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through their feelings, and look through and through their eyes, into the deepest depth of their being, without needing the knowledge of a single circumstance in their lives to guide me through the labyrinth of their lot. It was clear to me in that moment that what these two beings possessed in common was that which must eternally divide them from each othera thought irreconcilable to union. I can find no other expression for what I mean; for what I mean is only vaguely expressed to my own apprehension.
But I was powerfully affected by what I saw and what I felt in that moment, and I am aware that it has impressed a special direction upon all my subsequent turn of thought and course of study.
From that moment all my studies were to me only in the sense of so many levers wherewith I was in hopes to force from its sockets the shut door behind which are the mysterious chambers of the mind. It appeared to me that we doctors ought to bring all our endeavors to culminate on that point of being wherein the two-fold nature of man both falls together and falls asunder. It is not the body only, nor the mind only, which we have to consider as a thing by itself. Vainly we satiate fever with quinine if we can not simultaneously provide the needful opiate for a worried brain; and vainly shall we administer morals to a mind diseased if we can not give support and ener gy to the will by healing ministrations to the body. Hence the necessity of investigating the conditions of alliance between the different dynamics of life. Alterius sic altera poscit opem. Extraordinary!
With this interjection we are apt to dismiss from our minds those subjects to which we grudge even the most ordinary attention.
"Very remarkable," say we, thereby meaning that which 'twere waste of time either to mark or remark.
Yet it is by extraordinary revelations that ordinary facts become explicable. Mad-houses and their inmates (not always perhaps so pitiable as in our world of sober sadness we esteem them) received my frequent visits. I followed with attention even the ravings of fever, but was specially studious of my own
Such studies, I confess, must necessarily remain imperfect, because therein the mind is simultaneously the subject and the instrument. To this I trace the comparatively small result hitherto attained by metaphysics.
I made my servant wake me frequently during the night, that I might, as it were, seize in the act the furtive process of my dreams, compare the influence of different hours, different conditions of body, and record my impressions while they were yet vivid.
These observations were destined to form materials for a psychological treatise, the completion of which I reserved for maturer years.
Thus, I had little difficulty in anatomizing my recent hallucination in the Bois de Boulogne.
The events of more than two years ago, on board the steamer, had filled the background of my brain. with a series of indistinct images or ideas. My second unexpected encounter with the count had, by a sudden shock to the imaginative faculty, forced these im
ages into the foreground of Fancy, thus approaching them nearer to reality. Realities themselves had simultaneously, in the tumult of the elements, assumed a fantastic character, thus approaching nearer to the action of the imagination.
The whole vision, with all its retinue of sights and sounds, had doubtless occupied but a few seconds in its passage over a brain already bewildered by the rush of blood, in which consciousness was at last extinguished. When I opened my note-book to record this new experience, I found that my last entry was as follows.
THEORY OF APPARITIONS.
"Die Geisterwelt ist nicht verschlossen ;
'Unlocked the world of spirits lies;
SPECTRAL apparitions? phantoms? ghosts? vis
Pooh! effects of imagination! nonsense!
Granted for us, who do not experience them; but for the ghost-seer, the visionary, what is proved by the fact that what he sees I do not see?
The verdict of the senses, negative to me, is affirmative to him; and if the thing imagined have no real existence, the imagination of it is not the less a reality. The proof of the apparition is that it appears.
What we call The Evidence of the Senses will, I think, if analyzed, be found to consist of two distinct activities-Sensation and Inference.
Sensation alone can not constitute the act of intelligent perception-such, at least, as for all practical purposes we regard it.
For instance, we do not see the solidity of any object; we infer it. We do not see the cause of any sound; we infer it. Nay, we unconsciously infer the images of all objects from the nature of the action ex
cited by the objects upon the nerves of sensation; for, though the images of objects are reflected upon the retina, they can not be reflected upon the brain; nor are they even reflected upon the retina in the position which is given to them by intelligent perception. Sight, therefore, is not an image, but a sensation. The image exists only in the thought produced by the sensation.
Hence intelligent perception depends upon accuracy of inference rather than acuteness of sensation, and accuracy of inference must depend upon experience. It is so strong a tendency in our nature to project consciousness, as it were, by referring all sensation to external objects, that, if the act of inference (which completes what, for want of a better term, I must be content to call intelligent perception) were not constantly subordinated to judgment and experience, we should be led to ignore, or, at any rate, to misapprehend that vast range of subjective sensations which constitutes so large a part of our consciousness.
There can be no doubt, however, that we are capable of seeing, and that very clearly, objects which have no immediate external counterpart, and hearing sounds, as well as tasting flavors, and smelling odors, which have no external cause. For instance, after looking at any object in a bright light, we shall continue, long after we have ceased to contemplate it, to see the same object depicted in various colors upon. a dark ground, or under the eyelid of a closed eye. And those cases are too common to be disputed in which sensation continues to be felt in limbs that have been amputated.