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Telepathy: A Scientific Fact

Few persons that have given any intelligent attention to the subject of telepathy any longer question the fact that thought may be directly transmitted from mind to mind without a visible conductor. We may be cognizant of many phenomena, and yet be unable to define the laws that regulate and control their action. While scientists and other men of note are agreed that direct thought transference is an established fact, yet no one has as yet been able exactly to define the law under which it takes place. Many interesting and plausible theories have been advanced, however; and, while we understand that certain conditions are necessary, yet how thought, forming itself in one mind, is psychically transferred to another mind, remains a mystery.

In this paper I will briefly note some of the conditions necessary to obtain the best results. The mind of the sender of the message should be thoroughly imbued with the thought he desires to transmit. When it absorbs his whole mind, to the exclusion of everything else, so that his thoughts become definitely centered, then with his thought-picture let him feel as if he were in the presence of the person he desires to influence. No matter what distance they may be apart, after a little will come a feeling of nearness to the person; the thought of distance will gradually disappear from the mind and the feeling of nearness increase, till finally he will feel as close to his friend as if they were both in the same room. On the part of the sender, then, clearness of vision as regards thought-pictures is especially needful—the focusing of thought, or concentration of mind: this in turn being reinforced by the action of will.

On the part of the receiver, a restful, passive state of mind seems to give the best condition for the percipience of thought. I have found, after many years’ experience, that the sleeping state is the best; and next to this, when the body is thoroughly relaxed, which is the sure indication of mental relaxation.

People talk glibly about “coincidences,” and of things “happening.” Nothing ever happens; everything, whether great or little, is caused by the action of law. We may not understand the law, but that is no reason why we should deny the effect. The universe is not governed by blind chance: law and order reign supreme. What appears to us to be disorder and lack of law, could we but discern it aright, would be seen to be an orderly succession of events. Ignorant and unobservant, bigoted, or prejudiced minds may take a different view, blinding their eyes to the light of truth; but this in no way affects the facts, which such minds are too narrow to perceive.

I wish to put on record a number of facts along this line that have come to my personal knowledge, before approaching the question of mental healing at a distance, which I shall consider in the next paper of this series. In regard to all these incidents, there are living witnesses who can prove their truth. The first I will relate is the answering in every detail of a letter that had not been actually received. I was seated at my desk, attending to correspondence, when the elevator-boy entered my office with letters for me. I recognized from whom one of them came by the handwriting on the envelope, and it came to me like a flash that I held in my hand a letter I had just answered. Calling to a friend who was sitting in my office at the time, I remarked that I wished to read to him the contents of a letter I had not yet opened.

“In the first place,” said I, “this letter contains a post office order for twenty dollars; it is from Mr. E—; he says in it to stop giving treatment, as he is quite recovered from his trouble; he returns thanks to me and inquires about certain books. Now, we will open the letter;” which I did, and found that it contained the remittance and read almost exactly as I had given it. “Now,” said I, “we will open the letter I had already written before this was received, and which is already addressed and stamped.” I then opened it and showed my receipt to the» party for twenty dollars. I read my own letter, which. answered perfectly the questions asked, and said I was very glad to know he was well and that treatment need no, longer be continued. How I came to write that letter before receiving the other, and just at the time I did, is a little difficult to say. I was thoroughly convinced that I had received both the letter and the money when I was answering it; but the instant I looked at the other letter it came to me that I had previously received no such letter.

A few years ago I spent some time at the seashore, and while there had talked with a lady on the subject of thought-transference. She said she believed it possible that persons could be benefited by present mental treatment, but could not believe that thought could be directly transmitted from mind to mind at a distance; that what was looked upon as thought-transference was merely coincidence, and that the facts could be more easily accounted for in that way than in any other. While discussing the question, I perceived that this lady had developed many qualities of mind needful for such thought-transmission. I gave her a few suggestions, asking her to use them in an effort to awaken me out of sleep any time during the night that she might be awake. A few days later I turned to her at the breakfast-table and said, “You awakened me this morning.” She looked surprised and asked me at what time. “At exactly ten minutes before five,” I replied; “you thought of the suggestions I gave you, used them, then looked at your watch, and for about two minutes you were quiet, when you turned on your other side in bed and in less than two minutes were fast asleep.” She seemed very much surprised, but said she had done exactly the things I had related and in the same order. She is now a thorough believer in thought-transference.

