Published in 1919 | 325 pages | PDF reader required
Introduction by Sir A. Conan Doyle.
1. ANTECEDENTS OF MODERN SPIRITUALISM.
Fundamental conception of Survival and Communication not new—Communion of Saints—Rise of Science and Critical method—Moral revolt against Hell—Disbelief in Survival resulted from these two causes—Spiritualism restored Belief, on basis of facts as in Early Christianity—Providential wisdom shown in delay of Psychical Science until after establishment of Physical Science—Biblical Spiritualism—Greek Oracles—Plutarch—Virgil, Æneas' Vision, Dido's Dream—Pliny—Neo-Platonism Chinese Spiritualism—Jews and Teraphim—Nuns of Cevennes—St. Médard—Irvingites.
Birth (1688) and Education—Assessor—Scientific genius—Illumination in 1743—"Arcana Ccelestia"—The Stockholm fire—The Herteville case of Hidden Receipt—Kant's opinion—Swedenborg's sanity—Details about Next State—Recognition by friends—Continuity of character—Children grow up—Heavens and Hells—Houses, cities—All Angels first human beings—Swedenborg to be regarded as Prophet but not infallible.
3. CONFLUENCE OF SWEDENBORGIANISM AND MESMERISM IN AMERICA
Swedenborg not unique—Other Trace-seers—Mesmer's patients—Jung Stilling—Mesmerism in New England—Crank communities—O. W. Holmes—Emerson—A. J. Davis—Clairvoyance—His first book, 1847—Teaching—Spheres—Hudson Tuttle's doctrine as to the Spheres—Professor Hare, Epes Sargent, Judge Edmunds.
4. THE HYDESVILLE KNOCKINGS
Fox family of Hydesville—Raps, 1848—Supposed murder, not well evidenced—Controversy concerning the raps—the Buffalo doctors—No certainty now attainable—Dr. Phelp's Poltergeist—A. J. Davis's opinion—Judge Edmunds's
5. Early Days in England
Mrs. Hayden and Mrs. Roberts—D. D. Home—Browning's suggestion of fraud unfounded—Mrs. Lyon—Notable sitters with Home—His travels—Sir William Crookes's investigations—Automatic Writing and Drawing by the Howitts and others—Angel Gabriel—But good done in spite of extravagances—Secularists converted—Spiritual Telegraph at Keighley—Davenport Brothers Mrs. Everitt—David Duguid—Eglinton—Evidence for Materialisation inconclusive—The Dialectical Society's Report.
6. WILLIAM STAINTON MOSES
Birth (1839) and Education—Curacies—Mastership at University College School—Death in 1892—His phenomena—Serjeant Cox's description of incidents—The Speer sittings—Musician-spirits—Imperator—Main aim the broadening of Mr. Moses' theology—Evidential details—Steam-roller—Blanche Abercromby—Abraham Florentine—Testimony to Mr. Moses' high character His books.
7. THE SOCIETY FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH
Founding by Cox of "Psychological Society," 1875—Dissolved in 1879—S. P. R. founded, 1882—Objects—Methods—No creed—Critics—Mrs. Piper—Integrity—Phinuit régime—George Pelham—"Imperator" band—Classical matter unknown to the medium—Manner of the trance—Now ceased—Other mediums, non-professional—Mrs. Thompson—Reports by Dr. van Eeden and Mrs. Verrall—Cross-correspondences—Classical allusions in scripts of non-classical Automatists—General mind-stuff theory—Sir Oliver Lodge's "Raymond"—Sir William Barrett's "On the Threshold of the Unseen."
8. PHYSICAL PHENOMENA
Line rather arbitrary, but Physical Phenomena mostly meaning demonstrably Supernormal movement or Behaviour of Matter—The Wesley haunt—Worksop and Folkestone poltergeists—Eusapia Palladino—Raps—Dr. Joseph Maxwell—Dr. Crawford and the Goligher circle—Direct Voice, Admiral Usborne Moore's investigations—Spirit Photography.
9. CONFIRMATORY PHENOMENA IN INDIA
Wide distribution of phenomena—Jacollist's book—Vasemovements—Raps—Table made heavy—Harmoniflute playing untouched—Materialisation—Identity-evidence—Jacollist's Sceptical attitude—The Brahmanic scheme very like that of A. T. Davis.
Facts in nature, though exceptional ones, like globular lightning—Definition—"Hallucination"—"Proceedings," S. P. R., vol x—"Phantasms of the Living"—Mr.
Walker-Anderson's case—Projection of Phantasm by Mr. S. H. Beard—Possible subjectivity—Local Ghosts—Lytton and eidola, ghost being only a partial manifestation of the total self—"Induced" Ghost seeing: normal—Clairvoyance—Illustrations of Mr. Wilkinson's mediumship)—Evidence that deceased people come to meet their dying friends.
