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rate, pass back into the mind-structure, and this absorbed recoil constitute consciousness of self. So far, then, it would seem that a state of simple consciousness is the mind-structure's thrill to nervous stimuli; a state of self-consciousness, a thrill to its own thrills. But we may venture yet a step further. Even our present imperfect knowledge of the correlation of forces enables us to perceive the Protean facility of transformation with which force is endowed. Consequently it is not impossible that the recoil in being absorbed may be transmuted from a thrill into some special, but hitherto unanalysed, form of force.
Again-approaching the subject from another side—wherein does the unity of the 'ego' consist ? Clearly not in identity of individual self. The self of the child, of the man in his prime, and the man in his old age are not identical. Mr. Galton states, as the results of some introspective experiments, that our self is by no means one and indivisible,' and that irresolution is due to our disinclination to sacrifice the self of the moment for a different one.'
We feel, indeed, that there is a continuity of self through all these changes, but this is because we can recognise connecting links between each of the several selfs;' and these links are successive modifications of the mental whole—faculties, emotions, appetites, and aversionsof which self is composed. Pari passu with these we find structural modifications of body and brain. This does not, perhaps, amount to demonstration, but it does amount to a strong inference of some structural connection between the two sets of modifications; and consequently that the unity of self is preserved through all its variations by the mind-structure of which self is a property.
But there is a closer parallelism yet. Whatever be the nature of the conscious ' ego,' its physical organ is the brain. And it is of course notorious as a matter of fact that the capacities of consciousness are, speaking generally, connected with complexity of brainstructure. Nobody would believe that the 'ego’ of a Spencer could be found in combination with the brain of a bushman. Nobody, on the other hand, will deny to the bushman anó ego’ of some kind, however low. •Egos,' then, vary in quality. But, if so, how can they be absolute spirit ? And since their quality varies with the complexity of their brain-organs, must not their differences of quality depend on differences of structure, corresponding to the structural differences of their respective brain-organs ?
Again, it seems to me that only on the structure hypothesis can the facts of heredity be explained. It is obvious that mental, no less than physical, peculiarities are transmitted hereditarily. In fact, the transmission of both is habitually relied on, and manipulated by, breeders of animals. Among the lower forms of life the parent characteristics are almost exactly reproduced in the new growth. What is it, then, that the parent plant transmits to its seed, or parent animals to the fertilised ovum ? Certain structural tendencies of development. In the case of transmitted mental qualities, even in mankind, though we are apt to evade a definite explanation, the hereditary character of these qualities is readily admitted. He has his father's taste for music,' &c. is a form of expression common enough even among those who deny the evolution of the ego.' But how are we to account for heredity in mental qualities if these do not come from parents and ancestors, but are created specially for us? One answer of course is just possible. It may be said that these similarities, though confessedly hereditary in the case of physical qualities, in the case of mental qualities are due to a special creation. In short, that a man may derive the shape of his nose in a due course of nature from parental sources, but that his taste for painting does not come from an artist father, but is conferred on him by a miracle. After admitting the possibility of this explanation for those who do not believe in an invariable natural law, it is bardly necessary to argue upon its probability. But if mental qualities are transmitted hereditarily, either man's soul must be partly derived from an hereditary source, or we must be prepared to sever the soul from the mind.
17 Mind, vol. ix. p. 409.
Even the apparent failures of heredity do not overthrow the structure hypothesis. In an interesting article on Idiosyncrasy,'18 Mr. Grant Allen points out that though an ancestral quality may not be displayed visibly in the descendant, its apparent absence is due to a rearrangement of the elements transmitted by the ancestor. The quality is present, but it has undergone a change of grouping. In like manner, the glistening sugar-crystal put into the teacup at breakfast shows no apparent trace of carbon. Add a little sulphuric acid, and the ugly black presence is instantly revealed. In the grouping called sugar, the carbon was concealed. Disturb that grouping by redistributing the molecules, and it comes out of bondage at once. Mr. Grant Allen illustrates his argument by comparing the ancestral qualities which go towards the endowment of an individual to a number of red and white beans shaken up together and poured upon a table. The collection of beans, of course, does not exactly resemble a collection of ancestral qualities. The former is a mechanical mixture; the latter, an organic combination. The organic combination tends to reproduce its type; but there is, of course, no question of reproduction in the case of the mechanical mixture. In this, however, they are strictly alike, that neither bean nor ancestral quality is lost. Every antecedent will be accounted for in the consequents, even though its presence be obscured by the alterations of grouping.
With respect to the evolutional origin here claimed for the human soul, I may point out that, unless the soul be regarded as a product of development, the difficulties presented to us by the lower animals are enormous.
18 Mind, vol. viii. p. 487.
Consider for a moment how the problem stands, especially with respect to the higher vertebrates. We find consciousness, volition, and, within limits, reasoning; we find also emotions, passions, and quasi-moral qualities, such as the affection and courage of the dog, and that trustworthiness which appears to arise from a sort of sense of responsibility. The highest apes come within a measurable distance of humanity; indeed, as a mere matter of braincapacity, there is less difference between the gorilla and the nonAryan Hindu than between the non-Aryan Hindu and the European, the difference of cranial capacity being 11 inches in the one case, and 68 inches in the other.9
Yet we are forbidden to give immortal souls to the beasts that perish, and rightly enough. Quite apart from any theological doctrines, we cannot bring ourselves to believe in glorified animals, as such, finding a place in any final hereafter. But the doctrine of specially created human souls bars the only other path of progress possible to animals. Therefore we are driven by this doctrine to maintain that animal consciousness, however complex, however laboriously built up, is annihilated at death, and, though it may be resolved back into simpler forms of force, it is lost as consciousness to the universe for ever. It might seem possible to escape this conclusion by supposing that the consciousness of a dead animal served again in the living body of a similar animal, e.g., that a canine consciousness would pass on from dog to dog. But, omitting a host of minor objections, this view firstly requires an original fixity of species which we know did not exist; and, secondly, it does not provide for any species becoming extinct. What has become, for instance, of the consciousnesses of the extinct ichthyosauri, pterodactyls, &c. of the early world, or the great auks of our own day? If they have been utilised, my theory is affirmed. If they have been annihilated, my objection remains. Obviously no such difficulty attends any system of soul evolution. The mind-structure of the animal passes upwards in an orderly course, and towards the same goal as the souls of men.
