Lewis Field-Hite-ULTIMATE-REALITY-The-Swedenborg-Society-London-1936
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Lewis Field-Hite-ULTIMATE-REALITY-The-Swedenborg-Society-London-1936 Lewis Field-Hite-ULTIMATE-REALITY-The-Swedenborg-Society-London-1936 Document Transcript

  • SWEDE BORG TR SACTIONSSOCIETY (Inc.) umber ThreeUltimate RealityAddress given byThe Reverend LEWIS FIELD HITE, A.M. (Harvard)Professor of Philosophy, The New-Church Theological SchoolAt the International Swedenborg Congress, London
  • ULTIMATE REALITYAddress given byThe Reverend LEWIS FIELD HITE, A.M. (Harvard)Professor of Philosophy, The New-Church Theological SchoolAt the International Swedenborg CongressLondon.SWEDENBORG SOCIETY (INCORPORATED)SWEDENBORG HOUSEHART STREET, LONDON, W.C. 11936/5 I 0 (F re
  • /1P.,,o..#-SUltimate Reality . v "f., "~ (f·~5Jl]!!MATE REALIT~theproper desig­nation of the subject about which philosophyis peculiarly concerned.In assigning me this subject, therefore, the Congressis asking that I present my views on the central themeof metaphysics, and yet I am not sure that this effortwould be the natural response to the present occasion.I presume there is on the part of this assemblya general agreement as to what ultimate reality is;and accordingly I am expected to make some commentson what we all have more or less definitely in mind.In other words, I take it for granted that amongstudents of Swedenborg there is complete agreementas to the doctrine that God is the only really existingand self-subsisting being in the universe. So, then,we may say at once, God is the ultimate reality, andour thoughts thus pass from the realm of philosophyto that of theology.But I do not interpret my task as identical withthat of dogmatic or even systematic theology, and I amsure you would all be disappointed if I should contentmyself with merely reciting Swedenborgs familiardoctrines about the nature of God and the world.Indeed, the mere recital of these doctrines wouldraise questions of interpretation of the most profoundand far-reaching kind. If, for instance, we should5
  • say God is love and wisdom and add that love andwisdom are the very and only substance and form,we make an assertion that goes to the very bottom ofmetaphysics. If, now, we note that the point of thisdoctrine is philosophically that substance and formare love and wisdom rather than that love and wisdomare substance and form, we see that it presents a newview of substance and form. So, too, if we affirmthat God is love we merely repeat Christian tradition,but if we assert that love is God we announce thefundamental thesis of a new revelation-a thesiswhich gives new significance to the word love, andtransforms the theological doctrine that God is theultimate reality to the philosophical statement thatthe ultimate reality is love. It seems inevitable, then,that I must, with what light I have from our doctrinesand from history in general, undertake to say whatultimate reality is as I conceive it. First, then, letus glance at history.From the days of the early Greeks, all downthrough the ages to the present time, the intellectualenergies of the master minds of our race have beendirected to the underlying problems of existence andof life. The human mind is so constituted that thefacts of ordInary experience inevitably suggest deepermeanings; but the practical exigencies of daily lifealso demand a knowledge of the relations and con­nections of things sufficient to ensure the success offoresight, purpose, and method. In this way the6
  • intellectual and the practical needs of mankind havecombined in infinitely various fashion to bring orderand system into the field of raw experience. Successand failure, trial and error, furnish the workshop forsharpening wits and acquiring skill. The fit and theunfit, the deceptive and the certain, the changingand the permanent, the varying and the constant, theapparent and the known, tend to fall into familiar andconvenient groups which henceforth serve the pur-poses of both practical and intellectual control andprogress. Under these circumstances, as the inevitableoutcome of practical and rational intelligence, thedistinction between appearance and reality wasestablished, and the notion of ultimate realitygradually came to be defined. Ordinary practical lifeis satisfied with relative stability and permanence inthe objects with which it has to do. The timber andstones, the bricks and mortar, the iron and steel withwhich we build our houses, keep their shape andstay where they are put sufficiently to ensure thecorrectness of calculations made generations andcenturies before. On the other hand, trees and plants,and especially animals, exhibit changes of growth,decay and movement such that no certain predictionabout their future condition at any given time ispossible. .To-day the grass is in the field, to-morrowit is cast into the oven. The very predicate ofexistence, when we press it too hard, becomesambiguous and uncertain. We cannot say is and7
  • keep to it. The" is" passes inevitably and almostinstantaneously into" was." The predicate of existence,under such stress and strain, becomes infected withchange and variety, so that it seems, superficially atany rate, impossible to assert existence withoutqualification in any case whatsoever. The graniterocks and the everlasting hills appear to the eye ofthe geologist as momentary aspects of all-pervadingchange. navra XWP€L Kat OV8EV }-t~V€L, as the wise men ofold said. All things a!e in a flux; nothing is. Thus_.--....._--- -- ­we see that the practical stability of things becomes,on further acquaintance, merely rel?tive. But relativestability suggests degrees, while practical convenienceforces the task of distinguishing the more from theless stable, thus setting up a serial arrangement whichwould, upon the supervening of intellectual motives,be carried back to the least and forward to the greatestdegree of stability. Such a scheme of things occasionsthe rational demand for absolute stability on the onehand, and the entire lack of stability on the other.These demands are satisfied by that which is changelessfrom any and every point of view, and that which isever changing. The motives herein concerned aregenuine and constant human motives, ever operativeand ever effective. They lead in one direction tothe conception of the real as that which is absolutelyabiding, superior to all change and yet the groundof all change. In the other direction they lead tothe conception of a universal, ceaseless flux.8
  • These motives were conspicuously present in earlyGreek philosophy. The world of humanity wasalready very, very old when the Greek race firstappeared upon the stage of history. General views ofthe world and of life had become common property,so as to be motives and subjects for literary treatment.Intellectual interests had begun to stir the minds ofmen with larger and deeper questions than thosewhich the needs of ordinary practical life made urgent.This was the situation when Early Greek philosophyentered upon its unique and brilliant career. In theolder mythologies and cosmogonies, the world ofphenomena had been partially reduced to order andsystem. Ovpav6f, rata, ilKEav6f, and the eldest of thegods, "EpOf, appear as representing the beginning.Thence follows the generation and order of thingsdown to the present world of ordinary observation.Here that which is original, the beginner and thebegetter, appears as the ultimate reality. The primesource of things and the powers of begetting, orproduction, are looked to for explanation of the actualworld, and in mythological language a completeexplanation was given. But such explanations didnot go very far in accounting for the actual presentbehaviour of things. Attention was accordingly moreand more directed to the existing order, and interestwas transferred from questions of origin to questionsas to the present. The question, What the world wasat the beginning? was changed to, What the world9
  • is now? as it stands. When, therefore, Thales, 600years B.C., declared that all things came from water,he gave expression to a new view of the world. Forwhen Anaximenes said the world was mist, whenAnaximander said it was the boundless, when Herac­litus said it was fire, and Empedocles that it wasearth, air, fire and water, and Anaxagoras that it wasa mixture of an infinite number of infinitely smallelements or seeds, they all gave substantially thesame answer, namely, that the world is a singlehomogeneous body, or a mixture of such bodies,and .all things are made out of this body or mixture.Reflection upon these various answers, and criticism ofthem, led to the recognition of other general features ofthe world besides background and things. Heraclitusdirected attention to all-pervading change. For himthe world is a process, and fire is the body whichconstitutes this process. Fire is the reality; thethings which we observe are mere stages andappearances which this ever-living fire undergoesand presents. The philosophy of Heraclitus makesthe fact of change central, fundamental, and real.Parmenides, on the other hand, directed attention tothe fact of permanence. To ordinary observation,things abide and also change. But, said Heraditus,look a little closer and you will see that everythingchanges. Nothing really remains the same frommoment to moment. In the upward movement ofthe flame and the unceasing motion of the flowing10
  • river, we have the true types of the real nature ofthings.Parmenides, however, insisted that if you lookstill closer you will see that change is mere appearanceand presupposes the permanent. A thing must persistthrough its changes if it is to exhibit change at all.That which persists in and through change is thereal in things. The real world, then, is a changeless,homogeneous, continuous body, without beginningor end in time.These two views of the world recognize andemphasize two fundamental characters of experience,and they have maintained themselves in all subsequentmetaphysics. The effort to reconcile them forcedearly Greek philosophy to its final position. It wasseen that the real world must be in some senseabiding; it was also seen that variety and changemust in some way belong to it. The issue betweenpermanence and change, oneness and variety, wasdefinitely sharpened by the conflict between theuncompromising monism of Parmenides and thethoroughgoing Pythagorean pluralism. According tothe latter doctrine, the world is number, and thingsare made out of numbers, not, of course, abstract,but concrete numbers. But, if things are made upof a number of parts, then the parts themselves wouldbe made up of still smaller parts, and so on ad infinitum.In other words, anything, however small, would bemade up of an infinite number of parts, and it wouldII
