Observations placeholder

Darwin, Charles - Dr W.Y. Evans-Wentz on Darwin's evolutionary theory



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

from The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries, by Dr W.Y. Evans-Wentz, [1911]

The theory of Charles Darwin suggests that all evolutionary progress is directed to the acquirement of newer and ever higher instincts.

And if this process be the true one, that is to say, if all instincts, which in their finer distinctions mark off species from species in all animal kingdoms, be as Darwin thought--and as is to-day more clearly evident--the result of a long and gradual evolution through experience in a sensuous realm of existence, then it would seem to follow that there must be some kind of a monad (probably a non-sensuous one) to which such acquired instincts can attach themselves.

Such a monad, too, must have been a percipient and hence a recorder of such ever-accumulating experiences throughout an inconceivably long chain of lives, and it of itself must, while so perceiving and recording, not be subject to the transitoriness of the sensuous realm wherein it gathers together these instincts, which in their unified expression form its personality or human character.

In harmony with the vitalistic view of evolution, which implies a pre-existent psychical power continually striving to express itself completely through matter, yet normally able to exist independently of a physical means of expression, we should regard such high mental processes as judgement, reasoning, analysis and synthesis, and spatial perception, along with memory, as resultants of very great experience in a sensuous world.

The source of the experience

Darwin, Charles

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps