Alfred Wallaceのスピリチュアル進化論

チャールズ・ダーウィンとは別に自身の自然選択を発見したAlfred Wallace (1823-1913)には、降霊術とスピリチュアルにハマるという、奇妙な面があった。そのことは進化論とは無関係ではなく、人間の精神の起源・進化をスピリチュアルなもの求めたという点で、根深そうに見える。

Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913)

The spiritualist movement that captivated Alfred Wallace in 1865 was still young and vigorous. Spiritualism had taken off following the re-ported events that befell the Fox family in Hydesville, New York, early in 1848.[13] According to the testimony of John D. Fox and his wife, they woke up one night in their newly acquired house, awakened by raps, knocks, and the sound of moving furniture. A few nights later Mrs. Fox began to communicate with the source of the noises. She quizzed the intelligence behind the sounds, and it rapped correct an-swers to her questions. Finally, the source identified itself as the spirit of a Mr. Duesler who had been murdered in that house years earlier. News of the discovery spread quickly, and the Foxes became celebrities. Over the course of the following years, the three Fox daughters as-sumed the role of mediums, communicators with the spirits of other dead people. Propelled by the increasing fame of the Fox sisters, the spiritualist movement gained an immense following and great notoriety in the United States and England. Among its leading luminaries were W. Stainton Moses and Daniel Douglas Home, who enjoyed the support of numerous intellectuals. Even the repeated exposure of fraud among mediums and the occasional confessions of wayward practitioners, in-cluding the Fox sisters, could not destroy the movement altogether.

アルフレッド・ウォレスを魅了したスピリチュアリズム運動は、1865年当時、まだ若くて活発だった。スピリチュアリズムは、1848年初頭にニューヨーク州ハイズビルのフォックス家に降りかかった出来事が報道されてから本格化した[13]。ジョン・D・フォックスとその妻の証言によると、ある夜、新しく手に入れた家で、ラップ音、ノックの音、家具が動く音で目が覚めたという。数夜後、フォックス夫人は騒音の発生源と交信を始めた。彼女は音の背後にある知性について質問すると、音は彼女の質問に対して正しい答えを返した。最後に、その情報源は、何年も前にその家で殺害されたデュスラーの霊であることを明らかにした。この発見のニュースはすぐに広まり、フォックス一家は有名人になった。その後何年にもわたって、3人のフォックスの娘たちは、他の死者の霊と交信する霊媒の役割を引き受けた。フォックス姉妹の名声の高まりによって推進されたスピリチュアリズム運動は、米国と英国で絶大な支持と大きな悪名を獲得した。その主要な著名人の中には、多数の知識人の支持を受けた W. ステイントン モーゼスとダニエル ダグラス ホームもいた。霊媒師たちの詐欺行為が繰り返し暴露されたり、フォックス姉妹を含むわがままな実践者たちが時折告白したりしても、運動を完全に破壊することはできなかった。

The claims of spiritualism were few and simple:

• The spirit of a deceased individual survives death in a nonembodied state but with the same personality. •
• A few unique persons are capable of contacting these spirits and passing information between them and their survivors.



The phenomena of spiritualism are related to the spirits' efforts to draw attention and to communicate and to the methods of the mediums for receiving information. They include raps and other noises, apports and the manipulation of objects, automatic writing, psychic photogra-phy, touching, appearances, and clairvoyance or clairaudience. The earlier forms of spiritualism tended to include mostly rapping and table levitation or other simple physical phenomena. These, of course, were the easiest to fake, so, with the improvement of detection methods such as infrared photography and video technology, spiritualist phenomena became increasingly mental. This meant that the mediums reported to their sitters information obtained from the spirit about its life, including both past and future events.


Alfred Wallace began his experiences with spiritualism as it was ascending in popularity in England. But this is not to say that he was risking nothing by lending his name in support of its practitioners and phenomena. Carl Jung noted years later that Wallace, along with Myers, Crookes, and Sidgwick, was worthy of admiration for "having thrown the whole of [his] authority on the side of non-material facts, regardless of . . . the cheap derision of [his] contemporaries." Though motivated by deeply felt private drives, Wallace used spiritualism as an empirical support for his position on the evolution of the mind.[14]


Darwin, who was something of a mentor to the younger Wallace, felt that his scientific materialism was being outflanked by two forces: the prevailing Cambridge and Oxford Anglican orthodoxy led by the likes of Richard Owens, who refused to submit the Creator's greatest creature to naturalistic reductions, and the continuing belief in the oc-cult. Even such a close ally as Wallace accepted the existence of a men-tal, not to say supernatural, realm that lies entirely ouside the domain of biological science. In short, Christianity and the occult shared an aversion to Darwinism and its reduction of all existence to some form of matter.


