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of exaltation, and to clothe with the attribute of divinity that which in days of yore had been the symbol of creature-life?
Now this is exactly what happens in the history of religion. The stage of Fetich-worship is broken not by the depression of the Fetich but by the elevation of the spirit, and the spirit is elevated by losing the sense of its own short-livedness. It loses its sense of short-livedness by reaching the conclusion that a beginning in the past does not involve an end in the future-in other words, by arriving at the conception of immortality. As long as the primitive man believes himself to be mortal, he worships the pebble and the rag. As long as he associates changefulness with death, he deifies that which appears to have no change. But if he should cease to associate changefulness with death, if he should come to believe that an object may be permanent which has yet a life free from monotony, the effect must inevitably be to withdraw his admiration from the things which he first worshipped, and to concentrate his thoughts upon a new and an opposite ideal.
The question, then, is, how is the primitive man to be brought to the belief that changefulness needs not be associated with fleetingness—in other words, how is he to arrive at the notion that the spirit of man, though it has a beginning in the past, may be without end in the future? Remember that the
primitive man does not need to reach the idea of immortality; he has already reached that idea. Not only has he reached it, it has been the master-light of all his seeing. It would not be too much to say that it is the idea of immortality which has made the primitive man á Fetich-worshipper. We lave seen in our previous analysis how he was first led to the search for a cause in nature by the recognition of his own individual nothingness. We have seen why he began by adoring the lowest and not the highest objects of the universe. We have seen that he invested with divinity the pebble in preference to the star, just because he fancied that he found in the pebble a greater permanence than in the star, But what does all this amount to? To nothing less than a search for immortality, a search for some principle in nature which shall prove an abiding principle. The idea of irnmortality, so far from being a superstructure in the religious temple, is itself the foundation-stone of that temple; it lies at the base of all worship and constitutes the condition of all faith. The idea of immortality is not only at the base of all religion; it is at the foundation of the human intellect itself. How has the Fetich - worshipper come to the conception of a cause? It is just by arriving at the notion that his own individual life has been too short-lived in the past to be itself a cause. He has been from the beginning impelled by the very sense of his nothingness to seek before all other things for an object in the universe which shall suggest abiding permanence, and he has come to the idea of causation because his earliest consciousness has been the conviction that the fleeting life of man depends on a life that is not fleeting.
It is not, then, the idea of immortality which the primitive man requires to reach. His error as a Fetich-worshipper does not lie in the absence of that idea. He has all along recognised the necessity for an immortal principle in nature; the mistake he has committed has been in finding that immortal principle in the wrong place. He has not sought it in the soul, but in the pebble, in the wood, in the rag. The transition which he has to pass througlı must be a transition not into the idea of immortality but into the sphere of immortality. He must learn to see in the soul what he has only seen in the pebble, the wood, the rag. He must lose his fear of the changeful, He must cease to believe that variety of experience is incompatible with continuance of existence. He must be brought to the .conviction that the human spirit, with all the shiftings of its scenery, may be itself the most permanent thing in the universe, and that the changes in the life of man may themselves be prompted by the movement of a life which is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.
How is the primitive man to be brought to such
a conviction ?-or rather, low has he been brought to it? The transition from the immortality of the Fetich to the immortality of the human soul became very soon an accomplished fact : if we find the first generation worshipping the piece of wood or stone, we find the second worshipping the spirits of their ancestors. What is it that has effected this transition ? What is that experience in human life which has caused human life itself to assume an exalted position in the eyes of those who yesterday looked upon it as a debased and worthless thing? Mr Spencer would explain it by the phenomena of dreains; I think it would be more correct to say that it was produced by reflection on the waking out of dreams. It is quite true that to the primitive man the dead come back in the visions of the night, and, if none but the dead came back, it would be easy to see how he should mistake the visions for realities. But to the primitive man everything returns in sleep as well as the dead. The memory of the dead is not an isolated phenomenon of the hours of night; the whole past day comes back with all that ever was in it—its lights and its shadows, its suns and its systems, its men and its women. There is no account taken of the difference between the things which still exist and the things which in the interval have passed away; it is a universal memory. And this universality must even to the primitive mind deprive the memory of the dead of all significance. How can it have significance when it is only one phase of a vast landscape which lias all equally and in every detail been reproduced by the hand of sleep? I cannot, therefore, accept the view that the memory of the dead in dreams had any large share in awakening the primitive mind to a sense or a hope of its own immortality. But I think that the phenomena of dreams do, from a totally different direction, suggest a solution of this difficult problem. It is not in the sphere of dreaming itself that I would look for an explanation, but in that other and more interesting phenomenon—the awakening out of dreams. When the primitive man reaches the stage of reflection, is not the study of this fact of all others best suited to raise him into the hope of his individual immortality ? For, what is the fact that is here contemplated ? It is the sensation of a continuous life which has preserved its continuity through a change of consciousness. I do not think that any other experience in the world is so fitted to convey to the primitive mind this impression—not even the experience of the awakening out of dreamless sleep. The awakening out of sleep would in itself suggest only a repetition of the first miracle, a repetition of that process by which the individual life was originally lifted out of nothingness. It could have no other effect than to impress the untutored mind with an additional and reiterated