The Innate Nature of God
In the innate nature of God, there is the longing that the eternal One tries to bear oneself. The longing that does not yet know Unity is called the principle of darkness or selfish will. The understanding that seeks for Unity is the principle of light or universal will. In God, although the division of energy may occur in order to develop himself, the evil exists only in possibility. Within God, the universal wills subordinate the longing. There is no possibility of conflict between the good and the evil. However, in man, there is a conflict between the power that tries to divide life into the darkness and the power that tries to integrate it to light. Spirit is the ligament that connects both principles. The evil exists when the principle of darkness establishes independence of selfish will from the principle of light. It is the spirit of love that tries to subordinate the principle of darkness under the principle of light.
The Action before the Present Life
Just as Kant limited metaphysics within the realm of moral will, so, in the case of Schelling, the field of radical action is his metaphysical ground. The action before present life, as it is, becomes the archetype of action in man. "The radical action that determines human life, taking place within time, does not itself belong to time but belongs to eternity." Such an action is the autonomous movement of life in our language. It is the eternal model of life represented by the division and unity of light. In the phase of division, humans must undertake characteristics of the self-conscious that relates to evil, as Shelling acknowledges. However it is also possible for humans to choose to obey the principle of light in their autonomous response. Therefore the one who realizes this principle of action as the concept of life can liberate oneself. In other words, the one who is persuaded to follow the principle of light by the understanding of both destruction and integration of life can be liberated.
Light and Darkness
In Schelling's distinction between the principle of light and the principle of darkness, if we inquire into the principle of light further, assuming its division and unity are spectrum and light, there, we can see more detailed ontological structure: the transcendence of the true, the good, and the beautiful. If we place division to the surface conscious and the unity to the depth conscious mediating our body, we can also see the back and forth movement between darkness and light. In this way, if we make a further but basic cleavage to the theory of potency of Schelling, based on light, the theory of potency can relates to the theory of Paradigm of Christ.
For Schelling, a myth is a symbolism. The symbol is the identity between the universal and the particular. It is the state of unification conquering the conflict between the universal and the particular, Schelling thinks such a state is actualized in Greek myth. Schelling regards Gods taking concrete figures in Greek myth as the realistic principle.
The symbol is the synthesis between schema (form) and allegory (matter). In schema, the universal indicates the particular, while in allegory the particular indicates the universal. They are supposed to be united in symbol. However, according to Schelling, there is a distance between schema and allegory in Christianity. There, the universal and the particular are not united but separated. The infinite and the finite conflict with each other and does not sublate (unite).
Schelling regards Christianity as the one belonging to idealistic principle as opposed to the realistic principle as Greek myth. There, the schema and the allegory are separated one another without the unification of the universal and the particular through symbols. He did not regard the Gospel as the symbolic system as we do in the Paradigm of Christ. Those days, as they did not recognize the symbolic system behind the scripture but took the event literally. the Gospel is not yet the metaphor but the document of the revelation of the Son of God. The epistles were the dogmatic determination of the coming of the Son of God. Therefore, except church and worship, he could only find the unity of the infinite and the finite in mystical intuition as idealistic principle. Despite such an interpretation, astonishingly enough, Shelling foresaw the possibility of the emergence of the metaphorical system in Christianity as we quote later.
The art, myths, and literature in the modern world started since the closure of the unity of the universal and the particular: since the end of the world of ancient Gods. In the modern world, humans are separated from nature, lost their homeland and abandoned. Therefore, we begin to seek after the idealistic principle.
Trying to recover unity in symbol out of the separation by allegory and schema, Schelling expects the coming of the new mythology so as to reunite alienated man separated from nature to the original life. "As a universal poetic material, Christianity will re-emerge in a greater totality of truth in which it becomes a part." (V,443)
The point of Schelling's argument is that in Greek myth, the universal and the particular were united, however in the modern ages after Christianity, God and man are separated and the conflict between the universal and the particular are not resolved. We must restore it through establishing the new mythology.
Schelling calls the coming of new mythology as the age of providence, because, there, the universal and the particular are united in aware consciousness. It is the mythology through which we acquire the symbolized Idea, where we find the origin of life with the Idea.
Such a mythology is accomplished when we grasp the metaphorical system of the Gospel as the symbolic system uniting the universal and the particular. In reality, the Gospel has already manifested its Idea in the form of the structure of the story. In the Paradigm of Christ, the myth of symbolic system forms the inner world of human existence. To live with the myth responding its guidance is the way of the self as the universal being grounded in eternity.
Schelling tries to elucidate myth through mediating the theory of potency: a dialectical method that is relatively simple. In short, this is a metaphysical process in which the subject gradually pre-dominates the object. So, in each occasion, the unification of the realistic principle (-A) and the idealistic principle (+A) produces a higher synthesis of the spirit (±A). Although this may help to explain the process of life, it cannot explain the principle of the integration. By contrast, the Paradigm of Christ tries to determine life more concretely mediating the structure of life's impulse based on light.