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STATE OF THE MIND IN SLEEP AND DREAMS.
THE MIND NOT ALWAYS ACTIVE.
“Ş 11. I GRANT that the soul in a waking man is never withou thought, because it is the condition of being awake; but whether sleeping without dreaming be not an affection of the whole
man, mind as well as body, may be worth a waking man's consideration; it being hard to conceive that any should think and not be conscious of it. If the soul doth think in a sleeping man without being conscious of it, I ask, whether during such thinking it has any pleasure or pain, or be capable of happiness or misery? I am sure the man is not any more than the bed or earth he lies on; for to be happy or miserable without being conscious of it seems to me utterly inconsistent and impossible. Or if it be possible that the soul can, whilst the body is sleeping, have its thinking, enjoyments, and concerns, its pleasure or pain, apart, which the man is not conscious of, nor partakes in,-it is certain that Socrates asleep and Socrates awake is not the same person; but his soul when he sleeps, and Socrates the man, consisting of body and soul when he is waking are two persons; since waking Socrates has no knowledge of, or concernment for that happiness or misery of his soul which it enjoys alone by itself, while he sleeps, without perceiving anything of it; any more than he has for
DUALITY OF PERSON.
the happiness or misery of a man in the Indies, whom he knows not. For if we take wholly away all consciousness of our actions and sansations, especially of pleasure and pain, and the concernment that accompanies, it will be hard to know wherein to place personal identity.
“Ş 12. “The soul, during sound sleep, thinks, say these men. Whilst it thinks and perceives, it is capable certainly of those of delight or trouble, as well as any other perceptions. But it has all this apart; the sleeping man, it is plain, is conscious of nothing of all this. Let us snppose the soul of Castor, while he is sleeping, retired from his body, which is no impossible supposition for the men I have here to do with, who so liberally allow life without a thinking soul to all other animals. These men cannot then judge it impossible, or a contradiction, that the body should live without the soul; nor that the soul should subsist and think without the body. Let us then, as I say, suppose the soul of Castor separated, during his sleep, from his body, to think apart. Let us suppose, too, that it chooses for its scene of thinking the body of another man, e.g., Pollux, who is sleeping without a soul; for if Castor's soul can think whilst Castor is asleep, what Castor is never conscious of, it is no matter what place it chooses to think in. We have here, then, the bodies of two men with only one soul between them, which we will suppose to sleep and wake by turns, and the soul still thinking in the waking man, whereof the sleeping man is never conscious, has never the least perception. I ask, then, whether Castor and Pollux, thus, with only one soul between them, which thinks and perceives in one what the other is never conscious of, nor is concerned for, are not two as distinct persons as Castor and Hercules, or as Socrates and Pollux were ? And whether one of them might not be very happy, and the other very miserable ? Just by the same reason they make the soul and the man two persons, who make the soul think apart what the man is not conscious of. For, I suppose, nobody will make identity of person to consist in the soul's being united to the very same numerical particles of matter;
THOUGHT LEAVES TRACES.
for if that be necessary to identity, it will be impossible, in that constant flux of the particles of our bodies, that
any man should be the same person two days or two moments together.
"13. Thus, methinks, every drowsy nod shakes their doctrine who teach that the soul is always thinking. Those, at least, who do at any time sleep without dreaming, can never be convinced that their thoughts are sometimes busy for four hours without their knowing of it; and if they are taken in the very act, waked in the middle of that sleeping contemplation can give no manner of account of it.
"§ 14. It will perhaps be said, that the soul thinks in the profoundest sleep,, but the memory retains it not.' That the soul in a sleeping man should be at this moment busy a-thinking, and the next moment in a waking man not remember nor be able to recollect one jot of all those thoughts, is very hard to be conceived, and would need some better proof than bare assertion to make it be believed. For who can, without any more ado, but being barely told so, imagine that the greater part of men do, during all their lives, for several hours every day, think of something, which if they were asked, even in the middle of those thoughts, they could remember nothing at all of it? Most men, I think, pass a great part of their sleep without dreaming. I once knew a man that was bred a scholar, and had no bad memory, who told me he had never dreamed in his life till he had that fever he was then newly recovered of, which was about the five or six-and-twentieth year of his age. I suppose the world affords more such instances; at least every one's acquaintance will furnish him with examples enough of such as pass most of their nights without dreaming.
