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A THEORY OF THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL .
A THEORY OF THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL THE FOURTH DIMENSION AND ITS APPLICATIONS BY W.. BUTTON & CO. TRUBNER & CO. TRENCH. 1920 . P. LTD. WHATELY SMITH LONDON : : KEGAN PAUL. NEW YORK E.
TO MY MOTHER .
" . . "The Unknown Guest. " It is well." When we can . to seek an it explanation of the inexplicable it is by attacking on every side at all hazards that we cherish the hope of overcoming it" MAETERLINCK. we must needs . no longer interpret a phenomenon try to by the known. . in spite of everything." do so by the unknown.
.CONTENTS CHAPTER I. APPLICATION TO CERTAIN OF THE FACTS .. . V.. PAGE THE MEANING OF FOUR-DlMENSIONAL SPACE I II. HIGHER SPACE AND PHYSICAL SCIENCE 122 136 THE CONNECTING LINK THE RELIGIOUS ASPECTS OF THE HYPOTHESIS SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION IX. 168 181 APPENDIX INDEX . ELICITED BY PSYCHIC RESEARCH IV.. VI. VII. 39 SOME OTHER POSSIBLE APPLICATIONS OF THE HYPOTHESIS . 92 113 . VIII. . 187 196 . VITALITY AND WILL . THE SCOPE OF APPLICATION AND PROBABLE IMPORTANCE OF THE HIGHER-SPACE CONCEPTS 21 III.
PREFACE THE of this highly speculative and extrapolatory character book to read will it. Space Hypothesis altogether w. w. But it is only by the bold formulation and ruthless rejection of hypotheses that progress are compelled to is made. and I am well aware that some of them are likely to prove mutually incompatible. and the even if we abandon as is Higher very possible the negative information so gained will be of the greater value if the hypothesis has first been given the fullest possible trial. s. The suggestions which follow are purely tentative. be evident to all who I are bold enough I wish to make of it perfectly clear that have no intention dogmatising on so obscure a subject. .
. no terminology available which the Higher Space concepts could be supposing that the ancient philosophers had them in mind. Whether this is actually so is open to doubt but it must be remembered that itself in the days when these writings were produced mathematical in its knowledge was there was. suitably expressed even Lobatschewsky. mathematicians are able to deal easily with especially the work of Gauss.Theory of The Mechanism of Survival CHAPTER I A THE MEANING OF FOUR-DIMENSIONAL SPACE. The main pages line of thought developed in these Professor has no claims to originality. It is only through accumulated knowledge. Riemann. space of more than three dimensions. Zollner of Leipsic was an ardent exponent of the " " theory in the seventies and some authors hold that even the ancient writings of the East contain attempts to express Four-Dimensional concepts. and others that modern Bolyai. in infancy and that therefore.
not one of great fact if As a matter of it is really only one faces exceptionally straightforward it and does not allow oneself to be frightened.2 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL It may If it be noted that Kant says : be possible that there are developments of other dimensions of space. R. impossible to form any clear mental picture of four . but that does not matter. all For His works have the grandeur and glory that S.dimensional conditions. even although we cannot picture At this point I would urge the reader to try is to believe that the subject difficulty. it is very probable that " God has somewhere produced them. 318." According to Mr. The ideas involved I know that it is are admittedly unprecedented in our experience. are to Mead of similar ideas be found in certain the Gnostic cosmogonies. But a of (Fragments of a Faith forgotten.) detailed historical review would be out here place and I will therefore is proceed to of term at once to a discussion of what " " meant by the will fourth dimension that and try explain the necessary ourselves. are not contrary to reason and I do not but they . G. can be comprised. how it is we can determine some of it properties four-dimensional to space. p.
it is not possible . flat on a surface. One for might move ever or along OA not OA' and yet would one ' have moved in the very least in the direction of F/g. a Dimension means An independent " that. or parallel to. however great. or perpendicular to one another.1 OB or Now of OB'. direction in space. That to say. and analogies concerned. such as B a sheet of paper. The best definition " I can think of is to say that. the other. along one of them will result in the slightest movement is along. i Thus AOA' and BOB' are independent directions.FOUR-DIMENSIONAL SPACE ask more than a formal and intellectual assent to the propositions Let me start." I must amplify in this by saying to Two as directions space are be considered independent when they are so related that no movement. in the sense in which the word used here. at right angles." in Fig. then. by denning what is meant by is a Dimension.
THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL
draw more than two such
other line that can be drawn,
direction, so to speak.
partly in the direction
partly in the direction
Y for example, by moving
along OA' to a and then moving in the direction of OB' a distance equal to Ob, or vice versa or by
doing the two simultaneously. For the benefit of those who are absolutely ignorant of the rudiments of Geometrical knowledge, I
would point out that
Parallel lines are
do point, in the same
Thus, in Fig.
the direction of the line ZZ'
the same as
tion of the line
that in a
refer to a flat surface as
refuse to be restricted to a flat surface
possible to draw a third line " " of the which is quite independent
directions of the
can do this by drawing
to say, perpendicular to the plane of the
in perspective in Fig. 3.
dependent direction in space for
at~ right angles both to
draw a fourth
AOA', BOB', and COC' simulIn the space we know we dimensions and consequently
taneously. On other words
THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL
Space of three dimensions " or Three-dimensional space."
the idea of a fourth dimension of space is That, whereas in three-dimensional simply this
we can draw, through any
mutually at right
four - dimensional
be possible to draw, through any point in
Extending the idea to
In space general, we may say that, dimensions we can draw, through any
n," and only
mutually at right
the idea that
admit, that, at
possible, under any circumstances, draw more than three such lines through a point, seems utterly staggering and inconceivable. And indeed the more one thinks of it and the more thoroughly one grasps what it means, the more absolutely impossible does it appear. All the same, as I hope to show very soon,
as a matter of fact, quite possible that there
be another independent direction
the prescribed conditions, in spite of the fact that we are at present ignorant of it.
we can only
by a consideration
indispensable analogy " a two-dimensional world, or Flatland."
detail in the
propose to examine in some
paragraphs which follow.
But before doing so I wish to point out, and I do not think it will be necessary to do more,
which has length, but neither breadth nor thickness, can be correctly described
One- dimensional space i.e. space having only one dimension. A mathematical " point," which has only
and neither length nor breadth nor can similarly be 'called space of no
Zero-dimensional space." Also wish to take the opportunity of defining one or
two words which
occasion to use
and have the merit
Lines which are drawn through a point for the sake of determining direction are
called in Geometrical parlance,
Thus in Fig. i AOA' and BOB' are axes. The former would be known as " the axis
A," the latter as
the axis of B."
Similarly of C."
which two or more axes meet, " " called the and is commonly Origin
denoted by the
Three shall use the terms. 6. Dimension.THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL (3) " When Two convenient. We have seen that such a surface constitutes space of two dimensions. " space/' " Four space. in passing affords a pattern still by which we can pass on further to the conception of an existence in four-dimensional space. as Mr." instead of writing Two- dimensional space. flat and perfectly smooth surface such for ." p." Let us start then by imagining a very large. we make from the shapes and motions in two dimensions to those in three. because through any point in it we can only draw two lines at right . THE ANALOGY OF A TWO-DIMENSIONAL WORLD. Hinton says in his book." etc." etc.. " I space. " The Fourth which The change in our conceptions. space. " H. is of the analogy of a two necessary because." in full each time. instance as the top of a highly polished table or the surface of a sheet of still liquid. The consideration dimensional world C." "Three-dimensional " Four-dimensional space.
: thickness. In order to grasp the analogy properly we must imagine them to be so constituted that they are incapable of realising any direction in space which does not lie in the aforementioned flat surface on which they live. 9 In order to draw a third such line we must get out of the surface altogether and draw the line perpendicular to it. or respond to any stimuli that come them from that direction. therefore. We can imagine this by supposing that their i. is so small as to be invisible to them and also that on their periphery. This last is equivalent to saying that they have " " no sense organs facing the third dimension their " nerve endings " all lie and to that therefore they cannot receive im- pressions. sense and possess no thickness at But if .FOUR-DIMENSIONAL SPACE angles to one another.e. or take place. is Next we must try to imagine that this surface populated by a race of beings of an extraordinary thinness. It is of be truly course inconceivable that they should " " plane beings in the mathematical all. their extension in the third dimension perpendicular to their surface. in their surface. they will be acquainted only with such objects and events as lie. that unless they develope special sense organs which face the third dimension It follows.
io THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL that their thickness is we suppose of the same " order as the diameter of a chemical Atom " " that they are one atom thick so to speak. short they will be totally unaware of its existence. of This means that plane beings will not be sensible any opposition to their movement as far as the is surface concerned. from which he could push off." We must therefore further suppose that the force of gravity operates in his world in a manner similar to that which we know. in the true sense word. in any direction " known to him. we should be if we were freely suspended in remote from all the material objects infinite space. Also. There would be nothing. as we have supposed it. every particle of matter attracting every other particle. it that they have no nerve endings facing follows In that they cannot feel any pressure from it. we know. That is to say of such a nature as to offer no resistance whatever to the passage of objects over it. . the conditions laid down as to their limitation will " be fulfilled. Now we of the have supposed the flat surface in our analogy to be perfectly smooth. But for the purpose of strict analogy this is because a being placed on such a surface would be as incapable of movement as insufficient.
which will attract them towards its centre. They will be kept collected is and by the force of gravity. therefore. which has held together by the action of gravity. in the same way that we are kept against the surface of the earth. we may suppose that these hypothetical beings whom we are considering live on the rim of a very large disc of plane matter. One be "up and down " " that of is to say. Finally. towards or away from the centre its his plane earth : the other will be forwards and backwards " along will Again any object. that every on the surface will be held against that particle surface and that plane beings will. and. n mean two things first. just as we live on the surface of a very large sphere of solid matter. that projects the rim of the disc on which he lives. beyond rim. cannot go round because that would mean . It is up against the rim of the disc easy to realise that the existence of such will will a plane being will be very limited indeed. be for him an obstacle. He it. second.FOUR-DIMENSIONAL SPACE This will . that matter on the surface will tend to collect together in a to manner precisely analogous what we observe in our space. never be able to move away from it . which can only be passed by climbing over or burrowing under it. He be conscious of two directions only.
THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL
ooming out of the flat Thus in Fig. to do.
represents a portion of the rim of
the disc or "plane
and C a
plane being, then
he can only pass
by climbing over any intervening such as D, i.e. by following the path object the dotted line. Otherwise he would indicated by
A to B
have to get out
of the plane of the paper,
is impossible for him.
in outline the strict
a race of plane beings inhabiting a analogy smooth surface, I shall take the liberty, in the
developing the idea more fully, of That in a slightly less rigid fashion.
assume that the reader has
grasped the main idea and I shall not trouble " " Plane earth about the etc., unless it is desirable to do so for the sake of bringing out
and I shall substitute for the special point somewhat elaborate representation the foregoing simpler one of a thin object free to slide on a
smooth surface lying in front of us. But before doing so I would point out that
begin to see our
can understand for instance that the fact
dimension of space being unknown and inconceivable to us, is no proof that it does
have seen that a Third dimension
would be equally unknown and inconceivable to a being limited in the manner described above
that a third dimension does
limitations obtain in our
case to see that
a Fourth dimension might well exist of which we would still be unaware.
We must, for instance, suppose that we have no sense organs facing that way and that we are prevented from moving in that direction
by some circumstance analogous
sheet on which
The plane being all round his plane objects although we know that he could not really do so, and
similarly our conviction that
the plane being to would think that he
our solid objects
Thus we are already
in a position to appreciate
the fact that our inability to perceive or imagine
Four-dimensional space or objects in
There is, thereargument against its existence. a priori reason for supposing that fore, no
four dimensional space
not a reality.
THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL
a point which must be settled by an appeal
to the evidence.
in the course of our investigation,
that there are in our space phenomena, which " two closely resemble those which would in " indicate the existence of a third dimension, space
then we shall be entitled to say that these phenomena indicate the probable existence of a
can now proceed with our consideration
two dimensional world, remembering that, Shapes and events in four space bear to
shapes and events in three space, the same relation that those in three space bear to those in two space.
The very small three-dimensional thickness which we have supposed to exist in all the objects
imperceptible to the plane beings which inhabit it and the objects which they perceive they will accordingly think of
as geometrical figures
as geometrical lines, having length but no breadth.
completely closed space.
as he thinks,
be able to go
without being able to
opening in its
A in fact be to him what a sphere is to us. two space room will be a thing like the figure
be able to get into
or out of
wall gap which is shown and
not be able
to conceive of
of entry or exit,
although we can
from the direction
of the third
not closed at
see that this
absolutely open to us,
sides to a plane being.
three dimensional beings,
though appearing to
be closed on
took advantage of this fact
sorts of tricks
we could play
on him for we could put things
box or take them out
the third dimension, while to the plane being the box would appear to be tightly closed the
be noticed that as the
would lie wholly outside the plane being's space he would not be able to form any conception of the nature
of the process involved.
at all he
If he tried to underwould probably imagine that the
object has been disintegrated into particles inside
the box, passed in this condition through the
become to consider the question of the positive evidences for the existence of a It is because of this importance that I have dwelt on a point which to many readers will have been obvious as soon as stated. I " for a may as well repeat moment expect that here that I do not the reader will have been able to visualise four-dimensional space. But I do hope that he will have seen the force of the analogy and so far will be prepared to admit is that as we it have four dimensional space ceivable gone at present by no means inconnot though is may be distinctly imaginable. Whereas the true explanation is The very great importance of this apparent when we come fourth dimension. which he might suppose to and reintegrated on the other far will exist side.i6 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL interstices minute in its walls. simpler. The foregoing really all that is necessary on the mathematical or theoretical side for the understanding of the basic ideas with which I am dealing but for the benefit of those readers who like that sort of thing I have added a few simple . " from Similarly we could make things appear nowhere and disappear equally mysteriously simply by putting them down on to his flat surface and picking them up again.
We a flat have already seen that a cube laid on surface will present to a plane being.FOUR-DIMENSIONAL SPACE propositions 17 and extensions of the analogy in the form of an appendix. pressed But now suppose that surface was " normally but corner wise as indicated in Fig. if It also clear that it it is pushed through the present surface will continue it to the same appearance until when it will has passed right through. First its through his not " . If. the bottom face was red and the top face blue he would be conscious of a colour change on the part of the square which he perceived. It would start by being red and would pass through various shades till. in that surface. 6 that is to say with one of its corners leading and one of diagonals vertical. suddenly vanish away. The only other question that need really concern us here is that of the phenomena of change in a two-dimensional world. would it be pure blue. for instance. of it purple just before its final disappearance. The plane being would then see quite a different set of figures. is the appearance of a square. be unconscious of any movement on the part of the cube unless there was some difference between the first and last sections He would which he perceived.
. Sphere. e. It is easy to work out what would happen in the case of other solids. etc..g. until a regular hexagon was produced when the reverse process would set in and the hexagon gradually change back into a triangle which in turn would dwindle away and disappear. at the expense of the original sides. Tetrahedron. All such changes would appear very mysterious to the plane being if he had formed no conception of three dimensional space or the shapes of bodies therein.i8 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL . would be a point this would grow into a triangle which would increase in size until it reached a certain maximum when it would begin to develope sides at its corners three new which would grow. Cone.
earth. plane beings. We a succession of pictures each the precise state of affairs at some representing given moment in the two space world. as cinematograph films actually are. sun. There would be no question of one thing being hidden by another because we are regarding them all from the direction of the third dimension in which If they have an inappreciable extension. etc. Suppose we were to take a series of cinematograph pictures of the two-dimensional world. planets. from the direction of the third dimension. If we now cut away .FOUR-DIMENSIONAL SPACE Let us 19 now extend this idea rather further. By this means we can represent the disposition of all the objects in a two space system at a number of successive instants in one single three space figure. the motion of a two space planet round its sun would become a part of a helix or spiral. all complete. Imagine further that these pictures are reproduced. on a transparent substance and then let us superimpose these successive pictures on one another in order so as to form a block.. Every should obtain thing in it would be represented in each. to be very small we imagine the two space world our camera to be very large there is no difficulty in supposing that each of our pictures or includes the whole of the two space universe. For instance.
we were now to pass this three space object two space it through a penetrable a soap film. . the that I do not think that I this is literally here is The point phenomena in want to make of change of or successive arrangement are space a given capable of explanation in terms of forms in the next space higher. surface. e. of which we only perceive at any moment a section whose extension in the fourth dimension is imperceptibly small.g. It will appear later that the case. The precise import of this will appear when we come to consider the bearing of the higher space theory on the problem of the nature of Time. By analogy we can see that it would be possible to account for all the changes in our threedimensional space by supposing them to be due to the passage through it of suitably shaped and arranged four-dimensional solids.20 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL all from our block intervenes the blank material the representations objects which of between space the a various two we If shall have complete synthesis in three space of a succession of two space arrangements.. which dimensionality latter do not change within themselves. we should exactly reproduce for the two space beings in the changes which we had originally recorded.
in a position to state the basic hypothesis which I propose to discuss in the pages am now which follow. possibly. as I hope to show. during sleep. anaesthesia and other forms of insensibility. it Briefly stated " is this is : a mere Higher space mathematical ' a Physical reality and not idea. But.CHAPTER II THE SCOPE OF APPLICATION AND PROBABLE IMPORTANCE OF THE HIGHER-SPACE CONCEPTS. trance. But it may also possess at least one other vehicle a four-dimensional one and in this it may function after death and." This hypothesis is not my own and I am not prepared to defend it as being necessarily correct. there are a number of 21 c . In the preceding chapter I have tried to explain " four-dimensional what is meant by the term " space and to demonstrate some of its more important of ourselves I properties from the point of view who live in space of three dimensions. In waking life the individual consciousness functions in a three- dimensional vehicle/ namely the physical body.
hardly necessary to say that these two spheres of application are very closely allied.22 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL which tend to support sufficiently plausible to it is it considerations I and i do think it is make of worthy of serious consideration before finally rejected by those who I are students these matters. First of then. I believe that if accepted as valid it would do much to provide a common meeting ground scientific for opposite schools of religious and thought. in which likely to prove of importance. especially by are convinced of the validity of the of Spiritistic explanation communications pur- porting to emanate from the deceased. . but it is none the less convenient to separate them for purposes of discussion. Secondly. Between these there was a most marked and unfortunate cleavage during century and though there has been a very considerable rapprochement since the days when last controversy was at to be done before its height there is still much we can hope for a complete community It is of thought and expression. In this chapter different propose to deal with the it is ways all. it has strong claims to be adopted as a working hypothesis by those who are students those of who Psychical Research.
dowsing. from hypnotism and the therapeutic of suggestion to crystal-gazing and the of emergence hidden human faculties . or the alleged perception of objects without the use to of the ordinary channels of sense. death effects . on a third by Psychology and on a fourth by Religion. from the whose asserted freaks may have given rise both from the inexplicable to fetishism and fairies) . from unconscious muscular action to the mysterious operation of our sub-conscious self from telepathy to apparitions at the moment of . With each of these subjects it has close relations and yet possesses features which serve to distinguish it Sir from any of them. on another by Philosophy. from clairvoyance. IN 23 The studies of necessarily cover Psychical Researchers must a very wide area which is bounded on the one hand by Physical science proper. William Barrett writes as follows : of the scope of Psychical Research " The subjects to be considered cover a wide range. . or the finding of under-ground water and metallic lodes with the so-called reported hauntings of certain places to the mischievous pranks of poltergeists (or boisterous but harmless ghosts divining-rod.SCOPE AND IMPORTANCE THE NEED OF A WORKING HYPOTHESIS PSYCHIC SCIENCE.
and More- studied over certain of the phenomena which it once such as Hypnotism have been largely of taken over by "orthodox" science. or allegation that they are in of prima facie appearemanate from. or some way connected with the activities extra-mundane intelligences notably the of " spirits It is " the deceased.24 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL sounds and movement of objects without assignplanchette and able cause to the thaumaturgy of the spiritualistic seance . from the scribbling of automatic writing generally to the alleged operation of unseen and intelligent agents and the possibility of experimental evidence of human survival after death. or ance. I In view of the heterogeneous nature of this list do not think it practicable to frame any hard fast definition of Psychical Research. although great intrinsic interest and some relevance. and others. the characteristic feature of the latter is a suspicion. ultimately be regarded as comparatively remote from the main body of psychic Roughly speaking. 10)." (Psychical Research. may phenomena. feature this which has caused their rejection by the sciences with which they would naturally appear to be associated and although our studies may in many cases show that the . such as Telepathy and Clairvoyance. p.
I do not propose to consider here whether psychical research has yet given any satisfactory answer to the above mentioned questions or even whether there is any considerable chance of its ever being able to do so. It is only when the investigator refuses to be science limited by bodily death that Psychic differentiates itself as a separate study. .SCOPE AND IMPORTANCE appearance is 25 wholly until spurious it must be is remembered that. every phenomenon so disposed of and relegated to its appropriate " " orthodox science. the ultimate problem of Psychical Research is largely a matter of the provision of answers to such questions as : " Is there any scientifically valid reason for supposing that Individual Human Personality " survives bodily death ? " " If so. under what conditions does it persist ? " What is the relation between these new conditions and " ? those with which we are acquainted Any investigation into Human Personality of a scope less than this can be included under the heads of Physiology or Psychology which are prepared to investigate any conceivable intricacy in the mental or bodily states of the living.
