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An Outline of Occult Science

of the watchmaker,—he will reply: “Look impartially at what is new in every child-personality, at that which is absolutely new; that cannot come from the parents, for the simple reason that it does not exist in them.” Inaccurate thinking may create much confusion in this domain. It is still worse when those who hold the second view are set down by the supporters of the first as opponents of what is, after all, borne out by “ascertained facts.” But it may well be that the latter have not the slightest intention of denying the truth or value of those facts. For instance, they see that a definite mental aptitude or predisposition is “inherited” in a family, and that certain gifts accumulated and combined in one descendant result in a remarkable personality. They are perfectly willing to acquiesce when it is said that the most celebrated name seldom stands at the beginning but at the end of a line of descent. But it should not be taken amiss if they are compelled to form very different opinions on the subject from those of people who are determined to accept nothing but material evidence. To the latter it may be said that it is true a man shows the characteristics of his ancestors, because the “spirit-soul”, which enters upon physical existence at birth, draws its bodily substance from that which heredity bestows on it. But this says nothing more than that a being shows the peculiarities of the body into which it has descended. It is no doubt a singular—a trivial—comparison, but the unprejudiced person will not deny its justification, when one says that a human being, who shows the qualities of his forefathers, proves the origin of the personal qualities of that human being as little as the fact that man is wet because he has fallen into the water, proves something regarding his inner nature. And it may further be said that if the most celebrated name stands at the end of a line of family descent, it shows that the bearer of that name needed that particular ancestry to build the body necessary for the expression of his whole personality. But it is no proof