A simple catch game is as follows. It is best if two of the company know how to play it. One of the two is the leader and the other helps her out. The leader hands a closed pair of scissors to her accomplice, who takes it and says: "I rece... Read more of SCISSORS CROSSED OR UNCROSSED. at Games Kids Play.caInformational Site Network Informational
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AUTONOMY OF SPIRIT.

Activity Of Consciousness
Aim And Method Of Naturalism
Autonomy Of Spirit
Consciousness Of The Ego
Constructive Criticism
Contrast Between Darwinian And Post-darwinian Views
Creative Power Of Consciousness
Criticisms Of The Mechanistic Theory Of Life
Crities Of Darwinism
Darwinish In General
Darwinism And Teleology
Darwinism In The Strict Sense
De Vries's Mutation-theory
Differences Of Opinion As To The Factors In Evolution
Eimer's Orthogenesis
Evolution And New Beginnings
Feeling
Feeling Individuality Genius And Mysticism
Freedom Of Spirit
Fundamental Principles Of Naturalism
Genius
Goethe's Attitude To Naturalism
Haeckel's Evolutionist Position
Heredity
How All This Affects The Religious Outlook
How The Religious And The Naturalistic Outlooks Conflict
Immortality
Individual Development
Individuality
Intuitions Of Reality
Irritability
Is There Ageing Of The Mind?
Lamarckism And Neo-lamarckism
Machnical Theories Criticism
Mind And Spirit The Human And The Animal Soul
Mystery : Dependence : Purpose
Mysticism
Natural Selection
Naturalism
Naturalistic Attacks On The Autonomy Of The Spiritual
No Parallelism
Other Instances Of Dissatisfaction With The Theory Of Descent
Parallelism
Personality
Pre-eminence Of Consciousness
Preyer's Position
Religion And The Theory Of Descent
Self-consciousness
Spontaneous Generation
Teleological And Scientific Interpretations Are Alike Necessary
The Antimony Of Our Conception Of Space
The Antimony Of Our Conception Of Time
The Antimony Of The Conditioned And The Unconditioned
The Characteristic Features Of Darwinism
The Conservation Of Matter And Energy
The Constructive Work Of Driesch
The Contingency Of The World
The Dependence Of The Order Of Nature
The Development Of Darwinism
The Ego
The Fundamental Answer
The Law Of The Conservation Of Energy
The Mechanics Of Development
The Mystery Of Existence Remains Unexplained
The Organic And The Inorganic
The Position Of Bunge And Other Physiologists
The Problema Continui
The Real World
The Recognition Of Purpose
The Religious Interpretation Of The World
The Spontaneous Activity Of The Organism
The Supremacy Of Mind
The Theory Of Descent
The True Naturalism
The Two Kinds Of Naturalism
The Unconscious
The Unity Of Consciousness
The Views Of Albrecht And Schneider
The Views Of Botanists Illustrated
The World And God
Theory Of Definite Variation
Theory Of Life
Underivability
Various Forms Of Darwinism
Virchow's Caution
Virchow's Position
Weismann's Evolutionist Position
Weismannism
What Is Distinctive In The Naturalistic Outlook
What Is Distinctive In The Religious Outlook



Mind And Spirit The Human And The Animal Soul








What is the relation between the human and the animal mind? This has
always been a vital question in the conflict between naturalism and the
religious outlook. And as in the whole problem of the psychical so here
the interest on both sides has been mainly concentrated on the question of
"mortality" or "immortality." Man is immortal because he has a soul.
Animals "have no souls." "Animals also have souls, differing only in
degree but not in substantial nature from the soul of man: as they are
mortal, man must be so too." "Animals have minds: the merely psychical
passes away with the body. But man has spirit in addition. It is
imperishable." These and many other assertions were made on one side or
the other. And both sides made precisely the same mistake: they made the
belief in the immortality of our true nature dependent upon a proof that
the soul has a physical "substantial nature," which is to be regarded as
an indestructible substance, a kind of spiritual atom. And on the other
hand they overlooked the gist of the whole matter, the true
starting-point, which cannot be overlooked if the religious outlook is not
to be brought into discredit. It is undoubtedly a fundamental postulate,
and one which the religious outlook cannot give up, that the human spirit
is more than all creatures, and is in quite a different order from stars,
plants, and animals. But absolutely the first necessity from the point of
view of the religious outlook is to establish the incomparable value of
the human spirit; the question of its "substantial nature" is in itself a
matter of entire indifference. The religious outlook observes that man can
will good and can pray, and no other creature can do this. And it sees
that this makes the difference between two worlds. Whether the bodily and
mental physics in both these worlds is the same or different, is to it a
matter rather of curiosity than of importance.

