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  • Print publication year: 2016
  • Online publication date: December 2016

The Correspondence


From Nemo [1876?]

Dear Sir

If I thus take the liberty of addressing you it is because I am a lover of the truth and that I know you are a searcher of the same, and however infinitismal that truth may be and however humble the instrument you will accept and receive it with kindliness. I now proceed.

I consider that your evolution theory is correct, but I object to the means which you have adopted for its development. allow me to observe with every deference to your wisdom & knowledge, that natural selection cannot be a sufficient agency for the purpose, and we must seek it in a power per se created for this end. Now that such a power exists I think can be postulated if not indeed proved by what precedes it, looking to the inorganic world we find two powers or principles which govern it, viz, gravity and chemical affinity,2 the first is universal and homogeneous, by the second it becomes differentiated or heterogeneous, proceeding to the organic we find also one universal and homogeneous principle which is called by the general term life, it also like the inorganic world becomes heterogeneous and differentiated it is not asking too much if we suppose that this differentiation is obtained by the same means as in the former that is by a power per se which we might call spiritual affinity in contradistinction to chemical. This power like its first fellow worker is the cause of all the natural phenomena in the Universe, it becomes conditioned when its affinities in the natural world are suited for its manifestation it is thus that man is the last in the animal creation to make his appearance as he has the most complex organisation & to obtain this needed the highest organic conditions in life. This power I consider to be our conscious Ego, and produces consciousness of being in every living thing endowed with a brain, in those that have none it is simply mechanical altho in all it manifests itself more or less in this way.