THE PHENOMENA OF SPIRITUALISM.[UNEDITED]
BY THE REV. ASA MAHAN,
D.D., FIRST PRESIDENT OF
OBERLIN COLLEGE, OHIO,
Author of "Science of Intellectual Plilosoplzy," "Science of Logic," " Doctrioe of the WXill," " Science of Moral Philosophy," etc.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
A. S. BARNES AND CO., NEW YORK,
CHIGAGO, AND NEW ORLEANS. MDCCC XXVI.
The following are some of the conclusions to which we were
thus conducted: i. There is in nature a force having the identical
properties above specified, and which we denominate the Odylic Force. 2.
This force is identical with the cause of all the mesmeric and clairvoyant
phenomena, on the one hand, and with the immediate cause of these
manifestations, on the other. 3. By a reference to the properties and laws
of this force as developed in the spirit-circles, and to its relations to
the minds constituting the same, we can account most fully for all the
spirit-phenomena, of every kind, without the supposition of the presence
or agency of disembodied spirits. Consequently, the hypothesis of
Spiritualism is wholly unsustained by any valid evidence whatever. 4. The
entire real facts of Spiritualism demand the supposition that this force
in the production of these communications is controlled exclusively, for
the most part unconsciously, by the minds in the circles, and not by
disembodied spirits out of the same. 5. We finally found, what we did not
at first expect, that we had developed facts and principles which gave an
equally ready and satisfactory explanation of the phenomena of witchcraft,
necromancy, fortune-telling, etc., etc., phenomena which from time to time
have been the wonder and terror of mankind in all ages. 6. Other
consequences of equal and far greater importance seemed undeniably to
follow from our facts and deductions. The results of our investigations the reader
will find embodied in the following treatise. Facts of recent occurrence
have fully prepared the public mind, as we judge, to receive a scientific
explanation of the real phenomena of Spiritualism, the impositions of the
system having been so fully exposed. Since the following treatise was put
into the printer's hands, in every remaining place not therein referred
to, where ghosts have been professedly exhibited-in the United States, for
example-the impositions have been fully exposed, "the spirits" having been
caught, and demonstrated to be men or women in the flesh. With these
suggestions the work before us is commended to the careful and candid
examination of the reader.
'LONDON, April 27ith, 875.
The Diverse Theories pertaining to these Phenomena, and the Methods of Inquiry, and Laws of Evidence, by which any one of them can be Verified (The Humbug Theory, The Satanic Agency Theory, The Spiritualistic Theory, The Mundane Theory); The Affirmed Visible, Tangible, and Audible Manifestations of Spiritualism; Photography and Spiritualism; Levitation; Concluding Remarks, and Plan of the Treatise..... 1-77 CHAPTER I. ELECTRICITY, MAGNETISM, AND ANIMAL MAGNETISM DISTINGUISHED. Effects of Animal Magnetism upon the Human System.. 7S-94 CHAPTER II. THE ODYLIC, ODIC, OR PSYCHIC FORCE. Physical Manifestations; The Odylic Force identical with that which is the immediate cause of the Spirit-Manifestations; PAt, The immediate cause of these Manifestations identical with that from which result all the Phenomena of Mesmerism and Clairvoyance....... 95 —43 CHAPTER III. PHYSICAL AND INTELLECTUAL MANIFESTATIONS ELUCIDATED. The Exclusively Physical Phenomena; Affirmed Intellectual Communications; The Three Classes of Mediums; A Large and Essential Portion of these Affirmed Spirit-Communications have an Exclusively Mundane Origin... I44-I85 CHAPTER IV. POSITIVE AND CONCLUSIVE PROOF THAT ALL THESE COMMUNICATIONS AND MANIFESTATIONS ARE THE EXCLUSIVE RESULT OF MUNDANE CAUSES, AND NOT OF THE AGENCY OF DISEMBODIED SPIRITS. The Admitted Fact, that an Essential Part of these Phenomena are Undeniably Originated by Exclusively Mundane Causes, Requires, without absolute proof to the contrary, that they all be Referred to the same Causes; No New, and none but Exclusively Mundane, Truths are Represented in these Communications; All these Communications take Specific Form from the Known Sentiments in the Particular Circles in which said Communications Originate; Known Exceptions Confirm the Deductions under Consideration; The Character of the Affirmed Spirit-thoughts, as Contrasted with the Known Life-thoughts of Individuals, Evince the former as having none but a Mmndane Origin; Revelations which do not, as Contrasted with those which do, Originate in these Circles, Confirm the same Conclusion; The General Intellectual Character of these Communications Demonstrate their Non-Spirit Origin; Fundamental Facts Developed by Individuals through Inquiries made for self-satisfaction in regard to the Origin and Cause of these Phenomena, Individuals who had Formed no Definite Theory upon the Subject; The same Responses and the same Evidence of Spiritpresence, can be Obtained from the Spirits of Individuals yet alive, but supposed to be dead, as from the Spirits of Persons actually dead; Similar Responses are Obtained in these Circles, by devoted Spiritualists, from the spirits of persons actually alive, but supposed to be dead; Most Decisive Observations and Experiments made by Individuals of the highest intelligence and integrity, for the specific purpose of Determining the Nature and Location of the Cause of these Phenomena (Very Interesting and Decisive Facts furnished by one of our former Pupils; Facts which occurred at the house of the Rev. Starr King; Important Facts furnished by Dr. Bell; The Statements of Dr. Bell confirmed by kindred ones from N. I. Bowditch, Esq.; Important Facts furnished by a New England Congregational Clergyman; Interesting and Illustrative Facts furnished by a Pastor of one of the Churches in the City of Cleveland, Ohio); A Peculiar Class of False Answers continually Obtained in these Circles Evince the Exclusively Mundane Origin of these Phenomena; Enquiries made for the Specific purpose of Determining, not only the Location of the Controlling Cause of these Phenomena, but of the Extent of the Control which could be Exercised over these Phenomena; Important Evidence Obtained from the Observations and Testimony of Individuals who have themselves been Mediums; Disagreements and Contradictions in these Communications Incompatible with the idea of their Extra-mundane Origin; False Communications which can be accounted for but upon the Mundane Hypothesis....... I86-326
PHENOMENA OF SPIRITUALISM SCIENTIFICALL Y EXPLAIiNED AND EXPOSED.
A GENTLEMAN, while in Egypt, asked an intelligent citizen of that country what he really thought of their most celebrated necromancer. The reply received was this: " I regard him as pretty much of a humbug. Yet, I think that there is something real in the art which he practises." If we will carefully scrutinize the public sentiment of Europe and America, we shall find, we judge, that the above answer most correctly expresses the popular conviction in respect to modern Spiritualism. That the great mass of phenomena presented under that name is gross humbuggery and imposition, no well-informed individual, who would maintain his self-respect, will question. That, at the basis of these phenomena, there are important facts requiring a scientific exI