In the Creed we find a story in which most of the events, though in form historical, are evidently symbolic. Plato would have seen in it one of those 'myths' to which he resorted when he felt that conceptual thinking had reached its farthest limit.

But to call this story a myth, in the ordinary use of the word, would be misleading, for three reasons :

(1) Christ is not a figure of mythology, but a character in history.

(2) The factual element in the Crucifixion is what gives the story its dynamic significance.

(3) In spiritual profundity the story is on quite a different level to the myths familiar to students of Comparative Religion. It is the supreme interpretation of the fact of Pain.


Wherever there is life, there is Pain; where man is, there is also Sin. Evil in this double aspect, constitutes a problem which is the touchstone of philosophy and religion alike. The two classical attempts to solve it are those worked out by the Indian and the Jew.

The Indian doctrine of Karma. Its attractiveness and its weakness. Its unfortunate influence on the genius of the Buddha.

The Hebrew quest, continued over many centuries, issued in a series of solutions, each intended to replace one which had satisfied a previous generation.

Historical circumstances compelled the Jew to 'specialise' in the problem of evil. A climax was reached when the disciples of Jesus were confronted with the spectacle of the Crucifixion-the ideally good man brought by His devotion to God's service to an ideally bad end. Reflection on the Cross led to a now and positive conception of the function of pain, involving the defeat of evil. 'Christianity thus gave to souls the faith and strength to grasp life's nettle.'


Religion can only help those who believe it true. Truth means adequacy in representation. To test such adequacy we must ask:

(1) Is the Representation congruous with the facts of Science and History ? This question is dealt with in Chapters IV.-VII.

(2) Has it that dynamic qualitative character which assists men to defeat evil ? This is dealt with in Chapters VIII. and IX.

Criticism of Benedetto Croce's view that Religion is myth, and that myth is merely philosophy in an elementary stage.

(1) Just as poetry can express what prose cannot, so Religion has something to communicate which cannot be expressed in purely conceptual terms.

(2) The story does not merely present an idea about the nature of Reality; it elicits a reaction in feeling and will which-assuming the idea to be correct-is an appropriate reaction. It is not enough that an idea (about God) should be true; it must also inspire to action.

The question, What quality has Reality ? is one to which everyday life compels us to make some answer-by deed if not by word. The search for the right answer is therefore worth the trouble.

But must not an answer given nearly two thousand years ago be outof-date ? Great art never grows obsolete, and Religion may here, as in other ways, be closer akin to Art than to Science; and since the riddle of the Universe is not yet solved, this ancient answer must at least be studied.



THERE is an ancient story-is it a parable, or something more ?which has a strangely moving power. First of all the scene is set in Heaven, before all worlds; it changes for a while to earth, under Pontius Pilate; then we are back in Heaven till the final End of things. Very God of very God, for us men and for our salvation, so the story runs, came down from Heaven, was incarnate of the Virgin and was made man; crucified also for us, He rose again, ascended into Heaven, sitteth on the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory to judge both quick and dead.

In such a story Plato would have seen one of those myths to which he himself would often have recourse when, at the end of a long and arduous quest for truth, he felt that the pure intellect had shot its bolt but something yet remained unsaid. And since Philosophy, even when it is protesting against the unreality of abstractions, is apt to be itself abstract, while Art is vivid and concrete, Plato, I hold, did not cease to be a thinker, rather he showed his greatness as a thinker, when, at the point where abstract ratiocination could go no further, he fell back on Myth.

Unfortunately for our present purpose the word ' myth ' has been fatally injured by the foolish people who talk of the ' Christ-myth ', with the implication that Jesus either never lived or that we know next to nothing of Him. These ought not to be taken seriously. Some of them, never having given real study to the subject (or lacking the equipment to do so if they would), speak from second-hand or superficial knowledge; others are of that class-unfortunately not a small one-who feed an unconscious egoism by championing some ingenious paradox. Competent scholars, here and in Germany, have been at the pains to publish refutations of their arguments ; but, like those who maintain that Shakespeare was Bacon, or that the British are the Lost Tribes, they are impervious to refutation. The evidence is summarised below (p. 180 n.).

