THE THIRD CANON OF THOUGHT
A KEY TO THE ENIGMAS OF THE WORLD
A living and intelligent universe Different forms and lines of intelligence Animated nature Souls of stones and souls of trees The soul of a forest The human 'I' as a collective intelligence Man as a complex being 'Mankind' as a being The soul of the world The face of Mahadeva Professor James on the animated world Fechner's ideas Zendavesta The living Earth
If intelligence exists in the world, then intelligence must exist in everything,although it may be different in its manifestation
We are accustomed to regard as animate and intelligent, in one or another way, only those objects which we call 'beings', i.e. those whom we find analogous to ourselves in the functions which, in our eyes, define an animate being.
Inanimate objects and mechanical phenomena are to us lifeless and devoid of intelligence.
But this cannot be so.
Only for our limited mind, for our limited power of communion with other minds, for our limited capacity of analogy does intelligence and, generallyspeaking, all mental life manifest itself in certain definite classes of livingbeings, side by side with which there exist long series of dead things and mechanical phenomena.
But if we could not talk with each other, if no one of us could infer the existence of intelligence and mental life in another man by analogy with himself, each one would regard as a living being only himself and would relegate all other people to mechanical 'dead' nature
In other words, we recognize as animate beings only those possessing a mind accessible to our observation in the three-dimensional section of the world, i.e. beings whose mind is analogous to ours. About others we do not know and cannot know. All beings whose minds manifest themselves otherwise than in the three-dimensional section of the world are incomprehensible and inaccessible to us. If they come into contact with our life at all, we are obliged to regard their manifestations as actions of a dead and unconscious nature. Our capacity for analogy is limited to this section. We cannot think logically beyond the conditions of a three-dimensional section. Consequently everything that lives, thinks and feels in a manner not completely analogous to ours is bound to appear to us dead and mechanical.
But sometimes we dimly feel the intense life which goes on in the phenomena of nature, and sense a vivid emotionality manifesting itself in the phenomena of nature which, to us, is dead. I mean that behind the phenomena of visible manifestations there is felt the noumenon of emotions.
In electrical discharges, in lightning, in thunder, in the gusts and howlingof the wind are felt flashes of sensory-nervous tremors of some gigantic organism.
A peculiar mood for their own is felt in certain days. There are days full of strange mysticism, days which have their own individual and unique consciousness, their own emotions, their own thoughts. One may almost talk with such days. And they tell you that they have lived a long long time, maybe for an eternity, and have known and seen many things.
In the changing of season; in the yellow leaves of the autumn with their smell and the memories they bring; in the first snow dusting the fields and adding a peculiar freshness and sharpness to the air; in the waters of spring, in the warming sun and the awakening but still bare branches through which gleams the deep blue sky; in the white nights of the north and in the dark, humid and warm tropical nights spangled with stars - in all these are the thoughts, the feelings, the moods, or more correctly, the expression of feelings, thoughts and moods of that mysterious being. Nature.
There can be nothing dead or mechanical in Nature. If life and feeling exist at all, they must exist in everything. Life and intelligence constitute the world.
On the contrary, if we look/row our side, from the side of phenomena, we must admit that every phenomenon, every object has a mind.
A mountain, a tree, a river, the fish in the river, drops of water, rain, a plant, fire -each separately must possess a mind of its own.
Looking/row the other side -the side of noumena - one is forced to say that everything and every phenomenon of our world is a manifestation in our section of some incomprehensible thinking and feeling belonging to another section and possessing there functions which are incomprehensible for us. One intelligence there is such and its function is such that it manifests itself here in the form of a mountain, another in the form of a tree, a third in the form of a fish, and so on.
Phenomena of our world are very different. If they are nothing but manifestations on our world of different intelligent beings, then these beings must also be very different.
Between the mind of a mountain and that of a man there must be the same difference as between a mountain and man.
Earlier we have admitted the possibility of different existences. We said that a house exists, and a man exists, and an idea exists -but they all exist differently. If we develop this thought further, we shall find a great many kinds of different existences.
The fantasy of fairy tales, animating the whole world, endows mountains, rivers and forests with minds similar to the human. But this is just as untrue as a total denial of mind in a dead nature. Noumena are as different and as varied as phenomena which are their manifestations in our sphere.
Every stone, every grain of sand, every planet has a noumenon, consisting of life and of mind and connecting them with certain wholes larger cosmoses incomprehensible to us.
