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Or, the Science of Soul (One)

c. 1866


THE subject to which we will call your attention to-night is, “Psychology; or, the Science of Soul.” We know we might speak of many portions of the spiritual philosophy that would excite more interest in our audience than the theme we have selected; but as there is none which exceeds it in importance, and as the period of our deliberations is so rapidly closing that we may no longer pause by the wayside to gather the flowers of spiritual science but must hasten on to consider the goal to which we are aiming, we deem a consideration of the important subject of Psychology the demand of the hour and of our present stage of inquiry.

“The march of intellect,” is a phrase familiar to us as typical of the progress of the human race from the lowest depths of savagism to its present status of civilization. Intellect has been as a pillar of fire, guiding man through the wilderness of· ignorance, and leading him on by the study of science and the achievements of art, step by step, until the results have been his conquest over all forms of being, animate and inanimatel below himself; the subjugation of the animal kingdom to his will; the control of the elements to his use; and the knowledge of many of the fundamental laws or principles of creation for his guidance. For the better elucidation of our subject; a brief review of the footprints which the marching mind has thus far left upon the sands of time is necessary. Man commenced his career of intellectual growth by turning his thought in the direction of the primal demands which his nature made upon him for exertion; namely, to seek for the supply of his wants in the world he inhabited. He required shelter from the changes of atmosphere, and his instincts impelled him to erect dwellings, which finally suggested architecture. He needed clothing,, and his necessities urged him to the practice of weaving and spinning. He learned to distinguish between the various forms of nature around himl until he became a botanist, herbalist, and at last a natural philosopher. He became a hunter, and must needs fashion himself instruments for the chase, and. subjugate fleeter animals than himself to his will. He must cultivate the ground and contrive tools for his work, thereby discovering the nature of metals, and a thousand occult forces of life, growth, and change in nature. The seasons must be studied, and the scriptures of the skies instructed him in astronomy: in a word, from the first period of his existence on earth, learning by experience, prompted by necessity, instructed by observation, and inspired by the instinctive faculties of his soul, he gained an ever-unfolding,  ever-increasing knowledge of the visible universe. From point to point he ascended the steeps of wisdom, up to the age when lie learned to stereotype his thoughts by aid of the printing press, and to scatter his knowledge broadcast over the earth till each mind adds its sum of experience to the ingathered knowledge of the race. Thus, then, by knowledge. did man gain the mastery of the visible universe, and bend the world of material form to the exercises of his sovereign will. But a crisis in his intellectual progress arrived, when a change appeared to become inevitable in his aims at discovery. Either the realm of sensuous nature had yielded up all her secrets to his exhaustive search; or, prompted by some of those invisible movements of soul that compel the mind onward, his aspirations soared beyond the realm of the visible. From the point when the printing press seemed to place him on the apex of his power, enabling him to reduplicate and give forth his thought to mankind until the mind of man is becoming as it were an unit in: knowledge,  we may observe that his research in science appear gradually to tend towards the invisible world. The discovery of the mariner’s compass gave him the means of exploring the unknown realms of the visible. The fact that the magnetic finger that guided him was viewless and imponderable, —  that there was an invisible but irresistible power enthroned in the attracting pole of the northern hemisphere ever calling him by the voice of the compass to the investigation of its great magnetic reservoir enshrined in the mystery of the Arctic Seas, became to his eager intellect a hint to search for the real springs of mundane life and motion in the hitherto untrodden realms of the invisible. From such suggestions in scientific discovery as this, the master-minds of the ages seem to spring up from matter, and, spurning the mere study of the sensuous, to leap onward and upward into the realm of mind. By induction they discover the position of this planet amongst the moving bodies in space; by induction they follow out the suggestions of a Galileo, begin to comprehend the mathematics of the invisible realm of space, upholding suns and systems in the viewless arms of gravitation, and penetrate by chemistry, geology and astronomy, deeper, broader and higher into the realms of the wonderful universe, its laws, motions and composition, until man comprehends the sublime but startling truth that the real force of creation is in the unseen world. The power that binds the atoms together into the mass on which we tread is unseen. The power of growth in the vegetable world is invisible. The wonderful chemical action that is precipitating metallic veins in the rocks, that is ever laying strata and then upheaving vast masses into mountains, decomposing and recomposing substances into ever-varying forms; all this ceaseless power of change and motion, working in the great mystic laboratory of nature, is unseen. The forces of the invisible are mightier far than the visible, for. in them is hidden the secret of motion that makes them forces, and in proportion to the energy  of their motion is their power as forces j thus the fire IS mightier than the water, and the water more powerful than the inert earth j the wind is stronger than water, and the viewless power of electricity, that by attraction and repulsion sets all forms of being into motion, IS stronger than the wind. And still there is something behind, mightier than all j and that is the invisible mind that governs all. It is by such trains of thought as this that we are led up from a contemplation of the merely sensuous world into the realm of the imponderable. It is thus that we have experimented with and at last mastered the understanding of the elemental world, until we have ascended from matter to mind — from effects to causes — from performance to the motive powers that have enabled us to mount bl the mighty Pegasus of mind into the infinite realms of causation — to send our thoughts into the limitless world of space, exploring the infinite behind us and the eternity before us.