Were it not for these and other similar associations, the word 'myth ' might appropriately be used to describe a series of statements, in form historical, most of which are manifestly of a purely symbolic character. Heaven is not a place whence the Son of God could 'come down', or whither He could 'ascend'; God cannot be thought of as seated on one throne with another ' on his right-hand' side. Even more obviously symbolic is the title 'Son of God.' Indeed the Nicene Creed was expressly framed to repudiate the Arian contention that the 'begetting ' of the Son was a literal generation which took place in time. There are theologians who bid us analyse the story into elements that are symbolic and elements that are historical. By such analysis we miss its point. It is of the story as a whole, not. of little bits of it, that we ask, Is it true ? But if we ask that question, the truth we are thinking of is a larger truth than that of history. 'Crucified under Pontius Pilate ' is indubitably historical, but taken by itself it is just a ghastly fact. Prefaced by the words, 'who for us men and for our salvation came down from 'Heaven ', it is transmuted ; it becomes the supreme expression of the love of God for man. Ask whether this is true, and you have left history far behind-and you have outsoared philosophy as well.

But there is a further reason why, even though a better word is hard to find, I hesitate to give to such a story the title 'myth'. There is one respect, and that quite vital, in which among the world's many myths it stands apart. Its core is a historic fact-the gaunt reality of Jesus crucified. In other myths there may be a historic nucleus, but it is never the historical element in them that is significant. In this case it is the actual death of Jesus, coming as the climax of the actual life He lived, which gives its meaning to the story. Pose the question, How far is this story, if considered as a 'representation' of Ultimate Reality in Its qualitative aspect, an adequate expression of the quality actually inherent therein-and at once the factual character of its -historic core is seen to be essential. The quality of Reality may be expressed in a construction of the imagination ; but in what has in fact happened we have confidence that the expression is authentic. For our present investigation, however, only the broad significance of the facts is important; it matters not at all whether Christ's public ministry lasted one year or three, whether the correct date of the Crucifixion is A.D. 30 or 33. It does matter that He was crucified.

But what matters most of all is whether the significance attached to this event in religious tradition is a valid interpretation of the quality of Reality. And the evidence by which this can be determined must be sought, not in ancient documents, but in a consideration, such as will be attempted in the following chapters, of the facts of Science and the experience of life.

Modern Psychology has done much to explore the suggestion that folk-tale and myth represent, as it were, race-dreams. They express in symbolic and dramatic form the hopes, fears and passions which lie deep down in the unconscious mind of the community. At times they rise to a level which makes them a kind of folk philosophy.

Of this character are many of the myths of Greek and Indian Religion, which obviously embody the intuitions of a race. For, though a myth or folk-tale may originally be the work of an individual, its survival and the actual form in which it has been preserved are due to the communal instinct which it expresses. But, though of immense interest from the historical and psychological point of view, the religious myths of India and Greece are of little value in the search for Ultimate Reality. This observation I may confirm by a quotation from that curious observer Count Hermann Keyserling.2

The mental outlook of the West was too scientific, even during the Middle Ages, to express irrational forces perfectly. But this is just what the Hindu succeeded in doing. The figures in the Indian Pantheon, in so far as they embody primary forces, are so convincing that I am inclined to believe the seer who told me once that. they were the true likenesses of divine reality. . . . The particular elementary instincts are . . . condensed into so much substance, and they grow into beings of such terrific power, that it is not surprising if many among us still believe to-day that they are essentially profound. It is in this sense that the Indian Pantheon, although a superficial product, yet possesses profundity. It is so tense and exhaustive an expression of the superficial in man and nature, as could never have been discovered by a profounder set of human beings.

The product of an early period in national development, the myths of India and Greece represent race experience and race reflection at a very primitive stage. And although with the advance towards higher civilisation their crudities have received some castigation, and their substance has been enriched or its expression refined, they are only capable of expressing a very elementary experience of life. That is why, both in India and Greece, the religious quest found its highest expression in philosophy rather than in myth.

Exactly the reverse holds good of the Christian story, even if you like to take it simply as a myth. This represents, not early beginnings, but the climax of highest development in Hebrew religion; it reflects, not the adolescence, but the maturity of a national soul and that the soul of a people which for a thousand years had been concentrated on the religious quest. Even if we regard it merely as a projection, an objectification in mythical symbol of the depths of a racial soul, it would yet stand to the myths of Greece or India as a drama to a dream. It is the one sublime interpretation of the fact of Pain.


