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The Law of Psychic Phenomena

THE LAW OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA, There is one modification of the telepathic or subconscious-self the ory which has played so important a part in this discussion that it is deserving of special mention. Mr. Thomas Jay Hudson, LL.D., has published a book which has gone through a good many editions, under the title of The Law of Psychic Phenomena. It makes the claim of being strictly scientific in its method, and so has produced a great impression on large numbers of its readers. Let us then examine this book a little. The author divides the human personality into two parts, the objective and the subjec tive selves. The objective self is that which reasons, and has in its power the entire control of the individual's practical conduct during life; but this part of the mind is mortal, and ceases to exist with the body. The subconscious self is the immortal part, - in other words, the real and permanent person. During life, however, it is entirely under the control of the objective self. It is the objective self which determines conduct and char acter. The subjective self, then, is con trolled, dominated, moulded, shaped during life by the objective self; but at death, this objective self slips out and leaves the subjective self to bear the con sequences indefinitely in the other life. In other words, it would seem to be a logical necessity of the situation that the objective self might damn its helpless part ner to all eternity and it have nothing to say about it. It is a sort of Siamese twin arrangement, in which one of the twins has the power to do whatever he pleases, and then at the last escapes and leaves the other one to bear all the consequences. This idea would be simply ludicrous, were it not so hideously unjust and immoral as to appear a little ghastly. The old theory of Adam's having the power to send to eternal perdition millions of his descend ants who had nothing to say about it would seem to be the most fitting parallel. How the author of this later theory could ob ject to the former does not easily appear.

Another important feature of this book lies in the fact that its author accepts without question almost all so-claimed spiritualistic phenomena, physical as well as mental; and he calmly assumes that this subjective self is the agent in the per formance of all of them. He goes so far

as to believe that the subjective self, in some utterly unknown and unaccountable way, has the power to lift tables and move physical objects without any visible con tact.

I should not have noticed this so-called explanation, but for the fact that I sup pose I have received hundreds of letters since the book was published, asking me what I thought of it as an explanation of these phenomena. Its scientific value may easily be seen when it is noticed that the whole superstructure is based upon two pure assumptions. These assump tions are, first, that there is a real and radical division between the objective and subjective minds. Any man who has made a careful study of the problems in volved knows that no proof whatever exists that there is any such division. Whatever activities may be manifested in cases of hypnotism, in the development of what appear to be secondary or even tertiary selves, do not justify the position assumed by the author of this book.

The second assumption is that the sub jective self has the power to produce all so-called spiritualistic phenomena, and, without contact, to move physical objects.

I submit that the author has not taken the first step in proving that the subjec tive self has the power to move even a pin's weight of anything.

Until, therefore, these two assumptions are established as true by the offering of at least one verifiable case under each of them, the claim that is made for the book that it is a scientific setting forth of psy chical phenomena may be left one side. When one little fact is offered as substan tial proof of either of these assumptions, then it will be time seriously to consider it.

self, objective, power, book and subjective