Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/571

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CEREBRAL SURGERY WITHOUT ANESTHETICS 567

points of view, this picture is sufficiently startling. But when I take the more purely psychological point of view, I am impressed with the conviction that we are here dealing with the reality of a soul, as a spiritual agent, which while it is confessedly dependent for its development upon the development and normal functioning of the nervous centers, is, nevertheless, capable of attaining in the exercise of its higher and more complex forms of self-consciousness, a relative independence of those nervous centers. And if we ask ourselves whether this independence may perchance become absolute, after the destructive forces of nature have completely disintegrated the cere- bral substance, we can not, indeed, answer " Yes," with the certainty of positive science. But upon my mind the impression made by such experiences as these is favorable to the affirmative answer. And so far as positive science can answer the inquiry at all, or even throw much light upon it, I prefer to follow along the lines of the seen and tangible and universally verifiable, rather than take the leap involved in a premature interpretation of doubtful phenomena by hypotheses touching the wholly unseen and intangible. Here, at any rate, is this conscious soul, manifesting itself as a partially " disembodied spirit. Its voice I can hear and interpret as one of my own kind. This man- ifestation appeals to me at present, and in accordance with scientific methods, much more strongly than any alleged communications from wholly disembodied spirits. Perhaps, however, at sometime in the future of the physical and psychological sciences, the two voices may speak with one accord.

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