Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/196

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tated shocks. The cataclysms that occur seem to have only ideal grounds and only dramatic meaning. Though the dream may have its terrors and degenerate at moments into a nightmare, it has still infinite plasticity and buoyancy. What perceptions are retained merge in those haunting and friendly presences, they have an intelligible and congenial character because they appear as parts and effluences of an inner fiction, evolving according to the barbaric prosody of an almost infant mind.

This is the fairy-land of idealism where only the miraculous seems a matter of course and every hint of what is purely natural is disregarded, for the truly natural still seems artificial, dead, and remote. New and disconcerting facts, which intrude themselves inopportunely into the story, chill the currents of spontaneous imagination and are rejected as long as possible for being alien and perverse. Perceptions, on the contrary, which can be attached to the old presences as confirmations or corollaries, become at once parts of the warp and woof of what we call ourselves. They seem of the very substance of spirit, obeying a vital momentum and flowing from the inmost principle of being; and they are so much akin to human presumptions that they pass for manifestations of necessary truth. Thus the demonstrations of geometry being but the intent explication of a long-consolidated ideal concretion which we call space, are welcomed by the mind as in a sense familiar