“Toward a Buddhisto-Christian Religion” by Charles Hartshorne
“Toward a Buddhisto-Christian Religion” by Charles Hartshorne (1897-2000) (from “Buddhism and American Thinkers”, eds. Kenneth K. Inada and Nolan P. Jacobson, State University of New York Press, 1984, pp. 1-13).
A digital copy of this essay can be borrowed at the following link:
A recording of Hartshorne giving a version of this essay can be heard at the following link:
Hartshorne’s connection with the Unitarian movement can be read about at the following link:
And here’s a piece called “A gentle plea for a Buddhisto-Christian process religion” written by me:
Prefatory Remarks to Charles Hartshorn’s Essay (Kenneth K. Inada and Nolan P. Jacobson)
The leading process philosopher of our time intimately divulges his own awakening to the fundamentals of process thought. It is at once a refreshing and engaging essay which exhibits how a great mind very early on encountered different religious and philosophical views and how quickly he formed his own position on the reality of things. It is the realization that any perspective based on self-interest and substance is fundamentally limiting and doomed. Hartshorne finds sufficient confirmation and corroboration of his views in the later Harvard writings of Whitehead.
What is more dramatic and revealing is his admission of an affinity to a form of Buddhist view, especially the Mahāyāna type, even before he had seriously read anything substantial on Buddhism. It was indeed a happy coincidence. Hartshorne’s keen perceptivity prompted him to conclude that events arise in an asymmetric and social matrix, i.e., the present with the past and the future as a potential with the present. He strongly senses such a matrix in the Buddhist doctrines of no-soul, dependent origination, and Bodhisattvahood.
Finally, Hartshorne calls for a Buddhisto-Christian dialogue to understand the real nature of creativity in man and the rest of nature. His essay thus creates a framework in which other essays in this volume could most profitably be read and suggests possible lines of development in the dialogue.
Toward a Buddhisto-Christian Religion
Buddhism in both its northern or Mahāyāna and its southern or Theravāda forms differs from most other ways of thinking, especially those common in the West, in several respects. So far as two of these differences are concerned, I was already almost a Buddhist without knowing it long before I had read much about Buddhism or had any habit of relating my thinking to that tradition.
First of all, in the West the favorite theory of motivation has been that self-interest is the universal principle, and interest in others only a special case or corollary of sufficiently enlightened self-interest. About my nineteenth year I was for a time a convinced proponent of this deceptively simple doctrine; but within a year or so I had, once for all, thought my way out of it. At the time (1917-1918) I was not at college (but was an orderly in an army hospital) and was not thinking particularly of any philosopher. I may have been unconsciously influenced by having read, some months before, Royce’s great essay on community in his Problem of Christianity. I may also have read what he writes about Buddhism in that book. I was certainly influenced by St. Paul’s “We are members one of another,” which Royce quotes or which came up in Rufus Jones’s course at Haverford in which we discussed Royce’s book.
Secondly, in the West change has been analyzed as a succession of properties “in” an identical something, individual or “substance.” The “same” entity loses some properties while gaining others. I do not recall having ever very definitely accepted this analysis, or having made it a problem, before encountering the early version of Whitehead’s analysis of reality in terms of events (in his Concept of Nature). That was several years after leaving the army and after I had begun definitely to study the history of philosophy at Harvard. Whitehead’s view in that book was no special shock to me. It fitted such intuitions as I had concerning experience and nature. Presumably, reading Heraclitus, Hume, Bergson, James and perhaps still others had helped prepare me for a “process” view.
Rather early in my studies at Harvard I wrote an essay in which I reached the conclusion that “the self is its own maker.” This doctrine, which I later found in Whitehead, Jules Lequier and Sartre, makes little sense if a self is a single entity with more or less changing properties. For then that entity is already in existence in the first moment of its career, and any self-creation must be accomplished in that first moment.
The two Western doctrines mentioned above belong together. If selfhood is an identity through change, then self-concern is an identity relation. A concerned for A. But then also altruism is a nonidentity relation, A concerned for B. And if identity is what justifies concern, nonidentity should imply lack of concern. Thus, it becomes necessary for a moralist to try to prove a dependence of one’s own welfare upon that of others. We love ourselves because we are ourselves, and we love others because we need the others for our own good.
