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ry? I am sure the man is not, any more than the bed or earth he lies on. For to be happy or miserable without being conscious of it, seems to me utterly inconsistent and impossible. Or if it be possible that the soul can, whilst the body is sleeping, have its thinking, enjoyments and concerns, its pleasure or pain, apart, which the man is not conscious of nor partakes in; it is certain that Socrates asleep and Socrates awake is not the same person: but his soul when he sleeps, and Socrates the man, consisting of body and soul when he is waking, are two persons; since waking Socrates has no knowledge of, or concernment for that happiness or misery of his soul which it enjoys alone by itself whilst he sleeps, without perceiving any thing of it; any more than he has for the happiness or misery of a man in the Indies, whom he knows not. For if we take wholly away all consciousness of our actions and sensations, especially of pleasure and pain, and the concernment that accompanies it, it will be hard to know wherein to place personal identity.
§. 12. If a sleeping man thinks without knowing it, the sleeping and waking man are two persons. "The soul, during sound sleep, thinks," say these men. Whilst it thinks and perceives, it is capable certainly of those of delight or trouble, as well as any other perceptions; and it must necessarily be conscious of its own perceptions. But 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 men 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 sout 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 Hercules, or as Socrates and Plato were? And whether one of them might 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 nobody will make identity of person to consist in the soul's being united to the very same numerical particles of matter; for if that be necessary to identity, it will be impossible, 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. Impossible to convince those that sleep without dreaming, that they think.
Thus, methinks, every drowsy nod shakes their doctrine, who teach, that the soul is always thinking. Those at least, who do at any time sleep without dreaming, can never be convinced, that their thoughts are sometimes for fours hours busy without their knowing of it; and if they are taken in the very act, waked in the middle of that sleeping comtemplation, can give no manner of account of it. f. 14. That men dream without remembering it, in vain urged.
It will perhaps be said, "that the soul thinks even in the soundest sleep, but the memory retains it not." That the soul in a sleeping man should be this moment 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 with
out 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.
§. 15. Upon this hypothesis the thoughts of a sleeping man ought to be most rational.
To think often, and never to retain it so much as one moment, is a very useless sort of thinking: and the soul, in such a state of thinking, does very little, if at all, excel that of a looking-glass, which constantly receives variety of images, or ideas, but retains none: they disappear and vanish, and 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 employ"ed, 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 use, 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 think? 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, without remembering 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. On this hypothesis the soul must have ideas not derived from sensation or reflection, of which there is no appearance.
It is true, we have. sometimes instances of perception, whilst we are asleep; and retain the memory of those thoughts; but how extravagant and incoherent for the most part they are; how little conformable to the perfection and order of a rational being, those who are acquainted with dreams need not be told. This I would willingly 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.
§. 17. If I think when I know it not, nobody else can know
Those who so confidently tell us, that "the soul al"ways actually thinks," I would they would also tell us what those ideas are that are in the soul of a child, before 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, thought 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; or at least 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 recal 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 the 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.
f. 18. How knows any one that the soul always thinks? For if it be not a self-evident proposition, it needs proof.
I would be glad also to learn from these men, who so configently pronounce, that the human soul, or which is all one, that a man always thinks, how they come to know it; nay, how they come to know that they themselves think, when they themselves do not perceive it. This, I 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