CHAPTER : I - THE NECESSITY OF RELIGION-7.
Apart from the consideration of tie question how far these facts claimed by religions are true, we find one characteristic common to them all.
They are all abstractions as contrasted with the concrete discoveries of physics, for instance; and in all the highly organised religions they take the purest form of Unit Abstraction, either in the form of an Abstracted Presence, as an Omnipresent Being, as an Abstract Personality called God, as a Moral Law, or in the form of an Abstract Essence underlying every existence.
In modern times, too, the attempts made to preach religions without appealing to the supersensuous state if the mind have had to take up the old abstractions of the Ancients and give different names to them as "Moral Law", the "Ideal Unity", and so forth, thus showing that these abstractions are not in the senses.
None of us have yet seen an "Ideal Human Being", and yet we are told to believe in it. None of us have yet seen an ideally perfect man, and yet without that ideal we cannot progress.
Thus, this one fact stands out from all these different religions, that there is an Ideal Unit Abstraction, which is put before us, either in the form of a Person or an Impersonal Being, or a Law, or a Presence, or an Essence.
We are always struggling to raise ourselves up to that ideal. Every human being, whosoever and wheresoever he may be, has an ideal of infinite power. Every human being has an ideal of infinite pleasure.
Most of the works that we find around us, the activities displayed everywhere, are due to the struggle for this infinite power or this infinite pleasure.
But a few quickly discover that although they are struggling for infinite power, it is not through the senses that it can be reached.
They find out very soon that that infinite pleasure is not to be got through the senses, or, in other words, the senses are too limited, and the body is too limited, to express the Infinite.
To manifest the Infinite through the finite is impossible, and sooner or later, man learns to give up the attempt to express the Infinite through the finite.
This giving up, this renunciation of the attempt, is the background of ethics.
Renunciation is the very basis upon which ethics stands.
There never was an ethical code preached which had not renunciation for its basis.
To be continued ...