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sense of its own impotence. But the transition from dreamland into waking consciousness is a very different thing. Here, the mind is itself an agent, an actor in its own changes. It is quite conscious that it has passed from one world into another world, and that in the course of that passage it has kept its continuity. It has been recipient of experiences not only varied but contrary, yet through all the contrariety it has remained the same. It has made a transition from one stage of existence into another and an entirely different stage of existence, and between them it can find no thread of connection. But it has awakened to the fact that it is itself the thread of connection. It has come to the consciousness that it has an identity quite independent of circumstances and quite irrespective of similar experiences. It has been taught the new and the desiderated truth that the individual life of man may keep an unbroken continuity amid the constant breaking of every outward association and amid the perpetual shifting of all extraneous things.
Now, when the primitive man arrives at this thought, he arrives at a new revelation. He learns for the first time to associate the idea of immortality with the life of an individual soul. Hitherto he has associated that idea only with things from which individuality is absent. He has given the palm for longevity to those objects of nature which display the greatest monotony, and therefore manifest the least individual power. But when there breaks upon him the reflection of what an individual soul really is, there comes inevitably a transference of his ideal. When he finds that the human spirit within him is capable of living in two totally different worlds and yet remaining the same, when he discovers that the life, which he believed to be so fleeting is able to subsist in the midst of a transition the most complete and the most radical, the effect will assuredly be to invest that life in his imagination with the attribute of immortality. His human spirit will cease to be a poor contemptible thing by reason of its shifting scenery; that which was once its weakness shall be deemed its glory. The test of immortality shall be no longer the power of an object to remain unchanged: it will be the power of an object to abide in the presence of changes; and his own individual life, which has first manifested that power, shall receive his first association with the thought of everlasting being.
You will observe that when the primitive man has reached this stage he is no longer primitive. The detection of what is involved in the transition from dreamland into waking consciousness demands already that the man should have arrived at a period of reflection. Accordingly, I would place the recognition of the soul's immortality in the second and not in the first stage of the history of religion. As far back as the eye can reach, we are confronted by the spectacie of two forms of faith dwelling seemingly side by side-the worship of the inanimate Fetich, and the worship of departed souls. Yet, though seemingly side by side, it does not follow that they are really so. For, just as in the world of space things which in reality are far apart seem in the distance to be grouped close together, so, in the world of time, systems which appear to be contemporaneous forms of thought may be actually separated by many generations. The Fetich - worshipper and the worshipper of departed spirits cannot liave liad their origin in the same hour of the day. Both are in search of an immortal principle, yet they seek it by different roads and by roads which indicate a different plane of development. The Fetich-worshipper seeks the immortal principle amongst the things which are cliangeless and monotonous; the worshipper of departed spirits looks for it amidst the varied manifestations of life. The former is certainly the earlier, because it is the lower and inferior form. The latter could never have begun to be until the man began to think. Before he could reverence the spirits of the dead, he must begin to reverence the spirits of the living, must begin specially to reverence the only spirit which he directly knowshis own individual life. Why is it that he comes to invest the dead with a consciousness and a personality outside of the present world ? It is because he himself has already become conscious of having lived in two worlds—the world called dreamland and the world called waking. When he becomes conscious of that fact in himself he transfers it to those around him, transfers it especially to the spirits of the departed. He says, “If two worlds are mine, may two worlds not also be theirs ? If I have been able to keep my continuity through a transition so marked and so complete as that from dreamland into waking, may not those whom I call the dead have also preserved their continuity in a transition from the things of earth to the things beyond the earth.” And when he has made this reflection the man changes the object of his reverence; he transfers it from the Fetich to the soul. He turns from the worship of bare matter to the worship of pure spirit. He had begun by reverencing nothing but the forın; his tendency now is to reverence the spirit without the form. The souls of his ancestors are not originally conceived as clothed in an earthly garment. He thinks of them as shadowy, impalpable presences, for the most part invisible and inaudible, manifesting themselves through imperceptible avenues and influencing the mind by subtle agencies. The man in his first moment of reflection revolts entirely from the ideal of his primitive days. It would almost seem as if he designed to compensate the human soul for the dishonour he had done her. In his primitive age he had denied the divinity of spirit because he had found it subject to change ; in his reflective age he denies the divinity of matter because he finds it unable to keep up with the changes of the spirit.
Have we now reached the completed idea of religion ? No; there is one stage remaining to render it perfect. Hitherto the mind of man has vibrated between two extremes. The Fetich-worshipper has reverenced the body where it has least life; the worshipper of departed spirits has reverenced the life where it has least body. There is wanted something which shall unite the extremes. The reflective mind has revolted from the tendency of the primitive mind, but it has revolted too far. In its recoil from the inanimate wood and stone, it has deserted too much the clothing of the temporal form. The spirits of the departed before whom it bows are too ethereal, too shadowy. They are in want of flesh and blood to take away their vagueness; they wait for some earthly covering to invest them with the attributes of the human. Accordingly, there is wanted a principle of religion whereby that which has been unclothed shall be clothed upon. The bodily element is dead without the spirit, but the spirit is equally dead without the budy. The stage of completed religion must be one in which there is recognised a union between body and soul, one in which the Fetich is lifted out