41 Pages

Part II, Chapter One: Creation, or the Everlasting Ground of Things – Movement from the Enchanted to the Created World

Empirically-rooted human reason on its own could know that the elements exist and that as long as they were seen as isolated, unrelated to each other, nothing positive about them could be known other than their existence. God, the world, and the human all exist beyond the empirical experience they underlie, but experience itself gives no clue to their nature. God is a being no greater than which can be conceived; the world is a pure noumenal thing-in-itself; and the human is a contentless subject-of-consciousness thing-for-itself. Whatever they are can be known only through their forms of relationship. The relationship between God and the world is creation; the relationship between God and the human is revelation; and the relationship between the human and the world is redemption. However, so far we know nothing more about these relations other than they are the names we give to them as relations. To know more requires a source external to scientific thinking. That source is speech - i.e., spoken (hOrbare) language, viz., what God says to the human and what humans say to each other. The former speech at least is the content of revelation, and, as we shall see later, the latter kind of speech is at least the foundation for redemption.