W. (William) Sanday.

Christology and personality : containing: I. Christologies ancient and modern, II. Personality in Christ and in ourselves / by William Sanday online

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should like to be that any of these quotations reveal either Wallace
or Stout as holding the big black-headed pin theory. Of course
there is an inner unity, but is not the unity they refer to what may
be called an immanent unity, a unity of and through the particulars
rather than (so to speak) over them ? This indeed is what Stout
appears to say: "These experiences constitute the inner Self".
For Stout "inner self", I think, is just exactly equivalent to "soul".'
— That is quite true; I have distinguished between the Self and the
faculties or activities of the Self, and Professor Stout does not. I
shall have more to say about this distinction in the next lecture.
And yet I am inclined to welcome the phrase 'immanent unity'.
I am not quite sure whether it does, or does not, enable us to dis-
pense with the distinction of which I have been speaking. I was
myself far from intending to draw a hard and fast line between the
Ego and its faculties. In my next lecture as well as in the im-

26 The Problem of Personality

as to distinguish it from the other pins and to mark
its superiority over them. And, as I have already
reminded you, we must think of both pins and pin-
cushion as alive, and of all the pins as equally alive.
The action and reaction between them is mutual
and incessant. It is only in thought, and not in
fact, that the larger self is separable from the
smaller or the inner from the outer. But we really
want both forms of the Self, and cannot do without
them. Only we ought to be clear which of the two
senses we mean in any given context. It would
perhaps be convenient if we were to keep Person or
Ego for the inner Self, and were to add some
further defining epithet when we mean the outer.

So much we may perhaps regard as established.
But we have still to determine more exactly the
relation of these two Selves, outer and inner,
larger and smaller, to each other. And, for our
particular purpose, it is important that we should
examine more closely the relation of the conscious
states of the Self, whether larger or smaller, to the
sub- and unconscious.

mediate context I speak of the distinction between them as existing
in thought, rather than in fact. I say that 'the larger Self and the
smaller Self are perfectly continuous; the movements between them
are movements in a circle; there is a perpetual flow and return '.

I may also explain that when I spoke of the big black -headed
pin as 'overtopping' the other pins, I did not mean it in any literal
or local sense; I meant to suggest the authority or command which
the inner Self exercises over the outer. But about this, too, there
is more to be said.





There is a famous passage in Othello which
seems to me to express very well the theory of the
Person. lago speaks, and the passage is admirably
appropriate in its context, which I purposely do not
give though it is splendid writing, because it seems
to me that for once the creator of lago is looking
beyond his own creation and laying down general

* 'Tis in ourselves that we are thus, or thus. Our
bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are
gardeners; so that if we will plant nettles or sow
lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme, supply it
with one gender of herbs or distract it with many,
either to have it sterile with idleness or manured
with industry, why, the power and corrigible
authority of this lies in our wills. If the balance
of our lives had not one scale of reason to poise
another of sensuality, the blood and baseness of
our natures would conduct us to most preposterous
conclusions; but we have reason to cool our raging
motions, our carnal stings,' and so on.

This is not only written with all Shakespeare's
mastery and ease, but it also contains what I be-
lieve to be the substantial truth of the matter,
though it is not quite verbally consistent, and per-
haps not quite verbally and minutely accurate.
The best mode of statement is the first.

'Tis in ourselves that we are thus, or thus.


30 The Problem of Personality

Here the decisive and ultimate authority is referred
to the Self. As Shakespeare himself puts it,

'the power and corrigible authority' (i. e.
authority for correction) 'lies in our wills'.