  • follow that if these parts have any magnitude what­soever the thing would be infinitely large; if nomagnitude, the thing would be nothing. So thateverything would be at once so small as to be nothingat all, or so large as to be infinitely large. It was theseconsequences which the famous undying paradoxesof Zeno brought out with inexorable logic and pre­CISIOn. From Zenos criticism it was seen to bepractically necessary to put a stop to division, andto assume real bodies so small as to be no longercapable of natural division. It was in this way thatearly Greek thought reached the atomic theory. Takenseparately, these invisible and indivisible bodies hadall the properties of the Parmenidean "One," andcould be real in the Parmenidean sense; takentogether, they provide for change and variety by theirmovements and combinations. This theory forcesHeraclitus, Pythagoras, and Parmenides to terms,and in a way satisfies their demands. The world, forthis theory, consists of atoms, motion, and void.Solid bodies moving in empty space, give us, by theircombinations, the many and various things of theactual world. The real world, then, is matter inmotion. This is the answer which early Greek philo­sophy gave, and for scientific purposes it is the mostdefinite and satisfactory answer that has ever beengIven.We are left in the dark as to the fate of the atomictheory during the transition period from early GreekI2
  • philosophy to that of Plato and Aristotle, but thepenetrating analysis of sense perception, summed upin the dictum of Protagoras, "Man is the measureof all things," laid the basis for a new departure, andgave rise to the problem of knowledge which hasheld the centre of the stage in philosophy ever since.Protagoras left philosophy with the simple question,If in sense perception we know directly only oursensations, has knowledge a real object, and what isthat object? This question cannot be answered interms of the atomic theory, for the atom is clearlybut a minimized object of sense perception, and sois, strictly speaking, a sensation, no more real thanany other sensation. Like other sensations, its existencedepends on the state of the perceiver, and, therefore,it has no independent reality. This seems to bethe course of thought which led the classic age ofGreek philosophy to the prompt and final rejectionof the atomic theory and to the search for reality inanother direction.Socrates emphasized the practical certainty ofknowledge as presupposed in conduct. Man is charac­teristically and essentially a moral being, whose realnature consists in expressing purposes. But a purposeis, from one point of view, an ideal, or a concept.The business of the moral life, therefore, is to formdear concepts and express them in conduct. Platolifted such concepts into a purely abstract realmand gave them an independent existence. The doctrine13
  • of ideas was thus substituted in philosophy for theatomic theory. The real world is now the world ofindependent ideas, rather than independent atoms.The world as it is for thought takes the place of theworld as it is for sense. In this way the search for theabiding, for that which is ever one and the same,was ended, since it is the very nature of a conceptto be unalterable, to persist in all its applications,and to furnish the eternal standard by which allexpressions and embodiments of it are to be tested.It is the eternal truth. The logical and epistemologicalgrounds of this doctrine are so firm, and so deeplyembedded in human experience, that it has occupied thefield of philosophy ever since as the only successful rivalof materialism, and as the mainstay and justificationof all the highest aspirations and strivings of men.Thereafter, the ultimate reality was sought not inthe sensuous world, as had been the case in earlyGreek philosophy, but in the supersensuous. Thethings of the spirit of man were placed above thethings of the body. Spirit, not matter, was the eternalsubstance of things. This has been the contentionof all idealistic philosophies down to the present day.Aristotle did little to modify this doctrine, but hedid much to work out its consequences in detail. Itis far from my intention to attempt any critical summaryof Aristotelian philosophy. This philosophy was insome respects the unique intellectual achievement ofthe race, and was the culmination of what was, perhaps,14
  • the races supreme intellectual effort. Never was thehuman intellect so stirred as during the period spannedby the lives of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Apage of Aristotles Metaphysics taken at random givesa bewildering impression of the almost desperateintellectual struggle of the Greek mind of his day.Aristotles achievement was the complete organizationof human science on the basis of a marvellouslysimplified conceptual apparatus. The scheme ofthings which he constructed on this basis was trans­mitted to posterity, and has become the web andtissue of our common knowledge, so that Aristotel­ianism is but another name for our modern common­sense. If, however, we look closely at the metaphysicalcharacter of Aristotelianism, we shall see that thesystem is determined by two fundamental influences :the habits of language and the requirements of abstractthought. We have already seen how the practicalneeds of mankind led to the analysis and reconstructionof experience, and how early Greek philosophy followedout these motives in the construction of the atomictheory. Aristotle, on the basis of results so reached,immensely extended and systematized the field ofinquiry, and carried forward analysis and reconstruc­tion under the stimulus of motives more purelyintellectual. We know from the Metaphysics thatAristotle read early Greek philosophy as a more orless blind attempt to work out the notion of cause,and he saw in it a greater or less approximation to15
  • his own doctrine of the four conceptions of cause.It appeared to him naturally that early Greek philo­sophy was concerned especially with the materialcause. Whereas if we take his system as a whole, itis evident that he placed the emphasis on the efficientcause, and his philosophy took the form of a systemof development. But the notion of development itselfpresupposes that of formal cause and also that offinal cause. The final cause in turn presupposed auniverse complete and perfect in idea, in whole andin part; and the formal cause, as original essence,by its own development, realized this ideal. ToAristotle, the Heraclitean flux was the process inwhich and by which essence developed its specificquality and its own proper form. The form, as endor terminus of movement, was also object of striving,and as such already present in its completeness asidea. It is obvious that we have here a carefullythought out attempt to give in biological terms aspecific meaning to Platos notions of expression andparticipation of the idea. In this view, the universealready and eternally exists, spread out to view, oneand complete. Movement and change, birth, growth,decay and death, are merely transitions from pointto point within this static whole. The world of varietyand qualities thus dissolves into the changeless bodyof the Parmenidean " One," and we need to take onlyone step more to enter the mechanical world of puremathematics. This outcome was made inevitable by16
  • the presuppositions of Early Greek philosophy whichAristotle, on the basis of language and common-sense,appropriated without criticism.Early Greek philosophy, as we saw, began withthe idea of a common background to the body ofphenomena, and the term used to designate it wasepV(Tl~ (nature). This notion of epV(TL~ as the materialbackground of all the phenomena of the actual worldwas a permanent and, it would seem, an ineradicableachievement of human thought. It is the ultimatebasis of all forms of materialism, and has its originin the peculiar function of the intellect itself. It maytake the form of Democritean atoms, or the centres offorce of Boscovich, or a homogeneous ethereal medium.In all these forms it is the outcome of analysis whichhas its beginning in the ordinary operations of theintellect in practical life. Practical life demandsstable objects, objects that remain self-identical, un-changed throughout any given operation; it achievessuccess by selecting or constructing such objects.All our intellectual operations primarily serve ourpractical life by discovering or by establishing orderamong such objects. The essence of this intellectualactivity consists in detaching from the concrete lifethe character of permanence. In the course of time,this element of permanence is universalized and madethe presupposition of all thought and the basis of alllife. Thus universalized, it is what the Gr~eks·calledepV(Tl~, and what we call nature.17
  • But the process of analysis and abstraction doesnot stop here. The element of permanence is indi­vidualized and located in a system of conceptualobjects, giving rise to what we call the world ofconcepts, in Platonic language the world of ideas.The further the process of abstraction is carried, andthe more the concepts are simplified, the nearer theapproach to a mere system of relations in the homo­geneous field of empty space. In other words, weare led by this process to a world which takes onmore and more the character of a rigid mechanicalsystem. This is precisely the result achieved by thehuman intellect in the development of Greek philo­sophy from Thales to Aristotle. Aristotles God wasthe apotheosis of the element of permanence, theunchanging and the unmoved cause of the world.His universe. was a static whole, already complete,in which succession and quality were reducible ulti­mately to bare moments, and time itself was only aone-dimensional and reversible way of taking pointsin the spread-out field of space. Any critical estimateof Aristotles philosophy must do justice to the variousand complicated human motives which everywherepervade it, but we must look for the key in theaims and methods of his analysis. A pupil ofPlato for twenty years, and, as a consequence, amaster of dialectic and of historical movements, hisgigantic intellect swept the field of nature and ofexperience with penetrating insight and marvellous18
