Page:Appearance and Reality (1916).djvu/360

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is not interfered with, and it holds, but it does not hold of this case. It remains perfectly true, but is inapplicable where the conditions which it supposes are absent.

I have dwelt at length on the connection of body and soul, but it presents a series of questions which we have, even yet, not discussed. I must endeavour to dispose of these briefly. Can we say that bare soul ever acts upon body, and can soul exist at all without matter, and if so, in what sense? In our experience assuredly bare soul is not found. Its existence there, and its action, are inseparable from matter; but a question obviously can be asked with regard to what is possible. As to this, I would begin by observing that, if bare soul exists, I hardly see how we could prove its existence. We have seen (Chapter xxii.) that we can set no bounds to the variety of bodies. An extended organism might, none the less, be widely scattered and discontinuous; and again organisms might be shared wholly or partially between souls. Further, of whatever extended material a body is composed, there remains the question of its possible functions and properties. I cannot see how, on the one hand, we can fix the limits of these. But upon the other hand, if we fail to do so, I do not understand by what process we even begin to infer the existence of bare soul.[1] And our result so far must be this. We may agree that soul, acting or existing in separation from body, is a thing which is possible; but we are still without the smallest reason, further, for regarding it as real.

But is such a soul indeed possible? Or let us rather ask, first, what such a soul would mean. For, if disconnected from all extension, it might even then not be naked. One can imagine an arrange-

  1. See further The Evidences of Spiritualism, Fortnightly Review, No. ccxxviii.