332 THE LAW OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA
extravagant, or imbecile premise, followed to its legitimate, logical conclusion, necessarily leads the mind into a corresponding maze of extravagance and imbecility. It is therefore no indication of a decline of subjective powers, but it is a demonstration of the universality of the law of suggestion. It goes without saying that if an inspirational speaker were aware of the source of his power, and of the laws which govern it, and would constantly keep it under the control of his reason, he could utilize it to the very best advantage. A cultured man of well-balanced intellect would then formulate his own premises according to the best lights obtainable through the processes of inductive reasoning, and " inspiration would do the rest." If his premises were correct, the subjective mind could always be depended upon to deduce the correct conclusions, and to illustrate them by drawing upon the resources of its perfect memory of all that the individual has ever seen, heard, or read bearing upon the subject. Such a man would be known as a man of " genius," in whatever direction he exercised his powers. And just in proportion to the natural powers and cultivation of his objective mind and the extent of his objective information would his subjective manifestations be brilliant and powerful.
I do not say that such an exercise of subjective power would not be abnormal and productive of untoward physical consequences. Men of genius in all ages of the world have unconsciously exercised this power. But men of genius the world over have been too often noted for abnormalities of character and conduct. Profane history furnishes but one example where a man of genius appears to have been in possession of objective and subjective powers perfectly balanced, and who was able to utilize his enormous objective advantages, resulting from constant and intimate association with the greatest minds of his generation, in the subjective production of works which must always stand pre-eminent. It is unnecessary to say that I allude to Shakspeare. So little is known of his private life that it is impossible to judge whether abnormal physical effects