What occurs or does not occur within the animal mind is, as a matter of
fact, wholly hidden from us. We have no way of determining this except by
analogy with ourselves, and therefore our idea of it is necessarily
anthropomorphic. And apologists are undoubtedly right when they maintain
that this is far too much the case. To reach a more unprejudiced attitude
towards the customary anthropomorphisation of animals, it is profitable to
study Wundt's lectures on "The Human and the Animal Mind" (see especially
Lecture XX.). Perhaps it is true that, notwithstanding all the
much-praised cleverness, intelligence and teachableness of elephants,
dogs, and chimpanzees, they are incapable of forming "general ideas,"
"rules," and "laws," of forming judgments in the strict sense, and
constructive syllogisms, that they have only associations of ideas, and
expectations of similar experience, but no thinking in conceptual terms,
and cannot perceive anything general or necessary, that they recognise a
posteriori but not a priori, as Leibnitz supposed, and that they form
only perceptual inferences, not judgments from experience. But it is not
easy to see that this contributes anything of importance to our problem.
It does not even help us in regard to the interesting question of a
physical guarantee for the indestructibility of the soul. For even if the
psychical acts of animals were fewer and less important than they are
admitted to be, they have certainly sensations, images, feelings,
pleasure, pain, and desire. All these are of a psychical nature,
immaterial, and underivable from the material. And it is difficult to see,
for instance, why the forming of judgments should be regarded as more
durable and indestructible than sensation and desire. The difference lies
higher than this,--not in the fact that man has a few "capacities" more
than the animal, but in the difference in principle, that the psychical in
man can be developed to spirit, and that this is impossible anywhere else.
The very example that naturalism loves to cite in its own favour makes its
error clear. It asks whether the difference, let us say, between a Fuegian
and one of the higher mammals such as an ape, is not much less than that
between a Fuegian and a European. This sounds obvious, if we measure
simply by habits, morals, and possibly also the content of feeling and
imagination in a "savage" as we find him. And yet it is obviously false. I
can train a young ape or an elephant, can teach it to open wine-bottles
and perform tricks. But I can educate the child of the savage, can
develop in him a mental life equal in fineness, depth, and energy,
frequently more than equal, to that of the average European, as the
mission to the Eskimos and to the Fuegians proves, and as Darwin frankly
admitted. Psychical capacity is nothing more than raw material. It is in
the possibility of raising this to the level of spirit, of using the raw
material to its purpose, that the absolute difference, the impassable gulf
between man and animals lies.

Even in animals there is a primitive thinking, rising above the level of
blind instinct. But it can neither be schooled, nor is it capable of
developing even the crudest beginnings of science. Even the animal has a
sensory satisfaction in colour, form and tone (not nearly so much,
however, as the theory of sexual selection requires us to suppose). But
art, even the most rudimentary self-expression of the spirit upon this
basis, is wholly sealed to it. Even the animal possesses strong altruistic
instincts, impulses towards companionship, pairing, and caring for its
young, and some have seen in this the beginnings of morality. But morality
is a matter of the spirit, which begins with the idea of duty and rises to
the recognition of an ideal of life. Nowhere else do we see so directly
and emphatically the incomparability of the natural-psychical and the
spiritual as in the idea of duty and an ideal of life, although the
contrast is equally great at all points of the spiritual life.

Finally and highest of all, we have the capacity of the human spirit to
rise to religion and the greatest heights of feeling. In science and art,
in morality and religion, the spirit possesses itself. And as such it is a
unique and strange guest in this world, absolutely incomparable with
anything beneath or around it. It may, perhaps, be true that the psychical
difference between the ape and man is smaller than that between the ape
and unicellular organisms (though we really can know nothing about that).
But nowhere in the animal world does the psychical overstep the limits of
purely natural existence, of striving after and being prompted by the
directly and purely natural ends of a vegetative and animal instinctive
life, physical pleasure, self-preservation, and the maintenance of the
species.

And there is more than this. However different the psychical equipment may
be at different animal stages, it has one thing in common in them all, it
is absolutely limited to what is given it by nature. An animal species may
last for a million years. But it has no history. It is and remains the
same history-less natural product. In this respect the animal is not a
step in advance of the stone or the crystal. The only thing it can achieve
is to express more or less perfectly the character of the species. This is
the utmost height of its capacity. But for man this is only the
starting-point, and the really human begins just there. What is implicit
in him as homo sapiens, a member of a zoological order, is nothing more
than the natural basis upon which, in human and individual history, he may
build up an entirely unique and new creation, an upper story: the world
and life of the spirit.

It is also erroneous to regard the gradual development of the psychical
capacities at the different levels of animal evolution as the development
of and preparation for the human spirit. It is not the spirit, but the raw
material of it, that is thus being prepared and developed. It is as if, in
the history of colour manufacture, an "evolution" of colour were taking
place. The quality of the colour gradually becomes better and better. Each
generation learns to make it purer and more brilliant. But the painting
which is painted with the most brilliant colour cannot be regarded as a
link in the evolutionary sequence, and is certainly not the crown and
culmination of the pigment; the latter is only the gradual perfecting of a
necessary preliminary condition.

It is only of secondary interest to point out the immense leaps in the
evolution of colour and colour-technique, and especially the vast
difference between the last stage and the one before it, or, to drop the
metaphor, the enormous psychological differences between the animal and
the human mind.

There is no doubt that an apologetic which interests itself in such
matters would find abundant opportunity for work, and could find a
powerful argument against a too hasty naturalism in the differences
between animal and human psychical capacities, which have been recognised
much more sanely and clearly through recent investigation than they
usually were in earlier times. But the question has no special interest
for us here.





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Previous: Mysticism



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