Agassiz, Louis – Essay on Classification – The universe as the creation of a reflective Mind
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
ESSAY ON CLASSIFICATION By LOUIS AGASSIZ
The most surprising feature of the animal kingdom seems., … to me to rest neither in its diversity, nor in the various degrees of complication of its structure, nor in the close affinity of some of its representatives while others are so different, nor in the manifold relations of all of them to one another and the surrounding world, but in the circumstances that beings endowed with such different and such unequal gifts should nevertheless constitute an harmonious whole, intelligibly connected in all its parts.
Does all this really look more like the working of blind forces than like the creation of a reflective mind establishing deliberately all the categories of existence we recognize in nature, and combining them in that wonderful harmony which unites all things into such a perfect system, that even to read it as it is established, or even with all the imperfections of a translation, should be considered as the highest achievement of the maturest genius?