The Hermetic Library 2016 Funding Campaign

REVIEWS

A MODERN READING OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI.  BY KATHERINE COLLINS. C.W.Daniel, 1s.
   Not bad; might start somebody inquiring how to acquire the Cosmic Consciousness.

ARCANA OF NATURE.  BY HUDSON TUTTLE.  Swan Sonnenschein and Co., 6s. net.
   Faecal filth about Spiritist --- nouns --- in simplified "speling."   Who shall cleanse the astral cesspool of these mental necrophiles?
   And think of having a name like Hudson Tuttle!

LITTLE BOOK OF SELECTIONS FROM THE CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT.  By RUFUS M. JONES, M.A., Litt.D.  Headley Bros., Is. 6d. net.
   I dislike Brochette de Paragraphes, and I dislike second-raters.   "Let the dead bury their dead!"  But Dr. Jones apologises prettily enough.  May I point out to him that his clients (even) demand the focussing of the attention on something or other, and that this 'Tit-Bits,' method is the contradictory course?

THE MYSTERY OF EXISTENCE.  BY CHARLES WICKSTEED ARMSTRONG.  Longmans, Green and Co., 2s. 6d. net.
   Ne pedagogus ultra flagellum --- for Mr. Armstrong is a schoolmaster. All he does is to rearrange other people's prattle; and anyhow, I can't read him.
   He write "Carlisle" for "Carlyle," "future" when he means "later," and believes in castrating anybody who disagrees with him.  Pp. 94, 123, and 114 respectively.

KANT'S PHILOSOPHY AS RECTIFIED BY SCHOPENHAUER.  BY M. KELLY, M.D. Swan Sonnenschein and Co., 2s. 6d.
   This excellent little book by Major Kelly sums up in a few pages, concisely enough, the greater portion of Kant's philosophy; the only difficulty is to tell where Kant ends and where Major Kelly and Schopenhauer begin.  Further, {385} it is interesting reading, which is more than we can say of most recent works dealing with the K"nigsberg philosopher; except, however, two, which, as it happens, are also written by soldiers, viz., Captain William Bell McTaggart's "Absolute Relativism," and Captain J. F. C. Fuller's "Star in the West."  This work, however, more than these two, which only deal with Kant en passant, shows him to be, as we have always considered him, the wild Irishman of Teutonic thought, who recklessly gallops at the philosophic hurdles set up by the seventeenth-century and early eighteenth-century philosophers.  Some of these he clears skilfully enough, others he crashes through and shouts a priori, little seeing that these innate intuitions of his are but abstractions from experience --- "inherited experiences," as Herbert Spencer has since shown --- without furthering the solution of the problem "What is Existence?"
   In fact, in many ways Kant may be said to be the eighteenth-century Spencer, and much more so than Spencer can be said to be the nineteenth-century Kant.  He succeeded Berkeley and Hume, just as Spencer succeeded Hegel and Fichte; but, like the great transfigured realist, only ultimately and unconsciously to be overthrown by the very questions he fondly imagined
he had explained away.  Nevertheless he answered these questions so astutely that it has taken the whole of the nineteenth century to explain what he meant!  This Major Kelly indirectly, if not directly, points out by attempting to rectify the Transcendental Æsthetics Analytic and Dialectic by the critical and idealistic pantheism of Schopenhauer.  Interesting as this is, it would have indeed added further to the value of this little book had Major Kelly added a chapter dealing with the philosophy of Kant from to-day's critical standpoint, instead of halting with Schopenhauer's extension of the same.  Had he done so he would scarcely have asserted, as he does (or is it Kant or Schopenhauer?), that from the law of Causality results the important a priori corollary "that Matter can neither be created nor destroyed" (p. 35).  If, however, it can be destroyed, as Gustave le Bon has attempted to prove, what becomes of the "a priority" of Causality?  Nay, further, of the "a priority" of the Transcendental Æsthetic itself --- of Time and of Space, the fundamental sensual perceptions of Kant's system?  Must we agree with the learned author of "The Star in the West," that Kant, after having for a hundred years lost his way in "the night of Hume's ignorance," has at length fallen victim to his own verbosity, and has indeed sadly scorched "his fundamental basis"?