We understand the restless power of motion that is upheaving the tempestuous billows of the deep. Science can yet extend her empire to the almost accurate prophecy of the once mysterious and erratic movements of nature, until the birth of new islands and the disappearance of old, the terror of the earthquake, and the fury of the tempest take rank amongst the inevitable predications of unerring and scientific lore. And thus as one mystery after another melts out of the realm of ignorance into the broad sunlight of knowledge and becomes an axiomatic fact in natural law, man needs but to take stock of his knowledge, and extend his memory by aid of the printing-press, to connect the first days of savagism to the last of civilization. And yet one mystery baffles him still — still he stands before the closed gates of soul, his own mighty mind, transcending all yet discovered boundary of natural law. But shall he thus stand for ever, comprehending all nature but himself, and endowed with the mastery of all being but that of his own soul? Review the footprints of mind on the ages, and whilst acknowledging that thus far we have advanced, boldly conquering every obstacle but one that impedes our view of the whole realm of being; and we shall perceive that still that one mystery that remains is the clue to the whole, the master-key that unlocks the entire arcana of creation, for that unsolved problem is the nature and law of spiritual existence.

But if man’s marching intellect has at last brought him face to face with the closed doors of the temple of mind, are they to remain for ever an impenetrable barrier to his progress? To some of us already it would seem as if glimpses of the light beyond the gates has shone upon our way; and what we have seen, — what the glimmering rays of spiritual sunlight have already revealed to us of the nature of this greatest of all creation’s mysteries, the soul of man; we may imperfectly divine by a careful study of what we vaguely term” Psychology;” or, “the science of soul.” And in attempting by the light we have, or deem we have, as Spiritualists, to search out this mighty problem, let us not be told that we are “profanely rushing in, where angels fear to tread.” In every age we have sought for the clue to this tremendous mystery, and hitherto sought in vain. True, we have instituted religious systems to deal with this subject, — instructed religious teachers to search it out, — humbly, reverently, and unceasingly bent at religious shrines, in faithful supplication for light on its solemn meaning; and, as yet, we have waited in vain for answer. Religion waves us back, and warns us off with the spectral finger of a hideous death-phantom, or the awful tones of an offended deity from searching into the unsolved problems of eternity. Proudly separating herself from science, religion draws an impassable line of demarcation with her in the words “sacred and profane.” Rejecting all bounds of natural law, she absolves herself from connection with God’s universe, in the impossible term of ” super-nature.” She bids us worship God” who is a Spirit,” and yet denies our right to ask what spirit is. She commands our belief in a spiritual eternity, while she denies all possibility of our comprehending a spiritual existence; bids us acknowledge a spiritual cause for all life’s wondrous issues, yet closes against our spiritual eyes the realm of investigation. And thus whilst science has contentedly endured banishment to the realm of matter, dealt only with effects, and offered us systems which trace creation no farther than the visible universe conducts us., we are left utterly in darkness concerning the cause of causes; and, beholding the wonderful effects of soul and the triumphant achievements of mind, are denied all clue to the knowledge of the one or the laws of the other; whilst religion, as I have said, by ignoring the aid of science, and attempting to transcend in her assertions the boundaries of natural law, hopelessly closes against our reason the doors of spiritual investigation with the master-key of “impossibility.” And thus, I repeat, we have no science of soul; thus from the lyceum of demonstrable sciences, mind and its laws have been hopelessly excluded j and we have no scientific basis for our religion. We have assertion enough, but demonstrable proof in the department of natural law, never! A lyceum without a soul — a church without a body — a visible bodily universe unvitalized by spirit-a temple of worship where reason has no place at the altar; effects without causes, and causes utterly divorced from effects. And it is in this desolation of our scientific no less than our religious systems, that the highly significant though as yet but ill understood light of Psychology begins to dawn upon us, illuminating the realm of matter with an unmistakable revelation from the world of causes, and setting the seal upon religion by bringing to her aid the actual facts and scientific demonstration of the existence of spirit. And now we are beginning to perceive that the various sciences that one after another have been dawning upon us, have led us up to that point where we can discover the relations of matter with mind, — where we are compelled to acknowledge that the operations of matter are all due to mind; and that mind itself, whilst hindered, bounded and even shaped by matter, is still the controlling power, the invisible though governing force. True we are as yet only on the mere threshold of the great temple of the science of mind; we have but now begun to acknowledge that mind, erratic as its manifestations are, and seemingly irresponsible to any known laws as soul appears, is yet the subject of rules, systems, and fetters as stringent as any that hinder matter and we deem our wisest attempts at investigation will be found in examining the first and yet the most conclusive tokens that the phenomena of modern times furnishes us with concerning the nature and powers of our own souls j and thus to commence our search systematically, we should consider, in the first instance, the familiar phenomena of what is called “Electro-Biology.”

