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THE INTIMATE SENSES AS SOURCES 
OF WISDOM 



EDWIN DILLER STARBUCK 
University of Iowa 



It was a significant event in the history of thought when 
Locke bore down with renewed vigor on the doctrine that all 
knowledge is of sensory origin. A highly disciphned psychol- 
ogy is hardly possible so long as the intellect can draw its 
wisdom from innate ideas, a priori postulates, and ready- 
made categories and can "participate in" the treasure house 
of static absolutes. That there is nothing in the intellect which 
was not first in the senses was a dictum that set free important 
consequences for scientific psychology and for reconstructions 
in philosophy and theology. 

I should propose a restatement of the Lockian slogan, but 
with mindfulness that there are not just "five windows of the 
soul" nor even a mysterious "sixth sense" but that we have 
at least ten well-defined types of sensory mechanism, each 
busy all the time reporting to us the outside world and condi- 
tioning our response to it. The traditional five covld fairly 
well bear the burden placed upon them because of the prevail- 
ing intellectualistic psychology that made the cognitive 
functions too nearly identical with the larger field of mentaUty. 
Latterly, genetic psychology has shown clearly enough that 
the thought processes are speciaUzed strains and currents in 
the wider, deeper stream of consciousness that has not been 
and perhaps never can be caught up into specific descriptions 
and representations. All the subtle and indefinable processes 
of the mind in so far as they have value in Ufe adjustments are 
conditioned as truly by the special senses as are those belonging 
to cognition. Our statement would then be that there is nothing 
in the mind that was not first in the ten or more senses. 

I2g 



I30 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

In addition to the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, 
touch (pressure), recent psychology fully recognizes several 
others. They are pain, temperature, equilibrium (static), kin- 
aesthetic (muscle), organic. They are all well-defined senses. 
The criterion of a special sense is that it has a specialized 
set of end-organs or receptors for reporting to the organism 
certain kinds of exciting objects and that it is connected 
through the central areas with a particular kind of response. 

Cutaneous pain is not to be confused with touch. The 
warm and cold nerve-endings are different from each other and 
are distinguished from both pain and pressure. The end- 
organ for equihbrium is the semicircular canals, a special sense 
that is not connected with that of hearing whose nerve-endings 
are in the cochlea. Functional psychology has been much 
helped by the differentiation of the kinaesthetic sense whose 
end-organs are found in the striped muscles and especially 
in joints and tendons. Almost revolutionary in psychology is 
the discovery of the organic sense with its myriad of receptors 
in stomach, intestines, diaphragm, lungs, heart, arteries, veins, 
the glands throughout the body, including the sweat-glands, 
whose stimuh are constantly flooding the central mechanism 
and by a marvelously fine set of interactions conditioning the 
inner and outer adjustments of the organism. 

Of the special senses the kinaesthetic and organic are among 
the oldest biologically, are most widespread throughout the 
body, bear the heaviest burdens in the animal economy, and 
perhaps do more work than any of the others in furnishing 
content to the higher mental life. At the same time they have 
been almost completely ignored in psychology. This strange 
neglect has been due to the arrogance of sight and hearing 
whose imagery is spectacular and, being describable, is capable 
of readier introspection and is more convenient as a mechanism 
of discourse. But in spite of their handicaps it is the organic 
and kinaesthetic senses that condition the essential types of 
behavior which make up the body of hiunan endeavor and 



THE INTIMATE SENSES AS SOURCES OF WISDOM 131 

achievement — ^war, love-making, the care of children, the 
amassing of wealth, adjustment within the group, and worship. 
It is the restlessness, the innervations, the tensions and re- 
coUs, the needs and their possible fulfilment, the hungers and 
their satisfaction, that furnish the incitations to action, and are 
the constant criteria of successful accomplishment. All these 
are under the control of the organic and kinaesthetic senses 
that use sight, hearing, and the others as the servants, tools, 
and instrimients. 

It has been customary to classify the senses as, first, the 
"higher" (sight and hearing) and, secondly, to group aU the 
others together as the "lower." The terminology indicates 
the anatomical position of the two favored senses in the body 
and signifies as well that they have an honored rdle in mental 
activities. 

