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AN EMANATION FROM ALL BRAINS.
changed ?" No doubt the will has all the power that physicians thus ascribe to it and more, but there is nothing in such power supernatural, as the Spectator supposes. pure volition " is the correlate or equivalent of so much physical force, and this change of vital or vegetative force to mental, and of mental back to vital, is seen to be one of the commonest facts in nature when once observed. There is always a sufficient mental force in reserve, if the will be sti enough to bring it into action, to act upon the vital, that is, the digestive and assimilative powers, and thus to gain new force for a time from the world without.
Intelligence. Besides the “ levitation” and rappings, the Spiritualist hypothesis assumes “ the co-operation of an Intelligence which is not that of any human being," and Professor de Morgan's state of mind he says
" refers the whole either to unseen intelligence or to something which man has never had any conception of." My own opinion is that there is an emanation from all brains, the result of both conscious and unconscious cerebration, forming, not spirits, but a mental or spiritual atmosphere, by means of which peculiar constitutions - mediums and others, are put en rapport with other brains or minds, so as to become conscious of whatever is going on there. I believe the intelligence which manifests itself in
circle,” which is not that of any person present, or as Mrs. de Morgan expresses it, “the elementary idea or truth sought to be conveyed, and which does not originate with the medium,” is the simple result, upon an enlarged and more general state, of that “thought reading” which we see every day in clairvoyants. This spiritual atmosphere is also able to bring the mind into immediate contact, without the aid of the
o that every
senses, with whatever it pervades, so that people can see both near and distant what they could not see with ordinary eyesight. This is only another well known phase of Clairvoyance.
Indeed Mrs. de Morgan tells us wonderful effect produced by mesmerism has since found its explanation or its counterpart in spiritual phenomena." — (p. 49.) Again she says “It is indisputable that the medium is under mesmeric influence, but what is that influence ? and in these cases whence does it proceed?”
To what extent, and under what conditions, through this atmosphere of cerebration, mind can act on mind, can only be matter of observation and experiment.
First we have to consider the conditions under which we can be put into contact or communication with this “ atmosphere.” The bodily constitutions requisite seem greatly to vary both in power and the mode of manifestation, and among what are called “mediums" there seems to be a power of both efflux and afflux, as we have the mesmeriser and the mesmerised — the giver and receiver. Some mediums have the power of intensifying the spiritual atmosphere, others of receiving whatever this atmosphere may contain. “ Great exercise of mediumship,” Mrs. de Morgan tells us, “is likely to exhaust the more delicate constitution of the nervous sanguine, (p. 4,) while great activity in the brains of those concerned interferes with the experiment,” (p. 6,) the one state referring to the first class of mediums, the other to the latter. “ The unseen power,” we are told, “prefers a passive state to a positive action of the brain," (p. 39,) and our own force requires to be exhausted by physical effort, by illness, by watching, fasting, or prayer, before we can become the recipient of the new, and that thus the condition necessary for impression is one in the medium and the inspired prophet. “In such a case I have seen,” says the
WHENCE THE INTELLIGENCE IS DERIVED.
author of “From Matter to Spirit,”
every limb thrown into strong convulsive action, as if the unseen influence must permeate every nerve and fibre before the power wielding it could obtain full control of the wires of the human electric telegraph.” —(p. 276.) The ancient oracles were generally thrown into convulsions before they gave utterances, and convulsions often precede the trance, -- a state particularly favourable to the influx of this spirit. This influx “is often disturbed by the entrance of a third person.”—(p. 295.) The sun, the source, as we have seen, of all power, physical and mental, in the human body, “ is always given in modern spiritual experience as the material outbirth of the Highest Power, the first remove from pure spirit.” —(p. 298.)
As regards the nature of the Intelligence it appears to depend entirely upon the character of the brain from which it emanates, and upon the knowledge possessed by the mind with which the medium or other member of the circle may at the time be en rapport. There is ground also for rendering it highly probable that whatever knowledge man has once possessed, whatever discoveries he has once made, are preserved in the spirit atmosphere, or in some organizations with which this atmosphere is in union. Of course then the revelations we receive are various in proportion to the organizations through which they come to us, and the source from which they are received; and no wonder therefore that they are very conflicting. First as to the instruments through which we may receive them. The author of “ Adam Bede' observes, we do not hear that Memnon's statue gave forth its melody at all under the rushing of the mightiest wind, or in response to any other influence divine or human than certain short-lived sunbeams of morning; and we must learn to accommodate ourselves to the discovery that some of those cunningly-fashioned instruments called human souls have only
a very limited range of music, and will not vibrate in the least under a touch that fills others with tremulous rapture or quivering agony." * So also, although some, as we have seen, have superior power, the great majority of organizations under the influx of the spirit atmosphere have quite as limited a range, and they can reflect only so much of other minds as the peculiar structure of their own permits. Thus we are told by Mrs. de Morgan “ that no surname could be given through Jane's mediumship,” (“ From Matter to Spirit," p. 21,) and that a similar limitation of faculty applies to every phase of mediumship. • We have reason, then, to believe,” she says, “that the spirit or communicating power is cognizant of all the different forms in which truths may be conveyed through a variety of mediums, but that each medium is chosen for a special quality, which enables him to transmit the sentiment required.”—(72.)
6. I would say then that the elementary idea or truth sought to be conveyed does not originate with the medium; the language, spelling, and form of expression are his or hers.”—(31.) As to the mode of inspiration or influx, we are told that “Spirits take the place of an earthly mesmeriser." -(116.)
As touching the source from which “ Intelligence” is derived, Mrs. de Morgan tells us, “Many considerations yet remained, and many experiments were still to be tried, before we could have full reason for believing that another intelligence was concerned, or, in other words, that an invisible being directed the operations of the telegraph wire, whose mechanism was in our own organisation."-(p. 33.)
" The instances already given, and which might be supported by hundreds besides, prove that their source is not to be found in the medium or in any other member of the circle. The
* Adam Bede, vol. i., p. 177.
THE SPIRITS DISAGREE AMONG THEMSELVES.
communications are coherent and intelligible; often too, quite new to every person present. It seems then not a hasty assumption that they are the work of an intelligent unseen being, acting by means of a force similar to mesmerism upon the system of the medium."-(p. 96.) “The mesmeric force or fluid, or one whose effects on the system are precisely similar, but perhaps more refined, is that by which all the operations of mediumship are carried on, and the source from which it immediately flows is an unseen and intelligent being, asserting itself to be a spirit, which has quitted the material earthly form.” —(p. 100.)
May not then this force be an emanation from all brains, the medium increasing its density so as to allow others present to come into communion with it, and the intelligence, “ new to every person present,” that of some brain in the distance acting through this source upon the mind of the medium or others of the circle ? A. J. Davis, the Seer, says, “ My information is not derived from any persons that exist in the sphere into which my mind enters; but is the law of truth, emanating from the Great Positive Mind. * * * I pass from the body with a desire for a particular kind of information. This desire attracts the particular kind of truth of which I would be informed, separates it from all other things, and causes it to flow into the mind.” * The 66
Spirits" no more seem to agree among themselves in the disembodied state than they did while in the body, in fact they reflect every shade of opinion, and every creed in religion, and “ Mary Jane" was quite as communicative when appealed to as Mary Jane, as when addressed as dear Spirit; she also played a good hand at whist, and dominoes with the faces turned down, and we are told that the more
Principles of Nature."