26 I THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL merely wish to point out the nature of problems with which it is concerned it the and which alone distinguish science. that is to say of human personalities not functioning through the flesh and blood bodies in which we are accustomed to meet them. hitherto. adoption is The hypothesis All of some form of working moreover imperative in the light of scientific history. So far as on the balance our present knowledge goes and of all the available evidence I is am inclined to think that this necessity at least imminent. It follows as a separate that any hypothesis advanced with a view to co-ordinating the observed facts may find itself called upon to give an intelligible explanation of discarnate personalities. who it agree that that are interested in psychical research will it is in the highest degree desirable should be recognised as a Science of a dignity commensurate with its intrinsic importance and on a level with the sciences more generally accepted as such. That it has not. attained this position is in the eyes of the world in general largely due to the fact that that stage of it has not yet fully reached development which chiefly .
(4) Experiment. . I is do not say that this sequence of operations when always consciously performed any more than " " we always thinking* a thing out consciously reduce our reasoning to its simplest syllogistic constituents. But every time we acquire a new item of knowledge it would be possible to reduce the process by which we acquired it to a series of the sequences mentioned above.SCOPE AND IMPORTANCE 27 distinguishes a science properly so called from mere speculatory observation. on the contrary. (2) (3) Deduction. a necessary and inevitable stage any science whatsoever. of A special form observation. so may the be reduced process of acquiring exact knowledge may be reduced to a series of analogous sequences. The processes of acquiring scientific knowledge growth of of logical in the are as invariable as those thought. Just as all accurate reasoning to a series of syllogisms. Induction. These are : (i) Observation. This is no reflection on the many able and genuinely scientific men who have worked on the subject in ever since it first became prominent modern times some seventy years ago but is.
a correct one and we retain it until If it is shown that if it be correct some result must inevitably occur which in fact does not. they do we argue that our hypothesis is. . In this stage we consider more the working hypothesis which we have closely formulated. to see whether these deduced results do actually obtain in practice. a Law. as the latter is commonly termed. This simply means that we turn again to the outside world and examine it EXPERIMENT. and we conclude that if it be true certain other consequences DEDUCTION. which are the only form in which we get any information of the as to the outer world.28 It THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL is worth while considering these steps in slightly greater detail. probably. OBSERVATION in the last analysis means no more than the recording and classifying of sensations. must inevitably follow. INDUCTION means from a study that there at is the process of concluding observed and collected facts is some specific co-ordinating principle work by the virtue of which the facts exist. There is a difference between a valid hypothesis and a true one or. This process known as forming a working hypothesis.
As a matter of fact we can never say this with absolute certainty for it is may always conceivable that some exception some day be found which would necessitate the remoulding of the hypothesis. Again the Corpuscular theory of light affords a very pertinent illustration of the point I wish to make. only the facts which have been elicited by the study of lonisation. But the epithet it " true " can only properly be applied when has been shown that all necessary deductions are invariably borne out in practice. . The hypothesis that the Chemical Atom was the ultimate and indivisible unit of matter was a perfectly valid one in the light of the facts that had been observed at the time of its formation and of its apparent proof by Lavoisier and others.SCOPE AND IMPORTANCE 29 Any hypothesis is valid which explains the observed facts or at least explains some of them and contradicts none. The most we can say is that certain hypotheses have stood the test in such a very large number of cases without a single failure that there is a very high degree of probability that they are really true. of Radio-active substances and similar phenomena that have proved It is it " " to be untenable and necessitated the substitu- tion of the electronic theory.
and for a long time held the partly because of the great prestige of of its Newton to whom much was due and partly because it development continued to explain subsequently observed facts without much straining. It is only by this process of forming. When the velocity of light in air and water respectively was measured directly by Foucault 's method it was found that the velocity in water was The Corpuscular theory less than that in air. But among other things that in it was demonstrated for order of to account it the observed phenomena suppose that the in water than refraction " was necessary to " travelled faster Corpuscles in air.30 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL of facts regarding the classified A number of light were observed and phenomena and it was found that these could explained by the hypothesis that light consisted of a stream of be very minute particles moving at very high speed which impinged upon the eye and thus gave rise to the sensations observed. it But later researches Foucault direct made possible to settle the point by measurement. Up to a point this explanation was it perfectly satisfactory field. At the first there directly whether was no means this was so or of of determining not. testing . was therefore untenable.
by inductive reasoning from the observed facts. Richet says : As Prof. fulfills believe that the higher space hypothesis this condition and if so it is clearly worth while adopting." From of a (Annales des sciences psychiques. if 31 necessary. " La science n'a jamais ete qu'une serie d'erreurs.SCOPE AND IMPORTANCE and. . purely provisionally and tentatively of course. in the progress of any science likely that For this reason I do not think will it Psychical of a valid research attain any widespread in possession recognition as a science until it is at least I working hypothesis capable of explaining the more important of the observed facts. 15. is a normal.) this brief resume of the steps involved in that the formation scientific progress it is clear working hypothesis. rejecting hypotheses that we gradually attain to exact knowledge. approximations constamment evol- uant constamment boulverse. by those who concern themselves with the subject. p. I have said that I think that the con- ception of higher relations space has a bearing Religious on the Scientific between and thought. and invariable step whatsoever. et cela d'autant plus vite qu'elle etait plus avancee. necessary. 1905.
the Orthodox Theologians of another. are no According to their view. and shall only from the purely religious standexamine here the reasons to have led so which seem to me many sincere and able scientific men to a position at variance with the religious and spiritual point of view. This is. representatives of By who the Materialistic Scientists I mean those see in matter or ether the ultimate reality and only permanent and who attempt to explain every experienced phenomenon in terms of matter and ether and of these only. aspects of the out of the question for me to attempt to classify here the countless religions. Thought. Emotion. of course. and the Occultists of a third. more than electro-chemical . and It is philosophies time. closely bound up with the whole topic of the various attempts which have been made to satisfy the perennial demand for light on the mysteries of life and death and on the spiritual and non-material universe. sects.32 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL I shall reserve for a later chapter the treatment of the question point. which have arisen from time to But they do seem to fall into three main groups and although it is impossible to label these in any really satisfactory manner I think one may say that the Materialistic Scientists are the one school. Consciousness.
I. This first purely materialistic school admits of fairly easy delimitation whereas the other two schools mingle together and diverge within . so far as we can imagine. this is quite of rightly. whole essence of Spirit is that it not matter nor. The brain secretes consciousness as the liver secretes bile. If ever of that we find ourselves in chaos insanity. As against is point view my contention that quite possible to form an intelligible concept of Reality. outside " " discontinuous but as anything appears to the scientist and it therefore." " " The idea of spirit is inconceivable to for the them is .SCOPE AND IMPORTANCE 33 changes in the protoplasmic constituents of the brain ' cells. of matter and energy the law holds good. I can yet easily understand and sympathise Now with the state of mind which occasions too. " we let go is which Within the ring-fence. the physical reality of the scientist. ether. although this attitude is utterly repugnant to me. feel that if it. revolting." so to speak. different from and yet perfectly continuous with. there is one thing above all others to which one's intellect it must cling at all costs is and continuity the general proposition of the coherence of the universe in other words the great Law of Causation.
The school of which the Occultists are typical seem to me to tend to replace logically coherent explanation by mere descriptive nomenclature. The results of the very highest possible far the best I value. it clearly no more than common sense that they should be exercised to the full in the solution of problems which present especial difficulties is to the more normal methods might be it of investigation.34 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL it themselves in so complex a manner that is much more difficult to distinguish them from each other than to separate either of them from the first. are apt to ignore the intellectual intelligible It is demand for explanation altogether. am by it. ' on ' merely foolish to ignore or to ridicule a priori grounds the statements of those who of claim to have investigated the problems with which we are concerned by the cultivation abnormal or commonly latent If faculties. no means prepared dogmatically to deny None . while dogmatically asserting the existence of spirit and constantly emphasising the supreme importance of the spiritual life. as is very possible. On the other hand the Orthodox Theologians. such faculties exist. But I think the difference is something of this kind. may is well be that the cultiva- tion of such faculties by way of attacking the whole question. Indeed.
SCOPE AND IMPORTANCE the less those I 35 we are entitled to expect that claim to have attained knowledge by these means should take some pains to make think who their results continuous with existing knowledge and to eliminate needless obscurities. Thus it is intellectually unsatisfying and little calculated to arouse the sympathetic interest of the strictly logical thinker. In Theosophical literature. we are confronted with a scheme of things built " " Astral Plane." Karma and so forth. between the etheric double and the body as known to physiologists. " present the application of the word " Science to the utterances of the Occult schools At as commonly presented is a complete misnomer. I of do not mean to say that none of the words the type quoted have any real significance. the contrary of I On think it very probable that many real parts of the actual them have and that they do represent scheme of things. Double." Etheric up of such terms as " " Causal Body. for instance. The ." With tion all due deference to is friends I submit that this my Theosophical not scientific explanathe relation between and cannot be tell so unless its exponents are is prepared to us what the astral plane and the physical world.
36 trouble name In that they are only names and to a thing is not the same as to explain it. I repeat that my primary quarrel of is not with the accuracy or otherwise of the statements perfectly made. remain unconvinced. on but no effort is made to show the continuity which They never weary must. The third school which includes the Orthodox Theologians sometimes resembles the Occultists in the use of unintelligible terms but their chief weakness for is their failure to recognise intellectual and to cater the demand for coherent explanation. in a sane Cosmos. however. correct. common fairness I ought." . Every word them may be but so long as they are expressed in terms I wholly unrelated to pre-existing concepts qua scientist. exist between Matter and Spirit. quite rightly. must. to admit that in several passages Mr. of insisting. am inclined to suspect that this failing was the cause he had in mind. is . or to state the " common factor. Leadbeater one of the best known Theosophical writers makes a distinct effort to escape from this tendency and it has further been opined by a very eminent Occultist that the bulk of contemporary literature on the subject I will be out of date in a few years. the paramount importance of Spiritual things.
Men knew so little about the material Universe that they experienced little difficulty in finding a place in it for Spirit and Heaven was conveniently " " as being somewhere above and represented " " " Hell as somewhere below.SCOPE AND IMPORTANCE so to speak. " Spirit think an explanation flict " which shall not con- with the fundamental laws of continuity failed to and causation. For myself refuse to believe that is I no such Oliver in common Lodge factor " says. and yet causally continuous with." But now things have altered and we know quite a fair amount the Spiritual life. 37 of which unites them as parts I a coherent whole. So far the theologians have meet this demand and to provide the necessary habitat be independent of. As Sir have learned to believe intelligibility. for consciousness shall It is this illogical discontinuity which has alienated the sympathies of so many men of which D ." not so This omission on the part of theologians did much matter in the days before Physical Science had attained to its present degree of development. scientist Consequently the I demands of not unreasonably. " " about the material world. the material world which the scientist knows. discoverable.
The foregoing should be important it is show how the that Psychical Research connecting link between the study of the material and that as of the purely spiritual should adopt of soon as possible some not form working either hypothesis this which that is repugnant It is to religious or scientific thought. . doing we can hope to retain only by the sympathies of both classes of thinkers and this is surely worth an effort quite apart from all Here again I believe that the higher space hypothesis meets the requirements of the case and this is my second chief other considerations.38 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL all scientific reduce mind and forced them to attempt mental and spiritual phenomena sufficient to to to terms of matter. reason for urging its adoption.
CHAPTER III In this chapter I propose to give some instances of the way in which the higher space hypothesis throws light on certain Psychic Phenomena which. and certain aspects of unconsciousness are more conveniently treated in later chapters . and those which Prevision. some such as Telekinesis. will thought transference or probably prove explicable without 39 as . difficult of Some are not yet. but I shall make no attempt to cover the whole range of phenomena known to students. others are so mysterious as to render others again. such Telepathy. appear extremely obscure and explanation. any attempt premature until we have a wider and firmer foundation of fact on which to build at explanation . without its aid. in my opinion. are. sufficiently well authenticated to necessitate consideration.
which has chiefly prevented physical the obvious interpretation of the evidence for as a whole. impalpable. which in short invisible. however. or of first. Few people.40 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL introducing the Higher Space hypothesis in any direct connection. in the fact that we cannot personality does in fact survive physical death. strongly indicated by the evidence in question. at conceiving a state of once real and non-physical. who have studied the literature of the subject. to our normal senses. Probably it is the difficulty of conceiving such a mode of existence scientists. I think. But this difficulty existence. would be prepared to deny that Survival is. There are some. it must do so in some form. conceive of personality as absolutely disembodied Yet we know that if as pure essence. entirely imperceptible. which considered here. may well be and by far the most important problem which confronts us in attempting to form an idea of post-mortem conditions. completely non- is material in the ordinary sense of the word. The the existence of lies personality apart from the physical body. from accepting Survival offered by various Psychic phenomena. has of induced scientists to prefer to seek an explanation . at least.
and does much to obscure and complicate the work of interpretation. On the contrary. to law it has habitat in a region as subject and as susceptible to mathematical analysis as the three dimensional world in which we at present live.PSYCHIC RESEARCH of the observed facts in 41 terms of Thought trans- ference. it to be. in four space. have but to suppose that after physical death the Individual consciousness is embodied in a vehicle organised. what we Such a vehicle in every way. and yet invisible. . We are thus enabled to understand left this how those who have discarnate. fulfills It is its the required conditions that is scientifically real to say.* But as soon as we introduce the concept of the Fourth Dimension this difficulty disappears. corresponds to " " call Matter in three space. of its very our normal physical nature. This is the first and supremely important * Far be it from me to suggest that these last-mentioned factors play no part in the phenomena. although less as truly alive as ever. not We from physical matter. constantly in touch with us and yet beyond our normal ken.e. their effect is at least very considerable. be none the close to us physical world may. i. inapprehensible by And yet must be supposed senses. Secondary personality and so forth. matter.. but from Four-dimensional that which.
There would far appear to be at least increases four varieties and still it is possible that as our knowledge of the subject we shall come to recognise more. Prevision Instances of each of these four forms are abundant and amply verified except." (4) Clairvoyance in time That is to say the perception of future events or of past events Postvision.42 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL and it is application of the hypothesis to over-emphasise it. This is probably of phenomenon from being a simple unvarying nature. by ordinary means. impossible Of the more discussion here. . in the case of class 3 where verification is scarcely possible. perhaps." This of apparently no more than a heightening the ordinary powers of vision. The four at present : distinguishable may be denoted as follows (1) is So-called " Etheric Clairvoyance. (2) Perception of objects and contemporary events more or less removed in space from the percipient and invisible of (3) Perception events as when a clairvoyant describes the appearance of a deceased person alleged to . specific phenomena suitable for I will first deal with Clairvoyance. non-material objects or be present in " spirit form.
Blue. that there is a wide range of of light-vibrations visible limits. for beyond the furthest these although our eyes do not respond them the photographic. Red. too. We also know that some of these vibrations will penetrate to substances which are opaque to ordinary light although the opposite is the case for some substances. viz. Green. and Violet. It seems certain reasonable therefore to suppose retinae that people with abnormal might be or in an abnormal condition .PSYCHIC RESEARCH It is 43 easy to understand the of first type arises.. limits We vary considerably. Indigo. how clairvoyance of We know that light consists very rapid vibrations in the ether which impinge upon the retina and cause the sensation of sight. know. We also know that if a beam of white light is it is passed through a triangular glass prism bent aside and split up into the seven colours of the rainbow. " This " is particularly the case with ultra-violet light which consists of vibrations more rapid even than those of violet light which are themselves the most rapid in all the visible spectrum. The resulting If band of colour the Spectrum so obtained is thrown upon a screen and a number of people are asked to mark thereon the limits of what they can see it will be found that these is called a Spectrum. plate does. Orange. Yellow.
Suppose to see. it would. therefore. therefore. We will written on page suppose that the covers and paper of the book are transparent to some kind of ultra-violet light to which the eye of the clairvoyant responds. read the impossible to looth page. whereas the On looking at the book the writing on page 100 would be visible all right. This explanation may seen in this way must be liable to confusion by the superimposed images of intervening objects. amounting . but so would that on the preceding 99 pages be practically . that clairvoyance type must be of very limited scope and the cannot be held to account for cases of the second type where clairvoyant perceives events happening at a considerable distance.44 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL sensitive these ultra-violet rays and that they might not only see things invisible to us but even see them through obstacles which especially to are opaque to the sort of light to which normal serve for certain simple cases of clairvoyant vision but it soon breaks down because the visual image of any object eyes respond. ink is opaque to the same light. It will of this be seen. what is 100 of a closed book. for instance that a clairvoyant wishes this by method.
PSYCHIC RESEARCH in 45 some instances I to a matter of hundreds of miles. and Z be opaque and lifted impassable to him. 7. Y. He would from this new position be able to see the interiors of X. out of the plane of the paper altogether. The interiors of these closed spaces will be invisible to " A. represents a twoSuppose that dimensional that X. But now suppose that he were to be up vertically. Y. But to cases where the incidents or objects reasonably near the percipient. They would present approximately the appearance . observer and and Z are twoclosed spaces. Consider the two dimensional analogue. perceived the higher space hypothesis offers a simple and are elegant solution. together with any two space incidents occurring therein. admit that at present I am not prepared to give an explanation of all cases where the freely distances involved are very large. Y. and Z." All he will be able to line see will as at will " be a straight B/' for the boundaries of X. " A " Fig. or what not. dimensional rooms. houses.
three space objects do not intervene be the range of vision. simply because. The greater this distance the less will be the foreshortening and the greater will of intervening the view. in its Compare also the following case given by Professor de Morgan. There would be no question the view of X in Fig 7 is in no way obscured by the presence of Y or Z. The parallel is almost irresistisible significance.e. back. in objects obscuring four space. and which is typical of the very numerous cases of this nature on record.46 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL shown in Fig. and that the interiors of closed three-dimensional spaces are entirely open to. Compare with this the statements of many clairvoyants to the effect that when in the clairvoyant state they can. sides. i. . 7 and the degree of foreshortening would diminish with the height to which he ascended above the plane of the paper. In a precisely analogous manner we must suppose that three-dimensional obstructions do not exist for. see the front.. anyone who could regard them from a point situated in four space. and every internal point of three space objects simultaneously. and do. removed from three space to a suitable distance in the direction of the fourth dimension.
for fits by While in the mesmeric state she was desired to follow Professor de Morgan mentally to the house at which he was dining and which was totally unknown to the child. whereas not so utterly incomprehensible when we introduce the idea that the percipient may have been seeing four-dimensionally. On his return Professor he de Morgan This is. confirmed every detail of the description. hardly necessary to observe that the sense organs involved cannot be the physical It is eyes. They must be supposed to belong to the four dimensional vehicle. The point no amount of retinal hypersensibility which is that so will much it is as begin to explain this sort of case. a very condensed resume should of the occurrence. of course. In attempting to explain this second type of clairvoyance along these lines. there seem to . Interested readers literature consult contemporary Psychic abounds with such cases.PSYCHIC RESEARCH In this case the percipient was a little 47 girl who was undergoing mesmeric treatment Mrs. The girl got there at once and gave an accurate description of the room in which the Professor was. the furniture which it contained. de Morgan. the people to whom was talking and various small incidents which took place.
It is difficult to account for this on the four dimensional or any other theory. A correspondent of my own who possess this power of clairvoyance at appears to a distance exercise in a remarkable degree it and to be able to she is seeing a distant scene. I have no wish to minimise these difficulties or to claim that the introduction of the Higher space hypothesis clears up the whole matter. First. for example. as soon as the distances involved become more than quite small it is very difficult to conceive how describe the events the percipient can simultaneously by the use of physical speech mechanism and also perceive them from a point of view which must be supposed to be very considerably removed in the direction of the fourth dimension. she is yet so closely in touch with her physical body that she is conscious of moving at will. It does nothing of the sort. . how objects it is it possesses organs that the four space vehicle capable of perceiving three incidents ? space and One would expect only.48 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL difficulties be two main involved and these are admittedly very great. tells me that when her hand. to respond to four space impressions Secondly.