Pain is the fundamental fact in life. In the evolution of living organisms the capacity for pain, we are told, develops earlier than that for pleasure.3 The pain of hunger precedes the satisfaction of repletion, and in the animal kingdom it is at least probable that, of the two, the pain is the more acute. Freud, regarding sex as the source of pleasure in its intensest form, feels justified in using the word ' sexual ' as the generalised description of pleasurable sensation of any kind. But here, too, at the animal level, one is inclined to suspect that the relief of pain, quite as much, if not more than, the achievement of pleasure, is the motivation of this instinct. Nor is it altogether otherwise even in the sublimated form of human courtship. It is significant that in Spanish the phrase for a proposal is decir su dolor, to tell one's woe. And at a far deeper level of experience than this, the ache, the disillusionment and the despair of love have ever been known as bedfellows of its joy.

If love should count you worthy, and should deign<BR> One day to seek your door and be your guest,<BR> Pause I ere you draw the bolt and bid him rest,<BR> If in your old content you would remain;<BR> For not alone he enters ; in his train<BR> Are angels of the mist, the lonely guest<BR> Dreams of the unfulfilled and unpossessed,<BR> And sorrow, and Life's immemorial pain.<BR> He wakes desires you never may forget,<BR> He shows you stars you never saw before,<BR> He makes you share with him, for evermore,<BR> The burden of the world's divine regret.<BR> How wise you were to open riot! and yet,<BR> How poor if you should turn him from the door! 4

Wherever life is, there is Pain. But once man with his gift of free choice has appeared, and whenever man is on the stage, then evil stalks in yet another guisedebasing lust, conscious injustice, deliberate cruelty, all the foulness, meanness, egoism, which of old was summed up in the one word-Sin.

For the polytheist the existence of evil is not a problem. He feels the smart of it; but where gods are many, with diverse interests and of characters none too high, he would be surprised if the world they ruled were not full of caprice. To the materialist, also, there is no problem; if the Universe is the product of blind chance it cannot be expected to function ethically. But to the monotheist, or to any philosopher to whom the rationality of the Universe means more than a mere mathematical self-consistency, evil presents a problem so urgent that according to the profundity of the solution which it offers, every religion and every philosophy must finally be judged.5

The fundamental question raised in this volume is whether or not Religion is or can be a valid Representation of Reality on the side of quality. Clearly, then, of all the religions of mankind-whatever other merits they may have-those only claim our notice here in which the problem of evil is recognised as central. This fact once observed, our investigation is enormously simplified; for the religions of which this holds good are few.

It was in India first that a solution of the problem of evil was thought out on the grand scale. Unfortunately the solution reached was reached too soon; it was too neat and too complete. A thousand years and more before Christ, India had worked out the doctrine of Karma. In this scheme all suffering, wheresoever seen and howsoever caused, is punishment for sins committed by the sufferer in a previous incarnation ; and every sin committed now will similarly, in a subsequent reincarnation, meet its exact due. The equation between sin and suffering is perfect ; guilt and punishment are exactly balanced.

At first blush this equation is the strong point of the theory. It enables man to assert that the structure of the Universe is just; 6 and this possibility is one that appeals to the mind of the West quite as much as to that of the East. But deeper reflection stirs a doubt, Is Justice the supreme good ? The Law-court, like the steam-engine, is an invention of man, and to me, at any rate, the theologian who envisages the Power behind the Universe as an infinite Lord Chief Justice seems to be guilty of an anthropomorphism as naive as that of the materialist who thinks of It as an infinite Machine. Justice is a concept quite as necessary to Jurisprudence as that of mechanism is to Science ; but the attempt to apply either of them to the Universe, in anything like their original sense, is seriously misleading-quite as much in the case of Justice (cf. p. 228 ff.) as we have already found it to be in the case of Mechanism.

In the way of life short cuts are perilous. The religious quest of India was side-tracked by the mechanical perfection with which the doctrine of Karma solved the problem of evil in terms of legal justice. A problem which seems completely solved causes no more perplexity ; but when men cease to question they cease to find fresh light. It was peculiarly unfortunate that the Buddha, the greatest soul in Indian history-perhaps the second greatest in the history of Religion-accepted the doctrine of Karma with only minor modifications. For his acceptance of this doctrine meant that the problem of the nature and the end of Life was for him artificially simplified. By accepting the dogma that all pain in this life is punishment for sin in some previous existence-reckoned according to a kind of debtor and creditor account in which pain is always the negative equivalent in suffering of a positive act of wrong-he had ruled out in advance the possibility of a philosophy in which the fact of pain can have positive significance by becoming a constituent element in the quality of a life lived. If pain is never anything but a paying of past debts and never has a forward look, then it follows that life, as the Buddha held, is a thing from which release is to be sought. To kill desire becomes the message of deliverance.

