THE PHENOMENA OF SPIRITISM. 261
universal in its application. Yet Orientalists tell us that their visions are veridical, " because," they say, " they are objective visions." This, of course, is merely begging the question. They hold that the visions and other communications obtained by Western spiritists are mere " subjective hallucinations." It is noteworthy that the distinction.which they make between the two kinds of visions is this: those visions which accord with their views are " objective; " those which do not are " subjective." It is a very easy and comforting distinction, but it forcibly reminds one of the old definition of orthodoxy as distinguished from heterodoxy: "Orthodoxy is my doxy, and heterodoxy is your doxy." The Oriental adepts claim that they have learned much more of the laws of nature than is dreamed of in Occidental philosophy. Doubtless they have, if half the stories we hear of them are true. They have learned to produce phenomena which far transcend anything done by our spirit mediums. Moreover, they have learned the true source of the power, and they do not ascribe it to spirits of the dead. Said one of them, in my hearing: " I have often been asked the question, 'What is an adept?' An adept is a spirit medium who knows that the power to produce his phenomena resides within himself, and who possesses the intelligence and power to control and direct it." This is the exact truth in a nutshell. But because the adepts have acquired the knowledge of the laws which govern the production of phenomena, and are able to apply them, it does not follow that they are able to set any law of nature at defiance, or that they can claim exemption from the operation of a universal law of our existence. We find in the Western world that the law of suggestion controls all subjective phenomena, of whatever name or nature, and we are slow to believe that Eastern people are exempt from the operations of the same law. If they are, the burden of proof rests upon them to demonstrate it. Thus far it has not been demonstrated.
The literature of mysticism of all ages of the world and of all nations is full of accounts of the visions of ecstatics. The