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To see a human soul open clear and sweet in the light of His truth, and to be conscious, as the gardener is, that it is your planting, your watering, that exalts teaching.



How We Know

KNOWLEDGE arises in the human soul through the special senses. These senses are sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Some object in the external world comes within the range of the activity of one or more of these senses. Instantly a nervous excitation is occasioned. The nerves of the senses affected carry the impression made upon them to the brain. This impression is a sensation. The body is literally packed with these sensation carriers. Taken as a whole they are the nervous system. This includes the brain, the spinal marrow, ganglia, the nerves proper and the senses above referred to. A critical study of this nervous system in such a treatise as Carpenter's1 would be interesting and profitable, if one wished to understand the physical basis of the mental life; only a few of its manifold aspects can here be considered.

The relative value of these special senses in 1 Principles of Mental Physiology, by William Benjamin Carpenter.

education is in direct ratio to the range of their activity. We see farther than we hear. Education through the eye is perhaps better education than any other. "Seeing is believing." It is well, however, to consider how valuable are the sensations of touch in the right education of the mind. If under

Value of the Senses

touch we group the sensation of temperature, this sense falls within the law announced. When these senses operate in conjunction, the value of the sensation each conveys is increased. For this reason illustrated addresses are effective. If a child handles an object as he hears of it from his teacher, the value of the instruction is enhanced.

The thing to bear in mind is that these special senses complement one another. Note the highly significant value of the sign at the railroad crossing: "Stop, look, listen!" Here, too, the thoughtful teacher will see reasons for variety in presentation of truth, and also for the value of concrete illustration in teaching. It is well to consider the value of these sense-organs, and to note that each sensation must be a vivid one if the mental result is to be educationally valuable. If you have children with defective vision. or impaired hearing, the problem of their education becomes a special one. They should have all the skill and patience and sympathy that a

noble teacher can command. I would advise teachers to read the story of Dr. Howe's work with Laura Bridgman, and especially the almost miraculous work of Miss Sullivan with Helen Keller. If to those to whom so much was denied such splendid results have come, the teacher has no reason for despair on the side of physical limitation in childhood. In a large Sundayschool it would be manifestly wise to make special provision along certain lines for the defective pupils.

This nervous system is the sentinel of the soul. It gathers in from all sources myriads of sensations. These sensations sweep with more than lightning speed to the brain. In the brain they undergo a change. At one instant they are physical forces, the phenomena of the physical realm; they may be measured, and in general treated as are other things that are physical or material. At the next instant they have undergone a transformation. They shed their material qualities, and take to themselves spiritual qualities. They are no longer things of the brain and of the nerves. They are now things of the soul. They have passed from the field of the physiologist to the realm of the psychologist.

Sensations and Percepts

1 Laura Bridgman, by Maud Howe and Florence Howe Hall. The Story of My Life, by Helen Keller.

They are henceforth phenomena of the soul. They are now percepts, not sensations, and we say the soul perceives them. How this transformation is wrought, I know not. It is the mystery of knowledge. God has so organized this complex of body and of soul that things of the former may instantly become things of the latter. Until this transformation occurs, the thing presented to the senses is not an element of knowledge. We cannot say that knowledge enters the soul. It does not exist in the nerves, nor in the brain, nor in our environment. Things that do exist in these external agencies are only the occasioners of knowledge. Knowledge dwells only in the realm of the spirit. We have not taught a thing when we have presented it to the senses. It is not taught until it is the possession of the spirit. Teachers should ponder well this initial step in knowledge, until they see clearly what really is meant by imparting knowledge to the human soul.

The main question is this: How does the soul gain knowledge and what does it do with this knowledge? Do you see clearly why this is an important inquiry? A fact exists somewhere in God's realm. For you it exists only when it is in your soul and your soul knows the fact as its own possession. The problem then is to track the fact from the realm of things to its resting

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