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"BEING" AND THE PERSONAL.

BY PROFESSOR C. H. A. BJERREGAARD.

IN the former papers on Being, I have spoken more or less in general. Now I come to the "Science of The Personal," as I term it.

Being is neither he, she, nor it, but all of these, or rather the indifference of these, viz., none of them, because they are all neutralized in Being. When I therefore choose the term, "The Personal," I do not mean personality, directly or indirectly, but use it as, in my opinion, the most suitable expression for that which constitutes the innermost of ourselves-our own being-and that of everything else.

The meaning and purport of the word will readily be seen when we learn that persona originated on the classical stage and meant the mask worn by actors, when they impersonated the gods. Later the word was used for the actor himself. Transferred to jurisprudence, the word came to mean a free man, a Roman citizen: freedom being considered the characteristic of persona, The Personal. A slave, not being free, was not a persona. An animal or an inanimate thing cannot be persona, though they have individuality. We use the term with philosophical correctness when we call ourselves persons, because we personate the Deity; Deus not personat. Personality is transient, but The Personal, the substance of personality, is eternal.

The Personal is an adjective, which I use as a noun. Adjectives and verbs are more plastic than nouns, and they retain much of the primitive or original power of words. They are therefore richer in life than nouns, and more suitable for the purpose of expressing THAT, which is only a manifestation rather than the assumption of a definite, phenomenal form. Being, as we understand it in this existence, is nothing fin

ished, but is constantly in the making; and no phenomenal form is a satisfactory expression for it.

It will not do to look upon the supreme substance of existence and non-existence-Being—as simply life. It is customary to think and speak of life as a force; we say, for instance, life-force (vis viva). But when Chrishna says of himself: "I never was not, nor shall I hereafter cease to be," he identifies himself with life and thus characterizes it personally. Jesus, the Christ, does the same in that famous passage of John: "I am the Way, the Life, and the Truth." "The Father hath life in Himself" (John v., 26). All other life in its various forms and stages exists and persists only through the spirit which proceeds from Being. Being is life and the principle of life-the only manifestation both in the universe as a whole and the physico-psychical nature in particular, that has life in itself and gives it to others; therefore there can be here no "Unconscious" (Hartmann) nor blind "Will" (Schopenhauer). Life is and must be conscious and is consciously aiming at the realization of its ends.

Life, therefore, is personal. Let me illustrate. How irrational and unphilosophic, is it not, to speak of an unconscious will in the independent functions of the spinal cord and ganglia, or of unconscious ideation in the execution of voluntary movements, or of the unconscious in instinct, in reflex actions, or in the reparative power of nature! Schopenhauer does it. If anywhere conscious efforts are visible, it is in these spheres. Whatever difference there is and must be between consciousness in this work and our consciousness, it is certainly not un-consciousness, if by that term is understood anything like that which it signifies in common language. How could a blind mind and an inorganic will produce organic results and deliberately work into a scheme of life, which has its centre in a different principle? The conscious effort, The Personal, is seen most strikingly in the reparative power of life, when the caterpillar repairs its cocoon, the spider its web, and the snail its shell.

Life, or Being, is personal, The Personal.

Instead of life, some philosophers would use soul, and speak of the Soul of the World. Such a phrase is better, but not comprehensive enough. The same is the case with most other current phrases and names. It is best to say The Personal, because that term conveys a more lively sense of the consciousness of an entire individuality, and it is in that sense we must think of Being. The Personal is the key to man's kingdom on earth. The kingdom we desire is constructive, organizing, plastic, and creative-in one word, Freedom. Freedom is the nature and life of The Personal, Being. Only they can claim to be who are free. Freedom means self-determination and selfpoise. It is true that, in this finite and limited existence, we hold our life under conditions of necessity, but in a true or personal life, a life in Being, necessity is taken up and transmuted in the self-determination of the free spirit. Our world par excellence is the world of freedom; it is full of goodness, and the very air we breathe is surcharged with wisdom and love. In the world of freedom we draw from infinite stores, infinite reservoirs, from the "ocean of mercy." The world of freedom rests upon "the mighty arm," yet man, from his own innermost, determines his own ends. In the world or state of freedom there is no sickness nor death. In it we are "whole," holy, and attain the universal priesthood and the royal kingdom of our calling.