  • comprehensiveness. He gathered up, sifted, and re­cast the results of human thinking even though alreadypresented by the consummate genius of Plato. Theoutcome was determined by one single controllingconception, the conception of subject. This conceptionleads back to the 1>V(Tl~ of early Greek philosophy,and now appears under the two-fold aspect of materialcause and of essence; the universal underlyingbackground of phenomena; V7rOKE£JLEVOV ; the substantiaof the Latin; what we English know as substance,the bearer of qualities, activities, changes; in short,the subject of predicates. Whatever may be themetaphysical value of that which we call substanceor thing, we are indebted to Aristotle for the clearand definite conception of it, and we do not have tolook far for his motives and methods of procedure.We have seen that the world of practical life, withits concrete objects in all their variety and changes,falls a victim to the processes of analysis and abstractionwhich are demanded as the necessary conditions ofpractical success. Stability, plasticity, movability,divisibility, self-identity, and independence, are theproperties which practical success demands andutilizes; and these are precisely the characters whichthe intellect discovers, abstracts, and transforms intoa conceptual world. No doubt these processes wouldgo on under any conditions where the will and intellectcould co-operate, but the supreme agency for promotingthe accumulation, preservation, and organization of19
  • such experience is the faculty of speech and the useof language. But the development of language itselfis due to the intellectual functions of attention,discrimination, selection-in a word, analysis andabstraction. Language is a very simple but effectivemeans of preserving the results of these processes.When a character is once noticed and a name is givenit, the name then serves to recall it and so preserveit. Language thus serves practical convenience andacquires practical importance. It is a shorthandmethod of reproducing and forecasting experience.But it is equally serviceable for intellectual purposes,both as a register and a shorthand method of thought.This dependence of intellect upon speech graduallydevelops a habit which is further cultivated by readingand writing. So that ordinary thought is in suchwise symbolic that mere words are used in the placeof conceptions, and systems of word-building becomethemselves objects of construction and reflection.The result is, we have in due course the science ofgrammar and that marvellous creation about whichthe science of grammar revolves-the sentence. Thesentence is the unique embodiment of conceptualthought. The subject represents the oneness andchangelessness of the concept, and the predicaterepresents the various qualities and relations of theconcept. The two simple elements of the sentencethus acquire metaphysical and logical value. Thoughtproceeds, as we have seen, by severing an observed20
  • character from the concrete experience in which it isfound. This tree is green, that tree is green, and soon indefinitely. Here" tree" stands for the abidingbackground, and " green " for the constant character.We have various terms for designating this distinction.In grammar it is substantive and adjective; in meta­physics it is thing and quality, substance and form,or substance and attribute; in logic, subject andpredicate, term and relation, subject and object.Now, observe that both subject and predicate areconcepts, and the concepts are united by a thirdconcept which we call a relation. The two conceptsin this relation become subject and predicate, andconstitute what we call a judgment. The judgment,expressed in words, is the sentence.This analysis was required to emphasize the factthat thought proceeds with concepts, and language isthe product of thought; but thought itself hasdeveloped historically as the servant of practical life,and has been controlled by this use. Nevertheless,after having reached a certain stage of development,thought became itself the object of independentinterest, and it may be said that Greek philosophyculminated in the triumph of this interest. In otherwords, Aristotles logic was the characteristic achieve­ment of Greek philosophy.In the light of the foregoing discussion we arenow able to see that the inevitable outcome of Aris­totles philosophy was empty formalism, a reduction21
  • of all concrete experience to abstract conceptions.His analysis of experience stopped with the identifica­tion of concepts, and his logic was a formal treatmentof concepts in abstracto. It inhered in his undertakingthat the further he went in the investigation andtreatment of formal thought the further he left behindhim both the concrete experience and the practicallife from which he set out. This criticism, however,does not in the least depreciate the value of hisachievement. It merely calls attention to its propercharacter and function in the development ofphilosophy. Nor does it ignore the fact that Aristotlesconception of reality was far richer than that which thelogical outcome of his method indicated. We need tobe reminded that Aristotle was not fully conscious ofhis task as metaphysician. He accepted in the mainthe results of Early Greek philosophy. He adoptedwithout thoroughgoing criticism the presuppositionsof ordinary thought and common-sense. He saw inlanguage the natural, characteristic, and fundamentalexpression of reality, and in the sentence the funda­mental constitution of reality. He overlooked the factthat thought is only one of the functions of life, andthat it is subservient to life, that it springs out ofconcrete experience and is developed primarily outof purely practical interests. Under the requirementsof practical and social life, it produces the elements ofspeech and the form of the sentence. In this waythe sentence acquires metaphysical value, and for22
  • ordinary thought determines metaphysical theory.Aristotle unwittingly and uncritically took the gram­marians point of view, and made the structure of thesentence the basis of his metaphysics. His logicdeveloped from this starting-point. The grammaticalsubject represented the ultimate reality, and thepredicate represented the various states, qualities andactivities of reality. This at once commits us to allthe consequences of intellectualism, and in the end,as we have seen, to materialism.Subsequent history shows how these consequenceswere brought out and adhered to. It is unnecessaryto trace the course of the post-Aristotelian schools, orto point out that the Stoics and the Epicureans,working with Aristotelian conceptions, ended in con­structing a purely mechanical universe. The onebright spot in the metaphysics of this period wasthat created by the transcendent genius of Plotinus,who for the first time in the history of philosophysubjected the nature of thought to systematic andpenetrating criticism, and who made out clearly itsinstrumental and derivative character. As againstAristotle, he denied the ultimate reality of thoughtand affirmed that of feeling. Unfortunately, he hadonly Aristotelian terms and concepts to work with, andthese were inadequate for the expression of his insight.Scholasticism was a revival of Aristotelianism, andmoved strictly within Aristotelian metaphysics. Des­cartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz had the advantage of the23
  • new scientific movement; but they, too, accepted asfundamental the subject-predicate metaphysics ofAristotle, and endeavoured to build their systemsupon it. Descartes made a deliberate attempt to turnhis back on tradition and make a fresh start, but hevery soon fell into the Aristotelian net. The self­assertive, self-certain ego which Augustine had madefundamental in metaphysics, Descartes cast into themould of Aristotles subject-predicate formula, andproceeded to develop his system in terms of Aris­totelian logic and upon the lines of familiar tradition.His res cogitans and res extensa were simple re­affirmations of the old doctrine of substance; andthe two worlds, the spiritual and the material, weremerely new editions of our familiar friends, thesensuous and the super-sensuous realms of Plato.Spinoza developed the doctrine of substance in amore strictly systematic way, and for the first timebrought out the intellectualistic and materialisticimplications of that doctrine.Leibniz, with the possible exception of Plotinus,the greatest metaphysician since Plato, made somesignificant alterations in the traditional conception ofsubstance, and by his doctrine of monads freed it ina measure from materialistic implications. But evenLeibniz, with all his genius for analysis and recon­struction, fell a victim to intellectualism. His monadsturn out in the end to be little more than positionsin space. His universe is one in which nothing ever24
  • really happens. The monad, and the universe whichit reflects, are what they are, fixed and eternal. Nothingfrom the outside can affect or change the monad, andthere is nothing in the universe which is not alreadyin the monad. In other words, the ultimately realthing in the universe is the monad and its states, andthese states are eternally self-identical and changeless.Whatever may be said of this outcome, Leibniz hasthe lasting credit of carrying out to the logical con­clusion the fundamental conceptions which inhere inany subject-predicate philosophy taken as an ultimatemetaphysic. Every philosophy which makes substanceits fundamental category ends, as first Spinoza andafter him Leibniz showed, in reducing the universeto states of this substance. The universe is, then,truly describable by propositions which express onlyanalytical judgments. The so-called synthetic judg­ments are merely premature and provisional forms ofthought, which are convenient for the time being, butwhich must in the end be set aside and replaced bythe analytic. In other words, all characters, qualities,and properties which are expressed by predicates,inhere in the subject and are evolved from the subject.These characters, as such, exist eternally in thesubject, and our universe falls back into a static,self-identical repose. This follows for the reason thatboth substance and quality are abstractions and, assuch, are colourless, changeless, self-identical concepts.Such a universe is the product of abstraction, and was25
  • already prefigured in the first attempts of mankind touse intellectual processes in the service of practicallife, where distinction, separation, analysis, and re­construction are necessary for success.We see from this rapid survey that philosophychose from the first the intellectualistic trend, thatAristotle forged its fundamental conceptions, and thatSpinoza and Leibniz worked these conceptions outto their logical consequences.After Leibniz, philosophy either went off intopsychological and epistemological excursions, orbecame severely self-critical. Criticism found its bestexpression in the Kantean episode. The constructiveefforts of German idealism may occupy us later, aswill also the more recent metaphysics of the presentday.It is now time to fix our attention upon a figureand a doctrine which appeared in the worlds intel­lectual firmament almost without historical associationsor historical introduction. The figure was that ofEmanuel Swedenborg, and the doctrine was hisdoctrine oj love.In spite of his sudden and unique appearanceupon the worlds stage, however, Swedenborg hadsome historical relations which must be constantlyborne in mind; otherwise we are liable to misreadhim. The fact that he wrote in scholastic Latin putshim in the current of Aristotelian tradition, since, aswe have seen, scholasticism is only Aristotle in26
