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Is to purge ourselves of our groundless prejudice, and

to seek reality elsewhere than in the existence of

things. Continuity and identity, the other world and the

Ego, do not, as such, exist. They are ideal, and, as

such, they are not facts. But none the less they have

reality, at least not inferior to that of temporal

events. We must admit that, in the full sense,

neither ideality nor existence is real. But you cannot

pass, from the one-sided denial of one, to the one-sided

assertion of the other. The attempt is based on a false

alternative, and, in either case, must result in self-


It is perhaps necessary, though wearisome, to add

some remarks on the Ego. The failure to see that

continuity and identity are ideal, has produced efforts

to find the Ego existing, as such, as an actual fact.

This Ego is, on the one hand, to be somehow experienced

as a fact, and, on the other hand, it must not exist

either as one or as a number of events. And the attempt

naturally is futile. For most assuredly, as we find it,

the self is determinate. It is always qualified by a


The Ego and Non-ego are at any time experienced, not in

general, but with a particular character. But such an

appearance is obviously a psychical event, with a given

place in the series. And upon this I urge the following

dilemma. If your Ego has no content, it is nothing, and

it therefore is not experienced; but, if on the other

hand it is anything, it is a phenomenon in time. But

"not at all," may be the answer, "since the Ego is

outside the series, and is merely related to it, and

perhaps acting on it." I do not see that this helps us.

If, I repeat, your Ego has no content, then anywhere it

is nothing; and the relation of something to this

nothing, and again its action upon anything, are utterly

unmeaning. But, if upon the other hand this Ego has a

content, then, for the sake of argument, you may say, if

you please, that it exists. But, in any case, it stands

outside, and it does not come into, experience at all.

"No, it does not come there itself; it never, so to

speak, appears in person; but its relation to phenomena,

or its action on them, is certainly somehow experienced,

or at least known." In this answer the position

seems changed, but it is really the same, and it does

but lead back to our old dilemma. You cannot, in any

sense, know, or perceive, or experience, a term as in

relation, unless you have also the other term to which

it is related. And, if we will but ponder this, surely

it becomes self-evident. Well then, either you have not

got any relation of phenomena to anything at all; or

else the other term, your thing the Ego, takes its place

among the rest. It becomes another event among psychical


It would be useless to pursue into its ramifications

a view false at the root, and based (as we have seen) on

a vicious alternative. That which is more than an event

must also, from another side, exist, and must thus

appear in, or as, one member of the temporal series.

But, so far as it transcends time, it is ideal, and, as

such, is not fact. The attempt to take it as existing

somehow and somewhere alongside, thrusts it back into

the sphere of finite particulars. In this way, with all

our struggles, we never rise beyond some world of mere

events, and we revolve vainly in a circle which brings

us round to our starting-place. If it were possible for

us to apprehend the whole series at once, and to take in