37. Several Questions and Answers concerning Know∣ledg and Perception.
I Am not ignorant that endless questions and ob∣jections may be raised upon one subject; and to answer them would be an infinite labour: But since I desire to be perspicuous in delivering my opinions, and Page 186 to remove all those scruples which seem to obstruct the sense thereof, I have chosen rather to be guilty of pro∣lixity and repetitions, then to be obscure by too much brevity. And therefore I will add to my former dis∣course of knowledg and perception the resolution of these following questions, which, I hope, will render it more intelligible.
Q. 1. What difference is there between Self-know∣ledg, and Perception?
I answer: There is as much difference betwixt them, as betwixt a whole, and its parts; or a cause, and its effects: For though Self-motion be the occasional cause of particular perceptions, by reason it is the cause of all particular actions of Nature, and of the variety of figures; yet self-knowledg is the ground or funda∣mental cause of Perception; for were there not self∣knowledg, there could not be perception, by reason perceptions are nothing else, but particular exterior knowledges, or knowledges of exterior parts and acti∣ons, occasioned by the various compositions and divi∣sions of parts; so that self-moving Matter has a percep∣tive self-knowledg; and consisting of infinite Parts, those parts have particular self-knowledges and percep∣tions, according to the variety of the corporeal figura∣tive motions, which, as they are particular, cannot be infinite in themselves; for although a whole may know its parts, yet the parts cannot possibly know the whole; because an infinite may know a finite, but Page 187 a finite cannot know an infinite. Nevertheless, when many parts are regularly composed, those parts by a conjunction or union of their particular self-know∣ledges and perceptions of each other, may know more, and so judg more probably of infinite, as I have decla∣red above; but as for single parts, there is no such thing in Nature, no more then there can be an Infinite part.
Q. 2. Whether the Inanimate Part of Matter, may not have self-knowledg as well as the Animate?
I answer: That, in my opinion, and according to the conceptions of my sense and reason, the Inanimate part of matter has self-knowledg as well as the Ani∣mate, but not Perception; for it is onely the animate part of matter that is perceptive, and this animate mat∣ter being of a two-fold degree, sensitive and rational; the rational not being incumbred with the inanimate parts, has a more clear and freer perception then the sensitive; which is well to be observed; for though the rational, sensitive, and inanimate parts of matter make but one infinite self-moving body of Nature, yet there are infinite particular self-knowledges, for Nature is divided into infinite parts, and all parts of Nature are self-knowing: But as all are not animate, so all are not perceptive; for Perception, though it proceeds from self-knowledg, as its ground or principle, yet it is also an effect of self-motion; for were there no self∣motion, there would be no perception; and because Page 188 Nature is self-moving, all her parts are so too; and as all her parts are moving, so they have all compositions and divisions; and as all are subject to compositions and divisions, so all have variety of self-knowledg; so that no part can be ignorant: And by reason self-knowledg is the ground and Principle of Perception, it knows all the effects by the variety of their changes; therefore the Inanimate part of Matter may, for any thing I know or perceive, be as knowing as the other parts of Na∣ture; for although it be the grossest part, and so the dul∣lest, wanting self-motion; yet by the various divisions and compositions which the animate parts do make, the inanimate may be as knowing as the animate.
But some may say, If Inanimate Matter were knowing of it self, then it would also be sensible of it self. I answer, Self-knowledg is so far sensible of it self, that it knows it self; and therefore the inanimate part of Matter being self-knowing, may be sensible of its own self-knowledg; but yet it is not such a sense as self-mo∣ving matter has; that is, a perceptive sense; for the diffe∣rence of animate and inanimate Matter consists herein, that one is self-moving, and consequently perceptive, but the other not; and as animate matter is self-moving as well as self-knowing, so it is the chief and architecto∣nical part of Nature, which causes all the variety that is in Nature; for without animate Matter there could be no composition and division, and so no variety; and without inanimate Matter, there could not be such Page 189 solid compositions of parts as there are; for the animate part of Matter cannot be so gross as the inanimate; and therefore without these degrees there would be no va∣riety of figures, nor no composition of solid figures, as Animals, Vegetables, Minerals, &c. so that those effects which our sense and reason perceives, could not be without the degrees of animate and inanimate Mat∣ter; neither could there be perception without animate Matter, by which all the various effects of Nature are perceived; for though one Creature cannot perceive all the effects, yet the infinite parts of Nature, by their infinite actions, perceive infinitely.
Again: Some may object, That if the Inanimate part of Matter have self-knowledg and sense, it must of necessity have life also. To which I answer: That the Inanimate part of Matter may have life, according as it hath sense and knowledg, but not such a life as the animate part of Matter has, that is, an active life, as to compose and divide the infinite body of Nature in∣to infinite parts and figures, and to produce infinite va∣rieties of them, for all this cannot be withont motion; nevertheless, it has so much life as to know it self, and so much sense as to be sensible of its own self-knowledg. In short, the difference between animate and inanimate Matter's life, sense and self-knowledg, is, that the ani∣mate Matter has an active life, and a perceptive sense and self-knowledg, which the inanimate part of Matter has not; because it wants self-motion, which Page 190 is the cause of all actions and perceptions in Na∣ture.
Q. 3. Whether the Inanimate Matter could have parts without self-motion?
I answer, Yes: For wherefoever is body or matter, there are also parts; because parts belong to body, and there can be no body without parts; but yet were there no self-motion, there could be no various chan∣ges of parts or figures. The truth is, Nature consi∣dered as she is, and as much as our sense and reason can perceive by her various effects, must of necessity be composed or consist of a commixture of animate, both rational and sensitive, and inanimate matter; for were there no inanimate matter, there would be no ground or grosser substance to work on, and so no solid fi∣gures; and were there no animate sensitive matter, there would be no labourer, or workman, as I may call it, to form the inanimate part of matter into various fi∣gures; nor would there be such infinite changes, com∣positions, divisions, productions, dissolutions, &c. as we see there are. Again: were there no animate rational Matter, there would be no designer or sur∣veigher, to order and direct all things methodically; nor no Fancies, Imaginations, Conceptions, Memo∣ry, &c. so that this Triumvirate of the degrees of matter, is so necessary a constitutive principle of all na∣tural effects, that Nature could not be without it; I mean, Nature considered, not what she might have Page 191 been, but as she is, and as much as we are able to per∣ceive by her actions; for Natural Philosophy is no more but a rational inquisition into the causes of natural effects; and therefore, as we observe the effects and actions of Nature, so we may probably guess at their causes and principles.
Q. 4. How so fine, subtil and pure a part as the Ani∣mate Matter is, can work upon so gross a part as the In∣animate?
I answer; More easily then Vitriol or Aqua-fortis, or any other high extracts, can work upon metal, or the like; nay, more easily then fire can work upon wood, or stone, or the like. But you will say, That, according to my opinion, these bodies are not wrought upon, or divided by the exterior agent, as by fire, vitriol, &c. but that they divide themselves by their own inherent self-motion, and that the agent is no more but an occasion that the patient moves or acts thus, or thus. I answer, 'Tis very true: For there is such a com∣mixture of animate and inanimate matter, that no particle in Nature can be conceived or imagined, which is not composed of animate matter as well as of inanimate; and therefore the patient, as well as the agent, having both a commixture of these parts of matter, none can act upon the other, but the patient changes its own parts by its own self-motion, either of its own accord, or by way of imitation. But the inanimate part of Matter considered in it self, or in its own narure, hath no self-motion, Page 192 nor can it receive any from the animate; but they be∣ing both so closely intermixt, that they make but one self-moving body of Nature, the animate parts of Mat∣ter bear the inanimate with them in all their actions; so that it is impossible for the animate parts to divide, compose, contract, &c. but the inaimate must serve them, or go along with them in all such corporeal figu∣rative actions.
Q. 5. How is it possible, that Parts being ignorant of each other, should agree in the production of a figure?
I answer: When I speak of Ignorance and know∣ledg, my meaning is, not that there is as much ig∣norance in the parts of Nature, as there is knowledg, for all parts have self-knowledg; but I understand a perceptive knowledg, by which parts do perceive parts; and as for the agreeing actions of parts, they cannot readily err, unless it be out of wilfulness to oppose or cross each other: for put the case the sensitive parts were as ignorant of perceptions as the inanimate, yet the ra∣tional being thorowly intermixt with them, would cause agreeable combinations and connexions of parts in all productions, because they being not incumbred with the burthens of other parts, make more general perceptions then the sensitive, and moving freely in their own degree, there is a more perfect acquain∣tance between them, then the sensitive parts; which is the cause that the rational design and order, when as the sensitive labour and work; I mean, when they Page 193 move regularly, or to one and the same effect; for then they must needs move agreeably and unitedly: But because the sensitive parts are perceptive as well as the rational, and perceive not onely the rational adjoining parts, but also those of their own degree, they cannot so grosly err, as some believe, especially since the sensi∣tive parts do not onely know their own work, but are also directed by the rational; but as I have often said, the several sorts, both of the sensitive and rational perceptions are well to be considered, which are as va∣rious as the actions of Nature, and cannot be numbred, by reason every figurative action is a several perception, both sensitive and rational; and infinite Matter being in a perpetual motion, there must of necessity be in∣finite figures, and so infinite perceptions amongst the infinite parts of Nature.
