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made, it is clear that to unify two concepts in a third implies to begin with the admission of a difference between the two first. Here it is this difference that concerns us and we set it in relief.
Intuition has sometimes been confused with simple Intuition and
sensation. But since this confusion ends by being offensive to common sense, it has more frequently been attenuated or concealed with a phraseology apparently designed at once to confuse and to distinguish them. | Thus, it has been asserted that intuition is sensation, but not so much simple sensation as association of sensations. Here a double meaning is concealed in the word -- association.] Association is understood, either as memory, mnemonic association, conscious recollection, and in that case the claim to unite in memory elements which are not intuited, distinguished, possessed in some way by the spirit and produced by consciousness, seems inconceivable : or it is understood as association of unconscious elements, in which case we remain in the world of sensation and of nature. But if with certain associationists we speak of an association which is neither
memory nor flux of sensations, but a productive associa
tion (formative, constructive, distinguishing); then our
contention is admitted and only its name is denied to it.
For productive association is no longer association in the sense of the sensationalists, but synthesis, that is to say, spiritual activity. Synthesis may be called association ; but with the concept of productivity is already posited the distinction between passivity and activity, between sensation and intuition. Other psychologists are disposed to distinguish from sensation something which is sensation no longer, but is not yet intellectual concept : the representation or image. What is the difference between their representation or image and our intuitive knowledge 2 Everything and nothing : for “representation” is a very equivocal word. s If by representation be understood something cut off and standing out from the psychic basis of the sensations, then representation is intuition) If, on the other
Intuition and representation.
Intuition and expression.
hand, it be conceived as complex sensation we are back
How can we really have an intuition of the contour of a region, for example of the island of Sicily, if we are not able to draw it as it is in all its meanderings 2 Every one can experience the internal illumination which follows upon his success in formulating to himself his impressions and feelings, but only so far as he is able to formulate them. Feelings or impressions, then, pass by means of words from the obscure region of the soul into the clarity of the contemplative spirit. It is impossible to distin- . ** guish intuition from expression in this cognitive process. . . The one appears with the other at the same instant, Lbecause they are not two, but one. The principal reason which makes our view appear Illusion as paradoxical as we maintain it, is the illusion or prejudice #.6. that we possess a more complete intuition of reality than we really do. One often hears people say that they have many great thoughts in their minds, but that they are not able to express them. But if they really had them, they would have coined them into just so many beautiful, sounding words, and thus have expressed them. If these thoughts seem to vanish or to become few and meagre in the act of expressing them, the reason is that they did not exist or really were few and meagre. People think that all of us ordinary men imagine and intuite countries, figures and scenes like painters, and bodies like sculptors; save that painters and sculptors know how to paint and carve such images, while we bear them unexpressed in our souls. They believe that any one could have imagined a Madonna of Raphael ; but that Raphael was Raphael owing to his technical ability in putting the Madonna upon canvas. Nothing can be ... more false than this view. The world which as a rule we intuite is a small thing. It consists of little expressions, which gradually become greater and wider with the increasing spiritual concentration of certain moments. They are the words we say to ourselves, our silent judgments: “Here is a man, here is a horse, this is heavy, this is sharp, this pleases me,” etc. It is a medley of light and colour, with no greater pictorial value than
would be expressed by a haphazard splash of colours, from among which one could barely make out a few special, distinctive traits. This and nothing else is what we possess in our ordinary life; this is the basis of our ordinary action. It is the index of a book. The labels tied to things (it has been said) take the place of the things themselves. This index and these labels (themselves expressions) suffice for small needs and small actions. From time to time we pass from the index to the book, from the label to the thing, or from the slight to the greater intuitions, and from these to the greatest and most lofty. This passage is sometimes far from easy. It has been observed by those who have best studied the psychology of artists that when, after having given a rapid glance at any one, they attempt to obtain a real intuition of him, in order, for example, to paint his portrait, then this ordinary vision, that seemed so precise, so lively, reveals itself as little better than nothing. What remains is found to be at the most some superficial trait, which would not even suffice for a caricature. The person to be painted stands before the artist like a world to discover. Michael Angelo said, “One paints, not with the hands, but with the brain.” Leonardo shocked the prior of the Convent of the Graces by standing for days together gazing at the “Last Supper,” without touching it with the brush. He remarked of this attitude : “The minds of men of lofty genius are most active in invention when they are doing the least external work.” The painter is a painter, because he sees what others only feel or catch a glimpse of, but do not see. We think we see a smile, but in reality we have only a vague impression of it, we do not perceive all the characteristic traits of which it is the sum, as the painter discovers them after he has worked upon them and is thus able to fix them on the canvas. We do not intuitively possess more even of our intimate friend, who is with us every day and at all hours, than at most certain traits of physiognomy which enable us to distinguish him from others. The illusion is less easy as regards musical expression ; because it would
seem strange to every one to say that the composer had
Each of us, as a matter of fact, has in him a little of the poet, of the sculptor, of the musician, of the painter, of the prose writer: but how little, as compared with those who bear those names, just because they possess the most universal dispositions and energies of human nature in so lofty a degree How little too does a painter possess of the intuitions of a poet ! And how little does one painter possess those of another painter! Nevertheless, that little is all our actual patrimony of intuitions or onto tions. Beyond these are only impressions, sensations, feelings, impulses, emotions, or whatever else one may term what still falls short of the spirit and is not assimilated by man; something postulated for the convenience of exposition, while actually non-existent, since to exist also is a fact of the spirit.
We may thus add this to the various verbal descrip- Identity of tions of intuition, noted at the beginning : intuitive know- *::::::" ledge is expressive knowledge. Independent and autonomous in respect to intellectual function ; indifferent to later empirical discriminations, to reality and to unreality, to formations and apperceptions of space and time, which are also later: intuition or representation is distinguished as form from what is felt and suffered, from the flux or wave of sensation, or from psychic matter; and this form, this taking possession, is expression. To intuite is to express; and nothing else (nothing more, but nothing #; to express.