The Hebrew, like the Indian, tried hard to conceive the Universe as just. And at that early stage of social development at which individuality is still overshadowed by tribal consciousness, it was not impossible to do so. The observation that the sins of parents are visited upon the children, or those of the monarch on his people, has a rough-and-ready correspondence with the facts of life.

Children certainly do suffer for what their parents, nations for what their rulers, do amiss. But is this just ? That question is bound to be asked as soon as men reach the stage when the individual, rather than the group, is seen as the unit of moral responsibility ; and by the time of the Babylonian exile the Jew had reached this stage.

In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.7

Then Ezekiel thunders out the famous chapter which proclaims that in the award of prosperity and adversity to the individual God is strictly just.

The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.8

But the doctrine that in this world the individual gets exactly his deserts is not one which experience bears out. The book of Job was written to point this out. And so far as this life is concerned Job is right; the hypothesis of the rule of justice simply will not fit the facts. It was a greater than Job who said, 'Those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all that dwelt in Jerusalem ? I tell you nay' ; and, again, 'He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust'. The purpose of the Universe, if such there be, is something which soars above mere justice. 9

No premature solution of the mystery of evil had barred the Jew from continuing to ponder on the problem. And neither the character nor the circumstances of the race had allowed it to remain unpondered.

(1) Some time before the Babylonian exile a line of prophets had proclaimed a sublimely ethical monotheism. And, as we have already seen, the problem of evil becomes acute in exact proportion as man rises to the belief that the All is ordered by a single Will and that that Will is good.

(2) This people, devoted as they were to a higher religion and a nobler ethic, nevertheless , century after century, were helplessly subjected to great empires whose ideals and whose gods were cruel and impure. So circumstanced they could never leave off asking, Why ?

(3) With the complete destruction of the Hebrew state and of the old national life, there arose a confident expectation of a glorious national restoration, the so-called Messianic hope, ever renewed by Prophets and Apocalyptists. All the fervour, which in other peoples has expressed itself in patriotic pride and statecraft, was concentrated on the national religion. For them there was no art or architecture to provide outlet for the energies of the finest minds outside Jerusalem no shrine might be built, and the art which expresses itself in ' graven images and the likeness of anything on heaven and earth' was banned. Not yet had the opportunity presented itself for extensive commercial enterprise. Nothing large and worthy was left but to meditate on their religion. And this religion with a unique emphasis taught that the national God was all powerful and all good-a lesson daily contradicted by the facts of life.10

Of this race and into its traditions, after five hundred years of such experience, were born Jesus Christ and His great interpreters, St. Paul and him we name St. John: and between Him and them a Cross had intervened. The crucifixion came as a final refutation of the theory against which the book of Job had been the classic, but apparently unavailing, protest-that in this life there is some kind of equivalence between suffering and desert. The spectacle of the ideally good man brought to an ideally bad end, as a consequence of his self-devotion to moral and religious reform, raises the problem of evil in its acutest form. The career of Jesus is a test case. Indeed, for all who ask the meaning of the Universe it is the test case. The Cross of Christ must be, either the darkest spot of all in the mystery of existence, or a searchlight by the aid of which we may penetrate the surrounding gloom.

And from reflection on that cross there has dawned upon the mind of man a new vision of God-a vision of a God who Himself enters into the world's pain, and thereby breaks the power of the world's sin. And with this has gone a new perception of the possibilities of pain-an apprehension that there is a kind and quality of pain that is creative, curative, redemptive, and that this is a kind of pain which man is privileged to share with God. Evil is neither explained nor denied; it is defeated. ' Christianity thus gave to souls the faith and strength to grasp life's nettle.' 11.


A religion will give strength to grasp life's nettle Only to those who believe it true. But we have seen (p. 44 f.) that what is meant by truth is adequacy in representation. Science and Religion are alike in that they can apprehend Reality only under forms which analysis shows to be symbolic. Hence to ascertain the extent to which a religious -representation in story form is true, we must put two questions.

(1) Is this Particular Representation congruous with what we know in other ways about the nature of the Universe ? This is equivalent to asking whether the philosophy which it implies is one borne out by the facts of Natural Science and History.

