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In obedience to the feeling of reality, we shall insist that, in the analysis of propositions, nothing "unreal" is to be admitted. But, after all, if there is nothing unreal, how, it may be asked, could we admit anything unreal? The reply is that, in dealing with propositions, we are dealing in the first instance with symbols, and if we attribute significance to groups of symbols which have no significance, we shall fall into the error of admitting unrealities, in the only sense in which this is possible, namely, as objects described.
Generally speaking there is no irreducible taste or inclination. They all represent a certain appropriative choice of being. It is up to existential psychoanalysis to compare and classify them. Ontology abandons us here; it has merely enabled us to determine the ultimate ends of human reality, its fundamental possibilities, and the value which haunts it.
The second doctrine of the Perennial Philosophy — that it is possible to know the Divine Ground by a direct intuition higher than discursive reasoning — is to be found in all the great religions of the world. A philosopher who is content merely to know about the ultimate Reality — theoretically and by hearsay — is compared by Buddha to a herdsman of other men's cows. Mohammed uses an even homelier barnyard metaphor. For him the philosopher who has not realized his metaphysics is just an ass bearing a load of books. Christian, Hindu, Taoist teachers wrote no less emphatically about the absurd pretensions of mere learning and analytic reasoning.
In those days it was possible for a Greek to flee from an over-abundant reality as though it were but the tricky scheming off the imagination-and to flee, not like Plato into the land of eternal ideas, into the workshop off the world-creator, feasting one's eyes on the unblemished unbreakable archetypes, but into the rigor mortis off the coldest emptiest concept off all, the concept of being.
Everyone's childhood plays itself out. No wonder no one knows the other or can completely understand. By this I don't know if I'm just giving up with this conclusion or resigning myself - or maybe for the first time connecting with reality. How do we know the pain or another's earlier years, let alone all that he drags with him since along the way at best a lot of leeway is needed for the other - yet how much is unhealthy for one to bear. I think to love bravely is the best and accept - as much as one can bear.
And, moreover, when it happens that both are sincere and good, nothing will mix and amalgamate more easily than an old priest and an old soldier. In reality, they are the same kind of man. One has devoted himself to country upon earth, the other to his country in heaven; there is no other difference.