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An edition of Spiritism And Common Sense (1922)

Spiritism And Common Sense

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This edition was published in by P.J. Kenedy & Sons in New York.

Written in English

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Cover of: Spiritism And Common Sense
Spiritism And Common Sense
1922, P.J. Kenedy & Sons
in English

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Spiritism And Common Sense

First published in 1922



Spiritism And Common Sense

This edition was published in by P.J. Kenedy & Sons in New York.


Table of Contents

CONTENTS
ANALYTIC INDEX
CHAPTER I
The World Wonts to be Deceived
Man likes to be mystified. — Credulity of people no exaggeration. — Gabriel Joand. — Leo Taxil, and his collaborators. — His mystification. — He has taught Catholics a lesson. — When we are at war we are prone to blame the enemy for everything. — The evil spirits are not our only enemies. — God uses secondary causes. — So the devil, the "Ape of God." — Because certain phenomena are inexplicable, it does not follow that Satan is personally to blame 1-7
CHAPTER II
The Origin of Spiritism
The belief that the souls of the dead communicate with us, as old as man. — Spiritism, scientifically speaking, is an hypothesis. — As a religion, it first made its appearance in 1848. — Mrs. Fox. — Her experiences. — Margaret and Catharine. — Beginning of their career. — The death-blow to Spiritualism. — Mrs. Margaret Fox Kane and Mrs. Catha- rine Fox Jencken; their denunciation. — The "New York World." — The real origin of the "raps" 8-15
CHAPTER III
The Psychology of the Observer
Spiritism claims it has science to back it up. — Men of science and real scientific men. — Prof. Hyslop ; his tremendous reasoning about Galileo and Copernicus and the discover of America. — Sir William Crookes an authority on chemistry, but not on moral and religious matters. — Facts, hypotheses and theories. — Sir Bertram Windle. — Great scientists are often like children in the occurrences of daily life. — A seance with a scientific observer. — His secretary's notes. — There is another way of looking at the affair. — He sticks to his conclusions. — Men who make a living writing books on the questions of the hour. — We do not ridicule all scientific investigation 16-29
CHAPTER IV
The Psychology of the Medium
Mediums are industrious people. — They are organized.— A "School of Mediumship." — Private mediums. — Eusapia Palladino and Eva C. — Definition of a "medium." — What Margaret Fox says about mediums* morality. — W. C. J. Crawford's opinion. — Sir William Barrett and Eusapia. — Combination of fraud and real power explained. — Private mediums do not work for money, but they do get money for their work. — The fascination for mystifying others. — Scientific pride of Eva C. and Madame Bisson. — Human nature is human nature 30-40
CHAPTER V
The Psychology of a Stance
Singing, dim lamps, and perfumes. — The spirits cannot work otherwise. — Scientific opinion doubts the conclusions of Sir Oliver Lodge. — Consideration of the mediums inclines us to doubt their honesty. — A seance. — It is over. — Darkness or the feeblest of lights necessary for advanced phenomena. — Emotional sensitiveness tends to increase. — Disturbed sensitiveness harmful for accurate observation. — Psychology of the crowd. — Sirs William Crookes, Oliver Lodge and William Barrett "taken in" at a seance. — Testimony of Madame Blavatsky.— The human factor 41-52
CHAPTER VI
What Are Psychical Phenomena?
The House of Spiritism built largely of rubbish. — Confusion as to just what are psychical phenomena. — Dr. Lapponi's wonderful stance. — He has no personal experience. — Definition of psychical phenomena. — Sensible effect. — Provoked. — The medium is only an instrumental cause. — The unseen agent. — The principal cause. — Difference between the force and the mind directing the force. — What is meant by the words "forces generally unknown"? — Two types of psychical phenomena 53-59
CHAPTER VII
The Research for Psychical Phenomena: Fraud
