Kant, Immanuel - Dreams of a Spirit Seer - 03 Chapter One
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Chapter One continued
Where is the place of this human soul in the corporeal world?
I would answer, that body the changes of which are my changes, is my body, and its place is, at the same time, my place.
If the question be continued, where then is your (your soul’s) place in that body? then I might suspect that there is a catch in the question. For it is easily observed that it presupposes something which is not known by experience, but rests, perhaps, in imaginary conclusions, namely, that my thinking Ego is in a place which differs from the places of other parts of that body which belongs to me.
Nobody, however, is conscious of occupying a separate place in his body, but only of that place which he occupies as man in regard to the world around him. I would, therefore, keep to common experience, and would say, provisionally, where I sense, there I am.
I am just as immediately in the tips of my fingers, as in my head. It is myself who suffers in the heel and whose heart beats in affection. I feel the most painful impression when my corn torments me, not in a cerebral nerve, but at the end of my toes. No experience teaches me to believe some parts of my sensation to be removed from myself, to shut up my Ego into a microscopically small place in my brain from whence it may move the levers of my body-machine, and cause me to be thereby affected.
Thus I should demand a strong proof to make inconsistent what the schoolmasters say: my soul is as a whole in my whole body, and wholly in each part.
Common sense often perceives a truth before comprehending the reasons with which to prove or explain it. I should not be entirely disconcerted by the objection, that thus I am believing that the soul possesses extension and is diffused through the whole body, just as it is pictured for children in the “orbis pictus.” For I would remove this obstacle by saying: the fact that the soul is present in the whole body goes only to prove the extent of its sphere of exterior activity, but not a multiplicity of its inner parts and thus no extension or figure, for these exist only in a being which occupies a space set apart for itself, i.e., if the being contains parts which exist outside of each other.
Finally, I should either claim to know this little of the spiritual quality of my soul, or, if that should not be conceded, I should be satisfied that I know nothing about it.