“ § 15. To think often, and never to retain it so much as one moment, is a very useless sort of thinking; and the soul, in such a state of thinking, does very little, if at all, excel that of a looking-glass, which constantly receives a variety of images or ideas, but retains none; they disappear and vanish, and there remain no footsteps of them; the looking-glass is
VANITY OF UNREMEMBERED THOUGHT.
never the better for such ideas, nor the soul for such thoughts. Perhaps it will be said, 'that in a waking man the materials of the body are employed, and made use of in thinking, and that the memory of the thoughts is retained by the impressions that are made on the brain, and the traces left there after such thinking ; but that in the thinking of the soul, which is not perceived in a sleeping man, there the sɔul thinks apart, and making no use of the organs of the body, leaves no impression on it, and consequently no memory of such thoughts.' Not to mention the absurdity of two distinct persons, which follows from this supposition, I answer further, that whatever ideas the mind can receive and contemplate without the help of the body, it is reasonable to conclude it can retain without the help of the body too ; or else the soul, or any separate spirit, will have but little advantage by thinking? If it has no memory
of its own thoughts, if it cannot lay them up for its owo use, and be able to recall them upon occasion,-if it cannot reflect upon what is passed and make use of its former experience, reasonings, and contemplations,—to what purpose does it think? They who make the soul a thinking thing, at this rate will not make it a much more noble being, than those do whom they condemn for allowing it to be nothing more than the subtlest part of matter. Characters drawn on dust, that the first breath of wind effaces, or impressions made on a heap of atoms, or animal spirits, are altogether as useful, and render the subject as noble, as the thoughts of a soul that perish in the thinking, that once out of sight are gone for ever, and leave no memory of themselves behind them. Nature never makes excellent things for mean or no uses; and it is hardly to be conceived that our infinitely wise Creator should make so admirable a faculty as the power of thinking—that faculty which comes the nearest to the excellency of his own incomprehensible being—as to be idly and uselessly employed, at least a fourth part of its time here, as to think constantly, without remembering any of those thoughts, without doing any good to itself or others, or being any way useful to any
THE SOUL AT FAULT.
other part of the creation. If we will examine it, we shall not find, I suppose, the motion of dull and senseless matter, anywhere in the universe, made so little use of, and so wholly
“ § 16. It is true, we have sometimes instances of perception whilst we are asleep, and retain the memory of those thoughts; but how extravagant and incoherent for the most part they are,-how little conformable to the perfection, and order of a rational being,-those who are acquainted with dreams need not be told. This I would willingly be satisfied in, whether, when it thinks thus apart, and, as it were, separate from the body, it acts less rationally than when conjointly with it, or no ? If its separate thoughts be less rational, then these men must say, that the soul owes the perfection of rational thinking to the body; if it does not, it is wonder that our dreams should be, for the most part, so frivolous and irrational, and that the soul should retain none of its more rational soliloquies and meditations.
"§ 17. Those who so confidently tell us that 'the soul always actually thinks, I would they would also tell us what those ideas are in the soul of a child, before or just at the anion with the body, before it hath received any by sensation. The dreams of sleeping men are, as I take it, all made up of the waking man's ideas, though for the most part oddly put together. It is strange if the soul has ideas of its own, that it derived not from sensation or reflection (as it must have, if it thought before it received any impression from the body) that it should never in its private thinking (so private, that the man himself perceives it not) retain any of them the very moment it wakes out of them, and then make the man glad with new discoveries. Who can find it reasonable that the soul should, in its retirement during sleep, have so many hours' thoughts, and yet never light on any of those ideas it borrowed not from sensation or reflection, or at least preserve the memory of none but such, which being occasioned from the body, must needs be less natural to a spirit ? It is strange