Phenomenon of Consciousness (11)

dreams-2724523_1920 Image by Mary Gorobchenko from Pixabay

There are at least seven different kinds of sensation: sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch, temperature and pressure. It is difficult to conceive of a conscious state existing in any body, which has not experienced any of these sensations. Cognitions of internal relations. These are numerous and we shall not attempt to even mention them all. They may, however, be grouped into three distinct classes, memory, reason and emotion.

Memory, or re-cognition, is the cognition of previous cognitions and results from brain activity stimulated or excited by the record in the brain of previous cognitions. Reason, or the cognition of abstract relations, is the same as thought or contemplation, and includes the cerebral acts of judgment, decision, imagination, deduction, the cognition of future possibilities and many other cognitions—all the result of brain activity stimulated by cogitation or the process called thinking. It is difficult to state clearly the exact origin of these cognitions and of the brain activity which produces them.

To the author they appear to result from brain activity, in which the principal brain stimulus is memory, not of a single, but of numerous previous cognitions, aided generally, but not always, by present sensations. Emotion is cognition of the same general character as reason and appears to originate in the same kind of brain stimuli and brain activity, yet, instead of being characterized by the qualities of reason or thought, emotion seems more exactly to lack these qualities.

Among the principal emotions we may mention: desire, will, impulse, love, hate, rage, sexual passion, sympathy, wonder, admiration, fear, courage, grief, joy, hope and despair. These various cognitions or varieties of knowledge, are physiological phenomena resulting from cerebral acts—brain activities. They are commonly called “mental” acts or phenomena or activities of the “mind.” We are purposely avoiding in this connection the use of the word, mind because it appears to be unintelligible.

***Excerpt from Charles John Reed: The Law of Vital Infusion and the Phenomenon of Consciousness