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XXIII
WHICH OF THE TWO SHALL WE KNOW

WHAT will become of us amid all this obscurity? Shall we leave the finite wherein we dwell to be swallowed up in this or the other infinite? In other words, shall we end by mingling with the infinite which our reason conceives, or shall we remain eternally in that which our eyes behold, that is to say, in numberless changing and ephemeral worlds? Shall we never leave those worlds which seem doomed to die and to be reborn eternally, to enter at last into that which, since all eternity, can neither have been born nor have died and which exists without either future or past? Shall we one day escape, with all that surrounds us, from the unhappy experiments, to find our way at last into peace, wisdom, the changeless and boundless consciousness, or into the hopeless unconsciousness? Shall we have the fate which our senses foretell, or that which our intelligence demands? Or are both senses and intelligence illusions, puny implements, vain weapons of a brief hour that were never intended to probe or contend with the universe? If there really be a contradiction, is it wise to accept it and to deem impossible that which we do not understand, seeing that we understand almost nothing? Is truth not at an immeasurable distance from those inconsistencies which appear to us enormous and irreducible and which, doubtless, are of no more importance than the rain that falls upon the sea?


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