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losophy in its highest sense, as the science of ultimate truths and therefore scientia scientiarum, this mere analysis of terms is preparative only, though as a preparative discipline indispensable.
Still less dare a favorable perusal be anticipated from the proselytes of that compendious philosophy, which talking of mind but thinking of brick and mortar, or other images equally abstracted from body, contrives a theory of spirit by nicknaming matter, and in a few hours can qualify its dullest disciples to explain the omne scibile by reducing all things to impressions, ideas, and sensations.
But it is time to tell the truth; though it requires some courage to avow it in an age and country, in which disquisitions on all subjects, not privileged to adopt technical terms or scien tific symbols, must be addressed to the Public. I say then, that it is neither possible nor necessary for all men, nor for many, to be philosophers. There is a philosophic (and inasmuch as it is actualized by an effort of freedom, an artificial) consciousness. which lies beneath or (as it were) behind the spontaneous consciousness natural to all reflecting beings. As the elder Romans distinguished their northern provinces into Cis-Alpine and TransAlpine, so may we divide all the objects of human knowledge into those on this side, and those on the other side of the spontaneous consciousness; citra et trans conscientiam communem. The latter is exclusively the domain of pure philosophy, which is therefore properly entitled transcendental, in order to discriminate it at once, both from mere reflection and re-presentation on the one hand, and on the other from those flights of lawless speculation which, abandoned by all distinct consciousness, because transgressing the bounds and purposes of our intellectual faculties, are justly condemned, as transcendent. The first range of hills,
This distinction between transcendental and transcendent is observed by our elder divines and philosophers, whenever they express themselves scholastically. Dr. Johnson, indeed, has confounded the two words; but his own authorities do not bear him out. Of this celebrated dictionary I will venture to reinark once for all, that I should suspect the man of a morose disposition who should speak of it without respect and gratitude as a most instructive and entertaining book, and hitherto, unfortunately, an
that encircles the scanty vale of human life, is the horizon for the majority of its inhabitants. On its ridges the common sun is born and departs. From them the stars rise, and touching them
indispensable book; but I confess, that I should be surprised at hearing from a philosophic and thorough scholar any but very qualified praises of it, as a dictionary. I am not now alluding to the number of genuine words omitted; for this is (and perhaps to a greater extent) true, as Mr. Wakefield has noticed, of our best Greek Lexicons, and this, too, after the successive labors of so many giants in learning. I refer at present both to omissions and commissions of a more important nature. What these are, me saltem judice, will be stated at full in The Friend, re-published and completed.*
I had never heard of the correspondence between Wakefield and Fox till I saw the account of it this morning (16th September, 1815) in the Monthly Review. I was not a little gratified at finding that Mr. Wakefield had proposed to himself nearly the same plan for a Greek and English Dictionary, which I had formed, and began to execute, now ten years ago. But far, far more grieved am I that he did not live to complete it. I cannot but think it a subject of most serious regret, that the same heavy expenditure, which is now employing in the republication of STEPHANUS augmented, had not been applied to a new Lexicon, on a more philosophical plan, with the English, German, and French synonymes as well as the Latin. In almost every instance the precise individual meaning might be given in an English or German word; whereas in Latin we must too often be contented with a mere general and inclusive term. How, indeed, can it be otherwise, when we attempt to render the most copious language of the world, the most admirable for the fineness of its distinctions, into one of the poorest and most vague languages? Especially, when we reflect on the comparative number of the works, still extant, written while the Greek and Latin were living languages. Were I asked what I deemed the greatest and most unmixed benefit which a wealthy individual, or an association of wealthy individuals could bestow on their country and on mankind, I should not hesitate to answer, 66 a philosophical English dic tionary; with the Greek, Latin, German, French, Spanish, and Italian synonymes, and with correspondent indexes." That the learned languages might thereby be acquired, better, in half the time, is but a part, and not the most important part, of the advantages which would accrue from such a work. O! if it should be permitted by Providence, that without detriment to freedom and independence, our Government might be enabled to become more than a committee for war and revenue! There was a time when everything was to be done by Government. Have we not flown off to the contrary extreme?
* [This is one of the many literary projects and promises of Mr. Coleridge that were never fulfilled. S. C.]
they vanish. By the many, even this range, the natural limit and bulwark of the vale, is but imperfectly known. Its higher ascents are too often hidden by mists and clouds from uncultivated swamps, which few have courage or curiosity to penetrate. To the multitude below these vapors appear, now as the dark haunts of terrific agents, on which none may intrude with impunity; and now all a-glow, with colors not their own, they are gazed at as the splendid palaces of happiness and power. But in all ages there have been a few, who measuring and sounding the rivers of the vale at the feet of their furthest inaccessible falls, have learned that the sources must be far higher and far inward; a few who even in the level streams have detected elements, which neither the vale itself nor the surrounding mountains contained or could supply.' How and whence to these thoughts, these strong probabilities, the ascertaining vision, the intuitive knowledge may finally supervene, can be learnt only by the fact. I might oppose to the question the words with which
3 April, 1825. If I did not see it with my own eyes, I should not believe that I had been guilty of so many hydrostatic Bulls as bellow in this unhappy allegory or string of metaphors! How a river was to travel up-hill from a vale far inward, over the intervening mountains, Morpheus, the Dream-weaver, can alone unriddle. I am ashamed and humbled.