  • medireval Christian dress. In using the language ofscholasticism, Swedenborg naturally adopted the termsand conceptions of Aristotelian philosophy. This giveshis language the superficial appearance of abstractconceptualism and almost mechanical dogmatism,which has misled many casual and especially un­sympathetic readers. Nevertheless, we have here thekey to his historical position, and it is necessary toacquire a competent knowledge both of scholasticismand of Aristotle as a preparation for reading himwith critical accuracy.A more direct relation to history is indicated bythe fact that he was educated at Upsala during theperiod of the Cartesian controversy, and was thusbrought under the spell of the revolutionary spirit,and imbued with the fresh intellectual impulses ofthe age. His frequent references to Aristotle, andhis careful study of Wolf, suggest that he was athome in the earliest and latest phases of traditionalphilosophy; but there is little indication that heever subjected philosophy in whole or in part tosystematic criticism. On the other hand, it seems tohave been his habitual method to take the terms andconceptions as he found them, embedded in thelanguage and thought of his day, and use them forhis own purpose without caring to keep strictly totheir historical meaning. So that in a general waywe may consider Swedenborgs philosophy as resting,in language at least, rather freely upon the basis of27
  • scholasticism and common-sense-understanding bycommon-sense the popularized results of previousphilosophies. When, therefore, we approach thestudy of Swedenborg we must expect to meet theusual mechanical metaphors of ordinary speech andpopular science, as well as the technical terms andconceptions of a highly refined philosophical vocab­ulary. At the same time we must be prepared to seea free use of these as instruments, and be ever carefulto interpret them in the light of his own point of viewand purpose.Our rapid sketch of the history of philosophy hasshown us that the notion of ultimate reality has followedtwo apparently diverse tendencies, the one ending inthe atomic theory, and the other in a system of abstractideas. Around the former have gathered all theinterests of materialism, and around the latter thespiritual ideals and aspirations of civilized mankind.But the tendencies are really identical, for the atomictheory is only a convenient stopping-place in theprocess of analysis which, when carried out rigorously,ends in a system of mere positions in space, and thisis precisely the outcome of pushing the analysis ofideas to the extreme. It is really due to misconceptionand confusion that idealistic and spiritual interestshave centred about a conceptual world. Such aworld is as far as possible removed from the actualspiritual world. The spiritual world, like the Kingdomof God, is within you. We must therefore turn our28
  • backs on any and every form of conceptual worldwhatsoever when we approach Swedenborg for hisanswer to the question: "What is ultimate reality? "Swedenborgs ultimate reality is in the strictestsense spiritual. His spiritual world was made knownto him in concrete living experience. The Divinenature was revealed to him in the depths of religiousfeeling and intuition. The world of nature was to hima mirror of the Divine and the human. God was tohim the perfect type of concrete life, equally removedfrom Stoic pantheism and from the transcendental,abstract wisdom of Aristotle. Ultimate reality waslocated by him not in a far-off conceptual region, butwas directly sought in the infinite complexity, variety,and richness of experience as it comes.Already, in the Principia, Swedenborg had cometo see the futility of attempting to discover reality byprocesses of analysis. He saw that logical and mathe­matical entities carry you into a field where analysisbreaks down, and where the complexities of life againassert themselves as the real background. Again, inthe work, The Infinite, although the demands ofreason are freely and fully conceded, rational analysisgives place in the end to the direct affirmation ofpersonal life as the properly apprehensible reality.Later, in Divine Love and Wisdom (229), we have thedefinite and explicit statement that analysis does notarrive at any simple entity such as the atom or ultimateparticle, but discovers greater and greater complexity.29
  • Indeed, throughout the period of his illuminationSwedenborg consistently assigned to rationality as itstrue function the task of taking what was given to itin spiritual perception, and in this light establishingrelations between the various kinds and degrees oflife, especially between natural and spiritual life.According to him, the substantive element in life isnot thought, but feeling; the element to whichwe refer such functions as effort, striving, want,satisfaction, fulfilment, joy, and the like. Life inits first intention is, for reflection, that more or lessundifferentiated mass of awareness, that sense ofexistence, of well-being, of efficiency, of fulness andwholeness which is the common background, sourceand fountain of all particulars, and of all development.Swedenborg sums up the situation and points us tothe central and fundamental feature of experience inthe opening number of Divine Love and Wisdom, bythe simple formula, " Life is love." Swedenborgs( doctrine of love is a new conception in the historyof human thought, and philosophically it is the most important of aB the fundamental conceptions whichI mankind has framed. All of his other great doctrines( grow out of it, and it is destined to modify funda-Imentally the philosophy of the world.In the opening number of Divine Love and Wisdom,and earlier in Arcana Cmlestia, Swedenborg notesthe distinguishing mark which separates experienceinto the twofold aspects of the immediate, unreflective,30
  • massive on the one hand, and the mediate, reflective,articulate on the other. The former he designates bythe term love, and makes the critical observation thatmen have not known what love is, though they haveknown of its existence, as the use of the word itselftestifies; and he explains that men have not knownwhat love is because, when they reflect upon it, theyalways observe some particular state or affection oflove, some quality distinguished and selected, and sodissociated from the total mass; or, as we shaH saylater, externalized and objectified; but of the love inits immediacy and wholeness, no idea, mental imageor representation can be formed. That love is lifemay be argued from the fact that the word can beused with the names of all the functions of life, asthe love of eating, of music, of nature, of God, andso on indefinitely; and, further, it is demonstratedby the simple experiment of taking away all theaffections of love, and observing that the activities oflife cease.Swedenborg further remarks in criticism of thewhole course of philosophy down to his own day,that for lack of knowing what love is men have madeone or the other of two fundamental mistakes:maintaining either that thought is life or that actionis life. The former is the view of Aristotelianismand in general of all forms of intellectualism-inshort, the view of traditional philosophy; the latter,of all schools of materialism. Swedenborg corrects31
  • both of these philosophies by affirming that thoughtis the first effect of life, action thu~col.!-d effect. He--- . ---. - - -.-._.­goes on to make a distinction in the grades of thought,and says that, strictly speaking, the first effect of lifeis the thought or perception of ends. This is inmostthought, or the highest degree of thought, whilethought of means and thought of results, of accom­plished facts, are of relatively lower grade. Thispassage (Divine Love and Wisdom, No. 2) is important,not only because of its effective criticism of historicopinion, but because it gives us the key to Swedenborgsphilosophical point of view and method. For thereis implied in this statement his doctrine of end, causeand effect-a doctrine which gives us-the Uil- amentalconceptions of his metaphysics (Divine Love andWisdom, .Nos. 167-72).We have already seen that Scholasticism was theoutcome of the recovery and appropriation of Greekthought as presented and transmitted in the works ofAristotle. We have also seen that Aristotles funda­mental conceptions centred about the notions ofsubject and predicate, or the notion of substance.The notion of substance also plays a large part inSwedenborgs philosophy. Ordinarily, he uses it inthe familiar scholastic context, and, when treating itabstractedly, helps out his meaning by the regularscholastic terms, esse, ipsum, unicum, causa prima, andothers. Aristotle, we remember, undertook to interpretEarly Greek philosophy as a search for causes, and32
  • he reduced the conceptions of cause to four. But hefinally resolved the notion of cause into that ofsubstance. Nevertheless, he set out in the Metaphysicsto show that prima philosophia, the highest and mostcomplete stage of knowledge, is the knowledge of- _ Jcauses. This idea was transmitted to Scholasticism,and reappears variously in Swedenborg. But both thenotion of substance and the notion of cause wereused by him concretely in a way that gave themvirtually a new meaning, and it is in his doctrine oflove that he gives them this concrete meaning.In the case of substance this is done most effectively,perhaps, in Divine Love and Wisdom, Nos. 40-46,where he identifies substance with love. The pointof this teaching is not so much that~love is substanceas it is that substance is love. In other words, weare not to identify love with the abstract conceptualentity ordinarily termed substance, but rather we areto take the word substance with its whole meaning,and apply it to that concrete living experience whichwe know directly, immediately and intimately as love.This doctrine, so interpreted, constitutes a new epochin the history of philosophy, for according to it weturn in our search for reality from the world of abstractconceptions at once to the actual, concrete world ofliving experience; and this experience, in all itsfulness and variety, we now call -love. The wholebody of Swedenborgs doctrine, and the philosophycontained in it, is literally an exposition of the nature33
