Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/154

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tions; yet the visual sensations are connected inextricably with that spirit, else the spirit would not withdraw when the sensations failed. We are not dealing with an articulate mind whose possessions are discriminated and distributed into a mastered world where everything has its department, its special relations, its limited importance; we are dealing with a mind all pulp, all confusion, keenly sensitive to passing influences and reacting on them massively and without reserve.

This mind is feeble, passionate, and ignorant. Its sense for present spirit is no miracle of intelligence or of analogical reasoning; on the contrary, it betrays a vagueness natural to rudimentary consciousness. Those visual sensations suddenly cut off cannot there be recognised for what they are. The consequences which their present disappearance may have for subsequent experience are in no wise foreseen or estimated, much less are any inexperienced feelings invented and attached to that retreating figure, otherwise a mere puppet. What happens is that by the loss of an absorbing stimulus the whole chaotic mind is thrown out of gear; the child cries, the lover faints, the mystic feels hell opening before him. All this is a present sensuous commotion, a derangement in an actual dream. Yet just at this lowest plunge of experience, in this drunkenness of the soul, does the overwhelming reality and externality of the other mind dawn upon us. Then we feel that we are surrounded not by a blue sky or an earth