(2) Has it the dynamic power essential to a representation of quality?-for quality, we have seen, is adequately represented only when we are made to experience it. More particularly, is it a practical solution of the problem of the evil will, and does it make possible the 'defeat of pain' ? This is a question which must be explored mainly in the light of Psychology and everyday life.

These two questions cannot profitably be studied in complete isolation. But, roughly speaking, Chapters IV-VII. of this book form an attempt to answer the first -so far as possible without recourse to the technical apparatus of Philosophy. The second is dealt with mainly in Chapters VIII. and IX. It will, however,make the argument somewhat clearer if I say something in this place on the relation of the two questions to one another.

Tennyson wrote:

For Wisdom dealt with mortal powers, Where truth in closest words shall fail, When truth embodied in a tale Shall enter in at lowly doors.

Croce, the professional philosopher, is, it would seem, less apprehensive of the possibility that ' the closest words' may fail. To him Religion is essentially myth; and myth is simply philosophy at an elementary stage a method of envisaging the nature of Reality, very suitable for the ignorant multitude but unnecessary to the true philosopher, who sees clearly the truth which the myth is feebly struggling to express.

Emphatically that is not the view I hold. If the truth were expressed in a clear form elsewhere, it would be waste of time to explore exactly how much of it is sketched out more dimly in an ancient myth. Had I found intellectual satisfaction in any system of philosophy that I have come across, that philosophy would be the thing which I should now be trying to present in language intelligible to the plain man.

I am not denying that this 'ancient story ' does express in symbolic form certain things which can be quite well expressed in philosophic terms. To say, for example, that God was made man is to affirm a kinship between the spirit of man and the essential nature of the Power behind the veil; it is to assert the Divinity of Man-a Divinity -potential in all men, even if actualised only in one. Such an assertion implies philosophy, and that at more than an elementary stage of development.

And the philosophy implied is obviously one that has an affinity to certain of the classical systems while violently conflicting with certain others. Croce is -right in seeing philosophy implicit in the story; he errs, I suggest, in not seeing that there is also something more. Call it frankly 'myth '-yet the depth, the range, the ,intensity of experience which lie behind this Super myth transcend the grasp of any single individual; it is something which the thinker may by close study dimly apprehend, but it is not something which by thinking he ever would have reached. We may imagine a philosopher, who had drunk deep the cup of sorrow and of wrong, having the genius by the light so gained to interpret some fragment of that age-long race experience. Even so, could he express what he divined in the language of philosophy, abstract and intellectualised as that necessarily must be ? Perhaps he, too, would frame a myth; at any rate he must become a poet-for poetry can say, or at least suggest, things which cannot be expressed in prose. We do not, however, offer poetry to the uncultured multitude, reserving prose for the elect but contrariwise. And if this myth be 'true', it is wanted today by the elite even more than by the herd. Vanitas vanitatum is the cry, not of the poor and simple, but of those who have thought and read and enjoyed much.

There is a further consideration. Looked at from the side of the spectator or the hearer, Art is something which compels a spiritual reply. Architecture, painting, poetry and music have the power to elicit from him who sees or hears a dynamic spiritual response. They are a stimulus potent to provoke a reaction of the personality, qualitative in kind. They can educe latent perceptions, kindle dormant feeling, incite to fresh activities. Their impact is creative. So it is with Religion. Poetry is not poetry unless it moves, a jest is not a jest unless it can amuse ; just so, creed, rite or myth are not religion unless they can inspire. Religion is futile unless it is 'a word of power'. When presented to men-not of course in a bare outline like the Creed, but with the passion of conviction by one whose own inmost soul has realised something of its rich and varied meaning-the tale of Christ has ever awakened men to new life.12

Doubtless it can have that power only for those who see in it, not just a noble fancy, but a valid, if symbolic, expression of the Soul of Things. Nevertheless, explanation in the scientific, or even in the philosophic, sense is not the purpose of Religion, Religion, as we saw, differs from Art in that it purports to be concerned with truth ; it claims to be a ' representation ' of Reality as valid in its own sphere as that of Science. But that representation is in terms of quality; and quality can be represented only if somehow it can be actually felt. It follows that in Religion no statement can be called ' true' unless it can evoke that emotional and volitional response which is the most appropriate to the quality actually inherent in Reality. Religion must not merely tell us what our environment is like ; it must help us to adapt ourselves to it.

