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SPIRIT, variously defined as the inmost principle, the divine particle, the vital essence, the inherent actuating element in life. It manifests through association with protoplasm and dwells in the astral body, also called the soul, which in turn is the connecting link between the spirit and the physical body. At death the connection is severed and the spirit will find no ordinary means of manifestation. According to accumulated inferences the spirits appear to be cognizant of space although not conditioned by it. The same applies to time. Past, present and future do not exist-for the spirit in the earthly sense. There is no reason to suppose that spirits can play the role of Peeping Toms. But it seems as if they were partly conscious of the thoughts and emotions which are directed towards them from the earth. It looks as if they had occasional glimpses of material facts upon the earth without gleaning them from living minds. They cannot hold communion with the living if their mental attitude bars the way of their approach. Prof. Hare was told by the spirits that there were peculiar elementary principles out of which spiritual bodies were constructed which were analogous to, but not identical with material elements, that the spirits have bodies, with a circulation and respiratory apparatus, that they breathe a gaseous or ethereal matter which is also inspired by men, beasts and fishes.
"The vision that can see through brick walls," says Prof. Denton, "and distinguish objects miles away, does not belong to the body; it must belong to the spirit. Hundreds of times have I had the evidence that the spirit can smell, hear and see, and has powers of locomotion. As the fin in the unhatched fish indicates the water in which he may one day swim, so these powers in man indicate that mighty realm which the spirit is fitted eternally to enjoy."
"Whether spirits can pass to other globes," writes Hudson Tuttle, "depends on their degree of refinement. While some are very pure and ethereal, others are gross and unrefined. The sensualist, the depraved debauchee, in many instances, are so gross that gravity chains them to the earth's surface as it does man. They are denser than the spirit ether, and hence have weight, and cannot rise from earth. Others, who are more spiritual, can only rise to the first sphere; while others, still more refined, pass at will through the universal ocean of ether, visiting other globes and other solar systems."
All this is pure speculation, resting on assertions which defy experimental verification for the living. A number of observations, however, bear out the curious state of affairs that our material world is almost as invisible to spirit vision as the spirit world is to our eyes. "Your bodies and the atmosphere that surrounds you," quotes Lord Adare a control of Home, "is in many cases as solid and impenetrable to us as granite is to you."
In Mrs. Travers Smith's experiences with the ouija board the communicator generally only saw the medium. If a particularly sensitive person was there, the traveler moved towards him and he was claimed to have been seen dimly as in a mist. Voices other than the medium's were unheeded. Peter, one of his controls, when sent, in a test seance, to the medium's house to describe the state of a disarranged drawing room, came back very indignant and asked how he could have been given all the trouble when there were no human eyes to see through.
Dr. Hyslop writes in Contact with the Other World:
At one time in my experiments with Mrs. Chenoweth I used a headrest to support her head when she was in trance. Her eyes were buried in the pillow. Once, when the automatic writing was going on and Dr. Hodgson was purporting to communicate, she turned her face over so that her eyes, though closed, were exposed to the light. The communicator, apparently not knowing what had happened, remarked that he could almost see. Supposedly the light penetrating the eyelids had affected the communicator so that he could use the sense-organs."
Hyslop did not consider this incident conclusive. But he found a still better support for Dr. Hare's statement that the spirits used his eyes when the medium could not look at the alphabetical dial. "Since the development of Mrs. Chenoweth's trance into what we may call either a deep state or a further dissociation of the subconscious, I have frequently noticed that I must keep my eyes on the sheet of paper to prevent superposition. If I turn away to reach a new pad or to make notes, superposition is sure to begin; I may prevent it by keeping my eyes on the paper ... . . Apparently my own visual picture of the paper is immediately transferred to the control and he or she can regulate the writing accordingly."
The influence of the spirit world, whenever it finds an inroad into ours, is exerted for the uplift of humanity. High teachings are invariably delivered wherever the veil is truly rent. Sir William Barrett even ventured to speculate: "If we can even alter the varieties of plants and animals by artificial selection, is it unreasonable to suppose that the psychical operation of unseen intelligences may have influenced the course of evolution through the ages? Is it possible that some of the unsolved problems in the doctrine of evolution may have to be shifted from the world of sense and gross matter to the unseen world around us, just as in physics we are gradually shifting our penultimate explanation of perceptible things to the imperceptible ether? The great First Cause must ever lie beyond our ken, but science, which deals with secondary causes, is finding that to many obscure questions the visible world appears to offer no intelligible solution." (On the Threshold of the Unseen, p. 113).
SPIRIT CHILDREN, children who passed over and, according to trance accounts, are growing to maturity on the other side. Child mediums often claim spirit children as their playmates. Florence Marryat writes in her There is No Death of Bessie Williams' little girl, Mabel: "I have watched her playing at ball with an invisible child, and have seen the ball thrown, arrested half-way in the air, and then tossed back again as if a living child had been Mab's opponent." According to the authoress, when a still-born baby is launched upon the other side she is delivered over to the nearest relative of its parent to be named and brought up.
"The nurse of the little Guldenstubbe," writes Baron Hellenbach in his Birth and Death, "who afterwards became a very celebrated medium, noticed with terror that his playthings moved about by themselves, while the child declared that another child was playing with them."
SPIRIT HYPOTHESIS, the theory that the intelligence which directs the phenomena of the medium is a disembodied spirit. It is the only simple theory that covers every phase of manifestations. It is also the one which is being consistently put forward by the invisible communicators.
Opposed to the spirit hypothesis stands the psychological theory of mediumship and the diabolic theory of Catholic theologians. The psychological theory reduces the phenomena to mental processes inherent in the mediums themselves and their associates.
According to Prof. Flournoy, one of its ablest champions "The state of passivity, the abdication of the normal personality, the relaxation of voluntary control over the muscular movements, and the ideas-this whole psycho -physiological attitude, where the subject is in a state of expectancy of communicating with the deceased-strongly predisposes him to mental dissociation and a sort of infantile regression, a relapse into an inferior phase of psychic evolution, where his imagination naturally begins to imitate the discarnate, utilising the resources of the subconscious, the emotional complexes, latent memories, instinctive tendencies ordinarily suppressed, etc., for the various roles it plays."
Prof. Hyslop sums up the fundamental conditions of the spirit hypothesis as follows: (1) The information acquired must be supernormal, that is, not explicable by normal perception; (2) The incidents must be verifiable memories of the deceased persons and so representative of their personal identity; (3) The incidents must be trivial and specific-not easily, if at all, duplicated in the common experience of others.
Prof. William James, in his report of the Hodgson control of Mrs. Piper says: "I myself can perfectly well imagine spirit agency, and find my mind vaccillating about it curiously. When I take the phenomena piecemeal, the notion that Mrs. Piper's subliminal self should keep her sitters apart as expertly as she does, remembering its past dealings with each of them so well, not mixing their communications more, and all the while humbugging them so profusely, is quite compatible with what we know of the dream life of the hypnotized subjects. . . But I find that when I ascend from the details to the whole meaning of the phenomenon ... the notion that such an immense current of experience, complex in so many ways, should spell out absolutely nothing but the word "humbug," acquires a character of unlikeliness. The notion that so many men and women, in all other respects honest enough, should have this preposterous monkeying self annexed to their personality seems to me so weird that the spirit theory immediately takes on a more probable appearance. The spirits, if spirits there be, must indeed work under incredible complications and falsifications, but at least if they are present some honesty is left in the whole department of the universe which otherwise is run by pure deception. The more I realize the quantitative massiveness of the phenomenon and its complexity, the more incredible it seems to me that in a world all of whose vaster features we are in the habit of considering to be sincere at least, however brutal, this feature should be wholly constituted of insincerity."
In a chapter on The Spiritistic Hypothesis in My Philosophy, 1933, Sir Oliver Lodge says: "My doctrine involves the primary reality of mind in association with whatever physical mechanism it may find available. Matter constitutes only one of these mechanisms, and indeed only constitutes it in a secondary fashion; and by a study limited to matter alone we shall never get the full reality of existence. I hold that all our actions on matter here and now are conducted through empty space, or rather through the entity which fills space; and that if our activity continues, it must be continued in the same sort of way and through the same sort of etheric mechanism that we already unconsciously utilise now. That in brief terms is the spiritistic hypothesis which I proclaim and work on."
SPIRIT INTERVENTION to find lost wills, other papers, objects of importance or to track down murderers has been often recorded.
