Hence, we, who follow in the footsteps of our sages, are not permitted to use the human science, except with knowledge that has been proven by actual experiences, and of whose validity we have no doubt. Therefore, we cannot accept any religious principle from the above three, and all the more so concerning the concepts of body and soul, which are the fundamental concepts and the subject of religion as a whole. We can only receive concepts of life-sciences taken from experiments that no man can doubt.
Clearly, such a proof cannot be found in any spiritual matter, but only in physical matters, set up for perception by the senses. Hence, we are permitted to use the third method, which engages in matters of the body, but only to a degree, in all those deductions that have been proven by experiments, and which no one doubts. The rest of the concepts, which combine the reason of their method and other methods, are forbidden for us. One who uses them breaches, “Turn you not unto the idols.”
Yet, this third method is foreign and loathsome to the human spirit. There is hardly any truly educated person who is able to accept it. This is so because according to them, man’s shape has been erased and vanished. Man has been made into a machine that walks and works by other forces. According to them, man has no free choice whatsoever, but is rather pushed by nature’s forces, and all our actions are compulsory. Hence, man has no reward or punishment, since there is no judgment, punishment, or reward that applies to one who has no freedom of will.
Such a thing is utterly unthinkable, and not only for religious, who believe in reward and punishment, since believing in His Providence, that all of nature’s forces are guided by Him, assures them that everything has a good and desirable cause. Yet, this method is even stranger in the eyes of non-religious, who believe that everyone is given to the hands of a blind, mindless, and aimless nature. These intelligent ones are like play-toys in its hands, led astray, and who knows where? Hence, this method has become despised and unaccepted in the world.
But you should know that all the methods of those who perceive duality came only to correct this above-mentioned wrong. For this reason, they have decided that the body, which is but a machine, according to the third method, is not at all the real man. Man’s real essence is something altogether different—invisible and imperceptible. It is a spiritual entity, clothed and hidden within the body. This is man’s “self,” the “I.” The body and everything within it are considered possessions of that eternal and spiritual I, as they have written.
Yet, by their own admission, this method is crippled, since they cannot explain how a spiritual entity, being the soul or the self, can move the body or decide anything concerning it. This is because following the philosophical precision itself, the spiritual has no contact whatsoever with the physical. It has absolutely no impact on it, as they have written themselves.