Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/87

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


to reach. Consciousness is the least ideal of things when reason is taken out of it. Reality would then need thought to give it all those human values of which, in its substance, it would have been wholly deprived; and the ideal would still be what lent music to throbs and significance to being.

The equivocation favoured by such language at once begins to appear. Is not thought with all its products a part of experience? Must not sense, if it be the only reality, be sentient sometimes of the ideal? What the site is to a city that is immediate experience to the universe of discourse. The latter is all held materially within the limits defined by the former; but if immediate experience be the seat of the moral world, the moral world is the only interesting possession of immediate experience. When a waste is built on, however, it is a violent paradox to call it still a waste; and an immediate experience that represents the rest of sentience, with all manner of ideal harmonies read into the whole in the act of representing it, is an immediate experience raised to its highest power: it is the Life of Reason. In vain, then, will a philosophy of intellectual abstention limit so Platonic a term as reality to the immediate aspect of existence, when it is the ideal aspect that endows existence with character and value, together with representative scope and a certain lien upon eternity.

More legitimate, therefore, would be the asser-