Boccaccio, in his Life of Dante, relates that the spectral form of Dante appeared in a dream to his son, Jacopo Alighieri and on the son's inquiry whether he finished his great poem, the thirteenth canto of which they were unable to find, the spirit took him by the hand and led him to the house and into the room where he had been accustomed to sleep and pointed out a blind window covered by matting. On waking the missing canto, which had not been seen before, was found in this place.
Kant, in his revelations on Swedenborg, narrates the story of Mme. Marteville, a widow who was asked to pay a debt of her deceased husband. She remembered that the debt was paid but could not find the receipt. During a visit to Swedenborg Mme. Marteville asked the seer if he had known her husband. Swedenborg answered in the negative, because he lived the whole time in London while the deceased was in Stockholm. Eight days afterwards the spirit of the dead appeared to the widow in a dream and showed her where she would find a casket of finest workmanship with the receipt and with a magnificent pin adorned with 20 brilliants which was believed also lost. She immediately got out of bed, ran to the place indicated and found the casket and contents. In the morning, she was hardly awake when Swedenborg was announced. Without having knowledge of her dream Swedenborg told her that during the night he conversed with many spirits, among them with her deceased husband who, however, cut short the conversation by saying that he must visit his wife in order to reveal to her the whereabouts of a paper of the highest importance and of a diamond breast pin she thought lost. Swedenborg called to find out whether the spirit had kept his promise.
The Master of Lindsay, on being questioned before the Dialectical Committee whether he ever obtained any information which could not have been known to the medium or to any present, told the following story: "A friend of mine was very anxious to find a will of his grandmother, who had been dead forty years but could not even find the certificate of her death. I went with him to the Marshall's, and we had a seance; we sat at a table, and soon the raps came; my friend then asked his questions mentally; he went over the alphabet himself, or sometimes I did so, not knowing the question. We were told the will had been drawn by a man named William Walker, who lived in Whitechapel; the name of the street, and the number of the house were given. We went to Whitechapel, found the man, and subsequently, through his aid, obtained a copy of the draft; he was quite unknown to us, and had not always lived in that locality, for he had once seen better days. The medium could not possibly have known anything about the matter, and even if she had, her knowledge would have been of no avail, as all the questions were mental ones."
Macnish in his Philosophy of Sleep (p. 81) narrates the court case of R. of Bowland. He was summoned to pay a sum which his father had already paid. When he was about to pay again the spirit of his father appeared to him in a dream and informed him that the respective papers were in the hands of M. of Inveresk, near Edinburgh. If he had no recollection of it, he should be reminded of the difference of opinion which he had with the deceased about a Portuguese coin. The reminder was most helpful. With the help of it the old attorney remembered and found the papers.
Delanne, in Le Spiritisme devant la Science (p. 399) tells the story of a spirit communication given to a descendant of Sebastian Bach by the spirit of an Italian musician named Baldasarini who lived at the court of Henry III, of France. The communication led to the discovery of a small strip of paper inside a spinet of 1664 with four lines of verse in the handwriting of Henry III. The authenticity of the writing was proved by comparing the strip with manuscripts of the Imperial Library.
The Widow's Mite incident is described in Dr. Isaac K. Funk's book of this title. In February, 1903 he heard of a Brooklyn family where every Wednesday evening sittings took place in the presence of a few invited guests. He secured an invitation. On his third visit when he was getting reconciled to the notion that the mediumship was a remarkably good case of secondary personality, the control, George, asked: "Has anyone here got anything that belonged to Mr. Beecher?" There was no reply. On his emphatic repetition of the question Funk replied: "I have in my pocket a letter from the Rev. Dr. Hillis, Mr. Beecher's successor. Is that what you mean?" The answer was: "No, I am told by a spirit present, John Rakestraw that Mr. Beecher, who is not present, is concerned about an ancient coin, The Widow's Mite. This coin is out of place, and should be returned, and he looks to you, doctor, to return it." Dr. Funk was greatly surprised and asked: "What do you mean by saying that he looks to me to return it? I have no coin of Mr. Beecher's." The control then explained that he knew nothing about it, except that he was told that the coin was out of place and has been for a number of years and that Mr. Beecher says that Dr. Funk can find it, and can return it. The control also added that he was impressed that the coin is in a large iron safe in a drawer under a lot of papers. Dr. Funk then remembered that when they were making the Standard Dictionary he borrowed from a close friend of Beecher, who died several days before, a valuable ancient coin, known as The Widow's Mite. He said that the coin was returned. The answer came that it was not. After Dr. Funk had instituted a search the coin was in fact found in his office in a little drawer in the large iron safe under a lot of papers. In later inquiries through the control Dr. Funk was told that Mr. Beecher was not concerned about the return of the coin. His purpose was to give him a test to prove communication between the two worlds.
Prof. Hyslop in his report on the direct voice mediumship of Mrs. Elisabeth Blake of Ohio (Proceedings of the American S.P.R., Vol. VII. p. 581) quotes the following case given by Dr. L. V. Guthrie, superintendent of the West Virginia Asylum at Huntington, Mrs. Blake's medical adviser: "An acquaintance of mine, of prominent family in this end of the State, whose grandfather had been found at the foot of a high bridge with his skull smashed and life extinct, called on Mrs. Blake a few years ago and was not thinking of her grandfather at the time. She was very much surprised to have the "spirit" of her grandfather tell her that he had not fallen off the bridge while intoxicated, as had been presumed at the time, but that he had been murdered by two men who met him in a buggy and had proceeded to sandbag him, relieve him of his valuables, and throw him over the bridge. The "spirit" then proceeded to describe minutely the appearance of the two men who had murdered him, and gave such other information that had led to the arrest and conviction of one or both of these individuals."
SPIRITUALISM, according to the definition adopted by the National Spiritualist Association of America, "is the Science, Philosophy and Religion of continuous life, based upon the demonstrated fact of communication, by means of mediumship, with those who live in the Spirit World. Spiritualism is a science because it investigates, analyses and classifies facts and manifestations ' demonstrated from the spirit side of life. Spiritualism is a philosophy because it studies the laws of nature both on the seen and unseen sides of life and bases its conclusions upon present observed facts. It accepts statements of observed facts of past ages and conclusions drawn therefrom, when sustained by reason and by results of observed facts of the present day. Spiritualism is a religion because it strives to understand and to comply with the Physical, Mental and Spiritual Laws of Nature which are the laws of God."
There are two basic facts in spiritualism: the continuity of personality and the powers of communication after death. It teaches that death works no miracle, that it is a new birth into a spiritual body, the counterpart of the physical which is gifted with new powers.
Neither punishment, nor rewards are meted out. Individuality, character, memory undergo no change. The main principle of the new life is the progression of the fittest. The rapidity of progress is in proportion to the mental and moral faculties acquired in earth life. Every spirit is left to discover the truth for himself. Evil passions, sinful life, may chain a spirit to the earth, but the road of endless progress opens up even for these as soon as they discover the light. Higher and higher spheres correspond to the state of progress. The gradation is apparently endless. Communion with the higher intelligences is open but of God they know no more than we do.
Spiritualism and Religion.
"Spiritualism" writes Conan Doyle, "is a religion for those who find themselves outside all religions; while on the contrary it greatly strengthens the faith of those who already possess religious beliefs."
The important aspect of the relationship of spiritualism to other religious creeds is that it founds the belief in survival upon proven and provable facts instead of ancient traditions and thereby reconciles religion with science. It offers a progressive and evolutionary religion. It does not look "backward to fading tradition, but onward to dawning experience." And there is hope that the intercourse consciously begun may lead through long effort into a direct communion with the higher world. It restores primitive Christianity and teaches that the angels are with us now as in olden days, it returns a definite answer to the age-old question: "If a man die shall he live again?" and does away with the terror of death. Inscriptions in the Catacombs show that the early Christians spoke of the dead as though they were still living. Saint Augustine in his De cura pro Mortuis says: "The spirits of the dead can be sent to the living and can unveil to them the future which they themselves have learned from other spirits or from angels, or by divine revelation."
