Interpretation of the Main Part of Schelling's Treatise

clearly, God, insofar as he is not He himself, that is, God, insofar as he is the ground of himself, God as the truly originating God who is still completely in his ground, the God as he has not yet emerged from himself to himself. This not-yet of the ground does not disappear after God has become the existing one, and it is not cast off as a mere no-longer. Rather, since it is an eternal becoming, the not-yet remains. There remains in God the eternal past of himself in his ground. The "afterwards" and "soon" are to be understood here in an eternal sense. The whole boldness of Schelling's thinking comes into play here. But it is not the vacuous play of thoughts of a manic hermit, it is only the continuation of an attitude of thinking which begins with Meister Eckhart and is uniquely developed in Jacob Boehme. But when this historical context is cited, one is immediately ready again with jargon, one speaks of "mysticism" and "theosophy." Certainly, one can call it that, but nothing is said by that with regard to the spiritual occurrence and the true creation of thought, no more than when we quite correctly ascertain about a Greek statue of a god that is a piece of marble—and everything else is what a few people have imagined about it and fabricated as mysteries.

Schelling is no "mystic" in the sense of the word meant in this case, this is, a muddlehead who likes to reel in the obscure and finds his pleasure in veils.

Schelling is also quite clear in the presentation of the originating God in his eternal past about how he must proceed here and can only proceed. We must, says Schelling, bring this being, the ground in God, "humanly closer to us."

But with this, Schelling only expresses what we have probably already had on the tip of our tongue for a long time with regard to the procedure of thought accomplished here: this whole project of divine Being and Being in general is accomplished by man. God is only the elevated form of man. The morphe of the anthropos is transformed, and what is transformed is asserted to be something else. In scholarly terms, this procedure is called "anthropomorphism." One doesn't need much acumen to find such "anthropomorphism" constantly in Schelling's main treatise. And where there is something like this, and so concrete, the judgment is already a finished one. Such a humanization of the God and of things in general, one says, is after all the opposite of true, "objective" cognition and thus valueless. It leads strict and exact thinking astray in a way perhaps full of feeling, but for that reason all the more dangerous, and it must be rejected. These complaints against "anthropomorphism" look very "critical" and lay claim to the superiority and decisiveness of a purely objective and well-informed judgment. But once a kind of thought is suspected of an uncritical and unobjective anthropomorphism, it is often difficult to take it seriously in its full weight. It cannot surprise us that such a suspicion was immediately placed upon Schelling's treatise too.

Nevertheless, we shall now try first of all at least to get acquainted with the rest of Schelling's reflection. For only then do we have sufficient knowledge of what the main reservation of anthropomorphism is directed against. We shall for the time

Martin Heidegger (GA 42) Schelling's Treatise on the Essence of Human Freedom