  • of love. In this doctrine, love has many aspects;psychological, moral, religious, theological and meta­physical. Our present purpose limits us specificallyto the metaphysical. The proper starting-point forthe treatment of this aspect is the development oflove in the series of end, cause, and effect.We saw that Aristotle, in tre~tIngsubstance asessence, constructed a theory of development whereinthe two notions of cause, the formal and the final,played the chief roles. But Aristotles method led himoff into the consequences of abstract conceptual andmechanical analysis, where all life was in the endexcluded.Swedenborg adopts the notion of end, but keepsit concrete and living by conceiving it as a presentstate or affection of love. Any such present state,when made focal to attention and ipso facto objectified,carries with it the quality and meaning of the lovefrom which it springs, and so is representative of thelove. In other words, the love sees its own qualityand meaning reflected, revealed, and existent in thestate as in a specific instance. When the state oraffection, with its quality and meaning, is taken asthus representative, the meaning suggests fulfilment,and this becomes -an object of desire, striving, andanticipated satisfaction. The formation and existenceof such states are characteristic of life. The processinvolves all those functions which correspond to thewords awareness, consciousness, feeling, emotion,34
  • effort, striving, longing, change, activity, force, move­ment, and a host of others, which are all summed upin the word love. All these qualities lie behind thestate and seek expression in it; and it belongs to theintimate and constant nature of love to project andconstitute such states. It is its creative function, afunction of self-projection, generation, limitation,definition. To use a gross figure of speech, thoughone consecrated by Plotinus, love is the total mass offeeliI?-g or awareness which bubbles over in thoseforms of experience we call particular states or affec­tions. To use a figure less materialistic, love is thebody of spirit which possesses all the qualities it reveals,and these, as they emerge in distinct consciousness areobserved, are identified as persistent or frequent, andare defined as uniform; receivenames, and so becomefixed, established, and communicable features ofexperience. Such qualities come to view out of thedepths of love unceasingly and with endless variety.Being present, living, self-conscious, self-identicalaffections of love, they are its self-representativeimages, in which the love sees its own longing forself-realization reproduced in the definite striving ofthe particular affection. In this relation, the affectionpresents to the love the opportunity for further fulfil­ment; and as offering such fulfilment the affectionis an end. The character of fulfilment is fundamentalin the processes of life. Around it cluster innumerablefunctions which are, as it were, polarized with respect35
  • to it. The elements of desire, longing, striving, effort,and the like, are distinguished from those of satis­faction, contentment, enjoyment, realization, fulfil­ment, achievement, and so on. The latter are setover against and contrasted with the former. In thisway the characters of nearness and remoteness ariseas contrasting features of experience. Nearness meansthe feeling of intimacy and immediacy; and these, asproperties of the former group, are referred to thebasic, undifferentiated total background which, in thelanguage of our present discourse, we call the active,generating, particularizing love. This reference ismade by such words as "I," "me," "subject,"" subjective." On the other hand, the group ofcharacters clustering about the element of fulfilmentare more and more dissociated from the primary massand consolidated into an independent group. Theprocess here involved we denote variously by suchwords as "project," "externalize," "objectify";while of the group thus distinguished and set off, weuse, among others, the words "objective" and"object." Meanwhile, all that we are really doing issimply observing the affections of love and makingdistinctions in its activities and functions.One of these functions, inhering in the essence oflove and co-extensive with its being, is the functionvariously termed seeing, perception, awareness, con­sciousness, thought, wisdom, and so on almostindefinitely. Love is throughout and always active36
  • and is possessed of this function in the whole and inevery detail. It is that function whereby two states oflove are mutually present to each other, and shareeach others qualities, but at the same time preserveeach their own self-identity and also their differencefrom each other. It is by virtue of this function ofknowing, that the mysterious parting of experienceinto subjective and objective aspects takes place. Theact of knowing is simple and original; it cannot bereduced to lower terms; but the very act itselfgenerates those characters of contrast, otherness andremoteness, which we denote by the words objectivityand object.With this conception of love let us return to theconsideration of ends. An affection, projected andconstituted an end with the characters of remoteness,self-identity, and relative independence, is a perceptivemass having perceptive relations with the total loveof which it is a present, living, particular state. Thetotal love sees in the end the fulfilment of its ownpurpose, and the end sees in the love the source ofits own existence and the conditions of its ownfulfilment. The total love strives to fill the endwith its own· immediate presence, satisfaction, andenjoyment; the end strives to gather into itself allthe insights, satisfactions, enjoyments, and activitiesof the love.This situation is exemplified in the biological fieldby the behaviour of a unicellular organism, which is37
  • ever putting forth parts of its mass in the form ofprojections. Among the many various projections itselects one, and then gradually moves its whole massinto this terminus or end. This is the type of allmovement in the organic world. The earthwormextends its forward extremity and then draws the restof its body toward it, and in this way moves fromplace to place. More highly organized animals putforward certain parts called limbs, and then draw thebody into the new position. In this way bodily move­ment is effected. But mental movement is preciselysimilar in type. The mind, spirit, love, projects apart of its mass in what we call an end. Then it movesinto that end, and thus makes the end a new centre.This we call making progress, moving to a newposition, or fulfilling a purpose. In the case of man,and presumably the higher animals, this mental motionis so co-ordinated with the bodily functions that itgives rise to bodily movement. In other words, themind carries the body with it in the fulfilment ofpurposes. The behaviour of a simple cell is thus seento be typical of the nature and movement of universallife, that is, of universal love. The word end is properlyused for the terminus of this movement. In Sweden­borgs language (Divine Love and Wisdom, No. 167)it is called an end because it is the end of this move­ment of the state of love.We now pass to the second stage of the end. Asa state to be reached, the end is an idea. It is, as we38
  • have seen, a particularized affection of love which hasemerged and become disengaged from the immediacyof feeling by the act of attention, and thus set offfrom love. This whole process is summed up in theword objectify. Any state is objectified, made anobject, by the mere fact of fixing attention upon it.It is thereby distinguished and selected from amongthe numberless constantly emerging states whichoccupy the conscious threshold. An idea, then, is astate of consciousness which is of the essence of lovein that as a self-projection of the love it retains thequalities of the love; in general, the qualities offeeling and perception. The love is therefore self­represented in the idea. But an idea tends to developrelations to other states of love, whether these beother ideas or mere vague feelings, or more pronouncedstates, such as emotions, longings, desires. Betweenthe idea and all such states there is mutual referenceand participation by virtue of their common groundin the love and their relation to the love as its self­representatives. The mutual relations between theidea and the love as exhibited in the totality of suchmediating states constitute the field of articulateconsciousness, or, to use the specific term, the fieldof loves wisdom. In fact, it is perhaps the mostfundamental definition of wisdom to say that it isloves self-representative function; for the field ofthis function is the system of ideas projected asperceptive units from the total love. When in this39
  • field one of these perceptive units is selected as, forthe moment, or the occasion, the special embodimentof the meaning and purpose of love, this unit thenbecomes the vehicle of loves fulfilment, and as suchis what we have called an end. But, evidently, in thepassage to fulfilment, between the stage of want,desire, longing, striving, and that of satisfaction andachievement, there intervenes the field of ideas throughwhich the love and the end co-operate in bringingabout the fulfilment. The end selects within the fieldof ideas those which are referred to in its meaningand which seek embodiment in itself. The love withreference to the end chooses the same ideas as beingcontained within its purpose. At this stage the endexists as a system of ideas contained within a singlepurpose, and organized about the initial state whosemeaning develops into this system. But this secondstage of the end, or second end, is constituted ofideas which have the common feature of pointing toa situation in which the organization is complete, themeanings expressed, the desires fulfilled and the pur­pose achieved. The affection originally projected andconstituted an end is now no longer felt merely as astate to be realized, but the conditions of realizationare actually present, and the affection is concretelyexistent and active in its sought-for context andenvironment. The end, therefore, exists successivelyin three stages : (I) As present affection whose meaningpoints to a situation to be constructed by the group4°
  • of ideas and affections in which the meaning wouldbe fulfilled; (2) As the system of ideas includedwithin the meaning of the affection and pointing tothe situation in which that meaning would be ex­pressed; (3) As the completely organized groupwherein the affection and its system of ideas areconcretely existent and active. In this concrete, activeexistence we have the fact of fulfilment.If, now, we review this process, it is evident thatthe second stage arises, as a development of the first,in a context of elements which first come into thenew relation by being selected as included within themeaning of the end; in other words, the end is self­represented in them. But these states in which theend at this stage exists are themselves developed outof the concrete mass of the total love as its self­representatives. They therefore carry with them thequalities of the love seeking fulfilment in the end.This relation to fulfilment we call, in common speech,"means." Further, it is evident that it is the collectionand grouping of these subsidiary ends with referenceto fulfilment that produces the concrete situation whichhas been in view from the beginning. This thirdstage, then, is brought into existence by completingthe process of fitting together the relatively dissociatedand independent elements of the second stage into theorganized context of the initial affection. The resultis properly termed a product, and the efficiency of theprocess that leads to the result is expressed by the41