The Personal is the ultimate power and force. Like Alchemy of old, Chemistry of to-day is in quest of the Unchanging. It asks: "Is there in nature one primary kind of matter of which, and of which alone, all those things we are accustomed to call different kinds of matter are composed?" It is a fundamental question and has not been answered in the affirmative. Primary matter has not been found. Matter-if there is any such thing-is constantly eluding the search for it. We find force, but no matter. This is an argument for The Personal. The very term force suggests it.

The future belongs to Idealism and The Personal. "Inward the course of empire takes its way." Even modern science is coming to the conclusion that The Personal lies at the bottom of all life and all phenomena. It will not say so in plain words;

it will not even own that Mind is the universal law.* The intermolecular rhythm of inconceivable rapidity which it asserts to exist in all bodies, even those that appear to be solid and at rest, is but a recognition that the cosmos is "all of a quiver," and is a trembling, passionate body. This is more than halfway to a personality.

Not only does science thus in the inorganic world recognize a personal will, or rather volition, but it does so, too, in the organic. It declares now that all living matter is always psychic. At first this statement may seem startling, but it is simply a corollary, not only of the theory of evolution but of the unquestioned facts of development as well. If mind or personality is found in the unfolded cell, say of a Plato, it must have been in the original cell, for there is no gap for mind to creep into it during the evolutionary movement. Modern science not only recognizes psychic life in plants and animals, but it also declares the difference between them to be one of degree only. Vegetables are feebly psychic; animals are intensely so. The "one primary kind of matter" which Alchemy and modern Chemistry alike search for is The Personal, Being.

All well-organized men and women, sometime or other, somewhere, somehow, ask themselves or others: "Who am I? Why am I formed thus?" Some enter upon a study of the symbolical beauty of the human body, and learn to see and admire the art workmanship of the Divine Sculptor, and in and by means of it they see transparently The Personal. Others investigate the organization of the human mind and discover to their astonishment and joy how all forms of creation are reflected in human thought, and that thus a personal element is found everywhere. Others, again, are at times lifted upon the wings of Spirit into the upper regions and obtain glimpses of the wonderful harmonies of the universe. In these they hear "the music of the spheres" like the sage of Crotona, or the

* Yet Maudsley has said: “The mind, as the crowning achievement of organization, and the consummation and outcome of all its energies, really comprehends the bodily life;" and Huxley must admit that "it is an indisputable truth that what we call the material world is only known to us under forms of the ideal world."

notes of color-visions blend into the beatific vista in which Dante saw the "image of the invisible God" in the shape of a human head. Others taste of the honey of Hybla or receive the kiss of Egeria. They are all lifted beyond their personality to its innermost The Personal, to Being. Thus they receive an answer to their query.

The Personal is the Christ. Who and what is the Christ? First, let us see the meaning of the word, etymologically. Xplorós, the Greek verbal adjective of xpiw (to touch, to rub), means "to be rubbed on "-used with reference to ointment or salves. Used with reference to persons, it means one anointed." This word is the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew Messiah. There is another Greek word somewhat like xplorós, and it is the one I shall use in this connection. It is xpηotós, the Greek verbal adjective of xpáoμai. (1) Used with regard to things, it means good of its kind, serviceable, wholesome. (2) Used with regard to persons, it means one good, a good man and true. (3) Used with regard to the gods, it means kind, propitious, bestowing health or wealth. It is clear, then, that xplorós is of limited signification. Its special sense of "anointed" is that used by dogmatic Christianity. The other word, xpnoτós, is much broader and more philosophic. It is used by spiritual Christianity, and in the "Science of The Personal" it means The Personal, the at-one-er, the one in whom all things stand together. It is also used in the Gita, for Chrishna is but a translation of xpnoτós. It also appears in the classical conception, "the good and wise man." The most modern and at the same time the most universal conception of xpmorós is that given by O. B. Frothingham in his "Religion of Humanity:"

"The Christ of Humanity is no dream, no intellectual chimera, no theological hypothesis. He is a fact, to which everything we possess and are bears witness. History is his autobiography; literature is his effort to utter himself; painting and sculpture attest his feeling of beauty; philosophy and science are the blooming of his reason; the stages of civilization are the deep foot-tracks he has left on the surface of the planet; the great religions demonstrate the scope, quality, and fervor of his soul; society-that vast, continuous, spreading organization, that mighty web of interests, institutions,

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