There we have a more popular turn of phrase,
which is sufficient for Shakespeare's purpose and
which would be generally accepted and understood,
but which is not so strictly philosophical. To make
it this, we should have to say — should we not ? — the
self acting through the will. The 'will' is used
a jMiori parte as equivalent to the Self. And then
again in like manner, when it is said a little lower
down that Reason acts as a counterpoise to desire,
what is really meant is not Reason acting inde-
pendently, but Reason acting as an instrument
or organ of the Self. Once more, the 'corrigible
authority' belongs of right to the self, though the
self acts through the medium of the reason, first
setting the train of reasoning in motion and then
accepting and acting upon the balance of reason.
In each case — both between the will and the act
and between the reason and the act — the Self or
Person is interposed. Shakespeare's statements as
they stand are compendious; if they were set out
in a textbook of Philosophy or Psychology, they
would have to be set out in full.*

* My friendly critic, of whom I spoke in the last lecture, writes:
'I have some little difficulty about your sharp distinction — not of
course separation — of the Self or Ego and the will. I like your
phrasing on p. 5 better: "Strictly speaking it is / who will," &c.

//. Personality in Ourselves and in Christ 31

The same would hold good for all descriptions of
the process that intervenes between conception and
execution. The Self stands, or is enthroned, at the
centre of the man; all impulses of passion, all judge-
ments of the reason, come up to it for endorsement,
and not until its signature is affixed can they take
effect in action.

It will be observed that when Shakespeare says
* 'Tis in ourselves that we are thus, or thus,' ' our-
selves' and 'we' are not identical in meaning; 'we'
is the wider term, and 'ourselves' the narrower.
They correspond to the two Selves of which I spoke
in the last lecture. One stands for the inner Self —
the Self within the Self, the controlling, authori-
tative Self; and the other ('we') stands for the
larger, outer Self, all of the man that is contained
within, and bounded by, the body. Of these two
senses, the one includes, and the other does not
include, the body and all that belongs to it. One
is the garden, and the other is the gardener. The
garden is divided up into many kinds of plots; and
the gardener determines what shall be planted in
these plots, and therefore also determines what
shall be the general character of the garden.

To me the will is simply the Self in motion (of course spontaneous
motion) ; and here lies a grave objection to Dyothelism I really can-
not get over. But I go with the next two or three pages cordially.'
— I certainly do not intend to duplicate the will; and it is doubtless
true that we do sometimes use ' will ' and ' self ' almost as synonjons.
But, from my point of view, the will is a faculty or organ of the Self,
like the reason and the emotions, it is the Self that wills, just as
it thinks or feels.

32 The Problem of Personality

The larger Self is complex; it is broken up into
a number of parts — the body with its members, and
the soul, so far as it is made up of different faculties
or functions, such as thinking, feeling and willing.
The smaller, inner Self is simple, and not com-
pound. It is one and indivisible. I proposed in
the last lecture that we should keep for this smaller,
inner Self, the terms Ego or Person — or at least
Ego; for perhaps we want 'Person', as we want
'Self, for both senses. In the eye of the law
'person' means the whole man; the 'persons' in
a drama are the whole men and women presented
upon the stage. Therefore, in the history of the
word, Person in the larger sense comes before
Person in the narrower* And yet, when we come
to philosophical usage, the latter sense is the more
distinctive. Perhaps I had better say that I will
take Ego always, and Person usually, in this
narrower sense. When I intend to speak of Per-
son in the larger sense, I will indicate this by an
added epithet.

The body, as I have said, is divided up into its
several parts or members — foot, hand, eye and the
like. Is it by a mental act that we define and
distinguish these, though there are conspicuous out-
ward and visible marks which enable us to do so.
In the case of the soul, it is purely by an act of
mental abstraction that we distinguish between its
several states or faculties. The Ego as such is one
and indivisible; and, strictly speaking, it is / who

//. Personality in Ourselves and in Christ 33

think, / who feel, / who will. But in each of these
cases, the act of the ' I ' is passing outwards, and the
larger, peripheral self (as we may call it) is very
soon involved.

This reminds me that there is another aspect of
the matter that we ought to keep well before our
minds. Although the distinction between the two
Selves is clear and strong, they are yet in fact in-
separable. The larger Self and the smaller Self
are perfectly continuous; the movements between
them are movements in a circle ; there is a per-
petual flow and return.

