The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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possesses in certain lines of intellectual activity, and with what limitations it is hedged about; and we find that the intellectual feats of mediums possess all the characteristics belonging to subjective intelligence, the same wonderful powers, and the same limitations. That so-called spirit communications always correspond to the nature' of the medium's mind and character, and are limited by his capacity, is admitted by all the ablest writers on spiritism; and their greatest ingenuity is taxed to account for the fact. Alleged communications from the greatest philosophers who have gone before, amount to the merest twaddle when filtered through an ignorant medium.
Again, we find that the intelligence is controllable by the power of suggestion. This is shown in the readiness with which "spirits " can be made to respond to calls made upon them, whether they have any real existence or not. It is well known that any one can as readily obtain a communication from an imaginary person as from a real one, from a living person as from the dead, providing the medium does not happen to know the facts. The writer has had frequent and very affectionate communications from an imaginary dead sister, and has occasionally had a very touching communication from himself, the medium believing the name to represent a dead brother. The fact that he never had either brother or sister made the communication all the more convincing.
This perfect amenability to control by suggestion is evinced in another most remarkable way. It is well known to every person who has been in the habit of attending spiritual seances how necessary it is that " harmonious conditions " should prevail. The very presence of an avowed sceptic will often prevent any manifestations. It frequently happens that some one present remarks, in a despairing tone, that he does not expect any manifestations, " because it always happens that when I am present no communications can be had." When such a remark is made, the chances are ten to one that the "spirits" will refuse to respond. Why this happens, spiritists have laboriously attempted to explain,