Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/373

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THE RADICAL FALLACY OF MATERIALISM.

these bases are totally beyond the range of knowledge. Our persisting symbol of matter is extension; of energy, motion; and of consciousness, feeling. We cannot reduce our conception of matter to unextended points of force, nor can we think of either energy or consciousness as latent. The words but cover a vacuity of thought.

Any system of philosophy that denies a substantive basis for the ego feeling, exclusive of the bases of matter and energy, virtually denies the existence of knowledge of every kind, and so stamps itself as false. Our only assurance of the existence of anything outside of ourselves is the effect produced on consciousness. If the perceiving consciousness is not real, how can we assert that the perceived matter is? Action and reaction are equal and opposite. If consciousness has not persistence and permanence of its own, how can it gauge persistence and permanence in matter and energy? But for consciousness we could know of the existence of nothing else. Is it logical to claim that our conclusions are permanent and real, while asserting that our premises are unsubstantial and unreal? Yet this is what every materialist is compelled to do. No theories of "double-faced entities," "results of organization," or "remodeled definitions of matter and energy," can ever be conceived to explain the facts.

One of the strongest proofs of the independent existence of the soul is seen in the fact that at no two consecutive moments of our lives does the ego feeling rest upon the same matter or energy. The systems of waves within my brain will all have radiated away many times before this paragraph is completed. The matter giving out, the energy will pass away as waste, and the arteries bring back a new supply. For days, weeks, months, and years, matter and energy will thus pass while the identical consciousness will persist, and can be traced through every change precisely as energy can be traced from matter to matter. To say that energy is a two-sided entity, one side of which constitutes sensation, is against the facts. The energy my body has to-day is not that of yesterday. Yesterday's energy has all radiated away and carried both its sides with it; but consciousness—the same consciousness—is still here. The closeness of analogy between the conduct of energy toward matter and of consciousness toward energy is remarkable. Let M' M" M'" M"" represent four pieces of elastic matter, and e a quantity of energy. By collision, e will travel from matter to matter thus:

First position Me' M" M"' M""
Second " M' Me" M'" M""
Third " M' M" Me"' M""
Fourth " M' M" M'" Me""

As e travels from M to M it can be no part of M, so must have a distinct existence of its own. Now let E' E" E" E"" represent the brainwaves of as many consecutive moments and c our conscious identity.