Chapter 8 The Factors Of Life

 
Chapter 8 The Factors
        of Life

 
    [1]
         Let us recapitulate
            what we
           have achieved
              in the previous chapters.

    The world
        faces man
           as a multiplicity,
       as a mass
           of separate details.

    One
         of these separate things,
            one entity
               among others,
       is man himself.

    This aspect
        of the world
       we
         simply call the given,
      and
         inasmuch as we
            do not evolve it
          by conscious activity,
      but just find it,
         we call it percept.

    Within this world
        of percepts
           we perceive ourselves.

    This percept
        of self
           would remain merely
        one
           among many other percepts,
      if
         something did not arise
            from the midst
               of this percept
                  of self which
                     proves capable
          of connecting all percepts
              with one another
                  and,
                     therefore,
                        the sum
                           of all other percepts
              with the percept
                  of our own self.

    This
         something which emerges
            is no longer merely percept;
       neither is it,
          like percepts,
       simply given.

    It is produced
        by our activity.

    To begin with,
       it appears
          to be bound up
             with what
         we perceive
            as our own self.

    In its inner significance,
       however,
          it transcends
             the self.

    To the separate
          percepts it adds
              ideally determined elements,
                 which,
               however,
                  are related
                     to one another,
       and are rooted
           in a totality.

    What is obtained
        by perception
            of self
               is ideally determined
                  by this something
            in the same way
                as are all other percepts,
      and is placed
          as subject,
      or "I",
         over against the objects.

    This something
        is thinking,
       and
          the ideally determined elements
             are the concepts
           and ideas.

    Thinking,
       therefore,
          first reveals itself
             in the percept
                of the self.

    But it
        is not merely subjective,
       for the self
          characterizes itself
         as subject
            only
         with the help
            of thinking.

    This relationship
        in thought
           of the self
              to itself
             is what,
                in life,
                   determines
       our personality.

    Through it
         we feel ourselves
            to be thinking beings.

    This
         determination of our life
            would remain
               a purely conceptual (logical) one,
       if
          no
             other determinations of our self
                were added to it.

    We should
         then be
             creatures whose life was expended
           in establishing purely
               ideal relationships
           between percepts
               among themselves
                   and between them
                      and ourselves.

    If
         we call
            the establishment
           of such
               a thought connection
           an
        "act
           of cognition",
              and
                 the resulting
                    condition
               of ourself "knowledge",
                  then,
               assuming
                  the above supposition
              to be true,
           we should have
              to consider ourselves as beings
             who
            merely cognize
                  or know.

    [2] The supposition is,
       however,
          untrue.

    We relate percepts
        to ourselves
           not merely ideally,
              through concepts,
           but also,
              as we
         have already seen,
       through feeling.

    We are,
       therefore,
          not beings
             with a merely conceptual content.

    The Naive Realist
        holds
           that the personality
              actually lives more genuinely
        in the life
            of feeling than
               in the purely ideal element
                  of knowledge.

    From his point of view
        he is
           quite
              right
            in interpreting
               the matter in this way.

    To begin with,
       feeling
          is exactly
        the same,
       on the subjective side,
          as the percept
             is on the objective side.

    (Poppelbaum translation:
       Feeling
          signifies
             on the subjective
                side exactly
        the same
           as percepts
        signify
           on the objective side.)

    From the basic principle
        of naive realism
       --that
          everything that can be perceived
             is real --
           it follows
              that feeling
                 must be the guarantee
                    of the reality
                of one's own personality.

    Monism,
       however,
          as here understood,
       must grant
          the same addition
             to feeling
            that it considers necessary
        for percepts,
       if these
          are
         to stand
            before us
               as full reality.

    Thus,
       for monism,
          feeling
        is
           an incomplete reality,
       which,
          in the form
        in which
            it first appears
               to us,
       does not yet contain
          its second factor,
       the concept
          or idea.

    This is why,
       in actual life,
          feelings
        appear
           prior to knowledge.

    At first,
       we have merely a feeling
           of existence;
              and
            it is only
               in the course
                   of our gradual development
                that
                    we attain
            to the point
               at which
                  the concept
                     of self
                    emerges from
                   within the dim
                      feeling
                of our own existence.

    However,
       what
          for us
             appears only later,
       is
          from the
             first indissolubly bound up
        with our feeling.

    This is
         why the naive man
            comes to believe
        that
            in feeling
                he is presented
            with existence immediately,
       in knowledge
          only mediately.

