Note 6, p. 86. The term impression, &c.] The same mode of illustration, through those two terms, is still continued—impression may be to an extent to destroy sensibility, and obliterate, of course, sensation, or it may be to that genial extent which raises, so to say, potentiality to reality, and renders the being conscious of external objects. So an individual, with knowledge yet potential, that is, possessed but not exercised, can, by reflecting upon it, without any change being wrought, render it a reality; for the possession of knowledge, like the endow-
ment of sensibility, implies the self-same two-fold condi-
tion. Thus, the state of reflection is to acquired knowledge what external impressions are to sensibility; for, in either case, the agencies, when genial, occasion the transition from potentiality to reality; and so eliminate practical knowledge or perfect consciousness.
Note 7, p. 87. The first change, however, of this kind, &c.] It is not easy to perceive how this nascent condition can be a change, unless the first germ of being may be so regarded; and, indeed, it may be supposed, from the first moment, to have already, in potentiality, the powers which are yet to be developed. It may be, too, that this mysterious entity, along with the faculties and powers of its own nature, may involve the idiosyncrasy of the parent, for good or for ill; which was indeed exemplified in the life and death of the philosophical Montaigne.
- T. II. chap. 37.