Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/86

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symbolise further sensations, that thought is an expedient of finite minds, and that representation is a ghostly process which we crave to materialise into bodily possession. We may grow sick of inferring truth and long rather to become reality. Intelligence is after all no compulsory possession; and while some of us would gladly have more of it, others find that they already have too much. The tension of thought distresses them and to represent what they cannot and would not be is not a natural function of their spirit. To such minds experience that should merely corroborate ideas would prolong dissatisfaction. The ideas must be realised; they must pass into immediacy. If reality (a word employed generally in a eulogistic sense) is to mean this desired immediacy, no ideal of thought can be real. All intelligible objects and the whole universe of mental discourse would then be an unreal and conventional structure, impinging ultimately on sense from which it would derive its sole validity.

There would be no need of quarrelling with such a philosophy, were not its use of words rather misleading. Call experience in its existential and immediate aspect, if you will, the sole reality; that will not prevent reality from having an ideal dimension. The intellectual world will continue to give beauty, meaning, and scope to those bubbles of consciousness on which it is painted. Reality would not be, in that case, what thought aspires