Spiritualism does not admit unchangeable bliss or eternal damnation. There is no hell with brimstone and flames of fire in the orthodox sense, no devils, no last judgment, no vicarious atonement. Christ was a Great Teacher who descended to set an example. "It is our task to do for Christianity what Jesus did for Judaism" said a message received by Stainton Moses from his teachers in the Beyond. There is no resurrection of the physical body. The hieracites, a sect which flourished in the fourth century, were described as heretics because they maintained that it was the soul alone which arose again and the resurrection was entirely spiritual. In that sense and in that sense alone, spiritualism is a heresy. Yet it was not too bold of Myers to declare in Human Personality: "I predict that, in consequence of the new evidence, all reasonable men, a century hence, will believe the Resurrection of Christ, whereas, in default of the, new evidence, no reasonable men, a century hence would have believed it." "We have shown that amid much deception and self-deception, fraud and illusion, veritable manifestations do reach us from beyond the grave. The central claim of Christianity is thus confirmed, as never before. If our own friends, men like ourselves, can sometimes return to tell us of love and hope, a mightier Spirit may well have used the eternal laws with a more commanding power."
Spiritualism admits all the truths of morality and religion in all other sects. Its own moral and religious teachings are very sane and rational. The good which
they achieved both in personal respect and for the progress of humanity is immeasurable. President Lincoln freed the American slaves largely under spiritualist influence.
In November, 1872, the Religio-Philosophical Yournal of Chicago published the following statement of Elder Evans, the Shaker: "At a public dinner, given by the Emperor of Russia, he confessed with the simplicity of a child what was confirmed by the Empress and other members of their suite, that he was influenced by spirits through the American medium Home, to emancipate the twenty million of serfs; and that the spirits helped and sustained him in the accomplishment of his arduous undertaking." To the inquiry of Dr. Crowell, Elder Evans confirmed the truth of the statement and said he received it from the mouth of a physician who was a guest at the public dinner referred to.
Gerald Massey said in a beautiful tribute: "Spiritualism will make religion infinitely more real, and translate it from the domain of belief to that of life. It has been to me, in common with many others, such a lifting of the mental horizon and a letting in of the heavens--such a transformation of faith into facts that I can only compare life without it to sailing on board ship with hatches battened down, and being kept prisoner, cribbed, cabined, and confined, living by the light of a candle-dark to the glory overhead, and blind to a thousand possibilities of being-and then suddenly on some starry night allowed to go on deck for the first time to see the stupendous mechanism of the starry heavens all aglow with the glory of God, to feel that vast vision glittering in the eyes, bewilderingly beautiful, and drink in a new life with every breath of its wondrous liberty, which makes you dilate almost large enough in soul to fill the immensity which you see around you."
The Phenomena of Spiritualism.
The phenomena of spiritualism fall into two main groups: physical and mental. Both groups contain a great variety of manifestations. The following phenomena belong to the physical order:
Acoustic phenomena (Percussive sounds as raps and blows; noises, voices, music on instruments or without).
Apports, disappearance of objects, passing of matter through matter, transportation of the human body.
Automatism in various forms: agitation of the body or limbs, automatic writing, drawing, painting, slate writing; direct writing, drawing and painting.
Biological phenomena, such as influencing the growth of plants by vital bodily emanations or by other unknown means.
Chemical phenomena: psychic lights, perfumes, catalytic action, production of water, psychic photographs.
Electric phenomena discharge of electroscopes, phenomena suggesting human radioactivity.
Levitation of the human body.
Materialization and dematerialization.
Movement of objects without contact, vibratory effects, increase and decrease in weight, spelling out messages by typtology, and other complicated operations, as untying of bonds, etc.
Plastics: imprints of fingers, hands, faces, legs, and psychic rods, moulds of faces, hands and legs.
Psycho-physiological phenomena, change of stature elongation, shrinking or puffing out of the human body; stigmatisation, effects of personation, transfiguration, obsession and trance in general; loss of weight, nervous drain, ectoplasm, aura and emanations.
Thermo-dynamic effects: variations of temperature, increase of heat in apported objects or in case of penetration of matter through matter, currents of air, winds.
Many of the mental phenomena have a physical background, yet the intellectual operation on the part of the medium gives a definite line of distinction. Clairvoyance, in all its variegated forms, clairaudience, crystal gazing, divination in general, involving prediction with its rudimentary forms as premonition, monition, monition of approach, dowsing as regards the interpretation of the movement of the rod, healing, possession, personation, obsession in their intellectual aspects, psychometry, trance speaking, other forms of spirit communications, telepathy and xenoglossis, or the gift of tongues constitute the full range of mental phenomena.
Unknown mental processes of the medium may furnish the key to most of the mystery. But there are phenomena in which the interplay of an extraneous factor demands consideration. This extraneous factor was variously speculated to be the will of someone living, a disembodied human consciousness, or something of non-human origin.
Professor Maximilian Perty, of the University of Berne, in his book published in 1861, assumed the existence of planetary spirits with whom the spirit of the entranced medium can enter into communion. Edward von Hartmann similarly conjectured that the mind of the seer is in connection with the Absolute and through the Absolute with other individual minds. Catholic theologians solved the question in a simple way. They were almost dogmatic that the phenomena were inspired by the devil.
Charles Bray, the author of The Philosophy of Necessity theorized that our bodies are continually giving off thought rays just as they give off heat rays. These thought emanations are not lost, "many facts now point to an atmosphere or reservoir of thought, the result of cerebration into which the thought and feeling generated by the brain are continually passing.." He supposed that mediums may be in communication with this thought reservoir.
Among modern speculations we find "the psychic factor" of Prof. Broad which he conceives as a kind of mind detritus, able to create a personality, but no more personal than matter, and Maxwell's collective consciousness which is the correlative of Morselli's psycho-dynamic theory. Last, but with the greatest practical appeal comes the spirit theory, the present-day working hypothesis of many well-known researchers, meaning that a human spirit which has survived the change of death is instrumental in causing the manifestations.
Outline of the History of Spiritualism.
Spiritualism in the United States.
Spiritualism was heralded by animal magnetism. In the second quarter of the XIX century most of the spiritualistic phenomena were known to some investigators in France. But the movement which is known as modern spiritualism started in America. Here, too, manifestations occurred at an early date. At Mount Lebanon in 1837 communications were received for seven years in which spirits predicted the spreading of the phenomena all over the world, that there will not be a hamlet or palace which they will not visit. Andrew Jackson Davis prophesied similarly in 1847. The world soon learned of the phenomena at Hydesville, New York. In March, 1848, the Fox sisters were disturbed by continual rappings. It was soon discovered that they were signals. The signals declared that a murdered man was buried in the cellar and gave the name. The information was found true. The Fox family moved to Rochester. Committee after committee was appointed and forced to confess that the cause of the sounds and the mystery of answers to mental questions was undiscoverable. Those who sat with the Fox sisters soon found that they themselves had similar powers. So the movement spread. The first experimental organization, The New York Circle, was formed in 1851. By its initiative the New York Conference was established in the same year and the preaching of a new science and faith began to make converts among the notabilities of the day. Governor N. P. Tallmadge, of Wisconsin, William Lloyd Garrison, the abolitionist, Professors Britten, David Wells, Bryant and Bliss of the University of Pennsylvania, Chief justice Williams, judge Edmonds, Professor Hare, Professor Mapes, General Bullard, Horace Greely, Fennimore Cooper and William Cullan Bryant were the distinguished early converts. According to an estimate in the Spirit World there were in 1851 a hundred mediums in New York and 50-60 private circles in Philadelphia. The North American Review wrote in April, 1855, that the New England Spiritualist Association, which computes the number of spiritualists in America as nearly two million, does not overstate the facts.
The wildest aberrations in the early history of American spiritualism were the New Motor movement of John Murray Spear, and the Mountain Cove Settlement of Rev. Scott and Thomas Lake Harris. As time progressed spiritualists had a serious struggle against many other movements which claimed justification for free love and community of property from spirit communications of pseudo-mediums.
Conjointly with the spread of the movement spiritualist periodicals sprung up. The Univercoelum of 1847 and the Spirit Messenger of Springfield, which succeeded it in 1849, were mouthpieces of Andrew Jackson Davis' harmonial philosophy. A similar paper was published by the Rev. James L. Scott, the later founder of the Mountain Cove Community in joint editorship with Thomas Lake Harris in Auburn. It was called Disclosures from the Interior and Superior Care for Mortals. Another paper, The Spiritual and Moral Instructor, was edited in the same town by T. S. Hiatt. These organs, to which we may add the Heat and Light of Boston, represented a special school of philosophy. The first spiritualistic periodical was issued in July, 1850, by Leroy Sunderland. The title, The Spiritual Philosopher, was changed a year later to Spirit World. In 1852 the Shekinah was started by S. B. Brittan and Charles Partridge on its short career. After eighteen months of existence it was absorbed by Dr. Buchanan's Journal of Man. The first periodical which could boast of permanence was the Spiritual Telegraph, born out of a resolution of the New York Conference in 1852. It ran until 1860, when in its turn it was absorbed by Andrew Jackson Davis' The Herald of Progress. In 1854 the Society for the Diffusion of Spiritual Knowledge, the first well-organized body, started the Christian Spiritualist (1854-57) and the year 1857 witnessed the appearance of The Banner of Light in Boston, which is still running. Of other early periodicals The Spiritual Clarion, of Auburn, The New Era, of Boston, The Light from the Spirit World, of St. Louis, the Age of Progress and The Sunbeam, of Buffalo; of later ones the ReligioPhilosophical Journal of Chicago, the Western Star and The Spiritual Scientist, of Boston, The American Spiritualist, the New England Spiritualist, The Spiritual Age and The Lyceum Banner should be mentioned.
