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might repudiate it. What I have called a mental or thought atmosphere is the result of cerebration, and as far as we know it is devoid of consciousness, until it becomes so as “reflected” in our own organizations. Conscious cerebration, or mind, as we have seen, is transformed force, received into the body in the food, and is, like all force, persistent or indestructible, and when it passes from us, it probably becomes unconscious cerebration, and joins other force of the same nature, and through its medium all brains are brought into union, so that what one brain is conscious of another may be, and what is in the mind of sentiency becomes common property. This unconscious cerebration,” the produce of the whole of sentient existence, may again become sentiency in animals and consciousness in man, and thus we have so much as is true in the doctrine of transmigration of souls. The light of the soul beams brightly for a time in our consciousness, but the rays although scattered never cease to exist, but form a gradually intensifying atmosphere of their
As the individual constituents of our bodies take new forms, so no one particle of mind is lost.
Application of the Theory: Physical Force, Table Moving,
Rapping, Levilation, dc.
Now let us see how the facts of Spiritualism accord with our Theory. Mrs. de Morgan's record of these facts in “From Matter to Spirit,” is on the whole fair, and even philosophical, when not encumbered by old superstitions and an anthropological theology.
We have to account for physical force and intelligence supposed to be not that of any human beings present. With respect to physical force, gravitation and nervous force
“unconscious cerebration," are correlates, that is, trans
GRAVITATION AND NERVOUS FORCE.
formable, like heat and electricity, into each other, and, like heat and electricity, although quantitatively the same, they are qualitatively different, that is, they differ in their mode of action, and when a table becomes charged with the nervous force it seems to dispossess or change the character of gravitation, and it acts less as a downward attraction. The rising and moving of tables and other articles of furniture exactly accords in the mode of action with this loss of gravitation or weight. When intelligence appears, and this nervous force or “ cerebration” acts more or less consciously under the power of the Will, we are told in the history of
Mary Jane"*, that the physical force ceases; as in the animal body it is changed in its form of manifestation. I say, more or less consciously, because the rapping is sometimes the effect of conscious but more often of unconscious cerebration. As an illustration of the conscious, Mrs. de Morgan says, “ As each rap seemed to be shot through my arm, it was accompanied by a feeling like a slight blow or shock of electricity, and an aching pain," &c.
66 This experiment,” she says, “ seemed to prove that the nerves of the human body were necessary, if not for the production, at least for the propagation of the sounds.” | Her maid Jane described the effect produced, as “first a throbbing, then a creaking, then a full-formed sound like a concussion of air, which she said passed through her arms like an electric shock” (p. 21.) I have not seen much of these phenomena, but what I once saw by a celebrated medium was of this character: he took my umbrella and held it at arm's length against the looking glass and the door and other things, and got three distinct throbbing pulsations, but he could not do the same with his own small stick till a gentleman took hold of his other hand. That the raps were always three, neither more nor less, showed, I inferred, that they were to some extent under the control of the will. That these raps are subjective, and not made by spirits, I think is evidenced by their attending only upon some people, and those of peculiar constitution, and that these people, as in Mr. Home's case, sometimes lose the power, and that for months together. The author of “ Spiritualism Chemically Explained,” says, “But now a further progressive phase took place; it was not necessary to sit at the table; if my wife lay on the sofa, the responsive taps would come apparently from behind the sofa ; and even in bed, the conversation was carried on by Mary Jane, (the name he gave to the supposed cause of or instrument in these manifestations, as he did not believe in the spirits,') either by raps over our heads, or apparently on a chest of drawers close by the bed. One night, after we were in bed, I was talking with Mary Jane, and I perceived that my wife was getting sleepy, and it entered my mind to test whether the emanations continued during sleep, so I continued the conversation. By degrees, the responses became slower and fainter, and by the time I was convinced that my wife was fast asleep, they ceased altogether.” —(p. 310.) Generally Mary Jane would rap anywhere she was asked to do. (p. 319.) During his wife's illness, from whom he supposed Mary Jane to be an Odylic emanation, the manifestations were very feeble. — (p. 323.)
* Mary Jane; or Spiritualism Chemically Explained. + From Matter to Spirit, p. 17.
When we consider the power generated by the food in the body,-a power equal to raising fourteen millions of pounds one foot, the consumption of not half of which is at present accounted for; and considering the great number of purposes to which this power is applied, and the different forms it takes in the human body, we ought not to feel surprised
power of rapping. When we throw a stone the motion is owing to force derived from our bodies, which force is again given out as heat when the motion ceases, -the arm is merely the leverage by which the force is used. Why may not force be used, projected as this is by the Will, without such leverage ? We are accustomed to a visible and tangible medium, and we confound this mere medium with the force itself. Professor Tyndall, in a correspondence on Science and Prayer, in the Pall Mall Gazette, (October, 1865,) says, “ The external motion of your arm is derived immediately from a motion within your arm, -it is in fact this motion in another shape. While you were pushing your inkstand a certain amount of oxidation occurred in the muscles of your arm, which oxidation, under normal circumstances, produces a certain definite amount of heat. To move the inkstand, a certain quantity of that heat has been consumed which is the exact amount of the work done. You could do the same work with the same amount of heat from an ordinary fire. The force employed is the force of your food which is stored up in your muscles. The motor nerves pull the trigger and discharge the force. You have here a series of transformations of purely physical energy, with one critical point involved in the question, “ what causes the motor nerves to pull the trigger ? Is the cause physical or super-physical? Is it a sound or a gleam, or an external prick or purpose, or some internal uneasiness that stimulates the nerves to unlock the muscular force or is it free will ?” There can, I think, be no doubt as to the source of the force causing the rapping—the body lets off a series of percussion caps, it does not discharge the whole machine, and the question is through what medium out of the body this is effected, and what pulls the trigger ? for it is evident that the rapping is not always voluntary, or under the control of the will. Mr. Home declares that the manifestations that attend upon him are quite without his own control. They are sometimes voluntary, however, aś Mary Jane would rap whenever she was asked, -and the power of the will, inside the body as well as outside, has yet to be ascertained. The Spectator, in the article we have already quoted, “ Science and Miracle," says “almost every physiologist will admit
that individuals should
Will has over the nervous system,that it can prolong consciousness and even life itself for certain short spaces, by the mere exertion of vehement purpose. Physicians tell you constantly that such and such a patient may no doubt, if it be sufficiently important, by a great effort command his mind sufficiently to settle his affairs, but that it will be at the expense of his animal force, — in short, that it will be a free transfer of force from the digestive and so to say vegetating part of his system, to that part of his physical constitution, his nervous system, which lies closest, as it were, to the will, (and which in fact is changed in form and becomes will). Nay, we have heard physicians say that patients, by a great effort of pure will, have, as they believe prolonged their own lives for a small space, that is, have imparted we suppose, through the excitement produced by the will on the nervous system and so downwards, a certain slight increase of capacity to assimilate food to the failing organic powers of the body. In other words, we conclude, just as the organism is failing to draw supplies of physical force from the outward world, its power of doing so may be slightly prolonged, — the outward world drained of a small amount of force it would otherwise have kept in stock, and the organism compelled to absorb it -- by a pure volition. Can there be a clearer case of action of the supernatural on the natural, even granting that the sum total of physical force is not altered, but only its application