No question that many of you have turned from the experiments thus named with an idea that they were altogether unworthy of scientific investigation, and only calculated to excite in the mind of the thinker disgust, — or to use a milder phrase, regret that a power which might be converted to use and blessing, should be debased into the mere mountebank exhibitions 80 constantly put forward in the name of “Electro-Biology;” experiments tending only to shew how far the spirit of one man can be controlled, and too often debased into utter absurdity by the will of another. Viewing the experiments only in this light, I repeat they have (when witnessed) only tended to excite disgust, fear and even sorrow.

But that we may better understand the subject, permit me to reiterate that which is doubtless familiar to those who have witnessed the phenomena developed by “Electro-Biology.” The first action appears to be (as a prerequisite to results,) that the operator should mesmerize his subject. Now, the action of mesmerism is simple to the observer, only because it has of late years become familiar; but consider carefully the wonderful power involved in mesmeric phenomena, and even this initiatory step in itself, becomes in its suggestiveness one of grand and magnificent import.

Think of it; here is a power existing in one human organism to project, by will, the great mystery of the life-principle itself upon another. Connect the action of mesmerism with the miracles of olden time, and you have the clue to all the occult powers of the magician and enchanter, to the powers of oriental fascination, and the whole secret of ancient magic. Is there nothing sublime in this? Does it not moreover suggest the possibility of a scientific basis for the mysteries of so-called magic? What follows? No sooner is the subject saturated with the magnetism of the operator than a chance immediately appears in his mentality. The will of that subject is subdued the mind is in abeyance, or possibly absent, in some cases indeed it appears to be so entirely abstracted that a total unconsciousness ensues, a state known as the magnetic sleep. Of this condition we shall not speak to-night, limiting our notice to that state induced by magnetism in which the Will of the subject is held in abeyance by the mind of .the operator. It is obvious that the action of the mesmeric fluid, or animal magnetism, has had the effect not only of acting in some mysterious mode upon the system, but it has also measurably affected the mind as well. It may be difficult to pronounce with certainty that the spirit of the subject is gone, but the will is evidently no more in operation; nay, more, the senses do not perform their ordinary functions for the operator can compel his subject to see, taste, hear, and feel, no longer through the external avenues of sense but through his own will. But this power is fearful, you say, and even m this stage of its exercise you shrink away from it. Is it not terrible to behold a sane and responsible being thus reduced to helpless imbecility and yielding up in despite of reason all the knowledge which the senses supply, to the will of another? The exhibition partakes to your mind so largely of the subjugation of the mind and the deprivation of the senses, that you shrink. away from it in disgust, or merely retire with the common-place expression of “It is very strange.” But supposing that you extend Jour thought from the scene you have witnessed to the realization that every living creature, more or less, and all in degree, are subject to the minds of others, and that each possesses measurably, the power to influence the mind of others, and that what you see in its exaggerated form in electro-biology is but a representation of the mode of mentality that is operating in action and reaction, influence and counter-influence, upon the entire of the race; and that measurably similar phenomena are going on throughout all the movements of society. When you can realize this, that which you have witnessed is seen to be merely the exaggerated illustration of the whole motive power that is operating through all life, and becomes the tremendous and startling revelation — that the whole of the springs of human life, motive, action, and character form one complex  page of electro-biology, or the power of mind upon mind. Nor must we forget the psychological effect of the inanimate world upon the mind, as well as that which minds exert upon one another. I may hereafter speak to you of the psychological effects of the world of spirits on humanity. At present it is enough for us to· consider how far we see in the simple experiments of electro-biology the fundamental principle that underlies all the movements of human society, and question whether if man stood alone in this world with all the magnetic influences of inanimate nature around him, even without the electro-biology which every . living creature is exerting the one upon the other, he would not still be the subject of a world of invisible influences which he can only control by understanding them. I know that on the very threshold of all attempts to search into the wonderful realm of occult forces, we constantly met by the foolish and captious query of ” What is the use of knowing all this, supposing that it is true?” I cannot better articulate this oft-repeated question than by responding in other queries — What has it been to the world, that the mighty mind of Newton became startled from its dreams of science by the falling of an apple? And yet at the time when this most simple phenomena engaged his attention how many would have queried — “Supposing that apples do fall, what is the use in our knowing it, or speculating on it as a fact in science?”