I would suggest a reclassification of the senses on the basis 
of the way they handle their materials. Sight has won a high 
place for itself in evolution and in animal economy because of 
its skiU in defining its objects, and setting them off in spatial 
relationships to each other. Color, form, extension, distance, 
directions, relation, number — ^these are the quaUties in objects 
it is fond of discovering and using. It has been claimed that it 
can detect 40,000 discriminable qualities. Something of the 
same propensity for definition is foimd in hearing. It sets 
objects off against one another according to their intensity, 
pitch, and timbre, and conspires with vision in arranging these 
qualities in accordance with their position, relation, and number. 
The kinaesthetic sense, still less adept than sight and hearing 
at definition, nevertheless takes note of units of succession in 
experience and, working along with the others, creates and dis- 
covers a time-scheme with spatial imits superimposed upon it. 
Pressure specializes in units of resistance, and in many ways 
aids the other defining senses in formulating a world of discrete 
objects with specific relations. In so far as a receptor dis- 
criminates qualities in objects and perceives their kinships it 



132 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

may be called a defining sense. Since all the senses possess 
this power to a certain degree it is more fitting to speak of 
defining sensory processes. 

Some of the other senses are concerned with the interpre- 
tation of objects and of their qualities immediately without 
defining them or setting them into spatial and temporal orders, 
or relating them in anyway schematically. The objects just 
are. Their qualities are directly regarded as agreeable, 
or indifferent, as desirable or imdesirable, or otherwise 
fitted to the well-being of the organism. In so far as a 
receptor reports to consciousness directly or immediately 
qualities of objects together with cues of right response, it may 
be designated an intimate sense. Or again, since all of the 
senses have in greater or less degree this propensity, it is 
better to speak of intimate sensory processes. All the so- 
called lower senses belong predominantly to this class. The 
organic sense is almost purely of the intimate type. Stimu- 
lations and corresponding responses from thirst, satiety, 
breathing, assimilation of food, reproductive needs, glandular 
secretion, circulatory tone, and other functions that involve 
the organic sense-receptors and bulk so large in the day's life are 
little capable of definition or even of symbolization in speech. 
That foods are too sweet, that condiments are too sour or 
bitter, that flavors are just right, are immediate verities, quite 
undefinable but usually dependable. The warm and cold 
mechanisms report directly, instantaneously, and reUably that 
the room is too hot, too cold, or just right. As an after-thought 
one may seek to fortify the judgment by some measuring stick 
like a thermometer. 

The accompanying diagram indicates the relation of these 
two functions to each other and to the special senses. It is 
evident that the classification cuts across each of the senses 
somewhat artificially. All of them are concerned with de- 
fining their objects and all are capable of acting as intimate 
senses. Vision is clearly at one extreme in the list and the 



TEE INTIMATE SENSES AS SOURCES OF WISDOM 133 

organic sense at the other. The relative length of the line 
ab as compared with be under sight would signify its high skill 
at definition. On the other hand the insignificance of ab imder 
organic sense as compared with be means to symboUze its inca- 
pacity at description. The other senses form a series between 
these two extremes. 

The thesis of this discussion is that the intimate sensory 
processes are the direct and important sources of meaning, of 
worth, and of value. They are sources of wisdom in morals, 
aesthetics, and religion. Our estimates of the beauty and right- 
ness of objects, of admiration and of worship are not compelled 
to subject themselves to the technique of the defining senses. 



SigKt HeArir^ PrEaa\J*^ lafits Smell Eauililariurn ^empe1^ahlre B»tt> Kmaesthetlc Oi^nic 



DePinin j Sensoi y Process< 6 



Intima 



e Sen sory P -ocesse i 




Worth and meaning are sui generis. They stand upon their 
own feet. Their characteristics are reported directly through 
the intimate sensory processes mthout mediation. The defin- 
ing functions are often essential to art and reUgion and some- 
times indispensable in giving cogency to their content and in 
furnishing instruments of criticism and in supplying them with 
a language for expression. 

Rather than degrade the intimate senses to a minor place 
in life as a whole, it is more in accordance with the facts to say 
that in certain spheres they are primary and that the defining 
senses play a minor r61e simply as mechanisms of articulation. 

