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their own productions that changes wrought in vegetable tissue by thought and experiment reflect themselves in succeeding generations, just as improvements and developments in a motor engine or a radio set are reproduced in all successive instruments of their type.
Every seed of plant or animal is a minute particle of matter stored not only with knowledge of chemistry, form, and color, but containing also the history of its origin and development. In the bit of protoplasm that carries along the human race are implanted the facts about bone, tissue, and blood-making, the profile of its immediate progenitor, and even his peculiar personal aptitudes. Since light rays carry pictures, and sound waves words, and all the substances of which we are aware have enfolded in them and can transmit the characteristics of their being to their descendants, it would be futile to deny to any mode of force once identified in form capacity to retain in some different dimension either its individuality or its experiences.
But my memory is not I; it is no more than an instrument I employ in conducting my life on the earth surface to which I am confined. It registers my contacts with the world and its inhabitants received in light or sound vibrations and fixed in brain or other body tissue, available for use in the exact physical terms required in my environment. It is a faulty mechanism in comparison with the other memories that are carried within my body-the knowledge my stomach applies in digesting food and making blood, or my lungs in separating oxygen from nitrogen or the subtle processes of distilling and emitting chemi
cals performed by my ductless glands.
Any combination of wheels, shafts, cogs, and gears, adjusted to a mechanical task, whether it be stamping out dies or wheels or embroidering an intricate pattern in a fabric, executes a memory task, and is a device to reproduce a design-both idea forms. A phonograph record is the memory of a particular song or speech imprinted in wavy lines on the surface of a waxed plate. All the facts about oaks are implanted in the texture of an acorn. But these and all other memories are inert or negative unless revived or animated through the interaction of positive force. Soil and sunlight reintegrate the pattern in the plasm of the acorn into the image of the parent oak. So, too, with the flower seeds. The machine executes none of its reproductive marvels until steam, gas, or electricity is driven into its parts. In the phonograph it is a needle impelled by a spring that retraces the scroll and assembles the vibrations registered there back to words or melody. What agency explores man's brain-cells and releases to his consciousness the knowledge inscriptions secreted there? Power conversion of some kind occurs; a current passes through an invisible master record to its protoplasmic equivalent in the cortex and is projected as speech or action.
He who applies to his mind for a fact or the details of an experience is aware that the records exist, just as he who slips a disk into his phonograph knows in advance what he expects to hear and how to evoke it. There seems to be no escape from dual vehicles, an inner agent that carries a complete picture of the information and of the process and purpose of delivering it and a correspondent in physical matter through
which the thought or act is liberated to life by the interaction of the entity's will energy.
If there are two records, there must be twin organisms, since nature, indulging in no magic, makes no communication without a carrier. It is fair to assume the intricate mechanism that is the human body must contain vehicles capable of transacting all the functions man performs. Must there not be, then, a double, a mind body the equivalent of the physical, but of a finer atomic structure, the mold on which the physical mask is hung that, like the architect's design, binds together the members of the structure, holds the organs in their alinement, and conducts-steps down as an electrical transformer does the thoughtwill currents to their muscle, flesh, and blood instruments? This etheric intermediary would be the apparatus which carries the mind's memory as the brain-cells hold the body's, and would be the silent, sedulous agent that keeps the lungs breathing, the heart beating, the blood coursing, and executes all the other vital automatic processes by which life is sustained. In its subtle substance, as in the acorn's, must be lodged the archtype of the species, the secrets of growth, health, and decay, and all the instinctive knowledge the organism uses in the fulfilment of its strangely complicated obligations to the inhabitant, I.
All the properties assigned here to an etheric double are allotted by current psychology to the subconscious, that convenient carry-all for the accumulation of faculties, sensations, and characteristics which flesh, blood, and bone fabric cannot accommodate and microscope, stethoscope, or X-ray fail to detect. Invisible agencies are still
ghosts, despite our knowledge of electricity and radio waves, so until the psychologists apply to the solution of this problem the laws of mechanics and physics and have the courage to face the unknown in its own terms, the fabric of the higher energies in the organism will elude them.
It is more or less axiomatic that substances cannot transmit properties they do not contain, that characteristics must be possessed before they can be inherited, and that species breed true to type. One may not have figs from thistles. It is equally true that mind alone can apprehend thought, that matter cannot beget it though it may hold it. Could there be a greater confusion of dynamic values than the theory so popular even in the best philosophical circles that consciousness is a property of brain-tissue and that the cerebro-spinal system secretes ideas? On these terms, words and music originate in the radio set and all automobiles generate their own gasolene. Applying to the Mauretania this same style of reasoning, one would identify in the mechanisms on her bridge the principles of captain, crew, and direction exhibited in the "behaviorism” of her hull. Doubtless her voyages would represent "purposive striving."
However superstitious or unfashionable in the thinking of the time, there is nothing novel in the theory of an etheric body. The existence of such a mechanism is woven in the web of all ancient faiths and mystic creeds. It is accepted by millions of Buddhists and Mohammedans as reality. Said Democritus, as quoted by Tyndale: "The soul consists of fine, smooth, round atoms, like those of fire. They
are the most mobile of all. They interpenetrate the whole body, and in their motions the phenomena of life arise."
