Perception via the senses


[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Senses, limitations of" (search under Cosmology/Science)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.4": detail "Section 4604"
To all appearances the outer senses of the body, as for instance sight and hearing, flow into the thought and arouse mental imagery there, for it appears that objects first move the outer senses and then the inner ones; and also speech. But even though this appearance may be so strong that it hardly seems possible for it to be dispelled, it is nevertheless a fallacy, for an outer quality that is gross can never flow into an inner one which is purer; this is contrary to nature.
 It is rather the inner sense that feels through the outer sense and disposes the organ of sensation at its nod, so that the organ of sensation also, such as of sight, accommodates itself in a moment to all objects. It does not do this from its own power, but by virtue of the inflow from within. Moreover, the thought and feeling, which pertains to the inner sense, directs the sight to objects, which it fully comprehends, and that coincide with it; the rest lie beyond and do not appear.