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eternal ideas by its enjoyment of beauty, its recognition of truth, and the harmony of its will with the moral law, was then and there, and no otherwise, immortalised. It was, therefore, in vain that his favourite pupil, Göschel, endeavoured to get the exact contrary out of his system. But when the question of immortality had thus been raised, men outside Hegel's school naturally joined in the discussion, and attempted to find a positive solution of the problem. Weisse, in his Philosophische Geheimlehre von der Unsterblichkeit des Menschlichen Individuums, would only promise a future existence to spirits which had been eminently good or evil.* Gustav Theodor Fechner, under the name of Mises, in his Büchlein von dem Leben nach dem Tode, showed himself to be a man of strong imagination, with a decided talent for temperate and sober research. Still he launches out into the most adventurous speculations. After these came Imanuel Hermann Fichte with his work, entitled Idee der Personlichkeit. Weisse and Fechner had substituted the half-developed fancies of a brilliant imagination for exact scientific method, and had thus not only given their adversaries a theme for ridicule, but brought their followers into great perplexity. Fichte went more carefully to work: he dwelt upon the essence of personality, which, according to him, is eternally pre-formed in the Divine Mind, and possesses attributes which never attain complete development in this life. If he did not altogether succeed in dissipating a cloud of objections, he suggested many profound reflections which gave his adversaries material for earnest
thought. Throughout the discussion as it was carried on between the years 1830 and 1840—negation was stronger than affirmation. An entirely new treatment of the question was necessary to restore the equilibrium between pro and contra, and to prove at least that denial and assertion
might lay claim to equal probability, and that it might be left to the faith of the individual to make his own decision.
“Passing by mere dilletante philosophers, we shall con ourselves only with those writers who, in recent time endeavoured to get at a positive solution of the pro scientific means. These are, Drossbach, Johann Kirchmann, Ritter, and Imanuel Hermann Fick logue, Ueber den Zusammenhang der Natur mit published from Schelling's literary remains, into account--in the first place because it w year 1816, and further because it is based 1 reasons than upon a spirit of intuitive dogm
* In our own country this opinion was put forth by of The Age of Reason.-T.S.
affirms without proving. Nor can we at present include a recent work of great merit in illustrating Schelling's system, by his most distinguished pupil, Hubert Becker-Die Unsterblichkeitslehre Schelling's ein ganzen Zusammenhange ihrer Entwickelung.
“ Drossbach, in his Die individuelle Unsterblichkeit vom monadisch-metaphysischen Standpunkte conceives the soul to be a monad or atom, a simple substance endued with peculiar powers. Its existence and qualities, he thinks, can no more be destroyed or changed than those of a chemical atom; and under favourable conditions it is for ever restoring these qualities to activity, and thus is always capable of renewing itself to self-conscious
The future life he holds to be entirely analogous to the present. It will be a revivification of the same psychic monads in the same essentially unaltered world. Johannes Huber, in his Die Idee der Unsterblichkeit, 1864, first assumes the hope of immortality to be an idea essential to the mind, the natural conception of the reason concerning the nature of its destiny and the end of its development; and then he critically examines the different explanations of it, and shews that Hegel's will not stand without the admission of personal existence in a future state. After demonstrating that Hegel's ethical conception must be combined with a physical conception of future existence in order to attain to the idea of immortality or eternal life, he undertakes to refute every objection which has been made to such explanation. He takes arms against the Materialists as well as against the philosophical opponents of personal existence in a future state, and triumphs over both : but he does not think that scientific arguments by themselves suffice to prove the immortality of the soul; he believes that its proof is equally based in the moral self-development of the individual.
“ Heinrich Ritter, in his Unsterblichkeit, begins by demonstrating the substantiality of the soul on this wise. From its acts of feeling and thinking, he concludes that it is phenomenon to itself, and that other things are phenomena to it. Hence it follows, as phenomenon is only possible in and by means of substance, that the idea of substantiality must be attributed to the soul. In distinction therefore to its manifestations, it is in itself a substance imperishable, spontaneous, and independent. Upon this he bases the proof of the existence of several substances which operate reciprocally upon each other, and reflect themselves in each other, but to which nothing can be attributed as essentially their own except what they do of their own force, and their own free agency. Wherever this self-manifestation attains to the state of feeling and knowledge there also free agency is found. Hence beasts also are supposed to be free
agents, and equally with man are accredited with substantiality and immortality. These substances are subject to the law of self-preservation and progress; by self-preservation they live in the general life of the world; by progress this life reaches forth to its ordained perfection, through higher and higher conditions. Their present condition of consciousness was preceded by one of embryonic unconsciousness. They always were and always shall be. The faculty of life and self-production which lies in them spontaneously starts into activity whenever the surrounding conditions are favourable. The future state is not separated from the present by any abyss; it is continuous, and the soul will continuously require a bodily manifestation for its mutual action and re-action on other beings. Therefore, he says, no sudden transition to a state of blessedness or damnation is conceivable; there must be many intervening degrees of trial. But the only value of continued existence is as a means to good. Our future life will therefore give us more exalted aims till we reach a final end in the enjoyment of which is eternal life. He concludes by showing the necessity of conceiving God as the ultimate ground for the explanation of cosmical facts. God, he says, is simple activity. His creativeness is an eternal act, which He can never recall; and, therefore, all the substances of the world are eternal.
