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and man only, desired to live, and if his desire for life had reference only to an existence beyond the grave, and if that desire were clearly shown to be instinctive and universal, then it might be said to be a conclusive argument in support of the hypothesis of a future life. But this "instinctive desire," which so strongly possesses the mind of a man, for a future life, is easily accounted for by reference to that instinct of self-preservation which is proverbially "the first law of nature," is common to all physical organisms, and is no stronger in man than it is in the lowest order of animal life. Man, however, recognizes the fact that his physical organism must perish; but, in the egotism of his manhood, he rebels against the thought of dying as the brute dieth. He looks upon himself as the crowning glory of physical He counts and measures the steps of his evolution from the primordial germ, compares the brief span of his existence with the æons which have been consumed in his production, and concludes that somehow he has been cheated by dissembling Nature of his fair proportion of time and opportunity. At first he rebels against being classed as a lineal descendant of the lower organisms; but the steps of his evolution are too plainly defined in the structure of his predecessors, his pedigree is too clearly written in that of his own, to admit of rational doubt. Compelled to own his relationship to the rest of animated Nature, he finds consolation in the thought that, whilst he may be a product of evolution, he is no longer subject to its laws. He is the product of a process. He is like a machine, which is produced by means of a great variety of processes, but is emancipated from all connection with those employed in its construction the moment it is completed and sent out into the world to perform its functions. Thus, it is argued, is man emancipated from the processes of his evolution and placed upon the apex of Nature, from which point his only means of further progress is by flight
DEMONSTRATION OF THE FUTure life.
into some unknown region where the object of his creation can be accomplished.1
With such assumptions does man console himself for his obvious relationship to his fellow worms, and for his lack of time in this life to work out what he fondly conceives to be his mission and destiny. He ignores, or denies, the fact that the same processes of evolution which produced him are still at work in himself and in all his environment, the same survival of the fittest, though modified by the state of his progress in civilization; the same struggle for life, though modified by the element of an enforced altruism, if such a term is admissible, which compels the inclusion of his race in the object of his struggle. He forgets, too, that the same element which he is pleased to term altruism in himself, is common to many of the lower animals; and that his longing for a future life may be traced to that instinct of self-preservation which he possesses in common with all animated, nay, all organic Nature, and without which the world would soon be depopulated. It seems clear, therefore, that instinctive desire, whilst it is a valid argument as far as it goes, is very far from being conclusive; and must, therefore, for the present, be classed in the same category with many other phenomena of the human mind which seem to point in the direction of a supermundane existence, but logically fail because they are explicable by reference to principles of natural law with which the world is well acquainted.
1 See Fiske's "Destiny of Man."
SPIRITISM AND HYPNOTISM.
The Phenomena of Spiritism. - Scepticism of the Church. - The Present Attitude of Science. Spiritistic Phenomena Genuine. — The Two Hypotheses - The Spirit Medium Self-Hypnotized. — The Intelligence Manifested. — Experimental Hypnotism produces the same Phenomena. - The Power of Telepathy. - The Law of Suggestion. Suggestion controls the Medium. The Manufacture of Mediums by Hypnotism. — The Hypothesis of Duality of Mind. - The Objective and Subjective Minds. - The Condition of the Medium and the Hypnotized Subject Identical. — They are governed by the Same Laws. - Socrates as a Roman. The Spirit of "Cantharides " Invoked. The Medium not neces
sarily Dishonest. The Laws of Telepathy.
HAVE now briefly reviewed a few of the leading arguments upon which the Christian world has built its hopes of a future life. I have endeavored to show why it is that none of them are convincing to the minds of those who are accustomed to the methods of reasoning which are applied to the solution of the problems of the material universe. It has been shown that no one has attempted to apply the processes of induction to the solution of the great problem, and for the very good reason that, outside of Biblical records, no facts have been adduced, no phenomena have been observed, by the writers on the subject of a future life, upon which immortality for mankind can be legitimately predicated. We now approach a field of observation, however, which bristles with facts and phenomena which millions of our race believe to be demonstrative of a life
beyond the grave. It is unnecessary to say that I allude to the phenomena of so-called spiritism.
It has been customary for the Christian Church to ignore the claims of spiritists to recognition as fellow-workers in the realm of spiritual philosophy. It has derided their pretensions to an experimental knowledge of the truth of one of the essential doctrines of the Christian Church; namely, the doctrine of immortal life. It has persistently denied the genuineness of their phenomena; or, where compelled to admit the verity of the manifestations (which differ in no essential particular from those recorded in Holy Writ), it has attributed them to diabolical agency. Scientists, until within a very few years, have been content with a general denial of the existence of the phenomena, and a disdainful refusal to investigate. Their attitude is identical with that of one of their number, who, when called upon to explain the phenomenon of the fall of meteoric stones, exclaimed: "There are no stones in the air; therefore no stones fall from the air." The materialistic scientist says, "There are no spirits; therefore there are no spiritistic phenomena." Happily for mankind, and much to the credit of a vast number of consistent members of the Christian Church, as well as of thousands of the ablest scientists in the civilized world, this attitude is no longer popular, but is fast giving way to one of intelligent and honest investigation. This change is largely due to the London Society for Psychical Research, which comprises among its members a large number of scientists whose reputation as careful investigators in the realm of natural science is international. The result is that there is no longer a rational doubt of the genuineness of so-called spiritistic phenomena among those who have taken the trouble to apply the strict rules of scientific inquiry to the subject-matter. They declare that no phenomenon in the realm of physical science is better authenticated than those of so-called spiritism. This being
true, it follows that the causes must be investigated with the same care and in the same spirit of candor that has characterized the investigation of the fact; and to that end the millions of human beings who have claimed a supermundane origin for the phenomena are entitled to a respectful hearing. For, if their hypothesis is demonstrably true, the question of spirit life is no longer a speculative problem; and if it is not true, it is important that the world should know to what power or law of Nature the phenomena are to be attributed.
In dealing with the phenomena under consideration I do not propose to waste the time of the reader by the discussion of each particular phase of manifestation. A volume of the size of this would be all too small to discuss exhaustively the many-sided problem, or to explain the various characteristics of the phenomena. Besides, it would be but a repetition of what I have already done in another work. It will only be necessary here to discuss the one salient feature which is common to all the phenomena; and that is the intelligence which is manifested. This intelligence claims to be from the denizens of another world; and spiritists hold that there is indubitable evidence in the manifestations themselves that they proceed from spirits of the dead.
It will, however, be necessary to discuss the subject of spiritism at some length, for the reason that in the consideration of scientific problems it is of the very first importance that the phenomena under consideration should be properly classified. There are two hypotheses employed to account for so-called spiritistic phenomena. One is that they proceed from disembodied spirits; and the other is that they are produced by the conscious or unconscious
1 For a full discussion of the various phases and characteristics of spiritism and other psychic phenomena, see the author's work entitled "The Law of Psychic Phenomena."