  • word cause. In ordinary language the relation betweenthese stages, the second and third, is expressed by theterms cause and effect. The three stages may bedesignated respectively affection, idea, fact. Affectionis the present, immediate element of feeling; idea, themore or less dissociated elements to be grouped;fact, the concrete existence of the affection in its newcontext, the completely organized group.This is Swedenborgs doctrine of end, cause, andeffect; and it is a doctrine which grows directly outof his conception of love. With this conception inmind, we see the full significance of such statementsas: "There are three things that follow in order,called first end, middle end, and last end; they arealso called end, cause, and effect. These three mustbe in everything that it may be anything." (DivineLove and Wisdom, No. 167). Again (No. 168), " Theend is everything in the cause and everything in theeffect."As these three stages of love grow out of itsinmost and complete nature, they must belong to ituniversally.The processes of self-projection, self-representation,and self-realization which we have found to be theessential characteristics of experience as we directlyand most intimately know it in our own personal life,we assume to be characteristic of all experience. Ifwe look at the universe in the light of this view, wesee that it is in the strictest sense the process of love.42
  • The processes of self-projection, self-representationand self-realization are everywhere going on. Assumingthe truth of the nebular hypothesis, the planets of oursolar system are in origin projected masses of the sun,and in the planets the activities of the sun are repro-duced and continued. The earth is everywhere puttingup from its mass the bodies of plants. Plants areforever reproducing themselves in the form of seeds ;likewise animals. In the mental or spiritual world wesee the perpetual processes of putting forth ideas andrealizing ideals or ends. "Production,"" reproduc-tion," "action," "creation," "life" are names forthe processes of love. In short, the universe is love.This being the case, the background of the universe,its core, what we otherwise call its source, first cause,or prime substance, is the total love in its aspect andcapacity of forming ends of numberless grades ofcomprehensiveness. The most comprehensive wouldbe the self-represented idea of the universe itself,in which the full nature and whole purpose of thelove would be expressed. The variety, order andsubordination of ends point to that character of lovewhich can be adequately expressed only in an infinitesystem, a system in which self-propagation or self-representation is the law. From this point of viewlove exhibits the character of an infinity of infinities.Among such infinities are the animal and plantseries; also such series as the rational and morallife. It is as a member of such series, and as43
  • constituting such series, that the individual is a properfunction of the universe, and is related to the universeas a whole.Among the more comprehensive grades of ends,we distinguish the relatively free and the relativelyfixed. Self-projected states of love may preserve,according to their meaning and purpose, a separatenessand independence which allows only a relatively freecontext, which is developed largely from its ownself-active nature. We eaU this realm in general thespiritual world. In our personal finite life we havesomething analogous in what we call the ideal world.In either case the characteristic is self-developingfreedom. The total life of the spiritual world is theexpression of one purpose, the purpose, namely, torepresent and realize particular states of love underrelatively free conditions.But the end thus constituted is pervaded withmeanings which point to further fulfilment. Theself-representative and self-realizing nature of lovedemands greater remoteness, i.e., otherness, on thepart of its self-projected states. Such states are self­representative in the measure of their relativelyindependent self-activity. This purpose of love isfurther fulfilled in those self-identical centres whichare organized in relatively stable groups. In this waya further comprehensive end is constituted, which hasin view a compact organization of such centres andgroups. This region we call the natural world. The44
  • natural world, then, is a second comprehensive end,differing from the end we have called the spiritualworld by the fact that it is fulfilled under conditionsof greater fixity and uniformity. Thus we have threegrades of ends, or three degrees of existence: thedivine, the spiritual, and the natural.The divine is self-represented in the spiritual and,through the spiritual, in the natural. This is therelation of correspondence. It is self-realized in thespiritual and, through the spiritual, in the natural.This is influx. The spiritual and the natural areself-projections of the divine. This is creation.It would take volumes to work out in detail thevarious aspects of this doctri~e of ~~ve, but we allremember that remarkable section in Divine Love andWisdom headed, " There are three things in the Lord--which are the Lord: the Divine of Love, the Divineof Wisdom, and the Divine of Use." These three arecorrelated with the three degrees of ends; or ~d,c~se, and effect.We have, in this statement, doctrine about theconstitution of the personal life universally, and it is( doctrine about the constitution of ultimate reality. According to it, ultimate reality is personal life~and( personal life is love.The latest phase of modern philosophy tends tothis conclusion, and the best efforts of modern philo­sophy, notably those of Mr. F. H. Bradley here inOxford, and Professor Royce over the sea in Harvard,- 45
  • may be read as partial expositions of Swedenborgsdoctrine of love.Speaking, then, in the light of history and ofdoctrine, we may affirm that Ultimate Reality is Love.- ----"-.. -....-.------­The foregoing was written in 1910. Professor Hitessupplementary essay, written in 1936, develops hissubsequent reflections on the theme; it appearsfor the first time in these Transactions.
  • ISupplementary Ess!)JN the above metaphysical treatment of Love asan end-cause-effect process, we have had toneglect very many important features of thePhilosophy of Love. We have toward the closereferred to creation as the characteristic and universalactivity of love. It would be too much of a task toattempt in this supplement even a brief sketch of thephilosophy of creation, but perhaps it would be wellto summarize what might be further said from thisnew point of view.If we recall Swedenborgs doctrine that the inmostessence of love is its existence in others created fromitself, we get the direct clue to understanding thecreative act. Although in our common-sense socialexperience the notion of other is perfectly familiar, forIdealistic metaphysicsancrfor the Philosophy of Love,it is one of the most difficult in the whole range ofreflective thought. This is exemplified in the historyof philosophy. Idealism has had constant difficultyin avoiding solipsism; in other words it has haddifficulty in defining what is other than the subjectand its states. On the other hand, the Ego of Idealismpassed easily into the absolute Ego of GermanRomanticism, where the_~!.~ject excluded what isother than itself. Then again, according to theAristotelian doctrine, the subject contains all its47
  • predicates, contains all the states or qualities whichare predicated of it; and so whatever is contained inthe subject belongs to it, and cannot be other. Thisdifficulty about the notion of other is solved by aninsight into the nature of love.The only thing that is other than love is whatlove makes other, and the things which love makesother are the self-projected states which it makesself-representative recipient organs. The projectedstate is made to be other than the love which pro­jects it, and is seen by the love to be other. Thisprojective activity is exemplified in the workings ofour own minds, and in the processes of life generally.We have referred to the behaviour of unicellularorganisms, and to animal movements, as cases ofthis type.It is therefore through the process of self-projectionthat the existence of what is other is brought about.Self-projection involves becoming aware of emergingstates, which thereby become objects of attention, andare thus set apart from other states and from the loveof which they are states. In these processes the pro­jectedstates are made other than the love which projectsthem.The above examples suggest the universality ofloves self-projective, self-representative, and self­realizing activity. To grasp the complete range of thisactivity, we have the help of Swedenborgs doctrinethat the created universe consists of two mutually48
  • corresponding divisions; the spiritual world and thenatural, or material, worl~ T~ spirituai world is------ ---~--constituted of the spiritual sun, the spiritual atmos­pheres, and the various orders of angels and spiritstogether with their external environment; the naturalworld consists of the sun, the atmosphere and thebodies of the planets, of the plants, and of the animals.To understand this whole system of the two worlds,we must see in it the eternal processes of self-projection,self-representation, and self-realization. First of all,the spiritual sun is the product of these activities.More specifically, the spiritual sun is the self-projected,self-representative, and self-realizing state of InfiniteLove, which the Lord Himself is. This means thatthe spiritual sun is that projected state of InfiniteLove which is the love of creating, and the perpetuallove of the created universe. The spiritual sun, asthis love, is itself a self-projective, self-representative,and self-realizing activity, and through its activities itproduces the spiritual atmospheres, which are three:the atmosphere in which the spirits feel and think;the atmosphere in which they see; and the atmospherein which they breathe and hear. An the details of theoutward scenery of the. sRi~itual w~d are the self­projected, self-representative, and self-realizing statesof the spirits, as recipients of the atmospheres. Thespirits themselves and the souls of men are particu­larized projections of the atmospheres, which are morecomprehensive and more universal loves.49