THE LITERARY GUIDE AND RATIONALIST REVIEW, 1908-9.  Monthly, 2d.
   Of all the lame ducks that crow upon their middens under the impression that they are reincarnations of Sir Francis Drake, I suppose that the origin-of-religion lunatics are the silliest. {386}
   Listen to Charles Callow-Hay on Stonehenge!  Here's logic for you!
      Stonehenge is built in the form of a circle.
      The sun appears to go round the earth in a circle.

      Argal, Stonehenge is a solar temple.
   Or, for the minor premiss:
      Eggs are round.
      Argal, Stonehenge was dedicated to Eugenics.
   Listen to Johnny Bobson on Cleopatra's Needle!
      The Needle is square in section.
      The old Egyptians thought the earth had four corners.
      Argal, The Needle was built to commemorate the theory.
   Or, even worse!
      The Needle is square in section.
      It must have been built so for a religious reason.

      Argal, The Egyptians thought that the earth had four corners.
   It is impossible to commit all possible logical fallacies in a single syllogism.  This must be very disappointing to the young bloods of the R.P.A.
   The Rationalists have created man in their own image, as dull simpletons.  They assume that the marvellous powers of applied mathematics shown in the Great Pyramid had no worthier aim than the perpetuation of a superstitious imbecility.
   Here is Leggy James translating the Chinese classics.
   Passage I. is of so supreme an excellence that it compels even his respect.
   What does he do?
   He flies in the face of the text and the tradition, asserting that "heaven" means a personal God.  This shows what "God has never left himself without a witness" --- even in China.
   Passage II. is quite foolish --- i.e., he, He, HE, Leggy James Himself, cannot understand it.  This shows to what awful depths the unaided intellect of even the greatest heathen must necessarily sink.  How fortunate are We --- et cetera.
   It is such people as these who accuse mystics of fitting the facts to their theories.
   Here is Erbswurst Treacle dictating the Laws of the Universe.
   It is certain (saith Erbswurst Treacle) that there is no God.  And proves it by arguments drawn from advanced biology --- the biology of Erbswurst Treacle.
   Oh! the shameless effrontery of the Pope who asserts the contrary, and proves it by arguments unintelligible to the lay mind!  How shocked is the Rationalist!
   My good professor, right or wrong, I may be drunk, but I certainly see a pair of you.  {387}
   So this is where we are got to after these six thousand, or six thousand billion years (as the case may be), that, asking for bread, one man gives us the stone of Homoiousios and another the half-baked brick of Amphioxus. Both are in a way rationalists.  Wolff gives us idea unsupported by fact, and argues about it for year after year; Treacle does the same thing for fact unsupported by idea.  Nor does the one escape the final bankruptcy of reason more than the other.
   While the theologian vainly tries to shuffle the problem of evil, the Rationalist is compelled to ascribe to his perfect monad the tendency to divide into opposite forces.
   The omicron upsilon delta epsilon nu  plays leapfrog with the epsilon nu as the epsilon nu  has vaulted over the bar of the pi omicron lambda lambda alpha  and the pi alpha nu .  So the whole argument breaks up into a formidably
ridiculous logomachy, and we are left in doubt as to whether the universe is (after all) bound together by causal or contingent links, or whether in truth we are not gibbering lunatics in an insane chaos of hallucination.
   And just as we think we are rid of the priggishness of Matthew Arnold and Edwin Arnold and all the pragmatic pedants and Priscilla-scented lavenderians, up jumps some renegade monk, proclaims himself the Spirit of the Twentieth Century, and replaces the weak tea of the past by his own stinking cabbage-water.
   It seems useless nowadays to call for a draught of the right Wine of Iacchus.
   The Evangelicals object to the wine, and the Rationalists to the God.
   We had filed off the fetter, and while the sores yet burn, find another heaver iron yet firmer on the other foot --- as Stevenson so magnificently parabled unto us.
   Then how this nauseous stinkard quibbles!
   This defender of truth!  How he delights with apish malice to write "in England," wishing his hearers to understand "Great Britain"; and when taxed with the malignant lie against his brother which he had thus cunningly insinuated, to point out gleefully that "England" does not include "Scotland."
   Indeed a triumph of the Reason!
   And why all this pother?  To reduce all men to their own lumpishness. These louts of the intelligence!  These clods --- Clodds!
   My good fellows, it is certainly necessary to plough a field sometimes.
But not all the year round!  We don't want the furrows; we want the grain.
And (for God's sake!) if you must be ploughmen, at least let us have the furrows straight!
   Do you really think you have helped us much when you have shown that a horse is really the same as a cow, only different? {388}
   Quite right; it is indeed kind of you to have pointed out that even Gadarene pigs might fly, but are very unlikely birds, and that the said horse is (after all) not a dragon.  Very, very kind of you.
   Thank you so much.
   And now will you kindly go away?