“What is the use of it?” Should we ask this of Galileo, suspending a weight beside a hill, when we know that the might! revelation of gravitation hung in embryo on his thread? Should we ask this of the astronomer who bends his eager gaze on the dark blank space in the firmament, where planets were not as yet revealed, that patient science tracked in the darkness? We should shame now to ask of a Watt, why he idly speculated upon the heaving lid of the boiling kettle, — or why the venerable Franklin flew his schoolboy kite in the electric atmosphere; and yet we ask with querulous impatience of those who pause with deep suggestive awe on the effects of electro-biology, even if exhibited by mountebanks for pay, “What is the use of it?” because in the public exhibitions of this marvellous power we see only the abuse and nothing of the real use of it. But let true philosophy tum from the incoherent effects, and pause with reverend spirit of analysis upon the mysterious cause. Granted, we behold simply a fact in nature-as such it must have a meaning and be designed for use; and, above all, each fact in nature is a fact from God, and as such embodies some revelation of His Divine mind, and must therefore be meant for some sublime and beneficent use. Have we not the witness of the ages that it is from a rudimental point in space that this planet grew? — that it is ever from a grain of mustard seed that the mighty trees of mentality have sprung up? If we had not all the evidences of creation’s universal processes of growth from the infinitely little to the infinitely-large, it would be enough that the power of mind upon mind is a stupendous fact, and that there must be a meaning there, though our darkened eyes as yet cannot perceive it. But to me it explains not only the phenomena of human societies, and all their strange and seemingly erratic movements — their repulsions, antipathies, prejudices and attractions; but it may, when understandingly used, be made to underlie a system of education for future generations that shall annihilate all that we now find wrong and evil “Knowledge is power;” and no sooner shall we comprehend the action of the psychological. powers of nature upon us, and the psychological powers of mind upon mind in our intercourse with each other, — and trace the true nature of these influences, than the ability to control and regulate them will be our own. Think, then, what a vast array of influences nature is everywhere conjuring up to bear upon us, and that are now acting upon us ill our ignorance of their true meaning and extent.

Take, for example, the realm’ of sounds. Who does not realize the power of sound upon the mind? Who has not listened to the sighing of the summer breeze, the roaring of the winter storm, and the stirring of the tree-tops in the sough of the coming tempest, with ever-varying emotions? We realize the variety of the impressions that even these simple phenomena make upon us, but are all unaccustomed to analyze the causes or nature of those. feelings; and yet there are some of us who have felt our souls chant anthems in solemn chorus to the hoarse murmurs of the sea — some of us who have bent in worship to the God of the storm, as if His awful voice had chided us in anger. Consider the infinitely varied effects of noise on the minds of the susceptible. Shrinking and coward fear has died with heroic strength and courage to the stimulus of the patriotic air that sounds of home and country. Guilty men, grown hoar and crusted over with long practised crime, have become as little children, wept like babes, and prayed as lisping infants, beneath the spell of some old-remembered tune. Grief has leaped up to the measure of the merry dance, pain laughed with the joyous chorus, joy melted to agonizing memory of long-past days, and despair exchanged its sullen robe of night for hope’s sunlit rainbow garments, to the magic peals of music The sounds of the human voice are themselves all passion’s store-house. Its own simple inflexions convey a thousand meanings that the alphabetical form of a single word could never be thought to embody. In how many forms may one simple word be uttered, and all convey to the mind a different meaning? Think, then, what a vast realm of subtle psychological influence is pouring in on the mind through the ear which drinks in the sounds of our city streets! The curse, the bitter execration, the foul expressions that fall from the lips of vice: we hear them all, —and our children receive, to some extent at least, their subtle impress. We cannot escape ourselves the world of influence about us. For good or evil, all created things electro-biologize each other. How coarse, harsh and repulsive are the tones of the city! What is there in them to elevate the soul to God, except in protest against them? And yet we all of us live in a world of such scenes, and exist in an atmosphere magnetized by loathsome dens of vice and crime, and move in airs rife with the psychology of deadly sin. What is the meaning of the mysterious influence which nations exhibit in specialities of national character? Why are the inhabitants of mountain regions who dwell in pure bright air, and ever look out upon the great cathedral spires of nature piercing the skies around them, full of. ideality, imagination, patriotism, courage and truth? Are they created better than their fellow-men, or do they owe their purity of feeling to the pure psychology of natural life around them? We know that thus it is, and that not only the influence of atmospheres and temperature, but of all surrounding objects, impresses the mind with the characteristics of the scene wherein we dwell. Nature is now admitted by the best psychologists of the age to be an educator, no less than a primal cause, of national character. Thus, then, we are living in a world of electro-biology, and in every moment of our existence we are subjecting our children; no less than ourselves, to precisely the influences that we create for others, and others for us, and the