What we mean by psychical research. — Phenomena that come under the study of biology, pathology, etc. — Psychical and psychological phenomena. — Phenomena produced by trickery or fraud eliminated. — The Indian fakirs and Jaccolliot. — Dr. Lapponi again. — The fakir's funeral. — Fr. Ugarte de Ercilla's explanation. — Baldwin's. — D. D. Home and his famous accordion. — How I offer the same demon- stration in my lectures. — The "after tune" that startled Sir William Crookes so much. — Articles thrown about the room in the dark. — The Thomas and Davenport brothers. — J. N. Maskelyne exposes the fraud. — Sir Conan Doyle still puts faith in rope-tying seances. — Some Catholics also admit them as genuine phenomena. — Sealed envelope reading. — Spirit photography. — The "Fairies" of Sir Conan Doyle. — Hyslop and spirit painting. — Mrs. Lee's psychic photographs and Dr. Carrington. — Names of the greatest mediums detected in deceit. — Prof. Flournoy's opinion 60-75
CHAPTER VIII
Research for Psychical Phenomena: The Force
Again the force and the mind behind the force. — Phenomena of unusual character which may be traced to some mental or physical disorder, or both. — Clairvoyancy. — Clairaudiency. — Hallucination. — "Materialization" is the scientific name for a ghost. — Phosphorescence and fluorescence in minerals, plants and animals. — Mr. Walter J. Kilner and the human aura. — Baron von Schrenck-Notzing. — Automatic writing; its physical part. — Somnambulism. — Different classes of somnambulists. — Trance ; its physical part. — Resemblance to somnambulism and hypnotism. — Raps, and levitation. — The force that produces them still unknown. — Similar forces in nature: loadstone, electromagnets. — Raps under control; experiment of Prof. Maxwell. — Human magnetism. — Mediums that can levitate a wooden table cannot work on metals. — Eusapia and metal ornaments on her table. — Dr. Crawford's declarations: the table must be of wood. — Spirits cannot work with metals. — Therefore the force or forces that levitate the table seem to have a natural origin 76-90
CHAPTER IX
Research for Psychical Phenomena: The Message
For the Spiritist every unusual occurrence at a stance is an evidence for his belief. — The real point is, the mind behind the force. — Therefore the 'importance of the message. — We eliminate messages produced by trickery. — We must not judge the power of the message by the effect it produces on us. — Declarations of Frances Reed, one-time public medium. —The "dope-book." — How mediums get information. — "Planting" a town.— The "Blue Book" — How a private medium got her information. — Lip readers 91-100
CHAPTER X
Research for Psychical Phenomena: The Message from the Subconscious Mind
Powers of the mind.— We have only one mind. — Consciousness and unconsciousness. — The terms "subconscious" and "unconscious." — The mind like an iceberg. — Impressions recalled at will by mental processes ; impressions that cannot be controlled. — Ten billion cells in our brain. — How the subconscious mind works. — Ouija giving a fragment of poetry. — All that comes from the subconscious mind of the medium must be excluded 101-107
CHAPTER XI
Psychical Phenomena
Psychical phenomena exist. — Process of elimination. — No definite conclusion may be reached until each particular case is carefully examined and authenticated. — Two fictitious cases. — The message of an aunt by table-tilting. — The message of Th. J. Queen through automatic writing. — The three different theories. — Note: We exclude "real knowledge of the future" 108-111
CHAPTER XII
The Diabolic Theory
In this theory the devil is. the physical cause of the psychical phenomena. — The devil is the other mind. — Possession and obsession. — Fr. Poulain's definitions. — Warnings of the Ritual. — Trance and possession. — A famous case of possession in Natal, Africa. — There is a vast difference between ordinary trance and possession. — The arguments in favor of the diabolic theory. — The devil has preternatural powers. — There is no adequate natural theory to explain these phenomena. — The effects are bad; therefore, it is the devil. — The testimony of the "spirits." — This reasoning a little specious. — Satan the moral cause of the evil effect. — They usually argue in generalizations. — What Prof. Flournoy says. — The diabolical explanation for all real psychical phenomena is a theory 112-125
CHAPTER XIII
The Natural Theory
There are many theories, but mainly concerned with the force and not with the wind controlling the force. — In the study of telepathy may be found the real solution. — Sir Wm. Crookes' theory of psvchic forces. — Mr. Denis's radiations. — Crawford's rod. — The astral body. — What Raymond tells his father, Sir Oliver, about it. — The only natural theory worth considering is telepathy. — Genuine cases of telepathy are known. — How it explains cross-correspondence. — Explanation of our typical cases. — This theory is in its infancy. — But it affords us an explanation 126-132
CHAPTER XIV
