Beyond Reality Mysteries Explored From India to the Planet Mars

From India to the Planet Mars

From India to the Planet Mars
Catalog # SKU3847
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Theodore Flournoy, Daniel B. Vermilye
ISBN 10: 0000000000
ISBN 13: 0000000000000


From India to the Planet Mars

A Study of a Case of
Somnambulism with Glossolalia

Theodore Flournoy
Translator: Daniel B. Vermilye

Twenty-even ten-years ago the phenomena which Prof. Flournoy here describes in detail, and of which he offers a keen, skilful, psychological analysis, would have met with the sneers of popular science and the contempt of obscurantist orthodoxy; the book would have found few readers.

Print size, 12 point font



The first task which the investigators of these obscure mental phenomena set themselves was, naturally, that of separating and sifting the real, actually existent facts from the mass of fraud and deception in which mercenary charlatans, aided by the easy credulity of the simple-minded, had contrived so completely to bury from sight the true phenomena that for a long time the intelligent public refused utterly to believe in the existence of any real phenomena of the kind, but insisted that everything when fully probed would be found to be mere delusion, the result of trickery and fraud.

Probably no scientific fact since the dawn of modern science has required so great a weight of cumulative evidence in its favor to establish the reality of its existence in the popular mind than have the phenomena in question. The task, however, has been accomplished.

Prof. Flournoy's heroine, although she is a high-minded, honorable woman, regarded by all her neighbors and friends as wholly incapable of conscious fraud, has been subjected to the closest surveillance on the part of a number of eminent physicians and scientists of Geneva for more than five years past, while Mrs. Piper, the famous Boston medium, has been subjected to an even closer scrutiny by the Society for Psychical Research for the past fifteen years. In spite of the fact that this society has announced its willingness to become responsible for the entire absence of fraud in Mrs. Piper's case, and of a similar declaration on the part of Prof. Flournoy and his associates in regard to Mlle. Smith, there still remain a considerable number of ultra-skeptical persons who persist in asserting that fraud and deceit are at the bottom of, and account for, all this species of phenomena. The well-known gentlemen who have investigated these crises have never been accused of easy credulity in other matters, and have cautiously and perseveringly continued, in their endeavor to satisfy skepticism, to pile Pelion upon Ossa in the way of cumulative proofs of the genuineness of the phenomena and to safeguard their investigations in every possible manner against all possibility of fraud, until they have finally come to feel that more than sufficient proof has been furnished to satisfy any honest, fair-minded, sensible doubt.

They do not feel that they have the right to devote further time to the question of the genuineness of the facts observed by them-time which they believe might be better employed in endeavoring to discover the laws by which the phenomena are governed. They believe that those who are not satisfied with the evidence already offered will not be convinced by any amount of further testimony-that their skepticism is invincible. For persons so constituted this book will have no interest; its perusal will afford them no pleasure.

The endeavor to explain these mysterious phenomena by scientific investigators has resulted in their adoption of one or other of two hypotheses, viz.:

1. That the phenomena are the product of and originate in the subliminal consciousness of the medium; or,

2. That the phenomena are really of supernormal origin and emanate from the disincarnate spirits of the dead, who return to earth and take temporary possession of the organism of the medium, talking through her mouth, writing with her hand while she is in a somnambulistic state.

The first theory involves the crediting of the subliminal consciousness with almost miraculous powers of telepathy, since, on that hypothesis, it is necessary, in order to account for the knowledge possessed by the medium, to suppose that her subliminal consciousness is able to roam at will throughout the entire universe and read the mind of any being possessing the information sought for. All open-minded investigators freely admit that either of the above hypotheses may be untrue; that very little is known by them as yet in regard to the nature of the phenomena; that the data are too slight to justify more than a provisional hypothesis, which the discovery of new facts may at any time entirely demolish. But, thus far, the hypotheses above given seem to be the only ones which will in any way rationally account for the facts: in which case, it is evident that each individual observer will be influenced in his choice of a hypothesis by his religious belief, which will greatly affect the point of view from which he approaches the subject, and also by his natural temperament, habits of thought, etc.

Prof. Flournoy states that he has endeavored to keep constantly in mind and to be guided by two propositions, which he designates respectively the "Principle of Hamlet" and the "Principle of La Place," the former being, "All things are possible," the latter, "The weight of the evidence ought to be proportioned to the strangeness of the facts."

Softcover, 7 x 8½ , 384 pages
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