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are so imperfect that the harmony and interconnection of the individual actions cannot in its main points be ascribed to an understanding arrived at through speech. Huber observed that when a new comb was being constructed a number of the largest working bees, that were full of honey, took no part in the ordinary business of the others, but remained perfectly aloof. Twentyfour hours afterwards small plates of wax had formed under their bellies. The bee drew these off with her hind-feet, masticated them, and made them into a band. The small plates of wax thus prepared were then glued to the roof of the hive one on the top of the other. When one of the bees of this kind had used up her plates of wax, another followed her and carried the same work forward in the same way. A thin rough vertical wall, half a line in thickness and fastened to the sides of the hive, was thus constructed. On this, one of the smaller working-bees whose belly was empty came, and after surveying the wall, made a flat half-oval excavation in the middle of one of its sides; she piled up the wax thus excavated round the edge of the excavation. After a short time she was relieved by another like herself, till more than twenty followed one another in this way. Meanwhile another bee began to make a similar hollow on the other side of the wall, but corresponding only with the rim of the excavation on this side. Presently another bee began a second hollow upon the same side, each bee being continually relieved by others. Other bees kept coming up and bringing under their bellies plates of wax, with which they heightened the edge of the small wall of wax. In this, new bees were constantly excavating the ground for more cells, while others proceeded by degrees to bring those already begun into a perfectly symmetrical shape, and at the same time continued building up the pris
matic walls between them. Thus the bees worked on opposite sides of the wall of wax, always on the same plan and in the closest correspondence with those upon the other side, until eventually the cells on both sides were completed in all their wonderful regularity and harmony of arrangement, not merely as regards those standing side by side, but also as regards those which were upon the other side of their pyramidal base.
Let the reader consider how animals that are accustomed to confer together, by speech or otherwise, concerning designs which they may be pursuing in common, will wrangle with thousand-fold diversity of opinion; let him reflect how often something has to be undone, destroyed, and done over again; how at one time too many hands come forward, and at another too few; what running to and fro there is before each has found his right place; how often too many, and again too few, present themselves for a relief gang; and how we find all this in the concerted works of men, who stand so far higher than bees in the scale of organization. We see nothing of the kind among bees. A survey of their operations leaves rather the impression upon us as though an invisible master-builder had prearranged a scheme of action for the entire community, and had impressed it upon each individual member, as though each class of workers had learnt their appointed work by heart, knew their places and the numbers in which they should relieve each other, and were informed instantaneously by a secret signal of the moment when their action was wanted. This, however, is exactly the manner in which an instinct works; and as the intention of the entire community is instinctively present in the unconscious clairvoyance of each indi
1 “ Und wie durch Instinct der Plan des ganzen Stocks in unbewusstem Hellsehen jeder einzelnen Biene einwohnt.”. Philosophy of the Unconscious, 3rd ed., p. 99.
vidual bee, so the possession of this common instinct impels each one of them to the discharge of her special duties when the right moment has arrived. It is only thus that the wonderful tranquillity and order which we observe could be attained. What we are to think concerning this common instinct must be reserved for explanation later on, but the possibility of its existence is already evident, inasmuch as each individual has an unconscious insight concerning the plan proposed to itself by the community, and also concerning the means immediately to be adopted through concerted actionof which, however, only the part requiring his own co-operation is present in the consciousness of each. Thus, for example, the larva of the bee itself spins the silky chamber in which it is to become a chrysalis, but other bees must close it with its lid of wax. The purpose of there being a chamber in which the larva can become a chrysalis must be present in the minds of each of these two parties to the transaction, but neither of them acts under the influence of conscious will, except in regard to his own particular department. I have already mentioned the fact that the larva, after its metamorphosis, must be freed from its cell by other bees, and have told how the working-bees in autumn kill the drones, so that they may not have to feed a number of useless mouths throughout the winter, and how they only spare them when they are wanted in order to fecundate a new queen. Furthermore, the working-bees build cells in which the eggs laid by the queen may come to maturity, and, as a general rule, make just as many chambers as the queen lays eggs; they make these, moreover, in the same order as that in which the queen
"Indem jedes Individuum den Plan des Ganzen und Sämmtliche gegenwartig zu ergreifende Mittel im unbewussten Hellsehen hat, wovon aber nur das Eine, was ihm zu thun obliegt, in sein Bewusstsein fällt." - Philosophy of the Unconscious, 3rd ed., p. 99.
lays her eggs, namely, first for the working-bees, then for the drones, and lastly for the queens. In the polity of the bees, the working and the sexual capacities, which were once united, are now personified in three distinct kinds of the individual, and these combine with an inner, unconscious, spiritual union, so as to form a single body politic, as the organs of a living body combine to form the body itself.
In this chapter, therefore, we have arrived at the following conclusions:
Instinct is not the result of conscious deliberation; it is not a consequence of bodily organization; it is not a mere result of a mechanism which lies in the organization of the brain; it is not the operation of dead mechanism, glued on, as it were, to the soul, and foreign to its inmost essence; but it is the spontaneous action of the individual, springing from his most essential nature and character. The purpose to which any particular kind of instinctive action is subservient is not the purpose of a soul standing outside the individual and near akin to Providence-a purpose once for all thought out, and now become a matter of necessity to the individual,
a so that he can act in no other way, though it is engrafted into his nature from without, and not natural to it. The purpose of the instinct is in each individual case thought out and willed unconsciously by the individual, and afterwards the choice of means adapted to each particular case is arrived at unconsciously. A know
1 “Der Instinct ist nicht Resultat bewusster Ueberlegung, nicht Folge der körperlichen Organisation, nicht blosses Resultat eines in der Organisation des Gehirns gelegenen Mechanismus, nicht Wirkung eines dem Geiste von aussen angeklebten todtem, seinen innersten Wesen fremden Mechanismus, sondern selbSteigene Leistung des Individuum aus seinem innersten Wesen und Character entspringend.” – Philosophy of the Unconscious, 3rd ed., p. 100.
ledge of the purpose is often absolutely unattainable ! by conscious knowledge through sensual perception. Then does the peculiarity of the unconscious display itself in the clairvoyance of which consciousness perceives partly only a faint and dull, and partly, as in the case of man, a more or less definite echo by way of sentiment, whereas the instinctive action itself-the carrying out of the means necessary for the achievement of the unconscious purpose-falls always more clearly within consciousness, inasmuch as due performance of what is necessary would be otherwise impossible. Finally, the clairvoyance makes itself perceived in the concerted action of several individuals combining to carry out a common but unconscious purpose.
Up to this point we have encountered clairvoyance as a fact which we observe but cannot explain, and the reader may say that he prefers to take his stand here, and be content with regarding instinct simply as a matter of fact, the explanation of which is at present beyond our reach. Against this it must be urged, firstly, that clairvoyance is not confined to instinct, but is found also in man; secondly, that clairvoyance is by no means present in all instincts, and that therefore our experience shows us clairvoyance and instinct as two distinet things-clairvoyance being of great use in explaining instinct, but instinct serving nothing to explain clairvoyance; thirdly and lastly, that the clairvoyance of the individual will not continue to be so incomprehensible to us, but will be perfectly well explained in the further
1 “Häufig ist die Kenntniss des Zwecks der bewussten Erkenntniss durch sinnliche Wahrnehmung gar nicht zugänglich; dann documentirt sich die Eigenthümlichkeit des Unbewussten im Hellsehen, von welchem das Bewusstsein theils nur eine verschwindend dumpfe, theils auch namentlich beim Menschen mehr oder minder deutliche Resonanz als Ahnung verspürt.”Philosophy of the Unconscious, 3rd ed., p. 100.