In 1917-1918, before I had had any course in philosophy (Jones’s course was in Christian doctrine), I came to see that identity does not explain motivation. There is no such relation as A loving A, where the two occurrences of A refer to simply one and the same entity. I also saw that if identity did explain motivation, it would not be almost impossible (and it is almost impossible) to get people to act simply for their own long-run welfare. Nothing is commoner than preferring present pleasure, pleasure in coming seconds, hours, weeks, to the long-run happiness of the very “same” self. Substantial identity is not the secret of motivation.
It is false that we can feel love (sympathy, compassion, admiration, concern) for others only by connecting their welfare to our own future advantage. Nor does love become more rational by being so connected. “You are important in my eyes only because I need you, whereas I am important because I am I” is the quintessence of irrationality. For one thing, you may live forty or more years after I am dead. Our common mortality ought, it then seemed and still seems to me, to teach us that in the long run we are but contributions to the future of life. And “enlightened” interest is the long-run interest, is it not?
Not only my own thinking plus Whitehead confirmed me in these convictions; the writings of Peirce that Paul Weiss and I edited supported similar views. And Peirce related them more specifically than Whitehead did to the Buddhist tradition. HIS expression “Buddhisto-Christian” is one of his acknowledgements of this relationship. Whitehead once put an essential point in Buddhism (without any reference, perhaps even in his own mind, to that tradition) by saying to the one class of his I ever took part in (because I was assisting him to grade papers): “I sometimes think that all modem immorality is caused by the Aristotelian theory of substance.” Virtually all Buddhists have affirmed the “no soul, no substance” doctrine, partly because the substance view tends to encourage self-interest theories of motivation, and also because it is a crude analysis of our experience of change. Genetic identity is so far from sheer logical identity and is such an obscure and one-sided notion that to force the phenomena of volition and emotion to conform to it is a grave error. Think of the difference between a person in dreamless sleep and a person wide awake and thinking vigorously. The first is as unconscious as a tree (Fechner would have said, more so). Or think of the difference between a four-month embryo or a new-born infant, and a normal adult. Any “sameness” that spans such gigantic differences is a very limited sameness. Why should such a relative and paradoxical notion be allowed to tyrannize over our basic response to life?
Part of the confusion arises as follows. Your or my career, meaning the event-sequence (a very complex combination of event-sequences in fact) making up your or my bodily-mental history, is clearly distinguishable from the career of any other human person. What is quite false, however, is that the complex of events making up such a career is all “in” something already in existence at or before birth. To conceive what existed at my or your birth, one must abstract from everything that has happened since then. Ergo, the identical self is a very abstract entity. The concrete self that has my present thoughts “in” it only come to be with those thoughts. Why is it that this simple truth has escaped almost everyone but Buddhists and a few Western philosophers?
Substance thinking confuses the abstract and the concrete. Of course, something of me was there when I was born. But the “I” that now thinks about Buddhism was not that something, and that babyish something can never think those thoughts. As a contemporary Spanish philosopher has written, “I am always the same person, but not the same thing,” i.e., the same concrete actuality. The sameness of the person is an abstract sameness. Concretely we are numerically new each moment.
Motivation depends on much more concrete matters than substantial identity. The universal principle is not interest by and in oneself as always the same entity, nor is it interest in others as always others; it is interest by the self of the given moment (the total self-active experience of that moment) in other experiences or selves, some momentary or nearly so, and others more abstract and enduring. Some of these other selves will be continuations of the career to which the present self belongs, others will not. (That distinction is not always very relevant.) Life is interested in life, experience in experience. Self-interest is a special case of this universal principle, altruism is another case. Not enlightened self-interest, but simply enlightened interest is the ultimate principle of right motivation, where enlightened means sufficiently future-regarding and sufficiently comprehensive of others as well as one’s own future. Love of persons and oneself as one person among others is more basic and rational than love of self simply as self. All awareness has an element of sympathy, and self-concern is a special, somewhat narrow form of this sympathy. One feels one’s past feelings and sympathetically imagines one’s future feelings; similar relations to others’ past or future feelings explain the possibility of altruism. Without sympathy there would be no human self and no social others. It’s all a question of how far we generalize the scope of our sympathy at each moment for life at other moments, whether your life or mine is, from the rational point of view, secondary. Not to see this is, as the Buddhists say, “writhing in delusion.” (If this language seems too strong, turn on your television set or read the newspaper.)