The activity of life of separate units may be very different. The degree of activity of life may be judged from the point of view of reproductivity. In the inorganic, mineral nature, this activity is so small that units of that nature accessible to our observation do not reproduce themselves, although it may only seem so to us owing to the insufficient breadth of our view in time and space. Perhaps if our view embraced hundreds of thousands of years and our entire planet at once, we should be able to see the growth of minerals and metals.
If we were to observe from the inside one cubic centimetre of the human body, not aware of the existence of the whole body and of man, phenomena going on in this tiny cube of flesh would appear to be elemental phenomena of dead nature.
But in any case, for us, phenomena are divided into living and mechanical, and invisible objects are divided into organic and inorganic. The latter are broken up without resistance, remaining the same. A stone can be split in two -the result will be two stones. But if a snail is cut in two, the result will not be two snails. This means that the mind of a stone is very simple, primitive - so simple that it can be broken up without undergoing a change. But a snail consists of living cells. Each living cell is a complex being, much more complex than a stone. The body of a snail has the capacity to move, to feed, to experience pleasure or pain, to seek the former and avoid the latter, and above all it possesses the capacity to multiply, to create new forms similar to itself, to combine inorganic matter into these forms, and to make physical laws serve itself. A snail is a complex centre of transformation of one kind of physical energy into others. This centre possesses its own mind; this is the reason why it is indivisible. And the mind of a snail is infinitely higher than that of a stone. A snail has a consciousness of form, i.e. the form of a snail is, in a sense, conscious of itself. The form of a stone is not conscious of itself.
In organic nature where we see life it is easier to presume the existence of a mind. In a snail, a living being, we already have no difficulty in admitting a certain kind of mind. But life belongs not only to separate indivisible organisms -anything indivisible is a living being. Each cell in an organism is a living being and must possess a certain kind of mind.
Each combination of cells possessing a definite function also is a living being. Another, a higher combination - an organ -is again a living being and has its own mind.
Indivisibility in our sphere is a sign of a definite function. If every phenomenon on our plane is a manifestation of something existing on another plane, then indivisibility on our side evidently corresponds to indivisibility, i.e. individuality on that other side. Divisibility on our side denotes divisibility on the other side. The intelligence of the divisible can manifest itself only in a collective non-individual intelligence. We admit consciousness only in a whole organism.
But even a whole organism is merely a section of a certain magnitude which we may call the life of this organism from birth to death. This life may be represented as a fourdimensional body stretched out in time. The physical three-dimensional body is only a section of the four-dimensional body. Linga Sharira. The image of a man which we represent to ourselves, his 'personality' is again only a section of the true personality which undoubtedly has its own separate mind. Thus we may presume in man three minds — the first, the mind of the body, which manifests itself in instincts and in the constant work of the body, the second, his personality, a complex and constantly changing 'I' which we know and in which we are conscious of ourselves; the third, the mind of his whole life -a greater and higher 'I'. On our level of development these three minds know very little about one another and communicate with one another only under narcotics, in trance states, ecstatic states, in dreams, in hypnotic and mediumistic states.
Besides our own minds and those which are in us, unknown to ourselves but indissolubly connected with us, we are also surrounded by many other minds which we also do not know. These minds we often feel, they are made up of our minds. We enter into our mind as their component parts, just as other minds enter into our mind. These minds are the good or evil spirits which help us or do us harm. Family, community, nation, race - any aggregate to which we belong (an aggregate unit undoubtedly possesses its own mind), every group of people which has its separate function and is aware of its inner coherence and unity, such as a philosophical school, a church, a sect, a masonic order, a society, a party, etc., is undoubtedly a living being, possessing a certain intelligence. A people, a nation is a living being; mankind is also a living being. It is the Great Man, the ADAM KADMON of the Kabalists. ADAM KADMON is a being living in men, including in himself the minds of all men. H. P. Blavatsky speaks about this in her voluminous work, The Secret Doctrine: 'it is not the Adam of dust (of Genesis, Chapter II), who is thus made in the divine image, but the Divine Androgyne (of Chapter I), or Adam Kadmon.'* ADAM KADMON is HUMANITY or the human race -Homo sapiens -'a being with the body of an animal and the face of a superman'.
Entering as a component pan into various great and complex minds, man himself consists of innumerable big and small minds, many of which, while existing in him, do not even know one another, just as people living in the same house may not know one another. On the whole, if we pass to analogies, 'man' has much in common with a house filled with the most varied inhabitants, or even more so with a large ocean liner carrying a great many chance passengers, each going to his own destination for his own purpose, and including the most diverse elements. Each separate unit of the population of this liner orientates from himself, involuntarily and unconsciously taking himself for the centre of the liner. This is an approximately true picture of a human being.
