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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

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Truth and Convenience


You may have all growth or nothing growth, just as you may
have all mechanism or nothing mechanism, all chance or
nothing chance, but you must not mix them. Having settled
this, you must proceed at once to mix them.

Two Points of View

Everything must be studied from the point of view of itself,
as near as we can get to this, and from the point of view of its
relations, as near as we can get to them. If we try to see it
absolutely in itself, unalloyed with relations, we shall find, by
and by, that we have, as it were, whittled it away. If we try
to see it in its relations to the bitter end, we shall find that
there is no corner of the universe into which it does not enter.
Either way the thing eludes us if we try to grasp it with the
horny hands of language and conscious thought. Either way
we can think it perfectly well—so long as we don't think about
thinking about it. The pale cast of thought sicklies over

Practically everything should be seen as itself pure and
simple, so far as we can comfortably see it, and at the same
time as not itself, so far as we can comfortably see it, and then
the two views should be combined, so far as we can comfort-
ably combine them. If we cannot comfortably combine them,
#e should think of something else.



We can neither define what we mean by truth nor be in
doubt as to our meaning. And this I suppose must be due to