Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/139

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a new setting, whereas things, unless something else has intervened to move them, reappear in their old places. Finally things are acted upon by other men, but thoughts are hidden from them by divine miracle.

Existence reveals reality when the flux discloses something permanent that dominates it. What is thus dominated, though it is the primary existence itself, is thereby degraded to appearance. Perceptions caused by external objects are, as we have just seen, long sustained in comparison with thoughts and fancies; but the objects are themselves in flux and a man’s relation to them may be even more variable; so that very often a memory or a sentiment will recur, almost unchanged in character, long after the perception that first aroused it has become impossible. The brain, though mobile, is subject to habit; its formations, while they lapse instantly, return again and again. These ideal objects may accordingly be in a way more real and enduring than things external. Hence no primitive mind puts all reality, or what is most real in reality, in an abstract material universe. It finds, rather, ideal points of reference by which material mutation itself seems to be controlled. An ideal world is recognised from the beginning and placed, not in the immediate foreground, nearer than material things, but much farther off. It has greater substantiality and independence than material objects are credited with. It is divine.