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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/688

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two, pointing out the clay that was mixed with the metal supposed to be pure, and relegating the baser substance to its proper place. The fact that consciousness is a mere phase of nervous activity, pertaining to the body and consequently of the earth, earthy, has nothing to do with the mortality or the immortality of the ego y it is an argument neither for nor against the existence of a soul, A dog possesses clearly defined consciousness, and yet it is not necessary to predicate a soul as the accompaniment of this possession; to argue thus is to degrade the meaning of the word soul. Consciousness is but a part of normal flesh-and-blood existence; it is nourished and stimulated by a generous supply of healthy blood, and becomes changed and unhealthy by disease. It seems probable that in the vast land of unconsciousness, intellectual activity becomes manifold, and each of the many sides of our nature, untrammeled by the restraints of conscious volition, carries on a ceaseless activity, the results of which we sometimes receive and recognize in consciousness.



IT is not easy to realize that the region which we now call New York was once a mass of bare, tangled rock, bound fast beneath vast glacial ice-fields, which, stretching away to the north and west, held all northern North America in the bonds of a dreary desolation.

The gigantic fissure through which welled up from the earth's center that vast mass of molten rock which we call the Palisades, had closed fast upon its sides long before the last reign of ice began; and when at length the cold era was established, and the great glaciers, with their slow, resistless flow, came sweeping down, year after year, over the top of the Palisades, across the rocks on which New York stands, and at last broke off and melted in the sea, the ice-mass, and the fragments of stone which it had torn loose in its progress and held fast along its sides and bottom, planed down the rocks over which it passed, and left upon their exposed surfaces broad grooves, shallow channels, and innumerable scratches, which to-day tell silently the story of that ancient reign of ice. The house-building furor is fast removing these ancient records, but in the upper parts of the island and on the top of the Palisades one still may see large numbers of glacier grooves and scratches.

How long this ancient Ice age lasted it would be useless to conjecture now; but at length the climate changed, and by little and little the ice relaxed its grasp. The stones and bowlders, with which it was so relentlessly grinding off the surface of the earth's crust here-about, dropped from its fingers and lay much as we may see them