Chapter 3 Section 1 & 2

Submitted by Admin on Sun, 04/29/2007 - 1:00pm.

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3-1) MATERIALISM (Cancer)
[7] In sequence of time, observation does in fact come before thinking. For even thinking we must get to know first through observation. It was essentially a description of an observation when, at the beginning of this chapter, we gave an account of how thinking lights up in the presence of an event and goes beyond what is merely presented. Everything that enters the circle of our experience, we first become aware of through observation. The content of sensation, perception and contemplation, all feelings, acts of will, dreams and fancies, mental pictures, concepts and ideas, all illusions and hallucinations, are given to us through observation.

[8] But thinking as an object of observation differs essentially from all other objects. The observation of a table, or a tree, occurs in me as soon as these objects appear upon the horizon of my experience. Yet I do not, at the same time, observe my thinking about these things. I observe the table, and I carry out the thinking about the table, but I do not at the same moment observe this. I must first take up a standpoint outside my own activity if, in addition to observing the table, I want also to observe my thinking about the table. Whereas observation of things and events, and thinking about them, are everyday occurrences filling up the continuous current of my life, observation of the thinking itself is a kind of exceptional state. This fact must be properly taken into account when we come to determine the relationship of thinking to all other contents of observation. We must be quite clear about the fact that, in observing thinking, we are applying to it a procedure which constitutes the normal course of events for the study of the whole of the rest of the world-content, but which in this normal course of events is not applied to thinking itself.

Topic: Thinking Kindled By Object
  • Everything that enters the circle of our experience, we first become aware of through observation. Even thinking we must get to know first through observation.
  • I observe the table, and I carry out the thinking about the table.
  • Thinking as an object of observation differs essentially from all other objects.
  • The observation of thinking is a kind of exceptional state.
Match-up Quiz

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3-2) SPIRITISM (Capricorn)
[9] Someone might object that what I have said about thinking applies equally to feeling and to all other spiritual activities. Thus for instance, when I have a feeling of pleasure, the feeling is also kindled by the object, and it is this object that I observe, but not the feeling of pleasure. This objection, however, is based on an error. Pleasure does not stand at all in the same relation to its object as the concept formed by thinking. I am conscious, in the most positive way, that the concept of a thing is formed through my activity; whereas pleasure is produced in me by an object in the same way as, for instance, a change is caused in an object by a stone which falls on it. For observation, a pleasure is given in exactly the same way as the event which causes it. The same is not true of the concept. I can ask why a particular event arouses in me a feeling of pleasure, but I certainly cannot ask why an event produces in me a particular set of concepts. The question would be simply meaningless. In reflecting upon an event, I am in no way concerned with an effect upon myself. I can learn nothing about myself through knowing the concepts which correspond to the observed change in a pane of glass by a stone thrown against it. But I do very definitely learn something about my personality when I know the feeling which a certain event arouses in me. When I say of an observed object, "This is a rose," I say absolutely nothing about myself; but when I say of the same thing that "it gives me a feeling of pleasure," I characterize not only the rose, but also myself in my relation to the rose.

Topic: Thinking Is Conscious Activity
  • I am conscious that the concept of a thing is formed by my activity; while a feeling of pleasure is produced in me by an object in the same way as, for example, a change is caused in an object by a stone which falls on it.
  • I can ask why a particular event arouses in me a feeling of pleasure, but I certainly cannot ask why an event produces in me a particular set of concepts. The question would make no sense.
  • I learn nothing about myself by knowing the concepts which correspond to the observed change in a pane of glass by a stone thrown against it. But I do learn something about my personality when I know the feeling which a certain event arouses in me.
Match-up Quiz

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3-1.mp3865.59 KB
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