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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sir Oliver Lodge-Raymond-Part 3 [BOOK]


Raymond or Life and Death
Sir Oliver Lodge FRS
Publisher: Methuen
First Published: 1916
Pages: 404
Availability: Out of Print


-------------------------------------

- Part 3: Life and Death -

Introduction
Chapter 1
The Meaning of the Term Life
Chapter 2
The Meaning of the Term Death
Chapter 3
Death and Decay
Chapter 4
Continued Existence
Chapter 5
Past, Present, and Future
Chapter 6
Interaction of Mind and Matter
Chapter 7
"Resurrection of the Body"
Chapter 8
Mind and Brain
Chapter 9
Life and Consciousness
Chapter 10
On Means of Communication
Chapter 11
On the Fact of Supernormal Communication
Chapter 12
On the Contention that all Psychic Communications are a trivial Nature and Deal with Insignificant Topics
Chapter 13
On the Matter of Communication
Chapter 14
Various Psycho-Physical Methods
Chapter 15
Attitude of the Wise and Prudent
Chapter 16
Outlook on the Universe
Chapter 17
The Christian idea of God
----------------------------------------------

- (Part 3) - Life and Death -
Introduction
___________________________________________
"Eternal from Shall still divide
The eternal soul from all beside;
And I shall know him we meet."
Tennyson, In Memoriam
          THE shorter the word the more inevitable it is that it will be used in many significations; as can be proved by looking out almost any monosyllable in a large dictionary. The tendency of a simple word to have many glancing meanings - like shot silk, as Tennyson put it - is a character of high literary value; though it may be occasionally inconvenient for scientific purposes. It is unlikely that we can escape an ambiguity due to this tendency, but I wish to use the term 'life' to signify the vivifying principle which animates matter.
That the behaviour of animated matter differs from what is often called dead matter is familiar, and is illustrated by the description sometimes given of an uncanny piece of mechanism- that "it behaves as if it were alive." In the case of a jumping bean, for instance, its spasmodic and capricious behaviour can be explained with apparent simplicity, though with a suspicious trend towards superstition, by the information that a live and active maggot inhabits a cavity inside. It is thereby removed from the bare category of physics only, though still perfectly obedient to physical laws: it jumps in accordance with mechanics, but neither the times nor the direction of its jumps can be predicted.
We must admit that the term 'dead matter' is often misapplied. It is used sometimes to denote merely the constituents of the general inorganic world. But it is inconvenient to speak of utterly inanimate things, like stones, as 'dead,' when no idea of life was ever associated with them, and when 'inorganic' is all that is meant. The term 'dead' applied to a piece of matter signifies  the absence of a vivifying principle, no doubt, but it is most properly applied to a collocation of organic matter which has been animated.
Again, when animation has ceased, the thing we properly call dead is not the complete organism, but that material portion which is left behind; we do not or should not intend to make any assertion concerning the vivifying principle which has left it, - beyond the bare fact of its departure. We know too little about that principle to be able to make safe general assertions. The life that is transmitted by an acorn or other seed fruit is always beyond our ken. We can but study its effects, and note its presence or its absence by results.
Life must be considered sui generis; it is not a form of energy, nor can it be expressed in terms of something else. Electricity is in the same predicament; it too cannot be explained in terms of something else. This is true of all fundamental forms of being. Magnetism may be called a concomitant of moving electricity; ordinary matter can perhaps be resolved into electric charges: but an electric charge can certainly not be expressed in terms of either matter or energy. No more can life. To show that the living principle in a seed is not one of the forms of energy, it is sufficient to remember that that seed can give rise to innumerable descendants, through countless generations, without limit. There is nothing like a constant quantity of something to be shared, as there is in all examples of energy: there is no conservation about it: the seed embodies a stimulating and organising principle which appears to well from a limitless source.
But although life is not energy, any more than it is matter, yet it directs energy and thereby controls arrangements of matter. Through the agency of life specific structures are composed which would not otherwise exist, from a sea-shell to a cathedral, from a blade of grass to an oak; and specific distributions of energy are caused, from the luminosity of a firefly to an electric arc, from the song of a cricket to an oratorio.
Life makes use of any automatic activities, or transferences and declensions of energy, which are either potentially or actually occurring. In especial it makes use of the torrent of ether tremors which reach the earth from the sun. Every plant is doing it constantly. Admittedly life exerts no force, it does no work, but it makes effective the energy available for an organism which it controls and vivifies; it determines in what direction and when work shall be done. It is plain matter of fact that it does this, whether we understand the method or not, - and thus indirectly life interacts with and influences the material world. The energy of coal is indirectly wholly solar, but without human interference it might remain buried in the earth, and certainly would never propel a ship across the Atlantic. One way of putting the matter is to say that life times, and directs. If it runs a railway train, it runs the train not like a locomotive but like a General Manager. It enters into battle with a walking-stick, but guns are fired to its orders. It may be said to aim and fire: one of its functions is to discriminate between the wholesome and the deleterious, between friend and foe. That is a function outside the scope of physics.
Energy controlled by life is not random energy: the kind of self-composition or personal structure built by it depends on the kind of life-unit which is operating, not on the pabulum which is supplied. The same food will serve to build a pig, a chicken, or a man. Food which is assimilable at all takes a shape determined by the nature of the operative organism, and indeed by the portion of the organism actually reached by it. Unconscious constructive ability is as active in each cell of the body as in a honeycomb; only in a beehive we can see the operators at work. The construction of an eye or an ear is still more astonishing. In the inorganic world such structures would be meaningless, for there would be nothing to respond to their stimulus; they can only serve elementary mind and consciousness. The brain and nerve
system is an instrument of transmutation or translation from the physical to the mental, and vice versa.
Stages of Evolution
Steps in the progress of evolution-great stages which have been likened by Sir James Crichton Browne to exceptional Mendelian Mutations-may be rather imaginatively rehearsed somewhat thus:
Starting with
  • The uniform Ether of Space, we can first suppose
  • The specialisation or organisation of specks of ether into Electrons; followed by 
  • Associated systems of electrons, constituting atoms of Matter; and so
  • The whole inorganic Universe.
  • Then, as a new and astonishing departure, comes--

    The cell, or protoplasmic complex which Life can construct and utilise for manifestation and development."
  • And after that
  • A brain cell, which can become the physical organ for the rudiments of Mind. Followed by
  • Further mental development until Consciousness becomes possible. With subsequent
  • Sublimation of consciousness into Ethics, Philosophy, and Religion.
We need not insist on these or any other stages for our present purpose; yet something of the kind would seem to have occurred, in the mysterious course of time.
Three Explanatory Notes THREE EXPLANATORY NOTES
Note A. - Mechanics of Jumping Bean
The biological explanation of a jumping bean is sometimes felt to be puzzling, inasmuch as the creature is wholly enclosed; and a man in a boat knows that he cannot propel it by movement inside, without touching the water or something external. But the reaction of a table can be made use of through the envelope, and a live thing can momentarily vary its own weight-pressure and even reverse its sign. This fact has a bearing on some psycho-physical experiments, and hence is worthy of a moment's attention. 
To weigh an animal that jumps and will not keep still is always troublesome. It cannot alter its average weight, truly, but it can redistribute it in time; at moments its apparent weight may be excessive, and at other moments zero or even negative, as during the middle of an energetic leap. Parenthetically we may here interpolate a remark and say that what is called interference of light (two lights producing darkness, in popular language) is a redistribution of luminous energy in space. No light, nor any kind of wave motion, is destroyed by interference when two sets of waves overlap, but the energy rises to a maximum in some places, and in other places sinks to zero.
No wave energy is consumed by interference-only rearranged. This fact is often misstated. And probably the other statement, about the varying apparent weight - ie. pressure on the ground-of a live animal, may be misstated too: though there is no question of energy about that, but only of force. The force or true weight, in the sense of the earth's attraction, is there all the time, and is constant; but the pressure on the ground, or the force needed to counteract the weight, is not constant. After momentary violence, as in throwing, no support need be supplied for several seconds; and, like the maggot inside a hollow bean, a live thing turning itself into a projectile may even carry something else up too. It is instructive also to consider a flying bird, and a dirigible balloon, and to ask where the still existing weight of these things can be found.
NOTE B.--DIFFERENCES BETWEFN A GROWING ORGANISM AND A GROWING CRYSTAL
The properties which differentiate living matter from any kind of inorganic imitation may be instinctively felt, but can hardly be formulated without expert knowledge. The differences between a growing organism and a growing crystal are many and various, but it must suffice here to specify the simplest and most familiar sort of difference; and as it is convenient to take a possibly controversial statement of this kind from the writings of a physiologist, I quote here a passage from an article by Professor Fraser Harris, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the current number of the quarterly magazine called Science Progress edited by Sir Ronald Ross
"Living animal bioplasm has the power of growing, that is of assimilating matter in most cases chemically quite unlike that of its own constitution. Now this is a remarkable power, not in the least degree shared by non-living matter. Its very familiarity has blinded us to its uniqueness as a chemical phenomenon. The mere fact that a man eating beef, bird, fish, lobster, sugar, fat, and innumerable other things can transform these into human bioplasm, something chemically very different even from that of them which most resembles human tissue, is one of the most extraordinary facts in animal physiology. A crystal growing in a solution is not only not analogous to this process, it is in the sharpest possible contrast with it. The crystal grows only in the sense that it increases in bulk by accretions to its exterior, and only does that by being immersed in a solution of the same material as its own substance. It takes up to itself only material which is already similar to itself; this is not assimilation, it is merely incorporation.
"The term 'growth', strictly speaking, can. be applied. only to metabolism in the immature or convalescent organism. The healthy adult is not 'growing' in this sense; when of constant weight he is adding neither to his stature nor his girth, and yet he is assimilating as truly as ever he did. Put more technically: in the adult of stationary weight, anabolism is quantitatively equal to katabolism, whereas in the truly growing organism anabolism is prevailing over katabolism; and reversely in the wasting of an organism or in senile decay, katabolism is prevailing over anabolism. The crystal in its solution offers no analogies with the adult or the senile states - but these are of the very essence of the life of an organism...
"The fact, of course familiar to every beginner in biology, is that the crystal is only incorporating and not excreting anything, whereas the living matter is always excreting as well as assimilating. This one-sided metabolism - if it can be dignified with that term - is indeed characteristic of the crystal, but it is at no time characteristic of the living organism. The organism, whether truly growing or only in metabolic equilibrium, is constantly taking up material to replace effete material, is replenishing because it has previously displenished itself or cast off material. The resemblance between a so-called 'growing' crystal and a growing organism is verily of the most superficial kind."
And Professor Fraser Harris concludes his article thus:
"Between the living and the non-living there is a great gulf fixed, and no efforts of ours, however heroic, have as yet bridged it over."
NOTE C-OLD AGE
We know that as vitality diminishes the bodily deterioration called old age sets in, and that a certain amount of deterioration  results in death; but it turns out, on systematic inquiry, that old age and death are not essential to living organisms. They represent the deterioration and wearing out of working parts, so that the vivifying principle is hampered in its manifestation and cannot achieve results which with a younger and healthier machine were possible; but the parts which wear out are not the essential bearers of the vivifying principle; they are accreted or supplementary portions appropriate to developed individual earth life, and it does not appear improbable that the progress of discovery may at least postpone the deterioration that we call old age, for a much longer time than at present. Emphasis on this distinction between germ cell and body cell, usually associated with Weismann, seems to have been formulated before him by Herdman of Liverpool.
Biologists teach us that the phenomenon of old age is not evident in the case of the unicellular organisms which reproduce by fission. The cell can be killed, but it need neither grow old nor die. Death appears to be a prerogative of the higher organisms. But even among these Professor Weismann adopts and defends the view that "death is not a primary necessity, but that it has been secondarily acquired by adaptation." The cell is not inherently limited in its number of cell-generations. The low unicellular organism is potentially immortal; the higher multicellular form, with well-differentiated organs, contains the germ of death within its soma. Death seems to supervene by reason of its utility to the species: continued life of an individual after a certain stage being comparatively useless. From the point of view of the race the soma or main body is "a secondary appendage of the real bearer of life-the reproductive cells." The somatic cells probably lost their immortal qualities on this immortality becoming useless to the species. Their mortality may have been a mere consequence of their differentiation. "Natural death was not introduced from absolute intrinsic necessity, inherent in the nature of living matter," says Weismann, "but on grounds of utility; that is from necessities which sprang up, not from the general conditions of life, but from those special conditions which dominate the life of multicellular organisms."
It is not the germ cell itself, but the bodily accretion or appendage, which is abandoned by life, and which accordingly dies and decays.



- (Part 3) - Chapter 1 - Life and Death -
The Meaning of the Term Life
___________________________________________
"Eternal process moving on."
Tennyson
          
THE shorter the word the more inevitable it is that it will be used in many significations; as can be proved by looking out almost any monosyllable in a large dictionary. The tendency of a simple word to have many glancing meanings-like shot silk, as Tennyson put it - is a character of high literary value; though it may be occasionally inconvenient for scientific purposes. It is unlikely that we can escape an ambiguity due to this tendency, but I wish to use the term 'life' to signify the vivifying principle which animates matter.
That the behaviour of animated matter differs from what is often called dead matter is familiar, and is illustrated by the description sometimes given of an uncanny piece of mechanism - that "it behaves as if it were alive." In the case of a jumping bean, for instance, its spasmodic and capricious behaviour can be explained with apparent simplicity, though with a suspicious trend towards superstition, by the information that a live and active maggot inhabits a cavity inside. It is thereby removed from the bare category of physics only, though still perfectly obedient to physical laws: it jumps in accordance with mechanics, but neither the times nor the direction of its jumps can be predicted.(1)
(1) See explanatory note A at end of chapter.
We must admit that the term 'dead matter' is often misapplied. It is used sometimes to denote merely the constituents of the general inorganic world. But it is inconvenient to speak of utterly inanimate things, like stones, as 'dead,' when no idea of life was ever associated with them, and when 'inorganic' is all that is meant. The term 'dead' applied to a piece of matter signifies the absence of a vivifying principle, no doubt, but it is most properly applied to a collocation of organic matter which has been animated.
Again, when animation has ceased, the thing we properly call dead is not the complete organism, but that material portion which is left behind; we do not or should not intend to make any assertion concerning the vivifying principle which has left it,- beyond the bare fact of its departure. We know too little about that principle to be able to make safe general assertions. The life that is transmitted by an acorn or other seed fruit is always beyond our ken. We can but study its effects, and note its presence or its absence by results.
Life must be considered sui generis; it is not a form of energy, nor can it be expressed in terms of something else. Electricity is in the same predicament; it too cannot be explained in terms of something else. This is true of all fundamental forms of being. Magnetism may be called a concomitant of moving electricity; ordinary matter can perhaps be resolved into electric charges: but an electric charge can certainly not be expressed in terms of either matter or energy. No more can life. To show that the living principle in a seed is not one of the forms of energy, it is sufficient to remember that that seed can give rise to innumerable descendants, through countless generations, without limit. There is nothing like a constant quantity of something to be shared, as there is in all examples of energy: there is no conservation about it: the seed embodies a stimulating and organising principle which appears to well from a limitless source.

But although life is not energy, any more than it is matter, yet it directs energy and thereby controls arrangements of matter. Through the agency of life specific structures are composed which would not otherwise exist, from a sea-shell to a cathedral, from a blade of grass to an oak; and specific distributions of energy are caused, from the luminosity of a firefly to an electric arc, from the song of a cricket to an oratorio.
Life makes use of any automatic activities, or transferences and declensions of energy, which are either potentially or actually occurring. In especial it makes use of the torrent of ether tremors which reach the earth from the sun. Every plant is doing it constantly. Admittedly life exerts no force, it does no work, but it makes effective the energy available for an organism which it controls and vivifies; it determines in what direction and when work shall be done. It is plain matter of fact that it does this, whether we understand the method or not,- and thus indirectly life interacts with and influences the material world. The energy of coal is indirectly wholly solar, but without human interference it might remain buried in the earth, and certainly would never propel a ship across the Atlantic. One way of putting the matter is to say that life times, and directs. If it runs a railway train, it runs the train not like a locomotive but like a General Manager. It enters into battle with a walking-stick, but guns are fired to its orders. It may be said to aim and fire: one of its functions is to discriminate between the wholesome and the deleterious, between friend and foe. That is a function outside the scope of physics.
Energy controlled by life is not random energy: the kind of self-composition or personal structure built by it depends on the kind of life-unit which is operating, not on the pabulum which is supplied. The same food will serve to build a pig, a chicken, or a man. Food which is assimilable at all takes a shape determined by the nature of the operative organism, and indeed by the portion of the organism actually reached by it. Unconscious constructive ability is as active in each cell of the body as in a honeycomb; only in a beehive we can see the operators at work. The construction of an eye or an ear is still more astonishing. In the inorganic world such structures would be meaningless, for there would be nothing to respond to their stimulus; they can only serve elementary mind and consciousness. The brain and nerve system is an instrument of transmutation or translation from the physical to the mental, and vice versa.

Stages of Evolution

Steps in the progress of evolution-great stages which have been likened by Sir James Crichton Browne to exceptional Mendelian Mutations-may be rather imaginatively rehearsed somewhat thus:
Starting with
  • The uniform Ether of Space, we can first suppose
  • The specialisation or organisation of specks of ether into Electrons; followed by
  • Associated systems of electrons, constituting atoms of Matter; and so
  • The whole inorganic Universe.

Then, as a new and astonishing departure, comes-
  • The cell, or protoplasmic complex which Life can construct and utilise for manifestation and development."

And after that

  • A brain cell, which can become the physical organ for the rudiments of Mind. Followed by
  • Further mental development until Consciousness becomes possible. With subsequent
  • Sublimation of consciousness into Ethics, Philosophy, and Religion.
We need not insist on these or any other stages for our present purpose; yet something of the kind would seem to have occurred, in the mysterious course of time.(1)
(1) See explanatory note B.

Three Explanatory Notes

Note A - Mechanics of Jumping Bean

The biological explanation of a jumping bean is sometimes felt to be puzzling, inasmuch as the creature is wholly enclosed; and a man in a boat knows that he cannot propel it by movement inside, without touching the water or something external. But the reaction of a table can be made use of through the envelope, and a live thing can momentarily vary its own weight - pressure and even reverse its sign. This fact has a bearing on some psycho-physical experiments, and hence is worthy of a moment's attention.
To weigh an animal that jumps and will not keep still is always troublesome. It cannot alter its average weight, truly, but it can redistribute it in time; at moments its apparent weight may be excessive, and at other moments zero or even negative, as during the middle of an energetic leap. Parenthetically we may here interpolate a remark and say that what is called interference of light (two lights producing darkness, in popular language) is a redistribution of luminous energy in space. No light, nor any kind of wave motion, is destroyed by interference when two sets of waves overlap, but the energy rises to a maximum in some places, and in other places sinks to zero.
No wave energy is consumed by interference-only rearranged. This fact is often misstated. And probably the other statement, about the varying apparent weight - ie. pressure on the ground-of a live animal, may be misstated too: though there is no question of energy about that, but only of force. The force or true weight, in the sense of the earth's attraction, is there all the time, and is constant; but the pressure on the ground, or the force needed to counteract the weight, is not constant. After momentary violence, as in throwing, no support need be supplied for several seconds; and, like the maggot inside a hollow bean, a live thing turning itself into a projectile may even carry something else up too. It is instructive also to consider a flying bird, and a dirigible balloon, and to ask where the still existing weight of these things can be found.

