THE study of telepathy is a study of the tides and currents of mental forces. A knowledge of the laws that govern them would doubtless explain all psychic phenomena. This appears to be the pass-key with which we could unlock the mysteries of hypnotism and all forms of mental healing, could understand communication between the seen and the unseen, and explain the mysterious influences through which human minds dominate each other in the complex relations of life.
May we not fairly claim that the discovery of the circulation of mind is the greatest discovery of the nineteenth century, as that of the circulation of the blood was perhaps the greatest of the seventeenth? We are beginning to understand that not only are all men of one blood, but that all are of one mind,— not only that all are of one origin, but also of one destiny. The solidarity of the race is one of the great lessons of the day. Every human being is a nerve centre of humanity, a ganglion of the universal body, and sensitive to all the vibrations of the human system.
Is not, then, the study of telepathy the study of those subtle forces which telegraph sensation in the individual body between the brain, the organs, and the muscular system? Is it not simply an extended study of nerve force,— communication between the human sensoria in the larger body? Will not a discovery in one field be found to be a discovery in the other, completing the analysis of the nervous system of the universe?
Science as yet has made us acquainted only with methods, and in all fields of discovery has failed to interpret causes.
We begin our march of progress with coarse tools, but after the work of the sappers and miners has been done, after the spade has turned up the earth and the axe has cut down the forest, after the geologist's hammer has broken the rock and the miner's pick has uncovered the vein, we complete the finer work of analysis in the laboratory, and with crucible and electric battery and microscope we penetrate further into nature's secrets and learn her processes of construction and operation. Today we accomplish, with simpler machinery and methods, more work in all mechanical fields than was possible half a century ago. This is in proportion as we have replaced muscle with mind.
Many such advances are preceded by examples of results without machinery, by the simple employment of mental forces. We discover the telegraph, and flash the cable signals under oceans that divide the continents. We apply the electric current to the telephone, and the human voice becomes audible between cities separated thousands of miles. We carry these applications of electricity to a higher development, and the range of the human vision is extended in the same way as the vocal and the auditory power. It is claimed that the latest discoveries in electric science make it possible to see to immense distances, and to photograph persons and objects far removed from the camera. Yet many of these results have already been obtained without the employment of any wires or batteries.
What, then, is the fundamental law by which these seeming phenomena are accomplished? Is it not harmonious vibration? Two violins are tuned to the same key; one is placed upon a table, and a bow is drawn across the strings of the other. The one upon the table responds and vibrates to every chord awakened by the player. This harmony appears to be the first condition of response in all mental communication. The subject and the operator must be in accord. It is often observed that people in close sympathy speak the same thought almost simultaneously, but it is not always possible to tell in which mind, if in either, the thought had its origin. The same inventions and ideas are often developed at the same time in differ ent parts of the world. Thought waves appear to spread and widen in their vibrations very much as those of sound or light. They are also intensified in their power by being brought to a focus, as are the sun rays by a burning glass.
What, then, are the best conditions for projecting thought? Experiment in this field has been so limited that as yet we have reached very few definite conclusions. It appears that the conditions which have produced the most satisfactory results at one time are by no means certain to produce the same results at another. From this it follows that the problem contains some undiscovered factors.
It appears, however, certain that first there must be harmony between the operators, to admit of reciprocal vibration and produce the best results; secondly, that the mind must be free from the disturbance of anxiety, and confident in its power to send and to receive thought messages. It must also have developed the power of concentration, in order to obtain a focus of the mental forces and project the thought as sender, or perceive it as recipient.
How far the currents of the air, or ether, may facilitate or hinder thought projection is perhaps an open question; also to what extent electric and magnetic forces have a part in the phenomena, and whether or not it is desirable to consider the points of the compass. We have good reason to believe, however, that mental force is the subtlest and most powerful of any element yet discovered,— that it can dominate all others and act with entire independence of them.
In an experiment I made some years ago for thought transference between Chicago and Boston, the following conditions were arranged: The parties sat by appointment, making careful allowance for the difference in time between the cities. It was agreed that each should act alternately for fifteen minutes as sender and receiver. In order to assist concentration, each had placed before him a photograph of the other, upon which he fixed his earnest attention. With a view to establishing magnetic relations, each held in his hand a lock of the other's hair. Pencil and paper were provided, and a careful record was made at both ends of messages sent and impressions received.
