Some years ago an experience was told to me that has been the cause of many interesting observations since. It was related by a man living in one of our noted university towns in the Middle West. He was a well-known lecture manager, having had charge of many lecture tours for John B. Gough, Henry Ward Beecher, and others of like standing. He himself was a man of splendid character, was of a sensitive organism, as we say, and had always taken considerable interest in the powers and forces pertaining to the inner life.
As a young man he had left home, and during a portion of his first year away he had found employment on a Mississippi steamboat. One day in going down the river, while he was crossing the deck, a sudden stinging sensation seized him in the head, and instantly vivid thoughts of his mother, back at the old home, flashed into his mind. This was followed by a feeling of depression during the remainder of the day. The occurrence was so unusual and the impression of it was so strong that he made an account of it in his diary.
Some time later, on returning home, he was met in the yard by his mother. She was wearing a thin cap on her head which he had never seen her wear before. He remarked in regard to it. She raised the cap and doing so revealed the remains of a long ugly gash on the side of her head. She then said that some months before, naming the time, she had gone into the back yard and had picked up a heavy crooked stick having a sharp end, to throw it out of the way, and in throwing it, it had struck a wire clothesline immediately above her head and had rebounded with such force that it had given her the deep scalp wound of which she was speaking. On unpacking his bag he looked into his diary and found that the time she had mentioned corresponded exactly with the strange and unusual occurrence to himself as they were floating down the Mississippi.
The mother and son were very near one to the other, close in their sympathies, and there can be but little doubt that the thoughts of the mother as she was struck went out, and perhaps went strongly out, to her boy who was now away from home. He, being sensitively organised and intimately related to her in thought, and alone at the time, undoubtedly got, if not her thought, at least the effects of her thought, as it went out to him under these peculiar and tense conditions.
There are scores if not hundreds of occurrences of a more or less similar nature that have occurred in the lives of others, many of them well authenticated. How many of us, even, have had the experience of suddenly thinking of a friend of whom we have not thought for weeks or months, and then entirely unexpectedly meeting or hearing from this same friend. How many have had the experience of writing a friend, one who has not been written to or heard from for a long time, and within a day or two getting a letter from that friend- the letters " crossing," as we are accustomed to say. There are many other experiences or facts of a similar nature, and many of them exceedingly interesting, that could be related did space permit. These all indicate to me that thoughts are not mere indefinite things but that thoughts are forces, that they go out, and that every distinct, clear-cut thought has, or may have, an influence of some type.
Thought transference, which is now unquestionably an established fact, notwithstanding much chicanery that is still to be found in connection with it, is undoubtedly to be explained through the fact that thoughts are forces. A positive mind through practice, at first with very simple beginnings, gives form to a thought that another mind open and receptive to it- and sufficiently attuned to the other mind- is able to receive.
Wireless telegraphy, as a science, has been known but a comparatively short time. The laws underlying it have been in the universe perhaps, or undoubtedly, always. It is only lately that the mind of man has been able to apprehend them, and has been able to construct instruments in accordance with these laws. We are now able, through a knowledge of the laws of vibration and by using the right sending and receiving instruments, to send actual messages many hundreds of miles directly through the ether and without the more clumsy accessories of poles and wires. This much of it we know- there is perhaps even more yet to be known.
We may find, as I am inclined to think we shall find, that thought is a form of vibration. When a thought is born in the brain, it goes out just as a sound wave goes out, and transmits itself through the ether, making its impressions upon other minds that are in a sufficiently sensitive state to receive it; this in addition to the effects that various types of thoughts have upon the various bodily functions of the one with whom they take origin.
We are, by virtue of the laws of evolution, constantly apprehending the finer forces of nature- the tallow-dip, the candle, the oil lamp, years later a more refined type of oil, gas, electricity, the latest tungsten lights, radium- and we may be still only at the beginnings. Our finest electric lights of today may seem- will seem- crude and the quality of their light even more crude, twenty years hence, even less. Many other examples of our gradual passing from the coarser to the finer in connection with the laws and forces of nature occur readily to the minds of us all.
The present great interest on the part of thinking men and women everywhere, in addition to the more particular studies, experiments, and observations of men such as Sir Oliver Lodge, Sir William Ramsay, and others, in the powers and forces pertaining to the inner life is an indication that we have reached a time when we are making great strides along these lines. Some of our greatest scientists are thinking that we are on the eve of some almost startling glimpses into these finer realms. My own belief is that we are likewise on the eve of apprehending the more precise nature of thought as a force, the methods of its workings, and the law underlying its more intimate and everyday uses.
Of one thing we can rest assured; nothing in the universe, nothing in connection with human life is outside of the Realm of Law. The elemental law of Cause and Effect is absolute in its workings. One of the great laws pertaining to human life is: As is the inner, so always and inevitably is the outer- Cause, Effect. Our thoughts and emotions are the silent, subtle forces that are constantly externalising themselves in kindred forms in our outward material world. Like creates like, and like attracts like. As is our prevailing type of thought, so is our prevailing type and our condition of life.
The type of thought we entertain has its effect upon our energies and to a great extent upon our bodily conditions and states. Strong, clear-cut, positive, hopeful thought has a stimulating and life-giving effect upon one's outlook, energies, and activities; and upon all bodily functions and powers. A falling state of the mind induces a chronically gloomy outlook and produces inevitably a falling condition of the body. The mind grows, moreover, into the likeness of the thoughts one most habitually entertains and lives with. Every thought reproduces of its kind.