2l6 THE LAW OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
not, the law of suggestion would have no place in experimental psychology, and all the conclusions deducible therefrom would have to be revised. So believing, it follows that, when questioned, it will unhesitatingly affirm that it is the spirit of whatever person is suggested; and so far as the medium knows the character or antecedents of the spirit invoked, that spirit will be personated with all the preternatural acumen characteristic of subjective mental activity.
If the chain of reasoning by which the medium and his friends have arrived at the conclusion that the phenomena must proceed from disembodied spirits seems to them to be perfect, their conviction rises to the dignity of a certainty, in their estimation, when the supposed spirit begins to forward alleged communications from the hypothetical borderland of another world. They find that his alleged " control" is able to tell them secrets which they supposed to be safe in their own custody, or perhaps only known to themselves and the deceased whose spirit has been invoked. He will describe the character and personal appearance of deceased persons whom it was impossible that he should have known in life, sometimes even giving their names and ages; he will tell of incidents in their career known only to the person for whose benefit the communication is given.
If the sitter is sceptical, and has learned something of telepathy, his ready objection is that all this is " mind-reading." But presently the medium will describe some one of whom the sitter has not thought for years, who was utterly unknown to the medium, and of whom he never heard. It is then that the sitter is confounded. His telepathic explanation is exploded, for he " was not thinking of the deceased at all; it could not, therefore, be mind-reading," he declares, with all the enthusiasm of a new convert whose last objection has been answered.
There is no more common or popular explanation of certain phases of spiritistic phenomena than attributing them to mind-reading. When a medium relates to you incidents of your life of which you know he has no previous knowl-