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  In writing my concluding lecture I had to aim so much at simplification that I fear that mygeneral philosophic position received so scant a statement as hardly to be intelligible to some ofmy readers. I therefore add this epilogue, which must also be so brief as possibly to remedy butlittle the defect. In a later work I may be enabled to state my position more amply andconsequently more clearly.

Originality cannot be expected in a field like this, where all the attitudes and tempers that arepossible have been exhibited in literature long ago, and where any new writer can immediately beclassed under a familiar head. If one should make a division of all thinkers into naturalists andsupernaturalists, I should undoubtedly have to go, along with most philosophers, into thesupernaturalist branch. But there is a crasser and a more refined supernaturalism, and it is to therefined division that most philosophers at the present day belong. If not regular transcendentalidealists, they at least obey the Kantian direction enough to bar out ideal entities from interferingcausally in the course of phenomenal events. Refined supernaturalism is universalisticsupernaturalism; for the "crasser" variety "piecemeal" supernaturalism would perhaps be the bettername. It went with that older theology which to-day is supposed to reign only among uneducatedpeople, or to be found among the few belated professors of the dualisms which Kant is thought tohave displaced. It admits miracles and providential leadings, and finds no intellectual difficulty inmixing the ideal and the real worlds together by interpolating influences from the ideal regionamong the forces that causally determine the real world's details. In this the refinedsupernaturalists think that it muddles disparate dimensions of existence. For them the world of theideal has no efficient causality, and never bursts into the world of phenomena at particular points.

The ideal world, for them, is not a world of facts, but only of the meaning of facts; it is a point ofview for judging facts. It appertains to a different "-ology," and inhabits a different dimension ofbeing altogether from that in which existential propositions obtain. It cannot get down upon the flatlevel of experience and interpolate itself piecemeal between distinct portions of nature, as thosewho believe, for example, in divine aid coming in response to prayer, are bound to think it must.

Notwithstanding my own inability to accept either popular Christianity or scholastic theism, Isuppose that my belief that in communion with the Ideal new force comes into the world, and newdepartures are made here below, subjects me to being classed among the supernaturalists of thepiecemeal or crasser type. Universalistic supernaturalism surrenders, it seems to me, too easily tonaturalism. It takes the facts of physical science at their face-value, and leaves the laws of life justas naturalism finds them, with no hope of remedy, in case their fruits are bad.

It confines itself to sentiments about life as a whole, sentiments which may be admiring andadoring, but which need not be so, as the existence of systematic pessimism proves. In thisuniversalistic way of taking the ideal world, the essence of practical religion seems to me toevaporate. Both instinctively and for logical reasons, I find it hard to believe that principles canexist which make no difference in facts.[362] But all facts are particular facts, and the wholeinterest of the question of God's existence seems to me to lie in the consequences for particularswhich that existence may be expected to entail. That no concrete particular of experience shouldalter its complexion in consequence of a God being there seems to me an incredible proposition,and yet it is the thesis to which (implicitly at any rate) refined supernaturalism seems to cling. It isonly with experience en bloc, it says, that the Absolute maintains relations. It condescends to notransactions of detail.

[362] Transcendental idealism, of course, insists that its ideal world makes THIS difference, thatfacts EXIST. We owe it to the Absolute that we have a world of fact at all. "A world" of fact!--thatexactly is the trouble. An entire world is the smallest unit with which the Absolute can work,whereas to our finite minds work for the better ought to be done within this world, setting in atsingle points. Our difficulties and our ideals are all piecemeal affairs, but the Absolute can do nopiecework for us; so that all the interests which our poor souls compass raise their heads too late.

We should have spoken earlier, prayed for another world absolutely, before this world was born. Itis strange, I have heard a friend say, to see this blind corner into which Christian thought hasworked itself at last, with its God who can raise no particular weight whatever, who can help uswith no private burden, and who is on the side of our enemies as much as he is on our own. Oddevolution from the God of David's psalms!

I am ignorant of Buddhism and speak under correction, and merely in order the better to describemy general point of view; but as I apprehend the Buddhistic doctrine of Karma, I agree in principlewith that. All supernaturalists admit that facts are under the judgment of higher law; but forBuddhism as I interpret it, and for religion generally so far as it remains unweakened bytranscendentalistic metaphysics, the word "judgment" here means no such bare academic verdict orplatonic appreciation as it means in Vedantic or modern absolutist systems; it carries, on thecontrary, EXECUTION with it, is in rebus as well as post rem. and operates "causally" as partialfactor in the total fact. The universe becomes a gnosticism[363] pure and simple on any otherterms. But this view that judgment and execution go together is that of the crasser supernaturalistway of thinking, so the present volume must on the whole be classed with the other expressions ofthat creed.

[363] See my Will to Believe and other Essays in popular Philosophy. 1897, p. 165.

I state the matter thus bluntly, because the current of thought in academic circles runs against me,and I feel like a man who must set his back against an open door quickly if he does not wish to seeit closed and locked. In spite of its being so shocking to the reigning intellectual tastes, I believethat a candid consideration of piecemeal supernaturalism and a complete discussion of all itsmetaphysical bearings will show it to be the hypothesis by which the largest number of legitimaterequirements are met. That of course would be a program for other books than this; what I now saysufficiently indicates to the philosophic reader the place where I belong.

If asked just where the differences in fact which are due to God's existence come in, I shouldhave to say that in general I have no hypothesis to offer beyond what the phenomenon of"prayerful communion," especially when certain kinds of incursion from the subconscious regiontake part in it, immediately suggests. The appearance is that in this phenomenon something ideal,which in one sense is part of ourselves and in another sense is not ourselves, actually exerts aninfluence, raises our centre of personal energy, and produces regenerative effects unattainable inother ways. If, then, there be a wider world of being than that of our every-day consciousness, if init there be forces whose effects on us are intermittent, if one facilitating condition of the effects bethe openness of the "subliminal" door, we have the elements of a theory to which the phenomenaof religious life lend plausibility. I am so impressed by the importance of these phenomena that Iadopt the hypothesis which they so naturally suggest. At these places at l............
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