The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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2IO        THE LAW OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
but never satisfactorily, except to themselves. The fact that a spirit, possessing sufficient power to move a table, raise a piano to the ceiling, or levitate the medium, should be paralyzed in presence of one who does not believe in spirits, is simply inexplicable, except upon the one hypothesis, namely, that the power evoked is that of the subjective mind of the medium, which is amenable to control by the mysterious power of suggestion. It is inconceivable that the spirit of Napoleon Bonaparte, who, when living, swayed the destinies of nations, used kings and popes as his puppets, and led his hosts to successful battle against the combined armies of Europe, should, when dead, shrink, abashed and powerless, in presence of some one man who happens not to believe in spiritism. But it can be readily understood how a stance should prove a failure when we assume that the power that moves the table or writes the communications is exercised by the subjective intelligence of the medium, and that the presence of an avowed sceptic operates as an ever-present and all-potent suggestion that the promised manifestations are impossible in his presence. It is in strict accordance with the universal law of suggestion that such should be the result. It is this constant amenability to control by suggestion which always hampers mediums when they are giving test stances in the presence of sceptical investigators ; and I undertake to say that no medium ever was, or ever can be, powerful enough to produce his phenomena under test conditions in presence of a hostile and aggressively sceptical investigating committee. It is no fault of the medium that this is the case, and it is no test whatever of the genuineness of his phenomena. But it is presumptive, if not conclusive, evidence that the source of his phenomena resides within himself, and hence is amenable to the universal law which governs the action of all subjective intelligence and power. Neither is it any reflection upon the sincerity of the investigator that he fails to witness the phenomena that have been promised. His ignorance of the law which governs the subject-matter, together with his desire to be frank and honest enough with