INTELLIGENCE AND SENSATION.
The Office of the Senses.
Spiritual Intelligence is the active force of the Universe. It is projected in Thoughtactivity, reflected in the atomic action of Ether, inverted in the molecular dispersion of Gases, and fully materialized in crude matter recognizable through senseevidence.
The vital activity of every individual is a living, spiritual essence of real Being - an element of pure intelligence, capable of thinking and knowing. Through certain modes of reflected action, the physical proceeds from, and is governed by, spiritual activities; therefore, knowledge of the spiritual side of human nature gives a comprehensive understanding of the physical also, while knowledge based entirely upon physical evidence is confined to that plane alone for action, and gives information only by selflimited senseevidence.
The action of the physical senses is gauged entirely for the material plane of life and they report only the physical phenomena which they are fitted to measure, leaving the investigator destitute of understanding of that real part of all nature which is above and beyond their realm, and out of reach of their powers.
The evidence of the physical senses is relative only, and cannot be relied upon for accurate report on any subject; their natural office is to report the presence of the manifold forms of physical phenomena which successively result from the varieties of motion prevalent among universal activities. Beyond this they are inoperative.
No one can think solely through exercise of any of the five senses. With these instruments evidence of the presence of physical things can be gained in varying degrees of intensity, but Ideas pass unrecognized. Power to think intelligently on a given subject depends upon recognition of the principles involved in the Ideas upon which that subject is founded. Even the power to "sense "the presence of an object depends upon some degree of such recognition; because sensation depends upon Consciousness and the activities of consciousness are expressed through thought. Without comprehension of Prin ciples there can be no definite thoughtaction, and without thought there is no sensation. Without sensation the object would pass unrecognized.
Sensation means recognition of the presence of material objects; its common name is Feeling. On the physical plane the sense of Feeling has five outward modes of action, namely: Hearing - which is feeling the vibrations of the atmosphere; Seeing - which is feeling the ethereal vibrations of light; Smelling and Tasting - which are modes of feeling the molecular vibrations spoken of as flavors and odors; and Touching, commonly recognized as Feeling, which is a consciousness of resistance of objects or elements.
While exercising sense faculties, physical phenomena are recognized. In right process of thought it is known that these appear before us only because of the existence of the eternal Principles of Reality, which subsist back of all phenomena. This knowledge enables man to reason calmly back from physical phenomena to the underlying metaphysical facts, where he gains a substantial foothold in the understanding of principles which are above sensations. Without these principles, always subsisting in the spiritual realm, there could not possibly be any sensation of any kind, degree or quality. It is because of the absolute and perpetual necessity for the presence of these Subsisting Principles, that a knowledge of them becomes essential to progress.
Principles underlie all Objective Things; - "Qualities are the only real parts of things."If an object lose its qualities, only a lifeless shell remains, which must speedily disintegrate; because each quality is a direct expression of the Principle on which that thing was constructed. Mathematical character is the form of its existence, while the active principle of the object is the spirit of its being. Without quality, principle and character, an object can have neither being nor existence and must instantly cease to appear.
No mathematical principle is involved in any act of direct sensation; therefore, no mathematical conclusion can be arrived at through the senses alone.
"The physical senses were never intended to be used as Philosophical instruments. Their office is solely to report the presence of objective things."Subjective Principles and Ideas are above their plane of action and cannot be defined by them. Accurate description of qualifications and characteristics, as well as correct measurement of the objects themselves, involves a just exercise of the higher faculty, Reason, which, because it is a faculty of the spiritual Intelligence, can appreciate qualities as well as sizes, thus accurately determining the facts of existence embodied in any object. This, the external senses cannot do; therefore, evidence given by them invariably falls short of necessary data for accurate information, and should not be trusted as means to a final conclusion.
The faculty of vision, if accurately tested, will illustrate this shortcoming. The remark is frequently heard, "What I see I can believe "; and the average person is quite indignant if doubt of his ability to see things as they are is expressed; yet it is an indisputable fact that we never see anything as it really is in the material universe; neither do any two persons see the same thing exactly alike. You do not know how another person sees an object; you only know how it appears to you - that is, you know your interpretation of your own Vision, but not any other person's interpretation of his Vision. Color, form, dimension, distance, solidity - all vary in some degree with every observer; sometimes radical differences occur.
A cambric needle appears to be a tiny bit of very smooth and highly polished steel, with an absolute point of no dimensions. The sense of feeling corroborates the evidence of sight, because the needle feels absolutely smooth, and the sharpness of a point is plainly felt and seems to be present; but put the needle under a microscope and the illusion vanishes. The seeming point is revealed as a clumsy, blunt or ragged end, with no suggestion of sharpness; the seemingly bright, polished surface is seen to be rough and lustreless. There is nothing present to even suggest what the eye seemed to see before the microscope disclosed the truth.
In which instance is vision to be regarded as correct? Is the piece of steel as vision reports it, or as the microscope shows it to be? Is it the office of the microscope to change right impressions of things to those which are wrong? Is it not, rather, to correct the coarseness of natural vision and to bring objects before the understanding in a degree nearer to their true state? Do the lenses of the microscope enlarge the object? Do they not, rather, multiply the power of vision to the extent that more of the real nature of the object is recognized? The fact is, the microscope enables the observer to come in closer contact with the true qualities of the object and to reason better concerning what is seen, and thus the inference drawn from senseevidence becomes more accurate.