THE SUPERSENSUAL LIFE.  BY JACOB BOEHME.  Translated by WILLIAM
      LAW.  H.R.Allenson, Is. net.
   This admirable little treatise, now so beautifully and conveniently printed, deserves a place on every bookshelf.  It contains the essential knowledge of our own community in the Christian --- but not too Christian --- dialect.  I have bought a dozen copies to give to my friends.

MEISTER ECKHART'S SERMONS.  Translated by CLAUDE FIELD, M.A. Same
      price and publisher.
   Too pedantic and theological to please me, though I daresay he means well.

THE WORSHIP OF SATAN IN MODERN FRANCE.  BY ARTHUR LILLIE.  Swan
      Sonnenschein and Co., 6s.
   Arthur Lillie is as convenient as Mrs. Boole from the standpoint of the poet.
   I should add that the catch-penny title is entirely misleading, and has no discoverable connection with the contents, save those of a short preface, cribbed, like the title, from Mr. Waite's "Devil-Worship in France."
   What a wicked place France is!

THE WORKSHOP OF RELIGIONS.  BY ARTHUR LILLIE.  Same price and
      publisher.
   Slobber.

THE PHILOSOPHY AND FUN OF ALGEBRA.  BY MARY EVEREST BOOLE.
      C.W.Daniel, 2s. net.
   Mrs.Boole is as convenient as Mr. Lillie from the standpoint of the poet.  I am sorry for the children who search this book for fun, and there is as much philosophy as fun.
   The book is as of a superior person stooping to instruct lesser minds, and so wrapped in the robe of priggishness that the voice is muffled.

THE MESSAGE OF PSYCHIC SCIENCE TO THE WORLD.  Same author and publisher, 3s. 6d. net.
   Dull tosh.  {389}

SEEN AND UNSEEN.  BY E. KATHERINE BATES.  Greening and Co., Ltd., 1s. net.
   Superstitious twaddle; aimless gup; brain-rotting bak-bak.

THE QUEST.  Quarterly, 2s. 6d. net. John M. Watkins.
   We are threatened in October with the publication of a magazine of this title.
   It is, we believe, to bear aloft as oriflamme not the Veil of Isis, but the stainless petticoat of Mrs. Grundy.  You mustn't say psychism of C.W.L.
   We note, however, with satisfaction that one of the contributors, a Mr. G. R. S. Mead, is a B.A.  This sort of boasting is perfectly legitimate.

OUTLINES OF PSYCHOLOGY.  BY OSWALD KšLPE.  Swan Sonnenschein and Co.,
      10s. 6d.
   One of the most encouraging and significant signs of the times is the new Psychology, an excellent introduction to which is provided by the present work.
   Oswald Klpe's work is of an essentially Teutonic character, having nearly all the characteristics, both good and bad, that one expects to find in a German technical scientific work; eminently typical is "Outlines of Psychology" in its thoroughness.
   The experimental method, in which Klpe is an adept, shows conclusively and absolutely the essential unity of body and mind.
   Psychology is still in its infancy; when it attains maturity it will be the most dread enemy that Supernaturalism has to face.  The subjective view of life is undoubtedly destined to be the predominant one.
   Your reviewer ventures to prophesy that in the science whereof Külpe is a brilliant pioneer will be found the key to the ecstasy that is the Vision in all religions.
   The translator of "Outlines" is Mr. E. B. Titchener.  He has succeeded admirably.                        

V.B. NEUBURG.   

INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY.  BY OSWALD KÜLPE.  Swan Sonnenschein
      and Co., 5s.
   An excellent introduction to formal Philosophy, explaining clearly the distinctions between the various schools that at present hold the field. The author is extremely calm and impartial as a rule, but in his denunciation of materialism he shows that a passionate human heart throbs in the breast of one who seems to the harsh gaze of the sceptic to be a formalist and a schoolman.
   I commend the book to all those who wish to understand the tendencies of philosophy in the universities of to-day.
   A word of praise is due to Mr. Titchener.  He has again performed satisfactorily his difficult task of translation.  

