The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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THE PHENOMENA OF SPIRITISM.            249
of other phenomena governs the character of clairaudient manifestations. Thus, if the suggestion is entertained that the voice proceeds from a disembodied spirit, or from the guardian angel of the percipient, the character suggested will be assumed by the subjective entity, and future communications will be conducted on that basis. It may thus be made to assume the character of an angel or of a devil, just as the suggestion happens to be made. The suggestion, in the present state of knowledge on the subject of psychic phenomena, must depend altogether upon accident, or the education and habits of thought of the individual.
Doubtless, many persons have been made insane by constantly hearing what they supposed to be spirit voices. Not knowing the true origin of the phenomenon, they endow it with whatever character happens to suggest itself, and it readily assumes to be whatever is suggested; or it may assume a dozen different characters, if the person happens to imagine their existence. The effect can readily be conceived when one is persuaded that he is beset by supernatural beings. Insane people are often seen to be engaged in conversation with some imaginary person, and when we say of such a soliloquist, " He is talking to himself," we are wiser than we think; for that is the fact. But the individual thought he was in conversation with supernatural beings. We are accustomed to regard such conversations as symptoms of insanity, whereas they are oftentimes the cause of insanity. The patient for some reason develops the faculty of clairaudience. He imagines that the voice proceeds from some extraneous source. His superstition causes him to ascribe it to spirits. He constantly develops the faculty by practice, until he becomes a monomaniac on the subject. His subjective mind, dominated by an all-potent, but false, suggestion, gradually obtains control of the objective faculties, and Reason abdicates her throne. The man is insane, just as all men are insane who allow their subjective minds to obtain the ascendency. This is, of course, an extreme case; but it is less rare than many suppose. Our asylums are full of men and women