The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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254
THE LA W OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
writes; secondly, that the bare fact that the question, "Who are you that write? " is asked, amounts to a suggestion that some third person is writing, and that the auto-matist is dominated by the inference drawn, just the same as if the suggestion had been a positive statement. The most remarkable part of it, however, is the persistency with which her subjective mind clung to the suggestion that she was " Henry Morton." She had assumed that character more than a year before, in a Christmas play, and her subjective mind still identified itself with the imaginary personage, and believed the truth of the suggestion as firmly as it would have believed the suggestion that it was a disembodied spirit, had that suggestion been made. The author shows an intelligent appreciation of this fact when he adds : " Had the name been, as it easily might have been, that of some deceased friend, it is obvious what inference would have been drawn." It is also obvious that it would have been that of some deceased person, had the young lady been acquainted with the planchette and the spiritistic hypothesis.
Another instance of automatic writing where the spiritistic hypothesis was ignored, is reported in the " Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research," vol. Hi. pages 8-23. Space can be given to a brief extract only. The experiments were tried by the Rev. P. H. Newnham and his wife, the latter acting as the automatist. The primary object of these experiments was to test the power of thought-transference. This was very successfully done, as the answers, though not always correct, referred to the questions. It appears, incidentally, that they entertained a different hypothesis from the usual one, as will appear from the answers which we quote. The questions were written down by Mr. Newnham, and no hint was given to the operator as to their character or subject. The following are fair samples :
" Q. Is it the operator's brain, or some external force, that moves the planchette ? Answer ' brain,' or ' force.' A. Will.