presumption that it is possible to distinguish the signature of the Spirit from others, and thus that we have an a priori notion of what is of the Spirit independently of history.
And there is a further consideration. There is something presupposed by history as such—not only the history of mind or spirit, with which we are here concerned—which alone makes it history, and that is the existence of a quale, something with a potentiality of its own, capable of becoming, in the special sense of coming to be that to which it was predisposed and predetermined. An oak-tree can become, and thus have a sort of 1 history '; whereas a heap of stones cannot. The random addition and subtraction, displacement and rearrangement, of elements in a mere aggregation can certainly be followed in narrative form, but this is not in the deeper sense a historical narrative. We only have the history of a people in proportion as it enters upon its course equipped with an endowment of talents and tendencies; it must already be something if it is really to become anything. And biography is a lamentable and unreal business in the case of a man who has no real unique potentiality of his own, no special idiosyncrasy, and is therefore a mere point of intersection for various fortuitous causal series, acted upon, as it were, from without. Biography is only a real narration of a real life where, by the interplay of stimulus and experience on the one side and predisposition and natural endowment on the other, something individual and unique comes into being, which is therefore neither the result of a ' mere self-unfolding ' nor yet the sum of mere traces and impressions, written from without from moment to moment upon a ' tabula rasaIn short, to propose a history of mind is to presuppose a mind or spirit determinately qualified; to profess to give a history of religion is to presuppose a spirit specifically qualified for religion.
There are, then, three factors in the process by which religion comes into being in history. First, the interplay of predisposition and stimulus, which in the historical development of man's mind actualizes the potentiality in the former, and at the same time helps to determine its form. Second, the groping recognition, by virtue of this very disposition, of specific portions of history as the manifestation of ' the holywith consequent modification of the religious experience already attained both in its quality and degree. And third, on the basis of the other two, the achieved fellowship with ' the holy ' in knowing, feeling, and willing. Plainly, then, Religion is only the offspring of history in so far as history on the one hand develops our disposition for knowing the holy, and on the other is itself repeatedly the manifestation of the holy. ' Natural' religion, in contrast to historical, does not exist, and still less does ' innate ' religion.1
A priori cognitions are not such as every one does have —such would be innate cognitions—but such as every one is capable of having. The loftier a priori cognitions are such as—while every one is indeed capable of having them —do not, as experience teaches us, occur spontaneously, but rather are ' awakened' through the instrumentality of other more highly endowed natures. In relation to these the universal ' predisposition' is merely a faculty of receptivity and a principle of judgement and acknowledgement, not a capacity to produce the cognitions in question for oneself independently. This latter capacity is confined to those specially 1 endowed '. And this ' endowment' is the universal disposition on a higher level and at a higher power, differing from it in quality as well as in degree. The same thing is very evident in the sphere of art: what appears in the multitude as mere recep-tiveness, the capacity of response and judgement by trained aesthetic taste, reappears at the level of the artist as invention, creation, composition, the original production of genius. This difference of level and power, e.g. in musical composition,seen in the contrast between what is a mere capacity for musical experience and the actual production and revelation of music, is obviously something more than a difference of degree. It is very similar in the domain of the religious consciousness, religious production and revelation. Here, too, most men have only the 'predisposition', in the sense of a receptiveness and susceptibility to religion and a capacity for freely recognizing
1 For the distinction between 'innate' and a priori, cf. K. Otlo, Iieligiunsphilosophie, p. 4"2.
and judging religious truth at first hand. The ' Spirit' is only 'universal' in the form of the' testimoniumSp>iritus internum' (and this again only ' ubi ipsi visum fv.it'). The higher stage, not to be derived from the first stage of mere receptivity, is in the sphere of religion the prophet. The prophet corresponds in the religious sphere to the creative artist in that of art: he is the man in whom the Spirit shows itself alike as the power to hear the ' voice within' and the power of divination, and in each case appears as a creative force. Yet the prophet does not represent the highest stage. We can think of a third, yet higher, beyond him, a stage of revelation as underivable from that of the prophet as was his from that of common men. We can look, beyond the prophet, to one in whom is found the Spirit in all its plenitude, and who at the same time in his person and in his performance is become most completely the object of divination, in whom Holiness is recognized apparent.
Such a one is more than Prophet. He is the Son.
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