world at large for all. And dare we then murmur at the results? We know the peculiar susceptibility of one to certain sounds, of another to special odours, and of others again to colours, forms and scenes. All character is made up of repulsion and antipathies, sympathies and attractions. Have we investigated the nature of these occult :tendencies of mind? How apt we are to stigmatize some persons as over sensitive, or even unbalanced minds! Should we not rather regard them as the index fingers that are pointing to the yet uncombined letters in the alphabet of the Science of soul, assuring us that we are living in a realm of causation that is writing its characteristics upon us, whether we will or no. The senses are. not only handmaids of instruction concerning the visible realm of nature, but in the study or psychology we begin to· discover that they are also teachers of the invisible forces of life that are forming the soul and making up the character; and when we comprehend this fully the day will come when our legislation shall be directed against the foul psychology of ugly acts and baneful sights, pernicious sounds, and every sinful influence. The day will come when we shall recognise the occult force of every sight and sound, odour and taste in nature, and then for ourselves, no less than for our race, we shall forbid each gross foul image to be imprinted on the daguerrotype plates of life. Remembering that every shadow leaves its impress as it passes, we shall analyze the substance that reflects it; — and enlarging our view of psychological influence from its effect on the individual to that on the mass, we shall extend our beneficent care to .all mankind, realise that humanity is an unit, and comprehend that whilst the viewless influence that passes from the operator to his subject, may, in a special case and projected by strong will, be absorbed by that subject, — yet, that the same magnetic influences are at all times unconsciously passing from us all, that they are in the atmosphere and ever coming in contact with humanity; hence that every living creature is our subject more or less, and that we in torn are influenced by unknown operators. And thus humanity is always operating and always becoming a subject, and thus great cities are operators and subjects, and the very rich and highly favoued, the refined and delicately cared for are as much psychologized by the inhabitants of the underground city, with their dark, foul, loathsome influence and strength in crime and strength in evil purpose, as if they stood before them and were their subjects. You cannot escape from this. Draw your curtain close, and retire within the shelter of your splendid dwellings, illuminate the darkness of the gay saloon with the thousand mimic lustres of your splendour, and yet you are in crime, in sorrow, and in darkness still. You cannot shut out the orphan’s sigh, or exclude the cry for bread; the tramping feet of the houseless poor are in your very ear, and there is an echo that goes round the world, that carries on its viewless wings the sound of the dropping tear and the plaint of the hungry mouth. It will penetrate into the homes of peace, and pride, and plenty. Humanity is one — and sorrow and joy, and crime, vice, virtue, and human suffering — psychology makes an unit. We are writing our character on everything in creation; we are stamping it on the ground, breathing it in the air, telling it to the winds, imprinting it on our walls, sending it up in aromal characters to the skies above us, and inscribing it on the records of eternity. Do we marvel, then, that. all who come within our sphere and live upon this earth partake of our special nature? Such I believe to be the psychological action of mind upon mind throughout the universe; such I believe to· be the magnetic cord that binds up the entire physical realm of nature. I go to the wild wood and it tells me of its bygone tenants by its sphere. The solitary glen where foot of man has never trod sends forth its silent influence to the world. I find there a tiny violet, no mortal eye has seen it, no mortal sense has been refreshed by its fragrance. It lives, it dies, unknown; but all creation is made better for its being. Its small blue head has pushed its way into the atmosphere in which man lives, and there it has exhaled its fragrant breath. There is not an inch of air that presses upon us but what is of a different nature to that which is above it, and so, for mile on mile of air the space which the blue head of the tiny violet has formed in the earth’s atmosphere impinging upon one wave of air after another, — away, away, away, up into the clear blue “ether, away into the vast unknown above, and for ever away, — and for ever acting upon the connected realms of all infinity, and though to earth it may be lost in creation, it exists until the single breath of that lone flower is anchored round the universe and gathered up in the eternal laboratories of the Creator. Ever the same throughout the universe; we neither live to ourselves, nor die, suffer, love, hate, think, nor feel to ourselves alone. And if the physical realm of nature is this strung like beads on one eternal chain that binds up the universe, how shall we sever from the universal harmony of influence God’s noblest, grandest work, His image — Man; — Man, the living soul; Man, who rules all below the Infinite; —Man, to whose power there is no boundary but ignorance; no horizon butt his finite physical weakness! Can we exclude man from this psychological chain of creation? No; and electro-biology shews us the mode, shews us the operation, proves that there goes forth from every living being, and every substance in nature an aroma which we call magnetism, and as all life in creation is magnetism, so the combinations of chemical magnetisms are perpetually forming relations between us all, and so each one is a link in an universal chain. We know there is no space in magnetism, we know that with a good conducting line and no nonconducting substance intervening, ‘we might send a wave of electricity round the entire world. Knowing this, realising that the life-principle or magnetism within us is analogous in its mode of operation to electricity, how or where shall we find the boundary to the thought projected by our magnetism throughout all space?