Q. 6. Whether there be single Self-knowledges, and single Perceptions in Nature?
I answer: If there can be no such thing as a single part in Nature, there can neither be a single self-know∣ledg or perception; for body and parts can never be separated from each other, but wheresoever is body, were it an atome, there are parts also; and when parts divide from parts, at the same time, and by the same act, they are joined to other parts; so that composition and division is done by one act. The like for know∣ledg: For knowledg, being material, consists of parts; and as it is impossible that there can be single parts, or Page 194 parts subsisting by themselves, without reference to each other, or the body of Nature; so it is impossible that there can be single knowledges. Neither can there be a single magnitude, figure, colour, place, &c. but all that is corporeal, has parts; and by reason Na∣ture is a self-moving, and self-knowing body, all her parts must of necessity be so too. But particular com∣posed figures, and particular degrees of Matter, are not single parts, nor are particular actions single acti∣ons, no more then a particular Creature is a single part; for it would be non-sense to say single compositions, and single divisions; and therefore particular and single are not one and the same; and as there can be no such thing as Single in Nature, so there can neither be single knowledges and perceptions: Which is well to be ob∣served, lest we introduce a Vacuum in Nature, and so make a confusion between her parts and actions.
Q. 7. How is it possible, since there is but one Self∣knowledg in Nature, as there is but one Self-motion, that there can be a double degree of this Self-knowledg, as also a double Perception, viz. Rational, and Sen∣sitive?
I answer: As the several degrees of Matter are not several kinds of Matter; so neither are Rational and Sensitive knowledg several kinds of Self-knowledges, but onely different degrees of one self-knowledg; for as there is but one Matter, and one Self-motion, so there is also but one Self-knowledg in Nature; which con∣sists Page 195 of two degrees, Rational and Sensitive, whereof the rational is the highest degree of self-knowledg; for it is a more pure, subtile, active and piercing know∣ledg then the sensitive, by reason it is not bound to work on and with the inanimate parts of Matter, but moves freely in its own degree, when as the sensitive is incum∣bred with labouring on the inanimate parts of Matter: Indeed, there is as much difference between those two degrees of self-knowledg, as betwixt a chief Archi∣tect, Designer or Surveigher, and betwixt a Labou∣rer or Workman; for as the Labourer and Sur∣veigher, though they be different particulars, are yet both of one kind, viz. Mankind: so it is likewise with self-knowledg; for were Matter divided into infinite degrees, it would still remain Matter; and though self-motion be divided into infinite degrees of motions, yet it is still but self-motion: The like for self-know∣ledg: for self-moving matter can but know it self; and as Matter is the ground or constitutive Principle of all the parts and figures in Nature (for without matter there could be no parts, and so no division) and self∣motion is the ground or principle of all particular acti∣ons, so is self-knowledg the ground of all particular knowledges and perceptions. Again: as one part can∣not be another part, so neither can one parts knowledg be another parts knowledg; although they may have perceptions of each other: When I speak of parts, I mean not single parts; for there can be no such thing Page 196 as a single part in Nature; but by parts I understand particular self-moving figures, whether they be such composed figures, as, for distinctions sake, we call finite wholes; as for example, an Animal, a Tree, a Stone, &c. or whether they be parts of those finite figures; for it is impossible to describe or determine exactly what the parts of Nature are, by reason Nature, although it is but one body, yet being self-moving, 'tis divided into infinite figures, which by self-motion are infinitely changed, composed, dissolved, &c. which composi∣tions and divisions hinder that there can be no single parts, because no part, though it should be infinitely changed, composed and divided, can be separated from the body of Nature, but as soon as it is divided from such parts, it is composed with other parts; nay, were it possible that it might be separated from the body of Nature, it would not be a part then, but a whole; for it would have no reference to the body of Nature: be∣sides, if it continued body, or matter, it would still have parts; for wheresoever is body, there is a com∣position of parts.
But if any one desires to know or guess at the parts of Nature, he cannot do it better then by considering the corporeal figurative motions or actions of Nature; for what we name parts, are nothing but the effects of those figurative motions; so that motions, figures and parts, are but one thing: and it is to be observed, that in composed figures there are interior and exterior Page 197 parts; the exterior are those which may be perceived by our exterior senses, with all their proprieties, as colour, magnitude, softness, hardness, thickness, thinness, gravity, levity, &c. but the interior parts are the interior, natural, figurative motions, which cause it to be such or such a part or Creature; as for example, Man has both his interior and exterior parts, as is evident; and each of them has not onely their outward figure or shape, but also their interior, natu∣ral, figurative motions, which did not onely cause them to be such or such parts; as for example, a leg, a head, a heart, a spleen, a liver, blood, &c. but do also continue their being; the onely difference is, that those figurative motions, which did first form or pro∣duce them, afterwards, when they were finished, be∣came retentive motions: By retentive motions, I do not onely mean such as keep barely the parts of the composed figures together, but all those that belong to the preservation and continuance of them; under which are comprehended digestive motions, which place and displace parts; attractive motions, which draw nourishment into those parts; expulsive moti∣ons, which expel superfluous and hurtful parts; and many the like: for there are numerous sorts of re∣tentive motions, or such as belong to the preservation and continuance of a composed figure, as well as there are of creating or producing motions. By which we may plainly see, that one figure lies within another; Page 198 that is, one corporeal figurative motion is within a∣nother, and that the interior and exterior parts or fi∣gures of Creatures, are different in their actions; for ex∣ample, the ebbing and flowing, or the ascending and descending motions of water, are quite different from those interior figurative motions that make it water; the like may be said of Vegetables, Minerals, Animals, and all other sorts of Creatures; nay, though both the interior and exterior parts, figures or motions do make but one composed figure or Creature, as for ex∣ample, Man; and are all but parts of that same figure; yet each being a particular motion, has also its peculiar self-knowledg and perception; for the difference of particular knowledges and perceptions depends upon the difference of Natures actions; which as by the di∣vision of parts, they cause an ignorance between them; so by composition they cause also perceptions. I do not mean, an interior or self-ignorance, which cannot be in Nature, by reason every part and particle has self-knowledg; but an exterior, that is, an ignorance of forreign parts, figures or actions, although they be parts of one composed figure; for the parts of the hand do not know the parts of the stomack, and their acti∣ons. Neither do I mean an interior self-perception, which can neither be in Nature, because perception presupposes ignorance; and if there cannot be a self∣ignorance, there can neither be a self-perception, al∣though there may be an interior self-knowledg; Nor Page 199 is it proper to say, a part may perceive it self, or have a perception of it self: But by perception, I mean an ex∣terior or forreign knowledg; that is, a knowledg of other parts, figures, or actions. These perceptions, I say, are different, according to the difference of the corporeal figurative motions; for it is impossible, that such or such parts should have such or such perceptions, if they have not such or such corporeal motions. There∣fore though all parts have self-knowledg, as well as self-motion, yet by reason all parts do not move alike, they cannot make the like perceptions; and though self-knowledg, as it is the ground and fountain, not onely of all particular knowledges, but also of all ex∣terior perceptions, is but one in it self, as a fixt being, and cannot be divided from its own nature; (for as Mat∣ter cannot be divided from being Matter, or self-mo∣tion from being self-motion, so neither can self-know∣ledg be divided from being self-knowledg; nor can they be separated from each other, but every part and particle of natural matter has self-knowledg and per∣ception, as well as it hath self-motion) Yet all this hinders not, but there may be degrees of self-know∣ledg according to the degrees of Matter; for as there is rational and sensitive matter, so there is also rational and sensitive self-knowledg; nay, there are infinite parti∣cular self-knowledges and perceptions, according to the infiniteness of parts and motions; and yet all is but one self-moving and self-knowing Nature; for parts are Page 200 nothing else but a division of the whole, and the whole is nothing else but a composition of parts. All which I desire may be taken notice of, lest my sense be mis∣interpreted, for when I speak of rational and sensitive self-knowledg, I do not mean as if there were more self-knowledg then one in the onely infinite Matter, to wit, a double kind of self-knowledg, but I speak in re∣ference to the parts of Matter; for the rational part is more pure, and so more agil, quick and free then the sensitive; and the animate part is self-knowing, but the inanimate not: and thus in respect to parts, as they are divided, so they have several self-knowledges and perceptions, as also numerous lives and souls in one composed figure or Creature; and as infinite parts be∣long to one infinite whole, so infinite self-knowledges and infinite perceptions, belong to the infinite actions of those infinite parts. But some may ask, Why there are no more degrees of Matter but two, viz. Animate, and Inanimate; and no more degrees of Animate, but Rational, and Sensitive? I answer, humane sense and reason cannot conceive it possible there should be more or fewer; for the rational and sensitive are the purest degrees Matter can be capable of; and were there any purer then these, they would be beyond the nature of Matter; which is impossible, because Nature cannot go beyond it self. Again: some may perhaps desire to know, why there are more degrees of Inanimate Matter, then of Animate, to wit, of thickness and Page 201 thinness, rarity and density, lightness aud heavi∣ness, & c? I answer, These are nothing else but the actions of the material parts, and do not belong to the nature of Matter, so that they cannot make Parts less or more material, for all is but Matter; neither can they alter the nature of Matter; for Matter is still Mat∣ter, however it moves. Lastly, some may ask, How it is possible, that such an infinite variety can proceed but from two degrees of Matter, to wit, Animate and Inanimate? I answer; As well as Infinite effects can proceed from one Infinite cause; for Nature being an Infinite body, must also have Infinite parts; and ha∣ving an Infinite self-motion, must of necessity have an infinite variety of parts; and being infinitely self∣knowing, must also have infinite self-knowing parts; which proves, that Natures body must of necessity consist of those two degrees, viz. Animate and Inani∣mate Matter; for were there no Animate matter, which is corporeal self-motion, there would never be such variety of figures, parts and actions in Nature as there is, nor no perceptions; for Self-knowledg, or Matter, without self-motion, could never make any variety in Nature; and therefore although self-motion causes an obscurity by the division of parts, yet it causes also particular perceptions between parts; and as the mo∣tions vary, so do perceptions of parts. In short, there is but one infinite body, and infinite parts; one infinite self∣knowledg, and infinite particular self-knowledges; one Page 202 infinite self-motion, and infinite particular actions; as also infinite particular perceptions: for self-motion is the cause of all the variety of Nature; and as one figure or part of Nature lies within another, so one perception is within another.
