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been unexcited by the light, when it should have been excited, and is therefore dead and perished.
This is the only case in which such a thing can be; but for the man who is in Society, the circumstances of his position and the effect of its schools, will even unconsciously develope in him, to a more or less degree, the Spiritual Reason.
From this comes a question most exceedingly interesting, it is this: “Can moral truth be learned unconsciously, without our knowing that we learn it ? Can the moral faculty be developed in us without our knowing that it is so ?” A question this is, that is most deeply important. It would scem, from the above example, that it can be so. And when we look at the Principle of Imitation, implanted as it is in man's nature, when we consider how far Sympathy leads—when we see how much the men of a nation, even those that strive the most against it, are formed and moulded into the National Character, we may be inclined to consider that it is perfectly possible that the Spiritual Reason should be capable of development, by means whereof the individual is utterly unconscious that they are means, or even that they have any influence at all upon himself or any other.
And herein do I consider a most important difference to exist between the Conscience and the Spiritual Reason,—that in reference to the Conscience, we must be “conscious” and know our own act in order to profit by it; but with reference to the Reason, first, we may act upon it ourselves Consciously; and secondly, others without our knowledge may act upon it, and form it in us of their purpose and knowledge, without our being conscious of it.
And so the man who, with fixed mind, has trained himself in the practice of the truths of Eternal Morality, he may go forth into the world knowing the Inner Treasure and the Inner Law he possesses, and feel himself rich in them. And not less rich may he be who, from the example of a Holy Home, from his sympathy with pious relatives, and the practice of religion, has developed his moral powers unconsciously, by moral action, learning moral truth by acting upon it, and being taught so to act, and yet not knowing it as teaching, or conscious of it as such, until brought in contact with temptations to the contrary evils. This to the young is no small blessing.
But with regard to the modes of training and developing the Spiritual Reason, we purpose to resume the discussion in the next chapter.
There are two states, one of Consciousness another of Unconsciousness. To
exhaust man's Consciousness is not to know all his nature.- Unconscious teaching of moral truth exemplified.--Moral application of this and grounds of it.—The Reason may receive Spiritual teaching from Spiritual beings unconsciously.—Cultivation of the Reason produces, first, Moral Ilarmony, secondly, Moral Progress.-Moral teaching of Parents.- Viva voce teaching, its power.--The Spiritual Reason awakes before the Mental Power is ripe.—Spiritual truth may become a family inheritance.--Application to Parents and to Children.-Cultivation of the Reason in ourselves.--Perfection of the Reason.
The question of the modes of exercising the Reason, this is to be the object of the present chapter. This we account to be one of the most important in all the range of Christian Science. We have shown that the Reason, in one respect, is certainly awakened unconsciously, which we count enough to enable us to go on and advance farther upon the subject.
Now first, we will remark that in the life of man there are two states, alternating the one with the other, the state of Consciousness and the state of Unconsciousness; the one corresponding generally to the time when the hemisphere which the individual inhabits is presented to the sun, the other to that when its face is withdrawn; waking corresponding with the light, sleeping with the darkness. We are Conscious in the one, Unconscious in the other. These two are separate and distinct states of being, cach of them truly and really belonging unto man, each being a portion of the circle of his existence.
The Germans, then, in their examination of nature and mind, start upon a ground entirely wrong when they say, “when we have exhausted that which is in man's consciousness, then we see the whole of his mind and the whole of his nature."
Herein they blunder,—for because his “Consciousness” contains a great deal, his “Unconsciousness” does not therefore contain absolutely nothing. The negation of knowledge about it does not imply nonbeing in it. On the contrary, it is a state, a very peculiar state, and one which may be seen to be necessary for our physical being; and which, as nature is one, may also be very fairly considered as having, if we only could adequately discern it, in itself a necessity for our mental and moral nature. And so it may possess peculiarities of mental action,—of moral and spiritual impression and emotion, which, if we only could know them, would be of the greatest value in explaining the mysteries of our being. But as we cannot know them by Consciousness, or, indeed, by anything else than by vague speculation on facts that can hardly be systematized, we will not press this thought any further than merely to assert that the philosophy that says, “there is nothing in man's nature that is not in man's Consciousness," and that "to exhaust our consciousness is to give a complete view of mind,” is and must be false.