Note B - Differences Between a Goring Organism and a Growing Crystal

The properties which differentiate living matter from any kind of inorganic imitation may be instinctively felt, but can hardly be formulated without expert knowledge. The differences between a growing organism and a growing crystal are many and various, but it must suffice here to specify the simplest and most familiar sort of difference; and as it is convenient to take a possibly controversial statement of this kind from the writings of a physiologist, I quote here a passage from an article by Professor Fraser Harris, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the current number of the quarterly magazine called Science Progress edited by Sir Ronald Ross
"Living animal bioplasm has the power of growing, that is of assimilating matter in most cases chemically quite unlike that of its own constitution. Now this is a remarkable power, not in the least degree shared by non-living matter. Its very familiarity has blinded us to its uniqueness as a chemical phenomenon. The mere fact that a man eating beef, bird, fish, lobster, sugar, fat, and innumerable other things can transform these into human bioplasm, something chemically very different even from that of them which most resembles human tissue, is one of the most extraordinary facts in animal physiology. A crystal growing in a solution is not only not analogous to this process, it is in the sharpest possible contrast with it. The crystal grows only in the sense that it increases in bulk by accretions to its exterior, and only does that by being immersed in a solution of the same material as its own substance. It takes up to itself only material which is already similar to itself; this is not assimilation, it is merely incorporation.
"The term 'growth', strictly speaking, can. be applied. only to metabolism in the immature or convalescent organism. The healthy adult is not 'growing' in this sense; when of constant weight he is adding neither to his stature nor his girth, and yet he is assimilating as truly as ever he did. Put more technically: in the adult of stationary weight, anabolism is quantitatively equal to katabolism, whereas in the truly growing organism anabolism is prevailing over katabolism; and reversely in the wasting of an organism or in senile decay, katabolism is prevailing over anabolism. The crystal in its solution offers no analogies with the adult or the senile states- but these are of the very essence of the life of an organism. . . .
"The fact, of course familiar to every beginner in biology, is that the crystal is only incorporating and not excreting anything, whereas the living matter is always excreting as well as assimilating. This one-sided metabolism - if it can be dignified with that term--is indeed characteristic of the crystal, but it is at no time characteristic of the living organism. The organism, whether truly growing or only in metabolic equilibrium, is constantly taking up material to replace effete material, is replenishing because it has previously displenished itself or cast off material. The resemblance between a so-called 'growing' crystal and a growing organism is verily of the most superficial kind."
And Professor Fraser Harris concludes his article thus:
"Between the living and the non-living there is a great gulf fixed, and no efforts of ours, however heroic, have as yet bridged it over."
Note C - Cold Age

We know that as vitality diminishes the bodily deterioration called old age sets in, and that a certain amount of deterioration results in death; but it turns out, on systematic inquiry, that old age and death are not essential to living organisms. They represent the deterioration and wearing out of working parts, so that the vivifying principle is hampered in its manifestation and cannot achieve results which with a younger and healthier machine were possible; but the parts which wear out are not the essential bearers of the vivifying principle; they are accreted or supplementary portions appropriate to developed individual earth life, and it does not appear improbable that the progress of discovery may at least postpone the deterioration that we call old age, for a much longer time than at present. Emphasis on this distinction between germ cell and body cell, usually associated with Weismann, seems to have been formulated before him by Herdman of Liverpool.
Biologists teach us that the phenomenon of old age is not evident in the case of the unicellular organisms which reproduce by fission. The cell can be killed, but it need neither grow old nor die. Death appears to be a prerogative of the higher organisms. But even among these Professor Weismann adopts and defends the view that "death is not a primary necessity, but that it has been secondarily acquired by adaptation." The cell is not inherently limited in its number of cell-generations. The low unicellular organism is potentially immortal; the higher multicellular form, with well-differentiated organs, contains the germ of death within its soma. Death seems to supervene by reason of its utility to the species: continued life of an individual after a certain stage being comparatively useless. From the point of view of the race the soma or main body is "a secondary appendage of the real bearer of life-the reproductive cells." The somatic cells probably lost their immortal qualities on this immortality becoming useless to the species. Their mortality may have been a mere consequence of their differentiation. "Natural death was not introduced from absolute intrinsic necessity, inherent in the nature of living matter," says Weismann, "but on grounds of utility; that is from necessities which sprang up, not from the general conditions of life, but from those special conditions which dominate the life of multicellular organisms.
It is not the germ cell itself, but the bodily accretion or appendage, which is abandoned by life, and which accordingly dies and decays. 


- (Part 3) - Chapter 2 - Life and Death -
The Meaning of the Term Death
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"And Life, still wreathing flowers for Death to wear."-
ROSSETTI
         
 WHATEVER Life may really be, it is to us an abstraction: for the word is a generalised term to signify that which is common to all animals and plants, and which is not directly operative in the inorganic world. To understand life we must study living things, to see what is common to them all. An organism is alive when it moulds matter to a characteristic form, and utilises energy for its own purposes - the purposes especially of growth and reproduction. A living organism, so far as it is alive, preserves its complicated structure from deterioration and decay.
Death is the cessation of that controlling influence over matter and energy, so that thereafter the uncontrolled activity of physical and chemical forces supervene. Death is not the absence of life merely, the term signifies its departure or separation, the severance of the abstract principle from the concrete residue. The term only truly applies to that which has been living.
Death therefore may be called a dissociation, a dissolution, a separation of a controlling entity from a physicochemical organism; it may be spoken of in general and vague terms as a separation of soul and body, if the term "soul' is reduced to its lowest denomination.
Death is not extinction. Neither the soul nor the body is extinguished or put out of existence. The body weighs just as much as before, the only properties it loses at the moment of death are potential properties. So also all we can assert concerning the vital principle is that it no longer animates that material organism; we cannot safely make further assertion regarding it, or maintain its activity or its inactivity without further information.
When we say that a body is dead we may be speaking accurately. When we say that a person is dead, we are using an ambiguous term; we may be referring to his discarded body, in which case we may be speaking truly and with precision. We may be referring to his personality, his character, to what is really himself ; in which case though we must admit that we are speaking popularly, the term is not quite simply applicable. He has gone, he has passed on, he has "passed through the body and gone," as Browning says in Abt Vogler, but he is - I venture to say - certainly not dead in the same sense as the body is dead. It is his absence which allows the body to decay, he himself need be subject to no decay nor any destructive influence. Rather he is emancipated; he is freed from the burden of the flesh, though with it be has also lost those material and terrestrial potentialities which the bodily mechanism conferred upon him; and if he can exert himself on the earth any more, it can only be with some difficulty and as it were by permission and co-operation of those still here. It appears as if sometimes and occasionally he can still stimulate into activity suitable energetic mechanism, but his accustomed machinery for manifestation has been lost: or rather it is still there for a time, but it is out of action, it is dead.
Nevertheless inasmuch as those who have lost their material body have passed through the process of dissolution or dissociative severance which we call death, it is often customary to speak of them as dead. They are no longer living, if by living we mean associated with a material body of the old kind; and in that sense we need not hesitate to speak of them collectively as 'the dead.'
We need not be afraid of the word, nor need we resent its use or hesitate to employ it, when once we and our hearers understand the sense in which it may rightly be employed. If ideas associated with the term had always been sensible and wholesome, people need have had no compunction at all about using it. But by the populace, and by Ecclesiastics also, the term has been so misused, and the ideas of people have been so confused by insistent concentration on merely physical facts, and by the necessary but over emphasised attention to the body left behind, that it was natural for a time to employ other words, until the latent ambiguity had ceased to be troublesome. And occasionally, even now, it is well to be emphatic in this direction, in order to indicate our disagreement with the policy of harping on worms and graves and epitaphs, or on the accompanying idea of a General Resurrection, with reanimation of buried bodies. Hence in strenuous contradiction to all this superstition comes the use of such phrases as 'transition' or 'passing,' and the occasional not strictly justifiable assertion that "there is no death."
For as a matter of familiar fact death there certainly is; and to deny a fact is no assistance. No one really means to deny a fact; those who make the statement only want to divert thoughts from a side already too much emphasised, and to concentrate attention on another side. What they mean is, there is no extinction. They definitely mean to maintain that the process called death is a mere severence of soul and body, and that the soul is freed rather than injured thereby., The body alone dies and decays; but there is no extinction even for it, only a change. For the other part there can hardly be even a change-except a change of surroundings. It is unlikely that character and personality are liable to sudden revolutions or mutations. Potentially they may be different, because of different opportunities, but actually at the moment they are the same. Likening existence to a curve, the curvature has changed, but there is no other discontinuity.
Death is not a word to fear, any more than birth is. We change our state at birth, and come into the world of air and sense and myriad existence; we change our state at death and enter a region of - what? Of Ether, I think, and still more myriad existence; a region in which communion is more akin to what we here call telepathy, and where intercourse is not conducted by the accustomed indirect physical processes; but a region in which beauty and knowledge are as vivid as they are here: a region in which progress is possible, and in which "admiration, hope, and love" are even more real and dominant. It is in this sense that we can truly say, "The dead are not dead, but alive."

Appendix on Feelings when Death is Imminent
Preliminary Statement by OJL

A lady was brought by a friend to call on us at Mariemont during a brief visit to Edgbaston, and I happened to have a talk with her in the garden. I found that she had been one of the victims of the Lusitania, and as she seemed very cheerful and placid about it, I questioned her as to her feelings on the occasion. I found her a charming person, and she entered into the matter with surprising fulness, considering that she was a complete stranger. Her chief anxiety seems to have been for her husband, whom she had left either in America or the West Indies, and for her friends generally; but on her own behalf she seems to have felt extremely little anxiety or discomfort of any kind. She told me she had given up hope of being saved, and was only worried about friends mourning on her behalf and thinking that she must have suffered a good deal, whereas, in point of fact, she was not really suffering at all. She was young and healthy, and apparently felt no evil results from the three hours' immersion. She was sucked down by the ship, and when she came to the surface again, her first feeling was one of blank surprise at the disappearance of what had brought her across the Atlantic. The ship was "not there."
I thought her account so interesting, that after a few months I got her address from the friend with whom she had been staying, and wrote asking if she would write it down for me. In due course she did so, writing from abroad, and permits me to make use of the statement, provided I suppress her name; which accordingly I do, quoting the document otherwise in full.
The Document referred to
"Your letter came to me as a great pleasure and surprise. I have always remembered the sympathy with which you listened to me, that morning at Edgbaston, and sometimes wondered at the amount I said, as it is not easy to give expression to feelings and speculations which are only roused at critical moments in one's life.
"What you ask me to do is not easy, as I am only one of those who are puzzling and groping in the dark - while you have found so much light for yourself and have imparted it to others.
"I would like, however, most sincerely to try to recall my sensations with regard to that experience, if they would be of any value to you.

"It would be absurd to say now, that from the beginning of the voyage I knew what would happen; it was not a very actual knowledge, but I was conscious of a distinct forewarning, and the very calmness and peace of the voyage seemed, in a way, a state of waiting for some great event. Therefore when the ship was rent by the explosion (it was as sudden as the firing of a pistol) I felt no particular shock, because of that curious inner expectancy. The only acute feeling I remember at the moment was one of anger that such a crime could have been committed; the fighting instinct predominated in the face of an unseen but near enemy. I sometimes think it was partly that same instinct - the desire to die game - that accounted for the rather grim calmness of some of the passengers. After all - it was no ordinary shipwreck, but a Chance of War. I put down my book and went round to the other side of the ship where a great many passengers were gathering round the boats; it was difficult to stand, as the Lusitania. was listing heavily. There seemed to be no panic whatever; I went into my cabin, a steward very kindly helped me with a life-jacket, and advised me to throw away my fur coat. I felt no hurry or anxiety, and returned on deck, where I stood with some difficulty discussing our chances with an elderly man I just knew by sight.
"It was then I think we realised what a strong instinct there was in some of us - not to struggle madly for life-but to wait for something to come to us, whether it be life or death; and not to lose our personality and become like one of the struggling shouting creatures who were by then swarming up from the lower decks and made one's heart ache. I never felt for a moment that my time to cross over had come--not until I found myself in the water - floating farther and farther away from the scene of wreckage and misery - in a sea as calm and vast as the sky overhead. Behind me, the cries of those who were sinking grew fainter, the splash of oars and the calls of those who were doing rescue work in the lifeboats; there seemed to be no possibility of rescue for me; so I reasoned with myself and said, 'The time has come - you must believe it - the time to cross over-but inwardly and persistently something continued to say, 'No-not now.'
"The gulls were flying overhead and I remember noticing the beauty of the blue shadows which the sea throws up to their white feathers: they were very happy and alive and made me feel rather lonely; my thoughts went to my people--looking forward to seeing me, and at that moment having tea in the garden at ___; the idea of their grief was unbearable--I had to cry a little. Names of books went through my brain;--one specially, called 'Where no Fear is,' seemed to express my feeling at the time! Loneliness, yes, and sorrow on account of the grief of others--but no Fear. It seemed very normal, - very right,- a natural development of some kind about to take place. How can it be otherwise, when it is natural? I rather wished I knew some one on the other side, and wondered if there are friendly strangers there who come to the rescue. I was very near the border-line when a wandering lifeboat quietly came up behind me and two men bent down and lifted me in. It was extraordinary how quickly life came rushing back;- every one in the boat seemed very self -possessed-although there was one man dead and another losing his reason. One woman expressed a hope for a 'cup of tea' shortly--a hope which was soon to be realised for all of us in a Mine Sweeper from Queenstown. I have forgotten her name but shall always remember the kindness of her crew - specially the Chief Officer, who saved me much danger by giving me dry clothes and hot towels.
"All this can be of very little interest to you - I have no skill in putting things on paper;- but, you know. I am glad to have been near the border; to have had the feeling of how very near it is always - only there are so many little things always going on to absorb one here.
"Others on that day were passing through a Gate which was not open for me - but I do not expect they were afraid when the time came - they too probably felt that whatever they were to find would be beautiful - only a fulfilment of some kind. . ..I have reason to think that the passing from here is very painless - at least when there is no illness. We seemed to be passing through a stage on the road of Life."


- (Part 3) - Chapter 3 - Life and Death -
Death and Decay
___________________________________________
"All, that doth live, lives always!"
Edwin Arnold
         
 CONSIDER now the happenings to the discarnate body. In the first place, I repeat, it is undesirable to concentrate attention on a grave. The discarnate body must be duly attended to when done with; the safety of the living is a paramount consideration; the living must retain control over what is dead. Uncontrolled natural forces are often dangerous: the only thing harmful about a flood or a fire is the absence of control. Either the operations must be supervised and intelligently directed, or they must be subjected to such disabilities that they can do no harm. But to associate continued personality with a dead body, such as is suggested by phrases like "lay him in the earth," or "here lies such a one," or to anticipate any kind of physical resuscitation, is unscientific and painful. Unfortunately the orthodox religious world at some epochs has attached superstitious importance, not to the decent disposal, but to the imagined future of the body. Painful and troublesome to humanity those rites have been. The tombs of Egypt are witness to the harassing need felt by the living to provide their loved ones with symbols or tokens of all that they might require in a future state of existence,- as if material things were needed by them any more, or as if we could provide them if they were.(1) The simple truth is always so much saner and happier than the imaginings of men; or, as Dr. Schuster said in his Presidential address to the British Association at Manchester, 1915,- "The real world is far more beautiful than any of our dreams."
'It is rash to condemn a human custom which has prevailed for centuries or millenniums, and it is wrong to treat it de haut en bas. I would not be understood as doing so, in this brief and inadequate reference to the contents of Egyptian tombs. Their fuller interpretation awaits the labour of students now working at them.
In the same spirit I wish to leave open the question of what possible rational interpretation may be given to the mediaeval phrase "Resurrection of the body"; a subject on which much has been written. What I am contending against is not the scholarly but the popular interpretation. For further remarks on this subject see Chapter VII below.

What is the simple truth? It can be regarded from two points of view, the prosaic and the poetic.
Prosaically we can say that the process of decay, if regarded scientifically, is not in itself necessarily repugnant. It may be as interesting as fermentation or any other chemical or biological process. Putrefaction, like poison, is hostile to higher living organisms, and hence a self-protecting feeling of disgust has arisen round it, in the course of evolution. An emotional feeling arises in the mind of anyone who has to combat any process or operation of nature,--like the violent emotions excited in an extreme tee-totaller by the word 'drink': a result of the evil its profanation has done; for the verb itself is surely quite harmless. Presumably a criminal associates disagreeable anticipations with the simple word 'hanging.' The idea of a rank weed is repulsive to a gardener, but not to a botanist; the idea of disease is repellent to a prospective patient, not to a doctor or bacteriologist; the idea of dirt is objectionable to a housewife, but it is only matter out of place; the word 'poison' conveys nothing objectionable to a chemist. Everything removed from the emotional arena, and transplanted into the intellectual, becomes interesting and tractable and worthy of study. Living organisms of every kind are good in themselves, though when out of place and beyond control they may be harmful. A tiger is an object of dread to an Indian village: to a hunting party he may be keenly attractive. In any case he is a lithe and beautiful and splendid creature. Microscopic organisms may have troublesome and destructive effects, but in themselves they can be studied with interest and avidity. All living creatures have their assuredly useful function, only it may be a function on which we naturally shrink from dwelling when in an emotional mood. Everything of this kind is an affair of mood; and, properly regarded, nothing in nature is common or unclean. That a flying albatross is a beautiful object every one can cordially admit, but that the crawling surface of a stagnant sea can be regarded with friendly eyes seems an absurdity; yet there is nothing absurd in it. It is surely the bare truth concerning all living creatures of every grade, that "the Lord God made them all"; and it was of creeping water-snakes that the stricken Mariner at length, when he had learnt the lesson, ejaculated:
"O happy living things! A spring of love gushed from my heart, And I blessed them unaware."
For what can be said poetically about the fate of the beloved body, the poets themselves must be appealed to. But that there is kinship between the body and the earth is literal truth. Of terrestrial particles it is wholly composed, and that they should be restored to the earth whence they were borrowed is natural and peaceful. Moreover, out of the same earth, and by aid of the very same particles, other helpful forms of life may arise; and though there may be no conscious unification or real identity, yet it is pardonable to associate, in an imaginative and poetic mood, the past and future forms assumed by the particles:
"Lay her in the earth; And from her fair and unpolluted flesh, May violets spring!"
Quotations are hardly necessary to show that this idea runs through all poetry. An ancient variety is enshrined in the Hyacinthus and Adonis legends. From spilt blood an inscribed lily springs, in the one tale; and the other we may quote in Shakespeare's version (Venus and Adonis):
"And in his blood that on the ground lay spilled, A purple flower sprung up chequered with white, Resembling well his pale cheeks and the blood Which in round drops upon their whiteness stood."
So also Tennyson -
"And from his ashes may be made The violet of his native land." In Memoriam
We find the same idea again, I suppose, in the eastern original of Fitzgerald's well-known stanza:
"And this delightful Herb whose tender Green Fledges the River's Lip on which we lean- Ali, lean upon it lightly! for who knows From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen!"
The soil of a garden is a veritable charnel-house of vegetable and animal matter, and from one point of view represents death and decay, but the coltsfoot covering an abandoned heap of refuse, or the briar growing amid ruin, shows that Nature only needs time to make it all beautiful again. Let us think of the body as transmuted, not as stored.
The visible shape of the body was no accident, it corresponded to a reality, for it was caused by the indwelling vivifying essence; and affection entwines itself inevitably round not only the true personality of the departed, but round its material vehicle also - the sign and symbol of so much beauty, so much love. Symbols appeal to the heart of humanity, and anything cherished and honoured becomes in itself a thing of intrinsic value, which cannot be regarded with indifference. The old and tattered colours of a regiment, for which men have laid down their lives - though replaced perhaps by something newer and more durable - cannot be relegated to obscurity without a pang. And any sensitive or sympathetic person, contemplating such relics hereafter, may feel some echo of the feeling with which they were regarded, and may become acquainted with their history and the scenes through which they have passed.
In such cases the kind of knowledge to be gained from the relic, and the means by which additional information can be acquired, are intelligible; but in other cases also information can be attained, though by means at present not understood. It may sound superstitious, but it is a matter of actual experience, that some sensitives have intuitive perception, of an unfamiliar kind, concerning the history and personal associations of relics or fragments or personal belongings. The faculty is called psychometry; and it is no more intelligible, although no less well-evidenced, than the possibly allied faculty of dowsing or so-called water-divining. Psychometry is a large subject on which much has already been written: this brief mention must here suffice.
It seems to me that these facts, when at length properly understood, will throw some light on the connexion between mind and matter; and then many another obscure region of semi-science and semi-superstition will be illuminated. At present in all such tracts we have to walk warily, for the ground is uneven and insecure; and it is better, or at least safer, for the majority to forgo the recognition of some truth than rashly to invade a district full of entanglements and pitfalls.

Transition

Longfellow's line, "There is no death; what seems so is transition," at once suggests itself. Read literally the first half of this sentence is obviously untrue, but in the sense intended, and as a whole, the statement is true enough. There is no extinction, and the change called death is the entrance to a new condition of existence what may be called a new life.
Yet life itself is continuous, and the conditions of the whole of existence remain precisely as before. Circumstances have changed for the individual, but only in the sense that he is now aware of a different group of facts. The change of surroundings is a subjective one. The facts were of course there, all the time, as the stars are there in the daytime; but they were out of our ken. Now these come into our ken, and others fade into memory.
The Universe is one, not two. Literally there is no 'other' world - except in the limited and partial sense of other planets - the Universe is one. We exist in it continuously all the time; sometimes conscious in one way, sometimes conscious in another; sometimes aware of a group of facts on one side of a partition, sometimes aware of another group, on the other side. But the partition is  a subjective one; we are all one family all the time, so long as the link of affection is not broken. And for those who believe in prayer at all to cease from praying for the welfare of their friends because they are materially inaccessible - though perhaps spiritually more accessible than before - is to succumb unduly to the residual evil of past ecclesiastical abuses, and to lose an opportunity of happy service.