The upshot of our discussion shall be that the two types of 
sensory behavior are both high each in its own way when deal- 
ing with certain sorts of objects. There has been a double line 



134 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

of development and evolution equally important: the one 
moving fast and far in the direction of description, scientific 
analysis, practical manipulation, logical construction, and 
system-building. The other line has achieved equal success 
in interpreting its objects and their meanings in subtle and 
skilful ways and in holding the individual in right relationship 
to his world of experience. The language of intimate-sense 
wisdom is symbolism that can hint and suggest meanings that 
are indescribable. Characteristic outputs of the defining 
functions are science, mathematics, logic, and metaphysics. 
The human product of the intimate functions is art, morality, 
and reUgion. The supremely right attitude of the human being 
in the one sphere is that of endless patience in analysis and 
formulation; in the other it is a sensitive attitude of recep- 
tivity toward seemingly Ufe-giving objects and toward adjust- 
ments that promise fulfilment. 

In morality these intimations of right adaptation have 
organized themselves into "conscience"; in reUgion the true 
way on and out has been described as that of trust, confidence, 
faith, and hope. 

In this divergent, two-fold Kne of evolution each set of 
functions has been conditioned by its own centers of neural 
organization and control. The central mechanism of the 
defining processes has the central nervous system with the 
cerebrum and its association centers as its highest structure. 
The neural mechanism of the intimate senses is the autonomic, 
or sympathetic, system and its connection with all the viscera 
and the smooth muscle tissues of the body. The interaction 
and interdependence of the two systems is indicated by the fact 
that the sympathetic is biologically in the line of direct descent 
from the primitive pressure and chemical senses, and that 
latterly in the course of evolution its ganglia are derived from 
migration of cells from the spinal cord, and that anatomically 
it must be considered as an extension of the central sensory 
motor mechanism. Keeping pace with the evolution of the 



THE INTIMATE SENSES AS SOURCES OF WISDOM 135 

sympathetic system have come the liver, adrenals, the pitmtary 
body, the thyroid and other duct and ductless glands that are 
able to inject into the blood stream a variety of chemical 
substances that serve for the interactions of the various parts 
of the organism. The proper functioning of these organs is 
vitally significant in the adjustments within the body, and 
adaptations to its world. They are properly regarded as con- 
ditioning, if not determining, factors in the functioning of the 
organic sense. 

In elucidation of the fact that we have here a descriptive 
approach to the source of valuation, we shall indicate in the 
first place the direct appeal of reUgion and art to the intimate 
senses and later refer to their use through the symbohsm of the 
imagery connected with these senses. 

In the first place, then, it is a significant and not a curious 
fact that religion and art have found ways of exciting all the 
intimate senses. The use of sweet incense, flowers, perfumes, 
and burning substances has been widespread throughout the 
cults as stimulus to worship. "Smell, the fallen angel," is able 
apparently to suffuse worship with a delicate sort of poetry. 
The soul, it has been said, is a sort of refined odor. Likewise, 
the gustatory sense has been an easy avenue of approach in 
worship. Tasting together a delectable Adand or the blood of 
an animal or a human being has proved a useful seal of the 
social bond and a means of commimion with the gods. The 
taking of sacraments, whether Christian or pagan, inducts the 
devotee into the very heart of the mystery of Ufe. The value 
of pressure contacts is shown in the laying on of hands, in 
touching hems of garments, and in grasping and holding relics 
and sacred symbols. The successful in religion as in art is, by 
and large, measured by the degree of ingenviity in playing 
upon the pain nerves, whether it be cutaneous pain or the 
deeper-seated pain receptors. On this lower level religion has 
enjoyed a deal of satisfaction in the infliction of actual bodily 
pain. As it develops it contents itself with stirring the most 



136 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

intense emotions to the point of strain that awakens the sense 
of pain. The two most widespread reUgions have been fullest 
of acute pessimism. Rodin, who has a right to speak for the 
world of art, says "Yes, the great artist, and by this I mean 
the poet as well as the painter and scvilptor, finds even in suffer- 
ing, the death of loved ones, the treachery of friends, something 
that fills him with a voluptuous though tragic admiration. 
At times his own heart is on the rack. Yet stronger than his 
pain is the bitter joy which he experiences in understanding 
and giving expression to that pain His ecstasy is terrify- 
ing at times but it is still happiness because it is the continuous 
admiration of truth. " 

The kinaesthetic appeal is shown in genuflections, in the 
rhythm of music, of the dance, in great processionals, and in 
the tense nerves throughout the organism that religion and 
art have strung up for action. This aspect of art has been 
worked at by experimental methods. Fer6, for example, has 
shown that even the untrained musician while listening to 
agreeable quaUties of tone has his power to do muscular work 
practically doubled, while in Hstening to a dissonant tone his 
power of execution is essentially cut in half. 

