Page:Vocation of Man (1848).djvu/82

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from, each other; and that consequently none of thine observations, which certainly cannot be denied, but which must be explained, can overturn any one of my just conclusions.

I. I shall never lose sight of this.

Spirit. Then do not, in the remarkable resemblance of this consciousness of bodies out of thyself, which yet thou canst not describe, to real perception, overlook the great difference nevertheless existing between them.

I. I was about to mention this difference. Each indeed appears as an immediate, not as an acquired or produced consciousness. But sensation is consciousness of my own state. Not so the consciousness of the object itself, which has absolutely no reference to me. I know that it is, and this is all; it does not concern me. If, in the first case, I seem like a soft strain of music which is modulated now in this way now in that, in the other, I appear like a mirror before which objects pass by without causing the slightest change in it.

This distinction however is in my favour. Just so much the more do I seem to have a distinct consciousness of an existence out of myself entirely independent of the sense of my own state of being;—of an existence out of myself, I say—for this differs altogether in kind from the consciousness of my own internal states.

Spirit. Thou observest well;—but do not rush too hastily to a conclusion. If that whereon we have already agreed remain true, and thou canst be immediately conscious of thyself only; if the consciousness now in question be not a consciousness of thine own passivity, and still less a consciousness of thine own activity;—may it not then be an unrecognised con-