The Berean Expositor
Volume 31 - Page 44 of 181
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Fruits of Fundamental Studies.
The intimate association between the senses and
the processes of thought. Gen. 2: 7.
pp. 14 - 19
If one desires to appear "intellectual", or to impress others with one's "spirituality",
there is sometimes a temptation to decry the body. This, however, has no scriptural
warrant. The Apostle may bemoan the fact that in his flesh dwelt no good thing, and that
he was conscious of a law of sin working in his members, but "the flesh" and "the law of
sin" must not be confused with the body itself and its functions. The same epistle
(Romans) enjoins the believer to "yield" his members to the service of the Lord, and to
"present" his body as a living sacrifice.
In the last article we occupied all our space in endeavouring to give some idea of what
is implied in the record of man's creation from the dust of the ground. In the present
article, we propose to look, not at the body itself, but at the body as an organ apart from
which the processes of thought would never receive impetus to commence, and if started,
would have no material with which to work. The body plays a far more important part in
the development of the mind and in the functioning of the will than at first sight appears.
We distinguish mind from matter by its qualities. Matter may be measured, frozen,
attracted by gravity, etc., while mind cannot. Nevertheless, though mind and matter are
quite distinct, mind needs matter for the materials of its thought processes, and it needs
the organized material of the body to set these processes going. Whatever properties and
powers the mind may possess, they remain inert until set in motion, as it were, by the
sensations experienced by the body through the medium of the senses. Let us, then, seek
to understand a little about this ladder, which, while resting upon the solid basis of
sensation, rises up until its top is in the clouds. We shall not, or course, attempt in an
article of this length to follow the whole process and progress of thought. If we can see
something of the first few steps, and establish the connection that must exist between the
body with its senses and the thought processes and the will, we shall have accomplished
all that is necessary for our present purpose.
The senses are five in number--touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight. The sense of
taste is limited to the papillae on the surface of the tongue, and it is, of course, necessary
that actual contact should be made with the object tasted. The sense of smell, is confined
to the olfactory nerves which have their termination in the nostrils. While the necessity
for contact is not so obvious here as in the case of taste, yet contact there must be, for if
any substance which has a definite odour be sealed up in a glass case the sense of smell is
unaffected. The sense of hearing is dependent upon a pair of organs so placed that the
vibrations of the air shall not only register upon the drum and be conveyed by a
marvelous mechanism to the brain, but a sense also of direction is included, so that the
head is turned until not only is the sound heard, but the direction from which it comes is
gauged. The sense of sight is dependent upon another pair of organs which register the