As to his second point, we deny that “the proof is insufficient” that the force which produces the phenomena is sometimes directed by other intelligences than the mind of the “psychic.” On the contrary there is such an abundance of testimony to show that the mind of the medium, in a majority of cases, has nothing to do with the phenomena, that we cannot be content to let Mr. Cox’s bold assertion go unchallenged.

Equally illogical do we conceive to be his third proposition; for if the medium’s body be not the generator but simply the channel of the force which produces the phenomena — a question upon which Mr. Cox’s researches throw no light whatever — then it does not follow that because the medium’s “soul, spirit, or mind” directs the medium’s organism, therefore this “soul, spirit, or mind,” lifts a chair or raps at the call of the alphabet.

As to the fourth proposition, namely, that “spirits of the dead are the sole agents in the production of all the phenomena,” we need not join issue at the present moment, inasmuch as the nature of the spirits producing mediumistic manifestations is treated at length in other chapters.

The philosophers, and especially those who were initiated into the Mysteries, held that the astral soul is the impalpable duplicate of the gross external form which we call body. It is the perisprit of the Kardecists and the spirit-form of the spiritualists. Above this internal duplicate, and illuminating it as the warm ray of the sun illuminates the earth,

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fructifying the germ and calling out to spiritual vivification the latent qualities dormant in it, hovers the divine spirit. The astral perisprit is contained and confined within the physical body as ether in a bottle, or magnetism in magnetized iron. It is a centre and engine of force, fed from the universal supply of force, and moved by the same general laws which pervade all nature and produce all cosmical phenomena. Its inherent activity causes the incessant physical operations of the animal organism and ultimately results in the destruction of the latter by overuse and its own escape. It is the prisoner, not the voluntary tenant, of the body. It has an attraction so powerful to the external universal force, that after wearing out its casing it finally escapes to it. The stronger, grosser, more material its encasing body, the longer is the term of its imprisonment. Some persons are born with organizations so exceptional, that the door which shuts other people in from communication with the world of the astral light, can be easily unbarred and opened, and their souls can look into, or even pass into that world, and return again. Those who do this consciously, and at will, are termed magicians, hierophants, seers, adepts; those who are made to do it, either through the fluid of the mesmerizer or of “spirits,” are “mediums.” The astral soul, when the barriers are once opened, is so powerfully attracted by the universal, astral magnet, that it sometimes lifts its encasement with it and keeps it suspended in mid-air, until the gravity of matter reasserts its supremacy, and the body redescends again to earth.

Every objective manifestation, whether it be the motion of a living limb, or the movement of some inorganic body, requires two conditions: will and force — plus matter, or that which makes the object so moved visible to our eye; and these three are all convertible forces, or the force-correlation of the scientists. In their turn they are directed or rather overshadowed by the Divine intelligence which these men so studiously leave out of the account, but without which not even the crawling of the smallest earth-worm could ever take place. The simplest as the most common of all natural phenomena, — the rustling of the leaves which tremble under the gentle contact of the breeze — requires a constant exercise of these faculties. Scientists may well call them cosmic laws, immutable and unchangeable.

Behind these laws we must search for the intelligent cause, which once having created and set these laws in motion, has infused into them the essence of its own consciousness. Whether we call this the first cause, the universal will, or God, it must always bear intelligence.

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