It is tedious going over the arguments which reduce this mode of reasoning to an absurdity. The same reasoning has been applied to every important discovery in physical science for the past three hundred years; and if it were carried out to its logical conclusions no substantial advance in human knowledge could ever take place, since every discovery or observation of phenomena outside of known laws must on that ground be rejected. And the history of scientific discoveries shows that this has actually been the case. The announcement of the discovery of the movements of the planets around the sun, of the attraction of gravitation, of the identity of lightning with electricity, of the relation and derivation of species in the world of living forms - of the discovery of living toads in geological strata of untold antiquity, and scores of other now accepted facts, were accounted visionary and were received with scoffs and jeers by the accredited leaders of science, because they were outside of any known natural laws; and it was only after the study and contemplation of the new discoveries had educated and enlarged the minds of a new generation of men to a better understanding of the extent and magnitude of nature and her laws that the scoffs subsided and the new facts quietly took their places as accredited science.

The same process is going on regarding mental phenomena to-day. It may require a generation for men unused to think in this direction to become familiarized with the thought that telepathy, clairvoyance, and the subliminal self, with its augmented powers, are facts in nature; but thousands of intelligent people, and many accustomed to examine facts critically and according to approved methods, are already so interpreting nature, and their number is constantly increasing. Such are some of the facts discovered by the pioneers in this outlying field of psychology. In attempting to explain or account for them it is useless to take refuge in the hazy definitions of the old psychologists, or to imagine that the secret is bound up in the vital processes which occupy the biologist and physiologist, interesting and important as those studies are; even the neurologist can help us comparatively little - he can tell us all about diseases of the nervous system and how they manifest themselves, and his labor has earned for him the gratitude of mankind; but he cannot tell us how thinking is accomplished, nor what thought is; he cannot tell the cause of so normal and easily observed a phenomenon as ordinary sleep, much less of the new faculties which are developed in somnambulism. In all these related departments of science, in considering mental phenomena it is found convenient to deny the existence of that for which they cannot account. Nature's processes, however, are simple when once we comprehend them, so much so that we wonder at their simplicity, and wonder that we ever could have failed to understand them; and we learn to distrust explanations which are involved and complicated, knowing that error often lies that way. And of this kind for the most part, the attempted explanations of mental processes in terms of physiology have proved to be; they are complicated, inapplicable, and unsatisfactory; and they give no aid in the generalizations which have hitherto been so much needed.

The phenomena in this new field at first sight seem heterogeneous, without system or any common bond; they seem each to demand a separate origin and field. But let the idea of the subliminal self, intelligent, and endowed with its higher perceptive faculties, be presented, and lo ! all these refractory phenomena fall into place in one harmonious system. The subliminal self is the active and efficient agent in telepathy - it is that which sees and hears and acts far away from the body, and reports the knowledge which it gains to the ordinary senses, sometimes by motor and sometimes by sensory automatism - by automatic writing, speaking, audition, the vision, the phantasm. It acts sometimes while the primary self is fully conscious - better and most frequently in reverie, in dreams, in somnambulism, but best of all when the ordinary self is altogether subjective and the body silent, inactive, and insensible, as in that strange condition which accompanies the higher phases of trance and lucidity, into which few enter, either spontaneously or by the aid of hypnotism. Then still retaining its attenuated vital connection, it goes forth and sees with extended vision and gathers truth from a thousand various and hidden sources.

Will it act less freely, less intelligently, with less consciousness and individuality when that attenuated vital connection is severed, and the body lies - untenanted?

January, 1897. ,