The experiment was particularly successful. Not only was the substance of the messages received, but with a precision that was remarkable. I had dwelt emphatically upon each word of my message in Chicago, repeating it many times in a low tone. My voice was actually heard in Boston, as though I had been calling through a telephone. In this case the parties had been in relation of operator and subject in a series of hypnotic experiments lasting many months, and relations of harmonious vibration had been well established.
Other experiments were made at closer range, several between Boston and New York, and always the substance of the message was received, though with varying precision. These experiments were by appointment, though without the other conditions which were used in the Chicago trial. Sometimes the hour would find me on the street instead of in the quiet of my room. In such case the required concentration was naturally more difficult, yet I do not recall any instance in which the signaling failed.
Upon several occasions I made the effort, without warning, to throw my subject into the hypnotic sleep when we were separated by distances varying from one hundred to three hundred miles. In this I invariably succeeded. The influence would be immediately felt as a peculiar tingling sensation. This would be quickly followed by the hypnotic condition, which would sometimes last for several hours,— in one case breaking up an entire morning's engagements, as I had neglected to throw off the influence. In these experiments careful note was always made of time, and the effects produced were found to be at the exact hour of the trial.
Such experiments as these have certainly established as a scientific fact the conclusion that thought can be projected to great distances. It may be definitely recognized by the recipient, or its effects produced without the conscious recognition. The will of the operator is the projecting force. Time and distance do not appear as factors.
But there is another phase of telepathy which is still less understood than this we have considered, viz., the unconscious field, in which the thought passes from one mind to the other at a distance, without intention, and registers itself in a resulting action. This is illustrated by the following experience. A gentleman in Chicago was sitting quietly in his room when he felt an inclination to yield his arm to automatic writing. A letter was thus written addressed to himself and signed with the name of a friend in San Francisco. Five days later the mail brought to him from San Francisco the original letter, of which the writer had unconsciously projected the duplicate at the time of writing. Here again appears to be the germ of the "telautograph," operating without battery or wire.
From such experiences we may reasonably infer that every individual is at the same time a human dynamo, containing magnet and induction coil, receiving, generating, and transmitting mind-forces, consciously and unconsciously. Doubtless the largest field of operation is the realm of the unconscious.
This brings us to the recognition of the universal life through which these thought currents circulate. We perceive that not only is every individual a human battery of many cells, but that he is also only a single cell of the larger battery which includes all humanity, and perhaps an infinitely wider range of life of both higher and lower orders, seen and unseen. As "the wind bloweth where it listeth" and we cannot tell "whence it cometh nor whither it goeth," so is it true of the thought life which pervades the race. It is apparently the circulation of a universal system. It defies all efforts to trace it to its source, and at no point can we draw the line and say, "This is from incarnate mind and this from excarnate; this is from individual and this from associated minds." All life is "inspirational," and never was book written or line penned that could honestly claim the copyright of exclusive authorship.
Here is the great problem of life,— to arrive at conscious development and control of these thought forces, to purify them of every hurtful element and divest them of all destructiveness, and finally to apply them intelligently and with greatly loving purpose to the symmetrical construction of the temple of Divine Humanity.
Our thoughts should be like flowers in their choice varieties and fragrance, or like Aeolian harps in their soft harmonies.
Nature is melodious in all of her expressions. If we would tune our instruments to the keynote of love, a new world of harmony would be speedily opened to us. The music of the spheres is more than a beautiful metaphor to ears that are not deaf.
Vibration is a grander science than many have yet perceived.
Every human being is said to throw off eight ounces, troy, of solid carbon every day, which is about six and a half tons in a life time of seventy-five years. This carbon is used continuously by the race. Is it not equally reasonable to believe that we derive from the Universal Mind a circulation of thought like that of the blood corpuscles, which are formed from the universal atmosphere?
Each of us, then, is personally responsible for keeping that thought system pure and undefiled. In this way only can we be "Children of the Light and of the Day."