11. ON EVIDENCE, PROOF AND BELIEF
Survival accepted even by sceptical wing of S. P. R.—Mrs. Sidgwick—Difference between Psychical Researchers and Spiritualists—Subliminal Memory—Coleridge's story of the polyglossal servant-girl—Hypnotic experiments—Multiple personality—Blanche Poynings—But evidence goes beyond Subliminal Memory—Nature of Trance-Controls—Standards of proof—Critic's low standard—Must be cumulative—Coercive proof not possible—Psychology of belief—Personal history in reaching convictions.
1. SPIRITUALISM AS A RELIGION
Cause of Spiritualistic Secession from other sects—Not antagonistic to any except those holding crude beliefs mainly as to Eschatology—Seven Principles of Spiritualism—More Christian than some modern forms of Christianity—Organisation—Number of Societies—Democratic, as Christianity was at first—Specimen service, with Clairvoyance—Sunday Schools or Lyceums—Their methods.
2. SPIRITUALISM AS A RELIGION (CONTINUED)
Internal friction and fission in Societies—Lack of Reverence in services—Long-windedness of speakers—Some "mediums" not mediumistic but only cases of Multiple Personality—Necessity of evidence of Super-normality—Private circles—Questionably good—Dark sittings—But notwithstanding crudities, Spiritualists have the root of the matter—They have forced the facts into prominence—Spiritualism in America, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, South America, Russia, Australia, New Zealand—Agitation at home for repeal of Witchcraft Laws—Case for and against.
3. MATERIALISTIC AND OTHER OBJECTIONS
A priori negations—The things do not happen—Professor Munsterberg, Mr. Frederic Harrison, Tyndall—Huxley's wiser attitude—Mr. Edward Clodd—Sir E. Ray Lankester—No experimental demonstration of Volcanic eruptions, Earthquakes, or even Thunderstorms possible.
4. ROMAN CATHOLIC AND MYSTICAL OBJECTIONS
The things happen, but are the work of Devils—Lord Alfred Douglas—Prohibition wise for many people—But conservatism may be overdone—High moral teaching—Father Bernard Vaughan—Mystical objections—Some force in them, and valid for some people—But Reason is a Divine Gift, as well as Intuition—Civilisation a good thing—But each must decide for himself—All extremes to be avoided, but no directions banned.
5. SOME PROTESTANT OBJECTIONS
Misunderstanding that spirits can be "called up"—The Christian and Joyful News—Allegations of insanity caused—Probably more insanity caused by Hell-belief—Specific answers to the charge—"Triviality" of Messages—But small things are often the best evidence—And A. J. Davis wrote thirty volumes of serious matter, non-evidential—Leviticus—But do its quoters observe its other prohibitions as well?—Bishop of Oxford—A weighty objection—Belief in Survival more wholesomely based on faith in God than on phenomena—But the Early Christians based their belief on Phenomena (Christ's Resurrection)—And for many people a Phenomena-based Belief seems the only way back to Religion.
6. FECHNER'S THEORY OF LIFE AFTER DEATH.
The World-Soul—Human Personality perhaps a part of it—Inorganic Matter not unconscious—Saturated with Mind—But Selves do not merge after bodily Death
Individuality continues to grow—The post-mortem Body—Material results of Earth-Actions and Thoughts—Rapport-objects—Links up with Myers's Subliminal Recognition after Death—Deeper sleep, wider memory, till Death restores all, forgotten things having preceded us—Scientific nature of Fechner's system.
7. SPIRITUALISTIC CONCEPTIONS OF AFTER-DEATH CONDITIONS
Swedenborgian in asserting Similarity to Earth-life, but more optimistic—Universal Salvation—Spheres—Jews and Plurality of Heavens—Paul's "Third Heaven"—Summerland—Tuttle, McKenzie, Wilson—The Theosophical scheme—A compromise scheme suggested, including elements of Origen and Fechner—Best Spiritualistic opinion wisely restrained as to Definite Spheres Stead's "After Death"—Excessive Mourning wrong—Love the chief thing—Experiences at Death—Stainton Moses, information from spirit about conditions over there—Reality of the life.
Summing up—Belief in Survival became moribund in early nineteenth century—Spiritualism revived it by finding and emphasising same sort of Phenomena as those on which Christianity was based—Swedenborg had prepared the way—S. P. R. work—But Spiritualism is more than belief in Survival and Communication, it is a Religion—Includes Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man—Is nearer the Christianity of the first three centuries than is the Christian Orthodoxy of to-day—Opposition based mainly on ignorance—Nature of future life Spiritualistic opinion regarding Christ—The seven articles Repeated.
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