No matter how enlightened, self-interest is not ultimate, and no self-interest theory should be taken literally as such. What is to be taken more nearly literally is the injunction, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” How can this be done if the one love is simply identity and the other simply nonidentity? Of course, some relative differences are insuperable between self-sympathy and sympathy for others, but to absolutize the differences, as so many have done, and regard this absolutization as the criterion of rationality, is indeed lamentable. To be entirely rational is to love the whole ongoing universe, and oneself and one’s future only as items in that universe for that is to see things as they are. We are but pebbles on the cosmic beach.
As Niebuhr used to say, each animal tends to see itself as the center of the world; but reason tells us that none of us is that center. To make self-centeredness, no matter how subtly or ingeniously, the first principle is a strange misuse of reason. It is time religious people faced the “as yourself” idea and made up their minds about it. By good luck I reached this point before I was twenty-one and have never seen any reason to go back to my previous adherence to a self-interest doctrine.
Return to that prison? Never! It ties the present self to an absolute obligation to the future fortunes of that enduring (i.e., abstract) self and forbids it to admit any but an indirect obligation to anything beyond those fortunes. It imprisons the concrete momentary self in favor of the abstract self. (This is the real “prison of individuality” the Buddhists speak of. I am not aware, however, of any Buddhist writer who has given that phrase quite the explicit context I have just given it.)
I find in my own writings that I was speaking confidently about Buddhism as early as 1937, but I then stressed my differences from the religion more than my agreements with it. In 1957, I obtained a Fulbright grant to lecture in Kyoto University in the Spring and early Summer of 1958. I did this partly because of an interest in Buddhism, partly because of my awareness of the intelligence of Japanese scholars, and partly for still other reasons. To prepare for meeting Japanese philosophers, I read T. R. V. Murti’s The Central Philosophy of Buddhism. I had already read Stcherbatsky’s The Central Conception of Buddhism. These two books, together with the Russian author’s Buddhist Logic, sum up the philosophic content of the Buddhist tradition.
The negative side of the doctrine is indicated most briefly in the “no soul, no substance” doctrine. A Japanese interpreter replied to a Westerner’s “You mean to say you deny the immortality of the soul!” with, “In the first place, there’s no soul.” From Plato to Kant, Western thinkers tend to make the idea of a soul and the belief in experiences of one’s own after death two aspects of one truth. So the Japanese reply was to the point. (That he may have himself believed in reincarnation is another and in my opinion philosophically irrelevant matter.) Every moment each of us is a new entity—indeed, taking the body into account, many new entities. It follows that identity is not the key to motivation, love is not reducible to intelligent self-regard, and the very concept of self as it functions in this phrase is unintelligent, ambiguous or partly illusory in principle. Not substance but “dependent origination,” causality properly understood, is the key to motivation. Self-love, taken as the motive, is an arbitrary fixation upon a mere portion of the past origins and future consequences of the concrete, now experiencing self.
Buddhism, in one aspect, is among the most radical pluralisms of all. Heraclitus’ “You cannot step twice into the same river” is, as Whitehead once put it, an understatement. Neither you nor the river is known to be but a single entity, even at a single moment. In a second many events occur; there are no simply lasting single entities. Phenomenal reality is complex beyond our easy comprehension. Becoming, origination—Is not alteration of entities already there? It is perpetual production of new entities, which, having become, are forthwith superseded by still newer ones. Creation and supersession by further creation is what concrete reality is. To set one’s heart on the given moment and its entitites is vain; and, since the individual person is but a limited sequence of closely related moments with some persistent characteristics, to view it as the measure of value for one’s decisions is equally vain. Nothing short of Something universal to the process of dependent origination can be the measure of value for a nondeluded person. What is this Something?
Southern Buddhism at this point seems to adhere to Gautama’s reported agnosticism. Not cosmology nor theology is needed, but only the means of escape from suffering. And these means are ways of overcoming self-centeredness and attachment to the temporary as though it were or could be permanent. Compassion for all, without attachment to any specific goals, whether for self or for others, seems to be the recommended program.
Of course there is paradox here. The goal is to have no goals, or is it to have no goals except that of transcending all goal-seeking? “Escape from suffering” is negative. There must be a positive side. For the sake of elements of joy, we can all bear considerable suffering. How can the Buddhist prove that this is irrational? What is the positive side of the salvation that the Buddhist monk is seeking? Is it happiness? But by the doctrine, any state of happiness is temporary. And whose happiness? Is the goal self-centered after all?
