The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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THE PHENOMENA OF SPIRITISM.            267
One of the most remarkable cases which have been reported in the United States was that of one Ansel Bourne, a Baptist clergyman, who suddenly disappeared from his home in Rhode Island a few years ago. Every effort was made to find him, but without avail. At the end of two months he returned to his home, after an experience of the strangest character. It appears, from an investigation conducted in the most careful and painstaking manner, in behalf of the London Society for Psychical Research, that Mr. Bourne lost normal consciousness soon after leaving home, and wandered around in several different towns and cities, finally reaching Norristown, Pa., where he rented a store, stocked it with small wares, and carried it on successfully for a period of six weeks, under the name of A. J. Brown. He appeared to the citizens of Norristown as a normal person, conducting his business properly, contracting no unnecessary debts, and always paying promptly. At the end of six weeks of a mercantile career he suddenly regained his normal consciousness, and remembered nothing whatever of his abnormal experience. The article in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, written by Richard Hodgson, LL.D., exhibits exhaustive research in the investigation of this case, and its entire verity cannot be doubted. It appears that Mr. Bourne had once, in early life, had a remarkable experience, which shows a tendency to abnormal psychic conditions; but nothing was developed which throws any light upon any specific cause for the particular phase of his later experience. He had never before engaged in trade, nor had he had any taste for such a life, and nothing could be remembered which could explain why it was that he assumed the name of A. J. Brown. It is stated, however, that he had once been hypnotized, when young, and made to perform many amusing antics on the stage; but no recollection was had that the name of A. J. Brown had been suggested to him at the time. It is extremely probable, however, that that name was suggested to him at that time, and that his subjective mind retained the memory of the