W. Leadand four- beater. the of perception explicable considering. Future study class of will phenomena is probably show that this far from simple and is really capable of being resolved into a of sub-classes. It is interesting to note that Mr. The third form of clairvoyance. but there would appear to be no evidence in support of this idea beyond the ipse dixit of the writer and even he is very vague on the point. each requiring its number own appropriate explanation. C. the well-known Theosophical writer clairvoyant. namely. definitely introduces the dimensional concept in his book on Clairvoyance and ascribes the power of long-range perception " to the intervention of what he calls an astral " telescope . " internal especially as regards the power of vision " mentioned above and which I particularly wish to emphasise. is the hypothesis which readily we are Just as the physical body has sense organs adapted for the perception of physical things. This is more than can be said of any alternative theory with which I am acquainted. .PSYCHIC RESEARCH But it 49 does give us a dim inkling of what the general nature of the causes at work may be. on non-physical things.
we must suppose either are almost that these organs completely undeveloped. involves a The essence of hallucination is that it should have a purely subjective origin and be unfounded on objective reality. In the clairvoyant on the contrary we may suppose that they are well developed and active and that he is able consciously to perceive by their aid. In advancing this explanation of the third form of clairvoyance. In ordinary persons. . I But to all do not think of it can legitimately be applied interest visions of this class. or else that the mechanism. is defective or inhibited.50 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL body or " vehicle " will so the four-dimensional presumably possess analogous organs adapted for the perception of four-dimensional things. is The point some and worthy it of a moment's thought even though digression from the main topic. I attribute Hallucination it is it is often a vera causa and indeed comparatively seldom that we can eliminate with certainty. whereby the impressions received are conveyed to the consciousness and recorded as memories. I do not wish it to be thought that of an objective origin to all visions objects which have no obviously physical reality.
then was the result of pure hallucination. or view that vision was still living. had the really once lived. shaggy eyebrows. . the number three. presumably. such a person. and so forth and were subsequently to detail.PSYCHIC RESEARCH If I 51 were to look round and find my sofa occupied by three green cassowaries playing I nap that I I should. one missing. immeasureably In such cases known we and they are by no means unmust attribute some degree of objectivity to the origin of the vision. are combination large. be justified in assuming of was the victim in an hallucination having fact. cassowaries. more or less fortituitously. occasioned. answering the description in every and previously this entirely unknown to me. of greenness. by over-work if or alcoholic On of the other hand I were to see the figure an old man front tooth with a long white beard. think. find that velvet smoking jacket. The probabilities against any chance stimulation of memory centres giving rise to precisely that of characteristics. no foundation objective It would. would be untenable. and the sensation excess. the have arisen from a simultaneous excitation of the memory centres associated with game of nap. black gold watch and chain.
52 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL This is importance in view of the tendency in some quarters to dismiss all such visions as of purely hallucinatory. vehicle Let us follow up the idea of a four-dimensional and see what light. if not completely explained. " follows that the Ego " embodied in this four-dimensional vehicle can no longer receive impressions through the three-dimensional sense organs and that it is wholly dependent for communication with the outside world on those . of the Dying. and touch with. the three-dimensional physical body during unconsciousness is . Let us suppose vehicle the four-dimensional loses becomes detached from. if any. With the is third class of clairvoyant phenomena closely associated that group of facts known " as Phantasms of the Living. and of the Dead." Certain aspects of the dream state. again. at least rendered less utterly incomprehensible by the introduction of the higher space hypothesis. or rather that unconsciousness due to It this detachment. We shall see later that the problems connected with Prevision and Postvision are also. seem to be related to clairvoyance at a distance and are conveniently dealt with here. it throws on that these questions.
dimensional 53 vehicle.PSYCHIC RESEARCH which belong to the four . but do not know whether he is dead or not." sleepers as being present. to by no means in follows that it will be possible. whereas will if they are well developed the reverse be the case and we may suppose the Ego to be as fully cognizant of the surrounding world as we are in ordinary waking life. not pass through the physical brain and the memory centres with which they become I . remember waking this to life the received during unconsciousness. they are completely undeveloped the Ego be utterly oblivious of its surroundings. even under these latter conditions. plane They often describe " in a brown study. We have seen so-and-so. The nature If of the impressions received will of depend on the degree will development of these organs. It is interesting to compare with this the statements of those who " claim to have consciously explored the Astral " or four space world. be the exception rather In their passage from sense organ to consciousness the impressions received will." it Of course. ex hypothesi. but Compare also the statement often found in dis- communications purporting to emanate from " carnate personalities to the effect that. On impressions the contrary we should expect than the rule.
sleep. have done so in It would also account for those dreams in which the dreamer perceives an incident at a distance which to subsequently verified.54 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL may be located in a position which inaccessible to consciousness associated is when embodied not in the physical vehicle. is this. however. But it will only be in the state. It would be the possible. it seems me may If be accounted for in either of two main ways. They might. to account on these lines for impression which most " people have " sometimes had. . on the other will escape overthe Will or obliteration by the influx normal sensory impressions. of apparently remembering a place which they have certainly never visited previously in waking life. that these aroused souvenirs will. As for the ordinary chaotic dream. intermediate between profound sleep and waking. we suppose (memory " that the stimulation of certain cells centres) in the brain causes of the associated it is an uprush into consciousness item of memory or souvenir. on this theory. though perhaps absolutely necessary. on the one hand get through to the consciousness which in deep sleep is separated from the body altogether ruling of by and." not unreason- able to suppose that such stimulation is going on in the body all the time.
and of four-dimensional senses is in a state peculiarly favourable for the telepathic picking up of stray thoughts which suggest dreams. namely. This of course is especially the case when the dream is deliberately suggested by a hypnotic specialist. The foregoing remarks on the subject of Dreams might be taken to imply an ignorance of the views inaugurated by Freud. The subject The commonest influence telepathic explanation. Ego cut off to say from the outside world by the its That imperfections quiescent. it is still perfectly legitimate to suppose that the for m which a dream takes may be determined by causes of the type which I have been discussing here. and extended by Jung. . the of the percipient by the agent. as this school tends to maintain. Phantasmal apparitions is also both complex in its varieties and obscure as to of its causes. The other cause the of ordinary dreams is probably is in its general nature suggestive. These would provide the raw material so to speak which would be worked up into the finished dream in accordance with Freudian principles. does not seem to me to be applicable to NOTE.PSYCHIC RESEARCH This 55 that would account for the fact the majority of dreams appear to be of very short duration and to take place in the very act of waking. Pfister. Even if. But I do not think that there is any fundamental contradiction involved. as is sometimes done. and others of the Psychoanalytic school. there is no dream without it's hidden and esoteric meaning.
how are we to explain accurate perception of clothing and so forth of which the percipient could have no ? knowledge Finally. by the percipient. weak vehemently long for. visualise probable that few of us could sufficient our own appearance with more than convey. it is clear that the thought in my mind which is most likely to be transmitted to the brain of a percipient will not be the thought of myself but rather of still less of my own appearance the other person. and I see no reason for supposing that this is not always the case. the whole telepathic theory seems in this respect. including the wound. not some other idea. to his Why should this suggest me mind ? the In experimental telepathy it is the idea on which agent concentrated his mind that is transmitted to the percipient. if we are to suppose that the details are filled up. more generally. to conceive how a man shot through the head can visualise himself sufficiently clearly at that moment to project a telepathic image of himself. a vague general impression. it to is the percipient. a certain person. or think of.56 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL For instance. . If I in the act of death. On the other hand. And. it is difficult every case. so to speak. accuracy to do telepathically.
we must surely admit that the supposition that the agent was really present. explanation. Carrington and Header. The i4ea that conscious existence in a vehicle other than the physical body is possible even during evidence of those their life is borne out to some extent by the to who testify own body. When we add of the circumstances prevailing at the percipient's end. it's Causes and Phenomena. that in some of these experimentally produced cases the agent has himself seen the percipient and given details." by Messrs. the apparition has invariably been preceded by the agent con- centrating his mind on the person to whom he wishes to appear. from outside. In view of these considerations I frankly do not see how the telepathic theory can be unreservedly maintained. having seen while in a state . and then compare of this with at certain a clairvoyance distance. is by far the simplest For cases " of this sort the reader should consult Phantasms of the Living. subsequently verified.PSYCHIC RESEARCH In cases 57 where the apparition has been of deliberately produced as the result of an act will on the part of the agent. though of the varieties not in the physical body. not on himself." Some good selected " instances are also given in Death.
The narrator describes how as he lay in bed he felt a cold in the sensation creeping up his legs from the feet and gradually extending throughout his body. . The credentials of this case are good.58 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL An interesting one is of unconsciousness. this After some time he became momentarily unconscious and on coming to him" " self again seemed to be walking on air and to be entirely free from his body. He thought of a friend who was some hundreds of miles distant and in a few seconds he found himself in the had gone on for presence of his friend in circumstances which he describes. given above mentioned work. His friend spoke to him but he could not stay. and it is important to note that the friend referred to wrote spontaneously to say that he had seen the narrator at the time and in the circumstances which the latter describes. He tried to control it and in due course was able " to do so and after a time successfully reembodied " himself apparently none the worse for his experiences. After much difficulty and perplexity he decided that he ought to return to his body and as soon as he had made up his mind on the point he found himself looking at his apparently dead body propped up in bed as he had been when this experience began.
in a theories way which other do not do without being strained to an extent which I regard as unwarrantable. I think it fair to say that the idea of a non-physical vehicle of consciousness capable.PSYCHIC RESEARCH 59 For this reason it can hardly be dismissed as a mere hallucination or dream and it is relevant to the present discussion because the narrator saw his own body from all outside and was apparently embodied able case the time in a vehicle of some sort. of course. . of temporary detachment from the physical body. This I shall In view of the foredeal with in a later chapter. The theory has. has strong claims to be adopted as a working hypothesis for future investigations even though it it is too early. under the proper conditions. seems probable that the chief reason why such an hypothesis has not been adopted before It is simply the difficulty of conceiving the nature of such a vehicle. is going considerations. certainly seems to clear of apparition up certain cases and abnormal acquisition of informa- tion as to distant events. as yet. to accept It as a proven fact. its own attendant difficulties and I have no desire disingenuously to ignore them. Another somewhat similar and equally remarkgiven in the same work. But this is overcome if we suppose that it is four-dimensional.
Even so it may be that they are only called into " " activity as a result of some special rapport existing Professor Joire. As regards the first. set it up is vibrations in three-dimensional matter. . were it not for the fact that only those whose four-dimensional organs are fairly well developed can see them. ex sight. in the light of our present knowledge.e. For four-dimensional objects invisible to three-dimensional hypothesi Second : Why How does the four . " book Psychical and " Supernormal Phenomena points out that in is superficial somnambulism " or passive mediumship i.. i. in some condition which from the facts of Hypnosis we may con- which he describes as nearly every case the percipient " in a state sider to be especially favourable to the receiving of supernormal impressions of any kind..dimensional vehicle present the exact appearance of three-dimensional body clothes and all ? the Third : can it speak. in his between the agent and the percipient. I should feel disposed rule to say that such apparitions would be the rather than the exception.e.60 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL First it may be asked ? : How does the percipient see the apparition are. as sometimes recorded as doing ? It is admittedly far from easy to answer these questions.
associated with himself. that it is capable of being moulded by the mere power of will. or which he observed his physical body to have after he had It would be possible to adduce a number are in of considerations in support of this view. It would thus take the form which the agent commonly left it. On that the one hand might be suggested that . because. The second difficulty may be met. two the' which might be it offered. in and that produced is such cases. I must admit. in a particularly convincing manner. in to say all of actual this vibrations result is the atmosphere. in respect to appropriate forces. This to conceive as possible.PSYCHIC RESEARCH 61 This observation appears highly relevant and important. As regards the possible answers third point. and yet very we must suppose . the " percipient " sufficiently mediumistic to provide the necessary material for the agent to of work up is some form difficult speaking apparatus. but none of them any way conclusive and I therefore leave the reader to form his own opinion on the there are matter. though not. by supposing that the four-dimensional vehicle fe so mobile and plastic. words heard are really objective is the result.
Besides." far is reason to suppose that the exists at all.62 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL some such process to be involved in the production " of the Direct Voice. Etheric There Double. or for that matter a newly dead ' person. These difficulties are much reduced. quite natural. " called the Etheric Double. is but in what. is if it incapable of moving life from the physical body during and it . The most probable explanation seems to be a combination of telepathic communication between the agent and the percipient accompanied by an auditory hallucination on the part of the latter." dealing with discussed " The But this supposition of its would involve " special difficulties own. though not entirely removed. This would be. it is But this is rendered grossly improbable that a living ' person. if we suppose that the agent is embodied." This appears to be of a semi-material nature at and is length in the chapter Connecting Link. I think." a phenomenon which. not in the four-dimensional vehicle. who records no such process as having taken place. would know how to perform this operation. seems well authenticated. though baffling. for lack of a better word. improbable by the cases where the speaking agent has been a living person.
and other apertures have been carefully shut and any sealed. of which all the I refer to the phenoma " " windows. without breaking the seals and opening one of the apertures. But each is likely to prove applicable to some of them. at least. have more to say later. although much careful investigation and analysis will be necessary before we can hope less to be able to allot each case to its true cause with any degree of assurance. None the I am convinced that the hypothesis of a four-dimensional vehicle. seems probable that no will one of these explanations all be found to cover the cases in question. from the point and significance view of the higher space hypothesis. solid it is clearly impossible to introduce object into that room. The same would apply to a closed. by normal means. But on this point I shall it Generally speaking.PSYCHIC RESEARCH 63 does not appear well adapted for use as a vehicle after death. are of far greater interest than any we have yet of considered. detachable on occasion from the physical body. and of apport " apparent penetration of matter by matter. puts us. I will now turn to the consideration of a series of of phenomena which. locked and sealed box. on the right track. doors." If we have a closed room. .
With regard to these phenomena I propose. which comes same thing and it This is without breaking the seals. A two as very good test would be the interlinking of rings turned from different sorts of wood in the Slade- was attempted without success . an endless cord the wrist or ankle of some person or other. on to . Zollner investigation of weldless or the passing of a piece drawn steel tube on to the middle portion of an ordinary wooden dumb-bell.64 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL But the literature of Psychical research abounds with instances where objects are alleged to have been introduced into such closed and sealed rooms and boxes to the or removed from them. of a ring so small that it could not possibly be pushed on over the hand or foot. first the reader will refer back to the chapter." Other cases in of the latter are the tying of of such a nature that they can be untied by breaking the cord or separating only its previously sealed ends or the passing. to show in what their very great importance lies and then to discuss the nature of the evidence we have If for their actual occurrence. he will at once perceive why I laid what must . first. " " the phenomenon of apport properly so called general class of " forms a special case of the more apparent penetration of matter knots by matter.
PSYCHIC RESEARCH 65 fact that have appeared to be unnecessary stress on the " " " " and boxes rooms which would appear to be absolutely closed to a two space being would be perfectly open to us who live in a three space world. " apparatus may explanation of the phenomenon of apport simple. Just as every point in the is interior of a two-space figure absolutely open in the direction of the third dimension. into a closed space. I will not go at length into the question of how the tying of knots in an endless cord could be . so we must suppose from analogy that the interior of a closed three space figure a box or room is perfectly accessible from the direction of the fourth dimension. " whatever possessed of that the necessary be the is quite We have only to suppose that the object in is question moved out of the containing space. in the direction of the fourth dimension. During transit. and is peopled by intelligent beings. Consequently on the hypothesis that four-space actually exists as a reality. it when is a question of introducing an object the object would. of course. be located entirely outside of three-space. or room in which it originally was. and then put down again into three space outside the box Or conversely.
Consider this case which of the steel is analogous to that tube and the dumb-bell suggested above : Let A and B be two-space objects. shown But we. If such an operation were to it is be performed. will soon realise that not possible then to tie a simple knot in the string without untying the ends. There are. Similarly a four position space being of sufficient knowledge and manipulaon to the tive ability could. theoretically. could not two-space being conceive of their being brought into the second position in the figure. slip middle part of the dumb-bell a piece of steel tube of a diameter too small to be passed over the two large ends.66 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL performed in four space. it would clearly be a case of apparent penetration of matter by matter. under test conditions. A Fig 8. having the advantage of a third dimension of space could very easily pick up the object A and put it down in the second with regard to B. a large number of variations which could be introduced into this class of experiment but will the foregoing be sufficient to indicate their salient features. of course. . Any reader who cares to tie together the two ends of a piece of string for himself.
which I have included under the general term of " " apparatus the thing could be done in a comparatively comprehensible manner.PSYCHIC RESEARCH For the purpose shall deal only of 67 I detailed consideration with the case of the removal of a solid object from the interior of a closed and sealed box. still require The question now arises Is this the only conceivable modus operandi that could bring about the same result ? It is not. facilities and so forth. and so far as I know only one other. It has been supposed that the solid object in . There is one other. Let I it am be clearly understood that at the moment not expressing any opinion as to whether this or any I allied phenomenon has merely to actually occurred. : theory which has been advanced to account for this type of phenomenon. which is typical of the whole of this class of phenomena. have seen that given four dimensional space as a reality and an intelligent fourdimensional being equipped with the necessary We knowledge. inferences am concerned with the if we should be compelled occurrence draw such an were substantiated of scientifically beyond all possibility - doubt. powers. although the actual manipulative details would clearing up.
prima facie entitles it it to careful consideration before * we dismiss as untenable.68 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL question is dissociated. We know that all matter is probably susceptible of dissociation in a fashion that was originally supposed to be the exclusive property of Radium and other Radio-active substances. and this I . this theory has at sight a certain plausibility. Soddy. Compare the recent Le Bon and others. is passed in this condition through the walls of the box and " finally " again integrated form outside the box. then. . fact taken in conjunction with its plausibility. into ultra-atomic particles. into its original Now. work of Rutherford.* If. we postulate the existence of intelligent beings in a non-physical state of existence. there is nothing to prevent us from supposing that certain of them have acquired a sufficient know- ledge of physical laws to enable them to effect a process of this nature artificially. by some obscure means. do not say that this idea commends itself to me but it is the explanation most commonly offered for the phenomena in question. apart from the obvious imagining integrated difficulty of how into these ultra-atomic particles are the precise form originally first possessed by the object.
the room. the whole house. if produced in the form of heat. and painfully apparent. energy F . to the experimenters ? How is it prevented from being dissipated and how is it collected again and recondensed into matter ? This point seems to me to be insuperable." Without going into such calculations said that the may be energy that would be liberated in the dissociation of a gramme of of amount would be amply sufficient.PSYCHIC RESEARCH The real objection to 69 it is a mere matter of The work of the scientists mentioned Physics. and matter. then If energy must inevitably be liberated. to fuse. above goes to show that what we call matter is no more than a condensation of energy in the ether and that the dissociation of matter is invariably accompanied by an enormous liberation . For calculations on refer to this point the reader may of M. If the object within the box is dissociated. the experimenters. it were for that matter vaporise. Le Bon's book " The Evolution it Matter. of energy. and probably about half the town as well ! What becomes if of this enormous quantity of energy which must be liberated during the process the dissociation theory of the ? phenomena is correct Why is its liberation not apparent.
which is not situated in our space at and this at once lets us in for the original idea of a fourth dimension and higher space and it. is can see only one way out and that is to suppose that in some mysterious manner the liberated energy stored in a " reservoir. The reader I will now understand why great that these attach such importance to phenonomena penetration of If of apport and of the " apparent matter by matter.70 is THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL liberated. all the rest of Hence occur at I maintain. I hope I have made my point clear. to speak. these phenomena do are compelled then we and that four-dimensional space does actually exist this no matter whether we accept as the proximate cause of the phenomena a simple fourdimensional movement or the far and less satisfactory notion of more elaborate dissociation and it is re-integration. that all." incontrovertible one of these phenomena could be established absolutely by experimental . I am quite sure that any I scientist accustomed to think in terms of energy will at once see the difficulty to which I allude. maintain." so all. and if I think I have reason to actually to admit . then it cannot conceivably escape detection in such quantities.
Hereward Carrington says " Without now stopping to consider any : a priori speculations as to the scientific possibility or impossibility of such a thing . I should regard the four- dimensional hypothesis as virtually proven. I will preface my remarks by two quotations to from In " writers who appear hold somewhat " different views on the subject. I will now pass to the consideration of the nature of the evidence that exists for the actual occurrence of this sort of phenomenon. the mere historic evidence in the case would certainly seem to point to the conclusion that fraud and nothing but fraud has been operative quite sufficient to account the phenomena observed (save in the is throughout and for all case of W. perhaps. Moses. assuming the authenticity of the phenomenon for the sake of argument. I should be much interested to hear whether any interested reader can get out of the difficulty. that stumbling .PSYCHIC RESEARCH evidence. The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism Mr. 71 of with the same degree certainty. but I do not think that it will prove possible. for instance. S. as the phenomenon of levitation with- out contact has been established by the recent researches of Crawford.
are more amenable to experimental control the part of the experimenter as for instance the removal of a solid object from the sealed box which we are considering. to room is found. In fact the all these cases sift themselves : down to one primary in spite consideration of could the medium. the unless this happens to take place in connection with some unusually large and ponderous object .72 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL block to the rationalistic psychical researcher). have unseen into the seance room. introduced the searching. ." should be noted that the above refers to cases where the seance sitting. . that of of this Psychic Force. after the not there before. in the presence of professional mediums. by It his sitters. contain objects which were certainly In this connection the last sentence of the passage quoted above is eminently justifiable and it is for this reason that I prefer to deal with varieties of the phenomenon which on . Gambier Bolton's book Psychic Force. the objects materialised. ." " During my sixteen years of experimental investigation into the question of the existence apparent penetration matter by matter has been such a common occurrence at our experimental meetings. Compare with this first quotation the following " taken from Mr.
in Professors investigations by Weber. Fechner. his He was assisted. see what is to be gathered from such original records as are avilable. therefore. am not engaged in an attempt to explain . I take but very little note of it. but am merely recording phenomena which I myself have witnessed and which have been witnessed hundreds. the Slade-Zollner investigation Q This investigation has received it so much attention that it is impossible to avoid giving Zollner of somewhat Johann careful consideration here. nay thousands. to say the least of it." These two views are. . Carl Friedrich was born Physics of in 1834. University learned and scientific societies and the author of a number of scientific treatises. I could fill a large volume with instances where this I has taken place in my own presence. such things. . The is locus classicus of this sort of phenomenon 1877-9. We must. Alfred Russel Wallace under the strictest test conditions.PSYCHIC RESEARCH that is 73 suddenly brought into our midst. from time to time. of times by well-known investigators like Sir William Crookes and Dr. . somewhat divergent. He of was at Professor and Astronomy the member many a Leipsic. or removed from the place where we are holding our meetings.
