Now, it may be asked, how do we connect the clairau-dient warning of the old man with the wreck which did not occur to his train? It must be admitted that the circumstances do not constitute an ideally perfect case of a life saved by a clairaudient reception of warning; but it must also be held that the case is of all the greater evidential value for that very reason. It is easy to perceive how the old man's subjective mind perceived the danger, when it is once admitted that it possesses the power to see that which is not within the range of objective vision. Ever alert for the safety of the individual, it perceived the danger, no matter how. It saw the condition of the overhanging rock, and believed that that train would loosen its hold. In the mean time the old man was in that passive, somnolent condition most favorable for the reception of subjective impressions or communications. He happened also to be clairaudient, and therefore in the best possible condition for the conveyance of subjective messages above the threshold of consciousness. And the message was delivered in the most effective way possible, - in the same way in which Socrates was again and again warned of impending danger.
That the catastrophe did not happen to his train proves only that the intelligence which gave the warning was finite, that its knowledge was circumscribed by the limitations of human judgment, and that it did not proceed from Omniscience.
It may be here remarked that this incident seems difficult to explain on any other hypothesis than that of independent clairvoyance. To explain it on the principle of telepathy would involve the necessity of presupposing that some person or persons knew of the dangerous situation of the rock, and that they were in telepathic rapport with the percipient. Either supposition seems improbable, although not impossible. Be this as it may be, the fact remains that the subjective mind of man has some means of reaching out beyond the range of our faculties of objective perception, and of knowing when and where danger threatens the individual. That it is constantly on the alert for that purpose, is also certain.
But its efforts are not directed exclusively to the protection of the body from harm. It is also on the alert for the protection of the material interests of the individual, and for the advancement of whatever aims and objects he has in life. These objects are, of course, subsidiary to the main one, being means to the end in view, - namely, the preservation of human life. One of the most eminent lawyers in the United States informs me confidentially that he is •often guided, in critical emergencies, by a voice which gives him in a single, concise sentence the key to the situation. All the years of his adult life this voice has warned him of impending danger, and guided him to the attainment of the objects of his ambition. He did not, in early life, entertain any well-defined theory on the subject of the origin of the voice, but has always been guided by its monitions, and never to his disadvantage. Of late years, however, he has become convinced of its true source, and now regards his faculty as of the most transcendent interest and scientific importance, to say nothing of its value as a personal mentor.
It seems probable that the faculty might be cultivated to an unlimited extent, provided its true source could be recognized early in life and its monitions heeded. It is also probable that most people have occasionally heard clairaudi-ently, though but few have paid attention to the phenomenon; and those who have done so have either attributed it to imagination, or regarded it as a subjective hallucination. In either case the auto-suggestion would necessarily prevent the development of the faculty. It sometimes happens, however, that spirit mediums develop the faculty to a remarkable extent. As they attribute the phenomena to extraneous sources, the suggestion necessarily results in corresponding phenomena. It is needless to remark that the same law of suggestion which prevails in the production of other phenomena governs the character of clairaudient manifestations. Thus, if the suggestion is entertained that the voice proceeds from a disembodied spirit, or from the guardian angel of the percipient, the character suggested will be assumed by the subjective entity, and future communications will be conducted on that basis. It may thus be made to assume the character of an angel or of a devil, just as the suggestion happens to be made.
The suggestion, in the present state of knowledge on the subject of psychic phenomena, must depend altogether upon accident, or the education and habits of thought of the individual.
Doubtless, many persons have been made insane by constantly hearing what they supposed to be spirit voices. Not knowing the true origin of the phenomenon, they endow it with whatever character happens to suggest itself, and it readily assumes to be whatever is suggested; or it may assume a dozen different characters, if the person happens to imagine their existence. The effect can readily be conceived when one is persuaded that he is beset by supernatural beings. Insane people are often seen to be engaged in conversation with some imaginary person, and when we say of such a soliloquist, "He is talking to himself," we are wiser than we think; for that is the fact. But the individual thought he was in conversation with supernatural beings. We are accustomed to regard such conversations as symptoms of insanity, whereas they are oftentimes the cause of insanity. The patient for some reason develops the faculty of clairaudience. He imagines that the voice proceeds from some extraneous source. His superstition causes him to ascribe it to spirits. He constantly develops the faculty by practice, until he becomes a monomaniac on the subject.
His subjective mind, dominated by an all-potent, but false, suggestion, gradually obtains control of the objective faculties, and Reason abdicates her throne. The man is insane, just as all men are insane who allow their subjective minds to obtain the ascendency. This is, of course, an extreme case ; but it is less rare than many suppose. Our asylums are full of men and women who, in one way or another, are dominated by their subjec tive minds, acting in obedience to false suggestions which have been dwelt upon so long that reason is powerless to combat them.
The lesson is obvious. We should learn first of all that the subjective entity within each of us, whilst it is endowed with transcendent powers, is also circumscribed by limitations which unfit it for control of the dual man. Having learned this, it should be our care to keep reason in the ascendency, and to control the subjective mind by suggestions which, while keeping it in subordination, will direct its powers in the channel of its legitimate functions, - namely, the preservation and perpetuation of the human species.
Clairaudient powers, like every other power which enables man to raise the operations of the subjective mind above the threshold of consciousness, may to one who knows the laws which govern it, who appreciates its powers, and who is aware of its limitations, become a source of decided advantage. But to one who does not understand those laws, powers, and limitations, those faculties may prove to be like the wand in the hand of the slave of the magician in the Eastern tale. He saw his master wave his wand, and heard him give orders to the spirits who arose at his command. The slave stole the wand, waved it in the air, and summoned the spirits. They came at his summons, but tore him in pieces instead of obeying his commands. He had not observed that his master used his left hand for the purpose of conjuration.
This tale was told for the purpose of illustrating the very point which we have sought to make. The fate of the magician's slave was no worse than that which may befall any man who irregularly summons his own spirit, without understanding the laws which enable him to control it and make it useful instead of destructive. He is conjuring with the most potential force of nature below that of Omnipotence. \