- (Part 3) - Chapter 4 - Life and Death -
Continued Existence. Difficulty of Belief in Continued Existence
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""Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every
preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatsoever abysses
Nature leads."
Huxley
          PEOPLE often feel a notable difficulty in believing in the reality of continued existence. Very likely it is difficult to believe or to realise existence in what is sometimes called "the next world"; but then, when we come to think of it, it is difficult to believe in existence in this world too; it is difficult to believe in existence at all. The whole problem of existence is a puzzling one. It could by no means have been predicated a priori. The whole thing is a question of experience; that is, of evidence. We know by experience that things actually do exist; though how they came into being, and what they are all for, and what consequences they have, is more than we can tell. We have no reason for asserting that the kind we are familiar with is the only kind of existence possible, unless we choose to assert it on the ground that we have no experience of any other. But that is becoming just the question at issue: have we any evidence, either direct or indirect, for any other existence than this? If we have, it is futile to cite in opposition to it the difficulty of believing in the reality of such an existence; we surely ought to be guided by facts.
At this stage in the history of the human race few facts of science are better established and more widely appreciated than the main facts of Astronomy: a general acquaintance with the sizes and distances, and the enormous number, of the solar systems distributed throughout space is prevalent. Yet to the imaginative human mind the facts, if really grasped, are overwhelming and incredible.
The sun a million times bigger than the earth; Arcturus a hundred times bigger than the sun, and so distant that light has taken two centuries to come, though travelling at a rate able to carry it to New York and back in less than the twentieth part of a second, - facts like these are commonplaces of the nursery; but even as bare facts they are appalling.
That the earth is a speck invisible from any one of the stars, that we are on a world which is but one among an innumerable multitude of others, ought to make us realise the utter triviality of any view of existence based upon familiarity with street and train and office, ought to give us some sense of proportion between everyday experience and ultimate reality. Even the portentous struggle in which Europe is engaged
"What is it all but a trouble of ants in the gleam of a million million of suns?"
Yet, for true interpretation, the infinite worth and vital importance of each individual human soul must be apprehended too. And that is another momentous fact, which, so far from restricting the potentialities of existence, by implication still further enlarges them. The multiplicity, the many-sidedness, the magnificence, of material existence does not dwarf the human soul; far otherwise: it illumines and expands the stage upon which the human drama is being played, and ought to make us ready to perceive how far greater still may be the possibilities - nay, the actualities - before it, in its infinite unending progress.
That we know little about such possibilities as yet, proves nothing;- for mark how easy it would have been to be ignorant of the existence of all the visible worlds and myriad modes of being in space. Not until the business of the day is over, and our great star has eclipsed itself behind the earth, not until the serener period of night, does the grandeur of the material universe force itself upon our attention. And, even then, let there be but a slight permanent thickening of our atmosphere, and we should have had no revelation of any world other than our own. 
Under those conditions-so barely escaped from - how wretchedly meagre and limited would have been our conception of the Universe! Aye, and, unless we foolishly imagine that our circumstances are such as to have already given us a clue to every kind of possible existence, I venture to say that "wretchedly meagre and limited" must be a true description of our conception of the Universe, even now,-even of the conception of those who have permitted themselves, with least hesitation, to follow whithersoever facts lead.
If there be any group of scientific or historical or literary students who advocate what they think to be a sensible, but what I regard as a purblind, view of existence, based upon already systematised knowledge and on unfounded and restricting speculation as to probable boundaries and limitations of existence, - if such students take their own horizon to be the measure of all things,- the fact is to be deplored. Such workers, however admirable their industry and detailed achievements, represent a school of thought against the fruits of which we of the Allied Nations are in arms.
Nevertheless speculation of this illegitimate and negative kind is not unknown among us. It originates partly in admiration for the successful labours of a bygone generation in clearing away a quantity of clinging parasitic growth which was obscuring the fair fabric of ascertained truth, and partly in an innate iconoclastic enthusiasm.
The success which has attended Darwinian and other hypotheses has had a tendency to lead men-not indeed men of Darwinian calibre, but smaller and less conscientious men-in science as well as in history and theology, to an over-eager confidence in probable conjecture and inadequate attention to facts of experience. It has even been said - I quote from a writer in the volume Darwin and Modern Science, published in connexion with a Darwin jubilee celebration at Cambridge - that "the age of materialism was the least matter-of-fact age conceivable, and the age of science the age which showed least of the patient temper of enquiry." I would not go so far as this myself, the statement savours of exaggeration, but there is a regrettable tendency in surviving materialistic quarters for combatants to entrench themselves in dogma and preconceived opinion, to regard these vulnerable shelters as sufficient protection against observed and recorded facts, and even to employ them as strongholds from which alien observation - posts can be shattered and overthrown.


- (Part 3) - Chapter 5 - Life and Death -
Past, Present and Future
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"How often have men thus feared that Nature's wonders would be degraded by being closer looked into! How often, again, have they learnt that the truth was higher than their imagination; and that it is man's work, but never Nature's, which to be magnificent must remain unknown!"
Frederick Myers, Introduction to Phantasms of the Living
         
OUR actual experience is strangely limited. We cannot be actually conscious of more than a single' instant of time. The momentary flash which we call the present, the visual image of which can be made permanent by the snap of a camera, is all of the external, world that we directly apprehended. But our real existence embraces far more than that. The present, alone and, isolated, would be meaningless to us; we look before and after. Our memories are thronged with the past; our anticipations range over the future; and it is in the past and the future that we really live. It is so even with the higher animals: they too order their lives by memory, and anticipation. It is under the influence of the future that the animal world performs even the most trivial conscious acts. We eat, we rest, we work, all with an eye to the immediate future. The present moment is illuminated and made significant, is controlled and dominated, by experience of the past and by expectation of the future. Without any idea of the future our existence would be purely mechanical and meaningless: with too little eye to the future - a mere living from hand to mouth - it becomes monotonous and dull.
Hence it is right that humanity, transcending merely animal scope, should seek to answer questions concerning its origin and destiny, and should regard with intense interest every clue to the problems of 'whence' and 'whither.'
It is no doubt possible, as always, to overstep the happy mean, and by absorption in and premature concern with future interests to lose the benefit and the training of this present life. But although we may rightly decide to live with full vigour in the present, and do our duty from moment to moment, yet in order to be full-flavoured and really intelligent beings - not merely with mechanical drift following the line of least resistance - we ought to be aware that there is a future,- a future determined to some extent by action in the present; and it is only reasonable that we should seek to ascertain, roughly and approximately, what sort of future it is likely to be.
Inquiry into survival, and into the kind of experience through which we shall all certainly have to go in a few years, is therefore eminently sane, and may be vitally significant. It may colour all our actions, and give a vivid meaning both to human history and to personal experience.
If death is not extinction, then on the other side of dissolution mental activity must continue, and must be interacting with other mental activity. For the fact of telepathy proves that bodily organs are not absolutely essential to communication of ideas. Mind turns out to be able to act directly on mind, and stimulate it into response by other than material means. Thought does not belong to the material region: although it is able to exert an influence on that region through mechanism provided by vitality. Yet the means whereby it accomplishes the feat are essentially unknown, and the fact that such interaction is possible would be strange and surprising if we were not too much accustomed to it. It is reasonable to suppose that the mind can be more at home, and more directly and more exuberantly active, where the need for such interaction between psychical and physical-or let us more safely and specifically say between mental and material-no longer exists, when the restraining influence of brain and nerve mechanism is removed, and when some of the limitations connected with bodily location in space are ended.
Experience must be our guide. To shut the door on actual observation and experiment in this particular region, because of preconceived ideas and obstinate prejudices, is an attitude common enough, even among scientific men; but it is an attitude markedly unscientific. Certain people have decided that inquiry into the activities of discarnate mind is futile; some few consider it impious; many, perhaps wisely mistrusting their own powers, shrink from entering on such an inquiry. But if there are any facts to be ascertained, it must be the duty of some volunteers to try to ascertain them: and for people having any acquaintance with scientific history to shut their eyes to facts when definitely announced, and to forbid investigation or report concerning them on pain of ostracism,- is to imitate a bygone theological attitude in a spirit of unintended flattery - a flattery which from every point of view is eccentric; and likewise to display an extraordinary lack of humour.
On the Possibility of Prognostication
I do not wish to complicate the issue at present by introducing the idea of prognostication or prevision, for I do not understand how anticipation of the future is possible. It is only known to be possible by one of two processes
(a) Inference - i.e. deduction from a wide knowledge of the present;

(b) Planning - i.e. the carrying out of a prearranged scheme.
And these methods must be pressed to the utmost before admitting any other hypothesis.
As to the possibility of prevision in general, I do not dogmatise, nor have I a theory wherewith to explain every instance; but I keep an open mind and try to collate and contemplate the facts.
Scientific prediction is familiar enough; science is always either historic or prophetic (as Dr. Schuster said at Manchester in the British Association Address for 1915), "and history is only prophecy pursued in the negative direction." This thesis is worth illustrating:- That Eclipses can be calculated forwards or backwards is well known. A tide-calculating machine, again, which is used to churn out tidal detail in advance by turning a handle, could be as easily run backwards and give past tides if they were wanted; but always on the assumption that no catastrophe, no unforeseen contingency, nothing outside the limits of the data, occurs to interfere with the placid course of phenomena. There must be no dredging or harbour bar operations, for instance, if the tide machine is to be depended on. Free-will is not allowed for, in Astronomy or Physics; nor any interference by living agents.
The real truth is that, except for unforeseen contingencies, past, present, and future are welded together in a coherent whole; and to a mind with wider purview, to whom perhaps hardly anything is unforeseen, there may be possibilities of inference to an unsuspected extent. Human character, and action based upon it, may be more trustworthy and uncapricious than is usually supposed; and data depending on humanity may be included in a
completer scheme of foreknowledge, without the exercise of any compulsion. "The past," says Bertrand Russell eloquently, "does not change or strive; like Duncan, after life's fitful fever it sleeps well; what was eager and grasping, what was petty and transitory, has faded away; the things that were beautiful and eternal shine out of it like stars in the night." My ignorance will not allow me to attempt to compose a similar or rather a contrasting sentence about the future.
Reference to Special Cases
It will be observed that none of those indications or intimations or intuitions which are referred to in a note on page 34, Part I, if they mean anything, raise the difficult question of prevision. In every case the impression was felt after or at the time of the event, though before reception of the news. The only question of possible prevision in the present instance arises in connexion with the 'Faunus' message quoted and discussed in Part II. But even here nothing more than kindly provision, in case anything untoward should happen, need be definitely assumed. Moreover, if the concurrence in time suggests prognostication, the fact that a formidable attempt to advance the English Front at the Ypres salient was probably in prospect in August 1915, though not known to ordinary people in England, and not fully carried out till well on in September, must have been within human knowledge; and so would have to be considered telepathically accessible, if that hypothesis is considered preferable to the admission of what Tennyson speaks of as
"Such refraction of events As often rises ere they rise."
Prognostication can hardly be part of the evidence for survival. The two things are not essential to each other; they hardly appear to be connected. But one knows too little about the whole thing to be sure even of this, and I decline to take the responsibility for suppressing any of the facts. I know that Mr. Myers used to express an opinion that certain kinds of prevision would constitute clear and satisfactory evidence of something supernormal, and so attract attention; though the establishment of such a possibility might tend to suggest a kind of higher knowledge, not far short of what might be popularly called omniscience, rather than of merely human survival.



- (Part 3) - Chapter 6 - Life and Death -
Interaction of Mind and Matter
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          LIFE and mind and consciousness do not belong to the material region; whatever they are in themselves, they are manifestly something quite distinct from matter and energy, and yet they utilise the material and dominate it.
Matter is arranged and moved by means of energy, but often at the behest of life and mind. Mind does not itself exert force, nor does it enter into the scheme of physics, and yet it indirectly brings about results which otherwise would not have happened. It definitely causes movements and arrangements or constructions of a purposed character. A bird grows a feather, and a bird builds a nest: I doubt if there is less design in the one case than in the other. How life achieves the guidance, how even it accomplishes the movements, is a mystery, but that it does accomplish them is a commonplace of observation. From the motion of a finger to the construction of an aeroplane, there is but a succession of steps. From the growth of a weed to the flight of an eagle,- from a yeast granule at one end, to the human body at the other,- the organising power of life over matter is conspicuous.
Who can doubt the supremacy of the spiritual over the material? It is a fact which, illustrated by trivial instances, may be pressed to the most portentous consequences.
If interaction between mind and matter really occurs, and if both are persistent and enduring entities, there is no limit to the possibilities under which such interaction may occur - no limit which can be laid down beforehand - we must be guided and instructed solely by experience.
Whether the results produced are styled miraculous or not, depends on our knowledge,- our knowledge of all the powers latent in nature, and a knowledge of all the intelligences which exist. A savage on his first encounter with white men must have come into contact with what to him was supernatural. A letter, a gun, even artificial teeth, have all aroused superstition; while a telegram must be obviously miraculous, to anyone intelligent enough to perceive the wonder. A colony of bees, unused to the ministrations or interference of man, might puzzle itself over the provision made for its habitation and activities if it had intelligence enough to ponder the matter. So human beings, if they are open-minded and developed enough to contemplate all the happenings in which they are concerned, have been led to recognise guidance; and they have responded to the perception by the worshipful attitude of religion. In other words, they have essentially recognised the existence of a Power transcending ordinary nature - a Power that may properly be called supernatural.
Meaning of the term Body
Our experience of bodies here and now is that they are composed of material particles derived from the earth, whether they be bodies animated by vegetable or by animal forms of life. But I take it that the real meaning of the term 'body' is a means of manifestation,- perhaps a physical mode of manifestation adopted by something which without such instrument or organ would be in a different and elusive category. Why should we say that bodies must be made of matter? Surely only because we know of nothing else of which they could be made; but that lack of knowledge is not very efficient as an argument. True, if they were made of anything else they would not be apparent to us now, with our particular evolutionally-derived sense organs; for these only inform us about matter and its properties. Constructions built of Ether would have no chance of appealing to our senses, they would not be apparent to us; they would therefore not be what we ordinarily call bodies; at any rate they would not be material bodies. In order to become apparent to us, a psychical or vital entity must enter the material realm, and either clothe itself with, or temporarily assimilate, material particles.
It may be that etherial bodies do not exist; the burden of proof rests upon those who conceive of their possible existence; but we are bound to admit that even if they did exist, they would make no impression on our senses. Hence if there are any intelligences in another order of existence interlocked with ours, and if they can in any sense be supposed to have bodies at all, those bodies must be made either of Ether or of something equally intangible to us in our present condition.
Yet, though intangible and elusive, we have reason to know that Ether is substantial enough, far more substantial indeed than matter, which turns out to be a rare and filmy insertion in, or modification of, the Ether of Space; and a different set of sense organs might make the Ether eclipse matter in availability and usefulness. In my book The Ether of Space this thesis is elaborated from a purely physical point of view.
I wish, however, to make no assertion concerning the possible psychical use of the Ether of Space. Anything of that kind must be speculative; the only bodies we now know of in actual fact are material bodies, and we must be guided by facts. Yet we must not shut the door prematurely on other possibilities; and we can remember that inspired writers have sometimes contemplated what they term a spiritual body.
'That a great poet should have represented the meeting between the still incarnate 'Eneas and his discarnatee father Anchises as a bodily disappointment, is consistent:
"Ter conatus ibi collo dare brachia circum; Ter frustra comprensa manus effugit imago, Par levibus, ventis, volucrique simillima somno."
Aeneid, vi. 700
It may be said that what is intangible ought to be invisible; but that does not follow. The Ether is a medium for vision, not for touch. Ether and Ether may interact, just as matter and matter interact; but interaction between Ether and matter is peculiarly elusive.
But why should anyone suppose a body of some kind always necessary? Why should they assume a perpetual sort of dualism about existence? The reason is that we have no knowledge of any other form of animate existence; and it may be claimed as legitimate to assume that the association between life and matter here on the planet has a real and vital significance, that without such an episode of earth life we should be less than we are, and that the relation is typical of something real and permanent.
"Such use may lie in blood and breath."- TENNYSON
Why matter should be thus useful to spirit and even to life it is not easy to say. It may be that by the interaction of two things better and newer results can always be obtained than was possible for one alone. There are analogies enough for that. Do we not find that genius seems to require the obstruction or the aid of matter for its full development? The artist must enjoy being able to compel refractory material to express his meaning. Didactic writings are apt to emphasise the obstructiveness of matter; but that may be because its usefulness seems self-evident. Our limbs, and senses, and bodily faculties generally, are surely of momentous service; microscopes and telescopes and laboratory instruments, and machinery generally, are only extensions of them. Tools to the man who can use them:- orchestra to the musician, lathe or theodolite to the engineer, books and records to the historian, even though not much more than pen and paper is needed by the poet or the mathematician.
But our bodily organs are much more than any artificial tools can be, they are part of our very being. The body is part of the constitution of man. We are not spirit or soul alone,- though it is sometimes necessary to emphasise the fact that we are soul at all, - we are in truth soul and body together. And so I think we shall always be; though our bodies need not always be composed  of earthly particles. Matter is the accidental part: there is an essential and more permanent part, and the permanent part must survive.
This is the strength, as I have said elsewhere and will not now at any length repeat, of the sacramental claims and practices of religion. Forms and customs which appeal to the body are a legitimate part of the whole; and while some natures derive most benefit from the exclusively psychical and spiritual essence, others probably do well to prevent the more sensuous and more puzzling concomitants from falling into disuse. 


- (Part 3) - Chapter 7 - Life and Death -
'Resurrection of the Body'
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"Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never."
Edwin Arnold
          In the whole unknown drama of the soul the episode of bodily existence must have profound significance. Matter cannot only be obstructive, even usefully obstructive,- by which is meant the kind of obstruction which stimulates to effort and trains for power, like the hurdles in an obstacle race,- it must be auxiliary too. Whatever may be the case with external matter, the body itself is certainly an auxiliary, so long as it is in health and strength; and it gives opportunity for the development of the soul in new and unexpected ways - ways in which but for earth life its practice would be deficient. This it is which makes calamity of too short a life.
But let us not be over-despondent about the tragedy of the present. It may be that the concentrated training and courageous facing of fate which in most cases must have accompanied voluntary entry into a dangerous war, compensates in intensity what it lacks in duration, and that the benefit of bodily terrestrial life is not so much lost by violent death of that kind as might at first appear. Yet even with some such assurance, the spectacle of thousands of youths in full vigour and joy of life having their earthly future violently wrenched from them, amid scenes of grim horror and nerve-wracking noise and confusion, is one which cannot and ought not to be regarded with equanimity. It is a bad and unnatural truncation of an important part of each individual career, a part which might have done much to develop faculties and enlarge experience.
Meanwhile, the very fact that we lament so sincerely this dire and man-caused fate serves to illustrate the view we inevitably take that the earth-body is not only a means of manifestation but is a real servant of the soul,- that flesh can in some sense help spirit as spirit can undoubtedly help flesh,- and that while its very weaknesses are serviceable and stimulating, its strength is exhilarating and superb. The faculties and powers developed in the animal kingdom during all the millions of years of evolution, and now inherited for better for worse by man, are not to be despised. Those therefore who are able to think that some of the essential elements or attributes of the body are carried forward into a higher life-quite irrespective of the manifestly discarded material particles which never were important to the body, for they were always in perpetual flux as individual molecules--those, I say, who think that the value derived and acquired through the body survives, and becomes a permanent possession of the soul, may well feel that they can employ the mediaeval phrase "resurrection of the body" to express their perception. They may feel that it is a truth which needs emphasising all the more from its lack of obviousness. These old phrases, consecrated by long usage, and familiar to all the saints, though their early and superficial meaning is evidently superseded, may be found to have an inner and spiritual significance which when once grasped should be kept in memory, and brought before attention, and sustained against challenge: in no case should they be lightly or hastily discarded.
It seems not altogether fanciful to trace some similarity or analogy, between the ideas about inheritance usually associated with the name of Weismann, and the inheritance or conveyance of bodily attributes, or of powers acquired through the body, into the future life of the soul.
When considering whether anything, or what, is likely to be permanent, the answer turns upon whether or not the soul has been affected. Mere bodily accidents of course are temporary; loss of an arm or an eye is no more carried on as a permanent disfigurement than it is transmissible to offspring. But, apart from accidents which may happen to the body, there are some evil things rendered accessible by and definitely associated with the body-which assault and hurt the soul. And the effect of these is transmissible, and may become permanent. Habits which write their mark on the countenance whether the writing be good or bad-are not likely to take effect on the body alone. And in this sense also future existence may be either glorified or stained, for a time, by persistence of bodily traits,- by this kind of "resurrection of the body."
Furthermore it is found that although bodily marks, scars and wounds, are clearly not of soul-compelling and permanent character, yet for purposes of identification, and when re-entering the physical atmosphere for the purpose of communication with friends, these temporary marks are re-assumed; just as the general appearance at the remembered age, and details connected with clothes and little unessential tricks of manner, may-in some unknown sense-be assumed too.
And it is to this category that I would attribute the curious interest still felt in old personal possessions. They are attended to and recalled, not for what by a shopman is called their 'value,' but because they furnish useful and welcome evidence of identity; they are like the pieces de conviction brought up at a trial, they bear silent witness to remembered fact. And in so far as the disposal or treatment of them by survivors is evidence of the regard in which their late owner was held, it is unlikely that they should have suddenly become matters of complete indifference. Nothing human, in the sense of affecting the human spirit, can be considered foreign to a friendly and sympathetic soul, even though his new preoccupations and industries and main activities are of a different order. It appears as if, for the few moments of renewed earthly intercourse, the newer surroundings shrink for a time into the background. They are remembered, but not vividly. Indeed it seems difficult to live in both worlds at once, especially after the life-long practice here of living almost exclusively in one. Those whose existence here was coloured or ennobled by wider knowledge and higher aims seem likely to have the best chance of conveying instructive information across the boundary; though their developed powers may be of such still higher value, that only from a sense of duty or in a missionary spirit can they be expected to absent them from felicity while in order to help the brethren.
Quotation of a passage from Plotinus seems here permissible -
"Souls which once were in men, when they leave the body, need not cease from benefiting mankind. Some indeed, in addition to other services, give occult messages (oracular replies), thus proving by their own case that other souls also survive" (Enn. iv.vii. 15).
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As a digression of some importance, I venture to say that claims of thoughtless and pertinacious people upon the charitable and eminent, even here, are often excessive: it is to be hoped that such claims become less troublesome and less effective hereafter; but it is a hope without much foundation. Remonstrances are useless, however, for only the more thoughtful and those most deserving of help are likely to attend to remonstrances. Nevertheless - useless or not - it behoves one to make them. We are indeed taught that in exceptional cases there may ultimately supervene such an extraordinary elevation of soul that no trouble is too great, and no appeal is unheard. But still, even in the Loftiest case of all, the episode of having passed through a human body contributes to the power of sympathising with and aiding ordinary humanity.



