The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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46           THE LAW OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
natural agency. Speaking "in unknown tongues" is seen to be merely a feat of subjective memory.
When we consider what a prodigy of learning the average man would be if he could have at his command all that he had ever seen, heard, or read; when we remember that the subjective mind does record, and does have at its command, all the experiences of the individual, and that, under certain abnormal conditions, in obedience to the initial impulse of suggestion, all its treasures are instantly available, we may marvel at the wonderful gifts with which the human mind is endowed; but we may rest assured that the phenomena displayed are the results of the operations of natural law.
The reader should distinctly bear in mind that there is a wide distinction between objective and subjective memory. The former is one of the functions of the brain, and, as has been shown by recent investigations, has an absolute localization in the cerebral cortex; and the different varieties of memory, such as visual memory, auditory memory, memory of speech, etc., can be destroyed by localized disease or by a surgical operation. Subjective memory, on the other ' hand, appears to be an inherent power, and free from anatomical relations; or at least it does not appear to depend I upon the healthy condition of the brain for its power of manifestation. On the contrary, the foregoing facts demonstrate the proposition that abnormal conditions of the brain are often productive of the most striking exhibitions of subjective memory. The late Dr. George M. Beard of New York, who was the first American scientist clearly to recognize the scientific importance of the phenomena of hypnotism, who was the formulator of the " Six Sources of Error " which beset the pathway of the investigator of that science, and the one who did more than any other American of his time to place the study of hypnotic phenomena on a scientific basis, evinces a clear recognition of this distinction when he says :
" To attempt to build up a theory of trance [hypnotic phenomena] on a basis of cerebral anatomy is to attempt the impossible.