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W.Y. Evans-Wentz - On Memory and Perceptions



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

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

This invisible power, beginning its manifestation through a microscopic bit of germ-plasm, gradually builds for itself a more and more complex physical habitation, until, after the short space of nine months, it claims membership among the ranks of men.

During the many years of its sojourn on our planet, it renews its habitation many times.

Every atom it began with in childhood is discarded and replaced by a new one long before the age of manhood is reached, and yet upon reaching manhood the invisible power remembers what it did in a child's frame.

This indicates that memory or consciousness as a psychical process does not depend essentially upon a material brain nor upon a certain grouping of ever-changing brain-substance; for if it did, apparently it would slowly  and imperceptibly undergo change as completely as the whole physical body and brains.

This physiological process furnishes sufficient data to allow us to postulate that there is a psychical organ of memory behind the physical sense-consciousness, and that such an organ in itself is, at least during a human-life period, unchanging in its composition. Without such an organ, the process of memory when more fully analysed (in a way we cannot here attempt) is inexplicable. 

The source of the experience

Scientist other

Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Believing in the spiritual world