Q. 8. How can there be Self-knowledg and Percep∣tion in one and the same part?
I answer: As well as the being or substance of a thing and its actions can consist together, or as a cause and its effects; for though they are so far different from each other, that the cause is not the effect, nor the ef∣fect the cause; as also that the effect must of necessity depend upon the cause, but the cause may chuse whe∣ther it will produce such or such effects; as for exam∣ple, though action or motion depends upon matter, yet matter does not depend upon motion, as being able to subsist without it; and though perception depends up∣on self-knowledg, yet self-knowledg does not depend upon perception; nevertheless, wheresoever is per∣ception, there is also self-knowledg; by reason, that wheresoever there is an effect in act or being, there is also its cause; and although perception depends also upon outward objects, yet outward objects do not de∣pend upon perceptions; but perception, as it depends upon self-knowledg, so it depends also upon self-motion; for without self-knowledg and self-motion, there would be no perception; so that both exterior perceptions, and all interior voluntary actions, proceed from self∣knowing Page 203 and self-moving matter; but the difference between particular interior self-knowledges and percep∣tions, is caused by the changes of corporeal, figurative self-motion.
Q. 9. Whether particular Parts or Figures be bound to particular perceptions?
I answer: Particular Parts make Perceptions, according to the nature of their corporeal, figura∣tive motions, and their perceptions are as nume∣rous as their actions; for example, those parts that are composed into the figure of an Animal, make per∣ceptions proper to that figures corporeal, interior, na∣tural motions; but if they be dissolved from the animal figure, and composed into Vegetables, they make such perceptions as are proper for Vegetables; and being again dissolved and composed into Minerals, they make perceptions proper to Minerals, &c. so that no part is tied or bound to one particular kind of perception, no more then it is bound to one particular kind of figures; but when the interior motions of that figure change, the perceptions proper to that same figure change also; for though self-knowledg, the ground of all perceptions, is a fixt, and inherent, or innate knowledg, yet the perceptions vary according to their objects, and ac∣cording to the changes and compositions of their own parts; for as parts are composed with parts, so are their perceptions; nay, not onely perceptions, but also par∣ticular self-knowledges alter according to the altera∣tion Page 204 of their own parts or figures, not from being self∣knowledg, for self-knowledg can be but self-knowledg, but from being such or such a particular self-knowledg; and since there is no part or particle of Nature but is self-knowing, or has its particular self-knowledg, it is certain, that as the interior nature of the figure alters by the changes of motion, the interior self-knowledg of that figure alters too; for if a Vegetable should turn into a Mineral, it cannot retain the self-knowledg of a Vegetable, but it must of necessity change into the self∣knowledg of a Mineral; for nothing can have a know∣ledg of it self otherwise then what it is; and because self∣knowledg is the ground of Perception, as self-know∣ledg alters, so doth perception; I mean, that kind of perception that belonged to such a figure, alters to another kind of perception proper to another figure; so that it is with perception, as it is with other Creatures: For example, as there are several kinds of Creatures, as Elements, Animals, Minerals, Vegetables, &c. so there are also several kinds of perceptions, as Animal, Vegetative, Mineral, Elemental perception; and as there are different particular sorts of these mentioned kinds of Creatures, so there are also of perceptions; nay, as one particular Creature of these sorts consists of different parts; so every part has also different per∣ceptions; for self-motion, as it is the cause of all the various changes of figures and parts of Nature, so it is also of the variety of perceptions; for put the case Page 205 Matter were of one infinite figure, it would have but self-knowledg, or at least no variety of perceptions, because it would have no variety of corporeal figura∣tive motions; and it is well to be observed, that al∣though numerous different parts may agree in per∣ception; that is, their sensitive and rational figurative motions may all perceive one and the same object; yet the manner of their perceptions are different, ac∣cording to the difference of their figures, or rather of their interior, corporeal, figurative motions: for ex∣ample, a Man, a Tree, and a Stone, may all have per∣ceptions of one object, but yet their perceptions are not alike; for the Tree has not an Animal or Mine∣ral, but a Vegetative perception; and so has the Man, not a Vegetative or Mineral, but an Animal percep∣tion; and the Stone, not an Animal or Vegetative, but a Mineral perception, each according to the in∣terior nature of its own figure.
Q. 10. Whether there could be Self-knowledg without Perception?
I answer: Self-knowledg being the ground of all Perceptions, which are nothing else but exterior know∣ledges, might as well subsist without them, as Matter would subsist without Motion; but since self-motion is the cause of all the various changes of figures and parts, and of all the orderly Productions, Generati∣ons, Transformations, Dissolutions, and all other actions of Nature; These cannot be performed with∣out Page 206 Perception; for all actions are knowing and per∣ceptive; and were there no perception, there could not possibly be any such actions; for how should parts agree either in the generation, composition or dissolu∣tion of composed figures, if they had no knowledg or perception of each other? Therefore although self∣knowledg is a fixt interior Being, and the ground of all perceptions; yet were there no self-motion, there could be no action, and consequently no perception, at least no variety of perceptions in Nature; but since Nature is one self-moving and self-knowing body, self-know∣ledg can no more be separated from perception, then motion can be divided from matter, but every part and particle of Nature, were it an Atome, as it is self-mo∣ving, so it is also self-knowing and perceptive. But yet it is not necessary that Perception must onely be be∣twixt neighbouring or adjoining parts; for some parts may very well perceive each other at a distance, and when other parts are between; nay, some perceptions do require a distance of the object, as for example, the optick perception in Animals, as I have declared be∣fore*, where I do mention the requisites of the Ani∣mal perception of sight; whereof if one be wanting, there is either no perception at all, (I mean, no per∣ception of seeing in that Animal) or the perception is imperfect. But some may ask, Whether, in such a case, that is, in the perception of an object which is distant from the sentient, the intermediate parts are as Page 207 well perceived as the object it self, to which the percep∣tion directy tends? I answer: That, if the interme∣diate parts be subject to that kind of perception, they may as well be perceived as the object that is distant; nay, sometimes better; but most commonly, the in∣termediate parts are but slightly or superficially per∣ceived: For example, in the forementioned sense of Seeing, if the organ of sight be directed to some certain object that is distant, and there be some parts between the organ and the object, perceptible by the same sense, but such as do not hinder or obstruct the perception of the said object; not onely the object, but also those in∣termediate parts will be perceived by the optick sense, Also if I cast my eye upon an object that is before me, in a direct line, the eye will not onely perceive the object to which it is chiefly directed, but also those parts that are joined to it, either beneath, or above, or on each side of that object, at the same point of time, and by the same act; the sole difference is, that the said object is chiefly and of purpose patterned out by the sensitive and rational figurative motions of the eye, when as the other intermediate or adjoining parts are but superfi∣cially and slghtly looked over.
And this proves, first, that Nature is composed of sensitive, rational and inanimate matter, without any separation or division from each other; for could mat∣ter be divided into an atome, that very atome would have a composition of these three degrees of matter; Page 208 and therefore although the parts of Nature do under∣go infinite divisions and compositions, so that parts may be composed and divided infinite ways; yet these three degrees can never be separated or divided from one another, because of their close union and commix∣ture through infinite Nature.
Next it proves, that there can be no single parts in Nature; for what commonly are called parts of Na∣ture, are nothing else but changes of motion in the in∣finite body of Nature; so that parts, figures, actions, and changes of motion, are one and the same, no more differing from each other, then body, place, magni∣tude, figure, colour, &c. for self-motion is the cause of the variety of figures and parts of Nature; without which, although there would nevertheless be parts, (for wheresoever is matter or body, there are parts also) yet Nature would be but a confused heap or Chaos, without the distinction of any perfect figures; which figures make perfect perceptions of perfect ob∣jects; I say, of perfect objects; for if the objects be not perfect, the sensitive perceptions can neither be per∣fect; but then the rational being joined with the sen∣sitive, and being more subtil, active and piercing, may find out the error either of the object, or sense; for both the rational and sensitive parts being united in one figure or action, can more easily perceive the irregula∣rities of each others actions, then of exterior objects; all which could not be, were there single parts in Page 209 Nature, neither could such acts be performed by chance or sensless atomes; nay, could there be any single parts in Nature, there would consequently be a Vacuum to discern and separate them from each other, which Vacuum would breed such a confusion amongst them, as there would be no conformity or symmetry in any of their figures. Therefore I am absolutely a∣gainst the opinion of senseless and irrational atomes, moving by chance; for if Nature did consist of such atomes, there would be no certain kinds and species of Creatures, nor no uniformity or order; neither am I able to conceive how there could be a motion by chance, or an irrational and senseless motion, no more then I can conceive how motion can be without matter or body; for self-motion as it is corporeal, so it is also sensitive and rational.
