


     [1] It is not only in Germany, but also in England, that natural
     scientists forget this important fact. The Presidential Address of
     Professor Schäfer at the British Association (September 1912) is an
     instance of attempting to explain life in terms of its history and
     of its lowest common denominator. And huge assumptions have to be
     made in order to explain as little as this.

     [2] A fuller treatment of this subject will be found in my
     forthcoming volume, _Pathways to Religion_. It is incorrect to
     state with Professor Sorley (_Recent Tendencies in Ethics_, p. 30)
     that "her [Germany's] philosophy betrays the dominance of material

     [3] An important article on this book appeared in _Mind_ during
     1896, and, as far as I can trace, this seems to be the first
     serious attention which was given to Eucken's writings in England.
     A translation of the volume will appear shortly by Messrs Williams
     & Norgate.

     [4] Cf. _Main Currents of Modern Thought_, translated by Dr M.
     Booth (1912).

     [5] _Main Currents of Modern Thought_, p. 259.

     [6] _The Truth of Religion_, p. 6l.

     [7] _Ibid._, p. 62.

     [8] W. James's _Text-Book of Psychology_, p. 145.

     [9] William Wallace's _Lectures and Essays on Natural Theology and
     Ethics_, p. 210.

     [10] Edward Caird's Introduction to William Wallace's Gifford
     Lectures, pp. xxx, xxxi.

     [11] On this conception of the spiritual as _More, cf._ Bosanquet's
     _Psychology of the Moral Self_.

     [12] _Cf._ Wicksteed's _The Religion of Time and the Religion of
     Eternity_, in Carpenter and Wicksteed's _Studies in Theology_.

     [13] Eucken's best account of this subject is found in Parts I.,
     II., and V. of his _Truth of Religion_ and in _Beiträge zur
     Weiterentwickelung der Religion_, pp. 240-281. This latter is a
     volume of ten essays by well-known German religious teachers.

     [14] The President of the British Association (1912) states in his
     address that it is not within his province to touch the question
     concerning the nature of the soul. I take the report of his address
     from _Nature_, 5th September. Dr Haldane goes much further in the
     direction of Vitalism (discussion at British Association on the

     [15] _Cf._ Driesch: _Philosophy of the Organism_; _Vitalismus als
     Geschichte und Lehre_; his article in _Lebensanschauung_ (a
     collection of essays by twenty German thinkers, 1911); Reinke's
     _Philosophie der Botanik_; McDougall's _Body and Mind_; Thomson's
     _Heredity, Evolution_, and _Introduction to Science_ (the two
     latter in the Home University Library). Bergson's _Creative
     Evolution_ deals with the subject, but the value of this book is
     greater in other directions. T.H. Morgan's _Regeneration_ is a
     weighty contribution to the subject.

     [16] A revival of the study of Kant's first _Critique_ would be of
     great value to our natural scientists. Green, in his _Prolegomena
     to Ethics_, has interpreted this aspect in a manner that ought not
     to be forgotten. _Cf._ further Edward Caird's _Evolution of
     Religion_, vol. i.

     [17] Ward's _Naturalism and Agnosticism_, vol. i., is a reply to
     this important question.

     [18] _Cf._ Münsterberg's _Psychology and Education_, and his
     _Eternal Values_; also Royce's _The World and the Individual_.

     [19] This trans-subjective aspect has been worked out in an
     original way by Volkelt in his _Quellen der menschlichen

     [20] The works of Münsterberg and Rickert deal with great clearness
     on this difference of subject-matter in science and history.

     [21] The main weakness of Bergson's philosophy seems to be in not
     recognising this problem. Bosanquet, in his _Principle of
     Individuality and Value_, has very clearly recognised and
     interpreted it upon similar lines to Eucken.

     [22] In this respect Eucken and Bergson seem to agree, although it
     is difficult to reconcile this aspect of Bergson's with his
     statements concerning the grasping of reality in the perceptions of
     the moment.

     [23] "Hegel To-day," _The Monist_, April 1897.

     [24] _Truth of Religion_, p. 328.

     [25] Green has dealt with this aspect in the first part of his
     _Prolegomena to Ethics_ in practically the same way as Eucken.
     _Cf._ also Nettleship's _Life of Green_ and his (Nettleship's)
     _Philosophical Remains_.