It is perhaps the organic sense that is most intensely 
stimulated by art and rehgion. Those who really enjoy music 
are rather apt to confess to some bodily marks indicating a 
response of smooth muscle tissue in which the organic sense 
is involved. Among such marks are cosmic thrills along the 
spine, tingling of the skin, deepened breathing, vibrations in 
the chest, diaphragm, or abdomen, quickened pulse, a glow of 
warmth, and many others. Mr. Beaimis, in analyzing the 
musical emotion, speaks of "This vibration of the whole being, 
this nervous exaltation, these shivers that run down from your 
head to your feet — all this emotional state that absorbs your 
whole being, that carries you out of yourself and constitutes 
one of the most vivid pleasures it is possible to feel. '" There 

" H. Beaunis, Rev. Phil., LXXXVI (19 18), 353. 



THE INTIMATE SENSES AS SOURCES OF WISDOM 137 

is an endless array of references in the literature of religion 
showing how directly it has constantly appealed to hvmgers, 
thirsts, the tearful eye, the parched palate, the quickened 
pvdse, the condition of heart and liver, and to essentially aU of 
the viscera and organic functions. 

A story of unnaistaken significance is indicated by an analysis 
of the intimate sense-imagery of art and religion. If anyone 
should take a work of art of acknowledged worth and analyze 
the imagery the artist has used in symbolizing some significant 
attitude toward the work of art and toward life, he will find 
to his surprise the relatively high part played by the intimate 
sense-imagery. Shakespeare's famiUar song in which he pic- 
tures the meanness of ingratitude, rims as follows: 

Blow, blow, thou winter wind. 
Thou art not so unkind 

As man's ingratitude. 
Thy tooth is not so keen 
Because thou art not seen. 

Although thy breath be rude. 

Heigho, sing heigho unto the 

green holly 
Most friendships are feigning, most 

loving mere folly. 
Then heigho the hoUy, 
This life is most jolly. 

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky, 
Thou dost not bite so nigh 

As benefit forgot. 
Though thou the waters warp. 
Thy sting is not so sharp 

As friend remembered not. 

It is clear from the foregoing that when the true artist 
attempts to express ingratitude he succeeds by chilling the 
skin with it, by lacerating the flesh with it as with a tooth, by 
pressing it against one like a chill wind, by making one feel 



138 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

the roughness of its breath, by twistmg one with its strain as 
if it were the torsion of a sheet of frozen water, by stinging him 
with it as with the prick of an insect, and the like. By the 
time he has finished with his intimate sense-appeal he has led 
one into acquaintance with the nature of ingratitude that 
excels any possible description of it. 

Eight students skilled in psychological analysis and trained 
in introspection evaluated in terms of intensity and meaning 
of the different kinds of sensory imagery in this poem with 
the results as shown below. Each word or phrase that in 
reading the poem constituted a imit of interpretation was 
studied to see what imagery it called out. The meaning- 
fulness to the poem of each image was indicated by an Arabic 
numeral from i, signifying "present but indifferent," to 5, 
which meant as vivid as a perception. The individual variation 
was considerable. The composite picture of the r61e of the 
various types of imagery is as follows: 



Vis. 


Hear. 


Press. 


Taste 


Smell 


Temp. 


Pain 


Equil. 


Kinaes. 


Organic 


25 


15 


8 


3 


2 


IS 


IS 


4 


20 


27 



The significant result is that in spite of the ease of intro- 
spection of the visual and auditory imagery, four of the intimate 
senses were doing each its full share as bearer of meaning of the 
poem. Let the reader try out his own self-observation with 
this and other Shakespeare selections and he may be con- 
vinced that when this consummate artist spoke of "our five 
best senses" he might have doubled the number but for the 
fallacies of the conventional psychologizing of his time. 

