Published in 1902 | 368 pages | PDF reader required
Nature and scope of the inquiry Relation of Spiritualism to previous mystical beliefs, especially to the belief in Animal Magnetism.
BOOK 1 - THE PEDIGREE OF SPIRITUALISM
POSSESSION AND WITCHCRAFT
Speaking with tongues—The devils of Loudun—The Tremblers of the Cevennes—The Irvingites—Crystal gazing and divination—Dr. Dee and Kelly—The primitive language—Earliest belief in disembodied human spirits—Swedenborg and his revelations—Witchcraft : analysis of the evidence—(a) Confessions Antoinette Bourignon—The outbreak at Moira—(b) Lycanthropy and apparitions—(c) Witchmarks—(d) The sufferings of the witches' victims—Prominent part played in the accusations by children—Mistress Faith Corbet,Abigail Williams, Mary Longdon, and others—Hysterical fits, attended by vomiting of nails, throwing of stones, etc.
Further cases of stone-throwing and other physical manifestations persisting after the decay of the belief in witchcraft—The Drummer of Tedworth—The Castle of Slawensik—Bealings Bells—Mary Jobson—The ghost in the Wesley household (the Epworth case)—Detailed comparison of the contemporary and later evidence, and the first-hand and second-hand evidence, as exemplified in the Wesley case—Inference that the evidence in such cases, being generally second-hand or remote in date, is for the most part untrustworthy—Angelique Cottin.
THE SYMPATHETIC SYSTEM
Paracelsus, Maxwell, and Fludd—Analysis of their views of Magnetism—Action at a distance—The Sympathetic System essentially scientific—Contrast with spiritualistic belief, as exemplified by Valentine Greatrakes.
MESMER AND HIS DISCIPLES
Mesmer—His views—His career—The first French Commission on Animal Magnetism—De Jussieu's Minority Report—Puysegur and his views—Tardy de Montravel—General belief in radiating fluids—Petetin and his experiments in clairvoyance—Deleuze.
THE SECOND FRENCH COMMISSION
Bertrand—His belief in action at a distance and transmission of thought—His explanation of his predecessors' results as due to suggestion and imagination—Discussion preceding appointment of second French Commission—Report of the Commission Affirmation of the reality of clairvoyance at close quarters.
SPIRITUALISM IN FRANCE BEFORE 1848
Spiritualism at Stockholm in 1788—Deleuze's views—Correspondence between Deleuze and Billot—Association of physical phenomena with the trance Cahagnet and his somnambule Adele—Various illustrations of her power—Argument that the results were due to thought transference, not to communion with spirits.
THE GERMAN SOMNAMBULES
German investigators generally believed in fluids, not spirits—Some evidence for clairvoyance and thought transference—Jung—Stilling, the founder of the Spiritualist school—His views—The revelations of the clairvoyant, Auguste Muller, and of Fraulein Romer—The Seeress of Prevorst—Her prophetic visions—Clairvoyance Intercourse with ghosts—Her physical phenomena—Heinrich Werner's somnambule—Her clairvoyance and physical phenomena—Philosophical teachings of the German somnambules—Sun-circles and life-circles—The primitive language.
THE ENGLISH MESMERISTS
Tardy interest in the subject in the country—Dr. Bell—Chenevix du Potet—Elliotson—His experiments with the Okeys—Opposition of Wakley—The Zoist and views of the English Mesmerists in general—(1) Belief in radiating fluid, action of magnets, metals, drugs—Reichenbach's experiments—Braid's counter demonstrations—(2) Phrenology and Phreno-Mesmerism—Braid's experiments—(3) Community of sensation and clairvoyance—Opposition of the medical profession—Disbelief in mesmeric anaesthesia—Esdaile's demonstrations in India—Amputation of a leg in the trance in this country—Dr. Marshall Hall's action—The Phreno-Magnet and the popular movement.
COMMUNITY OF SENSATION
The most general explanation to be found not in fraud, but in suggestion and hypersesthesia—Some results, however, appear to go beyond this—Illustrations from Elliotson, Esdaile, Townshend, Haddock, Engledue, Jago.