- (Part 3) - Chapter 8 - Life and Death -
Mind and Brain
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"For nothing is that errs from law."
Tennyson
          IT is sometimes thought that memory is located in the brain; and undoubtedly there must be some physiological process at work in the brain when any incident of memory is recalled and either uttered or written. But it does not at all follow that memory itself is located in the brain; though there must be some easier channel, or some already prepared path, which enables an idea to be translated from the general mental reservoir into consciousness, with clarity and power sufficient to stimulate the necessary nerves and muscles into a condition adequate for reproduction.
Sometimes in order to remember a thing, one writes it in a note-book; and the memory In- ay be said to be in the note-book about as accurately as it may be said to be in the brain. A physical process has put it in the notebook; there is a physical configuration persisting there; and when a sort of reverse physical process is repeated, it can be got back into consciousness by simply what we call 'looking' at the book and reading. But surely the real memory is in the mind all the time, and the deposit in the note-book is a mere detent for calling it out or for making it easy of recovery. In order to communicate any information we must focus attention on it; and whether we focus attention on a part of the brain or on a page of a note-book matters very little; the attention itself is a mental process, not a physiological one, though it has a physiological concomitant.
This is an important matter, the keystone in fact of our problem about the connexion between mind and matter, and I propose to amplify its treatment further; for this is an unavoidably controversial portion of the book,
I am familiar with all the usual analogies drawn between organic habit and memory on the one hand, and the more ready repetition of physical processes by inorganic material on the other. Imperfectly elastic springs, for instance, which show reminiscences of previous bendings or twistings by their subsequent unwindings; and cogs which wear into smooth running by repetition; are examples of this kind. A violin which by long practice becomes more musical in tone, is another; or a path which by being often traversed becomes easier to the feet. A flower-bed recently altered in shape, by being partly grassed over, is liable to exhibit its former outline by aid of bulbs and other half-forgotten growths which come up through the grass in the old pattern.
This last is a striking example of apparent memory, not indeed in the inorganic but in the unconscious world; where indeed it is prevalent, for every one must recognise the memory of animals- there can be no doubt of that. And it would seem that a kind of race-memory must be invoked to account for many surprising cases of instinct; of which the building of specific birds' nests, and the accurate pecking of a newly-hatched chicken, are among the stock instances. No experience can be lodged in the brain of the newly-hatched!
That some sort of stored facility should exist in the adult brain, is in no way surprising; and that there is some physical or physiological concomitant of actual remembrance is plain; but that is a very different thing from asserting that memory itself, or any kind of consciousness, is located in the brain; though truly without the aid of the brain it is, as far as this planet is concerned, latent and inaccessible.
Plotinus puts the matter in an interesting but perhaps rather too extreme form:
"As to memory, the body is an impediment . . . the unstable and fluctuating nature of the body makes for oblivion not for memory. Body is a veritable River of Lethe. Memory belongs to the soul" (Enn.. IV. iii. 26).
The actual reproduction or remembrance of a fact the demonstration or realisation of memory-undoubtedly depends on brain and muscle mechanism; but memory itself turns out to be essentially mental, and is found to exist apart from the bodily mechanism which helped originally to receive and store the impression. And though without that same or some equivalent mechanism we cannot get at it, so that it cannot be displayed to others, yet in my experience it turns out not to be absolutely necessary to use actually the same instrument for its reproduction as was responsible for its deposition: though undoubtedly to use the same is easier and helpful. In the early Edison phonographs the same instrument had to be used for both reception and reproduction; but now a record can readily be transferred from one instrument to another. This may be regarded as a rough mechanical analogy to the telepathic or telergic process whereby a psychic reservoir of memory can be partially tapped through another organism.
But, apart from any consideration of what may be regarded as doubtful or uncertain, there are some facts about the relation of brain to consciousness, which, though universally admitted, are frequently misinterpreted. Injure the brain, and consciousness is lost. 'Lost' is the right word-not 'destroyed.' Repair the lesion, and consciousness may be restored, ie. normal manifestation of consciousness can once more occur. It-., is the display of consciousness, in all such cases, that we mean when we speak of the effect of brain injury; the utilisation of bodily organs is necessary for its exhibition. If the bodily organs do not exist, or are too damaged no normal manifestation is possible. That is the fact which may be misinterpreted.
In general we may say, with fair security, that no receptivity to physical phenomena exists save through sense-organ, nerve, and brain; nor any initiation of physical phenomena, save through brain, nerve, and muscle. Apart from physical phenomena consciousness is isolated and inaccessible: we have no right to say that it is non-existent. In ordinary usage it is not customary or necessary to be always harping on this completer aspect of things: it is only necessary when misunderstanding has arisen from uniformly inaccurate, or rather unguarded, modes of expression.
In an excellent lecture by Dr. Mott on "The Effects of High Explosives upon the Central Nervous System," I find this sentence:
"It is known that a continuous supply of oxygen is essential for consciousness."
What is intended is clear enough but analysed strictly this assertion goes far beyond what is known. We do not really know that oxygen, or any form of matter, has anything to do with consciousness: all that we know, and all that Dr. Mott really means to say, I presume, is that without a supply of oxygen consciousness gives no physical sign.
Partial interruptions of physical manifestations of consciousness well illustrate this: as, for instance, when speech centres of the brain alone are affected. If in such case we had to depend on mouth-muscle alone we should say that consciousness had departed, and might even think that it was non-existent; but the arm-muscle may remain under brain control, and by intelligent writing can show that consciousness is there all tile time, and that it is only inhibited from one of the specially easy modes of manifestation, In some cases the inhibition may be complete,- from such cases we do not learn much; but when it is only partial we learn a good deal.
I quote again from Dr. Mott, omitting for brevity the detailed description of certain surgical war-cases, under his care, which precedes the following explanatory interjection and summary:
"Why should these men, whose silent thoughts are perfect, be unable to speak? They comprebend all that is said to them unless they are deaf; but it is quite clear that [even] in these cases their internal language is un-affected, for they are able to express their thoughts and judgments perfectly well by writing, even if they are deaf.
The mutism is therefore not due to an intellectual defect, nor is it due to volitional inhibition of language in silent thought. Hearing, the primary incitation to vocalisation and speech, is usually unaffected, yet they are unable to speak; they cannot even whisper, cough, whistle, or laugh aloud . Many who are unable to speak voluntarily yet call out in their dream expressions they have used in trench warrfare and battle. Sometimes this is followed by return of speech, but more often not. One man continually shouted out in his sleep, but he did not recover voluntary. speech or power of phonation till eight months after admission to the hospital for shell-shock."
Very well, all this interesting experience serves among other things to illustrate our simple but occasionally overlooked thesis. For it is through physical phenomena that normally we apprehend, here and now; and it is by aid of physical phenomena that we convey to others our wishes, our impressions, our ideas, and our memories. Dislocate the physical from the psychical, and communication ceases. Restore the connexion, in however imperfect a form. and once more incipient communication may become possible again.
That is the rationale of the process of human intercourse. Do we understand it? No. Do we understand even how our own mind operates on our own body? No. We know for a fact that it does.
Do we understand how a mind can with difficulty and imperfectly operate another body submitted to its temporary guidance and control? No. Do we know for a fact that it does? Aye, that is the question - a question of evidence. I myself answer the question affirmatively; not on theoretical grounds-far from that - but on a basis of straightforward experience. Others, if they allow themselves to take the trouble to get the experience, will come to the same conclusion.
Will they do so best by allowing their own bodies or brains to be utilised? No, that seems not even the best, and certainly not the only way. It may not, for the majority of people, be a possible way. The sensitive or medium who serves us, by putting his or her bodily mechanism at our disposal , is not likely to be best informed concerning the nature of the process. Mediums have perhaps but little conscious information to give us concerning their powers; we must learn from what they do, not from what they say. The outside observer, the experimenter, whose senses are alert all the time and who continues fully conscious without special receptivity or any peculiar power of his own, is in a better position to note and judge what is happening,- at least from the normal and scientific point of view. Let us be as cautious and critical, aye and as sceptical as we like, but let us also be patient and persevering and fair; do not let us start with a preconceived notion of what is possible and what is impossible in this almost unexplored universe; let us only be willing to learn and be guided by facts, not by dogmas; and gradually the truth will permeate our understanding and make for itself a place in our minds as secure as in any other branch of observational science.



- (Part 3) - Chapter 9 - Life and Death -
Life and Consciousness
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          THE limitation of scope which eminent Professors of a certain school of modern science have laid down for themselves is forcibly expressed by one of the ablest of their champions thus:
"No sane man has ever pretended, since science became a definite body of doctrine, that we know or ever can hope to know or conceive the possibility of knowing whence the mechanism has come, why it is there, whither it is going, or what may be beyond and beside it which our senses are incapable of appreciating. These things are not 'explained' by science and never can be." - SIR E. RAY LANKESTER.
I should myself hesitate to promulgate such a markedly non-possumus and ignorabimus statement concerning the scope of physical science, even as narrowly and popularly understood; but it illuminates the position taken tip by those savants who are commonly known as Materialists, and explains their expressed though non-personal hostility to other scientific men who seek to exceed the boundaries laid down, and investigate things beyond the immediate range of the senses.
Eliminating the future tense from the statement, however, I can agree with it. The instrument of translation from the mental to the physical, and back from the physical to the mental, is undoubtedly the brain, but as to how the translation is accomplished, I venture to say, we have not the inkling of an idea. Nevertheless, hints which may gradually lead towards a partial understanding of psycho-physical processes may be gained by study of exceptional cases: for such study is often more instructive than continued
scrutiny of the merely normal. The fact of human consciousness, though it raises the problem to a high degree of conspicuousness, by no means exhausts the difficulty; for it is one which faces us in connexion with every form of life. The association of life with matter, and of mind with life, are problems of similar order, and a glimmering of understanding of the one may be expected to throw light upon the other. But until we know more of the method by which the simplest and most familiar psycho-physical interaction occurs until we know enough to see how the gulf between two apparently different Modes of Being is bridgedit is safest to observe and accumulate facts, and to be very chary of making more than the most tentative and cautious of working hypotheses. For to frame even a tentative hypothesis, of any helpful kind, may require some clue which as yet we do not possess.
I have been struck by the position taken by Dr. Chalmers Mitchell in his notable small book Evolution and the War, the early chapters of which, on Germany of the past and present, I would like unreservedly to commend to the reader. Indeed, commendation of a friendly and non-patronising kind may well extend to the whole book, although it must be admitted that here and there mere exposition of Darwinism is suspended, and difficult and debatable questions are touched upon.
On these questions I would not like to be understood as expressing a hasty opinion, either against or for the views of the author. The points at issue between us are more or less fine- drawn, and cannot be dealt with parenthetically; nor do I ever propose to deal with them in a controversial manner. The author, as a biologist of fame, is more than entitled to such expression of his own views as he has cared to give. I quote with admiration, not necessarily with agreement, a few passages from the part dealing with the relation between mind and matter, and especially with the wide and revolutionary difference between man and animal caused by either the evolution or the incoming of free and conscious Choice.
He will not allow, with Bergson and others, that the roots of consciousness, in its lower grades, go deep down into the animal, and even perhaps into the vegetable, kingdom; he has no patience with those who associate elementary consciousness and freedom and indeterminateness not merely with human life but with all life, and who detect rudiments of purpose and intelligence in the protozoa. Nor, on the other hand, does he approve the dogmatic teaching of the 'ultra-scientific' school, which, being obsessed by the idea of man's animal origin, interprets human nature solely in terms of protoplasm. He opposes the possibility of this by saying:
"However fruitful and interesting it may be to remember that we are rooted deep in the natal mud, our possession of consciousness and the sense of freedom is a vital and overmastering distinction."
On the more interesting of the above-mentioned alternatives Dr. Chalmers Mitchell expresses himself thus:-
"The Bergsonian interpretation does nothing to make consciousness and freedom more intelligible; and by extending them from man, in whom we know them to exist, to animals, in which their presence is at best an inference, it not only robs them of definiteness and reality, but it blurs the real distinction between men and animals, and evades the most difficult problem of science and philosophy. The facts are more truly represented by such phraseology as that animals are instinctive, man is intelligent, animals are irresponsible, man is responsible, animals are automata, man is free; or if you like, that God gave animals a beautiful body, man a rational soul.
And soon afterwards he continues:
"Not 'envisaging itself,' not being at once actor, spectator, and critic, 'living in the flashing moment,' not seeing the past and the present and the future separately, this is the highest at which we can put the consciousness of animals, and herein lies the distinction between man and the animals which makes the overwhelming difference.
"Must we then suppose, with Russel Wallace, that somewhere on the upward path from the tropical forests to the groves of Paradise, a soul was interpolated from an outside source into the gorilla-like ancestry of man? I do not think so, although I not only admit but assert that such a view gives a more accurate statement of fact than does either of the fashionable doctrines that I have discussed. I believe with Darwin, that as the body of man has been evolved from the body of animals, so the intellectual, emotional, and moral faculties of man have been evolved from the qualities of animals. I help myself towards the comprehension of the process by reflecting on two phenomena of observation [which he proceeds to cite]. I help myself, and perchance may help others; no more; could I speak dogmatically on what is the central mystery of all science and all philosophy and all thought, my words would roll with the thunder of Sinai."
Let it not be supposed for a moment that this distinguished biologist is in agreement with me on many matters dealt with in the present book. If he were, he would, I believe, achieve a more admirable and eloquent work than is consistent with the technically 'apologetic' tone which, in the present state of the scientific atmosphere, it behoves me to take. To guard against unwelcome misrepresentation of his views, and yet at the same time to indicate their force, I will make one more quotation:-
"Writing as a hard-shell Darwinian evolutionist, a lover of the scalpel and microscope, and of patient, empirical observation, as one who dislikes all forms of supernaturalism, and who does not shrink from the implications even of the phrase that thought is a secretion of the brain as bile is a secretion of the liver, I assert as a biological fact that the moral law is as real and as external to man as the starry vault. It has no secure seat in any single man or in any single nation. It is the work of the blood and tears of long generations of men. It is not, in man, inborn or innate, but is enshrined in his traditions, in his customs, in his literature and his religion. Its creation and sustenance are the crowning glory of man, and his consciousness of it puts him in a high place above the animal world. Men live and die; nations rise and fall, but the struggle of individual lives and of individual nations must be measured not by their immediate needs, but as they tend to the debasement or perfection of man's great achievement."
My own view, which in such matters I only put forth with diffidence and brevity, is more in favour of Continuity. I do not trace so catastrophic a break between man and animals, nor between animal and vegetable, perhaps not even between organised and unorganised forms of matter, as does Dr. Chalmers Mitchell.
I would venture to extend the range of the term 'soul' down to a very large denominator,- to cases in which the magnitude of the fraction becomes excessively minute,- and tentatively admit to the possibility of survival, though not individual survival, every form of life. As to Individuality and Personality - they can only survive where they already exist; when they really exist they persist; but bare survival, as an alternative to improbable extinction, may be widespread.
Matter forms an instrument, a means of manifestation, but it need not be the only one possible. We have utilised matter to build up this beautiful bodily mechanism, but, when that is done with, the constructive ability remains; and it can be expected to exercise its organising powers in other than material environment. If this hypothesis be true at all (and admittedly I am now making hypothesis) it must be true of all forms of life; for what the process of evolution has accomplished here may be accomplished elsewhere, under conditions at present unknown.(1) So I venture to surmise that the surroundings of non-material existence will be far more homely and habitual than people in general have been accustomed to think likely.
(1) I wish to emphasise this paragraph, as perhaps an important one. 
And how do I know that the visible material body of anything is all the body, or all the existence, it possesses?
Why should not things exist also, or have etherial counterparts, in an etherial world? Perhaps everything has already an etherial counterpart, of which our senses tell us the material aspect only. I do not know. Such an idea may be quoted as an absurdity; but if the evidence drives me in that direction, in that direction I will go, without undue resistance. There have been those who do not wait to be driven, but who lead; and the inspired guidance of Plotinus in that direction may secure more attention, and attract more disciples, when the way is illuminated by discoverable facts.
Meanwhile facts await discovery.
Passages from Plotinus, it may be remembered, are eloquently translated by F. W. H . Myers, from the obscure and often ungrammatical Greek, in Human Personality, vol. ii. pp. 289-291; and readers of S.P.R. Proceedings, vol. xxii, PP. 08-172, will remember the development by Mrs. Verall of the KCLI ak& obpa;,& dK61Awy motto prefixed to F. W. H. Myers's post-humously published poem on Tennyson in Fragments of Prose and Poetry.
My reference just above to teachings of Plotinus about the kind of things to be met with in the other world, or the etherial world, or whatever it may be called, is due to information from Professor J. H. Muirhead that, roughly speaking, Plotinus teaches that things there are on the same plan as things here: each thing here having its counterpart or corresponding existence there, though glorified and fuller of reality. Not to misrepresent this doctrine, but to illustrate it as far as can be by a short passage, Professor Muirhead has given me the following translation from the Enneads:
"But again let us speak thus: For since we hold that this universe is framed after the pattern of That, every living thing must needs first be There; and since Its Being is perfect, all must be There. Heaven then must There be a living thing nor void of what are here called stars; indeed such things belong to heaven. Clearly too the earth which is There is not an empty void, but much more full of life, wherein are all creatures that are here called land animals and plants that are rooted in life. And sea is There, and all water in ebb and flow and in abiding life, and all creatures that are in the water. And air is a part of the all that is There, and creatures of the air in accordance with the nature and laws of air. For in the Living how should living things fail? How then can any living thing fail to be There, seeing that as each of the great parts of nature is, so needs must be the living things that therein are? As then Heaven is, and There exists, so are and exist all the creatures that inhabit it; nor can these fail to be, else would those (on earth?) not be."
Enn. vi. vii.
The reason why this strange utterance or speculation is reproduced here is because it seems to some extent to correspond with curious statements recorded in another part of this book; e.g. in Chapter XIV, Part II.
I expect that it would be misleading to suppose that the terms used by Plotinus really signify any difference of locality. It may be nearer the truth to suppose that when freed from our restricting and only matter-revealing senses we become aware of much that was and is 'here' all the time, interfused with the existence which we knew - forming part indeed of the one and only complete existence, of which our present normal knowledge is limited to a single aspect. We might think and speak of many interpenetrating universes, and yet recognise that ultimately they must be all one. It is not likely that the Present differs from what we now call the Future except in our mode of perceiving it.

