304 THE LAW OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
Again, M. d'Assier is right in his declaration that the shade sustains but a comparatively brief existence. Some ghosts persist for years, it is true, in haunting a given spot, but they all eventually disintegrate. Their capacity for continued existence depends upon the intensity of the emotion which produces them. Their actual longevity depends largely upon the importance of the thought or message which they personate. It depends principally, however, upon the successful performance of its mission. When that is accomplished, it disappears at once and forever. As has already been pointed out, an ordinary telepathic message between two individuals disappears at once upon its successful delivery; whereas a phantom of the dead may persist in haunting one spot for years. It will, however, eventually disintegrate and disappear, even if its mission has proved to be a failure.
If we are to consider, as M. d'Assier evidently does, the shade of a deceased person to be the soul of such person, we must arrive at the same conclusion that he has reached; namely, that posthumous existence is a burden, and that it is but a brief one at most. According to his view, the evidence of the phantom negatives the idea of a continued existence after the death of the body. According to our view, it neither proves nor disproves immortality; it leaves that question just where it found it. Like all so-called spiritual manifestations, it adds nothing to our stock of knowledge of what is in store for us beyond the grave. We must still look for immortality with the eye of faith alone, relying on the promises of the Master.
There is another alleged phenomenon connected with this general subject which deserves a passing notice. I refer to the popular belief that certain houses are pervaded by a mental atmosphere, so to speak, which corresponds to the mental condition of those who have inhabited it. There are many sensitive persons who, upon moving into a strange house or room, are influenced apparently by the mental attitude of those who previously occupied the premises. This is especially true if the former inhabitants