The Mahāyāna Bodhisattva ideal, not wholly absent from the Theravāda, is to renounce complete salvation for self until it is attained by all, not just all persons, but even all creatures. Thus the goal of having no goal is indefinitely (infinitely?) postponed.
Northern Buddhism also differed in its ontology. It produced a theory of universal oneness in the universal plurality of created-superseded entities. This is the theory known in the West as that of universally internal relations, or the theory of universal interdependence. It was close to the surface in Spinoza, explicit in Hegel and some other idealists. This is an extreme monism as the final meaning of a philosophy which seems initially an extreme pluralism. By omitting this final meaning, the Theravāda remains, as Stcherbatsky said, an extreme pluralism, while the Mahāyāna is an extreme monism. In this splitting into two contrary extremes, I see evidence that the famous “Middle Way” of Northern Buddhism was not quite what it claimed to be. The golden mean was not found.
Nagarjuna, an early founder of the Mahāyāna, argued that neither a metaphysics of universal interdependence nor one of universal independence nor one of universal independence can be made rationally intelligible. We cannot understand relations if they are exclusively internal, nor can we understand them if they are exclusively external. Bradley, many centuries later (independently, I presume) repeats the reasoning. Suppose (as I believe) that they were both right so far, what follows? They replied, what follows is that the truth about relations transcends discursive thought and can only be possessed by those whose meditation or intuition carries them beyond the rationally statable. I say that this, as it stands, is a non sequitur for relations may be internal in some cases and external in others, internal to some terms but also external to some. Neither Nagarjuna nor Bradley gave any clear objections to such a middle ground position; indeed, neither of them formulated it clearly.
Later, in the Hua-yen tradition of China, Fa-tsang, in spite of the warnings of Nagarjuna, affirmed universal interdependence. All events implicate their causes, and all causes, their effects; each entity depends on all others. It has no self-being and in itself is nothing, sūnyatā, emptiness. Only all-process is real. But, as Nagarjuna rightly held, this conception defies logic. The whole is nothing without the parts, the parts nothing without the whole. If we do not know everything we know nothing. And we cannot know everything. Explanation is circular. Neither parts nor whole are identifiable.
There is here in the history of Buddhism a large scale exhibition of a truth which I seem to be the first philosopher to see clearly. This is that symmetrical conceptions, such as the concepts of past, present, and future bound together in a mutually dependent order, are always partial truths, never the whole truth, and reliance upon such conceptions generates dilemmas, the escape from which requires giving up both of two opposite extremes in favor of a middle position that takes asymmetry as primary. If in every case of A related to B, the relation is internal to or constitutive of both A and B, that is extreme monism. It makes every dependence symmetrical, or a case of interdependence, and it generates incurable paradox. If, in every case of A related to B, the relation is external to both A and B, that is extreme pluralism. It makes independence symmetrical. It, too, generates paradox. For now, we have three entities, A, B, and the relation. And we are saying either that these three entities have a further relation such that the first relation, call it R, relates A to B (implying a vicious regress repeating the same problem), or that relations ae super-entities able to contain their terms. Neither way can one make sense out of the theory.
The solution is to suppose that the primary relations are those of one-way dependence-independence. A may depend on B but not B on A. Examples are easy to furnish. We depend on George Washington for his contribution to our American life; he did not depend on us, and we make no contribution to his life. A tree depends on the seed from which it sprang, but that seed could have been all that it once was and yet never have sprouted and grown into the tree. Earlier events may be independent of later ones but not vice versa; muses may be independent of effects but not vice versa. To carry through this line of thought, we must renounce all classical or strict determinism, the notion that every event has both “necessary and sufficient” conditions in preceding events. Necessary conditions, yes, but sufficient conditions, no. More subtly, “sufficient” is here ambiguous. “Sufficient to make an event of the kind that happened possible” is one meaning, and of course, it must always apply, for the impossible does not happen; but, “sufficient to make the event happen” need not apply if we are talking about previous events, for it may be the event itself that makes itself happen. Just this is creative freedom.
The very phrase “dependent origination” implies asymmetry. An event originates out of the past as its necessary condition. It does not originate out of the future as necessary condition. Washington helped to make us; we have done nothing to make him.