The Universe is something to be lived in, not merely to be studied ; man's attitude towards it can never be that of a spectator only. I cannot avoid some emotional and practical, as well as an intellectual, reaction towards the Not-myself in its totality; what I can do is to seek the right reaction. I may picture the Power behind things as a lifeless Machine, as a purblind Life-force, or as a benevolent Intelligence and my practical and emotional reaction to It will vary accordingly. And it ought so to vary ; for the reaction which is appropriate if the first or second of these conceptions be, correct, will be entirely inappropriate if the last is nearest to the truth.

At this point Philosophy comes in. Unless the intellect can affirm a factual correspondence between Reality and the Representation of It by Religion, the Christian Creed is left as the most pathetic, just because the most sublime, of all the empty dreams of man. But the philosophy implied in it is only part of what it means. It is psychologically dynamic; it not only presents an idea of Reality, but it stings man to respond to it in the way that is best, supposing the idea to be true. It is a poem-but a real person lived it. It is drama-but it was acted out upon a real cross. The universal is individualised, the abstract has become concrete. Therefore this Drama can bring to man not a theory of the Universe but the bread of life, not Theism but God.

The question 'What quality has Reality ? ' is one that many deliberately decline to ask. Unfortunately for them it is one which they cannot decline to answer in fact, if not in theory. It is not possible to avoid reacting in some way, other than merely intellectual, to the Totality of Things. To. live at all is to live in a certain spirit and a certain way. There is no need to speak the words' Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die'. To live in one kind of way is to say this daily, in deed if not in word; it is to affirm indifference to the right as a quality in Reality. To live in a different way is, in deed if not in word, to affirm the contrary. But which is true? Which way of life, that is, is the reaction to Reality appropriate to its actual quality? For if an iceberg is a fitting symbol of Its quality, one kind of reaction is appropriate; if the Crucifix, quite another. Of these two pictures, which is the more congruous with the reality of things ? That is a matter, not of fancy, but of fact. It may be fact that is hard to ascertain but it is worth the search.

There are some who will object:-The story has come down to us from ancient days; it took shape in an age in many ways remote from ours and before the dawn of modem science; can we loam anything from such an age ? The objection would be weighty were it not for the fact, so often reiterated above, that (considered as a mode of 'representation') Religion is to be classed, not with Science, but with Poetry and Art. Poetry and Art, whenever truly great, are things age does not stale. In that they are unlike Science. In the sphere of scientific knowledge each generation starts where the last left off ; ancient and obsolete are all but synonymous. It is otherwise with Art or Letters. Homer and Shakespeare are not out of date ; the sculpture of Greece,13. the cathedrals of the Middle Ages, still exact our wonder. And, if Religion expresses its creative intuition in ways nearer akin to those of Art than to those of Science, the creations of its classic age should never lose their power.

This is not just theory. Look at the facts and say how and where the march of progress has left Christ behind. Have men since found an answer more true or more inspiring to the questions which every man or woman who thinks and feels is compelled to face ? Not yet has Science or Philosophy solved the riddle of existence; not yet have sorrow and wrong, disease and disillusionment departed from the earth. Death has not lost his sting, the grave its victory. Till that time comes, or till some nobler, truer vision has been seen, it is time wasted to interrogate the nature of the Universe without first deeply pondering how far, or in what way, that ancient answer to the riddle may assist our quest.



Neither my criticism of Croce above (p. 65 ff.) nor my contention in Chapter IV. that there are fundamentally two Ways of Knowledge--i.e. the quantitative, characteristic of Science, and the qualitative, more especially seen in (Art and) Religion is intended to deny to Philosophy the claim to be a Way of Knowledge. Obviously, if my view is correct, it follows that a philosopher who accepts it (and is, therefore, aware that Science and Religion apprehend Reality under two different aspects) knows something that is outside the spheres of knowing, within which Science and Religion operate; further, this knowledge of his gives both to his scientific and to his religious knowing a character which it would not otherwise have. Nevertheless Philosophy can no more be a substitute for Religion than it can be for Science; moreover, in this book, I am primarily concerned only with the Ways of Knowledge which are immediately relevant to the correlation of Science and Religion.