Spiritualism ran on democratic lines in America. In its early years it led to the foundation of theo-socialistic communities, similar to the Mountain Cove settlement but with no such extravagant pretensions. Mediums were discovered in every class. The tillers of the soil were represented by the Koon Family in the wilds of Ohio, their loghouse was the scene of ghostly pandemonium. Mrs. Andrews, who initiated full-form materializations and the Eddy Brothers, were later representatives of the same class. The Davenport Brothers traveled far and wide and advertised spiritualism by inexplicable noisy demonstrations. Henry Gordon introduced the levitation of the human body, D. D. Home improved upon the demonstration and produced phantom hands which dissolved in the grasp of the sitters. Dr. Buchanan discovered psychometry which Prof. Denton corroborated in thrilling experiments. Mumler accidentally became the first spirit photographer, Mrs. Hardy produced the first paraffin moulds, Mrs. Emma Hardinge, Nettie Colburn (Mrs. Maynard), and Cora Scott (Mrs. Tappan Richmond) represented inspirational speaking, Mrs. Hollis and Mrs. Conant trance mediumship in a well developed state, Henry Slade slate-writing and Charles Foster the art of pellet reading and skin writing.
The Fox sisters, who gave the first impetus to modern spiritualism, had been eclipsed in power and variety of demonstrations by these mediums. They were the first who had to bear the brunt of the countertide which was soon to come in. In the first university examination Professors Austin Flint, Charles A. Dee and C. B. Coventry, of the Buffalo University, brought on February 17, 1851, the following verdict on their phenomena: "It is sufficient to state that the muscles inserted into the upper and inner side of the large bone of the leg (the tibia) near the knee joint, are brought into action so as to move the upper surface of the bone just named, laterally upon the lower surface of the thigh bone (the femur), giving rise, in fact, to a partial lateral dislocation. This is effected by an act of the will, without any obvious movements of the limb, occasioning a loud noise and a return of the bone to its place is attended by a second sound."
The revelation of Mrs. Norman Culver of an alleged confession of the Fox sisters had aggravated their position. But no disclosures and professorial verdicts could stem the advance of spiritualism.
In 1857 the editor of The Boston Courier offered 500 dollars for the production of genuine phenomena, provided a committee of Harvard University should be the umpires. On behalf of the spiritualists Dr. Gardner accepted the challenge. The committee consisted of Professors Pierce, Agassiz and Horsford, of Harvard University, and Dr. N. B. Gould of the Albany Observatory, of the editor of the Boston Courier and a few friends of Dr. Gardner. The mediums were Mrs. Brown (Leah Fox), Kate Fox, Mr. J. V. Mansfield, Mrs. Kendrick, George Redman and the Davenport Brothers. Two days were devoted to the manifestations. They were imperfect and unsatisfactory and the committee returned a negative verdict, promising also a later report of additional investigations which, however, never came forth. Following the failure of the Cambridge investigation Dr. Gardner extended invitations to the Press to attend seances with the same mediums. Several papers published impressive accounts.
As the years passed by important records of observations and long experiments were published by E. A. Brackett, Epes Sargent, Dr. Wolfe, Allan Putnam and Dr. Eugene Crowell. The early history of E. W. Capron was continued by Miss Emma Hardinge, who narrated twenty years of progress. Many organizations 'and spiritualistic churches worked for the advancement of the cause. In 1873 the first camp meeting was initiated at Lake Pleasant, Mass. It was quickly followed by others. The years between 1880 and 1890 witnessed four outstanding events: the report of the Seybert Commission, the self-exposure of Margaret and Kate Fox in 1888, the foundation of the A.S.P.R. for systematic and organized psychical research in 1885 with the participation of a group of distinguished scientists, and the discovery of Mrs. Piper's mediumship. The Seybert Commission was delegated by the University of Pennsylvania which received an endowment of 60,000 dollars from Henry Seybert on the understanding that it would investigate the phenomena of spiritualism. The money was kept, but the understanding only in a limited sense as, after a preliminary negative report in 1887, which was widely resented, the investigation was discontinued. The self-exposure of Margaret and Kate Fox did not realize the fond expectations of the anti-spiritualists as a death-blow, as their motives appeared to be sordid and the revelation was followed a year after by full retraction. The birth of the A.S.P.R. was of far-reaching importance. The discovery of Mrs. Piper's powers secured the prestige of Prof. William James for psychical research. Dr. Hodgson's keen intellect, his fifteen years of tireless investigation and Prof. Hyslop's erudition laid the scientific foundations for the ultimate discovery of an unknown world. In 1905 the A.S.P.R. was dissolved and reorganized as an independent body. Prof. Hyslop took charge and conducted its work until his death in 1920. Other keen and able investigators arose. Hereward Carrington established his claim to renown and the mantle of Prof. Hyslop was placed on the shoulders of Dr. W. F. Prince. The discovery of Margery's mediumship and the investigation of the Scientific American and of Harvard Committees created a wide stir. The Boston S.P.R. was founded in 1925 by Dr. W. F. Prince and Malcolm Bird stepped into his vacated place in New York. From November 29 to December 11, 1926, the Clark University, Worcester, Mass., which has a lecture endowment for psychical research, held an International Symposium on the subject. Dr. Carl Murchison presided and papers were presented by Sir Oliver Lodge, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Frederick Bligh Bond, L. R. G. Crandon, Mary Austin, Margaret Deland, William McDougal, Hans Driesch, Walter Franklin Prince, F. C. S. Schiller, John E. Coover, Gardner Murphy, Joseph Jastrow and Harry Houdini. Under the title: The Case for and Against Psychical Research they were later published in book form.
There is a Hodgson fellowship at Harvard University, established with 10,000 dollars in '1913, but activities only began in 1917 when a special gift of Mrs. John Wallace Riddle demanded immediate application. Leonard Thompson Troland was the first Fellow in Psychical Research, Prof. Gardner Murphy the second.
The Leland Stanford University of California was given, in 1923, an endowment of 400,000 dollars for psychical research by a brother of the late Senator Stanford, a convinced spiritualist. This was in addition to T. W. Stanford's first endowment of 50,000 dollars in 1911 and other generous gifts. The Psychical Research Department thus established began its activities in 1912-13. It published in 1920 a ponderous volume: Experiments in Psychical Research, being The Leland Stanford Junior University's psychical research monograph No. 1, by John Edgar Coover, Fellow in Psychical Research and Assistant Professor of Psychology. Part of the book was written by Lillien J. Martin, Professor Emeritus of Psychology. Having given a summary of the past history of the subject the book outlines original investigations into thought transference and the subliminal mind. It does not accept telepathy proven. The extreme critical attitude of the author is best disclosed by this condemnation of the S.P.R.'s pioneer work into telepathy: "The Society on account of its fiascoes and persistent lack of psychological vision is immeasurably farther from its goal than it was in 1886 in its efforts to produce proof of thought transference. "
The popular side of American psychical research is well represented by the New York Section of the A.S.P.R. The central spiritualistic organization of America is The National Spiritualist Association, with headquarters in Washington. Of present day periodicals the Proceedings of the A.S.P.R., now intermittent, and the Bulletins of the Boston S.P.R. should be mentioned in-the first place, then Psychic Research, which has taken the place of the Journal of the A.S.P.R., Immortality, The National Spiritualist, The Banner of Light, of Boston, and The Progressive Thinker, of Chicago.
Spiritualism in England.