Accordingly, while there are some functions that
can be definitely attributed to the Ego or smaller
Self, and others that can be as definitely attributed
to the larger Self or 'whole man', there is perhaps
at least one function that is somewhat ambiguous
and that would seem to embrace the whole of the
smaller Self and part, but .not all, of the larger (see
iii. below).

I will try to make out a list of what I conceive to
be the leading functions of the smaller Self or Ego ;
and then I will add a few words as to extensions of
these that seem to run over into the larger Self. I
shall deliberately keep back one important function
of the smaller Self, in order not to give an opening
for controversy which on the present occasion I
should be glad to avoid. I cannot exclude every-
thing that is controversial ; and I would remind you
that I am not attempting to press all the questions

34 The Problem of Personality

that may be raised to their ultimate issues; I just
take the phenomenal world (including ourselves)
as I find it; my psychology (such as it is) does not
pretend to be more than that of the man in the

To the man in the street the inner Self or Ego,
in its relation to human nature as a whole, appears
to be:

(i) The centre or pivot or determining prin-
ciple of unity. The faculties or powers of the
larger Self appear to fit into it, and radiate from
it, like the spokes of a wheel.

(ii) The inner Self is the thread of personal
continuity and identity. It is the bond which
connects the present with the past and which
runs out into the future.

(iii) It is the vehicle of reflective consciousness.
It has a special power — perhaps I should say in
this case, in conjunction with the thinking pro-
cess — of reviewing other mental processes, of (so
to speak) taking down and examining the ladder
by which the Self has arrived at any given point.
Reason is the candle or searchlight of the soul;
and the Self has the power of turning this candle
or searchlight back upon its own processes.

(iv) That is one way, though an important and
characteristic way, in which it possesses a special
power of initiative. This power of initiative —
however relative, and not absolute — is, to our

II. Personality in Ourselves and in Christ 35

common apprehension, a distinct property of the
Ego. When we treat the individual man as a
responsible being, it is by virtue of this seeming
power of initiative that we so treat him. It is the
inner Self that sets in motion trains of thought or
voluntary action, and that at its pleasure checks
or suspends the processes that it has started.

(v) Allied to this power of initiative, is the
other power of which we have spoken, authori-
tative control. The Ego is master in its own
house, king over its own kingdom. It is this
which constitutes its superior dignity.
This perhaps may serve for the present as a rough
enumeration of the activities of the Ego.

When we think of Character, ^\e think perhaps
primarily of the sum of the qualities of the Ego in
a moral point of view. But in this case we cannot
separate the Ego or smaller Self from the faculties
of the larger Self which it sets in motion. We
speak of the Ego as receiving sensations, or feeling,
or thinking, or willing. But each of these states or
processes forms a category to itself, which we think
of by itself, and which includes a very large class
of activities. Each of these classes of activity has
tendencies and a character of its own that can be,
at least by mental abstraction, isolated from the
character of the Ego. The influence of habit makes
one group of physical movements, one channel or
groove of thinking or feeling or willing, easier
than another. Instinctively and automatically

36 The Problem of Personality

these states or conditions seem to arise within us,
apart from any direct intervention of the Ego. It is
hard for us to tell whether there is or not any such
intervention, because if there were it would un-
doubtedly act in the same direction. The Ego ends
by contracting the same tendencies and qualities
that in the first instance belong to its faculties.
But it is not important to discriminate parts in
a movement that we have seen to be continuous
and unbroken. It is best to treat Character
broadly as the quality of the larger Self.

