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to say, as the joint result both of desire and experience. When I say experience, I mean experience not only of what will be wanted, but also of the details of all the means that must be taken in order to effect this. Memory, therefore, is supposed to guide the chicken not only in respect of the main design, but in respect also of every atomic action, so to speak, which goes to make up the execution of this design. It is not only the suggestion of a plan which is due to memory, but, as Professor Hering has so well said, it is the binding power of memory which alone renders any consolidation or coherence of action possible, inasmuch as without this no action could have parts subordinate one to another, yet bearing upon a common end; no part of an action, great or small, could have reference to any other part, much less to a combination of all the parts; nothing, in fact, but ultimate atoms of actions could ever happen—these bearing the same relation to such an action, we will say, as a railway journey from London to Edinburgh as a single molecule of hydrogen to a gallon of water. If asked how it is that the chicken shows no sign of consciousness concerning this design, nor yet of the steps it is taking to carry it out, we reply that such unconsciousness is usual in all cases where an action, and the design which prompts it, have been repeated exceedingly often. If, again, we are asked how we account for the regularity with which each step is taken in its due order, we answer that this too is characteristic of actions that are done habitually—they being very rarely misplaced in respect of any part.
When I wrote " Life and Habit," I had arrived at the conclusion that memory was the most essential characteristic of life, and went so far as to say, " Life is that property of matter whereby it can remember—matter which can remember is living." I should perhaps have written, "Life is the being possessed of a memory—the life of a thing at any moment is the memories which at that moment it retains;" and I would modify the words that immediately follow, namely, "Matter which cannot remember is dead;" for they imply that there is such a thing as matter which cannot remember anything at all, and this on fuller consideration I do not believe to be the case; I can conceive of no matter which is not able to remember a little, and which is not living in respect of what it can remember. I do not see how action of any kind is conceivable without the supposition that every atom retains a memory of certain antecedents. I cannot, however, at this point, enter upon the reasons which have compelled me to this conclusion. Whether these would be deemed sufficient or no, at any rate, we cannot believe that a system of self-reproducing associations should develop from the simplicity of the amoeba to the complexity of the human body without the presence of that memory, which can alone account at once for the resemblances and the differences between successive generations, for the arising and the accumulation of divergences—for the tendency to differ and the tendency not to differ.
At parting, therefore, I would recommend the reader to see every atom in the universe as living and able to feel and to remember, but in a_ humble way. He must have life eternal, as well as matter eternal; and the life and the matter must be joined together inseparably as body and soul to one another. Thus he will see God everywhere, not as those~who"repeat phrases conventionally, but as people who would have their words taken according to their most natural and legitimate meaning; and he will feel that the main difference between him and many of those who oppose him lies in the fact that whereas both he and they use
the same language, his opponents only half
mean what they say, while he means it entirely.
The attempt to get a higher form of a life from a lower one is in accordance with our observation and experience. It is therefore proper to be believed. The attempt to get it from that which has absolutely no life is like trying to get something out of nothing. The millionth part of a farthing put out to- interest at ten per cent, will in five hundred years become over a million pounds, and so long as we have any millionth of a millionth of the farthing to start with, our getting as many million pounds as we have a fancy for is only a question of time, but without the initial millionth of a millionth of a millionth part, we shall get no increment whatever. A little leaven will leaven the whole lump, but there must be some leaven.
I will here quote two passages from an article already quoted from on page 85 of this book. They run :—
"We are growing conscious that our earnest and most determined efforts to make motion produce sensation and volition have proved a failure, and now we want to rest a little in the opposite, much less laborious conjecture, and allow any kind of motion to start into existence, or at least to receive its specific direction from psychical sources; sensation and volition being for the purpose quietly insinuated into the constitution of the ultimately moving particles."1
"In this light it can remain no longer surprising that we actually find motility and sensibility so intimately interblended in nature." 2
We should endeavour to see the so-called inorganic as living, in respect of the qualities it has in common with the organic, rather than the organic as non-living in respect of the qualities it has in common with the inorganic. True, it would be hard to place one's self on the same moral platform as a stone, but this is not necessary; it is enough that we should feel the stone to have a moral platform of its own, though that platform embraces little more than a profound respect for the laws of gravitation, chemical affinity, &c As for the difficulty of conceiving a body as living that has not got a reproductive system—we should remember that neuter insects are living but are believed to have no reproductive system. Again, we should bear in mind that mere assimilation involves all the essentials of reproduction, and that both air and water possess this power in
1 "The Unity of the Organic Individual," by Edward Montgomery. Mind, October 1880, p. 477. • Ibid., p. 483.