— 227 —
The various attention of the Mind in Thinking       §3. But, perhaps, it may not be an unpardonable Digression, nor
wholly impertinent to our present Design, if we reflect here upon
the different State of the Mind in thinking, which those instances of
Attention, Resvery, and Dreaming, etc. before mentioned, naturally
enough suggest. That there are Ideas, some or other, always present
— 228 —
in the mind of a waking Man, every one’s Experience convinces
him; though the mind employs it self about them with several
degrees of Attention. Sometimes the mind fixes it self with so much
earnestness on the Contemplation of some Objects, that it turns
their Ideas on all sides; remarks their Relations and Circumstances;
and views every part so nicely, and with such intention, that it
shuts out all other Thoughts, and takes no notice of the ordinary
Impressions made then on the Senses, which at another Season
would produce very sensible Perceptions: At other times, it barely
observes the train of Ideas, that succeed in the Understanding,
without directing, and pursuing any of them: And at other times,
it lets them pass almost quite unregarded, as faint shadows, that
make no Impression.
Locke Hum II, 19, §3, pp. 227-228