    The cultivation
        of the life
            of feeling,
               therefore,
                  appears
                     to him more important
          than anything else.

    He will not believe
        that he
           has grasped
              the nexus of the world
            until he
                has received it
               into his feeling.

    He attempts
        to make feeling,
           rather than knowing,
       the instrument
           of knowledge.

    Since
        a feeling
            is
           something
               entirely individual,
       something equivalent
          to a percept,
       the philosopher
          of feeling
             is making
            a universal principle
               out of something that
                  has significance
        only within his own personality.

    He attempts
          to permeate
             the whole world
        with his own Self.

    What the monist,
       in the sense
          we have described,
       strives
          to grasp through concepts,
       the philosopher
           of feeling tries
          to attain through feelings,
       and
          he regards
        this kind
            of connection
                with the objects
                    as the more direct.
 
    [3] The tendency
        just described,
       the philosophy
          of feeling,
       is often called
          mysticism.

    The error
        in a mystical outlook
           based
         upon mere feeling
            is that it
               wants
              to experience directly
        what
             it ought to gain
                through knowledge;
       that it wants
          to raise feeling,
             which is individual,
       into a universal principle.
 
    [4] Feeling
        is
           a purely individual affair;
       it is the relation
          of the external world
             to our self as subject,
       in so far
          as this relation finds expression
        in a merely subjective experience.
 
    [5] There
        is yet
           another expression
        of human personality.

    The Self,
       through its
          thinking,
       shares the life
          of the world
             in general.

    In this manner,
       in a purely ideal way
          (that is,
             conceptually),
           it relates
              the percepts
                 to itself,
           and itself
              to the percepts.

    In feeling,
       it has direct experience
          of a relation
             of the objects
                to itself
                    as subject.

    In the will,
       the case
          is reversed.

    In willing,
       we are concerned once more
          with a percept,
             namely,
           that
              of the individual relation
           of our self
               to what is objective.

    Whatever
          there is
             in willing
            that is not
        a purely ideal factor,
       is just
           as much mere
              object
        of perception
           as is
              any object
                 in the external world.
 
    [6] Nevertheless,
       the Naive Realist
          believes here
        again
           that he
              has
            before him
               something far more real
              than
                 can be attained
                by thinking.

    He sees in the will
        an element
       in which
           he is immediately aware
              of an occurrence,
                 a causation,
              in contrast
                 with thinking
         which only grasps
            the event
          afterwards in conceptual form.

    According to
        such a view,
       what
          the I
         achieves
            through its
               will is a process
        which is experienced immediately.

    The adherent
        of this philosophy
           believes
      that in the will
       he has
           really got
                 hold
                    of the machinery
                       of the world
               by one corner.

    Whereas
        he can follow
           other occurrences
        only from the outside by
            means
           of perception,
       he is confident
          that in his will
             he experiences
                a real process
        quite immediately.

    The mode
        of existence
           in which
              the will appears
                 within the Self
                becomes
            for him
               a concrete principle
                   of reality.

    His own
        will
            appears
        to him
            as a special case
                of the general world-process;
       hence
          the latter appears
             as universal will.

    The will
        becomes
           the world-principle
        of reality
           just as,
              in Mysticism,
           feeling
        becomes
           the principle
              of knowledge.

    This kind
        of theory
            is called the philosophy
               of will (thelism).

    It makes something
          that can be experienced only
             individually into the fundamental factor
                of the world.
 
    [7]
        The Philosophy of Will
           can
         as little
              be called scientific
        as can
            the Mysticism
                based on feeling.

    For both
          assert
        that
            the conceptual understanding
               of the world
                  is inadequate.

    Both demand
        a principle
           of existence
       which is real,
      in addition
         to a principle
       which is ideal.

    To a certain extent
        this is justified.

    But
        since
            perceiving
               is our only means
            of apprehending
               these so-called real principles,
       the assertion
          of both the Mysticism
             of feeling and
        the Philosophy of Will
            comes
               to the same thing
        as saying
             that we
                have two sources of knowledge,
               thinking and perceiving,
       the latter presenting itself
          as an individual experience
             in feeling
                and will.

    Since the results
        that flow
            from the one source,
               the experiences,
            cannot
               on this view
           be taken up directly
       into those
          that flow
              from the other source,
                 thinking,
              the two modes
                 of knowledge,
              perceiving
       and thinking,
      remain side by side
         without any higher form
            of mediation
           between them.