Perhaps it would be even more appropriate to compare man with some separate corner of the earth, living a life of its own: with a forest lake full of the most varied life, reflecting the sun and the stars and concealing in its depths some phantasm incomprehensible to itself, perhaps an undine, perhaps a water-sprite.
If we abandon analogies and pass on to real facts as far as they are accessible to our observation, it is necessary to begin with several somewhat artificial divisions of the human being. The old division into body, soul and spirit has some good points but often leads into error, for attempts at such a division immediately bring about disagreements as to where the body ends and the soul begins, where the soul ends and the spirit begins, etc. There are no strict dividing lines in this, nor can there be. Besides, one is led astray bythe fact that body, soul and spirit are set against one another, are taken in this case as mutually inimical principles. This also is entirely wrong, for the
* H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, London and New York, Theosophical Publishing Society, 1897, vol. 3, p. 146.
body is the expression of the soul, and the soul is the expression of the spirit.
The very terms, body, soul and spirit, need elucidation. The 'body' is the physical body with its intelligence scarcely comprehensible to us; the 'soul' is the mind studied by scientific psychology, i.e. reflected activity which is controlled by impressions coming from the external world and the body. The 'spirit' is those higher principles which direct, or under certain conditions may direct, the life of the soul.
1 The body is the domain of instincts and the inner instinctive consciousnesses of separate organs, parts of the body and the whole organism.
2 The soul consists of sensations, representations, concepts, thoughts, emotions and desires.
3 -is the region of the unknown.
In the usual conditions of the inner life of an ordinary man the focus of his consciousness, which is constantly shifting from one object to another, lies in his mind.
I am hungry.
I read a newspaper.
I expect a letter.
Only rarely does it touch the regions which are open to religious, aesthetic and moral emotions and the higher intellect which finds expression in abstract thinking connected with moral and aesthetic feeling, i.e. with the realization of the necessity to co-ordinate thought, feeling, word and deed.
But usually, in saying 'I', a man means not the total complex of all the three domains, but that which is at the moment in the focus of his consciousness. I want: these words which play the most important role in man's life, are usually far from referring simultaneously to all the sides of his being; as a rule they refer merely to some very small and insignificant facet which at the given moment fills the focus of consciousness and subjugates all the rest, until it is driven out by another equally insignificant facet.
And in the mind of a man there goes on an endless shifting of view from one object to another. Through the focus of perception there runs a continuous cinema film of feelings and impressions and each separate impression determines the 'I' of the given moment.
From this point of view the mind of a man has often been compared to a dark sleeping city in the midst of which watchman's lanterns slowly move about, each throwing light on a small circle round itself. This is a perfectly true analogy. At each moment there come into focus a few of these circles illumined by the flickering light while the rest is plunged into darkness.
Each small illumined circle represents an 'I', living its own life, at times very brief. And the movement goes on endlessly, now fast, now slow, bringing out into the light more and more new objects, or else old ones from the realm of memory, or in torment going round and round the same persistent thoughts.
This continuous movement which goes on in our mind, this constant shirting of light from one 'I' to another, may perhaps explain the phenomenon of motion in the external visible world.
Intellectually we know that there is no such motion. We know that everything exists in the infinite spaces of time, that nothing happens, nothingbecomes, everything is. But we do not see everything at once, and so it seems to us that everything moves, grows, becomes. We do not see everything at once either in the external world or in our inner one, and this produces the illusion of motion. For instance, we drive swiftly past a house, and the house turns as we go by. But if we could see it not with our eyes, not in perspective, but by some kind of vision simultaneously from all sides, from above and below and from within, we should not see any illusory motion but should see the house standing completely motionless as it stands in reality. And mentallywe know that the house has not moved.
The same applies to everything else. Motion, growth, 'becoming', which go on in the world around us are no more real than the movement of the house as we drive by, or the movement of the trees and fields past the window of a fast-moving railway carriage.
