The Normal Relations of the Objective and Subjective Faculties. - Their Distinctive Powers and Functions. - The Infinite Wisdom displayed in their Distribution. - It constitutes Man a Free Moral Agent. - Limitation of Subjective Powers and Responsibilities in this Life. - The Kinship of the Soul to God. - The Limitation of the Powers of the Objective Mind. - The Transcendent Powers of the Soul. - Errors of the Old Philosophers. - The Normal Functions of the Soul in Earthly Life. - Dangers of Abnormal Exercise of Subjective Power. - Nervous Disorders, Insanity, Imbecility, and Moral Degradation. - The Importance of a Knowledge of the Law of Suggestion. - Dangers of Mediumship. - Trance-speakers. - Immoral Tendency of Ignorant Mediumship. - Tendency towards Free Love. - The Causes. - The Orientalists. - Their Greater Powers and their Greater Facilities for Self-delusion. - Practical Conclusions. - Warnings.
HAVE now presented the propositions of my hypothe-sis, together with a brief outline showing its applicability to the leading psychic phenomena; and it remains only to draw a few practical conclusions which apply to every-day life. The first, and the most obviously important one, relates to the exercise of subjective power, and the normal relations of the objective and subjective faculties. In order to do so clearly and concisely, it will be necessary to recall the terms of the hypothesis.
The first proposition is that the mind of man is dual in character. This proposition, as we have already stated, has been more or less dimly recognized by many philosophers in all ages; and during the present century it has been gradually assuming a more definite status in mental philosophy. Assuming, therefore, this proposition to be true, it necessarily follows that the two minds must, normally, bear a harmonious relation to each other. It follows that one of the two minds must, normally, be subordinated to the other. Otherwise there would be a conflict. Just here Liebault's discovery of the law of suggestion comes in, and shows that the subjective mind is constantly controlled by that power,. It is true that Lie-bault and his followers have applied the law only to the elucidation of hypnotic phenomena; and in that have not always carried it to its legitimate conclusion. But it has seemed to me that if the law is applicable to one class of psychic phenomena, it must be equally applicable to all, as nature's laws admit of no exceptions.
I have therefore declared, as the second proposition of my hypothesis, that the subjective mind is always controllable by suggestion.
Assuming, therefore, that these two propositions are true, it follows as a necessary consequence that there must be some distinctive line of difference between the methods of operation of the two minds. It is obvious that there is a limitation of power in the subjective mind, otherwise it could not be subordinated to the objective. Just where this line of distinction could be drawn, and how it could be formulated, was at first a perplexing question. There were no authorities on the subject who ever hinted at a possible limitation of reasoning power in either branch of the dual mind. On the contrary, those who have observed the phenomena of subjective mental activity, as seen in hypnotic subjects, in trance-speakers, and cognate exhibitions, have been so profoundly impressed with its transcendent powers that it has seemed impossible that it could be hedged about by limitations. Philosophers from time immemorial have recognized its tremendous powers of memory, and millions have sat entranced by the eloquence of subjective speakers, and noted with profound admiration their accuracy of logical deduction. So impressed has the world been by such exhibitions that the soul has been held up as the infallible guide to all that is pure and noble and good in humanity.
It has been called the Ego (which it truly is), and as such it has been recognized as the inward monitor, whose monitions are always entitled to reverential consideration. It was difficult, therefore, to imagine any line of distinction between the two branches of the dual mind which would place the subjective in a subordinate position. But for the discovery of Liebault's law of suggestion that line would never have been recognized It now becomes evident, however, that the point of its limitation of reasoning power is the starting-point. It has not the power to formulate its own premises. The subsidiary proposition of our general hypothesis is, therefore, that the subjective mind is incapable of inductive reasoning. It will readily be seen that it is a corollary of the law of suggestion; but the three propositions together furnish the key to the whole science of psychology.
I am aware that those who have hitherto regarded the soul as possessing all the intellectual powers, as well as all the moral attributes, will be shocked when they realize that the object of their admiration is hedged about with any limitations whatever. The first question they will ask is, "Why is it that God has given to man a soul possessing such transcendent powers in certain directions, and yet under the absolute control, in all its ideas and intellectual functions, of a finite, perishable intelligence?" The broad and comprehensive answer is, To constitute man a free moral agent. It needs no argument to show that if the soul were not so limited in its initiative power of reasoning, the finite, mortal man could not be held responsible for the moral status of his soul. God gave to objective man the powers of reason, inductive as well as deductive, for the purpose of enabling him successfully to struggle with his physical environment. He gave him the power to know the right from the wrong. He gave him supreme control of the initial processes of reasoning, and thus made him responsible for the moral status of his soul. The soul, in the mean time, so long as it inhabits the body, is charged with limited responsibilities.