The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

Bringing a scientific basis to research of the paranormal, spiritual & psychic.

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THE PHENOMENA OF SPIRITISM.
At this point the question will naturally be asked, " How can a medium, professional or otherwise, be entitled to credit for honesty, who represents himself as being able to hold communion with the spirits of the dead, or to be an instrument through which communications from spirits of the dead can be obtained, if, in point of fact, such communications have their origin wholly within his own personality?"
This is perhaps the most pertinent and the most far-reaching question that could be formulated in regard to the hypothesis under consideration. If it could not be fairly answered from a purely scientific standpoint, our hypothesis would not be worthy of further discussion; for it is simply impossible to presuppose that all the immense number of mediums, professional and private, who may be found in all ranks of society throughout the civilized world, are deliberately and consciously perpetrating a fraud upon mankind. On the contrary, I here take occasion to say that there is no system of religious belief which is so thoroughly fortified by facts as that of spiritism, when its phenomena are viewed from the standpoint of the investigator who is unacquainted with the latest scientific discoveries in the domain of experimental psychology. But with that knowledge in possession, the evidential value of the phenomena of spiritism is vastly depreciated, and the high character of the medium for truth and sincerity loses all its weight as a factor in the case.
The intelligent reader has already anticipated the answer to the foregoing question. It is simply this : that the subjective mind of the medium, being controlled by suggestion, believes itself to be the spirit of any deceased person whose name is suggested. It has been educated to that belief through the objective education and environment of the individual. It is, by the laws of its being, absolutely controlled by the objective belief of the medium, and the suggestions embraced in that belief. It is true that it often acts capriciously and independently, but it is always in pursuance of the auto-suggestion or belief of the medium