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Philosophy must critically absorb the categories of metaphysics, mysticism, and practicality. For it understands that in the quest of truth the co-operation of all three will not only be helpful and profitable to each other but is also necessary to itself. For only after such absorption, only after it has travelled through them all can it attain what is beyond them all. The decisive point of this quest is reached after the co-operation between all three activities attains such a pitch that they become fused into a single all-comprehensive one which itself differs from them in character and qualities. For the whole truth which is then revealed is not merely a composite one. It not only absorbs them all but transcends them all. When water is born out of the union of oxygen and hydrogen, we may say neither that it is the same as the simple sum-total of both nor that it is entirely different from both. It possesses properties which they in themselves do not at all possess. We may only say that it includes and yet transcends them. When philosophic insight is born out of the union of intellectual reasoning, mystical feeling, and altruistic doing, we may say neither that it is only the totalization of these three things nor that it is utterly remote from them. It comprehends them all and yet itself extends far beyond them into a higher order of being. It is not only that the philosopher synthesizes these triple functions, that in one and the same instant his intellect understands the world, his heart feels a tender sympathy towards it, and his will is moved to action for the triumph of good, but also that he is continuously conscious of that infinite reality which, in its purity, no thinking, no emotion, and no action can ever touch.


-- Notebooks Category 20: What Is Philosophy? > Chapter 4: Its Realization Beyond Ecstasy > # 183

-- Perspectives > Chapter 20: What Is Philosophy? > # 13






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