I have made various sets of observations on the imagery 
involved in some of the best-loved bits of religious Uterature, 
as, for example, the Twenty-third Psalm, and the Beatitudes. 
The outcome seems invariably in keeping with that indicated 
by the analysis of some choice bits of "secular literature." 
The average for thirteen well-trained students who worked 
out their introspections on the Beatitudes gives the following 



THE INTIMATE SENSES AS SOURCES OF WISDOM 139 

list of numbers for the imagery connected with the various 
senses: 

Vis. Hear. Press. Taste Smell Temp. Fain Equil. Kinaes. Organic 

71 24 12 6 4 4 II 2 37 48 

The high place of visual imagery in this selection as com- 
pared with the Shakespeare poem is due largely to the fact 
that we were careful to include verses 13 to 16 that make an 
unusually direct appeal to the imagery connected with that 
particular sense. It is interesting to speculate in this connec- 
tion that the thing most of all that made Jesus the incomparable 
teacher who could drive his message straight into the inner 
parts of the himian being was his skiU in appealing to and 
through the intimate senses. The reader will find entertain- 
ment and profit in following through his sayings and parables, 
keeping in mind such a method of interpretation. Indeed, 
it is an item for profitable speculation to inquire whether Asia 
has not proven the religion-producing continent because of the 
constant use of the imagery connected with the vital functions. 
We read, for example, in the Upanishads:^ 

In the beginning this universe was indeed Brahman. 
In the beginning this was indeed Atma, one alone; 
That Atma is in the heart 

This myself, dwelling in the heart, is smaller than a grain of com, 
smaller than a mustard seed. This myself, dwelling in the heart, is also 
greater than the earth, greater than the atmosphere, greater than the 

sky, greater than all these worlds As vast as is this ether, so vast 

is Atma, dwelling in the heart. 

Another example representing a rather prevailing tendency of 
the Eastern mind is found in the constant imagery of the liver 
and other vital organs, in the sacred Uterature of the Assyri- 
ans and Babylonians, as has been described by Professor Morris 
Jastrow. 

One of the most telling contributions so far to the psychol- 
ogy of religion is that by Dr. E. L. Mudge in a volume as yet 

' Translation by S. A. Desai, The Vedanta of Shankara (London, 1913), pp. 64 £f. 



I40 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

unpublished, on "The Lower-Sense Complexes Conditioning 
the God-Experience. " Among other things he discovers that 
by actual confession of cultivated people one's visual imagery 
connected with the God-experience plays essentially no part 
at aU, while it runs up high in the experiences of younger folk. 
Children in the grades describe the God-experience so that it 
has apparently about 77 per cent of value. Among high- 
school students it has fallen to 47 per cent. Sophomores in 
coUege describe their God-experience in such a way that it 
seems to have fallen to 11 per cent, while for graduates and for 
other cultivated adults it has no recognized place. 

Before closing this hasty discussion, which is meant only to 
lay in the rudest way certain foundations as a point of departure 
for further thought, I should like to correct four psychological 
astigmatisms that stand in the way of the right application of 
the point of view herein set forth. 

I. It has constantly been claimed that the defining senses 
are objective, while the so-called lower senses are personal and 
subjective. It has likewise become a habit to assert that the 
feelings, which, according to our description, are based essen- 
tially upon the intimate sense-responses, and apart from 
their functioning are as nothing, are subjective. On the con- 
trary, the intimate senses are as consistent in their objective 
reference as are the defining senses. It is only in exceptional 
cases and in their near pathology that they concern themselves 
with the states and conditions of the self as such. Under nor- 
mal conditions one does not say, "I am imdergoing a state of 
excessive warmth, " but "This room or this climate is too hot. " 
The gustatory sense judges qualities of food regarded as objects 
of approval and disapproval. The organic sense reports hunger 
for this and that particular kind of sustenance. In like manner 
the artist is constantly evaluating the worth of aesthetical 
objects; the reUgionist is concerned about his relationship to 
God or to his fellows and is busy with real adjustment to outer 
conditions as truly as is the scientist who seeks to master 



THE INTIMATE SENSES AS SOURCES OF WISDOM 141 

some problem. When in extreme forms of mystical fervor one 
reaches that state of ecstacy in which the chief passion is the 
nursing of a state of inner blessedness, religion has either ceased 
to exist or has ceased to be wholesome and is approaching a 
condition of abnormaUty. 