Q. 11. Whether Perception be made by Pattern∣ing?
I answer: My Sense and Reason does observe, That the animal, at least humane Perception, performed by the sensitive and rational motions in the organs ap∣propriated for it, is made by patterning or framing of figures, according to the patterns of exterior objects; but whether all other kinds and sorts of perceptions in the infinite parts of Nature be made the same manner or way, neither my self, nor no particular Creature is able to determine, by reason there are as many various sorts of perceptions as there are of other actions of Na∣ture, Page 210 and according as the corporeal figurative mo∣tions do alter and change, so do particular perceptions; for Perception is a corporeal, figurative action, and is ge∣nerally in all parts and actions of Nature; and as no part can be without self-motion and self-knowledg, so none can be without perception; and therefore I dare truly say, that all perceptions are made by figuring, though I cannot certainly affirm, that all are made by imita∣tion or patterning. But it is well to be observed, that be∣sides those exterior perceptions of objects, there are some other interior actions both of sense and reason, which are made without the presentation of exterior objects, voluntarily, or by rote; and therefore are not actions of patterning, but voluntary actions of figuring: As for example, Imaginations, Fancies, Conceptions, Passions, and the like; are made by the rational, cor∣poreal, figurative motions, without taking any co∣pies of forreign objects; also many Generations, Dis∣solutions, Alterations, Transformations, &c. are made by the sensitive motions without any exterior patterns; for the generation of Maggot in a Cheese, of a Worm in the root of a Tree, of a Stone in the Bladder, &c. are not made by patterning or imitation, because they are not like their producers, but meerly by a volun∣tary figuring; and therefore it is well to be observed, that figuring and patterning are not one and the same; figuring is a general action of Nature: for all corporeal actions are figurative, when as patterning is but a par∣ticular Page 211 sort of figuring; and although I observe, that some perceptions are made by patterning, yet I cannot say the same of all; neither are the interior voluntary actions made by patterning, but both the sensitive and rational motions frame such or such figures of their own accord; for though each part in the composition of a Creature knows its own work, and all do agree in the framing and producing of it; yet they are not necessi∣tated always to imitate each other; which is evident, because the composition of one and the same Creature is various, and different by reason of the variety of its parts.
And this is the difference between exterior percep∣tions, and interior voluntary actions; for though both are effects of self-knowledg and self-motion, yet per∣ceptions are properly concerning forreign parts, fi∣gures and actions, and are occasioned by them; but the voluntary actions are not occasioned by any out∣ward objects, but make figures of their own accord, without any imitation, patterns or copies of forreign parts or actions; and as the figures and parts alter by their compositions and divisions, so do both interior and exterior particular knowledges; for a Tree, although it has sensitive and rational knowledg and perception, yet it has not an animal knowledg and perception; and if it should be divided into numerous parts, and these again be composed with other parts, each would have such knowledge and perception as the nature of their Page 212 figure required; for self-knowledg alters, as their own parts alter; perception alters as the objects alter; fi∣gures alter as the actions alter; and the actions alter as Nature pleases, or is decreed by God to work.
But I desire it may be observed, first, That although there are both voluntaay actions of figuring, and oc∣casioned actions of perceiving exterior objects, both in sense and reason, whereof those I call interior, these ex∣terior; yet both of them are innate and inherent acti∣ons of their own parts, as proceeding from the ground and fountain of self-knowledg; and the reason why I call the voluntary actions interior, is, because they have no such respect to outward objects, at least are not oc∣casioned by them as perceptions are, but are the own figurative actions of sense and reason made by rote; when as perceptions do tend to exterior objects, and are made according to the presentation of their figures, parts or actions.
Next, It is to be observed, That many times the rational motions take patterns from the sensitive volun∣tary figures; As for example, in Dreams, when the sensitive motions make voluntary figures on the in∣side of the sensitive organs, the rational take patterns of them, and again the sensitive do many times take pat∣terns of the rational when they make figures by rote, as in the invention and delivery of Arts and Sciences; so that there is oftentimes an imitation between the ra∣tional and sensitive motions; for the rational voluntary Page 213 figures, are like exterior objects, to be patterned out by the sensitive perceptive motions; and the sensitive voluntary figures, are like exterior objects, to be pat∣terned out by the rational perceptive motions; and yet all their perceptive actions are their own, and perform∣ed inwardly, that is, by their own motions: Which proves, that by naming Perception an exterior acti∣on, I do not mean that it is an action exteriously per∣ceptible or visible; for if it were thus, then one part would presently know another parts perception, when and how it perceives; which we find it does not; for although a man perceives a Tree, or Stone, yet he does not know whether the Tree or Stone perceives him, much less what perceptions they make: but, as I said before, Perception I name an exterior action, because it is occasioned by an object that is without the perceiving parts; for although both sensitive and ra∣tional perception are so closely intermixt, that none can be without the other in every part or particle of Nature, were it no bigger then what is call'd an A∣tome; yet considered in themselves, they are without each other so far, that the rational perceptive part is not the sensitive, nor the sensitive the rational; or else they would not be several parts or actions, neither would there be any imitation betwixt them.
Lastly, I desire that notice may be taken, when I say that every action of Nature is perceptive; for since there are no single parts in Nature, but what∣soever Page 214 is body, consists of parts; there can neither be any such thing as a single action, that is an action of a single part; but in all natural actions there is a commerce, en∣tercourse, or agreement of parts; which entercourse or agreement, cannot be without perception of knowledg of each other; Wherefore it must of neces∣sity follow, that every action is perceptive, or that per∣ception between parts is required in every action of Na∣ture; nay, even in those which are called voluntary actions; for though the rational and sensitive parts of a composed figure, can make voluntary figures within themselves, without taking any patterns of forreign objects; yet those parts must needs know and perceive each other even in the composition or framing of their voluntary figures; so that exterior knowledg or per∣ception, is as universal as self-motion; for wheresoever is self-motion, there is perception also. But it is well to be observed, first, That Perception or Perceptive knowledg is onely between Parts; Next, That although every action in Nature is perceptive, yet not every acti∣on is the action of Perception properly so called; which Perception, in composed figures, at least in Animals, is an action of patterning out exterior parts or objects, performed by the rational and sensitive corporeal figu∣rative motions in their proper organs; But there are In∣finite other actions, which although they require per∣ceptive parts, yet they are not such actions of Percep∣tions as are made by Patterning out, or imitating out∣ward Page 215 objects; As for example, Respiration, Digesti∣on, Contraction, Dilation, Expulsion, Generation, Retention, Dissolution, Growth, Decay, &c. Ne∣vertheless, all those actions are perceptive; that is, the parts which perform those actions have perception of each other, or else they would never agree to produce such effects. The truth is, that even the action of Perception properly so called, presupposes many par∣ticular perceptions between those parts that concur to the performance of that act; for it is impossible, that both the rational and sensitive parts in a composed fi∣gure, should make the act of Perception, without they know and agree what they are to do, and how they are to perform it, as I mentioned before. And this is the reason, that I have made* a difference between Percep∣tion and Respiration, and called them different actions; not as if Respiration was not a perceptive action, or pre∣supposes not knowledg and perception between those parts that make respiration; but it is not the action of Perception properly so called; as for example, the perception of Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, &c. in Animals, but it is properly an action of drawing, sucking, breathing in, or receiving any ways outward parts; and of venting, discharging or sending forth inward parts: nevertheless, all this cannot be done without perception or knowledg, no more then without motion; for wheresoever is motion, there is perception also; and therefore Respiration is a Page 216 perceptive action. In short, I desire it may be ob∣served, 1. That there is Perception in every action, but that not every Perception is made by patterning. 2. That all self-moving parts are perceptive. 3. That Perception, Perceptive knowledg, and Exterior know∣ledg are all one thing, and that I take them indifferent∣ly. 4. That all voluntary actions, both of sense and reason, are made by perceptive parts; and therefore when I make a distinguishment between voluntary acti∣ons, and perceptions; I mean the perceptions of a com∣posed figure, and not the particular perceptive know∣ledges between those parts that join in the act of such Perceptions, or in the making of voluntary figures.
But it may be objected, That if all motions be per∣ceptive, they would be wholly imployed in nothing else but in making copies of exterior parts or objects.
My answer is, Although I say, that all motions are perceptive; yet I do not positively affirm, that all per∣ceptions in Nature are made by Patterning or Imita∣tion; for we are to consider, that there are as many different sorts of perceptions, as there are of motions; because every particular motion has a particular percep∣tion; and though in a composed figure or Creature, some motions may work to the paterning out of exte∣rior objects, yet all the rest may not do so, and be ne∣vertheless perceptive; for like as a Man, or any other animal Creature, is not altogether composed of Eyes, Eares, Noses, or the like sensitive organs; so not all Page 217 perceptive motions are imitating or patterning, but some are retentive, some expulsive, some attractive, some contractive, some dilative, some creating or produ∣cing, some dissolving, some imitating or patterning, and so forth; and as there are degrees of parts and mo∣tions, so some perceptions may be so much purer, finer, and subtiler then others, as much as pure Air is beyond gross Earth. The truth is, we cannot judg of Na∣tures actions any otherways then we observe them by our own sensitive and rational perceptions; and since we find that the sensitive and rational motions in our sensitive organs do work by the way of patterning or imitation; we may surely conclude, that some percep∣tions are made that way; but that all other perceptions in all natural parts or Creature should be after the same manner, would be too presumptuous for any particular Creature to affirm, since there are infinite several sorts of perceptions; and although we may justly and with all reason believe, that all parts of Nature are percep∣tive, because they are self-moving and self-knowing; yet no particular Creature is able to judg how, and in what manner they perceive, no more then it can know how they move. And by this it is evident, how in one and the same organ of the eye, some motions or parts may work to the act of perception, properly so called, which is made by patterning out the figure of an exte∣rior object; and other motions or parts may work to the retention of the eye, and preserving it in its being: Page 218 others again may work to its shutting and opening, and others to its respiration, that is, venting of superfluous, and receiving of nourishing parts, which motions are properly subservient to the retentive motions, and hun∣dreds the like; and yet all these motions are as know∣ing and perceptive after their way, as those that work to the act of Perception, properly so called, that is, to the act of seeing, made by patterning or imitation. But it is well to be observed, That although the eye has the quickest action in the Perception of seeing; yet is this action most visible, not onely by its motions, but by the figures of the objects that are represented in the eye; for if you look into anothers eye, you will plain∣ly perceive therein the picture of your own figure; and had other objects but such an optick perception as Ani∣mals, they would, without question, observe the same. Some will say, Those figures in the Eye are made by reflection; but reflections cannot make such constant and exact patterns or imitations; Others believe it pro∣ceeds from pressure and reaction; but pressure and re∣action being but particular actions, cannot make such variety of figures. Others again say, That the spe∣cies of the objects pass from the objects to the optick or∣gan, and make figures in the air; but then the mul∣titude of those figures in the air would make such a con∣fusion, as would hinder the species's passing through; besides, the species being corporeal, and proceeding from the object, would lessen its quantity or bulk. Where∣fore Page 219 my opinion is, that the most rare and subtilest parts in the animal sensitive organs, do pattern out the figures of exterior objects, and that the perception of the exte∣rior animal senses, to wit, sight, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling; is certainly made by no other way, then by figuring and imitation.