This, then, is the secret of national character; this the power by which the master minds of earth have attained their rule over the masses; this the power of the statesman, orator, musician, poet, painter and warrior. This was the secret that enabled the peasant girl of Domremy to lead forth the legions of France, and, by the fragile hand of a child, to liberate the country whose chains were fastened with the iron knot of national rivalry. Before the psychological power of Joan of Arc, warriors bent their plumed crests, and armies moved as pieces on the chess board. Granted that the Maid of Orleans was but the fountain of a higher psychology than that of earth — that her organism was as the fountain through which flowed the psychology of a spirit-world; yet her frail and childish frame, moved by that irresistible will, proved more than a match for the mightiest soldiers of civilization, held the fate of two countries in her grasp, and wielded it as a toy. It was the power of psychology that placed the poor Corsican boy, Napoleon Buonaparte, in the seat of the sovereignty of Europe. He who was by physical surroundings too poor to buy apparel in which to contend for a schoolboy’s prize, lived, by the power of mind, to wield sceptres as playthings, and bestow crowns as children’s baubles. What but psychology — the psychology of a master operator-could achieve this conquest over millions of subject human beings? Those who waited at his beck, and came and went at his command, obeyed the will and not the physical strength of the great psychologist. They bowed to the invisible power of mind which was operating through the links of magnetism, and threw its psychology over the entire of Europe. It was only when the spell of psychological power was over-mastered by the Great Spirit whose laws he defied, that his control was lost, and Napoleon became the subject of the Infinite, instead of the operator over his creatures. Whithersoever you tum your eyesl and consider those land-marks that have stood out as mountain-tops in the history of humanity, life is written all over with the power of mind upon mind. Heroes, patriots statesmen, — all who have moved ill the van of marching intellect as its leaders, all who have written their names in the shining roll of immortality as strange and exceptional persons, all these are but great psychologists; and the application of this solemn truth belongs to us all. Think of it, each one of you, you are each A CENTRE OF POWER, not alone of power to those amongst whom you move, but of power to the whole world. When they tell you of the hapless criminal, expiating his offence on the shameful gallows-tree, of the nameless mass of vice shut away in doleful prisons, reflect that all these are a part of you; — their fate is in fact your own, their atmosphere is around you. There is crime and wretchedness so great that it seems a sin to think of it; poverty so debased, that you turn with loathing from the beings your charity relieves. Would you believe it, that these foul and ugly objects are making invisible marks on you? and yet ’tis true: — they are a part of humanity, so are you, and all humanity is bound together by the inevitable chain of magnetic psychology. Oh! it is sweet as you sit in the quiet stillness of the holy place of worship, sabbath by sabbath, to believe and hope that the words of the preacher shall come true, and that the day shall yet be, when “the lion shall lie down with the lamb,” when all that is evil and wrong shall be done away; when good shall conquer evil, and the desert bloom as the rose, and when “there shall be a new heaven and a new earth.” And how do you expect the new heaven is to grow, till you have made the new earth? And how do you expect that the lower creatures shall set you the example of innocence and peace, and love and good fellowship, till you, the strongest of psychologists — till you, the controlling power, the grand magnet the lord and sovereign of all below yourselves1 shall send forth your holy, kind, fraternal, purifying, and peaceful influence down to them? Man! It is you who are to be the author of the new heaven and the new earth; and never till you have studied the science of soul, and understood the subtle but inevitable fact that soul is the controlling power, and is always making its mark for good or evil upon all things in nature; never till you comprehend this, will the dream of the pious or the prophecy of the seer be fully realized. We all strive to look into the distant future and behold the glorious time “foretold by seers and sung in story;” but remember, you are the instruments of the day of promise, you are to be the workers; and it is because we believe that this science of soul is the means by which we are to inform ourselves of the system necessary for the work, that we press upon you this night the study of psychology, or the science of the soul. The page is open before you. The spirits, not “alone of the disembodied, but also of the embodied, are reading you the lesson. The mysterious influences of sympathy and antipathy, the wonder of psychometry, the fact that you are leaving the impress of your character on every substance you touch; the realization that all that you come in contact with is saturated with the character of others, that all your thoughts, even the very hopes and fears that disturb your mmd, are shared in by the rest of humanity, that you cannot exempt yourselves or others from the common lot of all, renders it imperative upon you to search out through whatever light the revelations of science can yield, or the phenomena of ages disclose, that rudimental and necessarily ill understood science, which we vaguely name psychology.