- (Part 3) - Chapter 10 - Life and Death -
On Means of Communication
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"In scientific truth there is no finality, and there should therefore be no
dogmatism. When this is forgotten, then science will become stagnant, and
its high-priests will endeavour to strangle new learning at its birth."
R. A. Gregory, Discovery
          HOW does mind communicate with mind? Our accustomed process is singularly indirect.
Speech is the initiation of muscular movements, under brain and nerve guidance, which result in the production of atmospheric pulsations-alternate condensations and rarefactions-which spread out in all directions in a way that can be likened superficially to the spreading of ripples on a pond. In themselves the aerial pulsations have no psychical connotation, and are as purely mechanical as are those ripples, though like the indentations on the wax of a phonograph their sequence is cunningly contrived; and it is in their sequence that the code lies -a code which anyone who has struggled with a foreign language knows is difficult to learn. Sound waves have in some respects a still closer analogy with the etherial pulsations generated at a wireless-telegraph sending station, which affect all sensitive receiving instruments within range and convey a code by their artificially induced sequence.
Hearing is reception of a small modicum of the above aerial pulsations, by suitable mechanism which enables them to stimulate ingeniously contrived nerve-endings, and so at length to affect auditory centres in the brain, and to get translated into the same kind of consciousness as was responsible for the original utterance. The whole is done so quickly and easily, by the perfect physiological mechanism provided, that the indirect and surprising nature of the process is usually overlooked; as most things are when they have become familiar. Wireless telegraphy is not an iota more marvellous, but, being unfamiliar, it has aroused a sense of wonder.
Writing and Reading by aid of black marks on a piece of paper, perceived by means of the Ether instead of the air, and through the agency of the eye instead of the car, though the symbols are ultimately to be interpreted as if heard,- hardly need elaboration in order to exhibit their curiously artificial and complicated indirectness: and in their case an element of delay, even a long time-interval - perhaps centuries-may intervene between production and reception.
Artistic representation also, such as painting or music, though of a less articulate character, less dependent on purely linguistic convention and less limited by nationality, is still truly astonishing when intellectually regarded. An arrangement of pigments designed for the reception and modification and re- emission or reflexion of ether-tremors, in the one case; and, in the other, a continuous series of complicated vibrations excited by grossly mechanical means; intervene between the minds of painter and spectator, of composer and auditor, or, in more general terms, between agent and percipient,--again with possible great lapse of time.
That ideas and feelings, thus indirectly and mechanically transmitted or stored, can affect the sensitive soul in unmistakable fashion, is a fact of experience; but that deposits in matter are competent to produce so purely psychic an effect can surely only be explained in terms of the potentialities and previous experience of the mind or soul itself. No emotional influence can be expressed, or rendered intelligible, in terms of matter. Matter is an indirect medium of communication between mind and mind. That direct telepathic intercourse should be able to occur between mind and mind, without all this intermediate physical mechanism, is therefore not really surprising. It has to be proved, no doubt, but the fact is intrinsically less puzzling than many of those other facts to which we have grown hardened by usage.
Why should telepathy be unfamiliar to us? Why should it seem only an exceptional or occasional method of communication? There is probably, as M. Bergson has said, an evolutionary advantage in our present almost exclusive limitation to mechanical and physical methods of communication; for these are under muscular control and can be shut off. We can isolate ourselves from them, if not in a mechanical, then in a topographical manner: we can go away, out of range. We could not thus protect ourselves against insistent telepathy. Hence probably the practical usefulness of the inhibiting and abstracting power of the brain; a power which in some lunatics is permanently deficient.
Physical things can reach consciousness - if at all only through the brain; that remains true as regards physical things, however much we may admit telepathy from other minds; and, conversely, only through the brain can we operate with conscious purpose on the material world. To any more direct mental or spiritual intercourse we are, unless specially awakened, temporarily dead or asleep. There is some inversion of ordinary ideas here, for a state of trance appears to rouse or free the dormant faculties, and to render direct intercourse more possible. At any rate it does this for some people. For we find here and there, a few perfectly sane individuals, from whom, when in a rather exceptional state, the customary brain-limitation seems to be withdrawn or withdrawable. Their minds cease to be isolated for a time, and are accessible to more direct influences. Not the familiar part of their minds, not the part accustomed to operate and to be operated on by the habitually used portion of brain, no, but what is called a subliminal stratum of mind, a part only accessible perhaps to physical things through an ordinarily unused and only subconscious portion of the brain.
The occurrence of such people, i.e. of people with such exceptional and really simple faculties, could not have been predicted or expected on a basis of everyday experience; but if evidence is forthcoming for their existenceeven although it be not quite of an ordinary characterand if we can make examination of the subject-matter and criticise the statements of fact which are thus receivable, there is no sort of sense in opposing the facts by adducing preconceived negative opinions about impossibility, and declining to look into the evidence or judge of the results. There were people once who would not look at the satellites of Jupiter, lest their cherished convictions should be disturbed. There was a mathematician not long ago who would not see an experimental demonstration of conical refraction, lest if it failed his confidence in refined optical theory should be upset. And so, strange to say, there are people to-day who deny the fact, and condemn the investigation, of any manner of communication outside the realm of ordinary commonplace experience: having no ground at all for their denial save prejudice.
Well, like other little systems, they have their day and cease to be. We need not attend to them overmuch. If the facts of the Universe have come within our contemplation, a certain amount of contemporary blindness, though it may surprise, need not perplex us. The study of the material side of things, under the limitations appropriate thereto, has done splendid service. Only gradually can mental scope be enlarged to take in not only all this but more also.
In so far as those who are open to the less well-defined and more ambitious region are ignorant or unresponsive to what has been achieved in the material realm, it is no wonder that their asserted enlargement of scope is not credited. It does not seem likely that a new revelation has been vouchsafed to them, when they are so ignorant concerning the other and already recognised kind of Natural knowledge. They cannot indeed have attained information through the same channels, or in the same way. And it is this dislocation of knowledge, this difference of atmosphere, this barely reconcilable attitude of two diverse groups of people- though occasionally, by the device of water-tight compartments, the same individual has breathed both kinds of air and belonged to both groups-it is this bifurcation of method that has retarded mutual understanding. There are pugnacious members of either group who try to strengthen their own position by decrying the methods of the other; and were it not for the occurrence from time to time of a Wallace or a Crookes, i.e. of men who combine in their own persons something of both kinds of knowledge, attained not by different but by similar methods - all their theses being maintained and justified on scientific grounds, and after experimental inquiry - the chances for a reasonable and scientific outlook into a new region, and ultimately over the border-line into the domain of religion, would not be encouraging. The existence of such men, however, has given the world pause, has sometimes checked its facile abuse, and has brought it occasionally into a reflective, perhaps now even into a partially receptive, mood. We need not be in any hurry, though we can hardly help hoping for quick progress if the new knowledge can in any way alleviate the terrible amount of sorrow in the world at present; moreover, if a new volume is to be opened in man's study of the Universe, it is time that the early chapters were being perused.
It may be asked, do I recommend all bereaved persons to devote the time and attention which I have done to getting communications and recording them? Most certainly I do not. I am a student of the subject, and a student often undertakes detailed labour of a special kind. I recommend people in general to learn and realise that their loved ones are still active and useful and interested and happy-more alive than ever in one sense-and to make up their minds to live a useful life till they rejoin them.
What steps should be taken to gain this peaceful assurance must depend on the individual. Some may get it from the consolations of religion, some from the testimony of trusted people, while some may find it necessary to have first-hand experience of their own for a time. And if this experience can be attained privately, with no outside assistance, by quiet and meditation or by favour of occasional waking dreams, so much the better.
What people should not do, is to close their minds to the possibility of continued existence except in some lofty  and inaccessible and essentially unsuitable condition; they should not selfishly seek to lessen pain by discouraging all mention, and even hiding everything likely to remind them, of those they have lost; nor should they give themselves over to unavailing and prostrating grief. Now is the time for action; and it is an ill return to those who have sacrificed all and died for the Country if those left behind do not throw off enervating distress and helpless lamentation, and seek to live for the Country and for humanity, to the utmost of their power.
Any steps which are calculated to lead to this wholesome result in any given instance are justified; and it is not for me to offer advice as to the kind of activity most appropriate to each individual case.
I have suggested that the new knowledge, when generally established and incorporated with existing systems, will have a bearing and influence on the region hitherto explored by other faculties, and considered to be the domain of faith. It certainly must be so, whether the suggested expansion of scientific scope is welcomed or not. Certainly the conclusions to which I myself have been led by one mode of access are not contradictory of the conclusions which have been arrived at by those who (naturally) seem to me the more enlightened theologians; though I must confess that with some of the ecclesiastical superstructure which has descended to us from a bygone day, a psychic investigator can have but little sympathy. Indeed he only refrains from attacking it because he feels that, left to itself, it will be superseded by higher and better knowledge, and will die a natural death. There is too much wheat mingled with the tares to render it safe for any but an ecclesiastical expert to attempt to uproot them.
Meanwhile, although some of the official exponents of Christian doctrine condemn any attempt to explore things of this kind by secular methods; while others refrain from countenancing any results thus obtained; there are many who would utilise them in their teaching if they conscientiously could, and a few who have already begun to do so, on the strength of their own knowledge, however derived, and in spite of the risk of offending weaker brethren.(1)
(1) For instance, a book called The Gospel of the Hereafter, by Dr. J. Paterson Smyth, of Montreal, may be brought to the notice of anyone who' while clinging tightly to the essential tenets of orthodox Christianity, and unwilling or unable to enter upon a course of study, would gladly interpret eastern and mediaeval phrases in a sense not repugnant to the modern spirit.

- (Part 3) - Chapter 11 - Life and Death -
On the Fact of Supernormal Communication
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"But he, the spirit himself, may come Where all the nerve of sense is numb."
Tennyson, In Memoriam
          HOWEVER it be accomplished, and whatever reception the present-day scientific world may give to the assertion, there are many now who know, by first-hand experience, that communication is possible across the boundary - if there is a boundary-between the world apprehended by our few animal - derived senses and the larger existence concerning which our knowledge is still more limited.
Communication is not easy, but it occurs; and humanity has reason to be grateful to those few individuals who, finding themselves possessed of the faculty of mediumship, and therefore able to act as intermediaries, allow themselves to be used for this purpose.
Such means of enlarging our knowledge, and entering into relations with things beyond animal ken, can be abused like any other power: it can be played with by the merely curious, or it can be exploited in a very mundane and unworthy way in the hope of warping it into the service of selfish ends, in the same way as old and long accessible kinds of knowledge have too often been employed. But it can also be used reverently and seriously, for the very legitimate purpose of comforting the sorrowful, helping the bereaved, and restoring some portion of the broken link between souls united in affection but separated for a time by an apparently impassable barrier. The barrier is turning out to be not hopelessly obdurate after all; intercourse between the two states is not so impossible as had been thought; something can be learnt about occurrences from either side; and gradually it is probable that a large amount of consistent and fairly coherent knowledge will be accumulated.
Meanwhile broken ties of affection have the first claim; and early efforts at communication from the departed are nearly always directed towards assuring survivors of the fact of continued personal existence, towards helping them to realise that changed surroundings have in no way weakened love or destroyed memory, and urging upon their friends with eager insistence that earthly happiness need not be irretrievably spoiled by bereavement. For purposes of this kind many trivial incidents are recalled, such as are well adapted to convince intimate friends and relatives that one particular intelligence, and no other, must be the source from which the messages ultimately spring, through whatever intermediaries they have to be conveyed. And to people new to the subject such messages are often immediately convincing.
Further thought, however, raises difficulties and doubts. The gradually recognized possibility of what may be called normal telepathy, or unconscious mind-reading from survivors, raises hesitation - felt most by studious and thoughtful people - about accepting such messages as irrefragable evidence of persistent personal existence; and to overcome this curious and unexpected and perhaps rather) artificial difficulty, it is demanded that facts shall be given which are unknown to anyone present, and can only subsequently be verified. Communications of this occasional, and exceptional kind are what are called, by psychic investigators, more specifically 'evidential': and time and perhaps good fortune may be required for their adequate reception and critical appreciation. For it is manifest' that most things readily talked about between two friends, and easily reproducible in hasty conversation, will naturally be of a nature common to both, and on subjects well within each other's knowledge.
The more recent development of an elaborate scheme of cross-correspondence, entered upon since the death of specially experienced and critical investigators of the: S.P.R., who were familiar with all these difficulties, and who have taken strong and most ingenious means to overcome them, has made the proof, already very strong, now almost crucial. The only alternative, in the best cases, is to imagine a sort of supernormal mischievousness, so elaborately misleading that it would have to be stigmatised as v'icious or even diabolical.
In most cases complete proof of this complicated and cold- blooded kind is neither forthcoming nor is necessary: indeed it can hardly be appreciated or understood by non-studious people. Effective evidence is in most cases of a different kind, and varies with the personality concerned. It often happens that little personal touches, incommunicable to others in their full persuasiveness, sooner or later break down the last vestiges of legitimate scepticism. What goes on beyond that will depend upon personal training and interest. With many, anything like scientific inquiry lapses at this point, and communication resolves itself into emotional and domestic interchange of ordinary ideas. But in a few cases the desire to give new information is awakened; and when there is sufficient receptivity, and, what is very important, a competent and suitable Medium for anything beyond commonplace messages, instructive and general information may be forthcoming. An explanation or description of the methods of communication, for instance, as seen from their side; or some information concerning the manner of life there; and occasionally even some intelligent attempt to lessen human difficulties about religious conceptions, and to give larger ideas about the Universe as a whole,- all these attempts have been made. But they always insist that their information is but little greater than ours, and that they are still fallible gropers after truth,- of which they keenly feel the beauty and importance, but of which they realise the infinitude, and their own inadequacy of mental grasp, quite as clearly as we do here.
These are what we call the 'unverifiable' communications; for we cannot bring them to book by subsequent terrestrial inquiry in the same way as we can test information concerning personal or mundane affairs. Information of the higher kind has often been received, but has seldom been published; and it is difficult to know what value to put upon it, or how far it is really trustworthy.
I am inclined to think, however-with a growing number of serious students of the subject - that the time is getting ripe now for the production and discussion of material of this technically unverifiable kind; to be scrutinised and tested by internal consistency and inherent probability, in the same sort of way as travellers' tales have to be scrutinised and tested. But until humanity as a whole has taken the initial step, and shown itself willing to regard such communications as within the range of possibility, it may be unwise to venture far in this more ambitious direction.
It has nevertheless been suggested, from a philosophic point of view, that strict proof of individual survival must in the last resort depend on examination and collation of these 'travellers' tales,' rather than on any kind of resuscitation of the past; because, until we know more about memory, it is possible to conjecture, as I think Professor Bergson does, that all the past is potentially accessible to a super-subliminal faculty for disinterring it. And so one might, in a sceptical mood, when confronted with records of apparently personal reminiscence, attribute them to an unconscious exercise of this faculty, and say with Tennyson
"I hear a wind Of memory murmuring the past."
I do not myself regard this impersonal memory as a reasonable hypothesis, I think that the simpler view is likely to be the truer one, so I attach importance to trivial reminiscences and characteristic personal touches; but I do agree that abstention from recording and publishing, however apologetically, those other efforts has had the effect of making ill-informed people - i.e. people with very little personal experience - jump to the conclusion that all communications are of a trivial and contemptible nature.

- (Part 3) - Chapter 12 - Life and Death -
On the Contention that all Psychic Communications are of a Trivial Nature and Deal with Insignificant Topics
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          THAT such a contention as that mentioned at the end of the preceding chapter is false is well known to people of experience; but so long as the demand for verification and proof of identity persists-and it will be long indeed before they can be dispensed with-so long are trifling reminiscences the best way to achieve the desired end. The end in this case amply explains and justifies the means. Hence it is that novices and critics are naturally and properly regaled with references to readily remembered and verifiable facts; and since these facts, to be useful, must not be of the nature of public news, nor anything which can be gleaned from biographical or historical records, they usually relate to trifling family affairs or other humorous details such as seem likely to stay in the memory. It can freely be admitted that such facts are only redeemed from triviality by the affectionate recollections interlinked with them, and by the motive which has caused them to be reproduced. For their special purpose they may be admirable; and there is no sort of triviality about the thing to be proven by them. The idea that a departed friend ought to be occupied wholly and entirely with grave matters, and ought not to remember jokes and fun, is a gratuitous claim which has to be abandoned. Humour does not cease with earth-life. Why should it?
It should be evident that communications concerning deeper matters are not similarly serviceable as proof of identity, though they may have a value and interest of their own; but it is an interest which could not be legitimately aroused until the first step-the recognition of veridical intercourse-had been taken; for, as a rule, they are essentially unverifiable. Of such communications a multitude could be quoted; and almost at random I select a few specimens from the automatic writings of the gentleman and schoolmaster known to a former generation as M.A.Oxon.(1) Take this one, which happens to be printed in a current issue of Liqht (22 April 1916), with the statement that it occurs in one of M.A.Oxon.'s subliminally written and private notebooks, under date 12 July 1873 - many others will be found in the selections which he himself extracted from his own script and published in a book called Spirit Teachings.
(1) The Rev. Stainton Moses (M. A. Oxon) was one of the masters at University College School in London. He wrote automatically, i.e. subconsciously, in private notebooks at a regular short time each day for nearly twenty years, and felt that he was in touch with helpful and informing intelligences.
"You do not sufficiently grasp the scanty hold that religion has upon the mass of mankind, nor the adaptability of what we preach to the wants and cravings of men. Or perhaps it is necessary that you be reminded of what you cannot see clearly in your present state and among your present associations. You cannot see, as we see, the carelessness that has crept over men as to the future. Those who have thought over their future have come to know that they can find out nothing about it, except, indeed, that what man pretends to tell is foolish, contradictory, and unsatisfying. His reasoning faculties convince him that the Revelation of God contains very plain marks of human origin; that it will not stand the test of sifting such as is applied to works professedly human; and that the priestly fiction that reason is no measure of revelation, and that it must be left on the threshold of inquiry and give place to faith, is a cunningly planned means of preventing man from discovering the errors and contradictions which throng the pages of the Bible. Those who reason discover this soon; those who do not, betake themselves to the refuge of Faith, and become blind devotees, fanatical, irrational, and bigoted; conformed to a groove in which they have been educated and from which they have not broken loose simply because they have not dared to think. It would be hard for man to devise a means [more capable] of cramping the mind and dwarfing the spirit's growth than this persuading of a man that he must not think about religion. It is one which paralyses all freedom of thought and renders it almost impossible for the soul to rise. The spirit is condemned to a hereditary religion whether suited or not to its wants. That which may have suited a far-off ancestor may be quite unsuited to a struggling soul that lives in other times from those in which such ideas had vitality. The spirit's life is so made a question of birth and of locality. It is a question over which he can exercise no control, whether he is Christian, Mohammedan, or, as ye say, heathen: whether his God be the Great Spirit of the Red Indian, or the fetish of the savage; whether his prophet be Christ or Alahomet or Confucius; in short, whether his notion of religion be that of East, West, North, or South; for in all these quarters men have evolved for themselves a theology which they teach their children to believe.
"The days are coming when this geographical sectarianism will give place before the enlightenment caused by the spread of our revelation, for which men are far riper than you think. The time draws nigh apace when the sublime truths of Spiritualism, rational and noble as they are when viewed by man's standard, shall wipe away from the face of God's earth the sectarian jealousy and theological bitterness, the anger and ill-will, the folly and stupidity, which have disgraced the name of religion and the worship of God; and man shall see in a clearer light the Supreme Creator and the spirit's eternal destiny.
"We tell you, friend, that the end draws nigh; the night of ignorance is passing fast; the shackles which priestcraft has strung round the struggling souls shall be knocked off, and in place of fanatical folly and ignorant speculation and superstitious belief, ye shall have a reasonable religion and a knowledge of the reality of the spirit-world and of the ministry of angels with you. Ye shall know that the dead are alive indeed, living as they lived on earth, but more truly, ministering to you with undiminished love, animated in their perpetual intercourse with the same affection which they had whilst yet incarned."
Any one of these serious messages can be criticised and commented upon with hostility and suspicion; they are not suited to establish the first premise of the argument for continuance of personality; and if they were put forward as part of the proof of survival, then perhaps the hostility would be legitimate. It ought to be clear that they are not to be taken as oracular utterances, or as anything vastly superior to the capabilities of the medium through whom they come, - though in fact they often are superior to any known power of a given medium, and are frequently characteristic of the departed personality, as we knew him, who is purporting to be the Communicator: though this remark is not applicable to the particular class of impersonal messages here selected for quotation. Yet in all cases they must surely be more or less sophisticated by the channel, and by the more or less strained method of communication, and must share some of its limitations and imperfections.
However that may be, it is proper to quote them occasionally, as here; not as specially profound utterances, but merely in contradiction of the imaginary and false thesis that only trivial and insignificant subjects are dealt with in automatic writings and mediumistic utterances. For such utterances-whatever their value or lack of value - are manifestly conclusive against that gratuitous and ignorant supposition. Whatever is thought of them, they are at least conceived in a spirit of earnestness, and are characterised by a genuine fervour that may be properly called religious.
I now quote a few more of the records published in the book cited above in this case dealing with Theological', questions and puzzles in the mind of the automatic writer himself -.
"All your fancied theories about God have filtered down to you through human channels; the embodiments of human cravings after knowledge of Him; the creation of minds that were undeveloped, whose wants were not your wants, whose God, or rather whose notions about God are not yours. You try hard to make the ideas fit in, but they will not fit, because they are the product of divers degrees of development. . ."
"God! Ye know Him not! One day, when the Spirit stands within the veil which shrouds the spirit world from mortal gaze, you shall wonder at your ignorance of Him whom you have so foolishly imagined! He is far other than you have pictured Him. Were He such as you have pictured Him, were He such as you think, He would avenge on presumptuous man the insults which he puts on his Creator. But He is other, far other than man's poor grovelling mind can grasp, and He pities and forgives, the ignorance of the blind mortal who paints Him after a selfimagined pattern. . . . When you rashly complain of us that our teaching to you controverts that of the Old Testament, we can but answer that it does indeed controvert that old and repulsive view . . . but that it is in fullest accord with that divinely inspired revelation of Himself which He gave through Jesus Christ - a revelation which man has done so much to debase, and from which the best of the followers of Christ have so grievously fallen away."
And again, in answer to other doubts and questions in the mind of the automatist as to the legitimacy of the means of communication, and his hesitation about employing a means which he knew was sometimes prostituted by knaves to unworthy and frivolous or even base objects, very different from those served by humorous and friendly family messages, about which no one with a spark of human feeling has a word to say when once they have realised their nature and object;- the writing continued thus :
"If there be nought in what we say of God and of man's after-life that commends itself to you, it must be that your mind has ceased to love the grander and simpler conceptions which it had once learned to drink in. . . ."
"Cease to be anxious about the minute questions which are of minor moment. Dwell much on the great, the overwhelming necessity for a clearer revealing of the Supreme; on the blank and cheerless ignorance of God and of us which has crept over the world: on the noble creed we teach, on the bright future we reveal. Cease to be perplexed by thoughts of an imagined Devil. For the honest, pure, and truthful soul there is no Devil nor Prince of Evil such as theology has feigned. . . . The clouds of sorrow and anguish of soul may gather round [such a man] and his spirit may be saddened with the burden of sin-weighed down with consciousness of surrounding misery and guilt, but no fabled Devil can gain dominion over him, or prevail to drag down his soul to hell. All the sadness of spirit, the acquaintance with grief, the intermingling with guilt, is part of the experience, in virtue of which his soul shall rise hereafter. The guardians are training and fitting it by those means to progress, and jealously protect it from the dominion of the foe.
"It is only they who, by a' fondness for evil, by a lack of spiritual and excess of corporeal development, attract to themselves the congenial spirits of the undeveloped who have left the body but not forgotten its desires. These alone risk incursion of evil. These by proclivity attract evil, and it dwells with them at their invitation. They attract the lower spirits who hover nearest Earth, and who are but too ready to rush in and mar our plans, and ruin our work for souls. These are they of whom you speak when you say in haste, that the result of Spiritualism is not for good. You err, friend. Blame not us that the lower spirits manifest for those who bid them welcome. Blame man's insensate folly, which will choose the low and grovelling rather than the pure and elevated. Blame his foolish laws, which daily hurry into a life for which they are unprepared, thousands of spirits, hampered and dragged down by a life of folly and sin, which has been fostered by custom and fashion. Blame the ginshops, and the madhouses, and the prisons, and the encouraged lusts and fiendish selfishness of man. This it is which damns legions of spirits-not, as ye fancy, in a sea of material fire, but in the flames of perpetuated lust, condemned to burn itself out in hopeless longing till the purged soul rises through the fire and surmounts its dead passions. Yes, blame these and kindred causes, if there be around undeveloped intelligences who shock you by their deception, and annoy you by frivolity and falsehood."
I suppose that the worst that can be said about writing of this kind is that it consists of 'sermon-stuffe' such as could have been presumably invented-whether consciously or unconsciously-by the automatic writer himself. And the fact that with some of it he tended to disagree, proves no more than the corresponding kind of unexpected argumentation experienced by some dreamers. (Cf. L. P. jacks, Hibbert Journal, July, 1916 The same kind of explanation may serve for both phenomena, but I do not know what that explanation is. 