     [26] This need of differentiation has been presented by Münsterberg
     in a powerful manner in his _Psychology and Life, Eternal Values_,
     and _Science and Idealism_.

     [27] Münsterberg's _Science and Idealism_, p. 10; _cf._ also his
     _Grundsuge der Psychologie_, Bd. i., 1900.

     [28] Wundt's _Grundriss der Psychologie_ and the article
     "Psychologie" in _Philosophie im beginn des Zwanzigsten
     Jahrhunderts (Festschrift fur Kuno Fischer_, art. 1).

     [29] _The Truth of Religion_, pp. 178 _f_.

     [30] It is a great merit of Bergson, too, to have perceived this
     fundamental difference. The difference between intellect and
     intuition, in his larger volumes, is more illuminating on the side
     of intellect. The relation of both is expressed by him more clearly
     in his short _Introduction to Metaphysics_ (soon to appear in

     [31] Troeltsch, in his _Psychologie und Erkenntnistheorie_, has
     perceived the difference very clearly, but in a manner quite
     different from Bergson. Troeltsch has dealt with the presence of
     the content of the over-empirical as something which is higher than
     any psychology of the soul, and which is at the farthest remove
     from the percept.

     [32] Richard Kade, in his new book, _Rudolf Euckens noologische
     Methode_, points out very clearly Eucken's contributions on this
     point from 1885 downwards. Kade further deals with the later
     developments of Windelband, Rickert, Troeltsch, and Wobbermin in
     the same direction.

     [33] _Historical Studies in Philosophy_,1912, p. 176.

     [34] _Cf._ the two remarkable volumes of Baron von Hügel, _The
     Mystical Elements of Religion_,1908, and especially vol. ii. These
     books are a mine of rich things, but I have not observed that many
     in our country have as yet realised this fact.

     [35] _The Truth of Religion_, p. 456.

     [36] _Main Currents of Modern Thought_, p. 353.

     [37] _The Truth of Religion_, p. 59.

     [38] _Cf. Decadence_, Henry Sidgwick Memorial Lecture, by the Rt.
     Hon. Arthur James Balfour, M.P., 1908. Mr Balfour has perceived the
     problem in a more optimistic manner than Professor Eucken; but he,
     too, is conscious that much is required of the people. "Some kind
     of widespread exhilaration or excitement is required in order to
     enable any community to extract the best results from the raw
     material transmitted to it by natural inheritance" (p. 62).

     [39] _Main Currents of Modern Thought_, p. 398.

     [40] This aspect has been developed in modern times by
     Schopenhauer, Ed. von Hartmann, and others. Bergson seems to me to
     be greatly indebted to Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer's Will and
     Bergson's _élan vital_ are practically the same (_cf_.
     Schopenhauer's _Über den Willen in der Natur,_ and Bergson's
     _Creative Evolution_). Edward Carpenter, in his _Art of Creation_,
     has worked out a similar point of view independently of Bergson.

     [41] _Der Kampf um einen geistigen Lebensinhalt_, Zweite Auflage,
     1907, S. 331.

     [42] Sonderdruck, 1905.

     [43] George Meredith, _The Sage Enamoured and the Honest Lady_.

     [44] _Cf._ the closing passages of Bradley's _Appearance and
     Reality_ for a similar view; also the latter part of Ward's _Realm
     of Ends_.

     [45] This weakness of Bergson's philosophy is shown in the whole of
     Bosanquet's _Principle of Individuality and Value_.

     [46] It is a great merit of Windelband to have brought this aspect
     of the _Ought_ prominently forward in contradistinction to the
     over-importance attached to the _Will_ alone by the Pragmatists.
     _Cf._ his _Präludien_.

     [47] _The Truth of Religion_, p. 175.

     [48] Modern psychology would agree with such a view, but probably
     not with the implications given to it by Eucken. The "faculty"
     psychology as it was presented by Kant has now disappeared, and
     consciousness is conceived as a unity in which the three aspects
     referred to are present, and even the single aspect that is in the
     foreground of consciousness is influenced by the others which are
     in the background. Another point made clear by Höffding (_cf_. his
     _Psychology)_ and others is the difference between the activity of
     consciousness in the "drifting" process of association of ideas and
     its power to stem the association current, and to turn it into new
     directions by means of the reflective power of consciousness

     [49] It is a great merit of Bergson's philosophy to have pointed
     this out. It is a conception presented several times in the history
     of philosophy, but there is great need of re-emphasising it to-day,
     especially as things in space have gripped the soul with such power
     and disastrous results.

