Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/370

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transmitted. In this way are organized forms maintained during the lapse of years, despite the waste continually going on.

Now that the self-existence of energy has been substantiated, and motion is no longer considered merely a condition or state of matter in the old sense, the creation and annihilation theory is being shifted to consciousness or the ego feeling. This feeling is looked upon as a product of a certain mode of motion brought about by a certain form of matter, or it is said to be one side of energy. But few pause to consider what such expressions imply. If consciousness is a product of organization, then the proper amount, quality, and arrangement, of matter and motion constitute the ego. Let us consider this. If we put inactive matter together in any form we choose, the only thing we can conceive of its having is that form. Add energy to such an arrangement of matter, and the only conceivable result will be some mode of motion which the mode of arrangement directed. Whether we arrange atoms, molecules, or masses, in simple or complex order, the addition of energy will only give a mode of energy. Matter can direct energy, but we cannot conceive of its turning it into something that is not energy. We cannot conceive of a motion being a passion or sensation. No element of kinship can be detected between a kind of motion and love or hate. Conceive of any mode, speed, or direction of motion you choose, and they will never even suggest the possibility of their creating thought, will, hate, avarice, love, ambition, color, sound, taste, odor, or any other sensation. We can perceive that these are all forms of the one ego feeling, but that that could ever arise merely from a mode of motion is absolutely unthinkable. We can conceive of feeling coming in when certain forms of matter and modes of energy are present, but no alternative theory can for a moment be entertained. It must either come in under favorable circumstances or be their product. The law of excluded middle forbids a third possibility. The first of the only two alternatives is conceivable, the second inconceivable. If we here apply Mr. Herbert Spencer's test of truth, "the inconceivability of the opposite," we must admit that consciousness possesses an independent existence of its own. We can conceive of no form of matter and energy being the ego feeling. As it is absolutely impossible to think of any form of motion arising in matter without energy entering from some source, so it is equally as impossible to conceive of consciousness arising in any form of matter or motion without conceiving that a substance of consciousness was infused at some stage. We may, by refusing to think, give an indorsement to the verbal expression, and so deceive ourselves by imagining we believe it. Every proof that can be given of a substance of matter or energy will be equally telling when turned on consciousness. It is just as impossible to conceive of the substance of matter being energy or consciousness, of the substance of energy being matter or consciousness, as of the substance of consciousness being matter and energy. If we demand