Page:Appearance and Reality (1916).djvu/274

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tence (Chapter xix.). I am aware of the miserable inaccuracy of the metaphor, and of the thoughtless objection which it may call up; but I will still put the matter so. The one Reality is what comes directly to my feeling through this window of a moment; and this, also and again, is the only Reality. But we must not turn the first “is” into “is nothing at all but,” and the second “is” into “is all of.” There is no objection against the disappearance of limited transparencies in an all-embracing clearness. We are not compelled merely, but we are justified, when we follow the irresistible lead of our content.

(b) We have seen, so far, that experience, if you take that as direct, does not testify to the sole reality of my self. Direct experience would be confined to a “this,” which is not even pre-eminently a “mine,” and still less is the same as what we mean by a “self.” And, in the second place, we perceived that reality extends beyond such experience. And here, once more, Solipsism may suppose that it finds its opportunity. It may urge that the reality, which goes beyond the moment, stops short at the self. The process of transcendence, it may admit, conducts us to a “me” which embraces all immediate experiences. But, Solipsism may argue, this process can not take us on further. By this road, it will object, there is no way to a plurality of selves, or to any reality beyond my private personality. We shall, however, find that this contention is both dogmatic and absurd. For, if you have a right to believe in a self beyond the present, you have the same right to maintain also the existence of other selves.

I will not enquire how, precisely, we come by the idea of other animates’ existence. Metaphysics has no direct interest in the origin of ideas, and its business is solely to examine their claim to be true.