We have presented in this well the most favorable conditions possible for crystal-gazing - a body of unusually clear sparkling water, lying upon a white sand bottom, and the rays of the sun reflected into it by means of a mirror; - no better "cup of divination" could be desired, nor any better circumstances for securing the psychical conditions favorable for the action of the subliminal self.

The various methods of practising crystal-gazing here noticed may be looked upon simply as so many different forms of sensory automatism, referable in these instances to the sense of sight; and whether produced by using the "cup of divination," the ink or treacle in the palm of the hand, the jewels of the Jewish high-priest, the ordinary crystal or stone of the early Christian centuries, and even down to the experiments of Miss X., and the Society for Psychical Research, or last of all, the wells or springs of clear water, either the early ones of Greece and Rome, or the latest one on the farm of Col. Deyer, they are all simply methods of securing such a condition by gazing fixedly at a bright object, as best to facilitate communication between the ordinary or primary self, and the secondary or subliminal self. It is the first, and perhaps the most important, in a series of sensory automatisms, or those having reference to the senses, in distinction from motor automatisms, or those produced by various automatic actions of the body.

These sensory automatisms are usually looked upon as hallucinations - but so far as the term hallucination conveys the idea of deception or falsity it is inappropriate, since the messages brought in this manner are just as real - .just as veridical or truth-telling as automatic writing or speaking.

Hearing is another form of sensory automatism, which, while less common than that of seeing, has also been noticed in all ages.

The child Samuel, ministering to the High Priest Eli, three times in one night, heard himself called by name, and three times came to Eli saying, "Here am I;" adding at last, "for surely thou didst call me." The wise high-priest recognized the rare psychic qualities of the child and brought him up for the priesthood in place of his own wayward sons; and he became the great seer of Israel.

Socrates was accustomed to hear a voice which always admonished him when the course he was pursuing or contemplating was wrong or harmful; but it was silent when the contemplated course was right. This was the famous "Daemon of Socrates," and was described and discussed by Xen-ophon and Plato as well as other Greek writers and many modern ones. Socrates himself called it the "Divine Sign." And on that account he was accused of introducing new gods, and thus offering indignity to the accredited gods of Greece. On this, as one of the leading charges, Socrates was tried and condemned to death; but in all the proceedings connected with his trial and condemnation he persisted in his course which he knew would end in his death, rather than be false to his convictions of duty and right; and this he did because the voice - the "Divine Sign" - which always before had restrained him in any wrong course, was not heard restraining him in his present course.

Only once was it heard, and that was to restrain him from preparing any set argument in his defence before his judges. So he accepted his sentence and drank the hemlock, surrounded by his friends, to whom he calmly explained that death could not be an evil thing, not only from the arguments which he had adduced, but also because the Divine Sign, which never failed to admonish him when pursuing any harmful course, had not admonished nor restrained him in this course which had led directly to his death.

Joan of Arc heard voices, which in childhood only guided her in her ordinary duties, but which in her early womanhood made her one of the most conspicuous figures in the history of her time. They placed her, a young and unknown peasant girl, as a commander at the head of the defeated, disorganized, and discouraged armies of France, aroused them to enthusiasm, made them victorious, freed her country from the power of England, and placed the rightful prince upon the throne. She also heard and obeyed her guiding voices, even unto martyrdom.

Numerous instances might be cited occurring in ancient and also in modern times where the subliminal self has sent its message of instruction, guidance, warning, or restraint to the primary self by means of impressions made upon the organ of hearing. Socrates, Joan of Arc, Swedenborg, and many others considered these instructions infallible, supernatural, or divine; but in other cases the messages so given have been trivial, perhaps even false, thus removing the element of infallibility and absolute truthfulness from messages of this sort, and at the same time casting a doubt upon their supernatural character in any case. It seems wisest, therefore, at least to examine these and all cases of automatically received messages, whether by writing, trance-speaking, dreams, visions, or the hearing of voices, with a definite conception of a real and natural cause and origin for these messages in a subliminal self, forming a definite part of each individual: bearing in mind also that this subliminal self possesses powers and characteristics varying in each individual case, in many cases greatly transcending the powers and capabilities of the normal or primary self. But infallibility, though sometimes claimed, is by no means to be expected from this source, and the messages coming from each subliminal self must be judged and valued according to their own intrinsic character and merit, just as a message coming to us from any primary self, whether known or unknown to us, must be judged and valued according to its source, character, and merit.