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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

Vibrations                     73

and something else quite different in which none of those
fundamental ideas obtain without which we cannot think at
all. So we say that nitrous acid is more reliable than nitric
for etching.

Atoms have a mind as much smaller and less complex
than ours as their bodies are smaller and less complex.

Complex mind involves complex matter and vice versa.
On the whole I think it would be most convenient to endow
all atoms with a something of consciousness and volition,
and to hold them to be pro tanto, living. We must suppose
them able to remember and forget, i.e. to retain certain
vibrations that have been once established—gradually to
lose them and to receive others instead. We must suppose
some more intelligent, versatile and of greater associative
power than others.

Thinking

All thinking is of disturbance, dynamical, a state of unrest
tending towards equilibrium. It is all a mode of classifying
and of criticising with a view of knowing whether it gives us,
or is likely to give us, pleasure or no.

Equilibrium

In the highest consciousness there is still unconsciousness,
in the lowest unconsciousness there is still consciousness. If
there is no consciousness there is no thing, or nothing. To
understand perfectly would be to cease to understand at all.

It is in the essence of heaven that we are not to be thwarted
or irritated, this involves absolute equilibrium and absolute
equilibrium involves absolute unconsciousness. Christ is
equilibrium—the not wanting anything, either more or less.
Death also is equilibrium. But Christ is a more living kind
of death than death is.