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276 DEMONSTRATION OF The future life.
a. That we catch only occasional glimpses of that faculty in the subjective mind, and know with certainty of its existence only by and through abnormal means and the most intensely abnormal conditions of the objective mind and of the body.
b. That, owing to the law of suggestion, no conclusions arrived at by alleged intuitional processes can be relied upon in this life unless they are verified by objective methods of investigation.
c. That the labor incident to verification is at least equivalent to that of making an original investigation of the subject-matter.
d. It is, therefore, not only abnormal, but superfluous and worse than useless on the physical plane.
The conclusion seems irresistible that at least the purely intellectual part of the subjective entity belongs exclusively to a future existence.
THE DYNAMIC FORCES OF THE MIND.
The Buddhistic Nirvana.
A purely Intellectual Existence without Memory, Emotion, or Personality. - The Basis of their Philosophy. Incomplete Observation of Psychic Powers. — Ignorance of the Law of Suggestion. Requisites for the Retention of Personality. Memory. Consciousness. Will. Will is Desire. - The Strongest Desire of the Soul. - Egoism and Egotism of the Soul.- Egoism the Normal Desire for Retention of Personality. Egotism Abnormal Self-Conceit. - The Dynamics of the Soul. The Kinetic Force of the Soul.
T has now been shown that the subjective entity possesses all the mental equipment necessary for an enjoyable existence as a purely intellectual being, without being the possessor of any of the faculties which have been designated as belonging exclusively to the objective mind.
It may be remarked, in passing, that the possession of the intuitional faculty alone would, to the disembodied soul, constitute practically the Buddhistic Nirvana, and would doubtless nearly approach the ideal of the average Yogi, who begins his search for divine illumination by severing every domestic tie, repudiating every social obligation, suppressing every human emotion, and strangling every human affection; and pursues his quest for truth by sitting on his haunches, thinking about himself, and trying to stare his umbilicus out of countenance. He seeks for " emancipation" from every human passion, and contemplates with calm indifference the prospect of the annihilation of his individuality: he longs for absorption into the Deity,
for rest in Nirvana. It is, perhaps, not strange that the average Hindu should regard absolute rest as the acme of human felicity. His climate, his social and political environment, his diet, his habits of body and of thought, the fauna of his native land, and the character of his Western proselytes, all have a tendency to aggravate that feeling of weariness which seems to involve both body and soul and to be congenite with the whole Oriental race.
The Hindu philosophy of a future life is based largely, if not wholly, upon an observation of that one faculty of the subjective mind to which I have just alluded; that is to say, the salient feature of the subjective phenomena of the Yogis, et id genus omne, consists in entering that hypnotic state known as ecstasy." In that state they become "illuminated," as they term it; and they imagine that they come into direct communion with the Deity, and that they are put in possession of all knowledge, and a large share of the deific power. In short, they identify themselves with the Deity, in imagination; and they come to the conclusion that they have penetrated the secret of a future life, and are enabled to define its conditions. Now, although there are as many different sects in India as there are in Christendom, and although their views are as widely diverse regarding non-essentials, yet they all agree upon one point; namely, that the ultimate destiny of man is to be absorbed into Deity, and identified with him. In the Buddhistic philosophy this means utter annihilation of individuality. Of course the different sects hold diverse views even on this point; but this seems to be the general trend of both the Brahmanist and the Buddhist doctrine of a future life. That question, however, is unimportant for our present purpose. The significant point is that they have arrived at the general conclusion, from an observation of the phenomenon of ecstasy, that soul is ultimately absorbed into the Deity, and thereby comes into possession
of all knowledge, power, and dominion. Now, that condition is identical with the one in which the faculty of intuitive perception or cognition of truth is oftenest observed. It is seen in other states or conditions, to be sure, from that of apparent normality up to ecstasy; but the last condition is the one in which it is most frequently observed, and it is the one in which it can be experimentally reproduced. It is doubtless true that the Indian adepts have occasionally found that some of their intuitional perceptions could be verified, as by some mathematical process; or the faculty of telepathy may have been developed, and the information obtained in that way may have occasionally been found to be veridical. A few circumstances of that character would inevitably lead that class of minds to the conclusion that all impression felt while in the ecstatic condition were revelations of divine truth. I say that that conclusion would be inevitable, just as the phenomena of spiritism has inevitably led the same class of minds to the conclusion that they are produced by spirits of the dead. But this must be said in extenuation of both conclusions; namely, that until the law of suggestion was discovered, there was no other rational hypothesis which could explain all the phenomena. In the mean time there were but two paths open to the scientific mind. One was to accept the phenomena for what they purported to be; the other to deny their existence. To explain them on scientific principles, in the absence of any knowledge of the law of suggestion or of the power of telepathy, was impossible. These discoveries, however, have changed the whole aspect of the questions involved, and relegate the visions of ecstatics to the category of subjective hallucinations induced by suggestion.
If anything were needed to demonstrate the proposition that ecstatic visions do not reveal scientific truth, it would be found in the fact that there are many different sects in
the Orient, each of whose doctrines is based upon the phenomena of ecstasy, and yet they are so divergent that they are scarcely recognizable as springing from the same root. Surely, if ecstatic visions reveal divine truth, there can be no room for difference of opinion among those favored mortals to whom it is thus revealed.
The truth is, that the whole of the vast fabric of Oriental philosophy is based upon psychic phenomena produced in utter ignorance of the law of suggestion; and as that law is fundamental, universal, and never-failing in its operations so long as the soul inhabits the body, it follows that Hindu philosophy is destitute of any scientific value whatever.
The ever-ready answer to this is the declaration that in the ecstatic condition the subject is lifted into a higher spiritual realm, where he is exempted from the laws which govern ordinary mortals, where the law of suggestion no longer prevails, and where all truth stands revealed to the "disenthralled cosmic consciousness," whatever that may mean. In other words, they simply beg the question.
It is noticeable that the Oriental ecstatics have many and a constantly growing number of feeble imitators in the Western world, who are assiduously practising self-hypnotization with a view of coming into "conscious communion with the Deity," etc., etc. They, too, are instructed that in the "higher spiritual realm" they are exempted from that inconvenient law of suggestion which prevails so extensively among less favored mortals "on the lower psychic plane," and that consequently their visions are veridical- their imaginings are the essence of divine truth imbibed directly from its divine source. It is useless to remind that class of minds that all the facts of psychic science conspire to demonstrate that the law of suggestion is the universal, ever-present, all-potent factor which governs the manifestations of the soul so long as it retains its connection with the body. It is useless to challenge them to produce one fact