Q. 12. How the bare patterning out of the Exterior figure of an object, can give us an information of its Interior nature?
My answer is, That although our sensitive Percep∣tion can go no further then the exterior shape, figure and actions of an object; yet the rational being a more subtil, active and piercing Perception, by reason it is more free then the sensitive, does not rest in the know∣ledg of the exterior figure of an object, but by its exte∣rior actions, as by several effects, penetrates into its inte∣rior nature, and doth probably guess and conclude what its interior figurative motions may be; for al∣though the interior and exterior actions of a composed figure be different, yet the exterior may partly give a hint or information of the interior; I say, partly, be∣cause it is impossible that one finite particular Creature should have a perfect knowledg or perception of all the interior and exterior actions of another particular Crea∣ture; for example, our sensitive Perception patterns out an Animal, a Mineral, a Vegetable, &c. we per∣ceive they have the figure of flesh, stone, wood, &c. but yet we do not know what is the cause of their being Page 220 such figures; for the interior, figurative motions of these Creatures, being not subject to the perception of our exterior senses, cannot exactly be known; ne∣vertheless, although our exterior senses have no per∣ception thereof, yet their own parts which are con∣cern'd in it, as also their adjoining or neighbouring parts may: For example, a man knows he has a dige∣stion in his body; which being an interior action, he cannot know by his exterior senses how it is made; but those parts of the body where the digestion is per∣formed, may know it; nay, they must of necessity do so, because they are concerned in it, as being their pro∣per imployment: The same may be said of all other particular parts and actions in an Animal body, which are like several workmen, imployed in the building of a house; for although they do all work and labour to one and the same end, that is, the exstruction of the house; and every onemay have some inspection or per∣ception of what his neighbour doth; yet each having his peculiar task and employment, has also its proper and peculiar knowledg how to perform his own work; for a Joiner knows best how to finish and perfect what he has to do, and so does a Mason, Carpenter, Tiler, Glasier, Stone-cutter, Smith, &c. And thus it is with all composed figures or Creatures; which proves, That Perception has onely a respect to exterior parts or objects; when as self-knowledg is an interior, inhe∣rent, inate, and, as it were, a fixt being; for it is the Page 221 ground and fountain of all other particular know∣ledges and perceptions, even as self-motion is the cause and principle of all other particular actions; and although self-knowledg can be without perception, yet perception cannot be without self-knowledg; for it has its being from self-knowledg, as an effect from its cause; and as one and the same cause may produce numerous effects, so from one self-knowledg proceed numerous perceptions, which do vary infinitely, ac∣cording to the various changes of corporeal self-mo∣tion. In short, self-knowledg is the fundamental cause of perception, but self-motion the occasional cause; Just like Matter and self-motion are the causes of all natural figures; for though Perception could not be without self-knowledg, yet were there no self-mo∣tion, there would be no variety of figures, and con∣sequently not exterior objects to be perceived.
Q. 13. How is it possible, that several figures can be patterned out by one act of Perception? for example, how can a man, when he sees a statue or a stone, pattern out both the exterior shape of the statue, the matter which the statue is made of, and its colour, and all this by one and the same act?
I answer, First it is to be observed, That Matter, Colour, Figure, Magnitude, &c. are all but one thing, and therefore they may easily be patterned out by one act of Perception at one and the same time. Next, I say, That no sense is made by one single part, but every sense consists of several parts, and therefore Page 222 the perception of one sense may very well pattern out several objects at once; for example, I see an embroi∣dred bed; my eye patterns out both the Velvet, Gold, Silver, Silk, Colour, and the Workmanship, nay, superficially the figure of the whole Bed, and all this by one act, and at one the same time. But it is to be observed, That one object may have several proprie∣ties, which are not all subject to the perception of one sence; as for example, the smell of an odorife∣rous body, and its colour, are not subject to the same sense; neither is the hardness or softness, roughness or smoothness of its parts, subject to the sense of smelling or seeing, but each is perceived by such a sense as is proper for such a sort of Perception. Nevertheless, these different perceptions do not make them to be dif∣ferent bodies; for even one and the same attribute or propriety of a body may be patterned out by several senses; for example, Magnitude or shape of body may be patterned out both by fight and touch: which proves, that there is a near affinity or alliance betwixt the several senses, and that Touch is, as it were a ge∣neral sense, which may imitate some other sensitive perceptions. The truth is, it is as easie for several sen∣ses to pattern out the several proprieties of one body, as it is for several Painters to draw the several parts of one figure; as for example, of a burning Candle, one may draw the wax or tallow, another the wick, ano∣ther the flame: The like for the Perceptions of se∣veral Page 223 senses; Sight may pattern out the figure and light of a Candle; Touch may pattern out its weight, hardness or smoothness; the Nose may pattern out its smell; the Ears may pattern out its sparkling noise, & c. All which does evidently prove, That Perception can∣not be made by pressure and reaction; or else a fire coal by the perception of sight, would burn out the eye, be∣cause it would by pressure inflame its next adjoining parts, and these again the next, until it came to the eye. Besides, it proves that all objects are material; for were Light, Colour, Figure, Heat, Cold, & c. im∣material, they would never be patterned out by cor∣poreal motions; for no Painter is able to copy out, or draw an immaterial mode or motion; Neither could immaterial motions make pressure, nor be subject to reaction. Lastly, it proves, That Perception is an effect of knowledg in the sentient, and not in the exter∣nal object; or else there would be but one knowledg in all parts, and not several knowledges in several parts; whereof sense and reason inform us otherwise, viz. that particular figures have variety of knowledges, ac∣cording to the difference and variety of their corporeal figurative motions.
But then some will say, That the actions of Matter would be more infinite then the parts. I answer; There can be neither more nor less in infinite: For in∣finite can be but infinite; but since parts, figures, changes of motion and perceptions, are one and the same; and Page 224 since division and composition are the chief actions of Nature, it does necessarily follow, That as the actions vary, so do also their parts and particular percep∣tions.
Q. 14. How is it possible that any Perception of out∣ward objects can be made by patterning, since patterning doth follow perception; for how can any one pattern out that which he has no perception of?
I answer: Natural actions are not like Artificial; for Art is but gross and dull in comparison to Nature; and although I alledg the comparison of a Painter, yet is it but to make my meaning more intelligible to weaker capacities; for though a Painter must see or know first what he intends to draw or copy out; yet the natural perception of exterior objects is not altogether after the same manner; but in those perceptions which are made by patterning, the action of patterning, and the perception, are one and the same; for as self-know∣ledg is the ground of Perception, so self-motion is the action of Perception, without which no perception could be, and therefore perception and self-action are one and the same. But I desire, that it may well be ob∣served what I have mentioned heretofore, to wit, That although there is but one self-knowledg, and one self∣motion in Nature, yet they being material, are divide∣able; and therefore as from one infinite cause, there may flow infinite effects, and one infinite whole may be divided into infinite parts; so from one infinite self∣knowledg Page 225 and self-motion there may proceed infinite particular actions and perceptions.
But some may perhaps ask, 1. Why those particu∣lar knowledges and perceptions are not all alike, as be∣ing all but effects of one cause? To which I answer, That if the actions or motions of Nature were all alike, all parts would have the like knowledges and percep∣tions; but the actions being different, how can it be otherwise, but the perceptions must be different also? for since every perception is a particular self-action, then as the actions of Nature vary, and as parts do divide and compose, so are likewise their perceptions.
2. It may be objected, That if the Perception of the exterior senses in animals be made by the way of pat∣terning, then when a part of the body feels pain, the rational motions by patterning out the same, would be pained, or sick.
I answer: This does no more follow, then that the Eye patterning out the exterior figure of Water, Fire, Earth, & c. should become of the same nature; for the original is one thing, and the copy another: the pi∣cture of a house of stone, is not made of natural stone, nor is the picture of a Tree, a natural Tree; for if it were so, Painters would do more then Chymists by fire and furnace; but by reason there is a very close conjunction between the rational and sensitive percep∣tive motions, so that when the sensitive motions of the body pattern out some exterior object, the rational Page 226 most commonly do the same; That which we call pain or sickness in the body, when patterned out by the mind, is called trouble, or grief; for as there are degrees in their purity, subtilty and activity, so their perceptions are also different. But it is well to be observed, That although some parts are ignorant of others, when they work not to one and the same perception, yet sometimes there is a more general knowledg of a disease, pain, or soreness; for example, a man may have an inflamation or soreness in one part of his arm or leg, and all the rest of the parts of that limb may be ignorant thereof; but if the inflamation, soreness or pain, extend throughout the whole arm or leg, then all the parts of that limb are generally sensible of it.
