Published online by Cambridge University Press: 26 February 2010
For orientation in the plan of the Crumbs
That the point of departure was taken in paganism, and why
The reader of the Crumbs' crumb of philosophy will recall that the piece was not didactic but experimental. It took its point of departure in paganism in order, experimentally, to arrive at an interpretation of existence which could truly be said to go further than paganism. Modern speculation seems almost to have pulled off the trick of going further than Christianity on the other side, or of coming so far in understanding Christianity as practically to return to paganism. That someone prefers paganism to Christianity is not at all perplexing, but to make paganism out to be the highest within Christianity is an injustice both to Christianity, which becomes something it is not, and to paganism, which becomes nothing at all, as indeed it was not. Speculation, which has completely understood Christianity, and at the same time declares itself to be the highest development within Christianity, has thus, remarkably enough, discovered that there is no beyond, that ‘beyond’, ‘hereafter’ and the like are the dialectical parochialism of a finite understanding. The beyond has become a joke, a claim so doubtful that nobody makes it, let alone honours it, so that one simply amuses oneself with the reflection that there was once a time when this idea transformed the whole of life.