NO FRESH EVIDENCE LIKELY EXCEPT ALONG THE LINES OF PSYCHICAL There is no fresh evidence likely to be discovered along any other lines than those of psychical research. As said at the outset of this volume, these state ments of fact which are being investigated now are of precisely the same kind and general character as those on which the great religions of the world have been based in the past. The advantage is with the modern statements, because the hap penings can now be investigated, and the witnesses to them can be cross-questioned. But while the world would like a reinforce ment of its faith in the hereafter, all sane and honest men desire above all things else that the simple truth should be known. All honest inquiry will exert itself to the utmost to avoid any bias likely to lead it astray. As the result of the careful in vestigations of serious-minded inquirers, a large body of fact has at last been satis factorily established. In spite of fraud and self-delusion and purposed deception, enough is now known beyond any rational question to establish the fact that there are serious problems which must somehow be solved. These things have not been done in a corner, and they can no longer be simply sneered at and set aside. State
ments of facts which are acknowledged by all competent students of these matters have been presented in this volume. Enough of them have been set forth to give the intelligent reader grounds for judgment as to their importance. Only two theories have been seriously advanced to account for them. One is telepathy, or mind-reading, and the other is that they are the work of invisible intelligences. I confess that I strongly incline to accept the latter theory. It seems to me more simple, more natural, nearer to what we really know, and better fitted to explain all the facts. I am compelled, therefore, to accept it as a provisional hypothesis. If somebody can explain my facts in some other way, I should be bound to consider what he might have to offer; for no man can afford to close his mind to new truth. He must be ever ready to reconstruct his theories and make them accord with any newly discovered facts.
Here, then, I rest for the present. The reader must, if he be seriously minded, not put these things one side, but consider them carefully. Then, as to what they mean,"let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."