3. It may be objected, That if the rational percep∣tive motions take patterns from the sensitive, then rea∣son can never judg of things as naturally they are, but onely of their copies, as they are patterned out by the sensitive motions.
I answer, first, That reason is not so necessitated, as to have no other perception then what sense presents; for Reason is the instructer and informer of sense, as an architect or surveigher is in the extruction of a house. Next, I say, That in the act of Perception, Reason doth not onely perceive the copies of the senses, but it perceives with the sense also the original; for surely the rational part of Matter, being intermixed with the sensitive, must perceive as well the original, as sense Page 227 doth; for it is not so involved within the sensitive; that it cannot peep out, as a Jack-in-a-Box; but both being closely intermixed, one makes perceptions as well as the other, as being both perceptive; and by reason the rational part makes the same perception as the sensitive doth, it seemeth as if the rational did take co∣pies from the sensitive; which although it doth, yet this doth not hinder it from making a perception also of the original.
But then some may say, if the rational Part has li∣berty to move as it will, then it may perceive without sense; that is, Reason may make perceptions of out∣ward objects in the organs of the senses, when the sen∣ses make none; as for example, the rational motions in the eye may perceive light, when the sensitive do not; and sound in the ear, when the sensitive do not.
To which I answer; 'Tis probable, that the rational do many times move to other perceptions then the sen∣sitive; as I have often declared; but if their actions be orderly and regular, then most commonly they move to one and the same perception; but reason being the purer and freer part, has a more subtil perception then sense; for there is great difference between sense and reason, concerning the subtilty of their actions; sense does perceive, as it were, in part, when as reason perceives generally, and in whole; for if there be an object which is to be patterned out with all its proprie∣ties, the colour of it is perceived onely by sight; the Page 228 smell of it is perceived by the Nose; its Sound is per∣ceived by the Ear, its taste is perceived by the Tongue, and its hardness or softness, coldness or heat, dryness or moisture, is perceived by Touch; so that every sense in particular, patterns out that object which is pro∣per for it; and each has but so much knowledg of the said object as it patterns out; for the sight knows no∣thing of its taste, nor the taste of its touch, nor the touch of its smell; and so forth: But the mind patterns out all those figures together, so that they are but as one object to it, without division: which proves, that the rational perception, being more general, is also more perfect then the sensitive; and the reason is, because it is more free, and not incumbred with the burdens of other parts; Wherefore the rational can judg better of objects then the sensitive, as being more know∣ing; and knows more, because it has a more general perception; and hath a more general perception, be∣cause it is more subtile and active; and is more subtil and active, because it is free, and not necessitated to la∣bour on, or with any other parts.
But some may say, How is it possible, that the ratio∣nal part, being so closely intermixed with the sensitive and the inanimate, can move by it self, and not be a labourer, as well as the sensitive?
I answer: The reason is, because the rational part is more pure and finer then the sensitive, or any other part of Matter; which purity and fineness makes that Page 229 it is so subtile and active, and consequently not neces∣sitated to labour with, or on other parts.
Again: Some may ask, Whether those intermix∣ed parts continue always together in their particulars? as for example, whether the same rational parts keep constantly to the same sensitive and inanimate parts, as they are commixed?
I answer: Nature is in a perpetual motion, and her parts are parts of her own self-moving body; where∣fore they must of necessity divide and compose; but if they divide and compose, they cannot keep constant∣ly to the same parts. Nevertheless, although particular parts are divideable from each other, yet the Trium∣virate of Nature, that is, the three chief degrees or parts of Matter, to wit, rational, sensitive and inanimate, which belong to the constitution of Nature, cannot be separated or divided from each other in general; so that rational matter may be divided from sensitive and inani∣mate, and these again from the rational, but they must of necessity continue in this commixture as long as Na∣ture lasts. In short, rational, sensitive and inanimate Matter are divideable in their particulars; that is, such a particular part of inanimate Matter is not bound to such a particular part of sensitive or rational Mat∣ter, &c. but they are individeable in general, that is, from each other; for wheresoever is body, there is also a commixture of these three degrees of Matter.
4. Some may say, How is it possible, That Rea∣son Page 230 can be above Sense; and that the rational percep∣tion is more subtile and knowing then the sensitive; since in my Philosophical Opinions, I have declared that the sensitive perception doth inform the rational: or that Reason perceives by the information of the senses?
To which I answer: My meaning is not, that Rea∣son has no other perception, but by the information of the senses; for surely the rational perception is more subtile, piercing and penetrating, or inspective, then the sensitive, and therefore more intelligent and know∣ing; but when I say, that sense informs reason, I speak onely of such perceptions where the rational figurative motions take patterns from the sensitive, and do not work voluntarily, or by rote.
Besides, It is to be observed, That in the mentioned Book, I compare Thoughts, which are the actions of the rational figurative motions, to the sensitive Touch; so that Touch is like a Thought in sense, and Thought like a Touch in reason: But there is great difference in their purity; for though the actions of Touch and Thought are much after the same manner, yet the different degrees of sense and reason, or of animate, sen∣sitive and rational matter, cause great difference between them; and as all sensitive perception is a kind of touch, so all rational perception is a kind of thoughtfulness: But mistake me not when I say, Thought is like Touch; for I do not mean, that the rational perception is cau∣sed by the conjunction or joining of one part to ano∣ther, Page 231 or that it is an exterior touch, but an interior knowledg; for all self-knowledg is a kind of thought∣fulness, and that Thought is a rational Touch, as Touch is a sensitive Thought; for the exterior percep∣tions of reason resemble the interior actions or know∣ledg of sense. Neither do I mean, that the percep∣tion of touch is made by pressure and reaction, no more then the perception of sight, hearing, or the like; but the patterns of outward objects being actions of the bo∣dy sentient, are, as it were, a self-touch, or self-feeling, both in the sensitive and rational perceptions. Indeed that subtile and learned Philosopher, who will per∣swade us that Perception is made by pressure and reacti∣on, makes Perception onely a fantasme: For, says he, Reaction makes a Fantasme, and that is Perception.
5. Some perhaps will say, That if the Perception of the exterior animal senses be made by Patterning, then that animal which hath two or more eyes, by pattern∣ing out an exterior object, will have a double or trebble perception of it, according to the number of its eyes.
I answer: That when the corporeal motions in each eye move irregularly; as for example, when one eye moves this, and the other another way, or when the eyes look asquint; then they do not pattern out the object directly as they ought; but when the eyes move regularly, then they pattern out one and the same object alike, as being fixt but upon one point; and the proof thereof is, if there be two eyes, we may observe that Page 232 both have their perceptions apart, as well as jointly; because those parts that are in the middle of each eye, do not make at the same time the same perceptions with those that are the side or extream parts thereof, but their perceptions are different from each other: For ex∣ample, the eyes of a Man, or some other Animal, pat∣tern out a Tree which stands in a direct line opposite to them; but if there be Meadows or Hedges on each side of the Tree, then the extream or side parts of each eye pattern out those meadows or hedges; for one eyes perception, is not the other eyes perception; which makes them perceive differently, when otherwise they would perceive both alike. But if a thousand eyes do perceive one object just alike, then they are but as one eye, and make but one perception; for like as many parts do work or act to one and the same design; so do several corporeal motions in one eye, pattern out one object; the onely difference is, that, as I said, every eye is ignorant of each others perception.
But, you'l say, There are so many copies made, as there are objects.
I answer, 'Tis true: But though there are many com∣posed parts which join in the making of one particular perception; yet if they move all alike, the perception is but one and the same: for put the case there were a hundred thousand copies of one original; if they be all alike each other, so as not to have the least difference betwixt them; then they are all but as one Picture of Page 233 one Original; but if they be not alike each other, then they are different Pictures, because they represent dif∣ferent faces. And thus for a matched pair of eyes in one Creature; if they move at the same point of time, directly to one and the same parts, in the same design of patterning out one and the same object; it seems but as one act of one part, and as one perception of one object.
Q. 15. How comes it, that some parts, for all they are Perceptive, can yet be so ignorant of each other, that in one composed figure, as for example, in the finger of a Man's hand, they are ignorant of each other; when as other parts do make perceptions of one another, at a great distance, and when other parts are between?
I answer: This question is easily resolved, if we do but consider, that the differerence of Perception de∣pends upon the difference of the corporeal figurative motions; for if the parts be not the same, the percep∣tions must needs be different; nay, there may infinite several perceptions be made by one and the same parts; if Matter be eternal, and perpetually moving. And hence it follows, that some parts may make percepti∣ons of distant parts, and not of neighbouring parts; and others again may make perceptions of neigh∣bouring or adjoining parts, and not of those that are distant: As for example, in the animal Perception, taste and touch are onely perceptions of adjoining objects, when as sight and hearing do perceive at a Page 234 distance; for if an object be immediately joined to the optick sense, it quite blinds it. Wherefore it is well to be observed, that there are several kinds and sorts of Perceptions, as well as of other composed figures: As for example, there are Animals, Vegetables, Mine∣rals, and Elements; and these comprehend each se∣veral particular kinds of Animals, Vegetables, Mine∣rals, &c. Again, these particular kinds are divided into several sorts, and each of them contains so many parti∣culars; nay, each particular has so many different parts, of which it consists, and each part has its diffe∣rent particular motions. The same may be said of Per∣ceptions: For as the several compositions of several parts are, so are they: not that the bare composition of the parts and figures is the cause of Perception; but the self-knowing and self-moving parts compose themselves into such or such figures; and as there are proprieties belonging to such compositions, so to such composed perceptions; so that the composed parts at the end of a finger, may not have the same perceptions with the middle parts of the same finger.
