Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/214

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

must be partners for life, relations repugnant to their respective natures and offices. Now the body is an instrument, the mind its function, the witness and reward of its operation. Mind is the body’s entelechy, a value which accrues to the body when it has reached a certain perfection, of which it would be a pity, so to speak, that it should remain unconscious; so that while the body feeds the mind the mind perfects the body, lifting it and all its natural relations and impulses into the moral world, into the sphere of interests and ideas.

No connection could be closer than this reciprocal involution, as nature and life reveal it; but the connection is natural, not dialectical. The union will be denaturalised and, so far as philosophy goes, actually destroyed, if we seek to carry it on into logical equivalence. If we isolate the terms mind and body and study the inward implications of each apart, we shall never discover the other. That matter cannot, by transposition of its particles, become what we call consciousness, is an admitted truth; that mind cannot become its own occasions or determine its own march, though it be a truth not recognised by all philosophers, is in itself no less obvious. Matter, dialectically studied, makes consciousness seem a superfluous and unaccountable addendum; mind, studied in the same way, makes nature an embarrassing idea, a figment which ought to be subservient to conscious aims and perfectly transparent, but which