I have already pointed to some of the pages of the volume in which you may investigate this. I have attempted to shew you that magnetism, and psychology are the two great columns that support the temple of Spiritualism, and I must here add that the great mission of Spiritualism is not alone to convince you of the presence of the blessed dead. I ·believe that its chief work is to prepare the soul for its spiritual home; to advise us of the true nature of life, inform us of its science, give us an appreciable .understanding of the duties that are required from us here, and of the nature of the influences that hinder us in its performance. He whom the world accepts of as Divine authority has said, that all law and all commandments were fulfilled in the one word — Love, and He promised that a day should come when the Spirit of Truth should reveal all things to us; that all that was hidden should become manifest; and that many things that the Jew of old could not in his time bear, should be yet disclosed. And are not these Dew developments of spiritual science the fulfilment of that promise? How vainly have we been charged for eighteen hundred years to fulfil to each other the golden rule of love! Vainly, because we find hindrances in our natures that impede our will to do, — physical obstacles stronger than our spiritual powers of resistance, — movements of evil, promptings to sin, strong chains dragging us away from the law. of love. We have grown wiser day by day; we have mastered all of intellectual knowledge that the ages can bring; “the march of intellect” is one perpetual conquest over ignorance and darkness, scientifically speaking; but the hideous statistics of crime stand still; the ghastly records of guilt grow refined with Civilization, but untouched ill numerical proportion. But how does this affect our subject? Rather question Religion, and ask her, why the influence of her costly and boundless hierarchies has failed to administer to the plague-spots of the human soul — why man is still a conqueror over every form of intellectual darkness save that which blackens his immortal soul? The tall steeple of the church pierces the sky in every city, town and hamlet, — while the solemn call to prayer is heard throughout the land, and the “life-giving” words of religion sound down the ages. Why do we thus repeat, age after age, the words which we follow not? Sometimes we plead in answer that the cold world plucks too strongly at our heart strings; sometimes we urge the chain of circumstances; and anon, God’s failure to make us perfect. But is it not in truth the lack of knowledge how to rule the wayward spirit within ourselves, or how to reorganize those broken links of· beauty that childhood shews but manhood snaps in twain,-how to conquer ourselves, and so frame conditions around us that others shall not poison our moral atmosphere, nor we give off the foul and loathsome magnetism that makes ourselves a centre of ill to others? We fall back also upon the plea of fatality; and is not this, too, false? There is, in truth, within us all, a tendency ever to strive against necessity. Granted that the bond of law is about our mortal forms, our spirits transcend that bondage; they at least are free. That pleading within to do-that determination to achieve-that realization that we, if we strive, by a mighty struggle can conquer) is not a false- hood; it is the witness of the soul that there is a power that can achieve and conquer. That power is the power of mind over matter; it is the triumph of soul over the body that binds but does not compel it. And more than this: psychology teaches us how far matter does bind mind, — and, by analyzing the effects of colours, sounds, forms; the garments we wear, and the aliment on which we feed; the atmosphere we breathe, the society in which we dwell, and the mental, moral and physical influences whose combinations form the sphere around us, — it is the great revelator that we need, the answer to the oft repeated question of the soul —”Why do I not act out the light I have, and be as good indeed as my theory is true?” And psychology teaches us also the necessity as well as the mode by which we may change the forms of matter, and enable the spirit to conquer its inequalities and inharmonies. Great is the gladiatorial combat between mind and matter, but we shall never be conquerors until we understand the powers of mind and the influences of matter; and psychology is the open page which alone can teach us. Oh! we may learn whole volumes on this subject, and discover how the psychology of the orator, preacher, statesman, and all in power, hold beneath their sway the destiny of others; and this often unconsciously, — for magnetism is the carrier of mind; and we must understand that all the magnetism that passes from every living creature is charged with mind, and hence we recognize our deep responsibility to one another not to suffer the intents and purposes of a bad mind to psychologize the world with our wickedness. We must remember that our magnetism is always going forth, and always influencing some other life, besides writing its record of ourselves.