But some may say, If there be such ignorance be∣tween the parts of a composed figure, How comes it, that many times the pain of one particular part, will cause a general distemper throughout all the body?
I answer; There may be a general perception of the irregularities of such particular composed parts in the other parts of the body, although they are not irregular Page 235 themselves; for if they had the same compositions, and the same irregularities as the distempered parts, they would have the same effects; that is, pain, sickness, or numbness, &c. within themselves; but to have a perception of the irregularities of other parts, and to be irregular themselves, are different things. Never∣theless, some parts moving irregularly, may occa∣sion other parts to do the same. But it is well to be ob∣served, That adjoining parts do not always imitate each other, neither do some parts make perceptions of for∣reign objects so readily as others do; as for example, a man plays upon a Fiddle, or some other instrument, and there are hundreds, or more to hear him; it hap∣pens oft, that those at a further distance do make a per∣fecter perception of that sound, then those which are near; and oftentimes, those that are in the middle, as between those that are nearest, and those that are fur∣thest off, may make a perfecter perception then all they; for though all parts are in a perpetual motion, yet all parts are not bound to move after one and the same way; but some move slower, some quicker, some livelier, some duller; and some parts do move so irre∣gularly as they will not make perceptions of some ob∣jects, when as they make perceptions of others; and some will make perfect perceptions of one and the same objects at some times, and not at other times: As for example, some men will hear, see, smell, taste, &c. more perfectly at some, then at other times. And Page 236 thus to repeat what I said before, The several kinds, sorts and particulars of Perceptions, must well be con∣sidered; as also, that the variety of Nature proceeds but from one cause, which is self-knowing and self∣moving Matter.
Q. 16. Why a Man's hand, or any other part of his body, has not the like Perception as the eye, the ear, or the nose, &c. because there are sensitive and rational mo∣tions in all the parts of his body?
I answer: The reason why the same perception that is within the eye cannot be in the hand, or in any o∣ther part of a mans body, is, that the parts of the hand are composed into another sort of figure then the eyes, ears, nose, &c. are; and the sensitive motions make perceptions according to the compositions of their parts; and if the parts of the hand should be di∣vided and composed with other parts, into another fi∣gure; as for example, into the figure of an eye, or ear, or nose; then they would have the perception of seeing, hearing and smelling; for perceptions are ac∣cording to the composition of parts, and the changes of Natures self-motions.
But then some will say, perhaps, That an Artificial eye, or ear, will have the same perceptions, &c. being of the same figure.
I answer: That if its interior nature, and the compo∣sition of its parts were just the same as its exterior figure; as for example, if an artificial eye, or ear, were of Page 237 animal flesh, and the like; it would have the like per∣ception, otherways not.
Q. 17. How do we perceive Light, Fire, Air, & c?
I answer: By their exterior figures, as we do other objects: As for example, my Eye patterns out the exterior figure of Light, and my Touch patterns out the exterior figure of Heat, &c.
But then you will say, If the Eye did pattern out the figure of Light, it would become Light it self; and if Touch did pattern out the figure of Heat, it would become Fire.
I answer: No more then when a Painter draws Fire or Light, the copy should be a natural Fire or Light. For there is difference betwixt the copy, and the original: and it is to be observed, that in the Perception of sense, especially of sight, there must be a certain distance betwixt the object, and the sentient parts; for the further those are from each other, the weaker is the perception, by reason no corporeal fi∣gurative motion is infinite, but finite; and therefore it can have but fueh a degree of power, strength, or acti∣vity as belongs to such a figurative action, or such a part or degree of Matter. But as for Fire and Light, it is a certain and evident proof, that some perceptions, at least those of the exterior animal senses, are made by patterning; for though the nature of Fire and of Light (for any thing we know) be ascending, yet if Fire be made in such a manner, that several may stand about, Page 238 underneath, and above it; yet they all have the per∣ception of the heat of fire, in what place soever, provi∣ded they stand within a limited or determinate compass of it: I say, of the heat which is the effect of fire; for that is onely patterned out, and not the substance of the flame or fire it self: But on the contrary, if the heat of the fire did actually and really spread it self out to all the places nominated, as well downwards, upwards and sideways; then certainly it would be wasted in a little time, and leave its cause, which is the fire, heatless. Besides, that there are Copies and Originals, and that some perceptions are made by patterning, is evident by the appearance of one Candle in several distances, which several appearances can be nothing else, but several co∣pies of that Candle made by those parts that take pat∣terns from the Original; which makes me also believe, that after the same manner, many Stars which we take for Originals, may be but so many copies or patterns of one Star, made by the figurative motions of those parts where they appear.
Q. 18. Whether the Optick Perception is made in the Eye, or Brain, or in both?
I answer: The perception of Sight, when awake, is made on the outside of the Eye, but in sleep on the in∣side; and as for some sorts of Thoughts or Concep∣tions, which are the actions of reason, they are to my apprehension made in the inner part of the head, al∣though I am not able to determine properly what part Page 239 it is; for all the body is perceptive, and has sense and reason, and not onely the head; the onely difference is, that the several actions of several parts, cause several sorts of perceptions; and the rational parts being the most active, and purest, and moving within themselves, can make more figures in the same compass or magnitude, and in a much shorter time then the sensitive, which being burthened with the inanimate parts, cannot act so agily and freely: Neverthess, some of the sensi∣tive actions are much agiler and nimbler then others, as we may perceive in several sorts of productions. But the rational parts being joined with the sensitive in the exterior parts of a figure, do, for the most part, work together with the same; otherwise, when they move by themselves in Thoughts, Conceptions, Remembrance, and the like; they are more inward, as within the head; for there are Perceptions of interior parts, as well as of exterior; I mean, within a composed figure, by rea∣son all parts are perceptive: Neither does this prove, that if there be so many perceptions in one composed figure, there must be numerous several perceptions of one object in that same figure; for every part knows its own work, or else there would be a confusion in Natures actions: Neither are all perceptions alike, but as I said, according as the several actions are, so are the perceptions.
Q. 19. What is the reason, that the nearer a stick or finger is held against a Concave-glass, the more does the pattern of Page 240 it, made by the glass, appear to issue out of the glass, and meet with the object that is without it?
I answer: 'Tis not that something really issues out of the Glass; but as in a plain Looking-glass, the further the object goes from it, the more does its copy or image seem to be within the glass: So, in the same manner does the length of the stick, which is the mea∣sure of the object, or distance that moves: For, as to a man that rides in a Coach, or sails upon Water, the Shore, Trees, Hedges, Meadows, and Fields, seem to move; when as yet, 'tis the man that moves from them; so it is with the figure in a Looking-glass: Wherefore it is onely a mistake in the animal sense, to take the motion of one, for the motion of the other.
Q. 20. Whether a Part or Figure repeated by the same Motions, be the same part or figure as the former, or one∣ly like the former; as also whether an action repeated, be the same with the former?
I answer: That if the Parts, Figures and Actions be the same, they will always remain the same, although they be dissolved and repeated millions of times; as for example, if you make a figure of wax, and dissolve it, and make that figure again just as it was before, and of the same parts, and by the same action, it will be the very same figure; but if you alter either the parts, or the figure, it may be like the former figure, but not the very same. The like for action; if one and the same action be repeated without any alteration, it is nothing Page 241 else but a repetition of the corporeal figurative motions; but if there be any alteration in it, it is not made by the same figurative motions, and consequently, 'tis not the same action; for though the self-moving parts be the same, yet the figurative motions are not the same; not that those figurative motions are not in the same parts, but not repeated in the same manner. Wherefore it is well to be observed, that a Repetition is of the same parts, figures and actions that were before, but an al∣teration is not a repetition; for wheresoever is but the least alteration, there can be no exact repetition.
Q. 21. Whether there may be a Remembrance in Sense, as well as there is in Reason?
I answer, Yes: for Remembrance is nothing else but a Repetition of the same figure, made by the same corporeal figurative motions; and as there is a rational remembrance, which is a repetition of the same figures, made by the rational, corporeal figurative motions, so there is also a sensitive remembrance, that is, a repeti∣tion of the same figures, made by the sensitive, cor∣poreal, figurative motions: For example, I see an object; the sensitive motions in the eye, pattern out the figure of that object; but as soon as the object is re∣moved, the perception is altered. It may be, I see the same object again in a dream, or in a phrensie, or the like distemper; and then the same figure is repeated which was made first by the sensitive motions of the figure of the object, when it was really present; which Page 242 is a sensitive remembrance, whether the repetition be made after a Pattern or by rote, although it is more proper to say, that remembrance is onely a repetition of such figures as are made by rote, then of those that are made after a Pattern; for a repetition of those fi∣gures that are made after a Pattern; is rather a present perception of a present object; when as remembrance is of objects that are absent.