But. The medium in whose presence the phenomena " Dr. liable to resort when the genuine thing does not come the case of Eusapia Palladino." Slade. In the first place it is fairly mediums who are capable of producing genuine phenomena under suitable conditions are also to trickery off. Every case should be considered on its merits alone and the medium's past history should only be allowed to influence our judgment if it can be shown that fraud has not been rigorously excluded and that the only argument against is the argument from moral integrity. too great a reliance on antecedents is apt to produce an unreliable a priori prejudice. were produced was the well-known This medium has been demonstrated to have resorted to fraud with a certainty that admits of no dispute.74 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL all of and Scheibner whom were men of consider- able eminence in one branch or another of mathe- matical or physical science. it In this case the argument from integrity is obviously inadmissable and as a matter of fact the precautions taken to guard against fraud were so very inadequate that we cannot accept the . as Mr. we ought not to allow this fact to influence us in the consideration of any particular certain that case. the second.) In (Cp. Hereward Carrington points out.
assisted . " " test conditions. C." found in his book translated in whom English by Mr. Zollner's account of his experiments is to be " Transcendental Physics. and reappearance of solid Coins transferred from closed and fastened boxes Other instances matter by matter.PSYCHIC RESEARCH 75 experiments in question as worth anything at all from the scientific point of view. I do not think that I can illustrate my meaning better than by a description of read it I my own impressions in connection with the book. Slate writing under Disappearance objects. C. I reflected that here we had a by other Physicist of scientists no of mean order. Massey the author found an able and enthusiastic into champion against his many critics. of the apparent penetration of The careful study of this book is of the greatest value as an exercise in the criticism of evidence and as a guide for anyone who proposes to study such matters at first hand. Among the more important of his experiments were : Production of knots in an endless string. When I first was much impressed by the scientific eminence of those who bore witness to the authenticity of the events described.
76 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL trained. men in the art of exact observation and not likely by Surely we must believe are to assign any value all! to be deceived the manipulations of a conjuror. that of genuine. On further study of the book I was struck their own by the fact that not one of the special experiments. one . although not. not fully But when such is while others of. I felt these considerations. gives identical general nature succeed. conclusive. although possessed importance. had succeeded. it apparently. carefully designed genuineness of the by Zollner to establish the phenomena and the validity beyond all of the four-dimensional explanation doubt. cause for thought. presumably. their to human testimony if we evidence at thought over the matter more and became more convinced of the importance of the Then. Specially devised test experiments may very likely fail simply because they may involve the upsetting of some essential condition which understood by the experimenter. European reputation. experiments fail. of course. This was suspicious. were yet not sufficient to warrant acceptance of the evidence without careful examination of the intrinsic qualities of the latter. as I conclusions to be if drawn from these experiments.
Zollner satisfied feat. In May 1878 Slade came again to Leipsic and performed the any rate to the satisfaction of Zollner.e. The box was put on a table together with some slates and other objects and Slade and Zollner and his colleagues sat round. Carrington.PSYCHIC RESEARCH Finally. I realised that the nature of the evidence was emphatically not good enough to justify our accepting as demonstrated the facts which Zollner claimed to have established. Hyslop and individual others. I shall not waste my own time and that of the of the sort reader of by giving numerous instances thing I mean. at himself by shaking the box that the coin was still . the case of the removal of a coin from a closed and fastened box.. will confine I myself to the case that we are more especially considering as being typical of the whole of this class of phenomena. by glueing a strip of hope that Slade might be able to remove them and thus give a proof of the reality of the fourth dimension He had done this in the expressed which was Zollner's pet hobby. of Dr. of 77 when I came to examine the records in the light of the experiments criticisms of Mr. Zollner describes how in some coins closed it in a small December 1877 he put cardboard box and had paper round the sides. i.
in the face of a very scientific natural as a conclusive demonstration of a highly controversial point. inserted for the sake of completeness or for similar reasons. incredulity. There was a little preliminary slate writing and then Slade began staring into a corner " I see funf and eighteen of the room and saying hundred seventy fall six. it would be well enough. But to offer his account.78 inside THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL and in answer to Slade's enquiries explained the purpose of the experiment and its importance if successful." Then a hard slate object was heard to on the all which Slade had to be a five held under the table the time and on with- drawing the slate it was found it mark up piece of date 1876. if Zollner had been writing no more than a casual account of a well-known experiment. . Interested readers can refer to the original. was an insult to one's intelligence. but I shall confine myself to pointing out only the more conspicuous of them. There are numerous criticisms that might be made. This is a very highly condensed description of the proceedings but I do not think I have been guilty either of " suggestio falsi " or of " suppressio veri ". Zollner then snatched the cardboard box and shook it only to find that was empty. Now.
. therefore. On the hypothesis of fraud. during the sitting. One cannot unstick a length and the stick it up again in a of glued paper few seconds unobserved. close . to possess himself of the box. another (empty) box. one of two things must have happened. abstract the coin. which at the beginning of the sitting contained the coin.PSYCHIC RESEARCH 79 In this experiment there are two main methods by which the result might have been obtained by fraudulent means. Either Slade must have contrived. and return it to the table must have substituted for the box. On the other hand everything lends itself to supposition that the second method was actually adopted. open it. previously prepared to resemble the original. We may equally accept the statement that the box shaken at the end of the experiment did not contain a coin. There seems no doubt that the coin was really in the box at the beginning of the sitting. I all do not think the former method to be at likely. In the first place prepared some six we know that the box was months previous to the experiment. the box or else he again.
we are perfectly entitled to suppose that Slade was able to prepare. point to be noticed that apparently no steps of any sort were taken by Zollner to identify either the box or the coin after the sitting with those originally prepared by him. externally that prepared by Zollner. we have no reason to suppose that these boxes were kept an inaccessible place or that Zollner had never mentioned his intentions with regard to them to in Slade himself or to anyone else. actually did prepare. he definitely says that he had com- pletely forgotten. indeed had never dates of so much as observed. and.80 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL It is true that Zollner is a trifle hazy as to dates. and. In fact. the point being that Slade had presumably had ample time and opportunity for finding out all about this is But these boxes " and for " say presumably preparing substitutes. in fact. the value or the coins used ! . first was comparatively immaterial. I because in the absence of definite evidence to the contrary. similar an empty to counterfeit box. later. that and second visits were in November and December 1877. and almost is incredible. I consider then that so far as the records go. first saying at the outset that Slade's Leipsic visit to the in December 1877. The second.
counterfeit box resembling I also right date with a five-mark piece of the think that even Zollner would have been suspicious if the coin that fell on the slate had been dated 1878 !. the trick becomes exceptionally easy to perform. with Zollner's. Slade swiftly substitutes his counterfeit box for the original. Then follows a little pre- liminary play with the slate and so on. an empty. and the trick is to all intents and purposes done. All he has now to do is to drop the coin which he brought with him on to the slate at any convenient moment and draw out the latter in triumph Given the astounding guilelessness of Zollner and the complete lack of control revealed by ! the records. At the critical moment Slade diverts the attention of the experimenters from the table by the world-old conjuror's dodge of gazing fixedly in some other direction and murmuring " I see see While Zollner and his funf. the thing was absurdly simple. . among other things." etc. Zollner shakes his box the genuine one and satisfies himself that the coin is really there. colleagues are glancing in the same direction to see what he is looking at.PSYCHIC RESEARCH 81 With such gross carelessness in the control. Slade goes to the seance armed. the simplest matter in the world to an artist like Slade.
I feel. he did not hesitate of amount to supplement by cheating when of occasion offered. I have dealt with this particular case at length partly on account of the controversies which have some the vehemence of raged round it and partly because the discrediting of Zollner's observations has done much to bring the whole idea of the fourth dimension into disfavour and even into wish to ridicule. or for that matter all. will. either with Zollner I am or with anyone else. But in view of the known untrust- worthiness of Slade and the complete lack of proper scientific control revealed by a study of the published records we must write them off as quite valueless from a scientific point of view. possessed a certain istic On think it probable that he genuine mediumpower which.82 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL And yet Zollner refers to " it as having been " such stringent conditions ! performed under clear The foregoing example Zollner investigations. Some. it This. however. the Slade- Zollner experiments may happen to have been genuine. I I how much importance hope. make quite attach to the Slade- not prepared to say that Slade never produced genuine phenomena. I the contrary. is unfair and I make clear that my present advocacy .
There are. Hare one of the pioneer investigators in which two small balls of of platinum were transferred to the inside two hermetically sealed glass tubes. do not myself regard this case as convincing. It is not a bad case but is a very old one and the record gives no particulars of any special precautions taken to exclude fraud. Roberts New York. but they seem to have been puzzled by an unaccountable incident where the medium managed I to get into. a coat while her hands were being held by the Committee. The American Society for Psychical Research recorded some observations with a Mrs. who managed to liberate herself from a carefully made and sealed cage which was of and sealed by members of the investigating committee. I do not know anything at firstclosed . S.PSYCHIC RESEARCH 83 of the claims of the higher space hypothesis is in no way based on the Zollner experiments. some. or partially into. which Dr. A. The Milan Committee appointed to investigate the mediumship of Eusapia Palladino failed to obtain any confirmation of Zollner 's experiments. in fact. in the literature of the subject a large number of other cases which are not so obviously unreliable are distinctly good. Peters gives an account of an early experiment by Dr. of course.
84 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL credentials of hand about the this case. Mr. it room. of them it was. Under exceptionally favourable conditions he observed the removal of a light table from a sort of tent in his book " which he had constructed and very carefully This is one of the best cases closed and secured. therefore. case a cane chair two of the was passed on to the arms of experimenters whose hands were clasped and bound together. was done impromptu." p. As the opening was too small for either of them to have wriggled through even if they had wished to do so this was a clear case of apparent penetration of matter by matter. whereas to start with the chair was by itself and independent the proceedings. at the end of found suspended from their arms by the opening at the back. The same author also quotes at length a case observed by Dr. that he considers it re iable. Force. That is to say. I know it . Paul Joire quotes it and I suppose. The evidence in this case seems to be well above the average although it cannot be said to amount to mathematical certainty. 65. Pogorelsky and other Russian In this investigators with the medium Sambor. took place in the observer's own it was well observed . Gambier Bolton gives a distinctly good case Psychic. Dr.
left On this point every reader must be to form his own opinion. G . it follows that the question of the genuineness of the phenomena is simply a matter of the any test conditions integrity of the medium. on the other hand. so far as I am aware. for instance. The records mediumship of Stainton Moses." Anyway on a point of such importance as this I do not think it would be right to allow the matter to be settled by any purely moral considerations case of Moses. presents the suspicious features of " Modern the case in a very able criticism in his Spiritualism. It I I is difficult to see I any way there out of it and yet must confess that feel am not wholly is satisfied. of the type adduced in the should say that the phenomena of the apparent penetration of matter by matter are not established with the same degree of I In general. Many authorities in confidence have professed the greatest Moses.PSYCHIC RESEARCH in light. 85 the objects concerned were the ebserver's property and not of a kind to admit and all of prestidigitation. Other instances are common. that in every case just something more needed to carry complete conviction and I should very much like to see a good case myself. Podmore. abound with them. Mr. then. But as there were never of the imposed.
.86 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL which characterises certainty certain other phenomena.* aspects * mental of can "The Reality of Psychical Phenomena " (Watkins). There is one other direction from which. This investigation is undoubtedly destined to " " research of the first take rank as a classical magnitude and no one who professes to take an intelligent interest in the scientific and experiPsychic investigations afford to be without his book. In the interests of the science highest it is in the degree important this nature should that experiments of be carried out under real test conditions. like to would very much arrange some if definite experiments to settle the matter possible once and for all. we receive a strong hint that fouris dimensional space intimately connected with Psychic phenomena. and which we ought to demand before accepting them as scientifically proven or utilising them without reserve as a basis for the construction of theories. I refer to Crawford's work on table levitation. Should any of be acquainted I my readers be so fortunate as to with any medium capable of producing regularity. in my opinion. if these very rare should esteem phenomena it with a great favour I they would kindly inform me.
Dr. the reader should consult his book. . This structure is invisible and is impalpable.PSYCHIC RESEARCH In a later chapter to certain aspects I shall 87 refer have occasion to results of his and to show how they fit in with those of other investigators lines. Crawford has been able to work out the form and size of this structure with considerable results accuracy. any and without encountering any perceptible resistance. or nearly so. working on very different In the present context I propose only to call " attention to the rigidity of his cantilever. For the details of method and It is possible to pass a thin rod through this structure in direction without causing a breakdown. he extending over a has been enabled to arrive at certain definite conclusions as to the mechanical causes of telekinesis in general and table levitation without contact in particular. As a result of the most careful and painstaking researches period of nearly three years and performed under conditions which were singularly favourable for observation. and appears to be organised out of some form of matter actually taken from the body of the medium." a phrase which perhaps needs some explanation. He finds that it when the table is lifted clear of the floor supported by a definite structure or cantilever.
If of we apply a body. the structure can resist comof tensional and torsional I stresses very considerable magnitude as testify I am able to from personal experience. with a sort of We that are here confronted mechanical the paradox. do not suppose that an intelligent person could suppose them to be due to anything Indeed. That is to say that in order for a body to be rigid it must be capable developing within itself forces which shall counteract those which tend to deform it. Crawford's and book. may mention here that I have witnessed these phenomena myself under good observing conditions and that I am prepared to certify in the most unequivocal manner that they are absolutely authentic of . then stress a deforming force force to a rigid this must be met by some . structure How can we conceive contrary attributes of rigidity manages to combine the and impalpability ? Rigidity means simply the power of resisting deformation under stress. that is to fraud conscious or say the result unconscious neither nor of illusion.Nevertheless pressional. quite apart from any personal observation I only add my own testimony as a small make-weight for what it may be worth. I of the sort after a careful study of Dr.
We know is two things. This being so it is difficult to conceive direction in how the forces resisting deformation can be applied from which we can move the rod.e. 89 otherwise the body will be opposing force deformed. from any direction known and accessible to us. etc.. any i. must is it be counteracted by opposing But the structure pass a rod through impalpable. this structure resists deformation under the and it therefore follows that deforming forces forces. and in we can any direction without encountering any resistance. First that the structure rigid and therefore that the deforming stresses are counteracted by opposing forces and. Now. not possible that they may be applied from some direction with which we are not acquainted ? is it But . second. an impalpable and yet the more hopeless it seems. The more one in tries to think out what is involved rigid the idea structure.PSYCHIC RESEARCH . of But I space will help think that the concept of four-dimensional us even here. that these opposing forces are apparently not applied from any direction with which we are acquainted. Normally this is a matter of molecular cohesion. stress.
go THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL From some direction. although be many other ways in which forces in four-space might act on three- for all I know to the contrary Consider a two-dimensional analogy again. and which forms composed of molecules whose arranged not in space of three dimensions but in space of four dimensions ? I do not say that this is necessarily so but are . taken collectively as a system would have acquired rigidity. a possibility. in fact. may operating dimensional atoms and molecules. of which the is hypothetical fourth rectangular axis of space a component. I think. Is it possible that the from the body the structure. Imagine a number of flat-headed drawing pins lying points upward on a flat surface. prepared to say that the atoms are We do not know yet. Still less am for I arranged four dimensionally. Now imagine a board pressed down on those points so that they penetrate into the board. Taken collectively as a system they will have no rigidity. atoms I must confess that to me it looks rather like it. The points and the board alike will be invisible to the two space beings inhabiting the surface and yet the drawing-pins. enough there that But it is. of the is matter which is drawn medium. Deforming stresses would be resisted by cohesive .
of failing even to begin to explain. detail. but think that enables us to form some idea of rigidity of the levitating the way in which the structure might result from its being held together by our space. I discussed this point in somewhat greater This is all that I have to say with respect to the " phenomena which are essentially Psychical. binding forces operating outside The only particles of alternative is to suppose that the is composed some peculiar which the structure are rendered rigid by virtue of motion to of the ether of a nature entirely unknown us and different from any type of ethereal motion with which we are at present acquainted." In the next chapter I shall deal with two other applications questions. This I analogy it is." for July 14. 1917. of the theory to more general . This is palpably unsatisfactory and has the grave defect. in an explanation.PSYCHIC RESEARCH forces 91 operating outside the two-space surface altogether. In an article published in " Light. imperfect . naturally.
as am inclined suspect. The question of the nature of time is one which brings us into close contact with Philosophic is and Metaphysical thought and one oneself in very deep waters indeed. the acceptance of higher space concepts as actualities would provide Metaphysicians with a somewhat new field of speculation or modified methods of expression. to others to decide to whether. it is apt to find Still I think ideas possible to show how the higher space leave it come in without involving myself in controversial I shall I statements.CHAPTER IV SOME OTHER POSSIBLE APPLICATIONS OF THE HYPOTHESIS In this chapter questions of I propose to deal prevision first with the Time and and in the next to show how the higher space ideas help us to clear up certain difficulties in connection with Vitality and Will." 92 " . It has been suggested by some writers that the fourth dimension is time.
TIME AND PREVISION At first 93 sight this definition would seem to it is conflict with our original statement that an unknown direction in space at right angles to every direction which we can find. that is " time. Otherwise it simply does not exist. It for instance that for might be pointed out. an object to exist at all it extension " in must possess some must. I Moreover. again. different that is from any direction at present known to us. not only possess a certain length and breadth and thickness but must also exist for a certain time. " travel " Then. if we were able to in time we might fairly claim to be in travelling a previously unknown direction. It is that I think we find a clue which may perhaps be relevant to the present discussion. as a matter of fact there is a certain amount to be said for the idea. changes in our space could be accounted by supposing them space here to represent our perception of a series of parallel sections made by our an threeof dimensional cutting assemblage suitably shaped and arranged four-dimensional solids. But. I am far fourth dimension from being prepared to say that the is time because I doubt whether is time as commonly understood an "absolute" . as for showed at the end of the first chapter. It to say.
94 thing." To start with we ordinary idea of associate it with clocks and next. Eternal Now. were other than they are. It is quite conceivable that in some highly complex suns moving under the system of several influence of their mutual attractions and attended " " . In the Divine Consciousness which I take to or Future be alone Absolute there can be. the masses etc. our day and year would be altered accordingly. Let us start by considering for a moment our " Time. no Past all must be comprehended in the . if we go a step further back. THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL It seems to me to be rather a limitation of our finite consciousness. with the movement of the earth relative to the sun and stars. A clock is merely a mechanical device for subdividing into equal parts of suitable size the intervals between successive events. But limited I do think to it possible that in if we were not thought three dimensions and experience our present conceptions of time and to understand many things with regard to it which at present we might be able greatly to modify appear obscure. recurrences of certain astronomical In fact our ordinary ideas of time are determined by a wholly fortuitous arrangement of If the component parts of the Solar System. surely.
the measurement of time from astronomical data would be scarcely practicable. regularly if that is to say in such a manner that we could observe any two successive cycles simultaneously they would appear coincident. So we see that are based certain all our ordinary ideas of time on the fissiparous assumption that distributions of matter will occur . at all. result if the man on earth lasted about ten Again we know that the regularity changes in our all is of the the motions system really only apparent. .TIME AND PREVISION 95 each by its own sub-system of satellites. A similar state of things would average life of a minutes. for by which we habitually measure time are gradually altering under the influence of tidal friction. there might be a world from which all the observable astronomical phenomena would be so complicated that its inhabitants could detect no regularity in them If. for instance. any given astronomical grouping of the observable bodies only recurred once in a hundred generations of the inhabitants. The same can be shown to apply to any other system of time measurement which we can substitute for the observation of astronomical phenomena.
" that the the time " " it. Bergson has been at pains " discriminate between this time of succession which we know and true time duration. when we are happy and first " amused. on a priori grounds. and the whole universe probably. But these seem to be functions of the properties of ether and since the solar system is certainly. but there is no reason to " of is why it should be Now M. What we not actually time does the spatial necessarily correspond recurrences which measure it. as I understand succession of events or spatial " simultaneities by which we measure time no more is time than the succession of marks on a foot-rule is the material which we measure with experience as it. His view. that this " the time flew sight may appear at of and although to be no more than is " a loose way speaking I think that there . conceivable method must be based on moving through ether-filled space. time passed slowly when we are bored.96 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL is This so because. every the assumption that the properties of matter are invariable. with We all of us say. this means that our methods of time measurement must ultimately be based on the assumption that the ether is homogeneous. apart from all other reasons. that the " or. Very probably it is .
