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/CBO9780511693052.034
Subjects: History of ideas and intellectual history
R. TO recognise self as defect seems to unite departments of thought which have, hitherto, been treated as distinct: those, namely, which relate to ‘being’ and to character. The question of ‘existence’ ceases to be a mere speculation; it becomes spiritual, and links itself with our deepest feelings. To BE is to cast out self. We seem to catch a glimpse of a deeper reason and necessity in the moral elements of our nature. Virtue must be in self-control; holiness in self-sacrifice. The moral and spiritual laws are primary: Man's true being and his sacrifice of self are one. Life can only be affirmed where there is holiness. Self-will must be called death: it is so.
W. It is most true. Being and holiness are inseparable, for being is spiritual. That abstract conception, which passes in our intellect for being is not the true being. That is a notion merely, and has only arisen through our feeling the phenomenal as real. There is no such inert existence: it can only seem. BEING is a word of infinite meaning, which refuses to be thought. It carries holiness with it. We are conscious of being evil because we are conscious of death. Perhaps a good thought, for us, is that being is the opposite of the self of which we are conscious, from which the evil comes. So perhaps we may deem of it somewhat more worthily: so think more rightly of God, never dissociating our thought of his ‘existence’ from moral elements.