The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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404        THE LAW OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
soul reaches its final home, it will be in possession of the eternal standard by which to measure the guilt or innocence of every deed done in the body.
The only remaining psychic phenomena which I propose to discuss are those connected with that emotion of the human soul which finds its expression in the worship of the Supreme Being. This feeling is so widespread that no system of philosophy is complete that does not take it into account. Like every other emotion, it has its normal mode of expression, and its abnormal manifestations. The difference between the two modes of expression is so great that their identity of origin has been, to a great extent, lost sight of.
The abnormal manifestation of this emotion now occurs principally among the uncultivated classes of religious worshippers, and the feeling has been somewhat contemptuously designated as " emotional religion." It is conspicuous in the revival meetings of certain religious sects, where in former years its manifestations were so violent and unseemly that it was looked upon as reprehensible; but these exhibitions have been, of late years, generally repressed, except among the lower orders of the people. Scientists have tried to account for it on the ground that it is the result of mesmeric power consciously or unconsciously exerted by the preachers over their congregations, resulting in an ecstatic emotion wholly abnormal and entirely unconnected with true religion. The fact that it sometimes results in a cataleptic condition, and sometimes in a trance undistinguishable from that produced by hypnotic processes, lent color to the theory, and has gradually brought the educated classes to regard the feeling of religious emotion with distrust. The result is that what used to be known as " vital religion" is gradually becoming a thing of the past, and is giving place to a cold, self-contained, unemotional sentiment, which is as unlike true religious worship as the other, and as abnormal.
It is true that the abnormal manifestations of the emotion \ are governed by the same laws, and are produced by the H