I It is here. 128. of Psychic states to wit. to A man who is hanging by a likely say frayed rope over a precipice waiting for someone come and rescue him might very " It that might really although have been no more than a very few minutes. As " The Philosophy Mr. seemed hours " it The changes which took place in his well be as mental states during those few minutes might complex and extensive as those he in the course of hours. Yet in one sense he might be speaking the literal truth." " If p. For . we eliminate real time altogether of we get a number simultaneities whose relation to each other we cannot understand. the whose changes are yet totally independent of spatial changes by which we ordinarily measure time.TIME AND PREVISION more in it 97 than that. call we find what can only a " check in fact. would normally experience This should suffice to make between the " real time process which we simul- measure and the recurrence taneities If spatial by which we measure we consider the latter alone we soon find they are difficult of comprehension. of the apprehension of something capable undergoing change. that " on the measurement It is of time. Lindsay says in his book that of Bergson. clear the difference " of it.
but . material change is three dimensions. . pointed out that it is possible to integrate an number three-spatial simultaneities into a four-dimensional whole. so to speak. that of is itself the in a simultaneity simultaneities which . in But I the of course of my remarks on the phenomena infinite change of in a two-dimensional world. the relation are now taken change some- as their aggregate constituting must be conceived of as necessary. expression " If it were put in the form." incapable of expression in terms of space of I should have nothing to say. . as how all existing And again : at once..98 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL is the relation between the simultaneities taken . For although I am entirely in accord with the idea that there are. . to be that of the parts to the whole." " We can only understand change by realising it is incapable of spatial expression.." This quotation seems to me to be important that brings out clearly the points with regard to which I think that the higher space because it hypothesis may be important. two sorts of time I feel we cannot is that in the light of the hypothesis " allow the statement that change something " which is incapable of spatial to pass unchallenged. . .
changes in Psychic provisionally. simultaneity may as a thin section of a four dimensional solid. consisting of . we see that all the three-spatial exist simultaneities at once. of and which may be regarded. may be regarded as produced by the passage across our space of something which has extension in four dimensions. as being perceived " objects. For. by which we mark time can They can dQ material so because the arrangement of which constitutes a given be regarded. particles We time. if we choose. in space of a dimensionality higher than three. by changes in the vehicles of our own of virtue in space four dimensions. if we so wish. then. I do not mean the foregoing remarks to be taken too literally for I do not regard three-dimensional . can say. by its light. Secondly. at any rate. or.TIME AND PREVISION The introduction of this 99 concept seems to me calculated to modify the whole aspect of the question." including consciousnesses. there states is what I am inclined to call Subjective time. that there are two sorts of there is First which spatial " " time ordinary Physical measured by the recurrence of threeis simultaneities and this.
" " time scale This seems to show that the for the dream state is not the same as that to which we are accustomed in our waking hours. in the differing vehicle of con- sciousness. A of side light is on this matter of the two sorts time given by the is dreams. . It well phenomena of time in known that we may be in the very of awakened by a noise and that seconds between the few occurrence the noise and our becoming completely conscious we may experience a long and complicated dream in which we may do and say things which would take quite a long time in actual life and this without any sense of hurry. as Mr. Bragdon points out.ioo THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL of change as produced by the passage across our space actual four-dimensional solids. is my point that capable of expression Whether nature of it is solely a phenomenon of conscious- ness or whether there four - may be something in the dimensional "lines of force" I which cut three-dimensional space and determine material distributions am not at all prepared even to surmise. This seems to me to be altogether too crude an idea and was only introduced to bring out three-dimensional change in terms of four space. The difference should be sought.
Now. embodied reckon time. If so we must say that four-space change is in turn expressible in terms of five-space is in just the same way that three-space change is expressible in terms of four-space. I have suggested that there is a sort of time which which is. appertains to four space is.space change would take the place of the changes in Psychic states which for us give rise to the second aspect of time which we have been H . by which we. associated. therebe independent of three-space time. that with four-space change in the same way that three-space time is associated with three-space change. it evident that a being embodied in either four -space and possessing. so to speak. . by three-space change and will. itself. no three-space vehicle. temporarily or permanently. will be fore. and five . peculiar to our space and expressible is is and that there terms of four space another sort of time which in . Fourspace change would take the place of the threeunaffected spatial in simultaneities - three space.- discussing.TIME AND PREVISION 101 This idea can be pushed much further. But if we accept the idea that there are more dimensions of space than three we cannot refuse to consider the possibility that there are more than four.
The nature is maximally dimensional space a question which I do not propose to discuss of it here as the is somewhat conspicuously outside other sphere of practical politics. indefinitely. Hence Consciousness could never be altogether free of the experience of time until all. but that of the next higher space would predominate." refer remarks on the the interested concept reader may of " curved profitably .102 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL of The whole dual nature time would be repeated but with the difference of being one dimension higher. And this will ness. five-space and In each case the changes giving rise to the experience of subjective time would presumably be the resultant of the changes of all spaces higher th^n that of the lowest vehicle. including some time. it was embodied only in the highest space of which we must infinitely suppose to possess the attributes of dimensional space. For observations on this subject. only apply to the Divine Conscious- All this is seems to than me admittedly highly speculative but the natural deduction if we assume the existence of spaces of dimensionality higher four. The same may be applied to six-space and so on.
book but highly interesting." Mr.TIME AND PREVISION to 103 Mr. Bragdon's treats book the " Four Dimensional Vistas." There are two forms which an attempt to explain the fairly numerous good cases of prevision may take." PREVISION. If we see a the result of a mere heightening of blind it is man not difficult to foresee walking towards the edge of a cliff that he will. They are wrapped in the darkness of the future and we say that they have not happened yet. . " Klein question in a rather different. The subject of prevision is obviously closely allied to that of time. manner in his Science and the Infinite. probably. since the only considerable difficulty lies in the fact that the incidents forseen are " removed in time. but that both are comprehended in the Now and that it is merely on account of the limitations of our Consciousness that we cannot apprehend them. power of According to the former view the is prevision the faculties by which we can always foresee the future to some slight extent. is that there The other is to say no such thing as Past or Future. is One way at to say that the future it is is latent in the present in that determined by factors present in existence.
fall off it Such a sight could easily be supposed to give rise to a visualisation of the corpse at the bottom of the cliff. To use the terminology to which we have by time this become accustomed. Hence. we could. theoretically.104 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL and be smashed at the bottom. would enable the percipient to forecast the future. y difficult do so. I I need hardly say that these factors of which speak must include Psychic states and so forth. provided we and knew present distribution and velocities . as the event prevised becomes more remote and the number of factors which may possibly influence the issue are proportionately increased. as well as on the precision of the unconscious reasoning. But clearly the accuracy of such a forecast would depend on the perception of all the factors involved. to it becomes increasing. forecast the distribution of every particle of matter in three -space. it In such simple matters a suitable is not difficult to state. . or in the case of vague presentiments. although we might readily accept this explanation in the case of previs'on of events in the immediate future. which might pass that for a prophetic vision. imagine clairvoyant conbined with unconscious but accurate reasoning and subsequent visualisation.
Now. But in order to be certain of the latter.e.. Although. certain of the ideas in the above have a place in what I believe to be the true theory of prevision. sources. four-space. all i. Absolute prevision could therefore only result from a complete knowledge of all the factors in every space combined with absolutely perfect reasoning powers. The heightening of faculty required in all but the very simplest cases is too great to be accepted except in the last resort.space solids which supposes that the simply a very thin cross section of this congeries. as regards the other theory. the explanation as above described does not appear to me to be satisfying. If this were the case it is evident that to distribution of matter at any moment is anyone who had the power of moving freely in . that the future does actually exist now and that only our from apprehending it. Consider again the crude and metaphorical representation of change as resulting from the limitations prevent us own passage across our three-space of a congeries of four . as will be seen.TIME AND PREVISION 105 provided also that no interference could arise from external. we must know the about four -space dispositions and so on to " N "th degree.
. Suppose also that these are twisted and intertwined in the most complicated possible manner. Now let us imagine an enormous number of such threads. inhabiting the film. sufficient to produce all the atoms necessary to make up a complete two-space universe. If the film will remain stationaYy if the thread was perpendicular to the latter to start with. but will move if the thread was To a two-space being circle. it This is desperately crude but it gives the general idea. it In order to grasp it better we will transpose into terms of two. all that will be visible of the thread will be a minute an atom of two-space matter let us say. one above the these two points move perpendicularly to the film the thread will move The point where the thread cuts accordingly. and one below. Imagine a thin thread passing through the film and stretched between two film points.four dimensions would be possible to move up the mass and see what some cross section was like which had not yet arrived at our space. they Then as they pass across the soap film will give rise to the most complex changes in the two-space world.and three-space at the same time altering it slightly. Suppose that a twospace world consists of a colossal soap film. originally slanting.
should be able in some obscure way to foresee coming changes." the future must be already then of altering it. however. Our forecast of events therein is based on the structures assumption that the filamentary . then it is not utterly inconceivable that a consciousness free move in four-space and independent of three- space limitations. merely that if. Consider again for a moment the filamentary world. I to be crossing the film at any given must again insist that I do not for a moment regard this as being anything like a true picture The point I wish to of what actually occurs. as seems to be the case. If we can " is urged.TIME AND PREVISION 107 three space being. There if we a prevalent notion to the effect that admit the possibility of prevision we are is bound " it to become involved foresee in the slough of Fatalism. could see the filamentary structure as a whole and would not A be limited to the particular section which happened moment. three-space change can be represented spatially is make by the use to of four space ideas." settled. what is going to happen. and we have no power This view appears to me to be fallacious.
loS THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL remain unaltered. that the cross-sections which will be traversed by the film will not be changed before it gets there. and the possession of a certain degree of of course In the second three-dimensionality. In order to attain absolute prevision the precipient must be able to function consciously . is susceptible to modification under the influence of factors it is which have no three-dimensionality. the first place the two . As stated necessitates at the outset. but translated into more general terms that three -space in terms of four-space. The argument does not perhaps it apply especially felicitously to this particular analogy. place all sorts of extraneous three space forces might be applied. every factor being accounted and these factors may appear. the exercise of three-space implying forces. is pure assumption and quite unwarranted.space beings themselves might be able to alter the arrangement This In of the threads during their passage across the film. absolute prevision for. not merely in three-space or four-space. but in N-space too. on their part. although expressible and perhaps for the very reason that thus expressible. means change. the wider survey must the percipient take. the more accurate prevision is to be. In fact.
1915. The purely speculatory character of the foregoing will be evident and I do not wish it to be taken as more than an attempt to convey a general impression of ideas which seem somewhat suggestive. all space. of whatever rather to be regarded as a phenomenon of consciousness. and by Mr.TIME AND PREVISION in 109 maximally I - dimensional space. It seems appropriate to end a chapter frankly given over to inchoate and somewhat formless speculations. with some remarks on the objectivity or otherwise of space in general. L. Olman Dimension for Todd. by a pamphlet Theosophist for private circulation written by Mr. But this take to be the exclusive prerogative of ability the Divine Consciousness. dimensional space as I work I have treated fouran objective reality and. is consider that this perfectly The general tendency is of the above-mentioned writers seems to be to suggest that this attitude fallacious and that is dimensionality. E." this Throughout as will appear. T. Gardner's article on Fourth especially " The which appeared in the October 1916. justifiable. In saying this . Klein's remarks on Space in his book " Science and the Infinite. These remarks have " been more prompted by Mr.
I think that they are probably perfectly right and that no space of any kind is really objective." Mr. Klein concludes that " our very conception of space is one of the modes only under which motion or physical phenomena are presented to our consciousness. for instance. " Gardner when he says that However willingly say at once that we may grant Dimension it is ' that behind the description Fourth there stands something that is real. On the probable that these may it contrary prove to be of the utmost think . I am. I am merely giving the general effect produced on I my mind may by their ideas. disposed to agree with Mr.no I THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL reflecting do not pretend to be with precision the views expressed by the writers in question." have neither the knowledge nor the temerity to embark upon a discussion of the point from the I metaphysical point of view and is all I wish to do our ideas to show that I am aware that all regarding space are liable to be modified at the hands of the philosophers and that I have no desire to minimise the importance I of their contributions. ' importance that that reality should be described in terms of Life and Consciousness and of not be regarded as a further extension of Matter or Form.
throw light on the very considerable difficulty They may. in by interpreting experience in terms of consciousness. The final effect with relativity . Pure consciousness is an elusive thing to handle and if we find evidence to the effect. then surely we had better say that it *s existence in four-dimensional space and have done with it. spatial to which I drew attention on page 48. But can It submit that for the present purpose we legitimately disregard the whole thing.TIME AND PREVISION value. for instance. for example. that the state of consciousness in which we exist when separated from the body can be accurately represented by the higher space hypothesis. After all the whole matter is one of " " so to speak. But whatever may be the rather real nature of the strictly academic point of view our three-dimensional space from we can and habitually do treat it as an objective reality and I think it fair to claim an equal licence in dealing with four-dimensional space. I may well present state of consciousness to that be that the change in passing from our which I in four dimensions have described as consciousness is than objective. just as we say that our normal existence is existence in three dimensional space. that the subjective change would be in our consciousness rather than in spatial conditions.
.H2 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL which we are concerned is the reaction of reality on our minds and. just as we can in dynamics reduce any one member of a system to rest and treat all motions as relative to that so here it makes no practical difference whether it is our mind or reality which changes provided that the changed relation between them is correctly expressed.
Readers who are interested in these topics would do well to " refer to Mr. is no more than a purely physical vital." There are in general two main views which may Problems be taken about Vitality. suppose that so far from the body being the primary cause of Life the exact converse or one may is the case It that Life is the raison d'etre of the body. and Nutrition. that Life is is We may either suppose purely a product of the body. that it a mere physiological function and nothing more. may as " be that everything that we recognize every enables us to distinguish animate from inanimate objects. Fasting." attribute which phenomenon the product chemical actions : of unusually complicated or it may "3 be that the chemico- . of Hereward Carrington's " or to his Psychical Research " Vitality.CHAPTER V VITALITY AND WILL of the Another and particularly happy illustration way in which the higher space concepts enable one to solve awkward dilemmas is to be found in the problems of Vitality and Will.
. it and a squeeze through. and through. i. William James then showed that although it was possible to interpret the observed facts of Psychology on the hypothesis " " consciousness it was that the brain produced equally legitimate to do so on the hypothesis " " it. M. Balfour. Mere coincidence in two are phenomena does not prove that they causally connected. that one produces the other. J." .e. They may be quite separate from one another (psycho-physical parallelism) or both may be aspects of something else." elaborately (as in man). Bergson regards matter as the dam which keeps back the rush of life.. Carrington and by myself. A. Organise it " a little (as in the protozoa). transmitted that it As he sets of said ". little life will i.) " " This is the transmissive as opposed to the " " theory and the whole position is productive like that which obtained in Psychology very some years ago. by Mr.ii4 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL physical complex which we call the body is only the means whereby the pressing tide of Life manages to manifest latter is itself in the world. raise much life will squeeze (The Right Hon. This the view held by M.e. slightly raise the sluice.. Bergson.. Organise the sluice a good deal.
it must have worn parts replaced and both these processes are accurately paralleled in the of any living organism. but not arising from. whereas a living organism not only needs it but cannot be satisfied with any body substitute for it. not go into the various arguments which support this view. exist apart I will so also may Life from and use the body. Causeless parallelism is incredible . on the contrary exist apart from it and merely use the brain as very close. It looks therefore as if Life could not be maintained from purely physical sources and this lends support to the view that it is an essentially extra-physical thing trans- mitted by. is The analogy ness is usually functioning of the brain but may. Perhaps the most striking is that from the necessity for sleep a phenomenon which appears to be exclusively associated with A mechanism needs replenishing with fuel.VITALITY AND WILL 115 Personally I should be prepared to admit only the latter possibility. But an engine does not need sleep. as James himself admits elsewhere. physical actions. But this view leaves us with the difficulty that if we suppose that Life is transcendent to the Physical and uses it only as a means of manifestation we cannot see how it can do so . Just as consciousconceived to be due to the a channel of manifestation. Life.
" " just as difficult to imagine non-energy affecting " " as to imagine it affecting energy very slightly it a good deal. yet it must be an energy it could not affect the bodily energies and the as such. . just body this enough this is to deflect them way or that. : . with Mr. Nor does any knowledge." " intelligent qualities. Carrington says life must be an energy into this dilemma but. life is a form of energy or that it is not ? We are driven As Mr. " . Carrington and other authorities. that Life is a wholly distinct and unique kind of energy " an absolutely separate force per se different from any other mode of energy of which we have it ." M. for the it is problem is one not of degree but of kind . should be causally connected they must have Are then we to say that qualities in common. But not getting out of the difficulty at all. Bergson adopts the " hair trigger " theory and supposes the energies of the Life only affects the physical very slightly. help matters to suppose. it ! material world. : Life is purcannot be purposive for otherwise posive.n6 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL " or guiding For in order that things " without partaking of the nature of the physical and so " " losing its selective." " If this is so we must ask How is it that this force combines sufficient .
The universe presents a closed circle of matter and energy. if not identical. with characteristics of so different a nature that we forces to enable to affect an absolutely different force per se and emancipate it from the ordinary laws and can call it limitations of physical forces ? A very similar. In fact. Nothing without it anything within it if for no other reason than that if it could it would violate the can affect fundamental law of the conservation of energy. enable us to control physical matter and forces. Anything within it must be bound by law. as a matter of common experience.VITALITY AND WILL of 117 the physical the qualities common it to all them. blind and unintelligent. it But Will does affect matter. dilemma arises in the case of Will which must either be supposed to be a purely physical force which hypothesis commits us at once to a creed of thoroughgoing else materialistic determinism or we must suppose it physical energy by virtue to of be distinct from some added non- physical quality which must be wholly outside the physical realm. Yet this extra quality " " of conscious intent which is the essential characteristic of the act of willing does. for its very I . the whole trouble is simply this. therefore circle : must be within the it is not blind.
essence it independence.n8 and and is THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL is initiative. loses the properties which enable it to be made use of. be outside the circle. is Whether there any sort of matter which can truly be called completely inanimate or whether. But wherever matter exists which possesses " the suitable properties. and intelligence must. there will Life squeeze " the dam to a greater or less extent through " " and we shall have a living organism which will continue to live until the matter through which Life is in each particular case manifesting. What these qualities are it is at present impossible to say although one might hazard a guess to the effect that the essential factor might be one of greater or less molecular extension in the direction of the fourth dimension. us introduce the idea of higher space it Now see let where leads us. . The extent to which it will be able to do so will depend on the presence or absence in the matter concerned of those qualities which enable it to be acted on by four-dimensional forces. " " Suppose that the energy which we term Life located to start with in higher space in fourSuppose that ' ' it is dimensional space for example. really pressing against the dam ' ' of three- dimensional matter trying to use it for a vehicle of manifestation. therefore.
all matter is to some extent " I Personally should be sorry to have to draw a distinct am not prepared to say. Vitality. For myself I tend more and more to the view that Life. dividing line anywhere and it seems more in accordance with the general continuity ol things to suppose that no such line can really be drawn.VITALITY AND WILL as " I 119 some people alive hold. change which belongs more properly than At each successive descent consciousness must a suitably organised vehicle in which to function and through which it can receive find impressions. But each such vehicle will involve . Consciousness call it what you will is something which dips down. as it were. for the purpose of gaining experience and of self-evolution. the most all. restricted and the most individual be state of These successive limitations represented in may by saying of that conveniently consciousness decreasing functions spaces successively it dimensionality in although mind. from its original location wherever and whatever that successive limitations of may be through it consciousness until reaches this. the lowest. as was pointed out at the end of the last must be borne chapter. that this may be only a convenient way of expressing the effect of a to the consciousness itself to its environment.
But to revert to the original idea of Life as primarily a four-dimensional force. on this theory. no more than approximation. until finally.120 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL corresponding circumscriptions and. which to my mind. a very close energy which we must suppose to enter the physical or three-dimensional universe The amounts of . whereas during the latter would continually at in last lead to complete sense communion the widest possible without any loss of individuality. On the downward half of the journey the characteristic process would. This does not involve any contravention of the Law Conservation of energy for we have only to suppose that the Law is exact only for the Cosmos and for the physical universe. when our evolution is we shall be completely and Conscious and independent of all limitations fully of any sort or kind. This view. with that held by the Theosophists. each upward stage will involve an extension of consciousness. which has a good deal to support it especially in point of continuity and general coherence with other well established ideas. the strongest plank in their platform. as of the commonly understood. entirely accomplished. has much in common is. be the gaining of individual at the cost of " communal and " " the second half increase " consciousness. conversely.
so small as to defy detection by the methods are able to apply to the study of living organisms in which alone they could be observed. but I may fairly claim to have removed the fundamental dilemma which first confronted us. is not broken but rather it to be not strengthened merely of Universal but of Cosmic application. It is a form of we wish to call it -9^ and yet it is distinct from the ordinary forms of physical energy and free from the limitations which would be imposed upon to it if we reckoned it as subject the Law of Conservation as commonly understood. for we now suppose . by virtue of the theory hair-trigger to we which I have already referred they might produce think I effects as large as is we please. be supposed to exist entirely apart from ordinary physical matter and yet to affect it so long as we suppose it to do life We have seen that may so from some region energy if of higher space. " " and yet. And yet the latter . The foregoing clearly incomplete.VITALITY AND WILL from four-dimensional space 121 may be very small.
must now consider rather more definitely than we have hitherto done whether there is any thing in the hypothesis to conflict with those established conclusions of scientists which are We the nearest I approach we have to absolute think we shall find not only that certainties. Since then I have been trying to show that the Higher Space ideas do throw a certain amount of light on quite a number of difficulties and enable us to clear up certain anomalies and dilemmas which seem to be insoluble without its aid. 122 .CHAPTER VI HIGHER SPACE AND PHYSICAL SCIENCE. In an earlier chapter I denned a valid hypothesis one which explained at least some of the as observed facts and did not contradict any of them. there is no such conflict but that there are here and there distinct indications that the higher space ideas may some day find applications in the exegesis of even the most strictly physical sciences.
however much they may have opposed to the more it. definitely Psychic researches which I. believe to be closely associated with repugnant to nothing thought and professed himself quite willing to adopt it should such a course seem to be indicated by the evidence. scientific Lord Kelvin. saw in it Another distinguished physicist has gone so far . for some are mutually exclusive. It is scientists worth noting at the outset that physical have evinced no especial hostility to the concept of the fourth dimension. admittedly may be that very illusory all and as will they appear later they cannot lead to anything.PHYSICAL SCIENCE These nebulous are all 123 indications at are it present. do not propose to express any very definite opinions on their comparative values but shall I simply state them and leave decide what they are worth. for instance. it to my readers to It must be remembered throughout that we cannot expect to find any very definite indications of the existence of higher space as a reality for the simple reason that physical science is concerned solely with those phenomena of matter " " and force which are ex hypothesi essentially three-dimensional. personally. as such.