Movement goes on inside us, and it produces the illusion of movement around us. The illumined circle shifts quickly from one 'I' to another, from one object, one theme, one representation or image to another; in the focus of consciousness one 'I' rapidly succeeds another, the small flame of consciousness passes from one 'I' to another. This is the only true motion which exists in the world. If this motion were to stop and all the 'I's were to enter simultaneously into the focus of perception; if the light were to expand so as to illumine simultaneously for a man all that it reveals only graduallyand piecemeal, if a man were able at once to embrace with his mind all that ever entered his perception and all that is never clearly illumined by thought, though it affects his mind -then a man might perhaps find himself in the midst of a motionless universe, containing simultaneously all that usually lies for a man in the remote depths of memory, in the past; all that lies at a great distance from him; all that lies in the future.
C. H. Hinton speaks very well about beings of other sections of the world:
[By the same process by which we know that there are other human beings around us, we may learn of the] higher intelligences by whom we are surrounded. We feel them, but do not realize them. To realize them, it will be necessary to develop our powers of perception. The power of seeing with our bodily eye is limited to the three-dimensional section. But. . . the inner eye is not thus limited;. . . we can organize our power of seeing in higher space, and ... we can form conceptions of realities in this higher space, just as we can in our ordinary space.
And this affords the groundwork for the perception and study of these other beings than man. . . .
We are, with reference to the higher things of life, like blind and puzzled children. We know that we are members of one body, limbs of one vine; but we cannot discern, except by instinct and feeling, what the body is, what the vine is. ... [Our task is to diminish the limitation of our perception.] Nature consists of many entities towards the apprehension of which we strive.
For this purpose, says Hinton, we must first of all introduce into the mind new concepts and unify vast fields of observation under one common law. The real history of our intellectual progress lies in the growth of these new concepts.
And . . . when the new conception is formed, it is found to be quite simple and
natural. We ask ourselves what we have gained; and we answer:
Nothing; we have simply removed an obvious limitation. . . .
The question may be put: In what way do we come into contact with . . . higher
beings at present? And evidently the answer is. In those ways in which we tend to
form organic unions -unions in which the activities of individuals coalesce in a
The coherence of a military empire or of a subjugated population, presenting no natural nucleus of growth is not one through which we should hope to grow into direct contact with our higher destinies. But in friendship, in voluntary associations, and above all, in the family, we tend towards our greater life. . . .
Just as, to explore the distant stars of the heavens, a particular material arrangement is necessary which we call a telescope, so to explore the nature of the beings who are higher than us, a mental arrangement is necessary. We must prepare our power of thinking as we prepare a more extended power of looking. We want a structure developed inside the skull for the one purpose, while an exterior telescope will do for the other.*
* C. H. Hinton, A New Era of Thought, London, George Allen & Unwin, 1910.
This animation of the universe proceeds in the most varied directions. This tree is a living being. The birch tree in general -the species — is a living being. A birch grove is also a living being. A forest containing different kinds of trees, grass, flowers, ants, beetles, birds, animals - is also a living being, living by the life of everything composing it, thinking and feeling for everything which goes to make it up.
This idea is expressed in a very interesting way in the article by P. Florensky 'Roots of Idealism common to all Mankind' (Theological Messenger', 1909, II).
Are there many people for whom a forest is not merely a collective noun and a rhetorical personification, i.e. a pure fiction, but something which is one and alive? . . . Real oneness is the oneness of self-consciousness. . . . Are there many who recognise the oneness of a forest, i.e. the living soul of the forest as an entity -the wood-spirit, the Old Nick? Do you consent to recognize undines and water-sprites - those souls of the aquatic element?
The life activity of such composite beings as forests is not the same as the life activity of individual species of plants and animals, and the life activity of species is not the same as the life activity of separate individuals.
To be more exact, the difference of functions expressed in different life activity points to the differences in the mental life of the different 'organisms'. The life activity of a separate birch leaf is naturally infinitely below the life activity of a tree', the life activity of a tree is not the same as that of a species; and the life of a species is not the same as the life of a forest.
The functions of these four 'lives' are totally different, and so their intelligences must be correspondingly different too.
The intelligence of an individual cell of the human body must be as much lower in comparison with the intelligence of the body, i.e. the 'physical mind of man', as its life activity is lower in comparison with the life activity of the whole organism.
Thus, from a certain point of view, we may regard the noumenon of a phenomenon as the soul of that phenomenon; in other words we may say that the hidden soul of a phenomenon is its noumenon. The concept of the soul of a phenomenon or the noumenon of a phenomenon includes life and consciousness, and their functions in sections of the world incomprehensible to us - the manifestation of which in our sphere constitutes a phenomenon.