The transition from mesmerizm into spiritualism was effected in England under the impetus of visiting American mediums. The arrival of Mrs. Hayden, the first messenger in 1852, was in a way prepared by the publication in the previous year of Dr. Gregory's. Animal Magnetism which contained records of supernormal occurrences, and by the accounts published from time to time in the Zoist of the mesmerizts. Table turning soon became epidemical and the society invitations, it is said, were extended to five o'clock tea and table turning. Out of this social contagion an early controversy arose over Faraday's unconscious, muscular action theory and over Dr. Carpenter's supplementary unconscious cerebration. Mrs. Hayden, herself, was treated with derision by the Press. Yet, besides acting as forerunner for D. D. Home, she registered important conquests: Robert Owen, the veteran socialist, Robert Chambers, the publisher, Professor de Morgan, the famous mathematician, Sir Charles Isham and Dr. Ashburner mostly owed their conversion to a belief in survival and communication with the dead to her limited powers. Mrs. Roberts, a second American visitor and the later arrival of P. B. Randolph and J. R. Squire left comparatively slight impressions. But this was due to the tremendous difference in power and the consequent effect on the public which the mediumship of D. D. Home elicited. Without him spiritualism in England would have made but little further headway. He was received in the highest society and he, in turn, received the visit of famous people of the day. Some of them (like Thackeray, Anthony Trollope, Robert Bell, Lord Lytton and Lord Brougham) were deeply impressed but kept quiet for fear of public ridicule. Some figured in, Press sensations when they vented their anger for having become associated with spiritualism before the public (like Sir David Brewster and Robert Browning), others like William Howitt, J. Garth Wilkinson, Lord Adare, The Earl of Dunraven, The Master of Lindsay, Nassau Senior, Cromwell Varley and Alfred Russel Wallace braved the scorn of the public.
From America there came other mediums. Kate Fox married and settled in England as Mrs. Jencken. Thomas Lake Harris, Mrs. Emma Hardinge Britten and Mrs. Richmond were remembered for inspirational addresses, Charles H. Foster for rather dubious pellet-reading and skin-writing phenomena, the Davenport Brothers for noisy telekinetic demonstrations, Lottie Fowler for trance communications and predictions and *Henry Slade for slate-writing demonstrations which had a stormy epilogue. English mediums were rather slow to arise. Mrs. Marshall was, for a long time, the only professional medium. On October, 1867, Human Nature knows of only one more, W. Wallace. The number of private mediums, however, was considerable. Mrs. Everitt was the most powerful. Dr. Edward Childs was another. William Howitt, William Wilkinson and Mrs. Newton Crossland developed as automatists. Miss Nichols (later Mrs. Guppy), presented mysterious apport phenomena and the first materializations in England. The partnership of Herne and Williams produced impressive phenomena, F. Hudson introduced spirit photography in London, Slater, Parkes and Reeves, Beattie and Boursnell followed in his footsteps, marvelous things were reported to occur in the seances of Florence Cook, Stainton Moses, William Eglinton, Monck, Miss Showers, Arthur Colman, Mme. d'Esperance, Miss Wood, Miss Fairlamb, Cecil Husk and David Duguid. There was plenty to investigate. Mrs. De Morgan, Lord Adare and Alfred Russel Wallace published the first important books. In 1869 the Dialectical Society delegated a committee to investigate and after its favorable report which brought the testimonies of many important people before the public, William Crookes stepped to the fore and announced an investigation which, when his tremendous findings were published in 1871, and later in 1874, simply stupefied the contemporary .savants . Serjeant Cox founded in 1875 the Psychological Society of Great Britain, the British National Association of Spiritualists appointed a research committee in 1878 and the year 1882 witnessed a historic event, the foundation of the S.P.R. just as English mediums were slow to arise, the organization of spiritualism, as a movement, was delayed until comparatively late. The Charing Cross Spiritual Circle was the first experimental organization. In July, 1857, it was superseded by the London Spiritualistic Union, called a year later London Spiritualist Union and in 1865 the Association of Progressive Spiritualists in Great Britain was formed. The Spiritual Athenaeum of 1866 was a temporary institution, established mainly to offer D. D. Home a paid position and the first really representative body was not born until 1873. It was the British National Association of Spiritualists, renamed in 1882 The Central Association of Spiritualists and again in 1884 The London Spiritualist Alliance. The tardiness in organization was also manifested in the field of spiritualistic periodicals. The Spirit World, published by W. R. Hayden during his wife's visit in May 1853 had only one number. Robert Owen's The New Existence of Man Upon the Earth, published in 1854 was spiritual but not .spiritualistic. In April 1855 the Yorkshire Spiritual
Telegraph was established by D. W. Weatherhead in Keighley, the chief provincial center of English spiritualism. In 1857 it was renamed to British Spiritual Telegraph and expired in 1858-59. Towards the end of 1860 The Spiritual Magazine was founded by William Wilkinson and became the leading organ. It ran until 1875. Thomas Shorter and Wilkinson were the editors for the greater part of its career and William Howitt the chief contributor. The Spiritual Times ran from 1864-66. In 1867 James Burns founded Human Nature, a monthly which ran until 1877 and in 1869 he brought out a weekly, The Medium, which absorbed the provincial Daybreak, founded in 1867, and was continued under the title The Medium and Daybreak until 1895. In 1869 W. H. Harrison's paper, The Spiritualist Newspaper stepped in the field and, under the later abbreviated title The Spiritualist held its own until 1881. The Christian Spiritualist began its monthly career in 1871. The Pioneer of Progress lived for ten months, appearing weekly from January 1874. In 1878 Spiritual Notes was founded and ran until 1881, the year in which Light appeared. The Proceedings of the S.P.R. and the Journal had its inception in 1882, The Two Worlds in 1888 at Manchester; 1892-93 saw the establishment and expiration of Emma Hardinge Britten's Unseen Universe; Borderland ran from 1893-97, J. J. Morse's The Spiritual Review from 1900-1902. The Spiritual Quarterly Magazine was started by The Two Worlds Publishing Co. in October, 1902; an English edition of the Annales des Sciences Psychiques was published between 1905-10 under the title Annals of Psychic Science and closed the list of older editorial ventures.
By the Church spiritualism was first considered in 1881. Canon Basil Wilberforce was its partisan before the Church Congress in that year. The reception was hostile and denunciatory. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland was three times petitioned, by the Rev. W. A. Reid, to investigate psychic phenomena. On the first occasion a committee was appointed which reported that psychic phenomena did occur and expressed the opinion that investigation was lawful. The subsequent appeals, however, resulted in no fresh investigation.
The work of the S.P.R. cannot be over-estimated in importance. Its investigators were persevering and painstaking. They sifted and at the same time accumulated valuable evidence for the occurrence of supernormal phenomena and have made a slow, hesitative, but decided advance towards the demonstration of great realities. Professor Sidgwick, the first president, F. W. H. Myers, Hodgson, Gurney, William James, Hyslop, Sir Oliver Lodge, Sir William Barrett, Mrs. Sidgwick, Piddington, Andrew Lang, etc., were brilliant minds, the study of their investigations in Proceedings are masterpieces of erudition and Phantasms of the Living, Myers's Human Personality, Podmore's Modern Spiritualism, Barrett's On the Threshold of the Unseen and Sir Oliver Lodge's Survival of Man and Raymond, based largely on the result of these studies, are books of enduring merit. In the field of mental phenomena the record of the S.P.R. displays a series of splendid achievements. The psychic gifts of Mrs. Verrall, Mrs. Holland, Mrs. Forbes and Mrs. Thompson offered remarkable opportunities for cross correspondences between themselves and Mrs. Piper and as the ranks of the first great investigators were thinned by death, communications purported to come from their spirits in these scripts. As regards physical phenomena, the lustre of the S.P.R. is dim. Little investigation was undertaken and the failures which attended them may have been rightly put down to the hostile spirit in which they were conducted. The spiritualists were almost constantly at war with the S.P.R. William T. Stead spoke loudly against it and Conan Doyle, after long smouldering enmity, resigned his membership shortly before his death as a public protest. The establishment of many independent research bodies is probably attributable to this slowly growing and unfortunate distrust. In 1920 the British College of Psychic Science was founded, in 1925 The National Laboratory of Psychical Research. The Society for the Study of Supernormal Pictures which was established in 1919 did not carry on for long. The most representative spiritualistic body is the Marylebone Association of Spiritualists and the London Spiritualist Alliance. Important work is done by The W. T. Stead Borderland Library and there is a Spiritualist Community, Spiritualist Dramatic Society, a Spiritual Central Council which unites the different 'societies in London, a Friendship Center, a Jewish Society for Psychical Research, a Victoria Research Society and several national organizations: The Survival League, The Link for Home Circles, The British Spiritualist Lyceum Union for educational movement, and the largest of all, The Spiritualist National Union which represents the Church organization of English spiritualists.
