His eagerness to understand the relationship of man to the universe led him to the Kabbala, where these mysteries seemed to be explained, and from these unsubstantial materials he constructed, so far as it can be understood, his visionary philosophy.
It was not long before the unsubstantial character of all these undertakings.
He expressed in an eager, disjointed, but condensed and laboured fashion, certain deep-lying convictions - that philosophy must come back from unsubstantial metaphysics to the solid facts of human nature and natural science, that the human body was no less important than the human spirit ("Der Mensch ist was er isst") and that Christianity was utterly out of harmony with the age.
Putting these views aside as unsubstantial, we will consider the relation of the Waldenses as they appear in actual history with the sects which preceded them.
The starting-point of the development was the common belief that the dead continued to exist in an unsubstantial mode of life, but cut off from fellowship with God and man; but faith left this far behind.
Are the things which surround me in what I call the environment, - the men, the animals, the plants, the ground, the stones, the water, the air, the moon, the sun, the stars and God - are they shadows, unsubstantial things, as formerly Platonism made all things to be except the supernatural world of forms, gods and souls?
But with the Indians this speculation leads to the complete abolition of all barriers between God and man, to a mystic pantheism, and to absorption in the universal Ego, in contrast with which the world becomes an unsubstantial phantasm and sinks into nothingness.