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And In That Vale of Light the City Drifts

Anchorless Upon the Ocean

Name:
B.C.I.
Birthdate:
26 June
Website:
External Services:
  • bryceisbell@livejournal.com
The term "spiritualism" has been frequently used to denote the belief in the possibility of communication with disembodied spirits, and the various devices employed to realize this belief in practice. The term "Spiritism", which is used in Italy, France, and Germany, seems more apt to express this meaning. Spiritualism, then, suitably stands opposed to materialism. We may say in general that Spiritualism is the doctrine which denies that the contents of the universe are limited to matter and the properties and operations of matter. It maintains the existence of real being or beings (minds, spirits) radically distinct in nature from matter. It may take the form of Spiritualistic Idealism, which denies the existence of any real material being outside of the mind; or, whilst defending the reality of spiritual being, it may also allow the separate existence of the material world. Further, Idealistic Spiritualism may either take the form of Monism (e.g., with Fichte), which teaches that there exists a single universal mind or ego of which all finite minds are but transient moods or stages: or it may adopt a pluralistic theory (e.g. with Berkeley), which resolves the universe into a Divine Mind together with a multitude of finite minds into which the former infuses all those experiences that generate the belief in an external, independent, material world. The second or moderate form of Spiritualism, whilst maintaining the existence of spirit, and in particular the human mind or soul, as a real being distinct from the body, does not deny the reality of matter. It is, in fact, the common doctrine of Dualism. However, among the systems of philosophy which adhere to Dualism, some conceive the separateness or mutual independence of soul and body to be greater and others less. With some philosophers of the former class, soul and body seem to have been looked upon as complete beings merely accidentally united. For these a main difficulty is to give a satisfactory account of the inter-action of two beings so radically opposed in nature.

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