Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
time, and free from dependence on cause.
In the first case, if inevitability were possible without freedom we
should have reached a definition of inevitability by the laws of
inevitability itself, that is, a mere form without content.
In the second case, if freedom were possible without inevitability
we should have arrived at unconditioned freedom beyond space, time,
and cause, which by the fact of its being unconditioned and
unlimited would be nothing, or mere content without form.
We should in fact have reached those two fundamentals of which mans
whole outlook on the universe is constructed--the incomprehensible
essence of life, and the laws defining that essence.
Reason says: (1) space with all the forms of matter that give it
visibility is infinite, and cannot be imagined otherwise. (2) Time
is infinite motion without a moment of rest and is unthinkable
otherwise. (3) The connection between cause and effect has no
beginning and can have no end.
Consciousness says: (1) I alone am, and all that exists is but me,
consequently I include space. (2) I measure flowing time by the
fixed moment of the present in which alone I am conscious of myself as
living, consequently I am outside time. (3) I am beyond cause, for I
feel myself to be the cause of every manifestation of my life.
Reason gives expression to the laws of inevitability.
Consciousness gives expression to the essence of freedom.
Freedom not limited by anything is the essence of life, in mans
consciousness. Inevitability without content is mans reason in its
Freedom is the thing examined. Inevitability is what examines.
Freedom is the content. Inevitability is the form.
Only by separating the two sources of cognition, related to one
another as form to content, do we get the mutually exclusive and
separately incomprehensible conceptions of freedom and inevitability.
Only by uniting them do we get a clear conception of mans life.
Apart from these two concepts which in their union mutually define
one another as form and content, no conception of life is possible.
All that we know of the life of man is merely a certain relation
of free will to inevitability, that is, of consciousness to the laws
All that we know of the external world of nature is only a certain
relation of the forces of nature to inevitability, or of the essence
of life to the laws of reason.
The great natural forces lie outside us and we are not conscious
of them; we call those forces gravitation, inertia, electricity,
animal force, and so on, but we are conscious of the force of life
in man and we call that freedom.
But just as the force of gravitation, incomprehensible in itself but
felt by every man, is understood by us only to the extent to which
we know the laws of inevitability to which it is subject (from the
first knowledge that all bodies have weight, up to Newtons law), so
too the force of free will, incomprehensible in itself but of which
everyone is conscious, is intelligible to us only in as far as we know
the laws of inevitability to which it is subject (from the fact that
every man dies, up to the knowledge of the most complex economic and
All knowledge is merely a bringing of this essence of life under the
laws of reason.
Mans free will differs from every other force in that man is
directly conscious of it, but in the eyes of reason it in no way
differs from any other force. The forces of gravitation,
electricity, or chemical affinity are only distinguished from one
another in that they are differently defined by reason. Just so the
force of mans free will is distinguished by reason from the other
forces of nature only by the definition reason gives it. Freedom,
apart from necessity, that is, apart from the laws of reason that
define it, differs in no way from gravitation, or heat, or the force
that makes things grow; for reason, it is only a momentary undefinable
sensation of life.
And as the undefinable essence of the force moving the heavenly
bodies, the undefinable essence of the forces of heat and electricity,
or of chemical affinity, or of the vital force, forms the content of
astronomy, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, and so on, just in the
same way does the force of free will form the content of history.
But just as the subject of every science is the manifestation of
this unknown essence of life while that essence itself can only be the
subject of metaphysics, even
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