Kant, Immanuel - Dreams of a Spirit Seer - 06 Chapter Two
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
A FRAGMENT OF SECRET PHILOSOPHY AIMING TO ESTABLISH COMMUNION WITH THE SPIRIT-WORLD.
Gross reason which cleaves to the bodily senses has, I trust, by this time become so accustomed to higher and abstract conceptions that now it can see spiritual figures, devoid of corporeal clothing, in that dusk in which the faint light of metaphysics renders visible the kingdom of shadows. We will venture therefore upon the dangerous road, since we have endured such laborious preparation for it.
Ibant sub nocte per umbras
Perque domos Ditis vacuas et inania regna.
The characteristics of the dead matter which fills the universe are stability and inertia; it further possesses solidity, expansion, and form, and its manifestations, resulting from all these three causes, admit of physical explanations, which, at the same time, are mathematical, and, collectively, are called mechanical.
But let us direct our attention to the kind of beings which contain the cause of life in the universe—those which therefore neither add to the mass and extent of lifeless matter, nor are influenced by it according to the laws of contact and collision, but which rather, by inner activity, move themselves and dead matter as well—and we shall find ourselves convinced, if not with the distinctness of demonstration, still with the presentiment of well applied reason, that immaterial beings exist.
Their peculiar laws of operation we may call “spiritual,” or, in so far as bodies are the medium of their operation in the material world, “organic.” As these immaterial beings are self-active principles, consequently, substances and natures existing by themselves, the conclusion which suggests itself first is, that, immediately united with each other, they might form, perhaps, a great whole which might be called the immaterial world (mundus intelligibilis).
For what reason could render the assertion probable that such beings of similar nature could communicate only by means of other beings (corporeal) of dissimilar nature? This latter supposition would really be much more mysterious than the first.