In like manner Conscience comes to a head in the
authority which ultimately determines action. It
implies an habitual tendency in that authority.
But that cannot be all. Conscience has a fine
point, but it has also a broad base. It is based on
habits gradually acquired and confirmed, and on
moral judgements in the past steadily accumulated.
There is not only the direct effect of these judge-
ments, acting upon the innermost self and impart-
ing to it a definite bias, but there also grows up by
the side of this a reasoned conception of duty, a
deliberate standard of obligation, which confronts
the Self and claims its obedience. Thus, in the
working of conscience, the larger and the smaller
Self co-operate together. The smaller Self, the
Person, calls in to its aid that which is best and
highest in the larger Self. And, through this
co-operative action of the conscience many times
repeated, the sense of right and wrong, which is

//. Personality in Ourselves and in Christ 37

the foundation of character, is educated and

The wonderful thing in all this elaborate
machinery is that there should be such complete
freedom of interaction between all its parts; the
various faculties and organs working together in
perfect harmony; under normal conditions they
never jar or collide. They form an organism; the
same current of life runs through them. From
one point of view we see the states and faculties of
the larger Self ministering to the smaller; from
another point of view the smaller Self is so deeply
affected by the action and interaction of the larger
that it might almost be described as a product of it.

And then there is the further wonder that when
we have described the conscious half of experience
there still remains the other half that is not con-
scious. This thinking, feeling, willing being that
we call Man, 'in action how like an angel, in ap-
prehension how like a god', has another side to his
nature that is dark to himself as well as to those
about him. It is as it were submerged; it does not
enter into the visible picture at all. And for this
reason we are apt almost to forget its existence.
The conscious life is the life that counts; the con-
scious state is the dominating state at any given

But, on the other hand, we appreciate the im-
mense importance of the Unconscious, when we re-

38 • The Problem of Personality

member that in it is deposited the whole of the
man's past, except just so far as any particular item
of that past, a past sensation, or a past emotion, or
a past idea or complex of ideas, is called up into
the present. We are always under a temptation to
think of the unconscious as inert and dead; but it
is really very much the reverse. We understand
how much, when we remember that every present
thought and every present action has the whole
momentum of the past behind it. It is the past
that has made both the man's larger self and his
smaller self what they are.

This huge deposit of the past, made up of items
as countless as the sand upon the seashore, is really
the moving factor, even at times when it does not
consciously enter into consideration at all. If we
are to take Shakespeare's ' 'Tis in ourselves that we
are thus or thus ', then it is the past that has had the
making of ' ourselves '. The succession of conscious
states is what we call our ' life'. But after all what
a small proportion they are of our real life ! What
a small proportion they are of that formative pro-
cess that is constantly going on in each one of us!
I said in my book that the reservoir within us of
past thoughts and past emotions and of the moral
effects of past actions is not only a storehouse but
also a workshop. It is none the less a workshop
because the work is done in the dark. These
heaped up experiences, these countless films (as it
were) deposited one on the top of another.

//. Personality in Ourselves and in Christ 39

Thick as autumnal leaves, that strew the brooks
In Vallombrosa,

are active and not passive; every one of them retains
some subtle power of influencing the others; and
many of them do as a matter of fact influence others.
We know that this is so, because the principles and
ideas and emotions that go down into the depths,
when they return to the surface as many of them do,
return in a different shape from that in which they
went down. Their sharp edges are worn off; they
have entered into new combinations; they undergo
as it were a chemical change by coming in contact
with each other.

All this applies to the smaller Self no less than to
the larger. That central unifying principle, the
umbilicus of our being, like the rest of our nature, is
as much beneath the board as aboveboard; it too
has a large section that is hidden out of sight. It
too consists not of present states alone but of a
continuous chain of past states culminating in the
present. Only the smallest portion of this chain is
at any given moment active in consciousness. And
yet this conscious portion cannot be isolated; its
whole history lies behind it; and it is what it is as
the net result of its history.

So far I have been speaking of the individual life
as a whole, of the self in its simplicity, without
specifying any particular sphere of its action. But
the rest of what I have to say is concerned w ith such

40 The Problem of Personality

a sphere, the special sphere of religion. I have said
something about the development of conscience, the
moral sense and the moral law. The life of religion
brings in another new factor, the relation of the
soul to God. In the order of evolution this is still
further removed from the condition of the beasts, ' a
crowning of the edifice ' ; though in the order of logic
the religious life, once gained, becomes dominant
and supreme, and supplies a basis for character
as a whole. The first germs of religion probably
existed side by side with the first germs of the con-
ception of morals and duty. This latter conception
arose, as we may imagine, out of the relation of the
individual to the family and the tribe. Morality
had its root in the action required by the interest of
the smaller or larger society to which the individual
belonged. The sanctions of morality were built up
by the praise and blame which naturally encouraged
certain actions and discouraged others. But from
the first man was also conscious of mysterious un-
seen powers around him, and by degrees he came
to associate his success or failure with the approval
of these Powers. We recall that happy comparison
which Bacon uses: —

They that deny a God, destroy Mans Nobility:
For certainly, Man is of Kinne to the Beasts, by his
Body; And if, he be not of Kinne to God, by his
Spirit, he is a Base and Ignoble Creature. It de-
stroies likewise Magnanimity, and the Raising of
Humane Nature: For take an Example of a Dog;

//. Personality in Ourselves and in Christ 41

And mark what a Generosity, and Courage he will
put on, when he findes himselfe maintained, by a
Man; who to him is in stead of a God, or Melior
Natura: which courage is manifestly such, as that
Creature, without that Confidence, of a better
Nature, then his owne, could never attaine. So
Man, when he resteth and assureth himselfe, upon
divine Protection, and Favour, gathereth a Force
and Faith ; which Humane Nature, in it selfe, could
not obtaine (Bacon's Essays, ed. Aldis Wright, p.
66 f.).

Thus there grew up the sense of communion with
God. And what is the nature of this communion ?
How is it carried on? If we take the average of
mankind, even among those who are genuinely
religious, the seeking after communion w^ith God is
a conscious act. The impulse of prayer, the throw-
ing upon God the burden of care and anxiety, the
aspiration after better things, the imploring of
divine assistance, are all conscious and deliberate.
But what of the Divine side in this communion ?
What of the answers to prayer.^ To the average
man they do not come directly and consciously.
There is no sound as of a rushing mighty wind;
there are no cloven tongues as of fire. The man
finds that he has what he wants and what he has
asked for; his strength is proportioned to his need;
he does have joy and peace in believing. And he
knows that this is due to no efforts of his own, but
to some subtle movement in the depths of his being.
He repeats to himself the old prophetic word, 'Not

42 The Problem of Personality

by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the
Lord of hosts' (Zech. iv. 6).

I have spoken of the forming of character, and
I am far from wishing to depreciate the conscious
processes which go to the forming of character; the
lessons of early youth, the maturer studies of

All saws of books, all forms, all pressures (i. e.
impressions) past,

the inward debate and struggle with self, the
reasoned working out of principle, and the holding
up before the mind of principle previously accepted
and acknowledged. But when the amplest allow-
ance has been made for such present influences as
these, how much remains that does not belong to
the present or to conscious processes at all ! How
much is due to underground workings of which we
are not in the least aware!

I would lay stress upon the fact to which I have
more than once called attention that such under-
ground workings of which we are not aware are
constantly going on. The impressions of the past
are not lost because they are forgotten. Whether
they are such as may sometimes be recalled, or
whether they have lost all touch with consciousness
so that they will never be recalled, still they are
not dead but active; still they play round and
through the inner self, and make it what it is. At
any given moment the present, with all the con-

//. Personality in Ourselves and in Christ 43

scious processes that enter into it, is a product of
the past, and of the total past. The processes
which issue in this result elude us completely, be-
cause they take place in a region that is hidden
and dark to us; our methods of analysis cannot
penetrate to it. We are reminded of that verse of
Browning's, with its curious grammar, but distinct
and impressive meaning: —

That one Face, far from vanish, rather grows.

Or decomposes but to recompose,

Become[s] my universe that feels and knows.

That indeed has reference to the vision of God,
whereas we have only to do with the making of the
Self; but in this too there go on processes of de-
composition and recomposition behind the scenes;
we live by what we see, and take by faith what we
cannot see. When St. Paul used his remarkable
phrase, 'Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ
liveth in me' (Gal. ii. 20), and again when he speaks

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