     [50] _The Truth of Religion_, p. 243.

     [51] _The Truth of Religion_, p. 200. _Cf._ also _Können wir noch
     Christen sein_? pp. 91-141.

     [52] _Cf._ Ward's _The Realm of Ends_, chapters ii. and xx.; also
     Caird's _Evolution of Religion_ has many valuable hints throughout
     the two volumes pointing in the same direction.

     [53] _The Truth of Religion_, p. 436.

     [54] Quoted in _The Truth of Religion_, p. 436.

     [55] Cf. _The Truth of Religion_, pp. 429 ff.

     [56] _The Truth of Religion_, p. 430.

     [57] This fact is very clearly interpreted by Rickert in his
     _Gegenstand der Erkenntnis_.

     [58] _The Truth of Religion_, p. 431.

     [59] I cannot but believe that the supposed proofs brought forward
     by Sir Oliver Lodge and others are so empirical as to be of very
     little value to religion.

     [60] _The Truth of Religion_, p. 533.

     [61] _The Truth of Religion_, pp. 367, 368.

     [62] _The Truth of Religion_, pp. 11, 12.

     [63] _The Truth of Religion_, p. 545. It is on this fact that
     Eucken builds his conception of immortality. Such a conception is
     not a matter of speculation or of scientific proof, but a matter of
     an experience born on the summit of the evolution of spiritual life
     within the soul. It is useless to attempt to press such an
     experience into a conceptual mould.

     [64] _The Truth of Religion_, pp. 550, 551.

     [65] Driesch is attempting the construction of such a Metaphysic of
     Nature, and a similar attempt is to be discovered in Bergson's
     philosophy, especially in its later developments.

     [66] Troeltsch has also emphasised this truth in his _Absolutheit
     des Christentums und die Religionsgeschichte_ and in his _Bedeutung
     der Geschichtlichkeit Jesu für den Glauben_. These two small
     volumes are of great value.

     [67] Cf. _Können wir noch Christen sein_? pp. 150 to 210; _Das
     Wesen der Religion; Life's Basis and Life's Ideal_, p. 332 ff.;
     _Christianity and the New Idealism_, chapter iv.; _The Truth of
     Religion_, pp. 539 to 616.

     [68] _The Truth of Religion_, p. 360.

     [69] _Das Wesen der Religion_, S. 16.

     [70] The closing sections of _The Truth of Religion._ A similar
     aspect is presented in the final chapter of _Können wir noch
     Christen sein?_

     [71] _Cf._ J.S. Mackenzie's _Outlines of Metaphysics_ on the
     various constructions of the Universe and of Life. The whole volume
     is of the greatest value. _Cf._ also A.E. Taylor's illuminating
     volume, _Elements of Metaphysics_.

     [72] Cf. _Der Kampf um einen geistigen Lebensinhalt_, S. 98 ff.

     [73] _Cf._ Wicksteed's remarkable address _The Religion of Time and
     the Religion of Eternity_, already referred to. There are some
     striking similarities between Eucken and Wicksteed, who have,
     however, worked each quite independently of one another.

     [74] Men of science themselves feel this, and are conscious of the
     one-sidedness of the results of the scientific side of materialism.

     [75] _The Truth of Religion_, p. 103.

     [76] _Die Lebensanschauungen der grossen Denker_, 9te Auflage,
     1911, S. 504.

     [77] Liebmann passed away in January 1912. He had been Eucken's
     colleague in Jena for many years. Windelband designates him as "the
     truest of Kantians and the Nestor of Philosophy." _Cf._ my article
     on his life and work in the _Nation_ for February 3, 1912. The best
     presentation in England of the Kantian philosophy and its
     development is to be found in Caird's _Critical Philosophy of Kant_
     and Adamson's _Development of Modern Philosophy. Cf_. also G. Dawes
     Hicks's valuable articles in the _Proceedings of the Aristotelian
     Society_ during the past ten years.

     [78] _Analysis der Wirklichkeit_,3te Auflage, 1900, S. vii.