"T. H. Kirchman, in his book Ueber die Unsterblichkeit, argues that, as everything is contemporaneous, Time as well as Becoming is only a deceptive phenomenon. This phenomenon, therefore, he endeavours to explain, but instead of notions hé gives us only analogies and illustrations. Knowledge, he says, is light. As the light of the sun illuminates first one segment of a planet and then another, so knowledge passes amidst its various substances, always existing in space, illuminating some and leaving the rest in darkness. Birth is an illumination, death an obfuscation. But as the orbit of light is circular, a substance which has once been illuminated is always in the way to be reilluminated. In other words, it may come again to consciousness; and this consciousness may even be more intense and abundant than at first, if the illumination is more powerful and permanent.
" Imanuel Hermann Fichte has of late devoted himself almost exclusively to psychological studies. In 1855, he published an Anthropology, which in 1860 reached a second edition, and in the interval he published a smaller work, entitled Zur Seelenfrage. In 1864, appeared the first part of a very comprehensive Psychology, which was followed in 1867 by the present portly volume, Die Seelenfortdauer und die Weltstellung des Menschen. Whether or not the author's literary career will stop here,
he evidently regards this work as the mature fruit of all his scientific studies, and as their final answer to the supreme question of philosophy. As he has now reached the evening of life, when the varied picture of the world loses the richness of its colouring in the shades of twilight, his whole attention naturally turns to the stars which are beginning to appear, to the hopes and presentiments of a new existence. The work is characterised by a religious tone; and the language of reason alternates with the tremulous cadences of a touched heart. We do not see why the chords of feeling should not vibrate in a work concerning the vital question of humanity; too entire an abstraction from the claims of sentiment not unfrequently confuses the understanding. The metaphysical premisses in favour of personal immortality, which Dr. Fichte undertakes to consolidate empirically and inductively, are nearly as follows:—God, as selfconscious mind, includes within Himself a teleologically-ordained system of individual existences. Whenever the course of cosmical development offers the possibility, these existences emerge from their merely ideal condition and spontaneously assume reality. The human mind, always individual and spontaneous, seizes on the forces of nature which it finds in operation, uses them as means of embodiment and manifestation, and by the spontaneous creation of its corporeal organisation works out its own selfconsciousness. As an everlasting monad it passes through a series of progressive phases, in which it gradually develops the basis of its nature, until it attains its perfect form. The reciprocal activity of the individual essences, and the consequent manifestation of their qualities give rise to the spectacle of this changing world, which is, however, based upon an unchanging world. The different parts of the universe are all teleologically ordered and adapted, and the less perfect beings are conditions of and means for the higher. But the highest thing which we know of empirically is the human mind, which serves no other existing thing as a means, or ladder to life, but is in this respect its own end. It is only subordinate to the Divine Mind which irradiates it with the eternal ideas of the beautiful, the true and the good, and thus keeps up its impulse towards culture and perfection. But the human spirit is also destined to personal association and union with God. This is a consequence of the fact of religious feeling. This union produces in it a supernatural wisdom and force of will. Fichte's view of the universe thus ends in Theosophy. In these assumptions personal existence in a future state is, no doubt, virtually contained; but the only question is, how the assumptions themselves are established ? His whole system, beginning with his Anthropology and Psychology, is directed towards this proof.
In the work before us, he resumes, with less conciseness than might be wished, all the results which he has previously obtained. Immortality, he thinks, if it have any reality, must exhibit unequivocal traces in the present state of human consciousness; and he reviews a number of pyschological phenomena, which he takes pains to explain as direct expressions of an instinctive consciousness of immortality. We cannot say that he is always successful. What we want here are premisses established by experience, and conclusions derived by correct analogy. Thus, from the recognised fact that in each animated being there is an accurate agreement between instincts and faculties, external organs and conditions of life, it may be concluded that man is destined for a future state of personal existence. In refuting the views of his opponents, Dr. Fichte leaves much to be desired, and is himself inclined to build up an inexplicable and untenable dualism between soul and body, substance and appearance. He is most successful in his proof that the essential attribute of the soul is its power of giving birth to consciousness. The whole series of arguments leads finally to a philosophy of history, for the whole present life of the human race is a most weighty argument for its future existence. For here also the argument from final causes obliges us to assume the future existence of the soul, as the explanation of its non-attainment of the ideal aims which are natural to man, and of the discordance between merit and reward. In sum Fichte arrived at the conviction that no conclusive logical proofs of immortality are to be found, and that the acceptance of the doctrine depends rather on a natural sentiment, unclouded by the sceptical objections of reflection, and upheld by the moral conscience.”
PUNCH ON SPIRIT POETRY.
To the Editor of “ The Spiritual Magazine." Sir, -I see that our old friend, Punch, has noticed my last communication to you, giving a specimen or two of spirit-poetry. A few years ago I should have said, "has done me the honour to notice," &c., but that is all over nowpoor
Punch! But the notice I allude to so admirably illustrates the crass ignorance and desperate unfairness of a certain class of critics who can only grin, that I ask the attention of your readers to it. The point of my letter, was that the verses I gave were so written at first as to make it clear to all who could judge of evidence that they were not composed by the person who held the pencil, unless indeed this person (a young lady of education and position), was a hypocrite as absurd as she was wicked. This point the writer in Punch says nothing about, but pretends that I gave the poetry as something so wonderful in itself as to prove its spirit-origin. This could only have been done by one who deliberately intended to cheat his readers. He will