The Spiritistic Theory
The explanation of our typical cases very simple: the discaraate souls. — Do not reject natural theories; nor the diabolical. — But there is little at the bottom. — Its whole foundation is: the word of the spirits. — But how does any one know that a discamate spirit gives a message? — There is no evidence that is convincing. — For Spiritists all is evidence. — Why don't spirits write messages by themselves, without the hand of a medium? — An interesting letter from Mrs. F. W. H. Myers. — The sealed letter and Mrs. Verrall. — Spiritgrams often come from the subconscious.— Confusion between spontaneous and provoked phenomena 133-143
CHAPTER XV
Spiritism as a Religion
The religious system based on the Spiritistic theory. — For its followers every curious happening is "evidence." — New methods of communication. — The ouija board the great spiritistic receiver. — Declaration of principles of the National Spiritualists' Association of America. — Spiritism not a scientifically demonstrated fact. — But to discuss Spiritism we will admit for a few moments that it is so. — The control and the communicator. — Uncertainty about the honesty of the medium or the work of the subconscious. — How can we find out that the control is honest? — Sir Conan Doyle's own words. — What Sir William Barrett says. — Some of Feda's communications to good Sir Oliver. — Prof. Flournoy summarizes the situation. — Two messengers, both of them drunk. — And what about the "communicator"? — Doyle again. — Spirits on the first plane are like recently-born babies. — The greatest number of communications come from this plane.— -To communicate with other planes, a "spirit relay" is required. — Spirits are essentially human, is Crawfora's experience. — To trust the testimony of a person, veracity and knowledge are required. — Moral impossibility of certitude through these channels. — Prof. Flournoy's opinion. — Even admitting Spiritism as a theory, there is little foundation for anything that resembles a religion 144-159
CHAPTER XVI
Spiritism and Morals
The actual ignorance of the universal cause of psychical phenomena in no way affects the moral aspect of the question. — Dealing with the abnormal has a tendency to disturb man's normal balance. — Superstitious beliefs and practices. — The Holy Office. — The Church knows best. — The Second Council of Baltimore. — St. Thomas's words. — Condemned in Holy Writ. — Over-emotionalism. — Sir William Barrett's opinion. — Communication with the damned or devils can produce nothing but evil. — They pay the price in some fashion, spiritual or physical. — It is as a house afflicted with some contagious disease. — Catholics promise in Baptism, to renounce the devil and all his works 160-167
EPILOGUE
The Spaniard and the news of the American War. — So the Spiritists do. — We want to believe what is favorable to our present desires. — "Art thou He that art to come?" — And so do the Apostles of the New Revelation. — Christ walks out Into the open. — It seems a work of desecration to institute comparison between the miracles of Christ and the so-called spiritistic phenomena. — Let those outside the Church think as they wish. — It is our Faith that affords us the beautiful explanations of the true spiritual life. — In our mortal lives we must rely constantly on human faith. — Let us trust Him Who is Our Father and knows what is beyond the grave. — Let the Spiritist, like the Hindu, when dying, clutched the tail of the Sacred Cow. — Words of St. Paul to Timothy 168-175
APPENDIX I
How I Became a Spirit Medium
An excerpt from "Revelations of a Spirit Medium," published in 1891. — A confession of deception which began in fun and continued in earnest 177-185
APPENDIX II
Eva C.
Some account of this famous medium and her work with Baron von Schrenck-Notzing and his book, "Phenomena of Materialization" 186-194
APPENDIX III
Ectoplasm
Photographs which reveal the "substance" of "ectoplasm" and its places of concealment 195-198
APPENDIX IV
Spirit Photographs
A brief comment on methods employed in so-called "spirit photography" 199-200
APPENDIX V
Levitation
An account of the author's demonstration at Springfield! reprinted from the "Springfield Republican" 201-205
LIST OF BOOKS CONSULTED
A complete list, with author and date of publication, of all volumes consulted by the author in preparing this manuscript 207-220

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL25931918M
Internet Archive
SpiritismAndCommonSense
OCLC/WorldCat
1704072

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