4 Ennead, iii., 8, 3. The force of the Greek ooivat is imperfectly expressed by "understand:" our own idiomatic phrase "to go along with me" comes nearest to it. The passage that follows, full of profound sense, appears to me evidently corrupt; and in fact no writer more wants, better deserves, or is less likely to obtain, a new and more correct edition: —τί οὖν συνιέναι; ὅτι τὸ γενόμενον ἐστι θέαμα ἐμὸν, σιώπησις (mallem, θέαμα, ἐμοῦ σιωτωσῆς) καὶ φύσει γενόμενον θεώρημα, καὶ μοι γενομένη ἐκ θεωρίας τῆς ὠδὶ, τὴν φύσιν ἔχειν φιλοθείμονα υπάρχει (mallem, καί μοι ή γενομένη ἐκ θεωρίας αυτῆς ὠδις). "What then are we to understand? That whatever is produced is an intuition, I silent; and that, which is thus generated, is by its nature a theorem, or form of contemplation; and the birth, which results to me from this contemplation, attains to have a contemplative nature." So Synesius:
The after comparison of the process of the natura naturans with that of the geometrician is drawn from the very heart of philosophy.
[Hymn. Tert., v. 226. S. C.I
Plotinus supposes Nature to answer a similar difficulty.
any one interrogate her, how she works, if graciously she vouchsafe to listen and speak, she will reply, it behoves thee not to disquiet me with interrogatories, but to understand in silence, even as I am silent, and work without words."
Likewise in the fifth book of the fifth Ennead, speaking of the highest and intuitive knowledge as distinguished from the dis cursive, or in the language of Wordsworth,
"The vision and the faculty divine;"
he says: "it is not lawful to inquire from whence it sprang, as if it were a thing subject to place and motion, for it neither ap proached hither, nor again departs from hence to some other place; but it either appears to us or it does not appear. So that we ought not to pursue it with a view of detecting its secret source, but to watch in quiet till it suddenly shines upon us; preparing ourselves for the blessed spectacle as the eye waits patiently for the rising sun." They and they only can acquire, the philosophic imagination, the sacred power of self-intuition, who within themselves can interpret and understand the symbol, that the wings of the air-sylph are forming within the skin of the caterpillar; those only, who feel in their own spirits the same instinct, which impels the chrysalis of the horned fly to leave room in its involucrum for antenna yet to come. They know and feel, that the potential works in them, even as the actual works on them! In short, all the organs of sense are framed for a
* [Καὶ εἴ τις δὲ αὐτὴν ἔροιτο τίνος ἕνα α ποιεῖ, ἐι τοῦ ἐρωτῶντος ἐθέλοι επαΐειν καὶ λέγειν, εἴποι ἦν· ἐχρῶν μὲν μὴ ἐρωτᾷν, ἀλλὰ συνιέναι καὶ αὐτὸν σιωπῇ, ὥσπερ ἐγώ alwað, kai oùx sibiopai Xiyɛiv. Ennead., iii., 8, 3, in initio, p. 634 of Creuzer's edition. S. C.]
[Poet. Works, vi., p. 6. The Excursion, book i. S. C.]
* [Ωστε ἀπορεῖν ὅθεν ἐφίνη, ἔξωθεν ἢ ἔνδον, καὶ ἀπελθόντος εἰπεῖν, ἔἶδον ἄρα ἦν καὶ οὐκ ἔνδον αὖ ἢ (οὐ δεῖ ζητεῖν, πόθεν, οὐ γὰρ ἐστι τὸ πόθεν οὔτε γὰρ ἔρχεται, οὔτε ἔπεισιν οὐδαμοῦ, ἀλλὰ φαίνεταί τε καὶ οὐ φαίνεται· διὸ οὐ χρὴ διώκειν, ἀλλ' ἡσυχῆ μένειν, ἕως ἂν φανῇ, παρασ ευάσαντα ἑαυτῶν θεατὴν εἶναι, ὥσπερ ὀφθαλμός ἀνατολὰς ἡλίου περιμένει), ὁ δὲ ὑπερφα εἰς τοῦ ὁρίζοντος, ἐξ ώκεα οὐ φασὶν δι ποιηταί, Edwɛey kavròv Ozioaodai roîs õμpaow. Enn., v., 5, 8. Ed.] P. 975 of Creuzer's edition.
The parentheses note the part of the passage quoted in the text S. C]
correspondent world of sense; and we have it. All the organs of spirit are framed for a correspondent world of spirit: though the latter organs are not developed in all alike. But they exist in all, and their first appearance discloses itself in the moral being. How else could it be, that even worldlings, not wholly debased, will contemplate the man of simple and disinterested goodness with contradictory feelings of pity and respect? "Poor man! he is not made for this world." Oh! herein they utter a prophecy of universal fulfilment; for man must either rise or sink.
It is the essential mark of the true philosopher to rest satisfied with no imperfect light, as long as the impossibility of attaining a fuller knowledge has not been demonstrated. That the common consciousness itself will furnish proofs by its own direction, that it is connected with master-currents below the surface, I shall merely assume as a postulate pro tempore. This having been granted, though but in expectation of the argument, I can safely deduce from it the equal truth of my former assertion, that philosophy cannot be intelligible to all, even of the most learned and cultivated classes. A system, the first principle of which it is to render the mind intuitive of the spiritual in man (i. e. of that which lies on the other side of our natural consciousness) must needs have a great obscurity for those, who have never disciplined and strengthened this ulterior consciousness. It must in truth be a land of darkness, a perfect Anti-Goshen, for men to whom the noblest treasures of their own being are reported only through the imperfect translation of lifeless and sightless motions. Perhaps, in great part, through words which are but the shadows of notions; even as the notional understanding itself is but the shadowy abstraction of living and actual truth. On the IMMEDIATE, which dwells in every man, and on the original intuition, or absolute affirmation of it (which is likewise in every man, but does not in every man rise into consciousness), all the certainty of our knowledge depends; and this becomes intelligible to no man by the ministry of mere words from without. The medium, by which spirits understand each other, is not the surrounding air; but the freedom which they possess in common, as the common ethereal element of their