  • -- -This very meagre sketch of the progress of creationneeds to be filled in with the details of fuller exposition.But it reaches the point where we must pass on tosome suggestions as to the creation of the naturalworld. Philosophy has always been baffied by theexistence and behaviour of material bodies. Idealismand Realism come to theIr shi;p;t Is~e in theattempt to interpret our experience of~_ TheAtomism of Early Greek Philosophy made bodiesaggregates of atoms, themselves exceedingly smallhard bodies, changeless, homogeneous, continuous,without beginning or end in time. But it had to givethese (bodies the utterly foreign property of motion.This maaethe existence of bodies inexplicable, becauseof the contradictory properties attributed to them. Asa consequence, philosophy has rejected the atomictheory, notably at the hands of Plato and Leibniz.Idealistic philosophy has, in the light of Berkeleysanalysis, transformed (-bodies .nto groups of ideas,,---.,--­states of mind, more specifically, in our language,projected mental states. The common-sense of man­kind, or at least the common-sense of philosophers,has rejected this conclusion, but it has not been able~futethe logic. Furthermore, scientific andmetaphysica] analysis has forced a transformation ofour notions of matter and b~ For science,...!.?odies)are groups of immeasurably small particles, in ex­ceedingly rapid motion. Nothing is further from ourcommon experience of,bo~and yet when this50
  • experience is systematically analysed, it is found notto be what we have ordinarily taken it to be. In fact,rwe know ~~~i~.~..:)in terms of their properties andtheir behaviour; but on scientific investigation, theseproperties are found to be not really properties of the~es)but qualities of our sensations, not qualities ofapples, grass, rocks, chairs, snow, or the sky. Thisinevitable consJEsion makes it necessary to correctour notions of bodi~and to conceive them as productsof experience. If now we recall the conclusion thatall experience is the experience of love in one oranother of its deg~s, we are prepared to view all~~ not only as the Idealists hold, as more remoteforms of experience, but also as projected states andproducts of love. This then is oue philosop-h~bodies barely sketched. Now we may resume thestory of creation in general outline.We have seen that in Swedenborgs philosophy,the spiritual sun, the spiritual atmospheres, and thesouls of men and spirits, are progressive states, moreand more specific projections of love. We now seethat all the outer objects of our knowledge, viz., thebodies of the material world, are also projected statesand products of love. These states may be furthercharacterized as relatively fixed, stable, and permanent.The stability and behaviour of these states involvespace and time; bodies exist and behave in spaceand time. From the point of view of common-senseand common thinking it seems strangely absurd toSI
  • speak of such objects as houses, tables, trees, mountains,rivers, lakes and seas, as projections of love. It isclear however that in one sense houses and tables areproducts of thought, and so of love. We can also seewithout much stretch of the imagination a corre­spondence between the growth of a tree and thedevelopment of thought. But it seems both absurdand meaningless to speak of rocks, suns, andplanets as projected states of love. Swedenborg,apparently for convenience, speaks of two suns, thenatural and the spiritual, as joint agencies in creation,seeming to imply that there is only one naturalsun, the sun of this world; but he knew as well aswe do that there are innumerable suns in the stellaruniverse. He even thought that there are otherstellar universes, besides this one which we call themilky way, or galaxy, and modern astronomy verifiesthis view. It is therefore not the sun of this world,but innumerable natural suns, that we have to takeinto account, when we try to follow the process ofcreation. We get help from a somewhat radicalsuggestion. For convenience, and also in the light ofmodern physics, we may think of the sun as a hugemass of particles in extremely rapid motion, and ofthe planets and other physical bodies in the sameway, but with less rapid motion. So also the entirephysical universe may be thought of as one mass ofexceedingly small particles in rapid motion. Theinnumerable suns, then, are centres of the most rapid52
  • motion, the planets of less, and the intervening spaces(the atmospheres) of intermediate motion. If now thebodies of our immediate environment are in realityprojected states of love, then it is entirely consistentto think of the bodies of the physical universe at largeas projections of an all-comprehending love. Thisview may be made more acceptable, if we reflect thatthe bodies of our immediate environment are " formsof use"; for example, houses, trees, lumber, rocks,soil, etc. This means that these things express apurpose, or end in view. In other words, they havetheir place in the end-cause-effect series as the processof love. If we generalize this character, we may thinkof all the bodies of the physical universe as fulfillinga purpose and serving a use, and thus having placein the end-cause-effect series. This series in the largestsense is: The Divine, the spiritual, the natural; theDivine being the end, the spiritual world the cause,and the entire natural world the effect. This series isreally the successive stages, or degrees of love; andin this sense, the universe as a whole is love, aconclusion which we have otherwise reached.This philosophy of love gives us not only a newmetaphysics, but a new theology, a theology which isboth Christian and rational. That God is Love is afamiliar Christian doctrine, but this doctrine hasalways been taken to mean in strictness that love isan attribute of God. The same thought is expressedby the phrase the love of God, which is equivalent to53
  • saying that God loves. But none of these expressionsgo further than the general acknowledgment whichall religions imply. None of them go so far as toidentify love with God. When however we think oflove as the Ultimate Reality, the phrase God is Lovemeans that love, all-comprehensive, infinite love, isGod. The principle that love is the life of man,which Swedenborg demonstrates in Arcana Cmlestia,No. 33, and in Divine Love and Wisdom, No. I, whenexpanded to the doctrine that love is life itself, leadsto the fundamental and transforming truth that loveis personal in its nature and constitution. We recallthat St. Augustine out of the mere fact of doubtdeveloped all the intellectual functions and the wholenature of personality. In fact, the functions ofpersonality are so intimately bound together that anyone involves all the rest. When, therefore, we reflectupon the nature of love, and analyse its activities, wesee at once that love in its complete nature is identicalwith what we mean by a person. In view of thisidentity, we can think of all-comprehensive, infinite,love as......the original and supreme Person.. This con­clusion not only brings the theistic habit of thoughtof all ages and of all religions into harmony with thephilosophy of love, but it gives the philosophic basisand the philosophic explanation of the religiousdoctrine that God is the supreme Person. Moreover,it transforms the doctrine from a mystery into arational principle.54
  • The Christian doctrine that God is the supremePerson was from the beginning held as a religiouspostulate; but with the development of rationalismand naturalism in eighteenth-century science andphilosophy, the difficulties inherent in the idea of apersonal God for naturalistic and rationalistic thoughtwere signalized and systematized in the deistic move­ment. The outcome of Deism was a transition fromtheism to atheism. Although Deism professed tobelieve in a personal God, it became involved inuniversalistic difficulties. Gods omnipresence andomnipotence have always been difficult attributes tomake consistent with personality, for the assumedlimitations of personality have seemed incompatiblewith the infinity of God. As a result, the moderntendency has been to universalize the idea of God,and to substitute for a personal God an all-pervadingforce, or an all-pervading substance. And so the ideaof person is utterly rejected, and this universalisticidea leads to materialism and atheism.But the idea of God as Love avoids this univer­salistic materialism, and is thoroughly consistent with- the idea o£person: It also removes limitations frompersoiuiJlty; and includes the attributes of omni­science, omnipresence, and omnipotence. For all­comprehensive love is at once omniscient and omni­present. Love exerts power obviously in proportionto its concentration and its intensity. We have allexperienced and observed, in all sorts of instances,55
  • the extraordinary power which unusually concentratedand intensified love gives to the animal frame whichof itself is moveless. Think then of the immensepower all-comprehensive love gives to the body ofthe universe. The physicists say that there is enoughpower stored up in an immeasurably small atom toshatter the largest building, or even a great city. Itwould seem then that we should have no difficulty inascribing omnipotence to God as Love and as Person.The omnipresence and omniscience of God, thoughuniformly ascribed to Him by Christian doctrine fromthe beginning, are really unintelligible for the naturalthought which has been characteristic of Christianthought of God. Christians have worshipped God inChrist as the natural body which dwelt among men,or as the Resurrection Body, still apprehended bynatural thought. Christian writing, Christian preaching,and especially Christian hymns, abundantly testifythis. In all cases, Christ has been worshipped as anatural body possessed of Divine attributes. But weare taught that God is Spirit, and must be worshippedin spirit and in truth. When we think of God as thePerson of Divine Love, and of Jesus Christ glorified,that is, made one with Divine Love, we rise abovenatural thought into the light of the spirit, and lookwithin, not into distant space, for the nature andperson of the Love which is God. This view isconfirmed by the fact of Christian experience. InChristian experience, we have, no doubt, the Lords56
