Man and his Dwelling Place
An Essay towards the Interpretation of Nature
By James Hinton
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2009
Online Publication Date:August 2010
Original Publication Year:1859
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511693052.015
Subjects: History of ideas and intellectual history
Wherefore do ye labour for that which is not bread?
Love is not-love
When it is mingled with respects that stand
Aloof from th' entire point.King Lear.
THE universe is more than it is to man, and to think rightly of it man must remember this, and consider his defective being. The simplicity of the conception constitutes its sole difficulty. The change in our thought is, in truth, so slight, so amply prepared for, so little requiring subtlety of apprehension, that it is difficult not to think it greater than it is. Not a disc in the heavens and a moon besides, but the moon perceived as a disc; not a physical world and another spiritual, but the spiritual perceived as physical: too little to us, its life and being wanting, therefore inert, therefore transient and unreal. Not because there is that which is inert and transient, but because that which is is not felt by us as it truly is. Simply we do not know that which is, the true essential being; therefore, when that which seems the reality to us is treated as the true reality, inevitably it betrays itself as a delusion and a snare. Only a speculative opinion is given up in affirming nature to be truly spiritual. It is not denied that it is felt as physical by us. This is the proof of man's want of life. Feeling, acting, working, perceiving, remain the same; only our belief respecting their cause is changed, raised from less to more, from difficult to simple, from inadequate to worthy.