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senses esteem as such. In the view of the higher philosophy there is no dead matter, but only forces in equilibrio, — temporary arrest of motion. The penetrating eye of Leibniz saw something in bodies which Descartes, who separated matter and spirit, could not see, — something beside extension and even prior to extension. Ever memorable saying, — " Imo extensione prius "! Fetichism sees in bodies and gives to bodies an added something which no ontology can state and no analysis detect, — something impalpable, imponderable, inseparable, untransferable, — something whose value increases with the lapse of time, — something by virtue of which they are precious as rubies, and without which they are vile as the ground we tread on.
[From the " Atlantic Monthly," February, 1868.]
'I WE finest spirits of all time concur in ascribing their best effects to a higher power. The genial flow of successful production registers itself in our consciousness, as a special grace beyond the command of the private will. The experience of every true artist, of every great poet, prophet, discoverer, of every providential leader of his time, attests the action of an alien force transcending the calculated efforts of the mind, and working the surprises of art and life.
This latent and reserved power in man the Greeks called Aswan, (daemon). Plutarch, in his gossiping discourse on the daemon of Socrates, reports the vision of one Timarchus, who descended into the cave of Trophonius to consult the oracle on the subject. He there saw spirits which were partly immersed in human bodies and partly exterior to them, shining luminously above their heads. He was told that the part immersed in the body is called the soul, but the external part is called daemon. Every man, says the oracle, has his demon, whom he is bound to obey; those who implicitly follow that guidance are the prophetic souls, the favorites of the gods. Goethe, in his oracular way, speaks of the daemonic in man as a power lying back of the will, and inspiring certain natures with miraculous energy. He disclaims this power for himself, yet in his Autobiography represents the poetic faculty dwelling in him as something beyond his control, — as a kind of obsession.
It is this involuntary, incalculable force that constitutes what we call genius. The word was originally synonymous with the AaLpav of the Greeks. It denoted a guardian power beyond the consciousness and above the will of the individual, — a power which determined and controlled his action, but over which he had no control. It iscomparatively a recent use to speak of genius as a quality of mind ; a power possessed by, instead of a power possessing. We still make use of the phrase "good genius" in the sense of guardian spirit.
Genius is the higher self, and common to all men. What, then, distinguishes men of genius, so called, from the rest of mankind? We may suppose that the higher self is more active in some than in others, or that it finds more docile subjects. Or we may suppose that its quality differs with different individuals. I only contend that genius is not a special faculty which he who has it employs at will, as the painter his brush or the sculptor his chisel, but the higher nature, the man of the man.
It is not, however, of genius as a psychological principle, but of genius as an intellectual phenomenon, — of genius as manifested in science, art, life, — that I wish to speak.
So viewed, its great and distinguishing characteristic is originality. In the etymology of the word lies the sense of productive force, and in vulgar opinion it stands for originating power. In science it appears as discovery and invention, always as newness. It is the mediator between the known and the unknown, the possible and impossible. In science, as in nature, there is always a leap from stage to stage. The beginning of the animal is not the organic sequent of the vegetable kingdom, nor the viviparous animal of the oviparous, nor man of the chimpanzee. At each stage there is a lift between successive orders, a break in the sequence where plastic Nature interpolates a new thought; and the prcenens numen makes the bridge from kind to kind. The history of intellectual genesis exhibits similar interpolations. The succession between old and new, in science and art, is not a mechanical sequence, but a lift and a leap. The transition from stage to stage is not the measured increment of an arithmetical series, but a mediation of originating genius. Genius is the bridge-builder, the pontifex maximus, in the passage from period to period in science and art.
Such a bridge was built by Kepler for the science of astronomy, which, after the pregnant conjecture of Copernicus, had come to a stand in the sixteenth century. Tycho Brahe had accumulated at his observatory a mass of facts which he wanted the wit to apply to further progress, still maintaining, in spite of Copernicus, the earth's immobility. Kepler saw these facts; and in his productive imagination they immediately germinated into new discoveries. A discrepancy of eight minutes between the position of Mars as noted by Brahe and that which it should have had as calculated by the Copernican hypothesis, suggested to him the ellipse as the true orbit of planetary motion. With this discovery, to which he added that of the equal areas in equal times of the radius vector, and the true proportion of the times of revolution to the distances of the planets from the sun, he inaugurated the new era in astronomy. Kepler's "Three Laws " are the three arches of the bridge by which the sublimest of the sciences crossed the gulf from the Ptolemaic to the modern system.
In later time, when Laplace by victorious arithmetic had solved the portentous problems of the Mecanique Celeste, and reduced to order the seem