In short, he knows nothing of its source, or the limitations of its powers of reasoning. The result is that he yields implicit obedience to its guidance in all things. His reason has abdicated its throne and abandoned its functions, and he is at the mercy of his subjective mind, which, in turn, is controlled by the false suggestions of his own disorganized and subjugated objective intelligence. His physical degeneracy keeps pace with his mental decline, his whole nervous system is prostrated by excessive exercise of subjective power, and too frequently the end is acute mania or drivelling imbecility.
One of the most fascinating and seductive forms of subjective mental activity is exhibited in trance, or inspirational, speaking. A medium of fair intelligence and some education, obtained, perhaps, by desultory reading of spiritistic and miscellaneous literature, develops himself into an inspirational speaker. As a sincere spiritist, he believes himself to be controlled by some great spirit who in life was celebrated for his eloquence. He ascends the rostrum and amazes his audience by his wonderful oratory, his marvellous command of the resources of his mind, and, above all, by the clearness and cogency of his reasoning. Those who have known him before and are aware of the limits of his education are the most surprised of all, and no argument can convince them that he is not inspired by some almost superhuman intelligence from another world. They know nothing of the wonders of subjective mental power; they have no knowledge of the perfection of subjective memory, which gives the speaker perfect command of all he has ever read, or of the logical exactitude of the deductive reasoning of the subjective intelligence.
The speaker, on his part, finds himself in possession of such wonderful powers and resources, emanating, as he believes, from an extraneous source, abandons his old pursuits, and devotes himself to the work of his inspiration. It is an easy and pleasurable existence for the time being. He finds that there is no need of taking thought of what he is to say, for ideas, and words with which to clothe them, flow from him like a mountain torrent. He finds himself in possession of knowledge which he has no objective recollection of ever having acquired, and of ideas which were foreign to his objective intelligence. He beiieves, and, from his standpoint, has every reason to believe, that he is inspired by some lofty spirit whose knowledge is unlimited and whose resources are unfailing. He feels that he has no need of further reading or study, and the work of objective intellectual labor soon becomes a drudgery. The result is that his objective intellectual growth soon comes to a stand-still, and at length his objective intellect begins to deteriorate. In the mean time his subjective powers may continue to grow in brilliancy for a time, or at least they shine with a new lustre, as they are compared with the deepening dulness of his objective intellect. At length he becomes fitful, erratic, eccentric.
As his objective powers deteriorate, they no longer have any semblance of control over his subjective mind. The suggestions which reason, in its best estate, may have given to his subjective mind, as a starting-point for his discourses, are no longer available, for his power to reason is failing. His friends, who follow him from place to place, begin to notice that he talks one thing at one place, and the opposite at another. They attribute the fact to the control of different spirits at different times, and for a time they are consoled. Eventually the fact is forced upon them that in his normal, or objective, condition he is growing more and more erratic, and that at times his conversation is the merest drivel. As in all the other forms of subjective development mentioned, his physical deterioration keeps pace with his mental decline. In the mean time his subjective powers appear to deteriorate. It is not true, in fact, that his subject mind, per set deteriorates, for that is impossible. But as it is always controlled by suggestion, it necessarily takes its cue from the suggestions conveyed to it by the objective mind. When that ceases to develop, the subjective mind keeps on in its old rut, for the obvious reason that no new ideas are imparted to it.
When the objective mind begins to deteriorate, its suggestions are no longer coherent, and the subjective mind is necessarily incoherent in exact proportion. Its deductions from a false or imbecile suggestion will be logically correct; but, as a matter of course, a false, extravagant, or imbecile premise, followed to its legitimate, logical conclusion, necessarily leads the mind into a corresponding maze of extravagance and imbecility. It is therefore no indication of a decline of. subjective powers, but it is a demonstration of the universality of the law of suggestion. It goes without saying that if an inspirational speaker were aware of the source of his power, and of the laws which govern it, and would constantly keep it under the control of his reason, he could utilize it to the very best advantage. A cultured man of well-balanced intellect would then formulate his own premises according to the best lights obtainable through the processes of inductive reasoning, and "inspiration would do the rest." If his premises were correct, the subjective mind could always be depended upon to deduce the correct conclusions, and to illustrate them by drawing upon the resources of its perfect memory of all that the individual has ever seen, heard, or read bearing upon the subject.
Such a man would be known as a man of "genius," in whatever direction he exercised his powers. And just in proportion to the natural powers and cultivation of his objective mind and the extent of his objective information would his subjective manifestations be brilliant and powerful.
I do not say that such an exercise of subjective power would not be abnormal and productive of untoward physical consequences. Men of genius in all ages of the world have unconsciously exercised this power. But men of genius the world over have been too often noted for abnormalities of character and conduct. Profane history furnishes but one example where a man of genius appears to have been in possession of objective and subjective powers perfectly balanced, and who was able to utilize his enormous objective advantages, resulting from constant and intimate association with the greatest minds of his generation, in the subjective production of works which must always stand pre-eminent. It is unnecessary to say that I allude to Shakspeare. So little is known of his private life that it is impossible to judge whether abnormal physical effects resulted from his labors. But his works are full of internal evidence that his subjective powers were under the constant control of a well-trained and perfectly balanced objective intellect.