Most of my readers will know what are meant and longitude " " that the lines of longitude are great circles which pass through the poles and cut the earth's by the terms " latitude " and " " . that of " The characteristic property is having three dimensions residing. space it is M." human Mathematical physicists also find that certain experimental anomalies are resolved if they phenomena to four interchangeable axes involving homogeneous co-ordinates instead of to three space axes and one time axis. This too mathematical a subject I to be dealt with in detail here. in only . If this refer is first not dealing in four-dimensional cousin to it.124 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL " as to evolve a theory of ether squirts " from the direction of the fourth dimension in connection with the ultimate constitution of matter. Poincare" the distinguished French Physicist has said of space. but can indicate the general drift of it. a property intelligence. so far as it is relevant to the present discussion by means of the time honoured analogy of the two-dimensional world. so to speak. Poincare also pointed out that the postulates of Euclid are not experimentally verifiable facts and as a matter done in of fact much work of has been the elaboration is non-Euclidean geometries.. Again M..
Now They might discover this principle about parallel lines and all would go well until they began making measurements over very large distances.. This holds good the surface in which they are i. drawn truly plane flat. This would be an indication to them that there was such a thing as a third dimension of space and that their two-dimensional world was curved in this third dimension. But " it breaks " down. living on the surface of a very large sphere. a two-dimensional space can be curved in three dimensions there is no sort of reason if Now why three-dimensional space should not be curved in four and in a precisely similar way three- .e. of It if 125 is also a matter common knowledge lines are that on a plane surface drawn each of which cuts another line at right angles these two lines will be parallel that is to say they will never meet however two far they is may provided that be produced.PHYSICAL SCIENCE equator at right angles. They would find that lines drawn in their surface which ought not to meet however far produced would begin to show a tendency to do so. as we see in the case of the if great circles of longitude. the lines are drawn on a sphere. imagine two-dimensional beings. having no conception of the existence of a third dimension. Then their Geometry would begin to go wrong.
such were the where very large begin to "go wrong measurements were involved. He says that the number of negative parallaxes of stars is larger than would be expected having Geometry to go regard to the probable experimental errors. The parallax of an object is the angle which it subtends at two different points of observation.126 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL if dimensional geometry would. is only the path of a ray of our geometry is breaking down must suppose that our space is curved. If. and so long as it is at a finite distance from these two points which in the case of a star are the two opposite ends of the earth's orbit this angle must be positive. as in certain cases seems to happen. " case. then one of three things must be the either the observations are wrong or else light does not. the largest measurements we ever make are astronomical measurements and as a matter for of fact. of the . according to Mr. case . travel (for after all what we call a straight astronomy or else and we which would necessitate the acceptance existence of a fourth dimension. they diverge. Now. That is to say the lines drawn in the observed direction of the star from the two points must converge. Bragdon. as is in straight lines line in light) commonly believed. there does seem to be a tendency wrong in certain cases.
In his book A new Era of Thought he points out the remarkable analogy which exists between the properties of ether as postulated by physicists and those which a perfectly smooth solid sheet would present to the intelligence of two- dimensional beings living on it. Two of his ideas however are so striking.dimensional theories of electricity involving four dimensional vortices. Most of my readers are probably acquainted with the general idea and It I need not therefore discuss be sufficient it in detail. These are highly ingenious but there does not seem to be any considerable reason for supposing them to be anything more and I shall therefore not describe them here. Hinton has a good deal to say in his books about various four . electricity. and has proved of the utmost service to physicists. it will here to say that is supposed to be a weightless. although for different reasons. that I think a brief outline will not be out of " " place. homogeneous medium . The hypothesis of the ether was introduced to account for the transmission of light. and so forth. heat. Mr.PHYSICAL SCIENCE It 127 must be admitted that the explanation of negative parallaxes is more likely to be found in one or both of the two first alternatives than in the third.
On the other hand we must suppose it to be of a tenuity far in excess of the most perfect vacuum which we can obtain. instance the force of gravitation. transmit vibration just as we know the ether does for us.iz8 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL extending throughout all space and permeating all bodies.000 times greater than that of the strongest known steel. Now Hinton points . Indeed Matter itself is supposed to be no more than the result of more or disturbances in it. Also it could be as rigid as you please without losing any of . for otherwise the earth and other planets which are moving at immense speed through this medium would be slowed down which is . it must possess a rigidity some 3. being solid. Yet it could. less complex But although in connection it accounts for the phenomena with which it was called into it being is necessary to ascribe to it very contradictory properties. Being perfectly smooth it would be imperceptible to him and would offer no opposition to the passage of bodies over it. not in practice the case. out that to a two- dimensional being a perfectly smooth solid sheet on the surface of which he lived would possess many of these properties. On the one hand it has been calculated that in order for it to transmit the forces which for we know that it does transmit.
This fact is of interest because Lord Kelvin showed that the contradictory properties of the ether referred to above could only be reconciled by supposing it . it It could not be weighed and could not be eliminated from any vessel no matter what care was taken to do so. The analogy is striking but it does not appeal to me and I do not think that even Mr." that is to say the rotation of each could be such as to assist and not to its retard that of neighbours. space of the in three space In two-space rotation takes place about a point. One of the latter is derived from a consideration phenomena of rotation in four-dimensional and is of some intrinsic interest. in four dimensions this " " is not the case and a mass of hyper-spheres " could be self -driving. for in other passages he gives quite different suggestions as to the ether.PHYSICAL SCIENCE its 129 imperceptibility. because they would be trying to drive each other in different directions and so would prevent the rotation. Hinton means it to be taken strictly. it do not propose to go into the proof The only important point is that whereas I impossible to conceive a mass of threedimensional spheres in a state of continuous is rotation. although here. about a line and we should therefore expect that in four space it would do so about a This is easily shown to be the case plane.
so to speak. and if this be so there would seem to be a certain need . there is axes change and nothing to prevent the X and Y W Z axes doing the X axis Thus we might have into changing into the Y and the W the Z. But in four-dimensional space we have four axes and while the so too. as the rotation takes place. place. and this is of interest in view is of the fact that electricity like other forces regarded as a mode of etheric motion. " " This effect of rotating hyperself-driving spheres is It arises worth glancing at a little more from the fact that there are two which such a sphere closely. to To reverse both of these motions so as have the into the Y Z W axis changing into' the X and the of does not give us a new kind motion any more than reversing the direction of an ordinary three .dimensional rotation does it is only equivalent to looking at point of it from a case different view. In three-dimensional rotation the motion may take place about any axis we please and the other two axes which can be drawn will change one into the other. distinct sorts of rotation may possess. But if in the of the four-dimensional rotation we reverse one only of the two rotational components we do get a new kind of motion.130 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL by a motion of to be animated throughout a vortical character. say.
DEF 9. In order to do it would be necessary to pick one up out of the plane of the paper and turn it over. In precisely a similar manner two asymmetrical . Hinton suggests.PHYSICAL SCIENCE for two distinct kinds of it in order to correspond to positive and negative electricity respectively. between this need and the two kinds to above. arises in the following way. It is just possible that there is as Mr. about would enable us to this one exactly over the other. some connection. is This view not warranted by the facts and it I shall therefore touch on The point only very briefly. these were cut out and a laid B C F on smooth ex- surface no amount fit of sliding actly as shown. of four-dimensional rotation referred of higher space with the phenomena of symmetry great play and adduce its occurrence in nature as evidence Most writers on the subject make of the existence of a fourth dimension. the Consider two tri- angles ABC in If and Fig.
could not be made to coincide unless one of them were space. is the only inference we can here make that the idea of a four . but become so by virtue of some of them being " "folded over in four-dimensional space. the case of who is says : ".dimensioned space competent.. They suppose as an " alternative that the ultimate elements of living " matter are not right and left handed ab initio. each of which is the mirror image of the other.dimensional The point made by Mr.. is that there seems to be a general tendency in nature towards a right and left handed symmetry in which the whole organism is symmetrical about a central plane. from a mathematical point of . each half being the mirror image of the other and that this symmetry is unlikely to have arisen through equal increments on either side of the central plane. This view seems to especially of me to lack foundation in view of the fact that the work fully cleared Le Bel and Van't Hoff in up the analogous phenomena crystals without introducing the concept of higher space In general therefore I agree with Schubert at all.132 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL left three-dimensional objects such as a right and hand. Hinton and other writers who attach importance to the phenomena of symmetry. to be turned over in four .
are the considerations arising from what is known as the Principle of Relativity. " The Principle of Relativity the hypothesis that it is impossible by means of physical experi- K ." if need hardly say that we could of experi- an asymmetrical mentally obtain the changing into the corresponding leftright-handed object handed one it would be of the very first importance as a proof of the reality of higher space. Far more important than any of the foregoing." (Mathematical Essays. however.PHYSICAL SCIENCE view. This subject. is far too abstruse to be dealt with in detail here and a partial and popularised account would almost certainly fail to satisfy those who are not wholly ignorant of mathematical physics and would weary those who to dismiss it are. therefore. to throw of 133 some light on the phenomena p. its in very few words in spite of is great importance and relevance. I propose.) symmetry. the right and left-handed symmetry of solids would by analogy be the result of a four-dimensional I movement. less it None the that " Could Bragdon be shown that the two-dimensional nature is is right in his contention symmetry in the result of a three dimensional movement. which has received much attention at the hands of mathematical physicists in recent years. 91.
the two measures are interrelated to such an extent that Minkowski ' felt himself constrained to say that from henceforth time by itself and space by itself are mere shadows. with our notion of Time. Ibid. 5 and of 28). 5. the distance between ' two points taneous being the distance between simulThus it positions of those points. This is of as Chapter IV. Thus the hypothesis of relativity requires a reconsideration of the way in which we measure time. pp. in we saw is closely associated For our criterion been based on of simultaneity has in practice optical communication.134 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL " ments to determine the absolute velocity through space. importance when we are dealing " " with the idea of simultaneity an idea which." p. It becomes impossible to consider space and time separately . ' becomes necessary also to examine the way in which we measure space. determine the velocity of the earth relative to the ether. for example. 29). 28. We cannot. that they are only two aspects ." (Cunningham 2)." " (Ibid. But it is easy to show that " the setting up of light a standard of simultaneity is by means not possible until a definite velocity signals is assigned to the observer. (Cp. pp. body Relativity and of a the Electron Theory. This again reacts on the measurement of the length of a material body.
PHYSICAL SCIENCE of a single 135 and indivisible manner of co-ordinating ' the facts of the physical world.) it When thought is is remembered that the Principle firmly of Relativity it established in scientific will be realised that this conclusion arrived at as a result of purely physical considerations is of the very utmost importance as a.' 5 (Ibid. and 6.n independent confirmation of the general line of thought developed in the preceding pages. I therefore feel it legitimate to claim that in so far as physical science throws any light is on the subject at favourable. all its testimony distinctly . pp.
sufficient indications to warrant our adopting. I hope that I have made it quite clear that in my and independent. scattered here and there over the field of Psychic Research. the idea that four-dimensional space is is a reality and that the Individual consciousness capable of functioning in a four-dimensional the three-dimensional vehicle quite apart from physical body.CHAPTER VII THE CONNECTING LINK In the foregoing chapters I have tried to show that there are. and that opinion the two vehicles are entirely separate I do not regard the three-dimensional body as being a mere section of a four-dimensional whole. as a tentative working hypothesis. I propose in this chapter to consider in some detail the question of the nature of the connection which must perforce exist between the two of vehicles. We know that there must be some form connection because impressions which are received 136 .
ex hypothesi. will be . its be deflected. out of three space into four space. of course. assuming the to be correct. embodied in the four-dimensional vehicle. hypothesis we are considering the sense impression must. so to speak. which is.THE CONNECTING LINK by the three-dimensional sense organs are 137 trans- mitted to the conscious Ego. since in sleep. and analogous conditions. does the conscious Ego not receive these impressions although the sense organs may still be subject to stimuli to a greater or less degree. Further we may safely say that. able to as to draw detailed of conckisions the precise nature this connection reason. Furthermore it is clear that the connection can be interrupted with comparative ease. We are not. at some stage in transmission. by the exercise of pure deductive But it I think that first my readers will agree with of the me for that the will and most obvious place to look be in the realm nervous system. some part In order for this to happen it is necessary that of the transmitting mechanism should be capable of producing this deflection and it is reasonable to suppose that a substance or mechanism specially differentiated for the purpose of deflecting impressions in this manner out of three space into four space. anaesthesia.
As a of result of it is abnormal four-dimensional complexity to be anticipated that the part the transmitting mechanism concerned will possess characteristics sufficient to differentiate it from ordinary matter. then. . susceptibility to four-dimensional forces imperceptible to us. At this point I would recall to the reader's attention the remarks which I made in Chapter II regarding the processes of scientific thought attain and the sequence So facts far of operations whereby we to exact knowledge. and is not contradicted of by any. also for possess characteristics peculiar to itself instance. them. as possesses a very slight four-dimensional extension. of the properties of ordinary matter. have outlined be either as an integral part of the nervous system it. we have already seen. I submit. that I the four-dimensional correct.dimensional compared with ordinary matter. that if we may reasonably deduce hypothesis which there should exist. or in close association with some constituent having or substance which. probably this distinguished complexity as which. and framed a working hypothesis which.138 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL by an abnormal four . in spite of many will as. explains some. we have considered a number of observed I believe.
To some in of these I shall draw specific I attention may hope that by doing induce some of my readers to experiment There is on the points in question. on turning again to the realm of observation. get through to the We link is have also concluded that this connecting likely to consist of matter in some curious it condition such as to invest with properties If unlike those of ordinary matter. we distinct confirmation of shall receive the correctness of our working hypothesis. even if they cannot at present be held conclusively to demonstrate. be correct then something else There must. by deductive reasoning. an enormous amount of research work to be done before we . am well aware that there are of evidence numerous gaps bring forward in the body which the I shall on so this subject. in fact. the existence of some such connecting I link. concluded that if this hypothesis must follow. be some sort of connecting link whereby sense impressions to are deflected out of three space into four space and are thus enabled consciousness. In the pages which follow I propose to show that there are a number of facts which strongly indicate.THE CONNECTING LINK 139 In the immediately preceding paragraphs we have. we find that this deduction is substantiated in practice.
But so little was known in those days about a variety of factors which might have vitiated his results. I shall Much of the evidence to which refer in this chapter in urgent need of confirmation little and there is I should care to guarantee the indications. slight though personally. Historically the relevant experiments were probably those of Reichenbach in the middle of last century.140 be able to have any considerable confidence in our speculations or to feel that we are working shall on anything is like a firm foundation. and his work has been so strongly criticised will by later authorities that I not do more than mention him for the benefit of any reader who may have a fancy less for probing into the historical origins of the subject. they are. None the for the his great credit is due to Reichenbach researches thorough and painstaking character of to which he brought immense industry and a truly scientific spirit which led him to fantastic and erroneous conclusions only . I may it down profitably proceed the law on obscure have thought first worth while to deal with them fairly fully. do seem to point rather in the same very indeed which Still direction and as my it object is to stimulate investigation and. perhaps to indicate some of the lines on which rather than to lay points.
Any reader who has doubts on the subject should read his book " Psychical and Supernormal Phenomena.THE CONNECTING LINK 141 because he had not our present knowledge to guard him from the many pitfalls which abound in these investigations. but concluded that they could not. Pinching or pricking the skin itself produces no effect but doing so Further- in the region of the sensitive layer arouses the appropriate sensation in the subject. this sensibility can be and transferred to various objects a fact which gives the investigator a most desirable power to of experimental control. and of Sensibility. This has been investigated by de Rochas and later by Joire I believe it is well established." Dr. Joire performed a number the of determine to whether results experiments could be attributed suggestion by auto-suggestion. . to unconscious the investigator or to unconscious connivance on the part of the subject. according to Joire. Dr. The gist of the phenomenon is that in certain hypnotic states the skin of the subject becomes " " insensitive to pain but the is sensibility transferred to a sensitive layer a few centimetres distant from the skin. The first phenomena to which I wish to call attention is that known as Exteriorisation and by Boirac. localised more.
nor shall I attempt to do so at the moment beyond pointing out that on the face of of it. Dr. reflected In the course of his investigations he found among other things that the aura was apparently under the control of the certain cases be will since it could in made to change colour or to extrude rays by mere volition. . it looks as if some definite substance sensitive properties were exteriorised which. since it was found that the seat of sensibility could be shifted at the word of command. or by. however." persons claim to be able to see this normally as a regular thing and describe it as being a bluish-grey haze surrounding the body and at a little distance from it.142 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL Joire was unable to give any explanation of these phenomena. this Leaving for a moment " I would draw Certain attention to the subject of the aura. Kilner in his book " " The Human Atmosphere it describes how he of vision found in power normal persons by causing them to gaze at the light through suitably coloured screens which affect the retina in possible to induce this seemed to such a way is as to make it more sensitive to the particular wave length of light which emanates from. must be supposed to be to some extent under the control of the will. the aura.
I am not altogether prepared to swear that the appearance could not be some of the At the same time sort of optical illusion or " artifact " if and it I should accept the aura with less reserve recorded photographically. Kilner have myself been able to try the effect of the screens I and I certainly saw. Kilner's experiments. He claims . could be the other hand some of Dr.THE CONNECTING LINK Through the courtesy of 143 I Dr. namely that there may be some exteriorisable substance under the control of the Will. we There are other experiments which also point the same way. an aura type which he describes. notably as regards colour of the aura On and its uses in diagnosis. more than could be accounted for by loss from perspiration or from the emptying of the lungs. Consider for example those of MacDougal who weighed a number of patients at the moment of death and found in each case that this coincided with a sudden loss of weight of about threequarters of an ounce. are very remarkable either of the and seem unlikely to be due to above mentioned causes. If accept these experiments at their face value they certainly support the idea to which the phenomena of Exteriorisation of Sensibility faintly pointed. or thought saw.
although that I cannot agree with MacDougal's view is what leaves the body the " soul. it must not only have been material or quasi-material in nature but also have emitted light of a frequency above the range of normal " " ultra-violet Here again vision. cloudlike mass or masses were visible over the bodies." Dr.. light." It is of course most We have experimental important that these experiments should be confirmed by independent investigators but there seems no reason to doubt the facts as stated. again.e.144 that THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL " proof that a substance capable of being weighed does leave the body at death. i. Baraduc. since the object photographed affected the plate but was invisible to the eye. there is different Surely this concatenation of evidences from such sources cannot be purely fortuitous ? The foregoing are the most important and . took photographs of his son and wife shortly after death and found that in each case a luminous. and it would also seem that. great need for confirmation but so far as it goes the evidence continues to point the same way. Unless the case is inaccurately reported it follows that there must have been some objective foundation for the results. is This case of exceptional interest in that the observations were not personal but were photographic records.
during levitation by a rigid structure. . Let us turn again to the work of Crawford. he has obtained a photograph of what appears to be the same substance issuing out of the medium. Again we have this same curious substance exteriorised from the body. of composed The main conclusion for the It be appears vto matter taken from the medium. He started out to investigate the causes of telekinetic phenomena and had at the outset no sort of notion of what the explanation was likely to be and he found that his table is without contact. But there are two points in particular which bring it closely into line with the phenomena which we have been The first is considering. This structure practically is invisible to the eye and is impalpable. I think.THE CONNECTING LINK 145 representative experiments on these lines but the whole of the literature of Psychic Research abounds with minor pointers which all indicate the same sort of thing. to which I have already referred. is. that although Dr. supported. Crawford's book. Crawford has not yet succeeded in photographing the structure in situ. but to it experiments and reasoning which have led the reader must consult Dr. inevitable.
146 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL Furthermore. possession Dr. The second point substance from the insensibility. to the conclusion that this possesses elusive substance the property of emitting or reflecting ultra-violet light. Crawford discusses this point at some length in an article which appeared in the Psychic Gazette for of the discussion I sufficient September 1916. opinion It Crawford's seems likely the want of sensibility to heavy and varied reactions which undoubtedly occur upon the medium is due to some peculiar condition of her organism during the period of phenomena. It is that the to say " medium that is to 'some extent insensitive and that in Dr." these various experiments although they be individually weak do seem rather to hang may There is an appearance of possible together. between the . the existence of the structure has been confirmed by clairvoyants. results taken in conjunction with the photographic " " and with what I said about etheric ultra-violet or " " forces us once more clairvoyance in Chapter III. Into the minutiae need not enter here. is that the extrusion of this results in superficial full medium of all her although she is in normal faculties. Now. connection experiments of Joire " " and it is aura and recent views on the . and this fact.