Q. 22. Whether the rational Parts can quit some Parts and join to others?
I answer: Our sense and reason perceives they do; or else there would be no Motion, no Separation, Composition, Dilation, Contraction, Digestion, Pro∣duction, Transformation, Infancy, Youth, Age, nor no Action in the World whatsoever: And by this it also evident, that (as I said before) particular, rational and sensitive parts, are not bound to move al∣ways together, or to keep constantly to the same parts, no not in the action of perception; for though they most commonly work together when they move regularly; yet many times they do not: as for Example, the sen∣sitive do not always make perceptions of exterior objects, but many times make figures by rote; as 'tis manifest in mad men and such as are in high Feavers and the like distempers, which see or hear, taste or smell such or such objects when none are present; and the Rational Parts being regular, do perceive both the sensitive figures made by rote, and that there are Page 243 no such exterior objects really present; also the Ra∣tional parts make figures by rote, and without any out∣ward pattern; but such voluntary figures cannot pro∣perly be named Perceptions, by reason Perceptions are occasioned by outward objects; but they are rather voluntary Conceptions.
Q. 23. If it be so, that Parts can divide themselves from some Parts, and join to other Parts: Why may not the soul do the same, and change its Vehicles, that is, leave such, and take other Vehicles?
I answer: Concerning the Natural soul of man, which is part of Nature, and consists of the purest and subtilest degree of matter, which is the Rational, it is without question, that it is divideable and composeable, because it is material, and therefore subject to chan∣ges and transmutations; But as for the supernatural soul, because she is spiritual and consequently indivi∣dable, as having no parts, and therefore not the pro∣priety of a body which is to have figurative actions, it cannot be said of her that she is subject to compo∣sitions, divisions, transmutations, &c. However, put the case the supernatural soul should have those pro∣prieties of a body, although no body her self; Yet there could be but one infinite soul in one infinite body, and as the body did divide, so the soul must of necessity do also otherwise one soul would have many bodies, and some bodies would be soul-less; which would cause a horrid confusion between souls and bodies. Where∣fore Page 244 in my opinion Pythagoras's doctrine concerning the transmigration of souls, or that one soul can take several bodies, is as absurd, as that one body can quit one place and acquire an other, and so have more pla∣ces then bodies; which if it were thus, we might with as much probability affirm, that many bodies could be in one place, and in the resurrection of bodies there would certainly arise a great dispute between several bodies for one soul, and between several souls for one body, especially if one body was particularly beloved of more then one soul; all which would breed such a war between souls and bodies, souls and souls, and bo∣dies and bodies, that it would put all the world into a confusion; and therefore my opinion is, that Na∣ture is but one onely infinite body, which being self∣moving, is divideable and composeable, and consists of infinite parts of several degrees, which are so inter∣mixt, that in general they cannot be separated from each other, or from the body of Nature, and subsist single and by themselves; Neither can it be otherwise, unless Nature had several bodies, but though she has infinite parts, yet has she but one infinite body; for parts and body are but one Corporeal, self-moving, self-living and self-knowing Nature; And as for the degrees of animate and inanimate matter, they are also but parts of that one body of Nature, and the various and infinite knowledges, perceptions, lives, &c. considered in general, are nothing else but the life, Page 245 knowledg and perception of the infinite body of Na∣ture. And from hence it follows, that one man may have numerous souls, as well as he has numerous parts and particles; which as long as the whole figure of man lasts, their functions and actions are according to the na∣ture of that figure; but when the figure of man dis∣solves (which dissolution is nothing else but a change of those motions that were proper to the nature of its figure) then all the parts of that figure, if they be joined and composed with other parts and figures, become not soul-less, or life-less; but because they consist all of a commixture of animate and inanimate matter, they retain life and soul, onely the actions of that life and soul are according to the nature of those fi∣gures which the parts of the animal body did change into. Thus, as I have mentioned in my Philosophical Letters*, no Creature can challenge a particular life and soul to it self, but every Creature may have by the dividing and composing-nature of this self-moving Matter, more or fewer natural souls and lives.
And thus much of knowledg and perception; which since it is not onely the ground of Natural Philosophy, but a subject of a difficult Nature, I have insisted some∣what longer upon it then I have done upon any other, and endeavoured to clear it as well as I could; so that now, I hope, all that I have declared hitherto, will be sufficient to give the ingenious Reader a true infor∣mation of my opinion thereof, and a satisfactory answer Page 246 to any other scruples that should happen to puzzle his brain; I'le add no more at this present, but conclude with a brief repetition of those few Notes concerning the principles, which by that small portion of Reason and Judgment that Nature has allowed me, I have endeavoured to declare and prove in my works of Na∣tural Philosophy.
1. There is but one Matter, and infinite Parts; one self-motion, and infinite Actions; one Self-knowledg, and infinite particular Knowledges and Perceptions.
2. All parts of Nature are living, knowing, and perceptive, because all are self-moving, for self-mo∣tion is the cause of all particular effects, figures, actions, varieties, changes, lives, knowledges, perceptions, &c. in Nature, and makes the onely difference between animate and inanimate Matter.
3. The chief and general actions of Nature, are di∣vision and composition of parts, both which are done but by one act; for at the same time, when parts sepa∣rate themselves from such parts, they join to other parts; and this is the cause there can be no Vacuum, nor no single parts in Nature.
4. Every particular part of figure is infinitely di∣vided and composed from and with other parts.
5. The infinite divisions and compositions hinder, that Nature cannot run into extreams in her particulars, but keep the parts and actions of Nature in an equal ballance.
Page 247 6. The Inanimate part of Matter has life, sense, and self-knowledg, as well as the animate; but being not moving in it self, or its own Nature, it has not such a perceptive sense and self-knowledg, nor such an active life as the animate hath.
7. The parts of Inanimate Matter alter according to their commixture with the Animate, and so do their particular self-knowledges.
8. As parts alter by the changes of motions, so do particular perceptions.
9. Though all perceptions are figurative actions, yet no particular Creature can undoubtedly affirm, that all are made by patterning or imitation; by reason as the parts and actions of Nature are infinite, so are also particular perceptions; and being infinite, they cannot be known by any particular Creature.
10. There are besides exterior perceptions, volun∣tary actions, both of sense and reason, not made by imitation, but freely and by rote; and these may be called conceptions, rather then perceptions.
11. Those are much in the wrong, who believe, that man can know no more then what his five senses do in∣form him; for the rational part, which is the purest, subtilest, most active, and inspective part of Nature, does inform it self of things which the sensitive cannot; as for example, how was the new world and the Anti∣podes found out? for they were neither seen, nor heard of, nor tasted, nor smelled, nor touched. Truly Page 248 our reason does many times perceive that which our senses cannot; and some things our senses cannot per∣ceive until reason informs them; for there are many inventions which owe their rise and beginning onely to reason. It is not sense, but reason that knows or per∣ceives, there is something beyond it self, and be∣yond Nature, which is the Onely, Eternal, and Om∣nipotent God, and there can be no higher conception then this; for what is beyond it, is supernatural, and belongs to supernatural Creatures; as for example, those divine souls which God has given to men, above their rational material souls: but as for the wicked souls, they come not from God, but are irregularities of Nature, which God certainly will punish, as a Ma∣ster does the evil actions of his Servant.
12. Art is but a Natural Creature or effect, and not a Creator of any thing.
13. Colour, Magnitude, Figure, Place, Time, Gravity, Levity, Density, Rarity, Compositions, Divisions, Alterations, &c. are all one and the same with self-moving Matter, and nothing else but the va∣rious actions of Nature; which actions can no more be separated from body, then body can from Matter, or parts from their whole; for all that is natural, is corporeal; and therefore the distinction into substances and accidents, is to no purpose, since there cannot really be, no not imagined, such a thing as an incorporeal or substanceless motion or action in Nature.
Page 249 But some perhaps will say, If every part and 〈◊◊〉 of Nature has Magnitude, Colour, Figure, Place, &c. How is it possible that they can be one and the same with body, since they are subject to several per∣ceptions?
To which I answer, The several perceptions do not make them to be several bodies, but they are patterned out or perceived as several proprieties or attributes of one body, or as several effects of one cause; for though there is but one cause in Nature, which is self-moving matter; yet that onely cause must of necessity have several effects or proprieties, as Figure, Colour, Place, Magnitude, &c. and if I may without offence make a comparison between the Creator and a Creature, God is but one in his Essence, as one Infinite and Eternal God, and yet has seve∣ral Divine Attributes; and though the parts of Na∣ture cannot comprehend, conceive, or perceive God, yet they may conceive somewhat of his several At∣tributes, after several manners or wayes: In the like manner, although there is but one matter, yet that matter may be perceived after several manners or ways, it being impossible that matter, or any part of par∣ticle of matter, although it were single, should be without those several mentioned proprieties; for can any one conceive or imagine a body without Figure, Magnitude, Place or Colour, were it as little as an Atome? and since there are no Natural Figures or Page 250 Creatures but consist of parts, those composed Fi∣gures may have a different Magnitude, Place, Co∣lour, &c. from their parts and particles were they single; but being self-moving, those figures may alter by self-motion; for 'tis as impossible for a body to be without parts, as for parts to be without body; but if matter were not self-moving, there would neither be alterations, perceptions, nor any natural actions, although there might be a fixt self-knowledg in Na∣tures parts. And thus it is no wonder how there can be several perceptions of one figure, by reason there's no figure but is composed of parts; and as we can conceive a whole and its parts, which yet are one and the same thing, several ways; (for a whole we con∣ceive as a composition of parts; and parts we con∣ceive as a division of the whole) so we may Figure, Place, Magnitude, &c. And as we cannot conceive nor perceive motion without body; so neither can we conceive those mentioned proprieties without body, or body without them, they being nothing else but the corporeal, figurative actions of Nature.