The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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presented itself. The young physician, however, determined to trace her past life step by step; for the patient herself was incapable of returning a rational answer. He at length succeeded in discovering the place where her parents had lived; travelled thither, found them dead, but an uncle surviving; and from him learned that the patient had been charitably taken by an old Protestant pastor at nine years old, and had remained with him some years, even till the old man's death. Of this pastor the uncle knew nothing, but that he was a very good man. With great difficulty, and after much search, our young medical philosopher discovered a niece of the pastor's who had lived with him as his housekeeper, and had inherited his effects. She remembered the girl; related that her venerable uncle had been too indulgent, and could not bear to hear the girl scolded; that she was willing to have kept her, but that, after her parent's death, the girl herself refused to stay. Anxious inquiries were then, of course, made concerning the pastor's habits; and the solution of the phenomenon was soon obtained. For it appeared that it had been the old man's custom for years to walk up and down a passage of his house into which the kitchen-door opened, and to read to himself, with a loud voice, out of his favorite books. A considerable number of these were still in the niece's possession. She added that he was a very learned man and a great Hebraist. Among the books were found a collection of Rabbinical writings, together with several of the Greek and Latin Fathers; and the physician succeeded in identifying so many passages with those taken down at the young woman's bedside that no doubt could remain in any rational mind concerning the true origin of the impressions made on her nervous system."
The reader will not fail to observe that in all these cases the subjects reproduced simply what they had seen, heard, or read. The impressions upon the objective mind, particularly in the case related by Coleridge, must have been superficial to the last degree; but the result demonstrated that the record upon the tablets of the subjective mind was ineffaceable.
These are not isolated cases. Thousands of similar phenomena have been recorded by the most trustworthy of observers. Their significance cannot be mistaken. In their light the wonderful mental feats of trance-speakers are easily explicable, without invoking the aid of a super-