The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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THE PHENOMENA OF SPIRITISM.            21 "J
edge, the most obvious explanation is that he reads your mind, that is, if you do not believe that he is controlled by spirits j and you are undoubtedly right. But when he tells you of things that you had forgotten, and describes persons of whom you are not thinking, you jump to the conclusion that thought-reading does not explain that particular phenomenon. And it is just here that you make a mistake, for the reason that you do not understand the first principles of mind-reading. But when it is once understood that mind-reading is the communion of two subjective minds, and that the objective or conscious thoughts of the sitter have no necessary effect upon the character of the communications, it will be seen that the fact that the sitter was not consciously thinking of the person described, or had forgotten the incident recalled, has no evidential value whatever. The sitter may or may not be thinking consciously of the subject of the communication; he may even be endeavoring to cause the medium to speak of some particular one with whom he earnestly desires to communicate. It makes no difference whatever, for it is the uppermost thought of the subjective mind that is read, and of that the sitter has neither knowledge nor conscious control. That the medium relates incidents of the sitter's life which he had forgotten until reminded of them, is not at all strange or unaccountable, when we remember that the memory of the subjective mind is perfect. Neither is there any evidential value in the fact that the sitter cannot remember an incident related by the medium; for he must remember that objective memory retains little, comparatively, of the incidents of life, while the subjective mind retains all.
It will thus be seen that in order to explain the phenomena of spiritism on the hypothesis that it has its origin wholly within the sub-conscious mind of the medium, it is not necessary to presuppose that he is dishonest or insincere when he attributes it to disembodied spirits. In the absence of knowledge on his part of the recent discoveries in psychological science, he has the best of reasons for so believing, for up to the present time no other hypothesis has