CLAIRVOYANCE IN ENGLAND
Clairvoyance at close quarters probably always due to normal causes, and commonly to fraud—Major Buckley's subjects—Townshend's experiments—Alexis Didier—Houdin's evidence on Didier—Evidence of Colonel Llewellyn—Clairvoyance at distance—With Didier Testimony from Dr. Costello, Townshend, and others—Other clairvoyants—Testimony from Professor de Morgan, Professor Gregory, Dr. Haddock.
ANDREW JACKSON DAVIS AND THE UNIVERCCELUM
The mesmeric movement in America Collyer, J. Bovee Dods, Grimes, Buchanan, Sunderland—Andrew Jackson Davis—His birth and childhood—Dictation of Nature's Divine Revelations—Description and criticism of the book—Founding of the Univercœlum—The contributors and their views—Association of the new spiritual revelation with Socialism and Co-operation—Other contemporary prophets and their revelations.
BOOK 2 - EARLY AMERICAN SPIRITUALISM
The rappings at Hydesville—The Fox family—Rapid spread of the movement—Horace Greeley's testimony—The Buffalo exposure—Mrs. Culver's confession—Further exposures—Answers to mental questions—Testimony from the New York Tribune, Asa Mahan, Spicer, and others—Explanation of the apparent "thought-reading"—The Stratford disturbances—Testimony from Dr. Phelps, Sunderland, Andrew Jackson Davis, and others.
SOME DWELLERS IN ARCADIA
Explanation of the rapid spread of Spiritualism in America—The ground prepared by Mesmerism—Amongst the earliest advocates of the new teaching were the writers on the Univercœlum,, Laroy Sunderland, and the Rev. J. B. Ferguson—Socialism and Spiritualism—Warren Chase, John Murray Spear—Universalism and Spiritualism—Rev. Adin Ballou, Josiah A. Gridley, Judge Edmonds.
THE PHYSICAL PHENOMENA
The early dark séances—Testimony of Tallmadge, William Lloyd Garrison, Judge Edmonds—Experiments of Professor Hare—E. P. Fowler and the direct spirit writing—"Spirit" Hebrew—The disturbances at Ashtabula—A séance with Home—Levitation of Gordon—Also of Home—Dr. Hallock's testimony—Koons' spirit-room—Other manifestations.
CLAIRVOYANCE AND SPEAKING WITH TONGUES
Clairvoyance with professional mediums commonly fraudulent—"Benjamin Franklin" invoked to furnish a test Clairvoyance in private circles infrequent, dubious, and ill-attested—Case quoted from the Rev. J. B. Ferguson Speaking with tongues—Analysis of the evidence—With professional mediums the manifestation was fraudulent, with private mediums it rested on misconception and exaggeration.
TRANCE WRITING AND SPEAKING
These automatic manifestations mostly genuine and involuntary—Testimony of Gridley and Dexter—Account of several "inspirational" writings—The Pilgrimage of Thomas Paine, by Rev. C. Hammond—Messages from Bacon and Swedenborg, by Edmonds and Dexter—Charles Linton's communications from Shakespeare and The Healing of the Nations—John Murray Spear and The Educator—Thomas Lake Harris and a Lyric of the Morning Land—Spirit paintings—Healing mediums.
GENERAL SURVEY OF THE MOVEMENT
Immunity of fraudulent mediums from exposure due to various causes, chiefly to widespread prepossession towards belief—Odylo – mesmeric theories of the phenomena—Dr. Rogers and The Philosophy of Mysterious Agents—J. Bovee Dods—The North American Review Attitude of the churches—Accusation of free love probably ill-founded, but Spiritualism associated with advanced views of marriage—Extravagances of early Spiritualists—T. L. Harris and the Mountain Cove Community—Brother Spear and the New Motor—Religious views of the Spiritualists sympathetic to Christianity—Spiritualism regarded as a later and fuller revelation—Various mystical beliefs—Their limited spiritual horizon and materialistic tendencies—External history—Legal proceedings—Memorial to Congress
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