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under consideration; namely, whether any part of the phenomena of supersensory transference of thoughts or messages are produced by spirits of the dead. Continuing, Mr. Myers says: "It is certainly safer to inquire how far they can be explained by the influences or impressions, which, as we know by actual experiment, living persons can under certain circumstances exert or effect on one another, in those obscure supersensory modes which we have provisionally massed together under the title of Telepathy." This is Mr. Myers the scientist. Mr. Myers the spiritist has, nevertheless, "rashly multiplied the problems involved in this difficult inquiry" by ascribing a part of the phenomena to disembodied spirits. I have therefore appealed from Mr. Myers the spiritist to Mr. Myers the scientist, — with what success I leave our readers to judge.
I have stated all I deem it necessary to say in regard to spiritism, considered as an alleged means of communicating with disembodied spirits. I have confined my remarks to the "residuary phenomena" which embrace all that remains to be accounted for, according to the deliberate admissions of two of the ablest scientific advocates of spiritism now living. I do not expect other spiritists to be bound by their admissions; for other spiritists are satisfied with a far inferior grade and weight of evidence than they are. Indeed, I know of no one in the ranks of spiritism who is so careful as they are in weighing the value of evidence for or against the spiritistic hypothesis. Nor do I know of any whose qualitative and quantitative analysis of spiritistic phenomena has left a smaller residuum of facts upon which to base the hypothesis of spirit communication. The scientific world will never cease to be grateful to them for the painstaking care which they have exercised in eliminating the "vast bulk" of the phenomena which have been attributed to supermundane agency; and if I have succeeded in reducing them to a "still smaller.
residuum," I shall beg the privilege of quietly basking in the reflected glory of their achievements.
As I remarked at the opening of this discussion, I have felt compelled to treat the subject of spiritism at some length, for the reason that it is always of the first importance that the basic facts under consideration, in any scientific investigation, should be properly classified. The gentlemen whose views I have criticised will be the first to indorse this proposition. Moreover, each of us is in pursuit of the same ultimate object; namely, a scientific demonstration of a future life. The broad line of difference in our methods of reasoning up to that conclusion may be summed up briefly as follows:
My proposition is that psychic phenomena, properly interpreted, including that which they attribute to disembodied spirits, furnish indubitable evidence of a future life; and that the only interpretation which science can give to such phenomena is that it emanates from the living psychic, and never from disembodied spirits.
They hold that psychic phenomena, of the so-called spiritistic variety, are valuable as evidence of a future life only on the supposition that they, or some of them at least, emanate directly from disembodied spirits; and that a demonstration that disembodied spirits can communicate with the living constitutes a demonstration that there is a future life for mankind.
I hold that so-called spiritistic phenomena are valuable as evidence of a future life only on the supposition that none of them emanate from disembodied spirits. My reasons are briefly these:
In the first place, two antagonistic hypotheses cannot both be correct; nor can each be partly true and partly false for any hypothesis that does not explain all the facts is necessarily wrong, and therefore utterly valueless. Thus, if any one of a series of so-called spiritistic phe
nomena can be demonstrated to emanate from disembodied spirits, the telepathic hypothesis is necessarily invalid as a solvent for that series of phenomena. On the other hand, if one of said series can be demonstrated to be referable to telepathy between living persons, the spiritistic hypothesis is necessarily wrong. In other words, it is a logical necessity that, as between two antagonistic hypotheses, one or the other must be wholly right and the other wholly wrong, or both must be wholly wrong. The nature of the case does not admit of compromise; for principles of natural law are not established by majorities of facts, nor are there exceptions in the operation of natural laws. It follows that if one psychic phenomenon could be scientifically demonstrated to have been produced by disembodied spirits, the whole subject would be relegated to logical chaos, and some solution of the mystery would have to be sought for other than that embraced in either of the hypotheses under consideration.
Moreover, if all the phenomena which have been ascribed to supermundane agency could be demonstrated to proceed from disembodied spirits, the problem of a future life would be not a whit nearer to a solution than it was when Job propounded his momentous question; for the question of spirit identity would still arise to plague the faithful. It will not be denied that the question of spirit identity is, and ever has been, the one great problem which defies solution. Nor will it be denied that, if it is true that spirits do communicate with the living, there is indubitable evidence that there are evil spirits as well as good; that there are ignorant spirits as well as enlightened; that there are "spirits of health" as well as "goblins damned;" and that their intents are sometimes "wicked" and sometimes "charitable." If, therefore, we are forced to accept alleged spirit communications as genuine emanations from disembodied spirits, it by no manner of means follows that
114 DEMONSTRATION OF the future life.
one of them comes from a spirit who has once been incarnated; and the problem of a future life for man is just as far from a solution as it was before kitchen furniture began to testify and hysterical women to teach the science of the soul.
ANCIENT PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
The Importance of Correct Classification of Phenomena. Science of the Soul. The Phenomena of the Soul. Old Testament Records. The Pentateuch.-The Higher Criticism. The Psychic History of the Children of Israel. — Unreasoning Scepticism. Aaron's Rod. - Moses as a Psychic. - His Methods and his Instrumentalities. The God of Moses. - His Human Characteristics. - His Advice to "spoil the Egyptians."-Moses' Interview with God on Mount Sinai. - The Molten Calf. - The destroy the Children of
Anger of God. — His Determination to
He causes God to Re
pent. Renewal of the Covenant. - Objective Moses vs. Subjective Moses.
F my remarks thus far made have led the reader to infer that I regard the phenomena of spiritism as an unmixed evil, I hasten to remove the impression. Of no phenomenon of Nature can this properly be said. The phenomena of Nature are the facts of Nature; and it is from those facts that we must study the sciences. It is only when we wrongly interpret or erroneously classify a fact, that it bears upon its face the appearance of evil, or is divested of its importance to mankind. Every fact in Nature is important if properly classified and interpreted. Conversely, if the most apparently insignificant fact is improperly classified, it often becomes a stumbling-block of great magnitude in the pathway of the searcher after truth. No true scientist can, or will attempt to, deny the truth of these elementary propositions. My remarks relating to psychic