chapter  I
24 Pages

—The Notion of Thought

LET us imagine a being, knowing nothing of the distinction between mind and body. Such a being would be aware of his desires and feelings but his notions of self would undoubtedly be much less. clear than ours. Compared with us he would experience much less the sensation of the thinking self within him, the feeling of a being independent of the external world. The knowledge that we are thinking of things severs us in fact from the actual things. But, above all, the psychological perceptions of such a being would be entirely different from our own. Dreams, for example, would appear to him as a disturbance breaking in from without. Words would be bound up with things and to speak would mean to act directly on these things. Inversely, external things would be less material and would be endowed with intentions and will.