ARE THE UNEXPLAINED FACTS IMPORTANT Then as to the nature of these facts. Professor Shaler refers to them as"of no particular importance with the living." It seems to me that calling them of no particular importance is assuming something which the facts do not justify. When Marconi gets his first message across the Atlantic, the contents of that message are of no importance whatever, except (and this is of the most tremendous im portance conceivable) that he does get a message across the ocean. At the outset, and when he is trying to establish.the fact that such a message can be transmitted, who cares what the nature or the contents of it may be? When a waiting world re ceived its first message by the first Atlahtic cable, who cared what the message was? The one crucial fact was that a message of any kind was received. Mr. Huxley once slightingly referred to the messages supposed to be received through mediums, and said that even if they did come from another world, he had no more interest in them than he had in the gossip of old women in the next cathedral town. This
always seemed to me a very strange say ing for a man with the mental acuteness of Huxley. If the message should be of no more importance than old women's gossip, if it could be proved that a mes sage had come, it would establish the fact that someone who had been called dead was still alive; and that of itself is the most stupendous fact conceivable. The first point, then, to be considered, it seems to me,. is as to whether there are any mes sages, important or unimportant, that can be accounted for only on the supposition that they have come from some person who has lived through the experience of death. Who the message comes from, whether he is wise or foolish, whether he has stated some very important truth or made some perfectly commonplace remark, - these are matters that can wait until the other and greater question is settled. Until this is done, who has a right to de termine as to the kind of statements he will accept, provided somebody on the other side has an opportunity to speak?