- (Part 3) - Chapter 13 - Life and Death -
On the Manner of Communication
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          PERHAPS the commonest and easiest method of communication is what is called 'automatic writing' - the method by which the above examples were received - i.e. writing performed through the agency of subconscious intelligence; the writer leaving his or her hand at liberty to write whatever comes, without attempting to control it, and without necessarily attending at the time to what is being written.
That a novice will usually get nothing, or mere nonsense or scribbling, in this way is obvious: the remarkable thing is that some persons are thus able to get sense, and to tap sources of information outside their normal range. If a rudiment of such power exists, it is possible, though not always desirable, to cultivate it; but care, pertinacity, and intelligence are needed to utilise a faculty of this kind. Unless people are well-balanced and self-critical and wholesomely occupied, they had better leave the subject alone.
In most cases of fully-developed automatism known to me the automatist reads what comes, and makes suitable oral replies or comments to the sentences as they appear: so that the whole has then the effect of a straightforward conversation of which one side is spoken and the other written-the speaking side being usually rather silent and reserved, the writing side free and expansive.
Naturally not every person has the power of cultivating this simple form of what is technically known as motor automatism, one of the recognised subliminal forms of activity; but probably more people could do it if they tried; though for some people it would be injudicious, and for many others hardly worth while. The intermediate mentality employed in this process  seems to be a usually submerged or dream-like stratum of the automatist whose hand is being used. The hand is probably worked by its usual physiological mechanism, guided and controlled by nerve centres not in the most conscious and ordinarily employed region of the brain. In some cases the content or subject - matter of the writing may emanate entirely from these nerve centres, and be of no more value than a dream; as is frequently the case with the more elementary automatism set in action by the use of instruments known as 'planchette' and 'ouija,' often employed by beginners. But when the message turns out to be of evidential value it is presumably because this subliminal portion of the person is in touch ' either telepathically or in some other way, with intelligences not ordinarily accessible,-with living people at a distance perhaps, or more often with the apparently more accessible people who have passed on, for whom distance in the ordinary sense seems hardly to exist, and whose links of connexion are of a kind other than spatial. It need hardly be said that proof of communion of this kind is absolutely necessary, and has to be insisted on; but experience has demonstrated that now and again sound proof is forthcoming.
Another method, and one that turns out to be still more powerful, is for the automatist not only to take off his or her attention from what is being transmitted through his or her organism, but to become comprehensively unconscious and go into a trance. In that case it appears that the physiological mechanism is more amenable to control, and is less sophisticated by the ordinary intelligence of the person to whom it normally belongs; so that messages of importance and privacy may be got through. But the messages have to be received and attended to by another person; for in such cases, when genuine, the entranced person on waking up is found to be ignorant of what has been either written or uttered. In this state, speech is as common as writing, probably more common because less troublesome to the recipient, i.e. the friend or relative to whom or for whom messages are being thus sent. The communicating personality during trance may be the same as the one operating the hand without trance, and the messages may have the same general character as those got by  automatic writing, when the consciousness is not suspend but only in temporary and local abeyance; but in t trance state a dramatic characterisation is usually impart to the proceedings, by the appearance of an entity called 'Control,' who works the body of the automatist in t apparent absence of its customary manager. This personality is believed by some to be merely the subliminal self of the entranced person, brought to the surface, liberated and dramatised into a sort of dream existence for the time. By others it is supposed to be a healthy and manageable variety of the more or less pathological phenomenon known to physicians and psychiatrists as case of dual or multiple personality. By others again it is believed to be in reality the separate intelligence which claims to be.
But however much can be and has been written this subject, and whatever different opinions may held, it is universally admitted that the dramatic semblance of the control is undoubtedly that of a separate person, a person asserted to be permanently existing on the other side, and to be occupied on that side in much the same functions as the medium is on this. The duty of control ling and transmitting messages seems to be laid upon such a one-it is his special work. The dramatic character most of the controls is so vivid and self-consistent, that whatever any given sitter or experimenter may feel the probable truth concerning their real nature, the simplest way is to humour them by taking them at the face value and treating them as separate and responsible and real individuals. It is true that in the case of so mediums, especially when overdone or tired, there a evanescent and absurd obtrusions every now and then, which cannot be seriously regarded. Those have to be eliminate and for anyone to treat them as real people would be ludicrous; but undoubtedly the serious controls show a character and personality and memory of their own, a they appear to carry on as continuous an existence anyone else whom one only meets occasionally for conversation. The conversation can be taken up at the point where it left off, and all that was said appears to be remark ably well remembered by the appropriate control; while usually memory of it is naturally and properly repudiated by another control, even when operating through the same medium; and the entranced medium knows nothing of it afterwards after having completely woke up.
So clearly is the personality of the control brought out, in the best cases, so clear also are the statements of the communicators that the control who is kindly transmitting their messages is a real person, that I am disposed to accept their assertions, and to regard a control, when not a mere mischievous and temporary impersonation, as akin on their side to the person whom we call a medium on ours.
The process of regular communication-apart from the exceptional more direct privilege occasionally vouchsafed to people in extreme sorrow-thus seems to involve normally a double medium of communication, and the activity of several people. First there is the 'Communicator' or originator of ideas and messages on the other side. Then there is the 'control' who accepts and transmits the messages by setting into operation a physical organism lent for the occasion. Then there is the 'Medium' or person whose normal consciousness is in abeyance but whose physiological mechanism is being used. And finally there is the 'Sitter' - a rather absurd name - the recipient of the messages, who reads or hears and answers them, and for whose benefit all this trouble is taken. In many cases there is also present a Note-taker to record all that is said, whether by sitters or by or through the medium; and it is clear that the note-taker should pay special attention to and carefully record any hints or information either purposely or accidentally imparted by the sitter.
In scientific and more elaborately conducted cases there is also some one present who is known as the Experimenter in charge- a responsible and experienced person who looks after the health and safety of the medium, who arranges the circumstances and selects the sitters, making provision for anonymity and other precautions, and who frequently combines with his other functions the duties of note-taker.
In oral or voice sittings the function of the note-taker is more laborious and more responsible than in writing sittings; for these latter to a great extent supply their own notes. Only as the trance-writing is blindfold, i.e. done with shut eyes and head averted, it is rather illegible without practice; and so the experimenter in charge frequently finds it necessary to assist the sitter, to whom it is addressed, by deciphering it and reading it aloud as it comes-rather a tiring process; at the same time jotting down, usually on the same paper, the remarks which the sitter makes in reply, or the questions from time to time asked. Unless this is done the subsequent automatic record lacks a good deal of clearness, and sometimes lacks intelligibility.
For a voice-sitting the note-taker must be a rapid writer, and if able to employ shorthand has an advantage. Sometimes a stenographer is introduced; but the presence of a stranger, or of any person not intimately concerned, is liable to hamper the distinctness and fulness of a message; and may prevent or retard the occurrence of such emotional episodes as are from time to time almost inevitable in the cases-alas too numerous at present-where the sitter has been recently and violently bereaved.
It is perhaps noteworthy-though it may not be interesting or intelligible to a novice - that communicators wishing to give private communications seldom or never object to the presence of the actual 'medium' - i.e. the one on our side. That person seems to be regarded as absent, or practically non-existent for a time; the person whose presence they sometimes resent at first is the 'control,' i.e. the intelligence on their side who is ready to receive and transmit their message, somewhat perhaps as an Eastern scribe is ready to write the love-letters of illiterate persons.
As to the presence of a note-taker or third person on our side, such person is taken note of by the control, and when anything private or possibly private is mentioned - details of illnesses or such like - that third person is often ordered out of the room. Sometimes the experimenter in charge is likewise politely dispensed with, and under these circumstances the sitting occasionally takes on a poignant character in which note-taking by the deeply affected sitter becomes a practical impossibility. But this experience is comparatively rare; it must not be expected, and cannot wisely be forced.
Another circumstance which makes me think that the more responsible kind of control is a real person, is that sometimes, after gained experience, the Communicator himself takes control, and speaks or writes in the first person, not only as a matter of first-person-reporting, which frequently occurs, but really in his own proper person and with many of his old characteristics. So if one control is a real person I see no reason against the probability of others being real likewise. I cannot say that the tone of voice or the handwriting is often thus reproduced-though it is, for a few moments, by special effort sometimes; but the unusual physiological mechanism accounts for outstanding or residual differences. Apart from that, the peculiarities, the attitudes, the little touches of manner, are often more or less faithfully reproduced, although the medium may have known nothing of the person concerned. And the characteristic quality of the message, and the kind of subjects dealt with, become still more marked in such cases of actual control, than when everything has to be transmitted through a kindly stranger control, to whom things of a recondite or technical character may appear rather as a meaningless collocation of words, very difficult to remember and reproduce. 
Note on the Difficulty of Remembering Names
When operating indirectly in the ordinary way through a control and a medium, it usually appears to be remarkably difficult to get names transmitted. Most mediums are able to convey a name only with difficulty.. Now plainly a name, especially the proper name of a person, is a very conventional and meaningless thing: it has very few links to connect it with other items in memory; and hence arises the normally well-known difficulty of recalling one. Conscious effort made to recover a name seems to inhibit the power of doing so: the best plan is to leave it, and let subconsciousness work. An example occurred to me the other day, when I tried to remember the name of a prominent statesman or ex-Prime Minister whom I had met in Australia. What I seemed to recollect was that the name began with "D," and I made several shots at it, which I recorded. The effort went on at intervals for days, since I thought it would be an instructive experiment. I know now, a month or two later, without any effort and without looking it up, that the name was Deakin; but what my shots at it were I do not remember. I will have the page in the notebook looked up and reproduced here, as an example of memory-groping, at intervals, during more than one day. Here they are:-D. Dering, Denman, Deemering, Derriman, Derring, Deeley, Dempster, Denting, Desman, Deing'.
Now I knew the name quite well, and have known it for long, and have taken some interest in the gentleman who owns it; and I am known by some members of my family to have done so. Hence if I had been on 'the other side' and could only get as far as D, it would have seemed rather absurd to anyone whose memory for names is good. But indeed I have had times when names very much more familiar to me than that could not on the spur of the moment be recalled-not always even the initial letter; though, for some reason or other, the initial letter is certainly easier than the word.
The kind of shots which I made at the name before recalling it - which it may seem frivolous to have actually recorded - are reminiscent of the kind of shots which are made by mediums under control when they too are striving after a name; and it was a perception of this analogy which caused me to jot down my own guesses, or what, in the case of a medium, we should impolitely call 'fishing.' I think that the name was certainly in my memory though it would not come through my brain. The effort is like the effort to use a muscle not often or ever usedsay the outer ear-one does not know which string to pull, so to speak, or, more accurately, which nerve to stimulate, and the result is a peculiarly helpless feeling, akin to stammering. In the case of a medium, I suppose the name is often in the mind of the communicator, but it will not come through the control. The control sometimes describes it as being spoken or shown but not clearly caught. The communicator often does not know whether a medium has successfully conveyed it or not.

- (Part 3) - Chapter 14 - Life and Death -
Various Psycho-Physical Methods
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"If man, then, shall attempt to sound and fathom the depths that lie
not without him, but within, analogy may surely warn him that the first
attempts of his rude psychoscopes to give precision and actuality to thought
will grope among 'beggarly elements'-will be concerned with things
grotesque, or trivial, or obscure. Yet here also one handsbreadth of reality
gives better footing than all the castles of our dream; here also by beginning
with the least things we shall best learn how great things may remain to do."
Frederick W. H. Myers, Introduction to Phantasms of the Living

          I MUST not shirk a rather queer subject which yet needs touching upon, though it bristles with theoretical difficulties; and that is the rationale of one of the most elementary methods of ultra-normal communication, a method which many find practically the easiest to begin with.
It is possible to get communication of a kind, not by holding a pencil in the fingers, but by placing the hand on a larger piece of wood not at all adapted for writing with. The movements are then coarser, and the code more elementary; but in principle, when the procedure is analysed, it is seen not to be essentially different. It may be more akin to semaphore-arm signalling or flag-wagging; but any device whereby mental activity can translate itself into
movements of matter will serve for subliminal as well as for conscious action; and messages by tilting of a table, though crude and elementary, are not really so surprising or absurd as at first sight they seem. The tilts of a telegraphic operator's key are still more restricted; but they serve. A pen or pencil is an inanimate piece of matter guided by the fingers. A planchette is a mere piece of wood, and when touched it must be presumed to be guided by the muscles, - though there is often an illusion, as with the twig of the dowser, that the inanimate object is moved directly, and not by muscular intervention. So also we may assume that a table or other piece of furniture is tilted or moved by regular muscular force: certainly it can only move at the expense of the energy of the medium or of people present. And yet in all these cases the substance of the message may be foreign to the mind of anyone touching the instrument, and the guidance necessary for sense and relevance need not be exercised by their own consciousness.
When a table or similar rough instrument is employed, the ostensible communicators say that they feel more directly in touch with the sitters than when they operate through an intermediary or 'control' on their side,- as they appear to find it necessary to do for actual speech or writing,- and accordingly they find themselves able to give more private messages, and also to reproduce names and technicalities with greater facility and precision. The process of spelling out words in this way is a slow one, much slower than writing, and therefore the method labours under disadvantages, but it seems to possess advantages which to some extent counterbalance them.
Whether it sounds credible or not, and it is certainly surprising, I must testify that when a thing of any mobility is controlled in this more direct way, it is able to convey touches of emotion and phases of intonation, so to speak, in a most successful manner. A telegraph key could hardly do it, its range of movement is too restricted, it operates only in a discontinuous manner, by make and break; but a light table, under these conditions, seems no longer inert, it behaves as if animated. For the time it is animated-somewhat perhaps as a violin or piano is animated by a skilled musician and schooled to his will,- and the dramatic action thus attained is very remarkable. It can exhibit hesitation, it can exhibit certainty; it can seek for information, it can convey it; it can apparently ponder before giving a reply; it can welcome a new-comer; it can indicate joy or sorrow, fun or gravity; it can keep time with a song as if joining in the chorus; and, most notable of all, it can exhibit affection in an unmistakable manner.
The hand of a writing medium can do these things too; and that the whole body of a normal person can display these emotions is a commonplace. Yet they are all pieces of matter, though some are more permanently animated than others. But all are animated temporarily,-not one of them permanently,- and there appears to be no sharp line of demarcation. What we have to realise is that matter in any form is able to act as agent to the soul, and that by aid of matter various emotions as well as intelligence can be temporarily incarnated and displayed.
The extraction of elementary music from all manner of unlikely objects-kitchen utensils, for instance, is a known stage-performance. The utilisation of unlikely objects for purposes of communication, though it would not have been expected, may have to be included in the same general category.
With things made for the purpose, from a violin to the puppets of a marionette show, we know that simple human passions can be shown and can be roused. With things made for quiet other purposes it turns out that the same sort of possibility exists.
Table-tilting is an old and despised form of amusement, known to many families and often wisely discarded; but with care and sobriety and seriousness even this can be used as a means of communication; and the amount of mediumistic power necessary for this elementary form of psychic activity appears to be distinctly less than would be required for more elaborate methods.
One thing it is necessary clearly to realise and admit, namely that in all cases when an object is moved by direct contact of an operator's body, whether the instrument be a pencil or a piece of wood, unconscious muscular guidance must be allowed for; and anything that comes through of a kind known to or suspected by the operator must be discounted. Sometimes, however, the message comes in an unexpected and for the moment puzzling form, and sometimes it conveys information unknown to him. It is by the content of the communication that its supernormal value must be estimated.
There are many obvious disadvantages about a Table Sitting, especially in the slowness of the communications and in the fact that the sitter has to do most of the talking; whereas when some personality is controlling a medium, the sitters need say very little.
But, as said above, there are some communicators who object to a control's presence, especially if they have anything private to say; and these often prefer the table because it seems to bring them more directly into contact with the sitter, without an intermediary. They seem to ignore the presence of the medium on our side, notwithstanding the fact that, at a table sitting, she is present in her own consciousness and is aware of what goes on; they appear to be satisfied with having dispensed with the medium on their side. Moreover, it is in some cases found that information can be conveyed in a briefer and more direct manner, not having to be wrapped up in roundabout phrases, that names can be given more easily, and direct questions answered better, through the table than through a control.
It must be remembered that under control every medium has some peculiarities. Mrs. Leonard, for instance, is a very straightforward and honest medium, but not a particularly strong one. Accordingly anything like conversation and free interchange of ideas is hardly possible, and direct questions seldom receive direct answers, when put to the communicator through Feda.
I have known mediums much more powerful in this respect, so that free conversation with one or two specially skilled communicators was quite possible, and interchange of ideas almost as easy as when the communicator was in the flesh. But instances of that kind are hardly to be expected among hard-worked professional mediums.
I shall not in this volume touch upon still more puzzling and still more directly and peculiarly physical phenomena, such as are spoken of as 'direct voice, direct writing, and materialisation. In these strange and, from one point of view, more advanced occurrences, though lower in another sense, inert matter appears to be operated on without the direct intervention of physiological mechanism. And yet such mechanism must be in the neighbourhood. I am inclined to think that these weird phenomena, when established, will be found to shade off into those other methods that I have been speaking of, and that no complete theory of either can be given until more is known about both. This is one of the facts which causes me to be undogmatic about the certainty that all movements, even under contact, are initiated in the muscles. I only here hold up a warning against premature decision. The whole subject of psycho-physical interaction and activity requires attention in time and place; but the ground is now more treacherous the pitfalls more numerous, and the territory to many minds comparatively unattractive. Let it wait until long-range artillery has beaten down some of the entanglements, before organised forces are summoned to advance.

