The philosophy of history -Augustus Schade- PDF ebook

The philosophy of history

The philosophy of history


Excerpt:
Having become acquainted somewhat with histories, the fundamental principles of our philosophy we are prepared to consider the construction of history as exhibiting these principles. The first of the seven divisions, into which the data of the second book arrange themselves will be given to a survey of those regions in which, according to the ethnos^raphic material found there, history had its beginnings. As soon as the race- enters upon its stage of action, the first indications of a universal polarity, agitating it, become noticeable and are to be scrutinised. 

This will at once put us in the position from which we may view the first of our three concentric circles of nations. We look upon the scenery where history performed her first great feats with least ostentation. Here the broad ground-works of future complications come insight; for out of the obscurity of pre-histories in which time and eternity seem to be mixed up in the dense vapours of a Tohu Vabohu there protrudes, distinct enough, the fundamental masonry of the structure. 

Its Cyclopean massiveness is to a great extent impenetrable to scientific research. Yet this much becomes apparent, that the race then already was subject to the law of polarity. The systematic workings of this law are intimated by the curves and courses of the substructure. 

The same strained condition, we may say " polar tension ", is observable which henceforth always exists and produces the contrasts between the Oriental and Occidental nations. Under "polar tension" that historic strain may be denoted, which is caused by such contrasts of matter and mind previously referred to, or by such characteristic opposites as the one here pointed out. 

(1.) Taking our position upon the great divide which the Asiatics up to date called " the Roof of the World ", we distinguish between Turano-Mongolo-Malayan nations of the East, and the Ugro- Tatarians of the West. The right-wing consists of the aborigines of China, Tibet, and the coasts of the Pacific, America included. The left reaches across Siberia, out to the Finns and Lapps of Eu- rope. 

Their common centre is the high plateau of Central Asia. Africa is irrelevant as yet to history, only serving as a dumping-ground, as it were, for fragments of different peoples, the scattered elements of which occasionally react across the northern and eastern borders. This outlines the widest compass of ethnological propaedeutics. The eastern part of the first great circle of our race leads but a vegetating existence, so to say; its natural temperament represents feminine passiveness, whilst in the western part virile characteristics of personal and energetic aggressiveness prevail. All these nations lead a nature-bound life, bearing the impress of their physical environments more marked than the few features of spiritual qualifications. The use of the word " nature-bound" may be permissive for conditions of human life, where, through neglect of cultivating the mind, a man allowed himself to remain under the bondage of natural necessity, instead of entering upon his career of spiritual development so that this side of personal life became arrested.

 (2.) An equal Ethno-psychical contrast determines also the next smaller circle. The people constituting it progressively enter upon a most promising career. This second circle comprises the Indo-Germanic people— the Aryans. With them again we have a right and a left-wing, which are each subdivided into northern and southern counterparts. To the right-wing belong the inhabitants of Iran, and those of the Indus and Ganges regions; to the left the Germanic nations and those of Graeco-Roman culture. In the reciprocal irritation, reaction, and augmentation of energies, the strain of opposition, i, e. the ethnical polarity, here again, produces those distinct features of history, which we associate with the presentations of Oriental and Occidental life. 

(3.) Then follows the third and innermost of the concentric circles under Roman dominion It represents a basin m which all the ethnical elements of the ancient times flow together, and where the ever agitating polar forces are discharged into the bulk, so as to prepare a new order of human affairs.

(4)The fourth division will then demonstrate that the course of events arrived at the turning point of history. The opposing principles now cross, pervade, penetrate, and neutralise each other. We find ourselves in the midst of contrasts— upon the historic height of many disclosures where the hidden theme assumes plastic form. The key is given which opens the reality of things anticipated. Light is thrown upon the retrospect and upon the prospect of the ultimate issues. After looking up from physical life and looking back from personal life fully realised, reviewing the postulates and forebodings of the mind in all directions, and seeing the union of spirit and matter completed, we will become convinced that the solution of all problems is found and that our axioms are aflärmed.
A new factor now enters the life of mankind. It is the pneumatic principle which henceforth works through history, aiming at the realisation of human destiny. 

This new efficient is im- parted from the higher sphere. It had been typified by surprising phenomena at every new stage of development, even in thö evolution of the natural world. In ascending lines and cycles this principle of personality and perpetuity affects the human masses one by one, attracting, influencing, uniting them and all their further relations.


(5.) In the fifth division the gradual permeation of humanity with the new power, proceeding from the centre begins to work toward the periphery of the three concentric circles. This gradual expansion corresponds in reverse order to the former narrowing down of the cultural progress. This newly engrafted energy, this life proper, had appeared concentrated and intensified in the One in whom the realm of unity and perpetuity centres. From His immediate surroundings, a unique influence now expands over the entire mass mixed together in the Roman basin.


(6.) The sixth division again reviews the second of our concentric circles as brought under the transforming activity of the new leaven. Again we meet those kindred people who in the remote past already sustained that polar tension between the oriental and the occidental modes of thought. The leaven now works throughout the whole lump, until every branch of the Indo-Germanic race is enlisted in the movement and therein recognises its special task and destiny. By virtue of the new life the cultivation, not only of the natural forms of existence but also of the spiritual side of life, in the special sense, aspires to higher attainments. Man becomes conscious of the full value of a person and begins to prepare himself and nature for a still higher form of existence.

book details :
  • Author:Augustus Schade
  • Publication date: 1899

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