2. It has constantly been wrongfully claimed that the 
so-called lower senses, and the feelings, are ephemeral, unor- 
ganized, and untrustworthy. Such a notion fails altogether 
to discriminate. They are quite helpless, unaided by definition 
and description, to handle the spatial and temporal imits and 
the relations and qualities of objects after these have been chopped 
out and set in order by the cognizing functions. When this world 
of discrete data comes to exist, partially discovered and 
partially created, then it is cognition alone that can manipulate 
them aided and directed as they are by the delicate judgments 
of fitness furnished by the refined activity of the intimate 
senses. Before the chopping and dissecting is done, however, 
these more sensitive processes are skilful enough in working out 
adjustments to the ordered world of spatially and temporally 
arranged objects, and they do it often essentially without the 
help of the "higher" senses. Fish migrate out of their creek 
into the river, through the bay and a hundred miles or more 
about the ocean, then retrace their course — enough of them to 
preserve the species — ^into the original habitat for the next 
season's spawning. By no stretch of the imagination could one 
suppose that they chart their course and in any wise con- 
sciously hold to it. 

White rats bereft surgically of sight, hearing, smell, and 
touch, still find their way through a compHcated maze toward 
the food-box with the same success as do their kindred who 
have all the defining senses intact.' It has been amply proven 
by Professor Watson that sea terns do not depend primarily, 
and in many respects not at all, upon vision in finding their 

' J. B. Watson, Kinaesthetic and Organic Sensations: Their Rdle in the Reactions 
of the White Rat to the Maze, Lancaster, Pa., 1907. 



142 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

way out to the feeding grounds and back again to their nests. 
A parent tern shut into the hold of a vessel and transported one 
or more day's journey away will find its course back to its nest 
in essentially the fljdng time of the distance.' There is written 
somehow in its inner members, perhaps kinaesthetically, its 
relationship to its environment and what to do to preserve its 
right adjustments. 

So much for indicating that the organism can and does, 
with immediacy, adapt itself to space, which is the favorite 
object of the defining senses. When now we consider those 
aspects of experience for which the categories of space and 
time have no descriptive significance, like the vital and mental 
processes, Uke personality and goodness and beauty, it is the 
intimate senses, and they alone, that can handle them. These 
are all real facts of an objective order but they flow through 
and past space and time as if they did not exist, and burst 
through definitions and descriptions and leave them helpless. 
Now the tables are turned. The intimate senses feel at home 
with Ufe-processes, as Bergson has pointed out, and can enter 
into them directly, while cognition can only symbohze them 
with its scientific technique. 

By controlled observation and experimentation it is foxmd 
that when hogs are given free access to a great variety of foods 
they will select, guided by a refined hog-wisdom that no one 
so far has been incHned to ascribe to so lowly a beast, and 
which generations of domestication has not been able to destroy, 
such foods and in the right quantity, as will excel the accumu- 
lated wisdom of chemists and physiologists in devising "bal- 
anced rations."' The wisdom of these creatures is objective 
and is sufficiently trustworthy for their purpose. The bio- 
chemist will still stay in the game; and he might not be at 
fault did he, like Crichton-Browne and Woods Hutchinson, 

' J. B. Watson, The Behavior of Noddy and Sooty Terns, Carnegie Publications, 
Washington, igo8. 

' J. M. Eward, "Is the Appetite of Swine a Reliable Indication of Physiological 
Needs?" Proceedings of Iowa Academy of Science, Vol. XXII, 1915. 



THE INTIMATE SENSES AS SOURCES OF WISDOM 143 

encourage folk to follow a finely attuned feeling for the diet 
they need. Religion has not only tried to place hxunan beings 
in a sensitive attitude toward dietetics but toward love, per- 
sonality, beauty, and all those indescribable objects that are 
perhaps the realest of the reals that make up the world in which 
we live. 

