paranormal, witchcraft, supernatural- animism and science(a quote)

by Ravyn 1 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Ravyn

    The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries

    by W.Y. Evans-Wentz


    Science and Fairies (Section IV Chapter XI)


    Assertions similar to ours, that phenomena like these are incapable of being explained away by any known laws of orthodox science, have helped to bring about a marked division in the ranks of scientific workers. On one hand there are those scientists who deny the existence of anything not capable of being mathematically tested, weighed, dissected, or otherwise analysed in laboratories; on the other hand, there are their colleagues who, often in spite of previous bias toward materialism, have arrived at a personal conviction that an animistic view of man is more in harmony with their scientific experience than any other. Both schools include men eminent in all branches of biological sciences.

    Midway between these contending schools are the psychophysicists who maintain that man is a twofold being composed of a psychical and physical part. Some of them are inclined to favour animism, others are unwilling to regard


    the psychical part of man as separable from the physical part. So the world of science is divided.

    Under such chaotic conditions of science it is our right to accept one view or another, or to reject all views and use scientific data independently. There can be no final court of appeal in matters where opinion is thus divided, save the experience of coming generations. We are therefore content to state our own position and leave it to the future for rejection or acceptance, as the case may be. To attempt a critical examination of the thousand and one theories occupying the modern arena of scientific controversy about the essential nature of man is altogether beyond the scope of this work. We must, nevertheless, blaze a rough footpath through the jungle of scientific theories, and, at the outset, put on record our opposition to that school of scientific workers who deny to man a supersensuous constitution. Their theory, if carried out to its logical conclusion, is now essentially no different from Feuerbach’s theory at a time when science was far less developed than it is to-day. He held that ‘the object of sense, or the sensuous, alone is really true, and therefore truth, reality, and the sensible are one’. (1) To say that we know reality through sensual perception is an error, as all schools of scientists must nowadays admit. Nature is for ever illuding the senses; she masquerades in disguise until science tears away her mask. We must always adjust the senses to the world itself: where there are only vibrations in ether, man sees light; and in atmospheric vibrations he hears sound. We only. know things through the way in which our senses react upon them. We sum up the world-problem by saying: ‘consciousness does not exhaust its object, the world.’’ Perceptibility and reality thus not being coincident, man and the universe remain an unsolved problem, despite the noisy shoutings of the materialist in his hermetically sealed and light-excluding case called sensual perceptions. Science admits that all her explanations of the universe are mere products of human understanding and perceptions by the physical senses: the

    (1) Cf. C. Du Prel, Philosophy of Mysticism (London, 1889), i. 7, II.


    universe of science is wholly a universe of phenomena, and behind phenomena, as no scientist would dare deny, there must be the noumena, the ultimate causes of all things, as to which science as yet offers no comprehensive hypothesis, much less an answer.


    very open-minded for 1911. I guess this could be called my own personal witchcraft apologetics. But the principle can apply to almost any belief system and curtails many arguments among believers and non-believers. (I am thinking specifically of some of the recent threads on paranormal and paganism vs. atheism...)


  • TheOldHippie

    Very good; I have only read references to Evans-Wentz, as in Colin Wilson and elsewhere, but nothing original.

    I believe in ghosts and poltergeists and fairies and elves and banshees and creatures of the forest, living their existence unseen and unheard by us, and sense their presence when I go picking berries: I take care not to take it all, but to leave some for them, to feed upon in winter.

    But then you might say that is the final proof I am a nutty.

    The only JW around believeing in elves, I guess .........

Share this