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J. B. CORNELIUS,
From my own Personal Experience.
Originally published: London: A&C Black,
Typewritten, 6 pages.
The central difficulty about the problem of mind and consciousness is, it has no characteristic. It has no visible characteristics. It has no audible characteristics. It has no other characteristics other than that of being the condition for experience. The characteristic of which we make our best informed judgments about it, namely being conscious, is that which is illusory, a shadow of something that is not so.
The problem of the nature of mind and of consciousness is the problem of the nature of that which is that which experiences. It is possible that mind and consciousness may be indescribable. That is, we can not put to words a characteristic of what it is we mean when we use such words as mind, or consciousness. It would be just as though we were to say something about water, when we said, It is the condition for change. It is for that reason that I called my first book, "The conscious mind". We can not put to words a characteristic of the thing which we mean when we say mind.
In the early part of the twentieth century it was felt that mind was a force of some sort. The difficulty was to state what sort. The particular difficulty at that time was what to call it, mind. The mind was considered to be a force, and it was felt that it could be called many things, such as thought, soul, life. It was felt that all this was useless, because it was felt that these were not characteristics of the thing which we mean when we say mind. This fact was recognised. It was felt that it was useful to speak of it as a force of some kind. It was also felt that the consciousness of this force was invisible. It was felt that in this case, the idea of force did not apply. That is, we could not say that the mind was a force, and that it was invisible.
It was felt that the idea of a force did not apply, and yet it was felt that there was something which we mean by the word mind. It was felt that the word "mind" was so indefinite that it was impossible to make a description of the characteristic of the thing which we meant when we used the word "mind".
This fact, and other facts, were felt to be of value.
It was felt that the consciousness of the mind was 0b46394aab