Bisson or Dr. But to for the present purpose to in the I it legitimate extrapolate and assume that they are reliable and connected way that I suspect. of Joire and of Kilner suggest that a temporary loss of sensibility is accompanied by the extrusion from the body of a sensitive substance of peculiar properties. " Annales des Sciences " Psychiques for . The experiments of de Rochas. In the Baraduc and MacDougal experiments a total and permanent loss of sensibility seems to be accompanied by the extrusion of a substance of somewhat similar properties. Finally in the case of Dr. the work of Dr. Geley's paper in Part I. Schrenk-Notzing and Mme. Crawford's researches we find that the extrusion of an apparently very accompanied by a similar substance is again certain insensitivity. Somewhat in cases similar conditions are to be found " " of materialisation compare.THE CONNECTING LINK MacDougal weighed Baraduc photographed are the same thing. of the 1919. possible It is 147 that what and obvious that all these experiments ought be checked and re-checked by independent to investigators and further experiments under- taken to discover whether there think is any real connection between them. for example.
and general anaesthesia and in death we shall be able to draw more I definite conclusions on the subject. There are many references in Psychic literature which bear on the point and the general trend of them seems to be that the substance we have been considering is not. Lombroso in separating this states that Durville has succeeded " " replica experimentally from the physical body. (" After Death What ? "). entirely and distributed fortuitously through the body but that it forms an exact counterpart of the latter or. to be more strictly accurate. but at present the to be reliable does seem . in local during sleep.148 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL this It is far of too early yet to say that the extrusion sensitive substance is an invariable of insensibility it concomitant evidence to point assuming that way. says that it seemed to be connected with the body by a sort of cord and that the patient He . shall now turn to evidence of a more general type which deals with the existence of this mysterious substance viewed as a whole rather than with this or that indication of its presence or properties as did the previous experiments. When we have made " an " exhaustive study of what happens to the aura in various states of hypnosis. formless of the nervous system. normally.
M. . Vol. 180-193. A very interesting case which has a considerable bearing on the subject is given in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research. VIII. and Spirite that de Rochas and Barlemont obtained photographs of simultaneous the " body of a medium and of the exteriorised double. sense organs of the replica worked." long account of experiments on these lines by Durville appears in the "Journal de " for 1907 and 1908 but although Magnetisme A they tend to confirm the ideas at which we have already arrived. Compare with of this last statement the remarks Crawford the sensations produced by inserting the hand into the midst of the levitating structure. while those of the physical body were put out of action. by shivering. by blowing air. When approached. there is nothing to be gained by going into their details here. pp." and it a cold. it excited a sensation " like that The apparent produced by if cold. Leon " Denis quotes " for in " Christianity and Spiritualism " experiments from the Revue alleges November 1894.THE CONNECTING LINK and to discern events at a 149 under observation was able to see through opaque objects distance. clammy on the hand were placed in sensation was experienced.
The following is an abbreviated account The narrator is a physician and the case seems to have been singularly well attested and was : carefully scrutinised by no less a critic than Dr. He thrust a needle deep into the flesh at different feet to the I hips. power thought or knowledge I of existence in absolute unconsciousness. but poin^ from the got no response. of saying. W. the village church bell was tolled. Raynes informs of the bystanders was dead. of I came again into a state conscious existence. S. about half of an hour. W. but the body and I had * Note the insensibility. so-very light as to be hardly perceptible. and. that by bringing his eyes close to my face. I believe. Raynes. Dr. During a portion of this I time several thought such a report being carried outside. H. and discovered that was still in the body.* only all Although state of was pulseless for four hours. S. Hodgson. me. and that he was several times on the point He is dead/ when a gasp would ' occur in time to check him. H. as I am informed by Dr. . " I passed some four hours in all without pulse or perceptible heart beat. R. who was the only physician present. however. he could perceive an occasional short gasp. the apparent I death lasted lost.
I remember reaching the hips ' and saying to myself. watched the interesting process of the separation of soul and body. When was accomplished.THE CONNECTING LINK no longer any interests in common. toward the head. was I. the Ego was rocked to and fro. below the of I Now there is no life no memory hips.' passing through the abdomen and chest. After a little while the lateral motions ceased. I began slowly to retreat from the feet. as man terms reasoned thus : death. can recall . With all the interest of a physician my bodily anatomy. while the not-me closed upon all sides like a sepulchre of clay. and yet I I am as much a man I as ever. interwoven with which. beginning at the toes. the real Ego. am about to get out of the body. and along the soles of the feet. by which process its By some connection with the tissues of the body was broken up. with astonishment and joy for the I 151 looked first time upon myself the me. even tissue intimately for tissue. laterally as the cradle is rocked. power. as it seemed the snapping this of innumerable small cords. I felt and heard. passing rapidly to the heels. I realised my condition and calmly I have died. as a rubber cord shortens. apparently not my own. the living soul of that dead I beheld the wonders of body.
where I slowly rose and expanded to the full stature of a man. seemed to be translucent. of measured the distance between the head my me cot and the knees of the lady opposite the head and concluded there was room for to stand. compressing it and its membranes centre. slightly on all sides towards the and peeped out between the sutures emerging like the flattened edges ! of a bag I of membranes I recollect distinctly like ! how jelly fish as appeared to myself something regards colour and form I a I As emerged. until I at last broke loose from the body and fell lightly to the floor. naked before emerge but comforted myself with was about to the thought that in all probability she would not see me with her bodily eyes. of the skull. and shall soon be if free. as I was a spirit.152 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL my whole I but recollect distinctly when self was collected thus ' : in all I the head. With of a bluish cast and perfectly naked. a painful sense of embarrassment. As I up laterally emerged from the head I floated like a soap bubble attached to the bowl of a pipe. but felt considerable embarrass- ment as I reflected that I her. when reflected I I am the head now.' it were passed around the brain as hollow. I saw two ladies sitting at my head. I fled toward I .
I directed my gaze in the direction of his. They were where an owl ' they should be that I can turn I tried it thought Am my head half the experiment and failed. my left elbow came in contact with the arm of one of two gentlemen. I have yet the power to must be . but he gave me no sign I only stood and gazed toward the couch I had just left. mine without apparent resistance. having been out of the body but a few moments.THE CONNECTING LINK 153 the partially open door to escape the eyes of the two ladies whom I was facing. as well as others who the I knew were about me. parts closing again without pain. this. how do I see my back ? looked again. as air reunites. to reassure myself. As I turned. who were standing in the To my surprise. way round No Then ! that. How is discovered that I ' and saw my dead body. or down I the back of legs to the very heels. I I and thought. and I turned and upon faced the company. his arm passed through door. down ' the back of my coat. but upon I reaching door found myself clothed. I Suddenly was looking at the straight seam down the back of my coat. put ' my hand to I like my my face and felt for : my I eyes. looked quickly up at his face to see if he had noticed the contact. the several satisfied that point.
like a spider's web. running my shoulders back body and attaching to it at the base I was satisfied with the conclusion that by means of that cord.R. walked down the street. But it does not stand alone for there are numerous other cases to be found in the Proceedings of the S. I discovered then a small cord. my eyes opened. in front. A small densely black cloud appeared in front of me and advanced I towards my me. ." In my and in Meyer's . using the eyes of the body and. Must I die again ? ." Now. be right to explain it all as a dream. turning. I knew that was to be stopped.154 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL use the eyes of the body. . in . if this case stood alone we should. " Human Personality. my and shoulders and my knew no head dropped forward more. and I turned about and looked back in at the open door where I could see the head of my from body in a line with me. I felt the power to move or to think leaving at My I hands fell powerless my side. I looked at my hands and then at the little white cot and. I exclaimed What in the world has happened to me ? ' that I upon which I was lying. realising astonishment and disappointment. Without previous thought and without effort on my part.P. was in the body. perhaps. face. I was to my of the neck.
Delanne " and other writers. and to be that commonly held in France on the authority of MM. provisionally of course. question. With this view I cannot agree. These latter refer to the organism in question as and it is represented as being the vehicle by virtue of which the Consciousness the perisprit persists after Death. it 155 careful merits the most consideration and contains greatest interest I many points of the and significance. was actually the the permanent and immortal Soul " post-mortem embodiment of consciousness. who quotes the case. Carrington. be found to work in remarkably well with the whole idea of the detachable quasithink it will physical replica. Leon " Denis. towards which hypothesis the whole of the observations in this chapter have been tending.THE CONNECTING LINK opinion. The narrator of the experience seems to think that the vehicle which he observed to become detached from the body and in which he was apparently in functioning throughout the " period itself. therefore. that the Consciousness persists embodied in a four" " dimensional vehicle to which the word physical as commonly understood cannot be applied at . I suggest rather. On the whole this seems to be the view taken by Mr.
while in the second he seems to have been tethered " " cord to which he to his physical body by the refers. we saw at the beginning of exist if must be supposed to the four-dimensional hypothesis is to hold good at It seems likely that it is no more permanent all. This is perhaps but others are of consciousness.156 all. THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL The replica. as this chapter. than the physical body. In the first case the patient seems to have been independent of space in that he was able to pay a visit to a friend at a distance of about a thousand miles and to return in the space of a few minutes . It the most important point. perisprit or it. easy to find notably in the apparent constitution of the temporary vehicle seems probable that in the first case the . and that after death in the tissues do. is " Etheric Double " as the Theosophists call link only the connecting between the three and four-dimensional vehicles which. it disintegrates same way that the bodily compare and contrast this case with the somewhat similar one of which a It is interesting to brief resume was given on page 58 In each case the consciousness of the narrator was separated from the physical body but the conditions after separation seem to have been notably different.
but it is in common use. That exteriorisation should begin at the feet * NoTE. Although the point is not brought out with precision. with this supposition in mind that examine the second case. It is I shall First then we notice that the narrator seems to have been in error in referring to what he saw interwoven. this exteriorisation does result in the separation of the Consciousness from the it As body. The process which is described as the separation my of soul and body. But this error was clearly a very natural one.THE CONNECTING LINK vehicle 157 it was four-dimensional while in the second " " was the which we quasi-physical replica have been discussing. I should prefer to describe as the exteriorisation of the "Etheric Double. ."* happens. tissue for tissue. and I will adopt it until some better word is suggested. the record seems to suggest that the narrator was viewing things with that internal or in four . but to say that it is the separation would be liable to confuse the Consciousness and the four-dimensional vehicle with the Etheric double.dimensional vision which I discussed remarks on Clairvoyance in Chapter III. as the Ego.-^-In future I shall borrow the term ''Etheric " Double from the Theosophists and use it instead of the rather cumbrous phrase "Quasi-physical replica." I do not think that the term Etheric Double is a good one. with the physical body.
however. seems to have squeezed out of the body in a formless condition and then to have recovered its normal shape as soon as the It deforming stresses were removed. be moved and shaped by mere " volition or at least by may mean.158 is THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL only what one would expect from the known fact that the extremities are the first parts of the body to grow cold at the approach of death. I believe to be closely associated with the E.D. At is to say during the process of extrusion. the Etheric Double seems to have been under the influence of it some repulsive This is force acting between and the body. the It was therefore fell lightly to the floor." whatever motion by the will. apparently. Throughout the account we notice the extreme plasticity of the vehicle in which the narrator functioned. ." composed of more or less ponderable matter. that first. The translucency and bluish colour are entire' y consonant with the observations of Kilner on the aura. as already mentioned. " extrusion was complete. This is entirely in accord with the properties we must postulate for a substance which can. which is what we would expect from MacDougal's experiments. When E. that set in mental forces. which. by the analogy of the admirably suggested soap bubble.D.
There are many things in their methods and .D. not prepared to hazard any explanation about beyond a very tentative proposal of auto- suggested hallucination. But the is fact that the latter were in operation concordant with the observation of Durvilie that the sense organs of the exteriorised E.THE CONNECTING LINK The part about the clothes is 159 I curious and am it. I moved hope that the criticisms which to make about the Occultists I have been in preceding passages have been sufficiently stringent to clear me of any suspicion of being unduly credulous or over-ready to accept their statements as authoritative. may profitably namely the statements of the clairvoyants and of the Occultists. The small cord connecting the E. with the physical body is also in accordance with his observations. were operative in his experiments. On work the whole then I think it fair to claim that this case fits in I admirably with the experimental have quoted. is There one other source of information which be considered here.D.D. Scarcely less odd is the apparent ability to use both the physical eyes and those belonging to the E.
I it think have seen that the whole question of its study probably a matter of observing.D. Occult doctrine. actually exists. it is be induced very probable that as it may Hence. directly is We or indirectly. supernatural of course. None the less I think it foolish to ignore every statement which happens to be supported by. it is not only but probable that certain people will possible be able to see it without invoking artificial aid. most strange and erroneous interpretations at the hands of the uninformed. evidence sometimes occur naturally if the E. worked out in consider- . receive the " When we turn to Occult literature is we find that the theory of the E. or to form part of. by ultra-violet light. highly probable for instance that clairvoyant descriptions of facts concerning the Etheric Double are often reliable. the undeniably suggests.160 their THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL teachings which excite my distrust and antipathy. although in of o" this no sort they may. contain. We also have reason to suppose that the retina of the eye can be rendered abnormally sensitive to light of this frequency by artificial means. " element.D. It must be remembered that observations kind themselves. But if such abnormal retinal sens bility can artificially.
is dealt with said to be that part of the E. The "health aura.).) " Anaesthetics drive out the greater part of the E.. and for when extruded. so that consciousness affect cannot either or be affected by the dense (physical) body." consciousness leaves the it physical vehicle which life.S.") (Taken life .D. ' largely supplies the physical ' basis for materialisations ( Craw- ford's structure. . the . dislocation of the etheric easily occurs.W.W. At is etheric double what is called death the drawn away from its dense . (Com- pare this with the diagnostic researches of Kilner. " In sleep.THE CONNECTING LINK able detail. Kilner. or less extruded from the physical body. when the and . may be more life. which projects beyond the physical body.D.D. and dense bodies and the E.D. are not normally separated during although in certain nervous conditions the E. body.D. It is said to 161 be violet-grey or bluethe physical aura grey in colour and to interpenetrate the physical i. uses during waking dense ." by Dr. It is stated that the physical body and the E.. counterpart by the escaping consciousness the magnetic tie existing between them during earth is snapped asunder." " from The Ancient Wisdom.e.. . called In the abnormally organised persons mediums. etheric bodies remain together.
the statements the clairvoyants in the main. but that when it is broken as occurs in death.162 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL In other passages it is stated that the E. in close agreement with what we should expect from the indications afforded us by the experimental work which has at present been . is connected with the physical body by a filamentary " structure. The silver cord. disintegrates in the same way as the physical body and is perceived of a by a mere heightening faculty. But I and. I should make no mention of it here. it Finally is is definitely stated that this E." it and that so long as this is unbroken is possible for connection between Consciousness and the physical body to be re-established. quasi-physical structure.D. have myself a strong penchant in favour of good hard scientific experiments with apparatus if the clairvoyant testimony stood by itself without any experimental evidence to support it. think that in that common justice of we ought to admit are.D. the separation is final. the ordinary visual be clearly understood that I do not wish one whit more importance to be attached to this last-quoted evidence than each individual Let it choose to assign to it and I fully sympathise with those who prefer to allow it no reader may weight at I all.
" composed I of two hypotheses. matter by which. a sort of '' rarified it. the strength of the various considerations discussed above. The second is that to personally inclined at present. apparently.and four: On dimensional vehicles of a is is substance of peculiar properties. which the I am is According to the former of these E. the occultists perisprit and the exponents of the " doctrine. In continuing the latter we shall be well advised to keep the former in our minds as furnishing." insensibility or are We To are now faced by the problem of the constitution of this substance. at least. I am disposed to extend the four dimensional hypothesis as follows " Connection between the three. The by " first of these that favoured. useful hints for our guidance. . States of partial or total anaesthesia accompanied and probably caused by the extrusion of this substance from the body. this there would appear to be two possible is solutions.D. maintained by means which intimately connected with the nervous system in the conscious functioning of which it is an essential factor. take is meant matter possessing a smaller complexity of organisation than that with which we are normally acquainted.THE CONNECTING LINK 163 done.
all all In the second.D.D. adduced as supporting this hypo- For my part I have grave doubts as to the correctness of this view.164 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL This would appear to be more especially the Occult view although on technical details of . In the first place. A variation on this is is ordinary matter the result of vibratory. who claims to have obtained a temporary condition of equilibrium the dissociation products of matter. the is composed a is the result of similar disturbances . of greater The experiments in of Le Bon. that it is matter frequency transposed into a higher key so to speak. or other periodic. this kind there is a somewhat unfortunate lack of of precision and even unanimity among Occult the idea that whereas authorities. are sometimes thesis. the hypothesis involves us in the difficulties which render so unsatisfactory attempts to account for post-mortem existence lines. there is nothing in Le Bon's work to indicate that these dissociation products are capable of being brought into a state of such very stable equilibrium as must be possessed by the constituents of the E. frequency. on normal physical . disturbances in the ether of a certain " " matter of which the E.
this pointed out at the beginning of view seems to be a necessary corollary of the whole four-dimensional hypothesis I have been advocating. is either itself. as I this chapter. is the I connecting link consider.D.D. points in this chapter which I would wish to emphasise are. Whether complexity or whether my present view of the nature of the only tenable one.THE CONNECTING LINK the post-mortem vehicle 165 For. as held by the or it French savants.and four-dimensional vehicles. then in is probability the post-mortem vehicle is to the E. Indeed. on either hypothesis.D. For this and other reasons I prefer the idea that the E. M . it is am not prepared to say. I its is nature. as the latter is the case.D. the E. but until this becomes necessary I think that is the E. is composed of matter having an abnormal four-dimensional complexity. as the E.D.D. this abnormal four . is merely matter then the post-mortem vehicle is probably merely doubly-rarified matter. first. It is very possible that we shall be compelled to reject the hypothesis in toto in the light of future research. there should exist a connection between the three. all between the two If vehicles. rarified If the E.dimensional molecular or atomic in neither. to the physical body. that if the four-dimensional The hypothesis be true.
it is well It will worthy be very evident to " " my readers that this in chapter is extrapolatory the highest degree. Thirdly. it all seems to I point in the same sort of direction and have . as for instance. susceptibility to volitional control and to forces which appear be applied from some direction unknown to to us (vide my remarks on the theory of Crawford's structure in Chapter III). that this substance does present unusual features. Finally. as it appears to be intermediate of the closest study. I should be sorry indeed to guarantee them all as being of cast-iron reliability and have no doubt that comparatively few will ever receive the amount of confirmation which is I necessary before we can accept such things as proven Still. The and speculative ideas discussed are based on experiments which are very far from being conclusive. tenuous as the evidence is. facts.166 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL that this Secondly. between the physical body and the post-mortem vehicle. that. Fourthly. link should possess it properties of a peculiar nature distinguishing from ordinary physical substances. that there are distinct evidences to be found in very independent quarters which strongly indicate that such a connecting link or substance does in fact exist.
.THE CONNECTING LINK therefore thought benefit of the of it it 167 it worth while to give the doubt and see what could be made it on the temporary assumption that is really reliable.
general venturing to advocate conceptions so far-reaching as those I have been discussing. however tentatively. I feel it incumbent to examine briefly the question of whether acceptance of the four-dimensional hypothesis would be fraught with any considerable consequences in the sphere of religious thought. No one would be justified in ignoring their relation to any important stream of thought with which they might be held liable to come in contact. And is evident that any hypothesis formulated. must inevJtably come into very close contact with Religion. as a solution to the problems of Survival of Death and the nature of postit mortem conditions. I shall try to show that it is a matter of contact only and not of conflict. 168 .CHAPTER VIII THE RELIGIOUS ASPECTS OF THE HYPOTHESIS Although in I have no wish to become involved controversial on a me theology.
but only I with the legitimacy of the end.THE RELIGIOUS ASPECT Even part of so. on the representatives of certain orthodox to find theology. those with whom am so unfortunate as to disagree on this matter accuse me on two First it counts. In the or first " Unreasoning Belief place the idea of " is Blind Faith " one which involves a contradiction in terms. I am told that to explain such a matter as the Survival of Death or the nature of the connection between matter and spirit. . I 169 discussion had to might have omitted the present I not found a tendency. understood that I am not clearly concerned here with the defence of Psychical intelligible solution to the It must be Research as a means of investigation. Generally speaking. is suggested that advance by attempting to Reason or Sight rather than by I am " " Faith and. secondly. I need hardly say that I violently resent both these accusations. would tend to reduce everything to terms of mere mechanism and to leave no place at all in the Cosmos for Divine Will and Purpose or for the transcendental and mystical aspects of religion. The first charge seems to me " to be easy of refutation. deprecate any attempt an problems involved.
an act of reasoning. see.. think that this puts the whole matter in one sentence. Finally. he has in doing so performed one act of private judgment (i. but a phase in the general upward progress of man whether considered collectively or individually which and that consequently any knowledge is desirable will enable us consciously and intelligently to co-operate in the process. I submit that Life is not a sort of crazy competition in which special awards are to be received for completing the course blindfold. which includes all the rest.g. not of having no doubts dispelling but of them.. Thirdly.170 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL " well says in his As Whately If " " Logic : a man resolves that he will implicitly receive e. he must still be able to believe his ." it is Hence impossible to dissociate Faith and Reason. Church or Party.e. does not mean feeling no fear but the overcoming of it . so Faith consists. and that this involves a deliberate exercise of the will in choosing between two possible alternatives . all the decisions of a certain Pastor. Secondly. in its proper sense. in religious points. the result of reasoning). however clearly a man and I can eyes. just as Courage. is to say.
