Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/222

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that but for thought no motion would be an action, no change a progress; but thought is in no way instrumental or servile; it is an experience realised, not a force to be used. That same spontaneity in nature which has suggested a good must be trusted to fulfil it. If we look fairly at the actual resources of our minds we perceive that we are as little informed concerning the means and processes of action as concerning the reason why our motives move us. To execute the simplest intention we must rely on fate: our own acts are mysteries to us. Do I know how I open my eyes or how I walk down stairs? Is it the supervising wisdom of consciousness that guides me in these acts? Is it the mind that controls the bewildered body and points out the way to physical habits uncertain of their affinities? Or is it not much rather automatic inward machinery that executes the marvellous work, while the mind catches here and there some glimpse of the operation, now with delight and adhesion, now with impotent rebellion? When impulses work themselves out unimpeded we say we act; when they are thwarted we say we are acted upon; but in neither case do we in the least understand the natural history of what is occurring. The mind at best vaguely forecasts the result of action: a schematic verbal sense of the end to be accomplished possibly hovers in consciousness while the act is being performed;