For men have gone to rest with the determination to awake at a certain hour, and their minds, unconscious, and by no action of which they were cognizant, has, in their sleep, measured time, and at the appointed hour has awakened them. Students have retired with their mind set upon a lesson half-learned, and have awakened with it wholly understood. Nay, as in a case specified by Rollin, the anxious mind, without the knowledge of the individual, has awakened his body, and he has gone through the whole process of composing a copy of Latin verses set him as a task, as well as through all the bodily labor of dressing himself, looking for his desk and pens and ink, and writing; and in the morning he has been utterly unconscious of it.
Many other facts might be brought forward to show the fallacy of the German fundamental, that “ we are to search in our consciousness for a complete account of our being;' and to show that the state of unconsciousness, instead of being a state of blank negation, is a state of mystery, in which most certainly the nature of man, physical, mental, and spiritual, is at all times alive and capable of receiving impressions, and unquestionably is many times actively and energetically at work when we know it not. A full and complete account, then, of man's mind could be given only by cataloguing and classifying the phenomena that occur, first, in the mind when it is “conscious,” and secondly, when it is "unconscious.” And as the mind of man is regular, and his nature one, we may not doubt that as we call one set of waking mental actions "Memory," and another “Reasoning,” and another “Sensation, so if we could penetrate the “Unconscious” state of our neighbor's inind, we should see belonging to that state peculiar modes of action and impression and feeling needing to be classified by new names and a new Terminology. And therein we should see how it comes to pass that all theories of dreaming, &c., are so imperfect, being solely the applying to one state of mind of those terms and laws applicable not to it, but to the contrary one; and we should learn, at least, in the absence of all means of penetrating into the “ Unconscious” state, to be a little more cautious in theorizing.
But more than this, we assert that there is in this world, even in the waking man, a state in which the individual is taught, and taught in the most efficient and powerful way, moral principle and moral truths unconsciously to himself; and that acting first, he then learns, after he has for a long time acted, the truth and ground of action.
We look upon the child taken by his parents to the house of God, and there, by the principles of Sympathy, Imitation, and Habit, acting as others do, and feeling as others feel, to be thereby learning principles without knowing it, which years after he may apply consciously, with full knowledge of their value.
We look upon the father, with his rightful authority, the natural respect that he claims, and natural obedience he enforces; and the mother, with her maternal love and her sympathy and counsel, as both of them thereby guiding their children constantly into action, and habitual action, of which the children cannot fully see the principle and consequences ; and yet by action so enforced upon them, they plant in them that principle in their nature, so that it really exists: and thus children receive moral and religious teaching of which they are perfectly unconscious. We look, too, upon the Nation as teaching in the same way, unconsciously; the citizen, from earliest childhood, being trained to act in certain ways and habits and modes of thought that are exclusively national, by means of habit, sympathy, national pride, and all those influences which are comprised in what we call the Spirit of the nation. The Family frames and moulds the child; the Nation frames and moulds the citizen, at a time when he is perfectly unconscious of that teaching; nay, when he is incapable wholly of judging or of exerting his mental powers, we will not say against it, but in any way. The fact is a plain one, and we cannot get rid of it. It is a fact of the moral position of man.
Another fact is equally plain in Morals. Get a man to act, and act habitually, so that his actions shall imply a principle, although he does not know it, and that shall prepare him for the acknowledgment of the principle. This is a fact realized by every one, su that there is indeed a moral teaching that is unconscious, as well as a moral teaching that is conscious. The justice and grounds of this I shall now proceed to examine, and they rest on these facts.
First. That “moral truths are the eternal facts of God's nature, not factitious or arbitrary notions, but the same for all, and immutable."
Secondly. That man has a faculty made expressly for the reception of these truths, which corresponds to them as does the bodily appetite to food.”
And thirdly. That “ there are peculiar institutions organized to teach them, for that express purpose-the Family, the Nation, and the Church, the teachers of which schools teach with an authority which they possess by their very situation, and are heard with a reverence and obedience which are in their pupils by virtue of their position.”
This, then, I say, that Parents in their houses, in all their actions, are teachers; unconsciously often to themselves, unconsciously, at the same time, to their children. The Family is a school in which, of the father that is holy and good and true, of the mother that is affectionate and loving, there is not an act, not a word, not a perceptible emotion that does not teach ; not a command to a child to act in this way or that, even although that child does not understand the principle of the action, that is not a teaching of that principle; and that this is so because of the nature of the things taught, because of his nature in relation to them, and because of the nature of the institution.
There is, then, a peculiar work intended to be done by certain and peculiar workmen, and not by others.* And this is a work that nature gives to one class of workmen, the training in religion and
* There is another religious training of the young in the definite and distinct doctrines of the Faith by the Clergy in the Church. Of course this is