Wallace's fascination with the occult was probably a result of an aversion he shared with Darwin toward the dominant forms of Christianity. In this respect, Wallace, the great evolutionary biologist, makes a splendid godfather to New Age spirituality. He was unmoved by the ascending Victorian naturalism while being bitterly disenchanted with orthodox religion. His inherent sense of justice and his appreciation of the uniquely human potential of mind and spirit led him away from evolution and Christian ethics alike and toward the third path of spiritual evolution as described by the spiritualist movement. But perhaps Wallace's touching ennoblement of humanity reflects back on his own nature, which Frederick Myers, a sympathetic observer, described in the following terms: "[Wallace's] worst credulity as to the good faith of cheating mediums belongs to a separate compartment of his mind—or rather forms a part of his innocent generosity of nature, an unwilling-ness to believe that anyone will do anything wrong."[15]


Shoud this pathetic epitaph hang around the neck of anyone who believes in magical or occult phenomena in this day and age? It seems that a slightly schizophrenic mind, reinforced by a childlike trust, is the only explanation for the toleration of occult claims among modern scientists such as David Bohm. At the same time, we know more today about magical practices around the world than Wallace could ever have imagined, despite all his travels. This irrevocable divorcing of magical practices from occult claims was the product of the scholars of Alfred Wallace's era, and especially the pioneering work of Edward B. Tylor.

今の時代、魔法やオカルト現象を信じる人の首からこの哀れな碑文をぶら下げるべきだろうか? デヴィッド・ボームのような現代の科学者がオカルト的主張を容認する唯一の説明は、子供のような信頼によって強化されたやや統合失調症の精神であるようだ。同時に、ウォレスがどれだけ旅をしようとも、我々は今日、世界中の魔法の実践について、ウォレスが想像していた以上に多くのことを知っている。魔法の実践とオカルトの主張とのこの取り返しのつかない分離は、アルフレッド・ウォレスの時代の学者、特にエドワード・B・タイラーの先駆的な研究の産物だった。


[13] On spiritualism and the Fox sisters, see Early Wesley Fornell, The Un-happy Medium: Spiritualism and the Life of Margaret Fox (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964), and Slater Brown, The Heyday of Spiritualism. (New York: Hawthorn, 1970).
[14] Martin Fichman, Alfred Russel Wallace (Boston: Twayne, 1981). p. 130.
[15] Ibid., pp. 12.9-30.

[ Ariel Glucklich: "Chap.2: The Strange Case of Alfred Wallace" in "The End of Magic", Oxford University Press, 1997/05/15, pp.28-31 ]


These three distinct stages of progress from the inorganic world of matter and motion up to man, point clearly to an unseen universe--to a world of spirit, to which the world of matter is altogether subordinate. To this spiritual world we may refer the marvellously complex forces which we know as gravitation, cohesion, chemical force, radiant force, and electricity, without which the material universe could not exist for a moment in its present form, and perhaps not at all, since without these forces, and perhaps others which may be termed atomic, it is doubtful whether matter itself could have any existence. And still more surely can we refer to it those progressive manifestations of Life in the vegetable, the animal, and man--which we may classify as unconscious, conscious, and intellectual life,--and which probably depend upon different degrees of spiritual influx. (p.476)

We thus find that the Darwinian theory, even when carried out to its extreme logical conclusion, not only does not oppose, but lends a decided support to, a belief in the spiritual nature of man. It shows us how man's body may have been developed from that of a lower animal form under the law of natural selection; but it also teaches us that we possess intellectual and moral faculties which could not have been so developed, but must have had another origin; and for this origin we can only find an adequate cause in the unseen universe of Spirit. (p.478)


[ Alfred Russel Wallace: "Darwinism - An Exposition Of The Theory Of Natural Selection - With Some Of Its Applications", 1889, po,476-478 ]







kumicit Transact