"Whenever the memory brings any idea into actual view, it is with a consciousness, that it had been there before, and was not wholly a stranger to the mind"

— Locke, John (1632-1704)

Place of Publication
1690, 1694, 1695, 1700, 1706
"Whenever the memory brings any idea into actual view, it is with a consciousness, that it had been there before, and was not wholly a stranger to the mind"
Metaphor in Context
To which let me add: If there be any innate ideas, any ideas in the mind, which the mind does not actually think on, they must be lodged in the memory, and from thence must be brought into view by remembrance; i.e. must be known, when they are remembered, to have been perceptions in the mind before, unless remembrance can be without remembrance. For to remember is to perceive any thing with memory, or with a consciousness, that it was known or perceived before. Without this, whatever idea comes into the mind is new, and not remembered; this consciousness of its having been in the mind before being that which distinguishes remembering from all other ways of thinking. Whatever idea was never perceived by the mind, was never in the mind. Whatever idea is in the mind, is either an actual perception; or else, having been an actual perception, is so in the mind, that by the memory it can be made an actual perception again. Whenever there is the actual perception of any idea without memory, the idea appears perfectly new and unknown before to the understanding. Whenever the memory brings any idea into actual view, it is with a consciousness, that it had been there before, and was not wholly a stranger to the mind. Whether this be not so, I appeal to every one's observation; and then I desire an instance of an idea, pretended to be innate, which (before any impression of it by ways hereafter to be mentioned) any one could revive and remember as an idea he had formerly known; without which consciousness of a former perception there is no remembrance; and whatever idea comes into the mind without that consciousness is not remembered, or comes not out of the memory, nor can be said to be in the mindbefore that appearance: For what is not either actually in view or in the memory, is in the mind no way at all, and is all one as if it had never been there. Suppose a child had the use of his eyes, till he knows and distinguishes colours; but then cataracts shut the windows, and he is forty or fifty years perfectly in the dark, and in that time perfectly loses all memory of the ideas of colours he once had. This was the case of a blind man I once talked with, who lost his sight by the small-pox when he was a child, and had no more notion of colours than one born blind. I ask, whether any one can say this man had then any ideas of colours in his mind, any more than one born blind? And I think nobody will say, that either of them had in his mind any ideas of colours at all. His cataracts are couched, and then he has the ideas (which he remembers not) of colours, de novo, by his restored sight, conveyed to his mind, and that without any consciousness of a former acquaintance: And these now he can revive, and call to mind in the dark. In this case all these ideas of colours, which when out of view can be revived with a consciousness of a former acquaintance, being thus in the memory, are said to be in the mind. The use I make of this, is, that whatever idea, being not actually in view, is in the mind, is there only by being in the memory; and if it be not in the memory, it is not in the mind; and if it be in the memory, it cannot by the memory be brought into actual view, without a perception that it comes out of the memory; which is this, that it had been known before, and is now remembered. If therefore there be any innate ideas, they must be in the memory, or else no where in the mind; and if they be in the memory, they can be revived without any impression from without; and whenever they are brought into the mind, they are remembered, i.e. they bring with them a perception of their not being wholly new to it. This being a constant and distinguishing difference between what is, and what is not in the memory, or in the mind; that what is not in the memory, whenever it appears there, appears perfectly new and unknown before; and what is in the memory, or in the mind, whenever it is suggested by the memory, appears not to be new, but the mind finds it in itself, and knows it was there before. By this it may be tried, whether there be any innate ideas in the mind, before impression from sensation or reflection. I would fain meet with the man, who when he came to the use of reason, or at any other time, remembered any of them: And to whom, after he was born, they were never new. If any one will say, there are ideas in the mind, that are not in the memory: I desire him to explain himself, and make what he says intelligible.
Searching "mind" and "stranger" in Past Masters
Locke began composition as early as 1671 (Drafts A and B).

I find over 25 entries in the ESTC (1690, 1694, 1695, 1700, 1706, 1710, 1715, 1721, 1726, 1731, 1735, 1741, 1748, 1753, 1759, 1760, 1765, 1768, 1775, 1777, 1786, 1788, 1793, 1795, 1796, 1798). See also the many abridgements issued in the period.

First published as An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. In Four Books. (London: Printed by Eliz. Holt, for Thomas Basset, at the George in Fleetstreet, near St. Dunstan's Church, 1690). <Link to EEBO><EEBO-TCP>

Searching first in a Past Masters edition based on the 12th Edition of Locke's Works and proofread against the 1959 Fraser edition. More recent searches in EEBO-TCP.

Reading John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, ed. Peter Nidditch (Oxford, Oxford UP, 1975)--against which I have checked the text searched in Past Masters. Note, Nidditch's text is based on 4th ed. of 1700.
Negated Metaphor, Stranger Within
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.