Page:Popular Works of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1889) Vol 2.djvu/17

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We now enter upon a series of meditations which, nevertheless, at bottom contains only a single thought, constituting of itself one organic whole. If I could at once communicate to you this single thought in the same clearness with which it must necessarily be present to my own mind before I begin my undertaking, and with which it must guide me in every word which I have now to address to you, then from the first step of our progress, perfect light would overspread the whole path which we have to pursue together. But I am compelled gradually, and in your own sight, to build up this single thought out of its several parts, disengaging it at the same time from various modifying elements: this is the necessary condition of every communication of thought, and only by this its fundamental law does that which in itself is but one single thought become expanded and broken up into a series of thoughts and meditations.

Such being the case, and especially as I am not here to repeat what has been already known of old, but to put forth new views of things,—I must request of you at the outset not to be surprised if our subject does not at first manifest that clearness which, according to the laws of all communication of thought, it can acquire only through