- (Part 3) - Chapter 15 - Life and Death -
Attitude of the Wise and Prudent
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"The vagueness and confusion inevitable at the beginning of a novel
line of research, [are] naturally distasteful to the savant accustomed to
proceed by measurable increments of knowledge from experimental bases
already assured. Such an one, if he reads this book, may feel as though he
had been called away from an ordnance survey, conducted with a competent
staff and familiar instruments, to plough slowly with inexperienced mariners
through some strange ocean where beds of entangling seaweed cumber the
trackless way. We accept the analogy; but we would remind him that even
floating weeds of novel genera may foreshow a land unknown; and that it
was not without ultimate gain to men that the straining keels of Columbus
first pressed through the Sargasso Sea."
Frederick W. H. Myers, Introduction to Phantasms of the Living

          IT IS rather remarkable that the majority of learned men have closed their minds to what have seemed bare and simple facts to many people. Those who call themselves spiritualists have an easy and simple faith; they interpret their experiences in the most straight forward and unsophisticated manner, and some of them have shown unfortunately that they can be led into credulity and error, without much difficulty, by unscrupulous people. Nevertheless, that simple-hearted folk are most accessible to new facts seems to be rather accordant with history. Whenever, not by reasoning but by direct experience, knowledge has been enlarged, or when a revelation has come to the human race through the agency of higher powers, it is not the wise but the simple who are first to receive it. This cannot be used as an argument either way; the simple may be mistaken, and may too blithely interpret their sense-impressions in the most obvious manner; just as on the other hand the eyes of the learned may be closed to anything which appears disconnected from their previous knowledge. For after all it is inevitable that any really new order of things must be so disconnected; some little time must elapse before the weight of facts impel the learned in a new direction, and meanwhile the unlearned may be absorbing direct experience, and in their own fashion may be forging ahead. It is an example of the ancient paradox propounded in and about i Cor. i. 26; and no fault need be found with what is natural.
It behoves me to mention in particular the attitude of men of science, of whom I may say quorum pars parva fui; for in no way do I wish to dissociate myself from either such stricture or such praise as may be appropriate to men who have made a study of science their vocation,- not indeed the peaks of the race, but the general body. For it is safe to assume that we must have some qualities in common, and that these must be among the causes which have switched us on to a laborious and materially unremunerative road.
Michael Foster said in his Presidential Address to the British Association at Dover:
"Men of science have no peculiar virtues, no special powers. They are ordinary men, their characters are common, even commonplace. Science, as Huxley said, is organised common sense, and men of science are common men," drilled in the ways of common sense."
This of course, like any aphorism, does not bear pressing unduly: and Dr. Arthur Schuster in a similar Address at" Manchester hedged it round with qualifying clauses:
"This saying of Huxley's has been repeated so often that one almost wishes it were true; but unfortunately I cannot find a definition of common sense that fits the phrase. Sometimes the word is used as if it were identical with uncommon sense, sometimes as if it were the same thing as common nonsense. Often it means untrained intelligence, and in its best aspect it is, I think, that faculty which recognises that the obvious solution of a problem is frequently the right one. When, for instance, I see during a total solar eclipse red flames shooting out from the edge of the sun, the obvious explanation is that these are real phenomena, caused by masses of glowing vapours ejected from the sun. And when a learned friend tells me that all this is an optical illusion due to anomalous refraction, I object on the ground that the explanation violates my common sense. He replies by giving me the reasons which have led him to his conclusions; and though I still believe that I am right, I have to meet him with a more substantial reply than an appeal to my own convictions. Against a solid argument common sense has no power, and must remain a useful but fallible guide which both leads and misleads all classes of the community alike."
The sound moral of this is, not that a common-sense explanation is likely to be the right one, or that it necessarily has any merits if there are sound reasons to oppose to it, but that the common sense or most obvious and superficial explanation may turn out to be after all truer as well as simpler than more recondite hypotheses which have been substituted for it. In other words - the straightforward explanation need not be false.
Now the phenomena encountered in psychical research have long ago suggested an explanation, in terms of other than living human intelligences, which may be properly called spiritistic. Every kind of alternative explanation, including the almost equally unorthodox one of telepathy from living people, has been tried: and these attempts have been necessary and perfectly legitimate. If they had succeeded, well and good; but inasmuch as in my judgment there are phenomena which they cannot explain, and inasmuch as some form of spiritistic hypothesis, given certain postulates, explains practically all, I have found myself driven back on what I may call the common-sense explanation; or, to adopt Dr. Schuster's parable, I consider that the red flames round the sun are what they appear to be.
To attribute capricious mechanical performance to the action of live things, is sufficient as a proximate explanation; as we saw in the case of the jumping bean, Chapter I. If the existence of the live thing is otherwise unknown, the explanation may seem forced and unsatisfactory. But if after trying other hypotheses we find that this only will fit the case, we may return to it after all with a clear conscience. That represents the history of my own progress in Psychical Research.
Apologia
Meanwhile the attitude of scientific men is perfectly, intelligible; and not unreasonable, except when they forget their self-imposed limitations and cultivate a baseless negative philosophy. People who study mechanism of course find Mechanics, and if the mechanism is physiological they find Physics and Chemistry as well; but they are not thereby compelled to deny the existence of everything else. They need not philosophise at all, though they should be able to realise their philosophical position when it is pointed out. The business of science is to trace out the mode of action of the laws of Chemistry and Physics, everywhere and under all circumstances. Those laws appear to be of universal application throughout the material Universe,in the most distant star as well as on the earth, in the animal organism as well as in inorganic matter; and the study of their action alone has proved an ample task.
But scientific workers are sometimes thought to be'', philosophising seriously when they should be understood as really only expressing the natural scope of their special subject. Laplace, for instance, is often misunderstood, because, when challenged about the place of God" in his system, he said that he had no need of such a hypothesis, - a dictum often quoted as if it were atheistical. It is not necessarily anything of the kind. As a brief statement it is right, though rather unconciliatory and blunt. He was trying to explain astronomy on clear and definite mechanical principles, and the introduction of a "finger of God" would have been not only an unwarrantable complication but a senseless intrusion. Not an intrusion or a complication in the Universe, be it understood, but in Laplace's scheme, his Systeme du Monde. Yet Browning's "flash of the will that can" in Abt Vogler, with all that the context implies, remains essentially and permanently true.
Theologians who admit that the Deity always works through agents and rational means can grant to scientific workers all that they legitimately claim in the positive direction, and can encourage them in the detailed study of those agents and means. If people knew more about science, and the atmosphere in which scientific men work, they would be better able to interpret occasional rather rash negations; which are quite explicable in terms of the artificial limitation of range which physical science hitherto has wisely laid down for itself.
It is a true instinct which resents the mediaeval practice of freely introducing occult and unknown causes into working science. To attribute the rise of sap, for instance, to a 'vital force' would be absurd, it would be giving up the problem and stating nothing at all. Progress in science began when spiritual and transcendental causes were eliminated and treated as non-existent. The simplicity so attained was congenial to the scientific type of mind; the abstraction was eminently useful, and was justified by results. Yet unknown causes of an immaterial and even of a spiritual kind may in reality exist, and may influence or produce phenomena, for all that; and it may have to be the business of science to discover and begin to attend to them, as soon as the ordinary solid ground-plan of Nature has been made sufficiently secure.
Some of us - whether wisely or unwisely-now want to enlarge the recognised scope of physical science, so as gradually to take a wider purview and include more of the totality of things. That is what the Society for Psychical Research was established for,- to begin extending the range of scientific law and order, by patient exploration in a comparatively new region. The effort has been resented, and at first ridiculed, only because misunderstood. The effort may be ambitious, but it is perfectly legitimate; and if it fails it fails.
But advance in new directions may be wisely slow, and it is readily admissible that Societies devoted to long-established branches of science are right to resist extraneous novelties, as long as possible, and leave the study of occult phenomena to a Society established for the purpose. Outlandish territories may in time be incorporated as States, but they must make their claim good and become civilised first.
Yet unfamiliar causes must be introduced occasionally into systematised knowledge, unless our scrutiny of the Universe is already exhaustive. Unpalatable facts can be ruled out from attention, but they cannot without investigation be denied. Strange facts do really happen, even though unprovided for in our sciences. Amid their orthodox relations, they may be regarded as a nuisance. The feeling they cause is as if capricious or mischievous live things had been allowed to intrude into the determinate apparatus of a physical laboratory, thereby introducing hopeless complexity and appearing superficially to interfere with established laws. To avoid such alien incursion a laboratory can be locked, but the Universe can not. And if ever, under any circumstances, we actually do encounter the interaction of intelligences other than that of living men, we shall sooner or later become aware of the fact, and shall ultimately have to admit it into a more comprehensive scheme of existence. Early attempts, like those of the present, must be unsatisfactory and crude; especially as the evidence is of a kind to which scientific men for the most part are unaccustomed; so no wonder they are resentful. Still the evidence is there, and I for one cannot ignore it. Members of the Society for Psychical Research are aware that the evidence already published - the carefully edited and sifted evidence published by their own organisation - occupies some forty volumes of Journal and Proceedings; and some of them know that a great deal more evidence exists than has been published, and that some of the best evidence is not likely to be published,- not yet at any rate. It stands to reason that, at the present stage, the best evidence must often be of a very private and family character. Many, however, are the persons who are acquainted with facts in their own experience which appeal to them more strongly than anything that has ever been published. No records can surpass first-hand direct experience in cogency.
Nevertheless we are also aware, or ought to be, that no one crucial episode can ever be brought forward as deciding such a matter. That is not the way in which things of importance are proven. Evidence is cumulative, it is on the strength of a mass of experience that an induction is ultimately made, and a conclusion provisionally arrived at; though sometimes it happens that a single exceptionally strong instance, or series of instances, may clinch it for some individual.
But indeed the evidence, in one form and another, has been crudely before the human race from remote antiquity; only it has been treated in ways more or less obfuscated by superstition. The same sort of occurrences as were known to Virgil, and to many another seer-the same sort of experiences as are found by folk-lore students, not only in history but in every part of the earth today happening now in a scientific age, and sometimes under scientific scrutiny. Hence it is that from the scientific point of view progress is at length being made; and any one with a real desire to know the truth need not lack evidence, if he will first read the records with an open mind, and then bide his time and be patient till an opportunity for first-hand critical observation is vouchsafed him. The opportunity may occur at any time: the readiness is all. Really clinching evidence in such a case is never in the past; a prima facie case for investigation is established by the records, but real conviction must be attained by first-hand experience in the present.
The things to be investigated are either true or false. if false, pertinacious inquiry will reveal their falsity. If true, they are profoundly important. For there are no half-truths in Nature; every smallest new departure has portentous consequences; our eyes must open slowly, or we should be overwhelmed. I once likened the feeling of physical investigators in the year 1889 to that of a boy who had long been strumming on the keyboard of a deserted organ into which an unseen power had begun to blow a vivifying breath.(1) That was at the beginning of the series of revolutionary discoveries about radiation and the nature of matter which have since resounded through the world. And now once more the touch of a finger elicits a responsive note, and again the boy hesitates, half delighted, half frighted, at the chords which it would seem he can now summon forth almost at will.
(1) Modern Views of Electricity, P- 408 of third and current edition.

- (Part 3) - Chapter 16 - Life and Death -
Outlook on the Universe
___________________________________________
          WHAT then is the conclusion of the whole matter? Or rather, what effect have these investigations had upon my own outlook on the Universe?
The question is not so unimportant as it seems; because if the facts are to influence others they must have influenced myself too; and that is the only influence of which I have first-hand knowledge. It must not be supposed that my outlook has changed appreciably since the event and the particular experiences related in the foregoing pages: my conclusion has been gradually forming itself for years, though undoubtedly it is based on experience of the same sort of thing. But this event has strengthened and liberated my testimony. It can now be associated with a private experience of my own, instead of with the private experiences of others. So long as one was dependent on evidence connected, even indirectly connected, with the bereavement of others, one had to be reticent and cautious and in some cases silent. Only by special permission could any portion of the facts be reproduced; and that permission might in important cases be withheld. My own deductions were the same then as they are now, but the facts are now my own.
One little point of difference, between the time before and the time after, has however become manifest. In the old days, if I sat with a medium, I was never told of any serious imaginary bereavement which had befallen myself - beyond the natural and inevitable losses from an older generation which fall to the lot of every son of man. But now, if I or any member of my family goes anonymously to a genuine medium, giving not the slightest normal clue, my son is quickly to the fore and continues his clear and convincing series of evidences; sometimes giving testimony of a critically selected kind, sometimes contenting himself with friendly family chaff and reminiscences, but always acting in a manner consistent with his personality and memories and varying moods. If in any case a given medium had weak power, or if there were special difficulties encountered on a given occasion, be is aware of the fact; and he refers to it, when there is opportunity, through another totally disconnected medium (cf. Chapter XXI, Part II). In every way he has shown himself anxious to give convincing evidence. Moreover, he wants me to speak out; and I shall.
I am as convinced of continued existence, on the other side of death, as I am of existence here. It may be said, you cannot be as sure as you are of sensory experience. I say I can. A physicist is never limited to direct sensory impressions, he has to deal with a multitude of conceptions and things for which he has no physical organ: the dynamical theory of heat, for instance, and of gases, the theories of electricity, of magnetism, of chemical affinity, of cohesion, aye and his apprehension of the Ether itself, lead him into regions where sight and hearing and touch are impotent as direct witnesses, where they are no longer efficient guides. In such regions everything has to be interpreted in terms of the insensible, the apparently unsubstantial, and in a definite sense the imaginary. Yet these regions of knowledge are as clear and vivid to him as are any of those encountered in everyday occupations.; indeed most commonplace phenomena themselves require interpretation in terms of ideas more subtle,- the apparent solidity of matter itself demands explanation,- and the underlying non-material entities of a physicist's conception become gradually as real and substantial as anything he knows. As Lord Kelvin used to say, when in a paradoxical mood, we really know more about electricity than we know about matter.
That being so, I shall go further and say that I am reasonably convinced of the existence of grades of being, not only lower in the scale than man but higher also, grades of every order of magnitude from zero to, infinity.
And I know by experience that among these beings are some who care for and help and guide humanity, not disdaining to enter even into what must seem petty details, if by so doing they can assist souls striving on their upward course. And further it is my faith - however humbly it may be held - that among these lofty beings, highest of those who concern themselves directly with this earth of all the myriads of worlds in infinite space, is One on whom the right instinct of Christianity has always lavished heartfelt reverence and devotion.
Those who think that the day of that Messiah is over are strangely mistaken: it has hardly begun. In individual souls Christianity has flourished and borne fruit, but for the ills of the world itself it is an almost untried panacea. It will be strange if this ghastly war fosters and simplifies and improves a knowledge of Christ, and aids a perception of the ineffable beauty of his life and teaching: yet stranger things have happened; and, whatever the Churches may do, I believe that the call of Christ himself will be heard and attended to, by a large part of humanity in the near future, as never yet it has been heard or attended to on earth.
My own time down here is getting short; it matters little: but I dare not go till I have borne this testimony to the grace and truth which emanate from that divine Being,- the realisation of whose tender-hearted simplicity and love for man may have been overlaid at times and almost lost amid well-intentioned but inappropriate dogma, but who is accessible as always to the humble and meek.
Intercommunion between the states or grades of existence is not limited to messages from friends and relatives, or to conversation with personalities of our own order of magnitude,- that is only a small and verifiable portion of the whole truth,- intercourse between the states carries with it occasional, and sometimes unconscious, communion with lofty souls who have gone before. The truth of such continued influence corresponds with the highest of the Revelations vouchsafed to humanity. This truth, when assimilated by man, means an assurance of the reality of prayer, and a certainty of gracious sympathy and fellow feeling from one who never despised the suffering, the sinful, or the lowly; yea, it means more-it means nothing less than the possibility some day of a glance or a word of approval from the Eternal Christ.  

