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Section 12

12. Yet, is not God what He is? Can He, then, be master of being what He is or master to stand above Being? The mind utterly reluctant returns to its doubt: some further considerations, therefore, must be offered:

In us the individual, viewed as body, is far from reality; by soul which especially constitutes the being we participate in reality, are in some degree real. This is a compound state, a mingling of Reality and Difference, not, therefore reality in the strictest sense, not reality pure. Thus far we are not masters of our being; in some sense the reality in us is one thing and we another. We are not masters of our being; the real in us is the master, since that is the principle establishing our characteristic difference; yet we are again in some sense that which is sovereign in us and so even on this level might in spite of all be described as self-disposing.

But in That which is wholly what it is- self-existing reality, without distinction between the total thing and its essence- the being is a unit and is sovereign over itself; neither the being nor the essence is to be referred to any extern. Besides, the very question as to self. disposal falls in the case of what is First in reality; if it can be raised at all, we must declare that there can be no subjection whatever in That to which reality owes its freedom, That in whose nature the conferring of freedom must clearly be vested, preeminently to be known as the liberator.

Still, is not this Principle subject to its essential Being? On the contrary, it is the source of freedom to Being.

Even if there be Act in the Supreme- an Act with which it is to be identified- this is not enough to set up a duality within it and prevent it being entirely master of that self from which the Act springs; for the Act is not distinct from that self. If we utterly deny Act in it- holding that Act begins with others moving about it- we are all the less able to allow either self-mastery or subjection in it: even self-mastery is absent here, not that anything else is master over it but that self-mastery begins with Being while the Supreme is to be set in a higher order.

But what can there be higher than that which is its own master?

Where we speak of self-mastery there is a certain duality, Act against essence; from the exercise of the Act arises the conception of the mastering principle- though one identical with the essence- hence arises the separate idea of mastery, and the being concerned is said to possess self-mastery. Where there is no such duality joining to unity but solely a unity pure- either because the Act is the whole being or because there is no Act at all- then we cannot strictly say that the being has this mastery of self.

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