  • presence and guidance. Christian history abounds indistinguished examples of such experience, and thisexperience has been the constant support of Christiandoctrine and of the Christian religion throughout theages. But this experience, though referred to theLords presence and operation, has been unintelligibleto traditional natural thought about God. There couldbe no intelligible connection between this experienceand the object of Christian worship, the object ofnatural thought. So that for the rationalistic psycholo­gist, as Stanley Jones said, this experience is nothingbut the mans own psychical experience, the productof his own feeling and emotion, the idea of God beingtotally irrelevant. This interpretation has haunteddevout Christian thought ever since rationalisticpsychology has held sway in professional -circles.When, however, we think of the Lord Jesus Christglorified as the person of Divine Love, then we havean intelligible community between the love whichman is and the Divine Love which the Lord is, andso Christian experience hecomes intelligible, religious,and authoritative. We can then feel and understandreal personal relations with the Lord, look to Him forlife and all its blessings, and pray to Him as theall-wise, ever present, and all-powerful Giver of allgood.This is the religion and the theology which thePhilosophy of Love gives us, and it is a new religionand a new theology," religion and phil?_s~£hy raised57
  • -to the spiritual ~ev_el. It is the religion and the theologyWhich the Lord gives us in His Second Coming inthe Spiritual Sense of His Word. In the light of thisPhilosophy of Love we are able to understand theSpiritual Sense of the Word, and the spiritual meaningof life. According to Swedenborg, It is now permittedto understand the mysteries ?f faith.The Philoso hy of Love throws new light on theAp - - _conduct of life as well as on thought about life. Itgives us a new ethics, and by furnishing a universalstandard, it gives us a stable morality. All conduct,energy, and motive have their source and explanationin the nature of love. We have abundant experienceof love as the supreme ethical principle, when weobserve it in the selection and pursuit of its objects.We have seen that in the last analysis love creates theends it chooses and the means of reaching them. Infact, means are ends to further ends; in other words,means are mediate ends. Houses are mediate ends tohomes, trees are mediate ends to lumber, rocks aremediate ends to walls, etc. From another point ofview, rocks and trees are mediate ends by virtue oftheir relations in the cosmos. The moral life is alife of purpose, a life with a deliberate and chosenend in view. The moral life is raised or loweredaccording to the ends it constitutes, keeps in view,and strives to attain. The distinction between highand low ends may be described in one way by thewords of Plato: the end of education is to learn to58
  • like and dislike the right things, that is, to like thethings we ought to like, and dislike the things weought to dislike. To this extent, therefore, the morallife is a question of likes and dislikes, a question of thequality of the love we choose to cultivate. The" we "is the ruling love, and the love we choose is asubordinate love. Swedenborg teaches that humanlove has one or the other of two opposite qualities,viz., the love of self, or the love of others. The love---~.Qf self expands into the love of the world for thesake of self. The love of self is fundamentally thelove of expanding the feeling of being ones selfabsolutely at the expense of all others, which in theconcrete is th~of ruling, and of possessing whatothers have and enjoy. The love of others expandsinto the love of the neighbour, for the sake of hiswelfare and usefulness to the community. Thefundamental love is the love we receive from theLord, who is Love Itself and the source of all derivedloves. The Lord loves each of us for our own sakes,and He loves all through each. The two oppositequalities of human love arise from the fact that whenwe receive the Lords love we may by the exercise offreedom and rationality give it either of two oppositedirections; we may pervert it by directing it to selfto the exclu~iQILoLot!lers, or we may take it in -itsoriginal intent as the love of others, and use it for thegood of others. The choice between these alternativesis the essence and the origin of freedom and rationality.59
  • When we define others as the neighbour, we maydistinguish various degrees of comprehensiveness bothof love and of its objects; somewhat after the mannerof Aristotle in the first paragraph of the N£comacheanEthics where he arranges ends in an ascending seriesto the Supreme Good. According to Swedenborgsscale of the "degrees of the neighbour," we have,bearing in mind that real love of the neighbour is theLords love of others received and transmitted by us,with knowledge and acknowledgement of its sourceand quality, first, and in the narrowest sense, onesown body, when it is cared for to secure the welfareof the mind. The mind is the neighbour in the nextdegree and in a larger sense, when its welfare ischerished for the sake of a useful life. So also onesimmediate family and household is the neighbour ina larger degree when its use in the community is keptIn VIew. As still larger and higher degrees of theneighbour, we have the circle of relatives and friends,the community in which we live, the city, the state,humanity at large, the Church as a whole, the Lordsuniversal kingdom, and highest of all the Lord Himself,Whose love constitutes an degrees of the neighbourand Who is the supreme object of human love. Itis pathetically true that no one loves any of theseseveral objects to the full extent of his capacity, butpresumably many, if not most, civilized and Christianpeople love them to some degree. The love, inthought and conduct, of anyone or more of these60
  • graded objects as a chosen and regulative endconstitutes a moral life; and the elevated qualityof the moral life is exhibited in the ascending degreesof the neighbour. We have in this ascending scalethe standard with reference to which the moral lifeis constituted and judged; in this way its stabilityis maintained. ~o )The Philosophy of Love has never been systema­tically applied either to religion or to ethics, but ithas been more or less distinctly involved in systemsof metaphysics. As an outstanding example, it maybe said that the philosophy of Plotinus is implicitly aphilosophy of love. Plotinus, of course, gets his cluefrom Plato. Although Plato does not make lovefundamental in his metaphysics, he does give it in the" Symposium," especially in the speech of Socrates, aprimary function in arriving at the idea of absoluteBeauty. And the same might be said of love in theprocess of arriving at the idea of absolute Good, orof absolute Truth. While it is true that Plotinus inhis book on Love treats it mythologically, not meta­physically, nevertheless, if we interpret his ultimatereality in terms of concrete experience, and ask whatexperience it is that is meant by " The One," we haveto answer that it is undifferentiated and undefinablefeeling. The" Ecstasy" in which absorption in" The One" is realized is a state of exalted feeling,and this feeling is central in all mystic philosophy.Furthermore, for Plotinus the absolute Good is61
  • identical with" The One." Now inasmuch as feelingis a quality of love and good the object of love, wemay very properly say that the philosophy of Plotinusis a philosophy of love. This conclusion is of primarymetaphysical and historical importance, for Plotinuswas a metaphysical genius of the highest order, andhis insight is traceable in all the great systems ofsubsequent metaphysics. In medi~val philosophy,the issue between Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotusas to the primacy of the intellect or will involved thenature of love, for it is obvious that the will is theorgan of love. In the rationalism of Descartes, Spinoza,and Leibniz, the function of reason is made supreme.Yet, in Spinoza and Leibniz we have, if not somerecognition, at least an implied primacy of Love.With Leibniz, this is seen in his definition anddevelopment of the Monad. The impulse to changeis recognizable as a fundamental property of love;and the development of the Monad is the processof love, acquiring differentiation, specification, andcomprehensiveness. There is, however, an antipodaldifference between the method of Leibniz and that ofSwedenborg. Leibniz begins with the least atomof experience and enlarges its dimensions. Sweden­borg begins with the all-embracing whole, ofexperience, and proceeds by differen~andspecification from the universal to the particu1arand the individual. Leibniz took the atomic theoryas his model, freeing the atom of its material62
  • characteristics. Swedenborg took as his model theprocess of distinction within the whole, and pro­ceeded with the development, of the particulars outI -of the whole, somewhat after the manner of the(~edireval me~aphys~cal. and( corresponding logi~al hIerarchy. WIth Lelbmz the, whole was reason, wIthwedenborg the whol was l~ve. Later we have thenaturalistic sensationalism before and after Berkeley,which would require drastic transformation to fit itinto the philosophy of love. The extraordinarydevelopment of Romanticism at the hands of Rousseau,and more extravagantly at the hands of Fichte andSchelling, was obviously a philosophy of feeling,emotion, and sentiment, and these are merely expres­;-.L­sions of love. Schopenhauers The World as Will andfjlt-p, tIdea is an indirect reference to love as the ultimatef(y~7, ) metaphysical reality; for as we have said, the will isthe organ of love, it is that through which love operatesIS to reach its ends. More recently we have in theanti-intellectualism of Bergson and James a verydeliberate acceptance of Voluntarism. This is radically·v asserted in Jamess Will to Believe. The recentdevelopment of voluntaristic psychology is a signalevidence of the fundamental position of love inhuman experience. In F. H. Bradleys epoch-makingAppearance and Reality;-we see a transition from intel­lectualism to mysticism. Bradleys ultimate reality is~ a whole of experience transcendent for thought.. Thisis akin to the transcendent " One" of Plotiilus. But63
  • the most systematic development of the metaphysicsof love is Rgyces The World and the Individual. Forhim, ultimate reality is fulfilment of purpose; and, aswe have attempted to show, an purpose is the purposeof love. Royce also defines the individual as thatwhich love chooses, and thereby makes to be anindividual. It seems, then, that with very slighttransformatio~Royces metaphysics;, could be inter-preted as a metaphysics of love.. This is deeplysignificant, for- the reason that it may be said thatRoyces philosophy is the culmination of modernmetaphysics.This rapid survey goes to show that the history ofphilosophy when fundamentally interpreted involves aphilosophy of love, and supports the thesis that Love (;0cAis the Ultim:ate Reality. ~I fi
  • THE TRANSACTIONS OFTHE SWEDENBORG SOCIETYo. J. Swedenborg and Modern Ideas of the Universeby HAROLD GARDINER, M.S., F.R.C.S.O. 2. Swedenborgs Search for the Soulby HAROLD GARDINBR, M.S., F.R.C.S.o. 3. Ultimate Realityby the REV. L. F. HITE, A.M. (Harvard)Price I s. each, post freeFull (otalogru of 8wedtnborgs wor/u UlIt free 011 requtlt 10SWEDENBORG SOCIETY20 HART STREETLONDON, W.C. IP,inkd i" O"al Britain by TI¥ CA",p/i4IJ P,US. St. Alba...