In the needle, the qualities of sharpness, smoothness and lustre are not present as realities of the molecular construction of the article, but as illusions of the sense of sight. This illusion exists because of inability to see the particles composing the object, the eye as an instrument being proportionately so coarse that it cannot come in effective contact with them. Vision acute enough to enable one to see the atoms comprising the steel would render the observer powerless, so far as vision is concerned, to recognize the needle itself, or to know its usefulness.
Already the Microscope has opened the door to an entirely new world, of the most marvelous construction, too fine to be apprehended through external sense; but for the discovery of this mathematical instrument it would still remain unrecognized. If the power of lenses be increased, there will be discovered yet other and more marvelous worlds of lifeactivities on every hand, in the midst of what now seems to be the entire creation.
There may be brought forward by any thinker various illustrations similar in character in regard to the power and scope of the senses, which prove them instruments incapable of estimating measurements accurately.
When qualities are observed through the senses, they are interpreted relative to other qualities, similar in character. Objects are either large or small, 6 long or short, wide or narrow, hard or soft, heavy or light; in temperature, hot or cold; in color, light or dark; in sensation, acute or dull: and qualities are either good or bad, even right or wrong, according to comparison with other objects or qualities. Neither these nor any real characteristics of objects can be definitely determined by sensepower.
The evidence of the senses is susceptible of correction by man himself; therefore, sensepower is not man's highest power, because the most powerful cannot be overpowered - the highest cannot be corrected.
Most people suppose they believe the evidence of their senses, yet every intelligent thinker is constantly reasoning beyond their pale. The intelligent mechanic never trusts senseevidence exclusively, but has an instrument by which to determine every measurement. Frequently, as in the Case of some finely constructed astronomical instruments, a second instrument is required to register and interpret the information given through the first, for which purpose the senses are known to be inadequate.
In some problems mathematical calculation and processes of reasoning are necessary in order to arrive at a correct interpretation of measurements. In fact, no true mathematician ever trusts his senses further than to read the coarsest of characters and to furnish crude material with which to begin investigation; any degree of confidence beyond this leads to erroneous conclusions and corresponding disaster.
Sensation reports the presence of a phenomenon. What it really is; what are its dimensions, its character, its qualities; what principles are involved in its formation, what is its nature, object and scope all these are entirely beyond the power of sensation to determine, and no accurate information whatever in regard to them can be gained by direct action of the senses. Every point of description is a matter of inference drawn by the observer; and wrong inference is the result of faulty reasoning with regard to the appearance. Through accurate reasoning wrong evidence may be corrected and the truth learned concerning that object.
This is a vital point in considering the question of the nature and cause of sickness, because the reported evidence of the sense of feeling is involved in every case. This sense is no more reliable than any of the others; its evidence requires the equalizing influence of reason, in order that the real condition underlying the feeling, may be correctly interpreted.
Feeling gives evidence only with regard to external molecular vibrations. The real character of the sickness depends upon inner activities beyond the scope of this sense; therefore, to trust its evidence absolutely would be, in every instance, to draw erroneous conclusions which in treatment might lead to disastrous results.
Through the physical senses alone no one can comprehend a mathematical principle or solve even the simplest problem; senses deal with externals only, while some faculty within the individual goes deeper, higher, and perceives the principles underneath the grouping of objects.
Comprehensive understanding of Principle is a faculty which every sane human being possesses; animals lack this, though they have all the physical sensefaculties, sometimes even to a greater degree of acuteness than man. In the dog or in the weasel the sense of smell is more acute than in man. The eagle has power to gaze on the midday sun. Many varieties of insects and animals see both by night and by day; thus what we call darkness becomes nonexistent for them.
Animals, also, have power to think - to reason about things and objects on the plane of their own life, to recognize facts of experience and results of action, with, in some instances, marked exercise of memory; yet animals have not developed the faculty of intelligent comprehension of Principle. This is a spiritual faculty of divine origin belonging to the higher and purer side of human nature, above the animal intelligence and beyond the senseplane, but capable of being understood and intelligently employed for a purpose. Knowledge acquired through conscious exercise of this natural faculty, conveys power for action which is unattainable by the development of the physical, the sensuous, or even the intellectual, alone. The innate good of power thus generated can be recognized only through direct comprehension of principles.
Spiritual faculties can he exercised only through pure motive and for a good purpose; because they are absolutely pure in nature, and purity can never defile. The intellect, when perverted by selfdesire on the senseplane, may start a wrong action, and state a false premise; but spiritual understanding can neither make the statement nor believe it to be true. Spiritual comprehension either takes no part in the transaction, as when an error is innocently committed, or, through the inspired voice of conscience, protests against the outrage when a wrong act is decided upon for a willful purpose. The native purity of spiritual Principle remains unchanged, however, and eventually compels the righting of each wrongful act.
The natural retribution of outraged Principle begins to take effect within the mind of him who fails to follow the Principles comprehended, as soon as the act is committed; the corresponding result is only a matter of time unless the right action is speedily reestablished. The slowness of the change or process may blind one's eyes for a while, but Principle cannot be permanently transgressed: it is the eternal activity of the universe and eventually must be complied with by every one. Failure to comply with Principle, for any reason whatever, either intentional or accidental, is existence, for the time of transgression, outside the perpetual harmony of its native purity. On the earthplane, sorrow, sickness and untimely death follow continuance of erroneous action, to all classes alike. Neither saint nor sinner can claim favor of the law.
Opinion is equally inoperative here, as in the working of any mathematical problem - nothing short of complete recognition of the Principle involved, and absolute compliance with it, can solve any problem. But with this degree of compliance the right solution is inevitable.
The facts of Absolute Truth are unconditioned.