In other of my philosophical writings I have endeavoured to show that the ratiocinative faculty was in its nature unable to solve any single problem of the universe.
Its reductio ad absurdum is clear enough in the gorgeous first section of Herbert Spencer's First Principles. Kant demonstrated the Dualism and inherent Self-contradiction well enough in the Prolegomena and its four theses and their antitheses (section 51); and Hegel's Logic, if properly understood, would have brought the whole thing into contempt.
But unfortunately the "common sense" of mankind retorted that after all the interior angles of every triangle "are" together equal to two right-angles; and that a mental process which deduced this so accurately from a few simple axioms and definitions must be trustworthy; adding something uncomplimentary about Germans and Metaphysics.
Both are right, and both are wrong. In the world of common sense, reason works; in the world of philosophy, it doesn't. The metaphysical deadlock is a real and not a verbal one. The inner nature of things is not rational, at least so long as we are asked to define "rational" as "rationalistic." Why should it be? Why should the rules of golf govern the mechanics of the flight of a golf-ball?
It is this fact that has made it possible for the faith-mongers to make head against the stream of philosophy. Fichte is really and truly just as right and as wrong as Schelling; Hume is quite as impregnable as Berkeley.
Let us not try to shirk the truth of it, either by the "common-sense" folly, or the "faith" folly, or the Hegelian folly.
It may, I think, be readily conceded that the reasoning faculty is not apodeictally absolute. It represents a stage in human thought, no more.
You cannot convince a savage of the truth of the Binomial Theorem; should we then be surprised if a mystic fails to convert a philosopher?
Yet must he try.
Haddo, Oliver. [Aleister Crowley]. "The Psychology of Hashish." The Equinox Vol. 1. No. 2. London: A ∴ A ∴, Sep. 1909. pp. 50-51.
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