Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/130

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matics or even, perhaps, before the vault of heaven; for the objectification of the whole mind, with its passions and motives, naturally precedes that abstraction by which the idea of a material world is drawn from the chaos of experience, an abstraction which culminates in such atomic and astronomical theories as science is now familiar with. The sense for life in things, be they small or great, is not derived from the abstract idea of their bodies but is an ancient concomitant to that idea, inseparable from it until it became abstract. Truth and materiality, mechanism and ideal interests, are collateral projections from one rolling experience, which shows up one aspect or the other as it develops various functions and dominates itself to various ends. When one ore is abstracted and purified, the residuum subsists in that primeval quarry in which it originally lay. The failure to find God among the stars, or even the attempt to find him there, does not indicate that human experience affords no avenue to the idea of God—for history proves the contrary—but indicates rather the atrophy in this particular man of the imaginative faculty by which his race had attained to that idea. Such an atrophy might indeed become general, and God would in that case disappear from human experience as music would disappear if universal deafness attacked the race. Such an event is made conceivable by the loss of allied imaginative habits, which is observable in historic times. Yet possible variations in human