Appendix Iv


The non-rational which we were looking for in the Idea of the divine was found in the numinous, and in our recognition of this we came to see that rationalistic speculation tends to conceal the divine in God, and that before God becomes for us rationality, absolute reason, a personality, a moral will, He is the wholly non-rational and ' other ', the being of sheer mystery and marvel. We had to turn to the feelings of horror and shudder and spectral haunting in order, by means of these caricatures of the authentic numinous emotions, to break through the hard crust of rationalism and bring into play the feelings buried deep down in our religious consciousness.

Now what is true of our apprehension of the divine is true also of its counterpart in the creature—soul and spirit. Gregory of Nyssa well says: 'Since one of the signs of the Divine Nature is its essential incomprehensibility, in this also must the copy be like the original. For were the nature of the copy comprehended, when the original was above comprehension, the copy would be a mistaken one. But, inasmuch as the nature of our spirit is above our understanding, it has here an exact resemblance to the all-sublime, representing by its own unfathomableness the incomprehensible Being of God.' Here, too, we need to break up anew

1 Iv. Müller suggests that the divine name Yah, Yahfl, may have had this origin. ' Euoios', the secondary name of Bacchus, may also denote simply him in whose presence one ejaculates ' Euoi'. lie could cite in his support Jelaleddin, who says in Divan 31. 8: 'I knew no other than Yahü.' This is here certainly nothing hut ' one of the most familiar dervish cries' (as the translator adds in a note, p. 282), and will then mean, in accordance with the usual rendering, ' O he ', or, as we rather suspect, simply ' O hu '. Nicholson puts ' Yaliweh ' in brackets, without further justification. Cf. K. A. Nichulson, Selected 1'vems front the Vivani ShaiHtt Tabriz, Cambridge, 18D8.

our hardened and crusted feelings and to withstand the intellec-tualizing tendency to which we are so prone in our doctrine of the soul and its creation in God's image. For this divine image in man also does not merely consist in the fact that he is reasonable, tftor&C intelligent, and a person, but primarily in the fact that in its profoundest depths his being is indeed for religious self-con sciousne^s something numinous—that the soul is mystery and marvel. This is how Mysticism apprehend» it, and we can understand at once why this is so from our definition of Mysticism as the tendency to stress up to an extreme and exaggerated point the non-rational aspect of religion. And what was already stirring in crude fashion at the earliest and lowest stage of nun.inous feeling recurs at the most exalted level of Mysticism with aftereffects that colour the whole experience. In the mystic's praise of the soul, and in that ' fundus animae ' of which he tells the mysteries, there echoes the 'stupor' before the 'wholly other' that characterized the primitive belief in souls and even primitive feeling of the presence of ghosts.

We said above (p. 12-1) that the most interesting point in tile primitive ide.a of soul is not the form given to it in fantasy, multifarious in its variations, but the element of feeling—' stupor ' —which it liberates, and the character of ' mystery ' and ' wdiolly otherness' which surrounds it. This fact is obscured in the measure in which the 'soul' becomes later the subject of myth, fairy storf, and narrative, speculation and doctrine, and finally of psychological investigation. It then becomes more and more something entirely rational ; its origin in magic and mystery becomes overlaid with concepts, scholastic terms, and classifications. The Doctrine of souls or ' Atman ' of the Indian Silnkhya system is the best example of this. But-even this cannot entirely conceal the fact that ' Soul ' or ' Atman ' is properly the thing of marvel and stupefaction, quite undefinable, outsoaring all coneep tions, 'wholly alien' to our understanding. And this finds wonderful expression in the erses of the (Jltil, 2. 29, wdiich we transcribu here of intention in the original:

AScaryavat pasyati kaScid enam.

As<ar\avad vadati tathaiva oilnvah.

AScarjavac cainam aiiyalj srinoti.

Srutva ' voda na caiva kaScit.

The sound of these veraeb suggests a magic formula, almost a

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