- (Part 3) - Chapter 17 - Life and Death -
The Christian Idea of God
A Plea for Simplicity
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          INVESTIGATION is laborious and unexciting; it takes years, and progress is slow; but in all regions of knowledge it is the method which in the long-run has led towards truth; it is the method by which what we feel to be solid and substantial progress has always been made. In many departments of human knowledge this fact is admitted-though men of science have had to fight hard for their method before getting it generally recognised. In some departments it is still contested, and the arguments of Bacon in favour of free experimental inquiry are applicable to those subjects which are claimed as superior to scientific test.
If it be objected that not by such means is truth in religious matters ascertained, if it be held that we must walk by faith, not by sight, and that never by searching will man find out any of the secrets of God, I do not care to contest the objection, though I disagree with its negative portion. That no amount of searching will ever enable us to find out the Almighty to perfection is manifestly true; that secrets may be revealed to inspired 'babes' which are hidden from the wise and prudent is likewise certain; but that no secret things of God can be brought to light by patient examination and inquiry into facts is false, for you cannot parcel out truth into that which is divine and that which is not divine; the truths of science were as much God's secrets as any other, and they have yielded up their mystery to precisely the process which is called in question.
We are part of the Universe, our senses have been evolved in and by it; it follows that they are harmonious with it, and that the way it appeals to our senses is a true way; though their obvious limitation entitles us to expect from time to time fresh discoveries of surprising and fundamental novelty, and a growing perception of tracts beyond our ancient ken.
Some critics there are, however, who, calling themselves scientific, have made tip their minds in a negative direction and a contrary sense. These are impressed not only with the genuineness of the truth afforded us through our senses and perceptions, but with its completeness; they appear to think that the main lines of research  have already been mapped out or laid down, they will not believe that regions other than those to which they are accustomed can be open to scientific exploration; especially they imagine that in the so-called religious domain there can be no guides except preconception and prejudice. Accordingly, they appear to disbelieve that anyone can be conscientiously taking trouble to grope his way by patient inquiry, with the aid of such clues as are available; and in order to contradict the results of such inquiry they fall into the habit of doing that of which they accuse the workers,-they appeal to sentiment and presumption. They talk freely about what they believe, what they think unlikely, and what is impossible. They are governed by prejudice; their minds are made up.  Doubtless they regard knowledge on certain topics as inaccessible, so they are positive and self-satisfied and opinionated and quite sure. They pride themselves on their hard-headed scepticism and robust common sense; while the truth is that they have bound themselves into a narrow cell by walls of sentiment, and have thus excluded whole regions of human experience from their purview.
It so happens that I have been engaged for over forty years in mathematical and physical science, and for more than half that period in exploration into unusual psychical development, as opportunity arose; and I have thus been led to certain tentative conclusions respecting permissible ways of regarding the universe.
First, I have learned to regard the universe as a concrete and full-bodied reality, with parts accessible and intelligible to us, all of it capable of being understood and investigated by the human mind, not as an abstraction or dream-like entity whose appearances are deceptive. Our senses do not deceive us; their testimony is true as far as it goes. I have learned to believe in Intelligibility.
Next, that everything, every single thing, has many aspects. Even such a thing as water, for instance. Water, regarded by the chemist, is an assemblage or aggregate of complex molecules; regarded by the meteorologist and physiographer, it is an element of singular and vitally important properties; every poet has treated of some aspect of beauty exhibited by this common substance; while to the citizen it is an ordinary need of daily life. All the aspects together do not exhaust the subject, but each of them is real. The properties of matter of which our senses tell us, or enable us to inquire into in laboratories' are true properties, real and true. They are not the whole truth, a great deal more is known about them by men of science, but the more complex truths do not make the simpler ones false. Moreover, we must admit that the wholetruth about the simplest thing is assuredly beyond us; the Thing-in-itself is related to the whole universe, and in its fulness is incomprehensible.
Furthermore, I have learned that while positive assertions on any given subject are often true, error creeps in when simple aspects are denied in order to emphasise the more complex, or vice versa. A trigonometrical sine, for instance, may be expressed in terms of imaginary exponentials in a way familiar to all mathematical students; also as an infinite series of fractions with increasing factorials in the denominators; also in a number of other true and legitimate and useful ways; but the simple geometrical definition, by aid of the chord of a circle or the string of a bow, survives them all, and is true too.
So it is, I venture to say, with the concept God.
It can be regarded from some absolute and transcendental standpoint which humanity can only pretend to attain to. It can be regarded as the highest and best idea which the human mind has as yet been able to form. It can be regarded as dominating and including all existence, and as synonymous with all existence when that is made  sufficiently comprehensive. All these views are legitimate, but they are not final or complete. God can also be represented by some of the attributes of humanity, and can be depicted as a powerful and loving Friend with whom our spirits may commune at every hour of the day, one whose patience and wisdom and long- suffering and beneficence are never exhausted. He can, in fact, be regarded as displayed to us, in such fashion as we can make use of, in the person of an incarnate Being who came for the express purpose of revealing to man such attributes of deity as would otherwise have been missed.
The images are not mutually exclusive, they may all be in some sort true. None of them is complete. They are all aspects-partly true and partly false as conceived by any individual, but capable of being expressed so as to be, as far as they go, true.
Undoubtedly the Christian idea of God is the simple one. Overpoweringly and appallingly simple is the notion presented to us by the orthodox Christian Churches:
A babe born of poor parents, born in a stable among cattle because there was no room for them in the village inn-no room for them in the inn-what a master touch! Revealed to shepherds. Religious people inattentive. Royalty ignorant, or bent on massacre. A glimmering perception, according to one noble legend, attained in the Far East-where also similar occurrences have been narrated. Then the child growing into a peasant youth, brought up to a trade. At length a few years of itinerant preaching; flashes of miraculous power and insight. And then a swift end: set upon by the religious people; his followers overawed and scattered, himself tried as a blasphemer, flogged, and finally tortured to death.
Simplicity most thorough and most strange! In itself it is not unique; such occurrences seem inevitable to highest humanity in an unregenerate world; but who, without inspiration, would see in them a revelation of the nature of God? The life of Buddha, the life of Joan of Arc, are not thus regarded. Yet the Christian revelation is clear enough and true enough if our eyes are open, and if we care to read and accept the simple record which, whatever its historical value, is all that has been handed down to us.
Critics often object that there have been other attempted Messiahs, that the ancient world was expectant of a Divine Incarnation. True enough. But what then? We need not be afraid of an idea because it has several times striven to make itself appreciated. It is foolish to decline a revelation because it has been more than once offered to humanity. Every great revelation is likely to have been foreshadowed in more or less imperfect forms, so as to prepare our minds and make ready the way for complete perception hereafter. It is probable that the human race is quite incompetent to receive a really great idea the first time it is offered. There must be many failures to effect an entrance before the final success, many struggles to overcome natural obstacles and submerge the stony products of human stolidity. Lapse of time for preparation is required before anything great can be permanently accomplished, and repeated attempts are necessary; but the tide of general progress is rising all the time. The idea is well expressed in Clough's familiar lines:
"For while the tired waves, vainly breaking, Seem here no painful inch to gain, Far back, through creeks and inlets making, Comes silent, flooding in, the main."
So it was with the idea of the Messiah which was abroad in the land, and had been for centuries, before Christ's coming; and never has he been really recognised by more than a few. Dare we not say that he is more truly recognised now than in any previous age in the history of the Church-except perhaps the very earliest? And I doubt if we need make that exception.
The idea of his Messiahship gradually dawned upon him, and he made no mistake as to his mission:
The word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me. As the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. The words which I say unto you I speak not of myself; the Father which dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
The Father is greater than I. But, for all that, He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. 
Yes, truly, Christ was a planetary manifestation of Deity, a revelation to the human race, the highest and simplest it has yet had; a revelation in the only form accessible to man, a revelation in the full-bodied form of humanity.
Little conception had they in those days of the whole universe as we know it now. The earth was the whole world to them, and that which revealed God to the earth was naturally regarded as the whole Cosmic Deity. Yet it was a truly divine Incarnation.
A deity of some kind is common to every branch of the human race. It seems to be possessed by every savage, overawed as he necessarily is by the forces of nature. Caprice, jealousy, openness to flattery and rewards, are likewise parts of early theology. Then in the gods of Olympus -that poetic conception which rose to such heights and fell to such depths at different epochs in the ancient world-the attributes of power and beauty were specially emphasised. Power is common to all deities, and favouritism in its use seems also a natural supposition to early tribes; but the element of Beauty, as a divine attribute, we in these islands, save for the poets, have largely lost or forgotten-to our great detriment. In Jehovah, however, the Hebrew race rose to a conception of divine Righteousness which we have assimilated and permanently retained; and upon that foundation Christianity was grafted. It was to a race who had risen thus far-a race with a genius for theology- that the Christian revelation came. It was rendered possible, though only just possible, by the stage attained. Simple and unknown folk were ready to receive it, or, at least, were willing to take the first steps to learn.
The power, the righteousness, and other worthy attributes belonging to Jehovah, were known of old. The Christian conception takes them for granted, and concentrates attention on the pity, the love, the friendliness, the compassion, the earnest desire to help mankind-attributes which, though now and again dimly discerned by one or another of the great seers of old, had not yet been thrown into concrete form.
People sometimes seek to deny such attributes as are connoted by the word 'Personality' in the Godhead - they say it is a human conception. Certainly it is a human conception; it is through humanity that it has been revealed. Why seek to deny it? God transcends personality, objectors say. By all means: transcends all our conceptions infinitely, transcends every revelation which has ever been vouchsafed; but the revelations are true as far as they go, for all that.
Let us not befog ourselves by attempting impossible conceptions to such an extent that we lose the simple and manifest reality. No conception that we can make is too high, too good, too worthy. It is easy to imagine ourselves mistaken, but never because ideas are too high or too good. It were preposterous to imagine an over-lofty conception in a creature. Reality is always found to exceed our clear conception of it; never once in science has it permanently fallen short. No conception is too great or too high. But also no devout conception is too simple, too lowly, too childlike to have an element-some grain-of vital truth stored away, a mustard seed ready to germinate and bud, a leaven which may permeate the whole mass.
I would apply all this to what for brevity may be called Human Immortality. It is possible to think of that rather simply; and, on the other band, it is possible to confuse ourselves with tortuous thoughts till it seems unreal and impossible. It is part of the problem of personality and individuality; for the question of how far these are dependent on the bodily organism, or whether they can exist without it, is a scientific question. It is open to research. And yet it is connected with Christianity; for undoubtedly the Christian idea of God involves a belief in human immortality. If per impossible this latter could be authoritatively denied, a paralysing blow would have been struck at the Christian idea. On the other hand, if by scientific investigation the persistence of individual memory and character were proved, a great step in the direction of orthodox theology would have been taken.
The modern superstition about the universe is that, being suffused with law and order, it contains nothing personal, nothing indeterminate, nothing unforeseen; that there is no room for the free activity of intelligent beings, that everything is mechanically determined; so that given the  velocity and acceleration and position of every atom at any instant, the whole future could be unravelled by sufficient mathematical power.
The doctrines of Uniformity and Determinism are supposed to be based upon experience. But experience includes experience of the actions of human beings; and some of them certainly appear to be of a capricious and undetermined character. Or without considering human beings, watch the orbits of a group of flies as they play; they are manifestly not controlled completely by mechanical laws as are the motions of the planets. The simplest view of their activity is that it is self -determined, that they are flying about at their own will, and turning when and where they choose. The conservation of energy has nothing to say against it. Here we see free-will in its simplest form. To suppose anything else in such a case, to suppose that every twist could have been predicted through all eternity, is to introduce practernatural complexity, and is quite unnecessary.
Why not assume, what is manifestly the truth, that free-will exists and has to be reckoned with, that the universe is not a machine subject to outside forces, but a living organism with initiations of its own; and that the laws which govern it, though they include mechanical and physical and chemical laws, are not limited to those, but involve other and higher abstractions, which may perhaps some day be formulated, for life and mind and spirit?
If it be said that free-will can be granted to deity but to nothing lower, inasmuch as the Deity must be aware of all that is going to happen, I reply that you are now making a hypothesis of a complicated kind, and going beyond knowledge into speculation. But if still the speculation appears reasonable, that only the Deity can be endowed with free-will, it merely opens the question, What shall be included in that term? If freedom is the characteristic mark of deity, then those are justified who have taught that every fragment of mind and will is a contributory element in the essence of the Divine Being.
How, then, can we conceive of deity? The analogy of the human body and its relation to the white corpuscles in its blood is instructive. Each corpuscle is a living creature endowed with the powers of locomotion, of assimilation, and, under certain conditions now being inquired into, of reproduction by fission. The health and polity of the body are largely dependent on the activity of these phagocytes. They are to us extremely important; they are an essential part of our being.
But now suppose one of these corpuscles endowed with intelligence-what conception of the universe will it be able to form? It may examine its surroundings, discourse of the vessels through which it passes, of the adventures it encounters; and if philosophically minded, it may speculate on a being of which perhaps it and all its like form a part -an immanent deity, whose constituents they are, a being which includes them and includes all else which they know or can imagine-a being to whose existence they contribute, and whose purposes they serve or share. So far they could speculate, and so far they would be right. But if they proceeded further, and entered on negations, if they surmised that that immanent aspect of the universe in which they lived and moved and had their being was the sole and only aspect, if they surmised that there was no personality, no feeling, no locomotion, no mind, no purpose, apart from them and their kind, they would greatly err. What conception could they ever form of the manifold interests and activities of man ? Still less of the universe known to man, of which he himself forms so trivial a portion.
All analogies fail at some point, but they are a help nevertheless, and this analogy will bear pressing rather far. We ourselves are a part of the agencies for good or evil; we have the power to help or to hinder, to mend or to mar, within the scope of our activity. Our help is asked for; lowly as we are, it is really wanted, on the earth here and now, just as much wanted as our body needs the help of its lowly white corpuscles-to contribute to health, to attack disease, to maintain the normal and healthy life of the organism. We are the white corpuscles of the cosmos, we serve and form part of an immanent Deity.
Truly it is no easy service to which we are called; something of the wisdom of the serpent must enter into our activities; sanity and moral dignity and sound sense must govern our proceedings; all our powers must be called out, and there must be no sluggishness. Impulses, even good impulses, alone are not sufficient; every faculty of the human brain must be exerted, and we must be continually on guard against the flabbiness of mere good intentions.
Our activity and service are thus an integral part of the Divine Existence, which likewise includes that of all the perceptible universe. But to suppose that this exhausts the matter, and that the Deity has no transcendent Existence of which we can form no idea,- to suppose that what happens is not the result of his dominant and controlling Personality, is to step beyond legitimate inference, and to treat appearance as exhaustive of reality.
Always mistrust negations. They commonly signify blindness and prejudice-except when thoroughly established and carefully formulated in the light of actual experience or mathematical proof. And even then we should be ready to admit the possibility of higher generalisations which may uproot them. They are only safe when thrown into the form of a positive assertion.
The impossibility of squaring the circle is not really a negative proposition, except in form. It is safer and more convincing when thrown into the positive and definite form that the ratio of area to diameter is incommensurable. That statement is perfectly clear and legitimate; and the illustration may be used as a parable. A positive form should be demanded of every comprehensive denial; and whatever cannot be thrown into positive form, it is wise to mistrust. Its promulgator is probably stepping out of bounds, into the cheap and easy region of negative speculation. He is like a rationalistic microbe denying the existence of a human being.
I have urged that the simple aspect of things is to be considered and not despised; but, for the majority of people, is not the tendency the other way? Are they not too much given to suppose the Universe limited to the simplicity of their first and everyday conception of it? The stockbroker has his idea of the totality of things; the navy has his. Students of mathematical physics are liable to think of it as a determinate assemblage of atoms and ether, with no room for spiritual entities-no room, as my brilliant teacher, W. K. Clifford, expressed it, no room for ghosts.
Biological students are apt to think of life as a physicochemical process of protoplasmic structure and cell organisation, with consciousness as an epiphenomenon. They watch the lowly stages of animal organisms, and hope to imitate their behaviour by judicious treatment of inorganic materials. By all means let them try; the effort is entirely legitimate, and not unhopeful. That which has come into being in the past may come into, being under observation in the present, and the intelligence and cooperation of man may help. Why not? The material vehicle would thus have been provided-in this case, without doubt, purposely and designedly--for some incipient phase of life. But would that in the least explain the nature of life and mind and will,and reduce them to simple atomic mechanism and dynamics? Not a whit. The real nature of these things would remain an unanswered question.
During the past century progress has lain chiefly in the domain of the mechanical and material. The progress has been admirable, and has led to natural rejoicing and legitimate pride. It has also led to a supposition that all possible scientific advance lies in this same direction, or even that all the great fundamental discoveries have now been made! Discovery proceeds by stages, and enthusiasm at the acquisition of a step or a landing-place obscures for a time our perception of the flight of stairs immediately ahead; but it is rational to take a more comprehensive view.
Part of our experience is the connexion of spirit with matter. We are conscious of our own identity, our own mind and purpose and will: we are also conscious of the matter in which it is at present incarnate and manifested. Let us use these experiences and learn from them. Incarnation is a fact; we are not matter, yet we utilise it. Through the mechanism of the brain we can influence the material world; we are in it, but not of it; we transcend it by our consciousness. The body is our machine, our instrument, our vehicle of manifestation; and through it we can achieve results in the material sphere. Why seek to deny either the spiritual or the material? Both are real, both are true. In some higher mind, perhaps, they may be unified: meanwhile we do not possess this higher mind. Scientific progress is made by accepting realities and learning from them; the rest is speculation. It is not likely that we are the only intelligent beings in the Universe. There may be many higher grades, up to the Divine; just as there are lower grades, down to the amoeba. Nor need all these grades of intelligence be clothed in matter or inhabit the surface of a planet. That is the kind of existence with which we are now familiar, truly, and anything beyond that is for the most part supersensuous; but our senses are confessedly limited, and if there is any truth in the doctrine of human immortality the existence of myriads of departed individuals must be assumed, on what has been called "the other side."
But how are we to get evidence in favour of such an apparently gratuitous hypothesis? Well, speaking for myself and with full and cautious responsibility, I have to state that as an outcome of my investigation into psychical matters I have at length and quite gradually become convinced, after more than thirty years of study, not only that persistent individual existence is a fact, but that occasional communication across the chasm- with difficulty and under definite conditions-is possible.
This is not a subject on which one comes lightly and easily to a conclusion, nor can the evidence be explained except to those who will give to it time and careful study; but clearly the conclusion is either folly and self-deception, or it is a truth of the utmost importance to humanity-and of importance to us in connexion with our present subject. For it is a conclusion which cannot stand alone. Mistaken or true, it affords a foothold for a whole range of other thoughts, other conclusions, other ideas: false and misleading if the foothold is insecure, worthy of attention if the foothold is sound. Let posterity judge.
Meanwhile it is a subject that attracts cranks and charlatans. Rash opinions are freely expressed on both sides. I call upon the educated of the younger generation to refrain from accepting assertions without severe scrutiny, and, above all, to keep an open mind. 
If departed human beings can communicate with us, can advise us and help us, can have any influence on our actions,- then clearly the doors are open to a wealth of spiritual intercourse beyond what we have yet imagined.
The region of the miraculous, it is called, and the bare possibility of its existence has been hastily and illegitimately denied. But so long as we do not imagine it to be a region denuded of a law and order of its own, akin to the law and order of the psychological realm, our denial has no foundation. The existence of such a region may be established by experience; its non-existence cannot be established, for non-experience might merely mean that owing to deficiencies of our sense organs it was beyond our ken. In judging of what are called miracles we must be guided by historical evidence and literary criticism. We need not urge a priori objections to them on scientific grounds. They need be no more impossible, no more lawless, than the interference of a human being would seem to a colony of ants or bees.
The Christian idea of God certainly has involved, and presumably always will involve, an element of the miraculous' - a flooding of human life with influences which lie outside it, a controlling of human destiny by higher and beneficent agencies. By evil agencies too? Yes, the influences are not all on one side; but the Christian faith is that the good are the stronger. Experience has shown to many a saint, however tormented by evil, that appeal to the powers of good can result in ultimate victory. Let us not reject experience on the ground of dogmatic assertion and baseless speculation.
Historical records tell us of a Divine Incarnation. We may consider it freely on historical grounds. We are not debarred from contemplating such a thing by anything that science has to say to the contrary. Science does not speak directly on the subject. If the historical evidence is good we may credit it, just as we may credit the hypothesis of survival if the present-day evidence is good. It sounds too simple and popular an explanation-too much like the kind of ideas suited to unsophisticated man and to the infancy of the race. True; but has it not happened often in the history of science that reality has been found simpler than our attempted conception of it? Electricity long ago was often treated as a fluid; and a little time ago it was customary to jeer at the expression - legitimate in the mouth of Benjamin Franklin, but now apparently outgrown. And yet what else is the crowd of mobile electrons, postulated by [not] the very latest theory, in a metal? Surely it is in some sense a fluid, though not a material one? The guess was not so far wrong after all. Meanwhile we learned to treat it by mathematical devices, vector potential, and other recondite methods. With great veneration I speak of the mathematical physicists of the past century. They have been almost superhuman in power, and have attained extraordinary results, but in time the process of discovery will enable mankind to apprehend all these things more simply. Progress lies in simple investigation as welt as in speculation and thought up to the limits of human power; and when things are really understood, they are perceived to be fairly simple after all.
So it seems likely to be with a future state, or our own permanent existence; it has been thought of and spoken of as if it were altogether transcendental - something beyond space and time (as it may be), something outside and beyond all conception. But it is not necessarily so at all; it is a question of fact; it is open to investigation. I find part of it turning out quite reasonably simple; not easy to grasp or express, for lack of experience and language-- that is true, - but not by any means conveying a feeling of immediate vast difference and change. Something much more like terrestrial existence, at least on one aspect of it, than we had imagined. Not as a rule associated with matter; no, but perhaps associated with etheran etherial body instead of a material one; certainly a body, or mode of manifestation, of some kind. It appears to be a state which leaves personality and character and intelligence much where it was. No sudden jump into something supernal, but steady and continued progress. Many activities and interests beyond our present ken, but with a surviving terrestrial aspect, occasionally accessible, and showing interest in the doings of those on earth, together with great desire to help and to encourage all efforts for the welfare of the race. We need not search after something so far removed from humanity as to be unintelligible.
So likewise with the idea of God.
No matter how complex and transcendentally vast the Reality must be, the Christian conception of God is humanly simple. It appeals to the unlettered and ignorant; it appeals to "babes."
That is the way with the greatest things. The sun is the centre of the solar system, a glorious object full of mystery and unknown forces, but the sunshine is a friendly and homely thing, which shines in at a cottage window, touches common objects with radiance, and brings warmth and comfort even to the cat.
The sunshine is not the sun, but it is the human and terrestrial aspect of the sun; it is that which matters in daily life. It is independent of study and discovery; it is given us by direct experience, and for ordinary life it suffices.
Thus would I represent the Christian conception of God. Christ is the human and practical and workaday aspect. Christ is the sunshine - that fraction of transcendental Cosmic Deity which suffices for the earth. Jesus of Nazareth is plainly a terrestrial heritage. His advent is the glory, His reception the shame, of the human race.
Once more, then. Although there may be undue simplification of the complex, there is also an undue complication of the simple; it is easy to invent unnecessary problems, to manufacture gratuitous difficulties, to lose our way in a humanly constructed and quite undivine fog. But the way is really simple, and when the fog lifts and the sunshine appears, all becomes clear and we proceed without effort on our way: the wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein. The way, the truth, and the life are all one. Reality is always simple; it is concrete and real and expressible. Our customary view of the commonest objects is not indeed the last word, nay, rather, it is the first word, as to their nature; but it is a true word as far as it goes. Analysing a liquid into a congeries of discrete atoms does not destroy or weaken or interfere with its property or fluidity. Analysing an atom into  electrons does not destroy the atom. Reducing matter to electricity, or to any other etherial substratum, does not alter the known and familiarly utilised properties of a bit of wood or iron or glass, in the least; no, nor of a bit of bone or feather or flesh. Study may superadd properties imperceptible to the plain man, but the plain man's concrete and simple view serves for ordinary purposes of daily life.
And God's view, strange to say, must be more akin to that of the plain man than to that of the philosopher or statistician. That is how it comes that children are near the kingdom of heaven. It is not likely that God really makes abstractions and "geometrises." All those higher and elaborate modes of expression are human counters; and the difficulties of dealing with them are human too. Only in early stages do things require superhuman power for their apprehension; they are easy to grasp when they are really understood. They come out then into daily life; they are not then matters of intellectual strain; they can appeal to our sense of beauty; they can affect us with emotion and love and appreciation and joy; they can enter into poetry and music, and constitute the subject-matter of Art of all kinds. The range of art and of enjoyment must increase infinitely with perfect knowledge. This is the atmosphere of God. "Where dwells enjoyment, there is He." We are struggling upwards into that atmosphere slowly and laboriously. The struggle is human, and for us quite necessary, but the mountain top is serene and pure and lovely, and its beauty is in nowise enhanced by the efforts of the exhausted climber, as he slowly wins his way thither.
Yet the effort itself is of value. The climber, too, is part of the scheme, and his upward trend may be growth and gain to the whole. It adds interest, though not beauty. Do not let us think that the universe is stagnant and fixed and settled and dull, and that all its appearance of "going on" is illusion and deception. I would even venture to urge that, ever since the grant to living creatures of free will, there must be, in some sense or other, a real element of contingency,- that there is no dulness about it, even to the Deity, but a constant and aspiring Effort.
Let us trust our experience in this also. The Universe is a flux, it is a becoming, it is a progress. Evolution is a reality. True and not imaginary progress is possible. Effort is not a sham. Existence is a true adventure. There is a real risk.
There was a real risk about creation-directly it went beyond the inert and mechanical. The granting of choice and free will involved a risk. Thenceforward things could go wrong. They might be kept right by main force, but that would not be playing the game, that would not be loyalty to the conditions.
As William James says: A football team desire to get a ball to a certain spot, but that is not all they desire; they wish to do it under certain conditions and overcome inherent difficulties - else might they get up in the night and put it there.
So also we may say, Good is the end and aim of the Divine Being; but not without conditions. Not by compulsion. Perfection as of machinery would be too dull and low an achievement - something much higher is sought. The creation of free creatures who, in so far as they go right, do so because they will, not because they must,- that was the Divine problem, and it is the highest of which we have any conception.
Yes, there was a real risk in making a human race on this planet. Ultimate good was not guaranteed. Some parts of the Universe must be far better than this, but some may be worse. Some planets may comparatively fail. The power of evil may here and there get the upper hand: although it must ultimately lead to suicidal destructive failure, for evil is pregnant with calamity.
This planet is surely not going to fail. Its destinies have been more and more entrusted to us. For millions of years it laboured, and now it has produced a human race - a late-comer to the planet, only recently arrived, only partly civilised as yet. But already it has produced Plato and Newton and Shakespeare; yes, and it has been the dwelling-place of Christ. Surely it is going to succeed, and in good time to be the theatre of such a magnificent development of human energy and power and joy as to compensate, and more than compensate, for all the pain and suffering, all the blood and tears, which have gone to prepare the way.
The struggle is a real one. The effort is not confined to humanity alone: according to the Christian conception God has shared in it. "God so loved the world that He gave" - we know the text. The earth's case was not hopeless; the world was bad, but it could be redeemed; and the redemption was worth the painful effort which then was undergone, and which the disciples of the Cross have since in their measure shared. Aye, that is the Christian conception; not of a God apart from His creatures, looking on, taking no personal interest in their behaviour, sitting aloof only to judge them; but One who anxiously takes measures for their betterment ' takes trouble, takes pains--a pregnant phrase, takes pains,--One who suffers when they go wrong, One who feels painfully the miseries and wrongdoings and sins and cruelties of the creatures whom He has endowed with free will; One who actively enters into the storm and the conflict; One who actually took flesh and dwelt among us, to save us from the slough into which we might have fallen, to show us what the beauty and dignity of man might be.
Well, it is a great idea, a great and simple idea, so simple as to be incredible to some minds. It has been hidden from many of the wise and prudent; it has been revealed to babes.
To sum up: Let us not be discouraged by simplicity. Real things are simple. Human conceptions are not altogether misleading. Our view of the Universe is a partial one but is not an untrue one. Our knowledge of the conditions of existence is not altogether false - only inadequate. The Christian idea of God is a genuine representation of reality
Nor let us imagine that existence hereafter, removed from these atoms of matter which now both confuse and manifest it, will be something so wholly remote and different as to be unimaginable; but let us learn by the testimony of experience - either our own or that of others that those who have been, still are; that they care for us and help us; that they, too, are progressing and learning and working and hoping; that there are grades of existence, stretching upward and upward to all eternity; and that God Himself, through His agents and messengers, is continually striving and working and planning, so as to bring this creation of His through its preparatory labour and pain, and lead it on to an existence higher and better than anything we have ever known. 

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