Of recent years Mrs. Leonard and Mrs. Garrett have been widely experimented with as trance mediums, Mrs. Hester Dowden and Miss Cummins as highly intellectual automatists, William Hope and Mrs. Deane as spirit photographers.
Of contemporary periodicals the Proceedings and the Journal of the S.P.R. and the Bulletin of the National Laboratory of Psychical Research should be first mentioned. The British College of Psychic Science issues a quarterly, Psychic Science; Light and The Two Worlds of Manchester represent the oldest traditions of spiritualism. Other contemporary periodicals are: The Psychic News, The Greater World, The Children's Greater World, Beyond, the International Psychic Gazette, Survival Magazine, The National Spiritualist, The Spiritualist, The Christian Spiritualist, The Lyceum Banner and Vision.
Spiritualism in France.
As animal magnetism was launched on its long and vicissitudinous career in France, it was to be expected that the meeting ground of trance between mesmerizm and spiritualism should reveal some of the later marvels of spiritualism at a comparatively early period.
From a correspondence published in 1836 between Deleuze and Billot from the year 1829 on it appears that phantom forms and the phenomena of apports were well-known in this early age, though Deleuze frankly admits that his experience was more limited. Almost the full range of the phenomena of spiritualism are to be met with in Baron Du Potet's Journal du Magnetisme, which records his investigations between 1836-1848. His magnetized subjects excelled in clairvoyance, trance speaking, healing, dermography, levitation, fire immunity, telekinesis, apports, xenoglossy, prophecy, crystal gazing, materializations and descriptions of scenes in the spirit world. The seances were witnessed by Messrs. Bertrand, d'Hunin, Seguin and Morin. The best early seance records go down to the credit of Alphonse Cahagnet, the author of The Celestial Telegraph. He received many evidential communications, through his somnambule, Adele Maginot, from departed spirits. Table turning was introduced into France by Baron Guldenstubbe and Comte d'Ourches in 1850 and became an epidemic as in England. People-if we are to believe Eugene Bonnemere's statement in the Siecle-ceased to ask for each other's health, but asked how the table was, "Thank you, mine turns beautifully, and how goes yours?" -this was the habitual question. Soon other phenomena followed. The famous direct scripts of Baron Guldenstubbe were obtained in 1856. In the same year Allan Kardec's Le Livre des Esprits was published and developments took a radically different shape from that in America and England. Allan Kardec founded a school of thought which was dominated by the idea of a series of compulsory reincarnations. This was spiritism ~, the opposing school to that which adopted the American and English ideas-spiritualism. The latter was represented in France by Pierart and La Revue Spiritualiste, founded in 1858, the former by the organ of Kardec, La Revue Spirite. Kardec won and Pierart, after years of bitter controversy, retired into the country. By 1864 there were ten periodicals published in France: three in Paris, the two already mentioned and l'Avenir, four in Bordeaux, which, in 1865, became merged into l'Union Spirite Bordelaise, La Medium Evangelique of Toulouse, l'Echo d'Outre Tombe, of Marseilles, and La Verite, of Lyons. With the exception of La Revue Spiritualiste all represent the Kardec School.
Allan Kardec and his followers discouraged physical phenomena. The stimulus for experimental investigators was almost solely provided by the visit of' D. D. Home, the Davenport Brothers, Slade, Eglinton, Herne, Williams, Mme. d'Esperance, Miss Florence Cook, Miss Lottie Fowler and other mediums. Maxwell, Flammarion, Col. Rochas, Dr. Joire, Prof. Richet, Boirac, de Vesme, Geley and Osty represent psychical research, Gabriel Delanne and Leon Denis the old school of thought. Delanne founded the Revue scientifique et morale du spiritisme, the first attempt at organized psychical research was La Societe de Psychologie physiologique and La Revue des Sciences Psychiques, of which Dr. Puel was the director. In 1890 the Annales des Sciences Psychiques was founded by Prof. Richet and Dr. Dariex. In 1920 it was replaced by La Revue Metapsychique, the official organ of the Institut Metapsychique. In 1904 the Institut General Psychologique was established in Paris under the presidency of d'Arsonval of the Academy. The real Maecenas of spiritism and psychical research arrived during the war in the person of Jean Meyer, a rich industrialist. He founded La Maison des Spirits for spiritistic propaganda and the Institut Metapsychique for psychical research. In 1918 the Institut was recognized as a public utility. Meyer endowed it with a portion of his fortune. The work which it carries on in experimentation and in demonstration of supernormal phenomena before invited scientists is of the utmost importance for the future of psychical research.
Spiritualism in Germany.
In Germany the development of * spiritualism was very slow. Fichte believed in the facts of spiritualism, Fechner, the founder of psycho-physiology admitted personal immortality, Hartman, the author of The Philosophy of the Unconscious, desired to give the phenomena a definite place in philosophy, Du Prel, author of The Philosophy of Mysticism, delved into, the subconscious for explanation and founded the first spiritualistic monthly, The Sphynx. Most of the spiritualistic activity was ascribable to a foreigner, Alexander Aksakof, Imperial Councillor of Russia, who, owing to the Russian censorship, concentrated his work in Germany. In 1874 he commenced the publication of Psychische Studien, which is still running, but since 1925 under the title Zeitschrift fur Parapsychologie. Interest was slowly growing and a great impetus was given to it by Henry Slade's visit in 1877. Prof. Zöllner's conversion was a sensation and the subject of strong language on the part of scientists. The visits of Eglinton, Mme. d'Esperance, Miss Fairlamb and others kept the interest alive. Spiritualistische Blaetter was started in 1883. Modern psychical research was best represented by Baron von Schrenck Notzing. His book on Eva C.'s materialization phenomena in 1914 aroused heated scientific controversy. With the help of the mediumship of Willi Schneider he convinced a hundred well-known scientists of the reality of telekinetic phenomena and ectoplasm. The foremost modern metapsychical thinker is Prof. Hans Driesch, of Leipsic. Prof. Konstantin Oesterreich and Dr. Rudolph Tischner rank next to him.
There is a Society for Psychical Research and a Medical Society for Psychical Research in Germany besides the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur wissenschaftliches Okkultismus and the Deutscher Spiritisten Verein. Periodicals: Zeitschrift fur Parapsychologie, Zeitschrift far Metapsychische Forschung, Zeitschrift fur Psychisch Forschung, Zeitschrift fur Seelenleben, Psyche und die Ubersinnliche Welt.
Spiritualism in Italy.
In Italy the birth of the spiritualistic movement was due to French periodicals and developed completely on the lines of the Kardecian school. D. D. Home's visit in 1855 led to the formation of many societies and to the publication of the first journal on spiritualism: L' Amore del Vero. In 1863 La Societa Spirituale di Palermo was formed, of which men like Paolo Morelle, Professor of Latin and Philosophy, were members. In the same year the first representative spiritualist organ: Annali dello Spiritismo was started in Turin by Signor Niceforo Filalete (Prof. Vincenzo Scarpa). The Magnetic Society of Florence which had very influential members, began its activity. Baron Seymour Kirkup sent many accounts of doings to the London Spiritual Magazine. By 1870 there were over a hundred societies in different parts of Italy. Both spiritist and spiritualists were represented. In 1873 Baron Guitern de Bozzi founded the Pneumatological Psychological Academy at Florence, where Mrs. Guppy's visit in 18681 extending to a period of almost three years, left a deep impression. Its existence was very short. Soon a period of lively psychic activity ensued. Signor Damiani discovered in 1872 Eusapia Paladino around whom famous scientists gathered for a great many years. Dr. G. B. Ermacora, founder and co-editor with Dr. Finzi of the Rivista di Studi Psichici, Schiaparelli, Lombroso, Bozzano, Morselli, Chiaia, Pictet, Foa, Porro, Brofferio, Bottazzi, Bianchi and many others established, with indefatigable work, the facts. A succession of powerful mediums as Politi, Carancini, Zuccarini, Lucia Sordi, Linda Gazzera helped them in their task.
At present there is a Societa di Studi Psichici in Rome, a Society for Psychic Studies at Florence, Ernesto Bozzano, the doyen of modern psychical researchers, presides over the Italian Spiritualists Association; and a very well organized society: Circulo Arnaldo Vassallo, acts in Genoa. It is named after the late editor of the Secolo, XIX, one of the pioneers of the movement in Italy, Prof. Tullio Castellani was one of its presidents.