I conclude, therefore, this discoursel with charging upon all those who are endeavouring to investigate this occult science of soul to start from its basis stones, — magnetism and psychology. Like physics which form the base of the column of which metaphysics is the apex, animal magnetism is the base and spiritualism the apex of the column of this great science of soul. Animal magnetism is the evidence of the power and action of embodied mind upon matter; spiritual magnetism, the inspiration through which the higher realms of being act on this mundane world. I have in other discourses attempted to shew that animal or human magnetism is the one great curative agent of the world; it is the power of life, and, as all disease originates in a disturbance of the life-currents, so all help is to be found in the return of perfect equilibrium in the life-currents. I have spoken as yet only of the power of the operator. Permit me briefly to add in closing, that there are some {lowers belonging to the subject as well 8S to the operator, for if the operator can temporarily control his subjectz yet he cannot usurp or extinguish his individuality, and m that the subject may by will repel his operator’s power. Despite all the bonds and obstacles that hinder us in matter, the spirit still is free, and all may assert that freedom if they only recognize its right, and understandingly can use it. One nation may be psychologically bound by the power of another, but when it recalls itself — its honour and its selfhood — it breaks its bonds, revolts and frees itself from its tyrant’s yoke; so of a people, so of individuals. Whilst we claim therefore that the subtle power of psychology is upon us all, whilst all are the subjects of each other’s will, and unconsciously rejoice and suffer from the joys and sorrows of the race-never forget we are a power to humanity as much as it is to us. Remember even you can become the psychologist as well as the subject, you never can yield to aught which is beneath yourself. If, indeed, your own soul is.. below the operator who acts upon you, you can but hope that a higher psychology will be exerted to draw you upwards, but you must be beneath your operator ere you yield. Magnetically, you may be more powerless than he; spiritually, you never can be, unless he can affect your spirit; therefore the plea of psychology as an excuse for crime avails not. Man as an individual may be pure and good in the midst of a criminal age, or criminal nation, and he ever possesses a sovereign individuality which he can always call into action by knowledge, effort, and counter powers of resistance. And therefore it is that all the munitions of evil that appeal to us from the base psychology of the evil men with whom we live, should only serve to arouse within us the powers of our own souls, and compel us in tum for evil influences to be psychologists for good. Cultivate then to the very utmost the dormant powers of this mysterious “psyche” within. We know not how grand is the human soul — how vast its powers. Now and then we gaze upon earth’s mighty ones who, hold the destiny of nations in their grasp; now and then we look upon those shining stars of mind that glitter on the mountain tops before us, great hearts that have pressed on — that have fought and won in life’s fierce conflict; but oh, how seldom do we realize that we can follow them — how seldom do we try! We may be great in any direction that we choose. Stand thou alone, 0 soul, and, let the world rush On as it will about thee; let the psychology of the base and vile strive to drag thee down in vain. Stand thou alone, O soul, and never forget that there is a grand magnet ever drawing thee up. Lean on that, and brace thyself against the Infinite.’ In His strength thou canst not stand forsaken, though alone, with God. Study psychology, learn how far matter can act on mind. Our present grain of knowledge on this mighty subject, will yet become a science. “Up then, thou man of reason,” up viewless soul, God is on thy side. The ages are fighting with thee; the marching intellect advances to the realm of spirit, and this is the day of the noble science of mind. The gates are opening wide, — enter, oh struggling soul, and be thou the first to lead the’ fearful on; or if thou must stand alone, forsaken of thy kind in thy bold quest for spiritual light and knowledge, remember thou art led on by Him who cries for ever down the ages “Let there’ be light!” and lo! there shall be light.



Source: The Spiritual Magazine, September 1, 1866, pp. 385-401.