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felt sure that he detected undoubted tokens of his mother's presence. If such a thing is ever possible, surely this is the explanation most simple and natural.”
Here, then, we have a case involving all the difficulties which stand in the way of accepting telepathy as a universal solvent for this class of mysteries. It is a representative case of the class specifically mentioned both by Mr. Savage and by Mr. Myers as being inexplicable by reference to telepathy; for the message contained information not in the possession of the psychic, or of the client, or of any of the living friends of either. Consequently, if this case can be explained by reference to telepathy, clearly science will have a right to demand further proofs of spirit communion.
"Let us look at it clearly." In order to do so we must first divest the case of several imaginary difficulties with which Mr. Savage seems to have environed it. For instance, he says that
"In order to have obtained all these facts related under numbers 1, 2, and 3, the psychic would have had to be not only clairvoyant, but to have gotten into mental relations with several different people at the same time.”
It is not entirely clear why it was necessary for "all these multiplex and diverse operations" to be "going on simultaneously," or, indeed, why it should be necessary for all of them to go on at all. Nor does Mr. Savage throw any very clear light upon that question. On the contrary, he seems to have propounded an irrelevant problem, which he regards as insoluble, with the view of claiming a triumph if his readers fail to solve it.
There are two groups of facts in this case which present themselves for consideration. One group consists of the facts which took place prior to the wreck; namely, the matter of the stateroom, the whist, and the partners. The other group comprises the particular circumstances attending the death of the lady.
Now we are told that it was necessary for the psychic to see clairvoyantly "not only the bruised body, but the facts that took place on the Friday previous." Mr. Savage holds the latter to be impossible for the reason that clairvoyance cannot 66 see what were once facts, but which no longer exist." In this proposition he is clearly right. But he would doubtless admit that clairvoyance is equal to the perception of the condition of the bruised body; and from that condition the manner of death, exactly as detailed in the message, could be clearly inferred. After all, that is the only fact which we are called upon to explain, since the facts that took place on the Friday previous were all known to surviving friends of the deceased; and the presumption is that they were all detailed to the son, who was frantically searching among the survivors for information which would throw light upon the fate of his mother. In the absence of any evidence or statement to the contrary, even by implication, this must be presumed. Clearly, then, it would not be necessary for the psychic to read "several different minds at once" in order to ascertain all the facts that took place on Friday, since those facts were in the mind of the son, and he was in presence of the psychic. But suppose that the facts had not yet been detailed to the son, it still does not involve the necessity for the psychic to be "in simultaneous communication with several minds," since telepathic communion with any one of the survivors would have put her in possession of all the facts that occurred on Friday. That supposition would certainly do less violence to the principles of scientific inquiry than it does to postulate a supermundane origin for the phe
I submit, therefore, that all the facts were easily ascertainable by the psychic by the exercise of clairvoyance and telepathy, each in its simplest and most direct mode of manifestation. The two powers, if both exist, are certainly
not incompatible with each other. Indeed, they are so closely related that no one has yet been able to locate the boundary-line between them. They are divided only by
I think that Mr. Savage will agree with me that, in the foregoing view of the case, my interpretation is to be preferred to his on the broad ground of inherent probability, since his explanation ascribes a supermundane origin to the phenomena, whilst mine ascribes it to those natural powers of the human mind the existence of which he freely admits. Nor does it fortify his view of the case to say that the psychic does not possess either telepathic or clairvoyant power, for that is simply begging the question. The very point in controversy is whether the phenomena of so-called spiritism proceed from spirits of the dead, or are the result of the exercise of the known powers of the living. And to say, as Mr. Savage does, that the psychic "is not conscious of possessing either telepathic or clairvoyant power," is but another way of saying that this particular psychic believes that the messages transmitted through her come from disembodied spirits. It is a common thing among spiritistic psychics to disclaim telepathic or clairvoyant powers; and it is doubtless honestly done. Their theory is that their phenomena are produced by spirits of the dead, and that clairvoyance and telepathy have nothing whatever to do with it; in other words, that they are not conscious possessing those powers. But when that statement is employed as an argument in support of the spiritistic hypothesis, it becomes a gross and palpable case of petitio principii.
Thus far I have argued this case from Mr. Savage's own standpoint; that is, I have invoked the aid of those powers of the mind, and those only, which he knows men to possess, namely, telepathy and clairvoyance. I have shown how these alleged powers may have operated, each
in its legitimate sphere of activity, to produce the phenomena he describes. He declares that he is in search of a working hypothesis which will explain these phenomena without the necessity of invoking supermundane agencies, but has thus far failed to find one. I have herein advanced one, the fundamental postulates of which are his. They are not mine. He believes in telepathy, and I agree with him. He believes in independent clairvoyance. I do not. He says that he knows1 that clairvoyance exists as a power of the human mind. I wish I possessed the same positive information. It would be a great simplifier of explanations, — a short cut across a labyrinthine field. Like the hypothesis of spiritism, it is "simpler" than the scientific explanation of the phenomena; but its chief merit consists in the fact that it saves the trouble of thinking. I have looked in vain for indubitable evidence of the reality of the power of independent clairvoyance. I do not say that it does not exist. I do not know. I simply say that I have not yet been made acquainted with facts sufficient to remove the question from the domain of doubt and uncertainty. I do know that many phenomena which a few years ago were attributed to clairvoyance are now easily explicable by reference to telepathy; and I know that the field of the former is constantly narrowing, whilst that of the latter is correspondingly widening. I know that telepathy is a faculty of the human mind; and I feel safe when dealing with that proposition. But until the boundary-line between telepathy and clairvoyance is defined with sufficient exactitude to demonstrate that there is any line at all, I shall not attempt to offer clairvoyance as a final explanation of any phenomena whatever.
Now let us examine the phenomena presented by Mr. Savage from another point of view. I will begin by quoting a proposition of his, which, if true, disposes of the case
1 Psychical Review, vol. i. no. I.
at once, and leaves him master of the situation. It is
Telepathy deals only with occurrences taking place at the time."
If this proposition is true, Mr. Savage and Mr. Myers are both right in rejecting telepathy as a solvent for the mystery surrounding a very large class of cases. Whether it is true or not, it clearly defines their attitude and reveals the ground upon which they stand. In saying this I do not wish to be understood as holding Mr. Myers responsible for the opinions of Mr. Savage; but as their conclusions are identical, I assume that they have reasoned from the same premises. I am confirmed in that belief for the reason that I can see no other possible ground for their conclusion.
Be that as it may, the fact remains that the assertion that "telepathy deals only with occurrences taking place at the time" is a fundamental error of the most pronounced character. It is difficult to imagine an error that could be more misleading to the searcher after truth in the psychical realm, and hence more mischievous in its consequences, than this one is.
Again, "let us look at it clearly." What is telepathy? It has already been defined as "the means of communica tion between subjective minds." In other words, it is the means of conveying information from one subjective mind to another. That it is confined in its operations to the subjective intelligence will not be disputed. It has already been sufficiently explained, and requires no further remark in this connection, but will be demonstrated later on. Now, when a message is telepathically sent from one subjective mind to another, it conveys some item of information to the subjective mind that receives it. That information is henceforth a part of the mental equipment of the percipient's subjective mind, and, since the memory of the subjective mind is practically perfect, it is not likely to