The idea of an animate universe leads inevitably to the idea of the 'World Soul' — a 'Being' whose manifestation is the visible universe.
The idea of the 'World Soul' was most picturesquely understood in ancient religions of India. The mystic poem, the Bhagavad Gita gives a wonderful image of Mahadeva, i.e. the great Deva, whose life is our world.
Thus Krishna explained his doctrine to his disciples ... he gradually raised them to the sublime truths which had been opened out to himself in the lightning-flash of his vision. When he spoke of Mahadeva his voice became more serious in tone, and his countenance lit up. One day Arjuna, overcome by curiosity, asked boldly: 'Show us Mahadeva in his divine form. Can our eyes behold him?' Then Krishna ... began to speak of the Being who breathes in all beings, of a hundred thousand shapes, countless eyes, and faces turning in every direction, who yet surpasses them all by the very height of infinity; who in his motionless and limitless body encloses the moving universe with all its divisions. 'If there were to burst forth simultaneously in the heavens the glory of a thousand suns,' said Krishna, 'it would bear but a faint resemblance to the splendour of the one All-Mighty.' As he thus spoke of Mahadeva, so glorious a ray of light beamed forth from Krishna's eyes that the disciples could not bear its brilliancy, but threw themselves down at his feet. Arjuna's hair stood on end, and with bowed head and clasped hands he said: 'Master, thy words terrify us, we cannot endure the sight of the great Being thou hast summoned up before us. It utterly confounds us.*
In an interesting book of lectures by Professor James, A Pluralistic Universe, there is a lecture on Fechner, devoted to 'a conscious universe':
Ordinary monistic idealism leaves everything intermediary out. It recognizes only the extremes, as if, after the first rude face of the phenomenal world in all its particularity, nothing but the supreme in all its perfection could be found. First, you and I, just as we are in this room; and the moment we get below that surface, the unutterable absolute itself! Doesn't this show a singularly indigent imagination? Isn't this brave universe made on a richer pattern, with room in it for a long hierarchy of beings? Materialistic science makes it infinitely richer in terms, with its molecules, and aether, and electrons, and what not. Absolute idealism, thinking of reality only under intellectual forms, knows not what to do with bodies of any grade, and can make no use of any psycho-physical analogy or correspondence.**
Fechner, from whose writings Professor James makes extensive quotations, adopted quite a different point of view. Fechner's ideas
* From E. Schure, The Great Initiates, trs. F. Rothwell, London, W. Rider, 1922, vol. I, reprinted New York, Multimedia, 1976, p. 123.
** William James, A Pluralistic Universe, London, Longmans Green, 1909.
are so near to what was said in the previous chapters that we must dwell on them at greater length.
I quote the words of Professor James:
The original sin, according to Fechner, of both our popular and our scientific thinking, is our inveterate habit of regarding the spiritual not as the rule but as an exception in the midst of nature. Instead of believing our life to be fed at the breasts of the greater life, our individuality sustained by the greater individuality, which must necessarily have more consciousness and more independence than all that it brings forth, we habitually treat whatever lies outside of our life as so much slag and ashes of life only; or if we believe in a Divine Spirit, we fancy him on the one side as bodiless, and nature as soulless on the other. What comfort, or peace, Fechner asks, can come from such a doctrine? The flowers wither at its breath, the stars turn into stone; our own body grows unworthy of our spirit and sinks to a tenement for carnal senses only. The book of nature turns into a volume of mechanics, in which whatever has life is treated as a sort of anomaly; a great chasm of separation yawns between us and all that is higher than ourselves; and God becomes a thin nest of abstractions.
Fechner's great instrument for verifying the daylight view is analogy. ... Bain defines genius as the power of seeing analogies. The number that Fechner could perceive was prodigious; but he insisted on the differences as well. Neglect to make allowances for these, he said, is the common fallacy in analogical reasoning.
Fechner thus admits that, since every living body has a mind, so every mind must possess a body. But it does not follow that all bodies must be alike, and that the bodies of beings of a higher order should be like ours. Our body is adapted to the conditions of our life. Other conditions of life must engender other bodies.
The vaster orders of mind go with vaster orders of body. The entire earth on which we live must have, according to Fechner, its own collective consciousness. So must each sun, moon and planet; so must the whole solar system have its own wider consciousness, in which the consciousness of our earth plays one part. So has the entire starry system as such its consciousness; and if that starry system be not the sum of all that is, materially considered, then the whole system, along with whatever else may be, is the body of that absolutely totalized consciousness of the universe to which men give the name of God.
