Do you really believe there is anything ‘allcompre-hending’ but religion? Are not these distinctions imaginary? Must not the philosophy of every mind, or set of minds, be a system suited to guide them, and give a home where they can bring materials among which to accept, reject, and shape at pleasure? Novalis calls those, who harbor these ideas, ‘unbelievers;’ but hard names make no difference. He says with disdain, ‘To such, philosophy is only a system which will spare them the trouble of reflecting.’ Now this is just my case. I do want a system which shall suffice to my character, and in whose applications I shall have faith. I do not wish to reflect always, if reflecting must be always about one's identity, whether ‘ich’ am the true ‘ich,’ &c. I wish to arrive at that point where I can trust myself, and leave off saying, ‘It seems to me,’ and boldly feel, It is so to me. My character has got its natural regulator, my heart beats, my lips speak truth, I can walk alone, or offer my arm to a friend, or if I lean on another, it is not the debility of sickness, but only wayside weariness. This is the philosophy I want; this much would satisfy me. Then Novalis says, ‘Philosophy is the art of discovering the place of truth in every encountered event and circumstance, to attune all relations to truth.’ Philosophy is peculiarly home-sickness; an overmastering desire to be at home. I think so; but what is there all-comprehending, eternally-conscious, about that?
Sept., 1832.— “Not see the use of metaphysics?”