The Horse That Shies At Inanimate Objects By
The Roadside, And Will Sometimes Dash Itself Against A Tree
Or A Wall, Is Actuated By A Similar Superstition.
any essential difference between this belief of the dog or
horse and the belief of primitive man?
I maintain that an
intuitive animistic tendency (which Mr. Spencer repudiates),
and not dreams, lies at the root of all spiritualism. Would
Mr. Spencer have had us believe that the dog's fear of the
rolling parasol was a logical deduction from its canine
dreams? This would scarcely elucidate the problem. The dog
and the horse share apparently Schopenhauer's metaphysical
propensity with man.
The familiar aphorism of Statius: PRIMUS IN ORBE DEOS FECIT
TIMOR, points to the relation of animism first to the belief
in ghosts, thence to Polytheism, and ultimately to
Monotheism. I must apologise to those of the transcendental
school who, like Max Muller for instance (Introduction to the
'Science of Religion'), hold that we have 'a primitive
intuition of God'; which, after all, the professor derives,
like many others, from the 'yearning for something that
neither sense nor reason can supply'; and from the assumption
that 'there was in the heart of man from the very first a
feeling of incompleteness, of weakness, of dependency, &c.'
All this, I take it, is due to the aspirations of a much
later creature than the 'Pithecanthropus erectus,' to whom we
Probably spirits and ghosts were originally of an evil kind.
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