Speculatively, Fechner is thus a monist in his theology; but there is room in his universe for every grade of spiritual being 'between man and the final all-inclusive
God'. . . .
The earth-soul he passionately believes in; he treats the earth as our special human guardian angel; we can pray to the earth as men pray to their saints. His most important conclusion is, that the constitution of the world is identical throughout. In ourselves, visual consciousness goes with our eyes, tactile consciousness with our skin. But although neither skin nor eye knows aught of the sensations of the other, they come together and figure in some sort of relation and combination in the more inclusive consciousness which each of us names his self. Quite similarly, then, says Fechner, we must suppose that my consciousness of myself and yours of yourself, although in their immediacy they keep separate and know nothing of each other, are yet known and used together in a higher consciousness, that of the human race, say, into which they enter as constituent parts.
Similarly, the whole human and animal kingdoms come together as conditions of a consciousness of still wider scope. This combines in the soul of the earth with the consciousness of the vegetable kingdom, which in turn contributes its share of experience to that of the whole solar system, etc.
The supposition of an earth-consciousness meets a strong instinctive prejudice. All the consciousness we directly know seems told to brains. But our brain, which primarily serves to correlate our muscular reactions with the external objects on which we depend, performs a function which the earth performs in an entirely different way. She has no proper muscles or limbs of her own, and the only objects external to her are the other stars. To these her whole mass reacts by most exquisite alterations in its total gait, and by still more exquisite vibratory responses in its substance. Her ocean reflects the lights of heaven as on a mighty mirror, her atmosphere refracts them like a monstrous lens, the clouds and snow-fields combine them into white, the woods and flowers disperse them into colours. Polarization, interference, absorption awaken sensibilities in matter of which our senses are too coarse to take any note.
For these cosmic relations of hers, then, she no more needs a special brain than she needs eyes or ears. Our brains do indeed unify and correlate innumerable functions. Our eyes know nothing of sound, our ears nothing of light, but having brains we can feel sound and light together, and compare them. . . . Must every higher means of unification between things be a literal brain-fibre? Cannot the earth-mind know otherwise the contents of our minds together?
In a striking page Fechner relates one of his moments of direct vision of truth.
'On a certain morning I went out to walk. The fields were green, the birds sang, the dew glistened, the smoke was rising, here and there a man appeared, a light as of transfiguration lay on all things. It was only a little bit of earth; it was only one moment of her existence; and yet as my look embraced her more and more it seemed to be not only so beautiful an idea, but so true and clear a fact, that she is an angel an angel carrying me along with her into Heaven. ... I asked myself how the opinions of men could ever have so spun themselves away from life as far as to deem earth only a dry clod. . . . But such an experience as this passes for fantasy. The earth is a globular body, and what more she may be, one can find in mineralogical cabinets.'
The special thought of Fechner's is his belief that the more inclusive forms of consciousness are in part constituted by the more limited forms. Not that they are the mere sum of the more limited forms. As our mind is not the bare sum of our sights plus our sounds plus our pains, but in adding these terms together it also finds relations among them and weaves them into schemes and forms and objects of which no one sense in its separate estate knows anything, so the earth-soul traces relations between the contents of my mind and the contents of yours of which neither of our separate minds is conscious. It has schemes, forms, and objects proportionate to its wider field, which our mental fields are far too narrow to cognize. By ourselves we are simply out of relation with each other, for we are both of us there, and different from each other. . . . What we are without knowing, it knows that we are. It is as if the total universe of inner life had a sort of grain of direction, a sort of valvular structure, permitting knowledge to flow in one way only, so that the wider might always have the narrower under observation, but never the narrower the wider.
Fechner likens our individual persons on the earth unto so many sense-organs of
the earth-soul. We add to its perceptive life. ... It absorbs our perceptions into its
larger sphere of knowledge, and combines them with the other data there. The
memories and conceptual relations that have spun themselves round the perceptions
of a certain person remain in the larger earth-life as distinct as ever, and form new
relations. . . .
These ideas of Fechner's are expounded in his book, Zendavesta.*
I have made such a long quotation from Professor James's book in order to show that ideas of the world as animated and intelligent are in no way new or paradoxical. It is a natural and logical necessity, springing from a wider view of the world than that which we usually permit ourselves.
Logically we must either admit different levels of life and intelligence in everything, in all 'dead nature', or deny them altogether, even IN OURSELVES.