Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)
Dr. Carl du Prel and Spiritualism (S446a: 1892)
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A letter to the Editor printed on page 178 of the 9 April 1892
issue of Light (London). To link directly to this page, connect with:
Sir,--I am very much pleased to find that Dr. Carl du Prel now avows himself almost as
much a Spiritualist as any of us. I have thought that some of his recent writings indicate this; but
as I have read none of his works but Mr. Massey's translation of his "Philosophy of Mysticism" I
could not be sure how far his opinions had changed. That work is a storehouse of valuable facts
for the Spiritualist; but all are set forth as illustrative of the theory of "double consciousness," or
"the transcendental Ego." The standpoint of the whole book may be illustrated by the author's
remark as to the alleged "guides" and "guardian spirits" of mediums: "The third possibility, that
the guides are actual third persons, that is, other subjects, must remain excluded until they exhibit
characteristics not to be explained by even the double nature of man. But as we do not know the
faculties of our second Ego, nor, therefore, how much they will explain, this is a case which
cannot easily occur." (Vol. I., p. 137.) Nowhere in the entire work is it alleged that there are any
phenomena which the theory of the second Ego will not explain. Now, if I understand Dr. du
Prel's letter aright, he does admit that there are phenomena which imply the agency of "other
subjects"--that is, of what we term 'spirits.'" It is to be wished that the later works, to which Dr.
du Prel refers in his letter, could be translated into English for the benefit of those Spiritualists
who, like myself, are unable to read them in the original.
Alfred R. Wallace.
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