In medieval China, as later by Zen in Japan, the symmetrical view, incompatible with creativity, was taken. One meets it in contemporary neo-Buddhist Japanese philosophers, some of whom state it less dearly than Fa-tsang did; indeed, I could scarcely understand them until I heard a scholar in Chinese philosophy expound Fa-tsang.
In the West, determinism has had a great hold on thought. Adequate appreciation for the asymmetrical view that takes “time’s arrow” seriously began with Charles Peirce. His sentence, “the indeterminate future become the determinate past,” sums up this aspect. The sentence could equally well have been written by Bergson or Whitehead. When I showed Whitehead the passage, he asked me to bear witness that this was the first time (it was, I think, in 1927) that he had seen it, but it also expressed his own view. This passage, implies a dependence of later events upon earlier but not vice versa. Cumulative creation means that no definiteness is lost, but there are gains in definiteness with each new event. Becoming perpetually resynthesizes its previous productions, and this emergent synthesizing is what production ultimately is.
Whereas Theravāda Buddhism had seemed to say that nothing abides, since every gain becomes a subsequent loss, and Mahāyāna Buddhism seemed to say that there is neither gain nor loss but an eternal nothing which is somehow everything; process philosophy, in the Peirce-Bergson-Whitehead-Hartshorne version, says that there is real gain but no loss at all. There are, to be sure, “lost opportunities,” and these can be genuinely lost, but loss here only means, “not actualized possibilities.” Once a possible event has become actual, it is an imperishable item in reality.
The preservation of actualized possibilities is partially exhibited in ordinary memory and perception. Looking into the starry heavens at night, we can see where various stars were years in the past. To perceive is to look into the past, not the present, state of things. Such past states are still real; otherwise, how could they be items in our awareness? Remembering our own past feelings, we still to some extent possess them. The possession is a severely qualified one for much is no longer accessible to our consciousness. Here is one reason why most process philosophers have been theists, because they can form an idea of deity as the unqualified memory-and-perception of all past happenings. In this way, all actualized values are “objectively immortal” in “the consequent nature of God,” i.e. in God as aware of what goes on in the world.
In this view we have something that is lacking both in Buddhism and in classical Western theology. Buddhism never very clearly accepted the asymmetrical view of cumulative becoming and tended, even in the Mahāyāna, to lack a clear conception of deity; while Western classical theism, by treating God as timeless or immutable, implied that for God, the totality of events is embraced once and for all in God’s omniscience. For process philosophy there can be no such thing as “the totality of events,” for each moment there are additional events. There is always a de facto totality, but no sooner is it referred to than it is already out of date and there is a richer totality, even for God.
Does this view imply God’s knowledge is defective, that he is ignorant of part of the truth? Not at all. As the Socinian theologians (neglected in this respect by the rest of the world for over three centuries now) had argued, it is not ignorance to know only those truths that really obtain. And no truth obtains until the thing that it is true of exists. What you or I tomorrow decide to do is not a definite reality until the decision is “made.” It is not a possible item in eternal knowledge, for events do not exist eternally.
There can be truths about the future, but only so far as there are causal necessities or probabilities for the future, given what has already happened. And so far as becoming is creative, a process of emergent synthesis, the future in its concreteness is only possible (probability is a special form of possibility) rather than necessary. This is the truth, and the truth is what God knows. The Socinians had already, in the 17th Century, made all this clear enough—with only one limitation: they did not generalize creativity so that it applied to every creature as such, but (so far as I know) limited it to God and humankind. Otherwise they were process philosophers in principle by having an asymmetrical View of becoming and by conceiving God as acquiring novel content from the novelities in the world. It was Lequier, aware to some extent of the Socinians, who spelled out the implication: we create not only something of our own being, but also something of God’s being. Our decisions, he said, “make a spot in the Absolute.” (Personally, I deplore using the term absolute as synonym for divine, since the doctrine Lequier and I accept implies a genuinely relative aspect of deity as well as the absolute aspect. But Lequier is essentially aware of the point and is being deliberately paradoxical.)
It does seem to me that Western metaphysics, now at last, is in a position to find important ground with Buddhism, the most international of Far Eastern religions, and from a global perspective, we can do better than either East or West was able to do in previous centuries. More than any other belief, it seems, the belief in Supreme creativity, inspiring, guiding and everlastingly cherishing lesser forms of creativity, can do more to explain reality and give us ideals.
