In this book I have ventured to write of that which may be called 'non-rational' or 'supra-rational' in tho depths of the divine nature. I do not thereby want to promote in any way the tendency of our time towards an extravagant and fantastic ' irrationalism ', but rather to join issue with it in its morbid form. The 'irrational' is to-day a favourite theme of all who are too lazy to think or too ready to evade the arduous duly of clarifying their ideas and grounding their convictions on a basis of coherent thought. This book, recognizing the profound import of the non-rational for meta-phyMC, makes a serious attempt to anal) se all the more exactly the feeling whieh remains where the concept fails, and to introduce a terminology which is not any the more loose or indeterminate for having necessarily to make use of symbols.
Bofore I ventured upon this field of inquiry I spent many years of study upon the rational aspect of that supreme Reality we call 'God', and tho results of my work are contained in my books, Xaturalistiscle und religiose }Velt-aiu-icht (Eng.Tr.' Naturalism and Religion ', London, 1907), and Die Kant-fricsiscle llcligions-Pliiloscrihie. And I feel that no one ought to concern himself with the 'Numen inellabile' who has not already devoted assiduous and serious study to the ' Ratio aeterna '.
This foreword gives ine a very welcome opportunity to express my thanks to the translator for his care, his remarkable delicacy of interpretation, and for the valuable Supplementary pages he has added. An English critic has said that 'the translation is much better than the original'; and to this I have nothing to object.
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