    Besides
         the ideal principle
        which is accessible
            to knowledge,
       there is said
          to be a real principle
        which
            cannot be apprehended
               by thinking
        but can yet be experienced.

    In other words,
       the Mysticism
          of feeling and
             the Philosophy of Will
                are both forms
        of naive realism,
       because
          they subscribe to the doctrine
        that
           what is directly perceived
              is real.

    Compared
        with Naive Realism
            in its primitive form,
       they are guilty
          of the yet further inconsistency
        of accepting one particular
              form
            of perceiving
        (feeling
            or will,
           respectively)
              as the one and
            only means
               of knowing reality,
       whereas the

    [8] The philosophy
        of will
           turns into
              Metaphysical Realism
      when
          it places
             the element
        of will even
           into those spheres
              of existence
      where
          it cannot be experienced directly,
      as it can
          in the individual subject.

    It assumes,
       outside the subject,
          a hypothetical principle
             for whose real existence
         the sole criterion
            is subjective experience.

    As a form
        of Metaphysical Realism,
       the Philosophy of Will
          is subject to
             the criticism made
           in the preceding chapter,
       in that
          it has
             to get over
           the contradictory stage inherent
              in every form
                 of Metaphysical Realism,
       and must acknowledge
          that the will
              is a universal world-process
                 only in so far
              as it
                 is ideally related
               to the rest
                   of the world.
 
    Author's addition,
       1918

 
    [1] The difficulty
        of grasping
            the essential nature
               of thinking
        by observation
           lies
              in this,
      that it
         has all too easily eluded
             the introspecting soul
                by the time
         the soul
            tries
               to bring
                  it
              into the focus
                  of attention.

    Nothing
         then remains
            to be inspected
         but the lifeless abstraction,
       the corpse
           of the living thinking.

    If
         we look only
            at this abstraction,
       we may easily find ourselves
          compelled
             to enter
           into the mysticism
               of feeling or
          perhaps the metaphysics
             of will,
       which
          by contrast
              appear so "full of life"

    We should
         then find it strange
             that anyone
            should expect
               to grasp
                  the essence
           of reality
               in "mere
                  thoughts"

    But
         if
             we once succeed
           in really finding life
               in thinking,
       we shall know that
          swimming
             in mere feelings,
       or being intuitively aware
           of the will element,
       cannot even be compared
           with the inner wealth
               and
             the self-sustaining yet ever moving
                  experience
               of this life
                   of thinking,
       let alone
          be ranked above it.

    It is owing precisely
        to this wealth,
       to this
          inward abundance
             of experience,
       that the counter-image
           of thinking
          which
              presents itself
                 to our ordinary attitude
                    of soul
                       should appear
             lifeless and abstract.

    No
         other activity
            of the human soul
               is so easily misunderstood
         as thinking.

    Will
        and feeling
           still fill the soul
              with warmth even
          when
             we live through
                the original event
               again in retrospect.

    Thinking all
        too readily leaves us cold
           in recollection;
      it is
         as if the life
            of the soul
         had dried out.

    Yet this
         is really
            nothing
               but
                  the strongly marked shadow
               of its real nature --
       warm,
          luminous,
       and penetrating deeply
           into the phenomena
               of the world.

    This penetration
        is brought about
           by a power
              flowing
           through the activity
               of thinking itself --
       the power
           of love
               in its spiritual form.

    There are
          no grounds
              here
                 for the objection
                    that to discern
         love
            in the activity
           of thinking
              is to project
           into thinking a feeling,
              namely,
           love.

    For in truth
         this objection
            is
         but
             a confirmation
                of what
                   we have been saying.

    If
         we turn
            towards thinking
           in its essence,
       we find
           in it both feeling
              and will,
       and these
           in the depths
               of their reality;
       if
          we turn away
             from thinking
           towards "mere" feeling
              and will,
       we lose from these
           their true reality.

    If we
        are ready
           to experience
         thinking intuitively,
       we can also do justice
           to the experience
               of feeling and
                   of will;
       but the mysticism
           of feeling
               and the metaphysics
                  of will
                are not able
                   to do
                      justice
                   to the penetration
                       of reality
                           by intuitive thinking --
       they conclude all too readily
          that they themselves
              are rooted in reality,
       but
          that the intuitive thinker,
       devoid
           of feeling
               and a stranger
                   to reality,
       forms
          out of "abstract thoughts"
             a shadowy,
       chilly picture
           of the world.