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If a sleeping
(. 12. “ The soul, during sound sleep, man thinks thinks,” say these men. Whilst it thinks without and perceives, it is capable certainly of knowing it, those of delight or trouble, as well as any the sleeping and waking
other perceptions; and it must necessarily man are two be conscious of its own perceptions. But persons.
it has all this apart; the sleeping man, it is plain, is conscious of nothing of all this. Let us suppose then the soul of Castor, while he is sleeping, retired from his body; which is no impossible supposition for the inen 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, or have perception, even perception of happiness or misery, 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, v. 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 Ilercules, or as Socrates and Plato were? And whether one of them wight 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 no-body will make identity of persons to consist in the soul's being united to the very saine numeil particles of matter; for if that be necessary to ity, it will be iinpossible, 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 Impossible to shakes their doctrine, who teach, that the convince
those that soul is always thinking. Those at least, sleep without who do at any time sleep without dreaming, dreaming, can never be convinced, that their thoughts that they are sometimes for four hours busy without
think. 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. S. 14. It will perhaps be said, " that the
That men soul thinks even in the soundest sleep, but dream withthe memory retains it not.” That the soul out rememin a sleeping man should be this moment bering it, in
vain urged. 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 greatest 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 these thoughts, they could remember nothing at all of? 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. 5. 15. To think often, and never to re
Upon this tain it so much as one moment, is a very
the thoughts useless sort of thinking : and the soul, in of a sleeping such a state of thinking, does very little, if man ought to at all, excel that of a looking-glass, which be most ra. constantly receives variety of images, or
tional, ideas, but retains none; they disappear and vanish, and G 3
there remain no footsteps of them; the looking-glass is 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 " thoughts is retained by the impressions that are made
on the brain, and the traces there left after such “ thinking; but that in the thinking of the soul, which “ is not perceived in a sleeping man, there the soul " thinks apart, and making no use of the organs of “ the body, leaves no impressions on it, and conse
quently no memory of such thoughts." Not to mention again the absurdity of two distinct persons, which follows from this supposition, I answer farther, 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 own dise, and be able to recall them upon occasion; if it cannot reflect upon what is past, and make use of its former experiences, reasonings, and contemplations; to what purpose does it tbink? 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 but the subtilest parts 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 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 nearest the excellency of his own incomprehensible being, to be so idle and uselessly employed, at least a fourth part of its time here, as to think constantly, withremembering any of those thoughts, without doing
any good to itself or others, or being any way useful to any other part of the creation. If we will examine it, we shall not find, I suppose, the motion of dull and senseless matter, any where in the universe, made so little use of, and so wholly thrown away.
§. 16. It is true, we have sometimes in- On this hy. stances of perception, whilst we are asleep;
soul must and retain the memory of those thoughts : have ideas but how extravagant and incoherent for the not derived most part they are; how little conformable from sensato the perfection and order of a rational tion or reflecbeing, those who are acquainted with dreams there is no need not be told. This I would willingly appearance. be satisfied in, whether the soul, when it thinks thus apart, and as it were separate from the body, 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.
s. 17. Those who so confidently tell us, If I think that the soul. always actually thinks," I when I know would they would also tell us what those it not, noideas are that are in the soul of a child, be- body else can
know it. fore, or just at the union 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 impressions 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; G4
or at lcast preserve the memory of none but such, which being occasioned from the body, must needs be less natural to a spirit? It is strange the soul should never once in a man's whole life recall over any of its pure native thoughts, and those ideas it had before it borrowed any thing from the body; never bring into the waking man's view any other ideas but what have a tang of the cask, and manifestly derive their original from that union. If it always thinks, and so had ideas before it was united, or before it received any from the body, it is not to be supposed but that during sleep it recollects its native ideas; and during that retirement from communicating with tlie body, whilst it thinks by itself, the ideas it is busied about should be, sometimes at least, those more natural and congenial ones which it had in itself, underived from the body, or its own operations about them: which, since the waking man never remembers, we must from this hypothesis conclude, either that the soul remembers something that the man does not; or else that memory belongs only to such ideas as are derived from the body, or the mind's operations about them. How knows
$. 18. I would be glad also to learn from any one that these men, who so confidently pronounce, the soul al. that the human soul, or which is all one, ways thinks that a man always thinks, how they come For if it be notaself-evi.
to know it;. nay, how they come to know dent proposi. that they themselves think, when they tion, it needs themselves do not perceive it. This, I proof. am afraid, is to be sure without proofs ; and to know, without perceiving : It is, I suspect, a confused notion taken up to serve an hypothesis; and none of those clear truths, that either their own evidence forces us to admit, or common experience makes it impudence to deny. For the most that can be said of it, is, that it is impossible the soul may always think, but not always retain it in memory: and I say, it is as possible that the soul may not always think; and much more probable that it should sometimes not think, than
t it should often think, and that a long while toge1. and not be conscious to itself the next monient ; that it had thought,
6. 19. To