     [79] _Cf._ Dilthey's _Erlebnis und Dichtung_; his article "Die
     Typen der Weltanschauung und ihre Ausbildung in den metaphysichen
     Systemen" in _Weltanschauung_; _Philosophie und Religion in
     Darstellungen_, 1911 also, "Das Wesen der Philosophie" in
     _Systematische Philosophie_ ("Kultur der Gegenwart").

     [80] _Cf._ Eucken's _Hauptprobleme der Religionsphilosophie der
     Gegenwart_, 5te Auflage, 1912, chapter iv. Also, _Erkennen und
     Leben_ (1912), ss. 35-51.

     [81] _The Truth of Religion_, p. 574. Many hints in this and other
     respects may be found in W.R. Boyce Gibson's valuable work, _Rudolf
     Eucken's Philosophy of Life_(3rd edition, 1912).

     [82] _The Truth of Religion_, p. 71.

     [83] "Gesammelte Aufsätze": _Die Bedeutung der kleiner Nationen_,
     pp. 47-52.

     [84] This truth is pointed out most forcibly by L.P. Jacks in his
     _Alchemy of Thought_, chap. i.

     [85] Eucken visited England for the first time during Whitsun-week
     1911. He had been invited by the Committee of the British and
     Foreign Unitarian Association to deliver in London the _Essex Hall
     Lecture_ for the year. A large audience gathered together to see
     and hear him, and he received a most cordial reception. He spoke in
     German on _Religion and Life_, and the lecture has since appeared
     in English. The Rev. Charles Hargrove, M.A., of Leeds (President of
     the Association) presided over the meeting, and spoke of the great
     importance of Eucken's growing influence. Interesting addresses
     were also delivered by Dr J. Estlin Carpenter, Principal of
     Manchester College, Oxford; and Dr P.T. Forsyth, Principal of
     Hackney College. At the luncheon which followed, Professor
     Westermarck, Dr R.F. Horton, and others spoke. The lecture was
     repeated at Manchester College, Oxford, during the same week. On
     Whitsunday Eucken preached in the evening at Unity Church,
     Islington, London, N., at the invitation of the writer of this

     In September 1912 Eucken sailed for the United States of America to
     deliver a course of lectures at Harvard University covering a
     period of six months.

     In both countries he was greeted by a large number of his old
     pupils, many of whom travelled long distances to see and hear him
     once more.

     [86] Eucken follows Kant in the fact that after the union of
     subject and object has taken place a _new kind of objectivity_ has
     to be taken into account. This result has to be admitted before
     knowledge becomes possible at all. Eucken has not dealt in a
     thorough manner with this problem, although several hints are given
     concerning the importance of this transcendental aspect in Kant's
     philosophy. The implications of such a _new_ kind of objectivity
     avoid the danger of subjectivism, on the one hand, and of
     empiricism on the other hand. Eucken's forthcoming _Theory of
     Knowledge_ will deal with this important matter. In _Erkennen und
     Leben_ certain aspects of the problem are touched.

     [87] The volume was translated into English and published in the
     United States of America by Stuart Phelps in 1880. I am not aware
     that the work exercised any great influence at the time either in
     England or America. Eucken's "day" had not then dawned.

       *       *       *       *       *


Adamson, R.

Balfour, A.J.
Bosanquet, B.
Bradley, F.H.

Caird, E.
Carpenter, E.
Carpenter, J. Estlin.
Class, G.

Dilthey, W.
Driesch, H.

Fischer, Kuno.
Forsyth, P.T.


Gibson, W.R.B.
Green, T.H.

Hartmann, Ed. von.

Hicks, G. Dawes.
Höffding, H.
Horton, R.F.
Hügel, F. von.

Jacks, L.P.
James, W.
Jesus, _cf._ chapters on Historical Religions and Christianity.

Kade, R.

Liebmann, Otto.
Lodge, O.

MacDougall, W.
Mach, E.
Mackenzie, J.S.
Meredith, G.
Morgan, T.H.
Münsterberg, H.

Nettleship, R.L.
Ostwald, W.

Paulsen, F.
Phelps, Stuart.

Rickert, H.
Royce, J.

Schäfer, E.A.
Schiller, F.C.S.
Siebeck, H.
Simmel, G.
Sorley, W.R.

Taylor, A.E.
Thomson, J.A.
Troeltsch, E.


Wallace, W.
Ward, J.
Westermarck, E.
Wicksteed, P.H.
Windelband, W.
Wundt, W.

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