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Activity Of Consciousness
Aim And Method Of Naturalism
Autonomy Of Spirit
Consciousness Of The Ego
Constructive Criticism
Contrast Between Darwinian And Post-darwinian Views
Creative Power Of Consciousness
Criticisms Of The Mechanistic Theory Of Life
Crities Of Darwinism
Darwinish In General
Darwinism And Teleology
Darwinism In The Strict Sense
De Vries's Mutation-theory
Differences Of Opinion As To The Factors In Evolution
Eimer's Orthogenesis
Evolution And New Beginnings
Feeling Individuality Genius And Mysticism
Freedom Of Spirit
Fundamental Principles Of Naturalism
Goethe's Attitude To Naturalism
Haeckel's Evolutionist Position
How All This Affects The Religious Outlook
How The Religious And The Naturalistic Outlooks Conflict
Individual Development
Intuitions Of Reality
Is There Ageing Of The Mind?
Lamarckism And Neo-lamarckism
Machnical Theories Criticism
Mind And Spirit The Human And The Animal Soul
Mystery : Dependence : Purpose
Natural Selection
Naturalistic Attacks On The Autonomy Of The Spiritual
No Parallelism
Other Instances Of Dissatisfaction With The Theory Of Descent
Pre-eminence Of Consciousness
Preyer's Position
Religion And The Theory Of Descent
Spontaneous Generation
Teleological And Scientific Interpretations Are Alike Necessary
The Antimony Of Our Conception Of Space
The Antimony Of Our Conception Of Time
The Antimony Of The Conditioned And The Unconditioned
The Characteristic Features Of Darwinism
The Conservation Of Matter And Energy
The Constructive Work Of Driesch
The Contingency Of The World
The Dependence Of The Order Of Nature
The Development Of Darwinism
The Ego
The Fundamental Answer
The Law Of The Conservation Of Energy
The Mechanics Of Development
The Mystery Of Existence Remains Unexplained
The Organic And The Inorganic
The Position Of Bunge And Other Physiologists
The Problema Continui
The Real World
The Recognition Of Purpose
The Religious Interpretation Of The World
The Spontaneous Activity Of The Organism
The Supremacy Of Mind
The Theory Of Descent
The True Naturalism
The Two Kinds Of Naturalism
The Unconscious
The Unity Of Consciousness
The Views Of Albrecht And Schneider
The Views Of Botanists Illustrated
The World And God
Theory Of Definite Variation
Theory Of Life
Various Forms Of Darwinism
Virchow's Caution
Virchow's Position
Weismann's Evolutionist Position
What Is Distinctive In The Naturalistic Outlook
What Is Distinctive In The Religious Outlook

Consciousness Of The Ego

3. This unified self-consciousness is consciousness of the ego. It is only
by means of an artificial abstraction that we can leave out of account in
the consideration of processes of thought the peculiar factor of personal
relationship that absolutely attaches to every thought within us. There
are no thoughts in general that play their part of themselves alone. "It"
never "thinks" in me. On the contrary, all sensation, thought, and will
has in every human being a peculiar central relationship to which we refer
when we say "my idea," "my sensation." What the "I" is cannot be defined.
It is that through which the relation of all experiences and actions is
referred to a point, and through which the treasuring of them for good or
ill, the appreciation, the valuation of them is accomplished. And it plays
its part even in the case of cold and indifferent items of knowledge. For
instance, that twice two are four is not simply a perception, it is my
perception. Of the ego itself nothing more can be said than that it is the
thought of me as the subject of all experience, willing, and action, and
if we try to take hold of it nothing more than this formula remains. Yet
the fact that the ego is the subject of all this, gives conduct, will, and
experience that peculiar character which distinguishes them from mere
action and reaction. For it is directly certain that all the psychical
contents are not only co-existences in one consciousness but that they are
possessed by it.

Thus in summing up we have to say, that it is through the ego that all
psychical activities and experiences are centred and related, that the ego
is itself the point of relation, that it is the reason of the unity of
consciousness and of the possibility of self-consciousness, and that in
all this it is the most certain reality, without which the simplest
psychical life would be impossible. At the same time, it is difficult to
state what the "ego" is in itself, apart from the effects in which it
reveals itself.

Next: Freedom Of Spirit

Previous: The Unity Of Consciousness

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