I was camping out some time ago with a gentleman much interested in all occult matters. We had a cot apiece in our tent, and one night, the last thing before going to sleep, I requested my companion, should he awaken any time during the night, to ask me mentally to wake up; then, turning my back toward him, I fell asleep. About three o’clock I awoke and said, “You had better pull the clothes on, for you are very cold.” His answer was: “How did you know that? Your back is turned to me.” Now, when my friend awakened, the first thought that had entered his mind was that of awakening me; the second was that he was cold, and that the clothes had slipped off his cot. He said that not an instant of time had elapsed between his first thought and my answer. It was just light enough for him to see that my back was toward him. 

I was out walking early one morning, my mind being in an unusually restful condition. Presently it seemed to become absorbed in a number of unreal and visionary things concerning another person. The experience made such an impression on my mind that, meeting the person later in the day, I could not refrain from telling him the things that occurred to me in the morning. When I had finished relating them, he said, “Why, that is exactly what I dreamed this morning, and I could not have told it better myself.”

One night I dreamed that a friend was calling to me for help. At first I could not see him; then it seemed as if I were looking from the ceiling down on an apartment that was perfectly familiar to me, and that the person calling for help was running around the room pursued by a man whom I knew quite as well, and who seemed to be trying to do bodily injury to the other. Another call for help came to me, and I awoke. The very vivid dream made a deep impression on my mind, because of my intimate acquaintance with both persons, who were also friends of each other. In the morning I could not refrain from writing to the person who seemed to call to me for help. I related all the circumstances that are briefly told here. I received a letter the following day, demonstrating that our letters had passed each other in transit. It related the dream just as I had experienced it, telling me that the writer had been awakened out of his sleep by the sound of his own voice calling on me for help. Scarcely a day goes by that things do not occur that prove to me the truth of telepathy; but I know of nothing in my experience quite so remarkable as the incident just related.

I am not only convinced that thought is transmitted directly from mind to mind, but that it also leaves a definite impress on material things: so that sensitive minds may get thought-impressions from visible objects about them. This would seem to upset many theories widely entertained regarding thought-transference, and make it more difficult to account for. If thought produces an etheric vibration, by which thought-pictures are projected from the mind and transmitted by this agency, how is it that these same pictures seem to attach themselves to material things and again give their impress to the minds of men?

In this connection I will relate a few incidents, out of many of a similar nature, that have occurred to me.

Some years ago I slept in a room in which an awful crime had been committed. I had no knowledge of that fact, but had been in the room only a few minutes when my mind became seized with a fearful apprehension. Little by little the whole picture of the crime seemed to weave itself in my mind. That night was the most unrestful one I ever experienced, and on making inquiries afterward I found that everything had occurred substantially as it came to me. Some might say it was the result of the mental action of the persons then living in the house; but they were not the occupants at the time of the crime. Furthermore, I slept later in another room of the same house and received no such harrowing impression.

The clothing of a bed (sheets and pillow-cases) upon which I once slept had been sent to a Chinese laundry, of which fact I had no previous knowledge. The first night I slept upon them, after they had been returned, my dreams were filled entirely with Chinese persons and scenes. The next night the same things occurred, but to a lesser degree. I was so impressed, however, that I made inquiries of the woman in charge of the room and was told that the laundress had not called that week and that she had therefore sent the clothes to a Chinese laundry. This to many would doubtless have seemed a mere coincidence; but exactly the same thing occurred six months later under similar conditions. 

I remember once sleeping in a room at a friend’s house, and, being asked next morning by a member of the family how I had rested, answered that I had slept very well but had dreamed a great deal about dressmaking. I was then told that for several days previously a dressmaker had used the room for that purpose.

I once occupied a room in which a man ill with consumption had “lived and died.” I had no knowledge whatever as to the last occupant, but both in my waking moments and while asleep I would experience the feelings and think the thoughts that one suffering from this trouble is supposed to have. I could not account for this state of mind, and concluded that it must in some way be connected with the room. Upon making inquiries I was told of the fact just recorded.

I have related only a few of my personal experiences, but I have known many other persons that have passed through similar events. In the light of these facts, we can better understand why St. Paul sent handkerchiefs and aprons to sick persons at a distance, and thus actually performed cures. The thought of man impresses everything about him, and that thought seems to live on— even when its human author has passed from this plane of existence—uplifting and benefiting other minds or producing a contrary effect.

It is not well to be superstitious concerning anything, but it is well carefully and thoughtfully to consider each and every question that presents itself to our minds, no matter what its guise may be. Only in this way can we arrive at a true understanding of life and a solution of its problems.

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Charles Brodie Patterson

  • Canadian New Thought author
  • Born in Nova Scotia in 1854 and died on June, 22nd 1917

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