In connection with this question of animal souls, some forms of idiocy deserve remark. A relapse towards animalism generally is not all uncommon amongst idiots; but some cases of theroid idiocy show a relapse to specific animals. Dr. Maudsley gives some instances in his lectures on Body and Mind, pp. 47–53. Apefaced and ape-natured idiots are moderately frequent, but relapses in this direction are less remarkable, because they might be a recurrence along the direct line of ancestry. But with idiots who resemble sheep and geese this explanation fails. An ovine idiot girl, referred to by Dr. Maudsley, refused meat, but took vegetables and water greedily. She expressed joy or grief by the words " be," "ma,''bah ;' she would try to butt with her head, and displayed other ovine propensities, while her back and loins were covered with hair two inches long. Still more curious is the case of the anserine idiot girl which he mentions. This poor creature had a small head scantily covered with hair, large and prominent eyes, a lower jaw projecting more than an inch beyond the upper jaw, the whole of the lower part of the face presenting the appearance of a bill. Her neck was very long, and so flexible that it could be bent backwards till it touched her back between the shoulder-blades. She uttered no articulate sounds, but displayed pleasure by cackling like a goose, and displeasure by screeching or bissing, and flapping her arms against her sides. Such facts as these can scarcely be accounted for by atavism ; for though man, sheep, and goose have a common ancestral origin, the branches which they represent must have diverged from the common line long before the appearance of any such specialised creature as a sheep or goose. In short, the relationship between man and the other two being collateral only, the above facts cannot be explained as a back strain to a direct ancestor. On the other hand, they do seem to point to the undue prominence in a human organism of a specific animal element, and this is exactly what we might expect to occur occasionally if my theory of soul evolution should be correct. According to this view the materials of the human soul are drawn largely from lower mind-structures, which under ordinary circumstances are individually combined into a due subordination to the organic unity of the whole. But where from any reason such organic combination should be imperfectly carried out, it seems highly probable that some one of the animal mindstructures appropriated by the organism might be left in a position of undue predominance, and this would exactly meet the case of the theroid idiot. Finally, the fact that the animal mind of the theroid idiot is accompanied by appropriate animal peculiarities of body points to a much closer natural connection between mind and body than any that the special creation theory admits of.
19 Huxley, Van's Place in Nature, pp. 77, 78. The actual figures are : Highest European, 114 cubic inches; lowest Hindu, 46 cubic inches; highest gorilla, 34) cubic inches.
After this general sketch of soul-growth, it will be necessary to retrace our steps and examine the stages of the process more minutely. When the lowest forms of life die they may possibly give up their mindstuff unaltered. But upon the death of higher organisms part, at any rate, of the mindstuff which leaves them has been worked up into more or less complex groups, which may be called mind-molecules. As we get higher in the scale of existence, the constant regroupings of these mind-molecules into higher and larger aggregates result in the formation of mind-structures of very considerable complexity. And with regard to these some interesting questions arise. The selfconscious structure of the human soul cannot conceivably, as I have Vol. XX.–No. 115.
said, be subsumed into a higher unity by any organism at present known to us. Excluding humanity, however, for the moment, I suppose that the totality of animal life on the earth does not diminish, if indeed it does not increase. Also bearing in mind the continual process of absorption going on, it seems probable that the higher mind-structures are not often for long together out of active employment. But it is clear that certain intervals must occur after the death of each physical organism when they are left without an organic tenement; and it is possible that in some cases such intervals may be comparatively long. And here the question arises, how are these disembodied mental structures occupied during such intervals, and what are the conditions of their existence ?
In the first place it seems to me that the process of their development as well as the sphere of their utilisation need not be confined within terrestrial limits. It is impossible to suppose that this earth of ours is the only seat of life and mind in the universe; and if there be more worlds than one, there is no conclusive reason why mindstuff and mind-structures should not pass freely between them, though we cannot detect the laws which these migrations follow. But a still more interesting consideration lies before us. Since the human soul is the product of a long line of development, the process, like every natural process, must be extremely gradual. Consequently the mind-structures immediately below the human soul in point of development must have reached a complexity which only just falls short of self-consciousness. What follows is obvious. Besides the incarnate mind-structures of visible life, we must reckon on the existence of a fluctuating body of similar structures diffused through the universe. Whetber the form which immediately precedes the human soul be developed upon this world or elsewhere matters little. It may
be that the mind-structures of the higher animals, or some of them, when grouped into a higher complexity suffice for the formation of a human soul. Or it may be that the missing link 'would be found in some other sphere of existence. We are only concerned to recognise that it is to be found somewhere.
Personality is so inexpugnable a factor of our own consciousness that we can with difficulty conceive the idea of a consciousness which lacks it. We may test this in a simple case by trying to frame a clear conception of the character and contents of the consciousness of some lower animal to whom we do not ascribe an “ego.' But the difficulty becomes very much greater when we try in imagination to separate such a consciousness from the bodily organism through which its impressions are received. We must conclude, however, that in the absence of a nervous system, sensations of external things in the ordinary sense would be impossible. In this case the only impressions possible to an unembodied mind-structure would be those derived from other mind-structures; and upon the quality or method