With this super-physical phantom, the etheric body, the new schools of biology and psychology will have to deal. Its investigators must not fear to follow where it leads, however strange the path. Eventually it will be revealed as no less material than steam and gas and more penetrative than X-rays. In vibrant quality it may be related to light and radio waves. It converts the high energy of thought to the slow movement of matter. Probably it owns some of the properties of a selenium cell. Its volatile substance can be excited or inhibited. Doubtless it is the agency that operates the ductless glands controlling sensation, releasing hormones and adrenalin to the blood stream in response to provocations in its environment. It is concerned in the mystery of suspended consciousness in sleep. Opium, ether, chloroform, and other drugs and nitrous oxid gas affect its functions. Presumably, it is the organic factor that is susceptible to hypnotic suggestion, for some instrumentality does simulate and reproduce in the cellular matter of the body any thought pattern that is commanded of it. May it not be the force that responds to Dr. Coué's formula and works the miracle of the mind-curists, the agency that taps tables at spiritual séances, and the conductor in thought transferences? Perhaps that inexplicable substance which has been exteriorized by Schrenk-Notzig and Dr. Geley in their experiments in Paris, and named ectoplasm, represents its condensation under atmospheric pressure. What is called mystic develop
ment, the lore of the Yogi, and also the familiar doctrines of thought concentration must be related to processes of controlling its subtle, rebellious, and mercurial fabric.
An instrumentality with all these potencies may not necessarily perish when its protoplasmic mold succumbs to death. Its vibrant quality being higher than that of physical matter, it need not share its dissolution any more than the electric current ceases when I turn off the light. It is a force that has been confined in form, whose substance has implanted in it all the memories, and the pictures of its contacts with the earth life, and, when released, may have the capacity to betake itself to an atmosphere related to its fine atomic texture.
There seems justification for concluding that though I am confined in my body, it is my mask and tool and not my being. I represent an energy principle of higher, finer, and more durable nature than its texture. The disintegration of its substance affects neither the stability of my basic structure nor my identity. My knowledge, power, and consciousness are neither contained nor limited by its mechanisms, though they must be revealed through them. My true entity seems to partake of the dynamic quality of thought. I express myself from within out. I practise the abilities of a creator; I design in mind, fashioning my ideas in matter and endow them with motion. The real fabric of my being is a mode of force, carries form, and can hold memory. hold memory. Death cannot affect its true integrity, though it may change its habitat. The faculties with which I am equipped are capable of being exercised on other planes of the universe than the earth's surface.
However mechanistic, there is here suggested a conception of spirit and plausible basis for the continuous life of which the mind can lay hold. It offers a precise force for a dream fabric, and it derives from nature, not revelation. While it sustains no creed, it does afford support to those who, rebelling against the strange conceit that man is solitary in the universe, proclaim that where design and order occur, the existence of a Designer must be assumed.
This argument has no scientific force, since it is not demonstrable and amounts to no more than one person's effort at explaining the universe to his own satisfaction; but I dare predict that sooner or later our chemists and biologists will turn from their investigations of the textures and mechanisms of the instrument to a search into the nature of the positive agent which animates and controls it. Usurping the halting processes of the psychologists, they will seek the qualities and
properties of that dynamic energy whose source seems to be in the mind, and within a decade we may be in sight of an understanding of those mysterious forces we now label identity, purpose, and will. On the score of my personal convictions, I may venture to speculate on the readjustment of the attitude to life that must follow scientific sanction of the truth of survival. Once admit this conclusion to your consciousness not in terms of religious ecstasy or revelation, but as pure matter-of-fact knowledge, and horizons widen and isolation disappears. Man ceases to be a biological freak on an insignificant planet and becomes a member of the universe, with illimitable space as his domain. And since all those who have died of the generations past and gone must survive amid new destinies, it would follow that the reaches between man and the stars are populated with conscious entities whose days at some period may have been patterned after his own.
BY RUTH Fitch BartLETT
I am possessed by you as witches were
BY ELISABETH SANXAY HOLDING
HE was like an exquisite little Byzantine figure, cunningly made to the last detail, with an inhuman sort of innocence upon her wondering face. Her splendid clothes, the jewels she wore, were like ornaments upon an idol; her skin was of an odd, clear pallor; her hair so faint, you might have imagined her to have been washed with a thin film of gold. And she was so still, spoke so little! She would sit on the veranda of the immense hotel, never lifting her eyes to any other face or to the hills, but looking down at her idle little hands with that invariable half-smile of hers—a smile not shy, not dreamy, simply a delicate and unmeaning grimace.
Her mother said she was nineteen. It was the duty of her mother to give information about this valuable little creature, in the manner of a high priestess introducing an idol to a strange land. And, as usually happens, some people believed all she said, and some thought her stories were myths. She said that her child had inherited a colossal fortune from her grandparents; that was easy enough to believe, after seeing the rich bedizenment of the pale-gold image. But when she tried to endow this figure with life, when she declared that it had preferences and antipathies, that it had once been a child, that it had its own inner life, like other people, the skeptic imagination rebelled.
To be sure, the figure danced charmingly, and could answer if spoken to; but, as Gallard pointed out, it could not do this without the mother's presence.
"No," he said, "she 's a marionette. Her mother has to pull the strings to make her go. I admit it's beautifully done, but it 's rather ghastly. When I dance with her, that 's how she feels
like a little wooden thing padded out with clothes. I can imagine her tiny joints moving so precisely and carefully. And I'm afraid her mother 'll forget for an instant, or get the strings tangled, and there I'll be, in the middle of the floor, with that expensive little puppet dangling on my arm."
This was fantastic, but Gallard was allowed to be as fantastic as he liked, for he was a sort of conquistador novelist, spinning money out of words, so that his words must be valuable. He himself was surprised and amused by the respect with which he was listened to; he knew that he had never shown the faintest trace of creative ability, of beauty, even of care or patience in his work, because those qualities were not in him. He happened to have had a very wide and varied experience of life, and he could write as well as most well bred, well educated fellows, and no better. He invented nothing; he transposed and sometimes improvised a little on the themes of his own experiences in various parts of the world.