It is perhaps necessary to add that the universalizing of creativity radically alters the classical “problem of evil” by implying that the concept of omnipotence which generates the problem is a pseudoconception. Omnipotence does not mean a greater degree of power than God has, it is only a self-contradiction. On the one hand, it takes God as supremely powerful; on the other hand, it implies that only God has any power at all, if power means decision-making capacity. To be supremely powerful in a world of lesser powers is one idea, and it makes a certain sense; to be the only power in a vacuum of power is quite another idea, and it does not make sense. The supremely creative being, in this sense the Creator, cannot be the only creative being. The world is not simply and unilaterally “made” by God: in details it is made by the nondivine lesser creators. In ordinary language we speak of making decisions, and these decisions have consequences by which we literally make some aspects of the world.
First of all, we make ourselves as parts of the world. Lequier said it for all time: “Thou hast created me creator of myself.” Whitehead’s “self-created creature” is a (probably unconscious) repetition of Lequier, except that Whitehead is speaking of any and every creature, not just human persons. This is an important generalization, but Lequier furnished the idea to be generalized. It was also in Philo Judaeus, but he did not use the expression “self-created,” nor clearly admit that our creating reacts on God, alters his concrete reality.
The West has finally produced a full generalization of the old East-West idea of free creation. This is a cultural event of potentially great importance. That it has happened is only beginning to be noticed. Tom, Dick and Harry have heard of the death of God, but not yet of the view that the God who died was never the living God that people were trying to worship, but only a blunder made by theologians who fell into an oversimplified view of the content of religious experience. Supreme Creativity, inspiring and guiding a world of lesser forms of creativity, is only now being clearly envisaged. What it can do for human life remains to be seen. As a human conception it is struggling to be born. It is too soon to declare its decease.
However this may be, it is time to take the “no soul, no substance” doctrine of Buddhism into account in our philosophical and religious reflections, together with the ideal of universal compassion and overcoming of self-centeredness. It is time also to see that if we had taken seriously the Western religious doctrine of loving the other as oneself, we might have discovered that both self-concern and other-concern are forms of one principle and that principle is neither simple substantial identity nor simple nonidentity. All regard for the future transcends the present actual self having the concern, but this actual self will in all cases become a contribution to the future of life and its value: it is through this “objective immortality” alone that self can have any permanent significance. If self-interest means the present self willing its own objective immortality, then self-interest is indeed an ultimate aspect of motivation. But regard for the future welfare of the abstract or enduring self, John Smith or Mary Miller, is secondary and derivative—merely one way, and in the long run not the final way, to optimally immortalize the present self. Self-interest in this ultimate sense has nothing to do with selfishness as used in ordinary language and in most philosophies of substance.
These matters are subtle, but lack of intellect is hardly the only reason many go astray in thinking about them. Our animal self-centeredness tends to bias us in favor of theories that erect self-regard into a rational necessity or criterion of rightness. Here, too, Buddhism is helpful. Its thinkers tried mightily and with brilliant theorizing to overcome this animal limitation. We should strive to learn from them.
We might begin with the importance of nonconceptual, nontheoretical apprehension of reality. In this respect, my account so far has been onesided. (I am helped to see this by the writings of Nolan Jacobson [one of the editors of the volume in which this paper appears].) I have written as though the merit of Buddhism was that it had the right theory of the self and of motivation, but that what we need is a still better theory. We need, however, something additional to any theory. We even need a certain freedom from theory (insofar as Nagarjuna’s criticisms of conceptual understanding are justified). Self-interest and substance theories are hampering, they imprison us, but life at its best is no mere application of theory, however good. Maeterlinck said, “it is necessary to live naively.” We have to respond to situations always more complex than we can understand, and we have to respond with more than understanding. We need to feel as well as think in good ways. We need to be artists in living, creative as well as kindly. Buddhist meditation has this as its purpose.
I have also been one-sided in stressing the long-run contributions we make in each present moment to the future of life, but I did not mean merely utilitarian contributions, whether growing food for others to eat or writing books for others to read. I meant also what we add to the world’s beauty by the harmony and intensity of our own present inner life. As a theist I hold, with Robert Browning, that no matter how hidden from others such beauty may be, if it occurs, it will have been taken into the divine life once for all.