The motive of all the attacks on man’s rational faculty—from any quarter, in
any of the endless variations, under the verbal dust of all the murky
volumes—is a single, hidden premise: the desire to exempt consciousness from
the law of identity. The hallmark of a mystic is the savagely stubborn refusal
to accept the fact that consciousness, like any other existent, possesses
identity, that it is a faculty of a specific nature, functioning through
specific means. While the advance of civilization has been eliminating one area
of magic after another, the last stand of the believers in the miraculous
consists of their frantic attempts to regard identity as the disqualifying
element of consciousness.
The implicit, but unadmitted premise of the neo-mystics of modern philosophy,
is the notion that only an ineffable consciousness can acquire a valid
knowledge of reality, that “true” knowledge has to be causeless, i.e., acquired
without any means of cognition.