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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

8o                 Mind and Matter

do. The difference between the organic and the inorganic
kingdoms will some day be seen to lie in the greater power
of discriminating its feelings which is possessed by the
former. Both are made of the same universal substance,
but, in the case of the organic world, this substance is
able to feel more fully and discreetly and to show us that
it feels.

Animals and plants, as they advance in the scale of life,
differentiate their feelings more and more highly; they
record them better and recognise them more readily. They
get to know what they are doing and feeling, not step by step
only, nor sentence by sentence, but in long flights, forming
chapters and whole books of action and sensation. The
difference as regards feeling between man and the lower
animals is one of degree and not of kind. The inorganic is
less expert in differentiating its feelings, therefore its memory
of them must be less enduring ; it cannot re-cognise what it
could scarcely cognise. One might as well for some purposes,
perhaps, say at once, as indeed people generally do for most
purposes, that the inorganic does not feel; nevertheless the
somewhat periphrastic way of putting it, by saying that the
inorganic feels but does not know, or knows only very slightly,
how to differentiate its feelings, has the advantage of ex-
pressing the fact that feeling depends upon differentiation
and sense of relation inter se of the things differentiated—a
fact which, if never expressed, is apt to be lost sight of.

As, therefore, human discrimination is to that of the lower
animals, so the discrimination of the lower animals and
plants is to that of inorganic things. In each case it is
greater discriminating power (and this is mental power) that
underlies the differentiation, but in no case can there be a
denial of mental power altogether.

Opinion and Matter

Moral force and material force do pass into one another;
a conflict of opinion often ends in a fight. Putting it the
other way, there is no material conflict without attendant
clash of opinion. Opinion and matter act and react as do all
things else ; they come up hand in hand out of something
which is both and neither, but, so far as we can catch sight