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existence of that power in insects, in view of the well-known sensory powers of many of the lower animals, including insects. Besides, it is a feat that is vastly outdone by the carrier pigeon, whose marvellous powers are referable entirely to the sense of sight. There is, however, much evidence to show that man can influence animals telepathically; but no conclusive evidence has yet been forthcoming to show that animals can so communicate with each other. Neither is there any evidence to show that man ever possessed the power of telepathy in any greater degree than he now possesses it, or that he was ever in a physical or mental condition more or less favorable to the development of that power than he is now. There is therefore no evidence whatever that the faculty is vestigial.
There is as little evidence that it is a "rudimentary sixth sense," as many learned men, who are fond of rudimentary speculations without facts, would have us believe. It is true that there are more telepathists now than ever existed before; and it is also true that there are more hysterical women, of both sexes, than ever existed before. Besides, telepathy has only recently been scientifically investigated, and the fact that it is a power of the human mind has only recently been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the scientific world. But the demonstration of a fact of such startling import has sent thousands into the field of experimental psychology, with the result that millions of experiments have been made, demonstrating nothing but the bare fact that the power exists, and that it cannot be made useful in this life. It has not advanced human knowledge one step in the direction of any useful result or in the development of any useful power. It would be difficult to show that, of all the experiments that have been made or of all the instances where it has been spontaneously manifested, there is one case where it has proved to be of any benefit whatever. In the very nature of things this must always be true, for the simple
reason that the law of suggestion must always render every experiment uncertain until the result has been verified by objective means. No one who is aware of the existence of that law would ever dare to depend upon a telepathic message where any material interest was at stake; and until the law of suggestion can be nullified, that is to say, until all possible subjective hallucinations, arising from possible suggestions, can be eliminated as possible factors in supposed telepathic experiences, there can be no possible means of rendering telepathy useful in earthly life.
Again, if telepathy were either vestigial or rudimentary, it would be manifested under normal conditions. It would be equivalent to a contradiction in terms to suppose that a normal faculty must always be exercised under abnormal conditions. The only condition approaching normality under which telepathy is ever manifested is in dreams. But until the element of suggestion arising from waking thoughts or peripheral stimuli can be eliminated from dreams, it is obvious that they cannot be depended upon as sources of information in the affairs of this life.
No; telepathy performs no normal function on the physical plane. We can catch only occasional glimpses of it here, — just enough to enable us to know that in the future life, when physical organs of speech no longer exist, there is ample provision for intelligent communion with those who share our destiny.
The Abnormality of Psychic Manifestations. The Dangers attending Psychic Activity.—The Different Forms of Psychic Development. Psychic Powers inversely Proportioned to Health. Unsuspected Dangers. — Musicians. — Stenographers and Typewriters. Compositors. Genius and Insanity. — Opinions of Scientists. Dr. MacDonald. - Summary. - Biographical Facts. - The Great Practical Lesson of Psychic Science. — Immorality, Vice, Crime, and Insanity the Result of Psychic Activity.
HE lessons which psychic science teaches pertain not alone to the future world, but they are of the utmost practical value in this life. Indeed, I speak the words of truth and soberness when I declare that there is no subject of human thought and investigation of such transcendent and imminent practical importance to mankind as that of psychic science. And the great lesson which it teaches, the lesson which embraces all the others, is that psychic phenomena are never produced except under the most intensely abnormal conditions of the physical and the mental organism.
It may sound paradoxical to say that man's most important study can be successfully prosecuted only under and by virtue of abnormal conditions; but it must be remembered that it has always been by means of the study of abnormal phenomena that much of what man knows of his normal conditions has been revealed to him.
If man were always physically and mentally normal, there would be comparatively little learned of his physical
or mental structure, for there would be no incentive to study. He would then be like a perfect machine, which, so long as normal conditions prevail, may be successfully operated by one who knows little or nothing of its internal structure; but when the machine breaks, or for any reason fails to perform its normal functions, the operator is compelled to investigate the cause; and he thus becomes acquainted with its internal mechanism. It is because of disease that the physician becomes acquainted with the laws of health; and it is for the same reason that the surgeon is compelled to study the anatomy of the human frame. It was through the study of abnormal conditions of the body that Harvey was led to the discovery of the circulation of the blood. It was through the study of abnormal conditions of the mind that Hammond was led to the discovery that the brain is not the sole organ of the mind; and it was by means of abnormal conditions, congenital or induced, that he was enabled to demonstrate his theorem, and was thus enabled to give to the scientific world a physiological basis, not only for studying the problems of insanity, but upon which to postulate an immortal soul. In the physiological realm, abnormal conditions are practically the only incentives to serious study. In the psychical world they are at once the stimuli to the study of the science of the soul, and the means by which it can be successfully prosecuted.
I do not undertake to say that, because psychic phenomena are never produced except under abnormal conditions, they should never be produced. In view of the therapeutic value of hypnotism and cognate means of healing the sick, and especially in view of the precepts and example of Jesus, it would be absurd to attempt to prohibit the production of psychic phenomena. But the use of it for therapeutic purposes can be justified only on the same ground that the use of poisonous drugs for medicines can be justified. Their production can also be justified for
purposes of scientific experiment; but only upon the same ground that we can justify experimental medicine or vivisection. It is absolutely necessary, then, that abnormal conditions be studied in order to enable us to understand and preserve normal conditions; and this is as true of the soul as it is of the body. But as it is unnecessary and improper for the physician to induce and perpetuate disease in a human body in order to study the laws of health, it is also in the highest degree improper, as well as unnecessary, to select a victim and continually induce an abnormal or diseased condition of his mind in order to study psychology. There is an abundance of disease both of body and of mind, existing all around us, from which all the necessary data can be obtained, without the necessity of immolating a human body or a human soul upon the altar of science. Nevertheless, it is probable that, for many years to come, experiments will be made with a view to new discoveries; and it is in the highest degree probable that hypnotism will, in some of its myriad forms, and when its laws are better understood, be largely employed not only for therapeutic purposes, but for moulding human character, especially in the young.
In the mean time the first great lesson to learn is that it is an abnormal condition at the best, and should never be tampered with by the ignorant; nor should it ever be employed except as a remedial agent, physical or moral, and then only by those who are familiar with its laws.
But the great lesson which psychic science teaches, and in which every human being is interested, is that all psychic activity is not only abnormal, but it is in the highest degree injurious to the body as well as to the mind.
I have again and again sought to impress upon my readers the pregnant fact that, whenever the subjective mind of man usurps control over the dual mental organism, Reason abdicates her throne; and, just in proportion to the com