3. A third fallacy that needs correcting is that the intimate 
sense experiences are private and incommunicable while the 
"higher" sense-objects are shared by others. For example, 
Mary Whiton Calkins in her Introduction to Psychology says 
that "vision therefore is a higher sense than the others, only 

in so far as it is more often shared This is the reason why 

it is a more significant social material of intercourse, art, and 
science. Pressure and warmth, on the other hand, are less 
valued, because they are less often actually shared and, there- 
fore, less easily verified and less frequently described. " If one 
might take exception to such a statement, it would be to observe 
that all sense-experiences are private and all can be shared. 
Each of the arts, including spoken language, the highest of all, 
has been invented in order, in the first place, to objectify and 
fix the ten types of perceptions and images and, furthermore, 
to render them communicable. ReUgion has appropriated and 
sanctified nearly all the arts and has created a new one, the 
ritual. Religion and the arts are among nature's most success- 
ful discoveries in effecting the socialization and organization of 
the group. In their collective appeal they reach their end more 
through the use of intimate sense-imagery than otherwise. 
Such a statement of course needs extended analysis. The fact 
can be suggested, and passed, by reference to an illustration 
from the graphic and plastic arts that are, at first thought, 
supposed to be almost purely visual arts, while as a matter 
of fact they receive their worth and content from the senses we 
have been describing. Rodin claims that the soul of the statue 
is in its suggested movement from the act that has just taken 
place toward the one just about to happen. He confesses that 



144 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

the birth of his career as an artist dates from the day when a 
humble artisan in the studio reminded him that he was carving 
only in surfaces. He must treat his figure in a third dimension 
and, feeling out the action of moods and muscles imdemeath, 
work from there out toward the surface — a distinctly kin- 
aesthetic act. 

The error in question may be illustrated by reference to the 
art of spoken language. It stands the miracle among the arts 
as an almost incredibly skilful instnmaent of intercommxmi- 
cation. In explaining the origin and use of language, evolu- 
tionary psychology has been undermining the intellectuaUstic 
conceptions and substituting in their place the "bow-bow," 
"pooh-pooh," and "goo-goo" and other more adequate theories 
that represent language as the accidental trial-and-error product 
of the deeper-ljdng and instinctive and impulsive movements. 
Language, to be sure, has set the human spirit free partially 
through its success in analyzing objects and quaUties, defixiing 
meanings, cUnching those meanings in concepts, and using 
these as topics of discourse. Equally remarkable is its success 
in suffusing words and sentences with hissing s's, rumbhng 
r's, bumping />'s, moaning o's, and other direct kinaesthetic and 
organic appeals so that the symbols almost burst with mean- 
ings. These are harvested up and intensified in concepts and 
are induced in the hearer too directly to be considered as acts 
of cognition. The expression of a judgment in a sentence, 
which is the root-principle of language, is fundamentally a 
kinaesthetic act and is performed usually for the sake of inter- 
communication. 

4. "Knowledge" and "wisdom" are not simple in terms 
of thought. There is a wisdom also of a more intimate sort. 
Wisdom might fairly be described as a body of organized and 
deepened information that gives one a workable hold on 
"truth"— whether that baffling word should stand for a static 
absolute or for centers of relative constancy in a changing 
world of experience. Just as ideas grow into knowledge and 



THE INTIMATE SENSES AS SOURCES OF WISDOM 145 

ripen into wisdom, so the direct valuating functions organize 
and integrate themselves into higher apprehensions of mean- 
ing, and into the wisdom "of the heart. " This sort of wisdom 
arises sometimes with the aid of the thought-processes, some- 
times independent of their participation. 

A passing word may be in order about the bearing of this 
fresh step in "criticism" upon the problem of the nature of 
reality. There are many consequences. It will be sufficient 
to suggest only a few of the most obvious. It is clearly fatal 
to the all-sufficiency of naturaUsm and mechanism. It is 
equally unfriendly to intellectuaUstic absolutism. On plural- 
ism it is silent; since there is more than one way of interpreting 
the outer world of experience, the ultimate reason for it may be 
that there is more than one sort of objective reality. The 
intimate senses are objective and dependable, and our analysis 
therefore leads in the direction of realism. It is friendly 
toward personalism and other philosophies that find reality 
to be akin to life-processes, for these are the primary concerns 
of consciousness, while the defining functions serve as their 
instruments of expression. The most considerable outcome is 
a wholesome distrust of mysterious and mystical "higher" 
sources of truth and wisdom that have no connection with the 
ordinary facts of common human experience. Religion can 
save all its values, even its highest objects of adoration, without 
accounting for its ineflfable experiences in terms of a subjective 
mysticism, or attributing them solely to a transcendental being. 
With a sufficient description of mental processes, religion and 
the best in common life may become identical.