Intensity, Thoughts, and Affects
As Hume noted in The Natural History of Religion, the greater the impact of events on our lives, the greater is our drive to impose purpose and coherence on those events. (Scott Atran, 2010, The Evolution of Religion, p. 19)
There are some philosophers who imagine we are every moment intimately conscious of what we call our self…. For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe anything but the perception. When my perceptions are removed for any time, as by sound sleep, so long am I insensible of myself, and may truly be said not to exist…. I may venture to affirm of the rest of mankind, that they are nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions, which succeed each other with an inconceivable rapidity, and are in a perpetual flux and movement.