The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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THE PHENOMENA OF SPIRITISM.           227
it must be evident that telepathy is a sufficient explanation of what occurred the first day. It is true that the medium thought that the information thus obtained was conveyed to her by disembodied spirits. But that does not change the facts; and when a phenomenon is explicable by reference to known natural laws, we have neither occasion nor logical right to seek an explanation in the realm of the supernatural. The second day's performance is as easily explicable under the well-known laws of hypnotism. The medium was in a partially hypnotic state, her subjective mind was active and in control of her physical powers, and was necessarily perfectly amenable to control by suggestion from any source. In obedience to the law of auto-suggestion, it believed itself to be a disembodied spirit. It acted in that capacity far enough to write communications of the standard, indefinite character common to such productions, but could give no name, for the simple reason that there was no name to give, and none had been suggested. But the instant a name was suggested it seized upon it, and, in pursuance of the suggestion that it represented the sitter's brother, wrote just such a communication as the logic of the situation dictated, believing, without a doubt, that it was actually the spirit of the deceased brother of the sitter. It may be asked why, if the medium was possessed of such wonderful telepathic power, did she not perceive the fact that she was being imposed upon, that the sitter was not sincere in his professions of a belief in spiritism, and that he had not a brother in the spirit-land. Simply because she was controlled by the universal law of suggestion, and the oral suggestions had been made that he was a believer, and that he had a brother deceased. If she had disbelieved the statement, it would have constituted an exception to the operation of a natural and universal law, a suspension, in fact, of the laws of nature.
On the other hand, if we are to discard the foregoing explanation and hold that it was actually a disembodied spirit controlling the medium, we must presuppose a spirit without a name, or without sufficient intelligence to remember