V.B. NEUBURG.   

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INTRODUCTION TO PHYSIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY.  BY DR. THEODOR ZIEHEN.
      Swan Sonnenschein and Co., 6s.

Luke vi. 39.


   Professor Ziehen, the author of this useful little text-book --- useful at least for examination purposes and "sixth-form" students in psychology --- follows in the main the theories more widely known in this country through the works of Mnsterberg, and rejects such of those of Wundt as are based by him upon that a priori auxiliary function, the so-called "apperception."  "From the outstart," states Professor Ziehen, "the conception 'unconscious psychical processes' is for us an empty conception"; and so, on the strength of this assertion, he attempts to work out the whole of his argument empirically.  This he does rationally enough, as we might expect from a professor of Jena; but in spite of the cunning of his logic and the lucidity of his numerous "becauses," he, in the end, is as inconclusive as Wundt or any of the modern psychologists.  Finally he explains nothing, or, to be charitable, very little, and in spite of this assertion, "Our thoughts are never voluntary," we are still more in doubt as to this on closing his volume than we were upon opening it.
   Further, he writes on p. 247: "The freedom which we think to possess in the so-called voluntary processes of thought is only semblance."  In spite of the dogmatism displayed in this sentance, we almost agree with it, and would heartily do so if our worthy Professor had included in it all mental conditions explicable in the language of man.  Semblances we feel they all are, semblances of a something beyond book or word, a something alone attainable by Titanic work.
   The individual, we feel, will never understand the minds of others until he understands his own.  This our modern-day philosophers invariably seem to forget, and as long as they do so we cannot help further feeling that their grand generalisation must be as unbalanced as the minds of those asylum patients from which they are so fond of deducing them.  "Know Thyself" comes before "Instruct others."  Let this be well remembered by all such as would teach without learning and would lead others without seeing.  

F.   

   This admirable manual of Physiological Psychology cannot fail to be of great interest to every psychologist who cares for the physiological side of his fascinating science.  At the same time, it should, we think, never be forgotten that the study of physiological psychology is hardly complete without a parallel research in psychological physiology.
   Nor should confusion arise between physiology proper, psychology proper, {391) and psycho-physiology; while for the physio-psychologist it is important to assimilate and co-ordinate the data of epistemology and embryology with those of ontogeny and phylogeny, for the psycho-physiologist it is sufficient to rest in that monistic autokineticism which is only distinguishable from blank atheism by its Hellenistic-Teutonic terminology.

J. McC.   

IS A WORLD-RELIGION POSSIBLE?   BY DAVID BALSILLIE, M.A.  Francis
      Griffiths, 4s. net.
   Mr. Balsillie does not seem to realise the immensity of his subject.  I remember once at school, in a general knowledge paper, being asked to give "a short account of the Equator."  Frankly, I funked the task, but another spirit, more bold, stated that it was nicknamed "the line" and sailors play jokes in crossing it!  That is just Mr. Balsillie's attitude.  For my own part I would even dare to speak disrespectfully of the Equator rather than dismiss the vast subject of a World-Religion in 180 pages, a large number of which are taken up with the practical jokes of such comic mariners in deep water as Mr. Myers and the Rev. R.J. Campbell.          

NORMAN ROE.   

  Balsillie for short? --- A.C.

THE BUDDHIST REVIEW.  Quarterly, 1s.
   Founded, as "Buddhism," in 1902, by Allan Bennett.   Lucifer, quomodo cecidisti!

RAYS FROM THE REALMS OF GLORY.  BY Rev. SEPTIMUS HERBERT, M. A.
      Second Edition.  Samuel Bagster and Sons, Ltd., 2s. 6d. net.
   This book consists of theological discussions between two young men named Percy and Sidney!  It must be a great help to a Master of Arts in attaining a Second Edition if he can pat his own musings on the back at
psychological moments with such interpolations as "'Yes,' said Percy, 'I like that thought!'"
   The clumps of quotations at the commencement of the various chapters read on occasion rather incongruously.  For instance, in front of Chapter XIV.:
   "'Jesus called a little child unto Him.' --- Matthew xviii. 2."
   "'"Uncle Tom," said Eva, "I'm going there."' --- 'Uncle Tom's Cabin.'"

NORMAN ROE.   
 

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