I .The exploitation in psychological theory of the myths of Oedipus, Electra and Narcissus, familiar as it is in popular talk, has a technical significance the exact meaning of which cannot be easily appreciated without considerable study of the subject. But the meaning and the appeal of a story like that of Cinderella is plain to all-it is the typical day-dream of the neglected and oppressed. It is an objectification in symbolic form of the consolation framed by hope for an inferiority felt in the depths of the soul. But in the series, dream, day-dream, folk-myth and conscious work of art, no hard-and-fast line can be drawn. Each passes into the other by imperceptible gradations. All emerge from the depths of the subconscious, and, in all, feeling-tone and quality predominate. only in the above series the element of intellectualisation. and consciously achieved coherence, which in the work of art is essential, comes more and more into evidence. But even in dreams intellectualisation is present ; and it is a great mistake to suppose that the only problems with which the dream-life deals are at the level of conflicts of sex or fear. The dream sometimes (of. Appendix I., Dream Psychology and the Mystic Vision), and still Oftener the myth, deals with problems of the same kind as those which exercise the Tragic Poet or the Philosopher.

2.The Travel Diary of a Philosopher, E.T., p. 96. (Jonathan Cape, 1925.)

3.Pain centres seem to lie lower (sc. in the brain structure) than pleasure centres. No region of the cortex cerebri has been assigned to pain. Such negative evidence gives perhaps extraneous interest to the ancient view . . . that pleasure is absence of pain " (C.S. Sherington ,The Integrative Action of the Nervous System, p. 255. (Yale University Press, 1920.)

4. S. R. Lysaght Poems of the Unknown Way; quoted with the kind permission of Messrs. Macmillan and Co.

5. In discussions of this subject, the conventional procedure is to begin by distinguishing the problem of pain from the problem of sin, with the implication that, of the two, sin is the more perplexing. I am not so sure. Pain is coterminous with life, conscious wrong-doing is confined to man; and were it not that the wrong that one man does is so frequently paid for by the agonies of others, the problem of evil would-to most of us, at any rate-assume a different aspect. Again, to the problem of sin a solution theoretically satisfactory lies close at hand. Neither virtue nor vice has any meaning unless the will is in some sense free, for an automaton can be neither good nor evil. Free will, then, is a necessary condition of goodness; but that same freedom of choice which makes goodness possible must leave open the possibility of the choice of evil. An abstract argument like this does not satisfy the heart, but at least it estops the plea as it is stated by the head. I know of no logie that can so nimbly dodge the fact of pain.

6.Yet the moralist may reasonably urge that punishment fails to attain its object unless the offender is conscious that, and exactly for what, he is being Punished at the time when the punishment is inflicted. Again, the philanthropist may urge that the theory that all suffering is richly deserved is likely to damp man's ardour in the effort to relieve it.

7. Jeremiah xxxi. 29 ff.

8. Ezekiel xviii. 20.

9. Cf. the very original and important essay, ' Beyond Justice 1, in Lily Dougall's God's Way with Man. (Student Christian Movement, 1923.)

10 Exuberance of vitality is a characteristic of the Jew - no race has ever lived through and lived down so much. Arid since life is essentially that which feels (that is, which is susceptible to quality), it is, perhaps, not surprising that the Jew has always shown a peculiarly keen apprehension of value-alike in things material and spiritual. As trafficker or artist, as world-financier or revolutionary, as musician or scientific discoverer, he is still remarkable. In a later chapter I shall show grounds for taking the concept of Life as a key to the interpretation of Reality. If that be so, we have an additional reason for giving special study to a literature embodying the concentrated experience of a race gifted with such intense vitality and a sense of value so enhanced. Not only in the book of Job, but also in Proverbs (' My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord . . ') and in Isaiah Iiii. (I Who hath believed our report . - .') new lines of thought in regard to the problem of evil are opened up in the Old Testament, to be constructively developed, and synthetized in the New.

11. F. von Hugel, Essays and Addresses on the Philosophy of

Religion, p.112. (Dent, 1921).

12.To the average Christian the Creed is a symbol standing for the gospel story as a whole, much as a flag stands for a country; my treatment of it in this chapter has been influenced by this fact. Of course, however, if the Gospel story were not so presupposed, most of what I have written about its dynamic power would be untrue. The fact that the Gospels themselves have the quality of great Art is not without importance in estimating the value of the religios 'representation' they embody.

13. On this point the judgement of a man like Rodin is of special interest. 'No artist will ever surpass Pheidias-- for progress exists in the World, but not in Art. The greatest of sculptors....will remain for ever without an equal.'-- A. Rodin, Art, p. 234, E.T. (Hodder, 1912.)

Chapter 2 Table of Contents Chapter 4