Any me. . such idea would be infinitely repugnant to the Moreover. should have any bearing on religion at all. The first and most obvious of all the problem of the nature and origin of Consciousness is one to which we can never hope to find an answer. measurements or The supreme effort of Faith. of which Reason is a part. using the word in its widest sense. attempt would inevitably be foredoomed to failure since there are problems which are essentially insoluble. however conclusively we may demonstrate a proposition. we must believe that leads in the right direction. is a coherent whole and not a Chaos. But quite apart from all this to see I entirely fail why the explanation of mechanism. In the first place should never dream of attempting to reduce the whole Cosmos to terms of mechanism. made by the most material of scientists no less than by the Saint. The second argument appears to me to be I equally fissiparous. we are still dependent on our Faith in the validity of of the observations on. is the belief that the Cosmos.THE RELIGIOUS ASPECT However still 171 plainly it we can see the path. which is Reason and the veridicity it is based and this equally the case whether the latter be scientific spiritual experiences.
it is evident that this survival must in the take place by virtue of certain properties inherent Cosmos and the necessity of Faith in our ultimate destiny will not be affected by any determination of the nature of those properties. is concerned rather with motives than with methods. has any more to do . since the idea of pure essence inconceivable. mean something more than a mere code of morals. we believe in the survival of the individual personality after death. If our Consciousness does in fact persist after it death must do so I in some state of is embodiment. For my part utterly fail to understand why the study of the nature of the vehicle in which the consciousness functions after death. or of the conditions in which it lives. If a child were to ask one did not to fall why the sun and moon reply the effect on to the earth.172 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL by which I Religion. one might that they were prevented Will. required by the Christian religion. from doing so by the exercise of the Divine Alternatively one might embark on a about the law of gravitation and disquisition planetary mechanics. means employed. The two forms of explanation would be by no means mutually exclusive since the second does no more than expand the as first by an exposition of the If.
but as vital a force in the world to-day Christianity is as it was when that account was taken literally word for word. if any specific revelation existed on the subject of the manner of survival. Modern research on Evolution and the process natural selection have somewhat notably discounted the story of Adam and Eve in the of garden But it Eden. The account of the creation given in Genesis has had to be re-interpreted in the light of geological and astronomical knowledge.THE RELIGIOUS ASPECT with religion. for instance. if. of than the study physical world. I the physical body and the need hardly say that I do not anticipate that Psychic Research will confirm the idea of the Heaven and Hell of harps and crowns on the one hand and fire and brimstone on the other. would be difficult to maintain that the of Christian religion has suffered as a conse- quence. But it would be a old-fashioned conventional bold person who would be prepared to maintain now-a-days that these ideas form an integral part of Christianity. considered as historical fact. Even so. . 173 in the proper sense of the term. any of the words of Christ could be held to contain any precise information on the subject.
174 it THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL But is might be contended that no further knowledge this is not the case. if it be the true religion. supposing them to be accurate and reliable. mechanism and no knowledge. as " next world " and conditions of life we know of this. to meet a cosmos organised in this particular no other. Immortality is insisted on. so to speak. false. how- as to the former can possibly either impair or replace the latter. In short religion as I do not see that the necessity for an integral part of life would be one whit diminished even supposing we knew as much about the therein. any veto on endeavours to ascertain those conditions. is For the truth there at the moment we may as we believe. the Christian religion way and Unless. good no matter what may bring to light. so far as I am aware. laid I Nor. no matter how much they may differ from our preconceived this contention holds And results research ideas. but nothing specific said of the conditions by virtue of is which it obtains. was necessary. cosmic and ever religion are distinct. a . all the time although not have grasped it and the Christian religion. it is in therefore. be impossible that the results of research. repeat that in my opinion. full. the needs of was framed.
G. Or if it is a matter feel I with religious truth. Chesterton in his book Orthodoxy." With these although it is I am prepared to stand four-square. In case any one should specify more precisely than of the interpretation of this in I terms of conduct. I would refer them to the Nicene creed. " in should cite " My duty My towards my Or in " duty towards God neighbour writings I and the Church would is " Catechism. K. Hitherto in this discussion I have been concerned only with negatives. conceivable that I might find myself at variance with some authorities to on the precise interpretation as for instance to be " clauses. That is to say I have been trying to show that there is nothing . what I mean by the Christian religion. should in any way conflict that I ought to have done.THE RELIGIOUS ASPECT 175 matter which can only be ensured by the exercise of scientific reason. But controversies about interpretation have rife among Christian theorists from the earliest times and differences of opinion on minor been points do not constitute lack of adherence in fundamentals. given " the resurrection of the dead certain in the first mentioned. secular of mention " that view Christianity which defended by Mr.
In the second chapter believing I gave my of reasons for that the establishing hypothesis would be calculated to principle cause of dissension between religious some such remove the I and materialistically scientific thinkers. have explained that see nothing in anyway repugnant to religion in the attempt to formulate . the general acceptance the hypothesis would be of real value. I do not mean to claim this as a merit of the four-dimensional hypothesis as such. for it would equally accrue to any other hypothesis which might prove to be true. there pointed out that the chief strength of the materialist lay in the reluctance or inability of the Church to give an intelligible explanation of the terms used in speaking of certain religious I and I spiritual matters. in that it would put into the hands of the Church a very powerful weapon for the repelling of a certain form of attack. I believe that so far from being antagonistic to of Christian teaching. There is however a positive side to the question.176 in the THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL attempt which has led me to adopt the fourdimensional hypothesis which is in any way contrary to the essential teachings of Christianity. that of the scientific materialist to wit.
. he could always return to the attack. by the justification is a Such way. by unanimous. is the final and only permanent reality and that Spirit therefore cannot exist. would be finally and for the general " " What ever to deprive the materialist of the possibility of maintaining that matter. using with regard to that state the same arguments as he originally used But having once broken through the ring fence of matter and demonstrated that there exist other realities of which he was with regard to this. freed justifying qua religion.THE RELIGIOUS ASPECT an hypothesis to 177 of explain the mechanism survival. Chesterton's Orthodoxy mentioned above as a very admirable example. acceptance of such an hypothesis would do. we suppose of for the sake argument that we could a finally attain to as complete as knowledge the " next world " we at present possess of this. of this the or acceptance. It is true that this would only involve driving If him back one of stage. Equally considered ethical it as should be observed that religion. something more than a mere in and moral code. any other hypothesis. as he knows it. I regard Mr. of which order. however matter for an apologetic of quite another order. would be from the necessity of no way itself. etc.
178 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL he could never at one time entirely ignorant. may be a non-material reality and the cul-de-sac is at once broken through and becomes a vista. He could never catch us again. so to speak. them as mere hallucinations and to write " our alleged as superstitious myths. that until we are of prepared to give an intelligible explanation things de-sac we are pent up in a bounded by matter. that there a way out. as the result of personal experience. is a somewhat fantastical and scarcely within the sphere of supposition I admit that the above practical politics. is . but the point is. that not the only reality but our knowledge scientist is a purely personal affair and the perfectly entitled. if he wishes. matter is is sort of intellectual cul- We may know. in a manner that there calculated to appeal to his intellect. This of where I am convinced that the adoption of some hypothesis the same general order . but the and we that point shall certainly require faith to believe leads to the right destination. But let us once demonstrate to him. to to dismiss off decline to take the steps that led to the experiences which have convinced " revelations us. It may it is is be one of which we cannot see the end. deny that there might still be realms as yet unknown to him. that it is a vista and not a cul-de-sac.
its capacity The reason I for this omission is do In not consider that there simply that is any such in significance. ought to and not to deprecate or oppose attempts encourage on these lines. should like to I make clear that I only do so is because vital am convinced that the Church of a and indispensable part I human If I life. by which term those whose business mean more especially it is to concern themselves with the general trend of Christian policy with regard contemporary thought. so far as I can see. to In I thus venturing to it criticise the Church. the main concept of existence four- dimensional space after death there is. dimensionality and not merely in as a hypothesis. and because wish to see her influence increased and extended rather than diminished. nothing either to contradict or to . otherwise criticise.THE RELIGIOUS ASPECT as 179 that which I prove of definite is have been advocating would value to the Church and that why I am so strongly of opinion that the I Church. I thought should not take the trouble even to So far I have said nothing about the of the religious four-dimensional hypothesis significance as such considered that is to say as to its four.
not in the form " " of but embodied in some form pure essence of vehicle.i8o THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL confirm anything taught by the Church except the bare fact of survival which both affirm." . Any such discussion would existence be both lengthy and out the of place as it would both involve a detailed critical examination of authenticity and interpretation of the pro- nouncements. I have carefully omitted of all reference to the descriptions which post-mortem have been obtained from time to time through mediumistic sources. The only point about the four - dimensional hypothesis as such which I think at all likely to be called in question from the religious point of view. But this is a matter which I is fully included under the general arguments adduced of the legitimacy of investigating the in favour " Cosmic mechanism be no need " to the utmost and there seems to note however that a large adhered to " for a separate re-discussion here. A number of quotations on the subject are given in M. Leon " Denis' book Christianity and Spiritualism. It is interesting to number the of the early Christian thinkers view that " the soul had some sort of material or quasi-material vehicle. is that involved in the suggestion that Consciousness persists after death.
CHAPTER IX SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION I will bring this recapitulation of work its more to a close by a brief salient points. 181 . is or picture its nature to ourselves. From every The best way of drawing conclusions as to the properties of four-space is of the two-dimensional is by means . and only such that through any four. four. lines can be drawn mutually at right angles. space. of the analogy world since is four-space to three-space as the latter to two-space. point in our space a line can be drawn running off in the direction of four space." and the A flat surface independent twois is space at we know of three- The dimension must be direction direction right the to fourth angles every which can be drawn in our space and is four-dimensional space point in it. A dimension in is defined as "an direction dimensional dimensional. Consequently every point in our space is absolutely accessible from the direction of the fourth dimension. The that it fact that we cannot perceive four-space. is no proof N non-existent.
respects. It affords us a means of conceiving a mode of existence which is real and yet imperceptible mounting one of the to our senses. .182 I THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL suggest as a working hypothesis that fourspace is a reality and that Man possesses at least one other vehicle of Consciousness a four- dimensional one besides is his physical body. vision. The hypothesis is capable of throwing light on " " a number of Psychic phenomena which are otherwise very obscure. In this vehicle he embodied after discarding the physical vehicle at death and also during temporary absences from the body during life. This hypothesis is likely to prove of importance in provides Psychic Research with a working hypothesis which may be essential to its development as a science. two it Secondly the adoption of some such hypothesis should go far to remove the principle cause of recent cleavage between Religious and Scientific thought. First. it also helps us to With regard to Clairvoyance some slight extent. presents special although difficulties this phenomenon its of own. In the realm of Clairvoyance it enables us to form some idea of the nature of the faculty of internal in space. thus surchief difficulties in the way of conceiving of post-mortem existence.
The It hypothesis may also of have a certain significance. however. are those gneral title most known under the of " apparent penetration of matter affords by far the simplest and the only explanation and. but this evidence. if they are probably by matter. even in the realm pure Philosophy." To these it regarded as irrefutably established. consideration of Time and of the possibility of Prevision. The as locus classicus of such phenomena is is the Slade-Zollner investigation. it will be difficult to avoid the conclusion that four space is a reality. worthless subject The literature of the abounds with records of similar occurrences. is of interest in the consequently. enables us to conceive of the simultaneous existence of a series of three space simultaneities and. The phenomena with which connected. It also works in well with a certain view of the nature of Vitality. . The hypothesis also seems to offer a means of explaining the paradoxical of possible rigidity the impalpable structure discovered by Crawford.SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION Other varieties of 183 " " out of the body closely experiences are much elucidated it by is its aid.
in Such a link must some way. therefore be.184 THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL As regards its relation to ordinary physical science. may reason- ably be supposed to endow properties. common If the four-dimensional hypothesis is correct there should exist some sort of connecting link between the physical body and the four- dimensional vehicle. The function of this link would be to deflect sensory impressions out of three space into four space thus enabling them to reach the Consciousness resident in the latter. intermediate between ordinary matter and four-dimensional matter. with peculiar . That is to say. while recent views indicate that on "Relativity" strongly Physicists will soon regard the four-dimensionality of the Universe as a place. more than a mere mathematical concept. but. It is possible that it may some day come to be recognised as having some significance in the theory of the nature of electrons and of ether. we find nothing to conflict with it. on the contrary that there are a certain number of indications that four-space is as I suggest. it must possess some degree of This it four-dimensional complexity.
of Kilner. The experiments ford de Rochas. the acceptance of such an hypothesis would cut the ground from under the feet of those who seek to maintain that matter Spirit is the only reality and that therefore Spiritual life and the are mere illusions. is there anything in this particular hypothesis which can be held to conflict with Religious doctrines. and of Crawseem to indicate that such a connecting This is link does. On the other hand. The attempt to formulate an hypothesis of Nor this nature is not repugnant to Religion. confirmed by the testimony of clairvoyants. . it would tend to confirm the of hypothesis. should be allowed some weight. as the effect would be to eliminate that element discussion which is so fruitful a source of progress. of MacDougal. in fact.SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION If 185 in such a connecting link be found to exist practice. though not of a nature to be rated too highly or accepted lightly. exist. of Joire. Indeed would be of critical unfortunate he were to do so. of Baraduc. No writer can expect to bring all it his readers to his way of if thinking. which.
THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL
Consequently, I do not anticipate that every reader will agree with me. All I venture to hope is that I may have made good my contention
of the scorn
poured on them as a result
consideration as a tentative working hypothesis by those who are seeking to clear up the many
If this little
thought worthy of criticism, Its purpose will have been
succeeds in arousing interest
a very fruitful
the analogy of the relation between two and three-dimensional space enables
us to determine some of the properties of fourdimensional figures
dimensionality corresponding figure in the next higher space, by moving in a direction at right angles to any direction
space a generates
general, space of
any dimensionality generates, by such a movement, the next higher space."
Thus, the lowest sort of space is space of zero dimensions, i.e., a mathematical point. If it
moves a distance
one inch long
one inch, it traces out a Line " to say a one space figure."
are not necessarily the For generate them.
The figures thus produced analogues of the figures which instance a circle, moving in a direction would generate a cylinder whereas analogue of a circle is a sphere.
perpendicular to itself, the three-dimensional
THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL
at right angles to itself for a distance
of one inch.it traces out a two space figure, viz., a square of side one inch. If this again moves a distance of one inch in a direction at right
angles to every direction that can be drawn within it, that is, in a direction perpendicular
traces out a cube of side one inch, " a three space figure or solid."
must, therefore, conclude, from analogy, that if the cube were itself to move, a distance
direction that can be
one inch, in a direction at right angles to every drawn in our space in
would generate a
of side one inch.
The higher solid thus generated " Tesseract and its properties are
quite well known.
corresponding the next lower space."
Since a point
defined as having
no magnitude," an infinite number
would require points to make up a
Similarly a line has length, but no breadth
would therefore require an
of lines laid side
up a surface.
Again a surface has, theoretically, no thickness, and it would therefore require an infinite number
superimposed on one another to make
would require an
must therefore conclude, by analogy, that infinite number of solids
higher solid." In particular, a Tesseract must be supposed to contain an infinite number of cubes, and, in
make up a
must be conceived
of three spaces.
a figure in a space of any dimensionality are themselves figures in the next lower space."
Thus a Line (one space)
bounded by Points bounded by Lines
solid (three space) is
bounded by Surfaces
are separated by a space of the next lower dimensionality. of any dimensionality. six surfaces. BC. bounded by namely. BCFG. The square. r/g. ABCD.to A B by CD. We them. the points A and B. CDEF. ADEH. is ABCDEFGH. Similarly is we must conclude see later that a tesseract bounded by cubes. EFGH. (Fig. DA. The cube. is bounded four lines AB. GHAB.igo THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL must conclude therefore ' ' We solids that " higher Solids (four space) are bounded by (three space). C D. To take the special case with which we are B already line familiar. is The bounded by AB." . 10). shall that there are eight of (4) We may put : (3) in a slightly different way. by saying that " Two adjacent portions of space.
// /T / .APPENDIX 191 B B F//.
THE MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL
Thirty-two linear edges, and Sixteen corner
difficult to grasp.
In reality however,
have only to remember that the tesseract
generated by the
a cube, in a
direction at right angles to every direction that
can be drawn in the cube, and that whenever
a figure of a given dimensionality moves thus it generates a figure of the next higher
Thus every point
will trace out
every line a surface, and every surface a solid, and, since the distance moved is equal to
the length of the side of the cube, these surfaces be squares and the solids will be cubes.
of the generation of the
consider the analogous case cube by the movement
of a square.
represent the original position
of the square. It moves, a distance equal to one of its sides, in a direction at right angles to
every direction that can be drawn within itself at right angles, i.e.,
rest in the position
side has traced out another square
have, with which
addition, ABCD, we started and the new square EFGH, with which we end. Thus even if we had no idea how many sides, edges, and corners a cube had we could deduce
should say Every side of the original square has traced out a new square that makes 4 and we also
making a total of 6. A cube, therefore, must be bounded by 6 square surfaces.
that the original
square and the
square have each 4
and that each
points of the original square
would trace out a and we would therefore
since in a
uniform motion no new
be generated, we should expect the cube to have a total of 8 corner points, i.e., the
four corners of the original square
and the four
corners of the final square.
us apply the same methods to the generation of the tesseract by the movement of a cube.
Observe that just as in the case of the square generating the cube we had the original square to start with and what I called the "final"
square to end up with, so, in this case, we shall start and end up with a cube.
In the process of the movement every face of the cube will generate a new cube that means
cubes, since the cube
must have had 6
will also be the original cube cube, making a total of 8 cubes all
must therefore be bounded
Similarly each line of the original cube will trace out a square. This, since a cube has 12
edges, gives us 12
plus 6 from the
and 6 from the
Again each point
final cube, or
a total of
tesseract therefore has 24 plane square
of the original
trace out a line,
be 12 lines in the original and 12 in the cube, making a total of 32.
Finally, there will be 8 points in the original
cube and 8 in the
been produced on the way. So a tesseract therefore have 16 corner points.
this process should not
For a tesseract
be supposed to move, in distance equal to the
length of one of its edges, in a direction not contained in itself and will generate a five dimensional figure, bounded by ten tesseracts,
and having in and 32 corner
these are of
40 cubes, 80 squares, 80 lines, Thus a whole series of points.
Higher Space figures
not deal with
AUSTIN AND SON, LTD.
20 42. 7 sqq. 62 86-91. 189. 54. 191 Ether.49 : 96 98 Bergson's views on 99 Subjective Two-dimensional world.. Negative Peters. Hinton's analogy Exteriorisation of Sensibility Telepathy Television Tesseract Faith and Reason Fatalism Flatland 107 -109 7 124. 176. Parallaxes.. Objectivity of 109-112 Spectrum 43 . 73 sqq. 35. Space. Eusapia . 62. 55 127 148147 117. 48 Clairvoyance Crawford 86. 73 sqq...INDEX PAGE Anaesthesia 146.57 84 124 42. 7 One-dimensional space Palladino... Hintons theories of Etheric double.. Exteriorisa- Dreams Electricity.. conservation of Symmetry Telekinesis 127 141 169 131133 39... Loss of weight at 143 Dimension. 77.. tion of .. Definition of. Theories of . 16 logue of Discussion of evidence for PAGE Materialists . 73 sqq. .. 86 39. Four-dirnensional 127 Dr 142143 91. cases of Postvision Prevision 39. Anra Astral plane Cantilever. 83 . 113-141 Change in a two dimensional world 17. 42. anaTwo-dimensional 15. 159. Time Measurement 92103 of 94 down of Hair-trigger theory Hallucination Hypothesis... 177 Milan Committee Occultists 83 32. Richet Rotation in four. 160 113141 Vitality Vortices. Relativity Religion 133135 168180 31 . Energy.space Sambor 129 84 41 141 68. 160 Geometry. 48. Christian Apport. 3 62 Direct Voice Disembodiment. 144.. 126 116. 52.. 177 Apologetics.55. 147 Death.145 Carrington. 51 Theologians Theosophists 32 . 74. 32. Zollner 1. 145. 145 86 Levitation Light. 35.. 35.30 113141 Will 7 Zero-dimensional space . 34 . 141 50. 41 46.. analogy of True Hyslop. 120 Slade 64. Dr Internal Vision Kilner.. 111 188.. 62... 147 .. Crawford's 62. 53 142... Need Valid of 2438 29 *9 77 46. 150154 Secondary personality Sensibility. 103-107 55 Psycho-analysis Reason and Faith Reichenbach 169 140 32. 161 126 83 Phantasms Pogorelsky Poincare 52. Here ward 71. Possible break . 29. 143.. Dr 74.. Ultra-violet light 43.
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