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Fechner, Theodor

(1801-1887). One of the pioneers of experimental psychology whom Mahatma K.H. met in Germany. He founded psychophysics, an early attempt to study the relation between stimulus and sensation. His major work was Elemente der Psychophysik, published in 1860. His work was important in making psychology a science. The Mahatma K.H. apparently met Fechner during the former’s visit to Europe. Fechner’s view of the universe was animistic. He believed that everything, including stars, are ensouled, and that God is the soul of the universe. The Mahatma K.H. wrote to A. P. SINNETT of their conversation about such views and on life after death: “I may answer you, what I said to G. Th. Fechner one day, when he wanted to know the Hindu view on what he had written — ‘You are right; ... “every diamond, every crystal, every plant and star has its own individual soul, besides man and animal...” and, “there is a hierarchy of souls from the lowest forms of matter up to the World Soul,” but you are mistaken when adding to the above the assurance that “the spirits of the departed hold direct psychic communication with Souls that are still connected with a human body” — for, they do not’ ” (ML 18, p. 63).

Vicente R. Hao Chin, Jr.