The leading Italian spiritualist organ, the monthly Luce e Ombra, changed its title in January, 1932, to La Ricerca Psichica. There is a bi-monthly under the title Mondo Occulto. It is published in Naples.
International organizations are represented by the periodical International Congress of Psychical Research, of which four have been held, and by the International Spiritualist Congress which also convened four times and is under the auspices of the International Spiritualist Federation which has its headquarters in Paris. An attempt was made by Prof. Santoliquido to provide permanent headquarters for international psychical congresses and research by founding the Center International de Conferences et de Congres de Recherches Psychiques de Geneve. The provisional committee, which represented it, was dissolved after his death.
The earliest work on the history of spiritualism was E. W. Capron's Modern Spiritualism, Boston, 1855. Historical sketches were given in Henry Spicer's Sights and Sounds, London, 1853. William Howitt's The History of the Supernatural, London, 1863, traces the antecedents of spiritualism in past ages, Emma Hardinge's Modern American Spiritualism, New York, 1869, records twenty years' history. Her Nineteenth Century Miracles, Manchester, 1883, widened the scope to international scale. The foremost historian is Frank Podmore. His Modern Spiritualism, London, 1902, is a classical work, though the author's extreme skepticism is its disadvantage. Joseph McCabe's Spiritualism is a hostile book written in an effort to discredit the subject. Arthur Hill's Spiritualism, its History, Phenomena and Doctrine, London, 1918, is fragmentary. A. Campbell Holms' The Facts of Psychic Science and Philosophy, London, 1925, deals with the phenomenal and philosophical side alone, Conan Doyle's History of Spiritualism, London, 1926, is comprehensive but loose in concept and unpunctilious, Carrington's The Story of Psychic Science, 1931, is a lucid study of the whole range of spiritualism and psychical research.
STIGMATA---says Prof. Richet-----"may and do often appear on hysterical persons, bearing predetermined forms and shapes, under the influence either of a strong moral emotion, or of religious delirium. These are facts which have been thoroughly and scientifically established, and they only prove the power of the action of the brain upon the circulatory processes and upon the trophism of the skin."
The first man stigmatised was the Apostle St. Paul. He writes in an epistle: Ego enim stigmata Domini Jesus in corpore meo porto. In the first twelve centuries of the history of the Church his words were taken figuratively. There, were ascetics who had wounds attributed to the teeth and claws of the devil on their body, but it was St. Francis of Assisi from whom the history of stigmatic wounds really dates. He fasted all through the forty days fast of St. Michael and concentrated his thoughts on the Passion of Christ. Not only was his flesh torn and bleeding at the five places, but "his hands and feet appeared to be pierced through the middle with nails, the heads of which were in the palm of his hands and the soles of his feet; and the points came out again in the back of the hands and the feet, and were turned back and clinched in such a manner that within the bend formed by the reversal of the points a finger could easily be placed as in a ring, and the heads of the nails were round and black." They were the source of constant pain and of the utmost inconvenience. He could walk no more and became exhausted by the suffering and loss of blood. It hastened his premature decease . . ." "After the death of Francis ... a certain cavalier, named Jeronime, who had much doubted and was incredulous concerning them ... ventured, in the presence of the brethren and many seculars to move about the nails in the hands and feet" (Fioretti). The Rev. F. Fielding-Ould, in Wonders of the Saints, conjectures that the nails were of some horny material such as the bodies of the lower animals are able naturally to develop.
La Bienheureuse Lucie de Narni (1476-1544) carried stigmata for seven years from 1496 on. Four years after her death her body was exhumed. It was in a state of perfect preservation and exhaled a sweet scent. The stigmatic wounds on her sides were open and blood flowed from time to time. In 1710 she was again exhumed and the body found still intact.
The stigmatic wounds of Johnanna della Croce, 1524, appeared every Friday and vanished the following Sunday.
St. Veronique . Giuliani, born in 1660, received the crown of thorns at the age of 33. On April 5, 1679, the five wounds developed. She was subject to very severe examinations. The reality of the phenomena was established beyond question.
Seventy-five years after the -death of St. Francis thirty stigmatic cases were on record, twenty-five among women. Dr. Imbert-Gourbeyre in his La Stigmatisation records more than 321 cases of which a seventh part occurred among men. This number, however, includes the "compatients" and leaves out many other cases since discovered and all those instances in which the stigmatic wounds were considered the work of the devil. The "compatients" or participants did not exhibit the physiological signs of stigmatization in the form of wounds. With them it was an inner, psychical experience, noticeable, however, for outsiders as well. For instance, the complexion of Jeanne de Marie-Jesus in the ecstatic state of the Passion became dark and blue, the blood mounted under her nails, bruises appeared on her arms and hands as if left by cruel chains, her forehead and other parts of her body sweated blood. It is difficult to draw a dividing line between the participation and stigmatism as the former appears to be its incipient stage.
Of the cases enumerated by Dr. Imbert-Gourbeyre, twenty-nine occurred in the XIX Century. Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) furnished one of the best cases. Count Stolberg, the celebrated naturalist, visited her in 1821. We learn from his description that the nun of Dolmen did not for many a month take other nourishment than water and small portions of an apple, plum or cherry daily. Her trances were prolonged for an incredible period. The thorn wounds on her head opened every Friday morning and later a continuous flow of blood was seen from eight wounds on her hands and feet.
Marie-Dominique Lazzari, Marie-Agnes Steiner, Marie de Moerl (1812-68), Crescenzia Nierklutsch, Victoire Courtier (1811-88), Louise Lateau (1858-83), Marie-Julie Jahenny, Padre Pio and Therese Neumann lead up the line of famous stigmatists to the present day. Padre Pio (Francesco Forgione of Pietrelcina) is a Capucin monk in the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo. In 1918 bleeding scars pierced his hands and feet and exuded each day about a glassful of blood and water. Physicians certified the fact. The stigmata of Therese Neumann, of Konnersreuth, developed during Lent in 1926. There was no pus, no inflammation, blood flowed freely every Friday from the wounds and she also shed tears of blood.
There are numerous proofs that stigmatization can be induced under hypnosis. Professor Charcot was the first in its experimental demonstration. The role which auto-suggestion may play in stigmatic or borderland phenomena is well illustrated by the following case, quoted by Carrington in Psychic Research (Sept., 1931) from an original document: "On the afternoon of May 1st, 1916, I was standing in my hall, preparing to go out, when I saw the knob of my front door slowly turn. I stood still, awaiting developments; gradually the door opened, and I saw a man standing there. As he saw me he quickly closed the door and ran down the stairs and out Of the front door. (He was, in fact, a burglar, trying to enter my apartment). The interesting thing about the experience is this: that during the moment he was standing in the door, although he did not actually move, I had the distinct impression that he had run up the hall and grasped me firmly by the arm, and I was for the moment petrified with fear. The next day my arm was black and blue in the exact spot where I thought he had pinched me; and this mark continued for several days until it finally wore off. I told Dr. Carrington about this two days later when he called, and showed him the mark. Louise W. Kops."
In some cases the stigmata appear as simple red marks, in others as blister-like wounds oozing blood and lymph. The flow of blood, according to many testimonies, conforms to the imaginary position of a body on the cross. The stigmatic may lie in bed yet the blood will flow up the toes in defiance of gravitation. In the case of Dominique Lazzari, of Tyrol, Lord Shrewsbury testified to the fact. He also refers to the statement of a German physician that the stigmatic could not endure water, was never washed yet the blood sometimes suddenly disappeared, leaving a clean skin behind with an unsoiled bedcloth. The wounds were often said to be luminous and exhaling scent. They never produce pus and after death frequently the entire body becomes exempt from putrefaction.
As a mediumistic phenomenon it was reported by many experimenters. Malcolm Bird, in his Psychic Adventures (p. 237) writes: "Frau Vollhardt suddenly gave a very realistic shriek of pain and held out her hand for all to see. On the back of her hand was a quantity of red marks, some actually bleeding ... A handful of forks could not have been held in such a manner as to inflict these wounds, but no single instrument that I ever saw would have done the trickunless it be a nutmeg grater. The holes were small and round., and quite deep; after ten or fifteen minutes they were still plainly to be seen." The stigmatisation of Elinor Zugun, strange bites and scratches on her arms, neck, etc., was recorded in the process of invisible production by the camera.
A curious experience, resembling stigmatisation, is mentioned by Prof. Richet in a footnote in his Thirty Years of Psychical Research. Count Baschieri placed a handkerchief to his eyes and withdrew it stained with blood, perhaps five grams, undiluted. His eyes had sweated blood. He could not discover any conjunctional ecchymosis.
In the September, 1930, issue, of the Zeitschrift fur Parapsychologie Hans Schubert writes of the tears of blood of Edwig S. during deep emotional states induced by a certain piece of music.
Dermography, skin writing, is a phenomenon of the stigmatic class, but there is an essential difference. The real stigmata last for months, years or throughout a lifetime, whereas skin writing disappears in a few minutes or in a few hours at the most.
A kindred phenomenon to stigmatization is the marks of burn or blood which, in rare cases, the touch of phantom hands leaves behind. For this See: Touches.
SUBLIMINAL, a term first used by A. H. Pierce of Harvard University for sensations beneath the threshold of consciousness, too feeble to be individually recognized. Myers extended the meaning to cover all that takes place beneath the threshold: sensations, thoughts, emotions which seldom emerge and form a consciousness quite as complex and coherent as the supreliminal one, as they demonstrate processes of mentation and exhibit a continuous chain of memory. Nevertheless, he did not consider the subliminal consciousness a separate Self but, together with the supraliminal one, fragment of the larger Self revealed through an organism which cannot afford it full manifestation. He attributed most of the psychical phenomena to the subliminal self, but not as a complete explanation or exclusion of the spirit hypothesis. On the contrary, his inference was that if our incarnate selves may act in telepathy in at least apparent independence of the fleshly body the presumption is strong that other spirits may exist independently of the body and may affect us in a similar manner. He divided the influence of the subliminal on the supraliminal under three main heads: When the subliminal mentation co-operates with and supplements the supraliminal, without changing the apparent phase of personality, we have genius. When subliminal operations change the apparent phase of personality from the state of waking in the direction of trance, we have hypnotism. When the subliminal mentation forces itself up through the supraliminal, without amalgamation, as in crystal vision, automatic writing, etc., we have sensory or motorautomatism.
SUGGESTION, another name for the power of ideas, so far as they prove efficacious over belief and conduct." (William James.) According to Myers the power is exercised by the subliminal self. He defined suggestion as a "successful appeal to the subliminal self." Its workings are best evidenced in hypnotic experiments. It may cause and cure diseases, and bad habits, remove inhibitions, improve deficiencies of character, stimulate the imagination, vivify the senses and heighten intellectual powers.
Abercrombie related the story of an officer who served in the expedition to Louisburg in 1758 and was the constant butt of his associates after they discovered that his dreams could be influenced by whispering in his ear during sleep. They would make him believe that he had fallen overboard or that a shark was pursuing him and aroused him each time to a suitable action. He awoke with a sense of exhaustion without remembering anything.
Frank Podmore in his Newer Spiritualism, selects some curious instances to demonstrate the influence of suggestion on the automatic writing in Mrs. Piper's trances. Her script was difficult to read. At a sitting with Miss Bancroft the Hodgson control wrote: "Don't you remember how I had to laugh at you on that boat about that boat." The last word was deciphered by the sitter as "hat" and she therefore replied "Whose hat blew off?" The control wrote: "My hat. Do you not remember the day it blew off?" and then proceeded to connect the incident of the hat blowing off with a fishing party. "But Miss Bancroft," continues Podmore, "can remember nothing definite about a hat, and the whole incident was apparently suggested by her misreading of the word."
Such occurrences may shed some light on how it was that Dr. Stanley Hall in a sitting with Mrs. Piper obtained messages from Bessie Beals, a niece after whom he inquired. But the niece had never existed.
An amusing experiment in mass suggestion was tried by the man in London who, for a wager, stopped in what is now Northumberland Avenue and looking at the lion on the top of Northumberland House, attracted the attention of the passers-by, and when the crowd was big enough began to mutter that the lion was wagging its tail. Some of the crowd accepted the suggestion, the majority passed by, but many waited hours in the hope of seeing the remarkable phenomenon.
Collective psychic suggestion at a distance is conjectured by M. J. Delevsky, a French mining engineer, to explain such curious coincidences in scientific progress as the simultaneous discovery around 1830 of the non-Euclidian geometry by the German Gauss, the Russian Lobatchewski and the Hungarian Janos Bolyai, without counting the works of Schweikart and de Taurinus. (Revue Metapsychique, NovemberDecember, 1930).
The same speculation may apply to some amazing coincidences. According to G. D. McIntyre's note in Psychic Research, March, 1931, "an unusual coincidence in authorship took place in the old McClure's magazine 20 years ago. Two manuscripts arrived on the same day, one from Maine, and the other from Oregon. Save for two words, the opening paragraphs of about 60 words each were identical. Investigation proved that they were written at exactly the same hour, hundreds of miles apart."
To determine to what extent the will power of a patient is affected by suggestion, Dr. Gaston Durville constructed an apparatus: the suggestometer. It consists of an elliptical steel spring, furnished with a dial and pointer. The patient, standing upright, with the arms hanging naturally at the sides, squeezes the spring whereupon the figure on the dial will show his strength. After five or ten minutes rest the patient repeats the operation, but this time the suggestion is made to him that his arm has now become heavy, his shoulder and forearm numbed, that his fingers are stiff, and that he is quite incapable of gripping. On reading the dial it is now found that the figure indicated by the pointer -is usually much smaller and sometimes it falls to zero. Dr. Durville has instituted a "scale of suggestibility," classifying his subjects in five groups, according to the results obtained.
SURVIVAL, continued possession of personality after the change called death. It is the fundamental doctrine of spiritualism and main object of investigation, though in an indirect manner, of psychical research. The basis of survival is the contention that mind can exist independently of brain, that thought is not the result of changes in the brain, but that these changes -as William James suggested in his Human Immortality -merely coincide with the flow of thought through it, the brain fulfilling the role of an instrument of transmission. Thought transference and experiments in telepathy furnished the first scientific support of this contention. The trance communications received through Mrs. Piper's mediumship convinced many famous skeptical investigators that the communicators survived the change of death. Even Mrs. Sidgwick admits in her brilliant but extremely skeptical study of Mrs. Piper's phenomena: "Veridical communications are received, some of which, there is good reason to believe, come from the dead, and therefore imply a genuine communicator in the background." (Proc. S.P.R., Dec., 1915, p. 204).
The arguments for and against survival are now mainly centered around the evidential value of such communications. The first and most powerful point of attack is made on the subconscious front. The communicating personality is said to be artificial, a masquerading secondary self, and that the occasional supernormal informations lie within the bounds of acquisition of the subconscious mind. It is also pointed out that many of the communications are erroneous, of a lying nature, uncharacteristic of the dead and easily obtainable by fraudulent means. The arguments for survival deny the sufficiency of subconscious powers as an explanation, point to the distinct personalities of the communicators, their greatly differing abilities to communicate, their recognition of old friends, their behavior, temper, memories and ability to give information outside the mind of everybody present and perhaps of everybody living, they also point out the inconsistency of the telepathic theory in those frequent cases where mistakes are committed or confusion is evidenced, the selectiveness which it would postulate in fishing out the appropriate information from the subconscious mind of others and the power to weave them into a consistent personality, and that it gradually leads to the supposition of a cosmic mind which is tapped by the telepathist, forming thereby a more far-reaching and less justified theory than individual survival. As a direct evidence against telepathy the result of some astonishing cross correspondences, book and newspaper tests are quoted. They apparently clinch the case.
Philosophic speculation finds no difficulty in accepting survival. Professors P. G. Tait and Balfour Stewart posited in the seventies in their book, The Unseen Universe, that the main realities of the universe are not in matter at all, but in the ether of space. According to Sir Oliver Lodge "the marvel is that we are associated with matter at all ... I used to say that death was an adventure to which we might look forward. So it is; but I believe that really and truly it is earth-life that is the adventure. It is this earth-life that has been the strange and exceptional thing. The wonder is that we ever succeeded in entering a matter body at all. Many fail." (Phantom Walls, p. 95). In the same book (p. 71) he also considers the possibility of grades of survival, saying: "Now survival only applies to things that really exist. If there is no individuality, then there is nothing to persist. Whether all human beings have sufficient personality to make their individual persistence likely is a question that may be argued. Whether some of the higher animals have acquired a kind of individuality, a character and wealth of affection which seem worthy of continued existence, may also be argued. There may be many grades of personality, and accordingly there may be many grades of survival."