And now we may ask, how can a will manifest itself intelligently and unconsciously at the same time? It is difficult, if not impossible, to conceive of intellection apart from consciousness. By consciousness we do

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not necessarily imply physical or corporeal consciousness. Consciousness is a quality of the sentient principle, or, in other words, the soul; and the latter often displays activity even while the body is asleep or paralyzed. When we lift our arm mechanically, we may imagine that we do it unconsciously because our superficial senses cannot appreciate the interval between the formulation of the purpose and its execution. Latent as it seemed to us, our vigilant will evolved force, and set our matter in motion. There is nothing in the nature of the most trivial of mediumistic phenomena to make Mr. Cox’s theory plausible. If the intelligence manifested by this force is no proof that it belongs to a disembodied spirit, still less is it evidence that it is unconsciously given out by the medium; Mr. Crookes himself tells us of cases where the intelligence could not have emanated from any one in the room; as in the instance where the word “however,” covered by his finger and unknown even to himself, was correctly written by planchette. No explanation whatever can account for this case; the only hypothesis tenable — if we exclude the agency of a spirit-power — is that the clairvoyant faculties were brought into play. But scientists deny clairvoyance; and if, to escape the unwelcome alternative of accrediting the phenomena to a spiritual source, they concede to us the fact of clairvoyance, it then devolves upon them to either accept the kabalistic explanation of what this faculty is, or achieve the task hitherto impracticable of making a new theory to fit the facts.

Again, if for the sake of argument it should be admitted that Mr. Crookes’ word “however” might have been clairvoyantly read, what shall we say of mediumistic communications having a prophetic character? Does any theory of mediumistic impulse account for the ability to foretell events beyond the possible knowledge of both speaker and listener? Mr. Cox will have to try again.

As we have said before, the modern psychic force, and the ancient oracular fluids, whether terrestrial or sidereal, are identical in essence — simply a blind force. So is air. And while in a dialogue the sound-waves produced by a conversation of the speakers affect the same body of air, that does not imply any doubt of the fact that there are two persons talking with each other. Is it any more reasonable to say that when a common agent is employed by medium and “spirit” to intercommunicate, there must necessarily be but one intelligence displaying itself? As the air is necessary for the mutual exchange of audible sounds, so are certain currents of astral light, or ether directed by an Intelligence, necessary for the production of the phenomena called spiritual. Place

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two interlocutors in the exhausted receiver of an air-pump, and, if they could live, their words would remain inarticulate thoughts, for there would be no air to vibrate, and hence no ripple of sound would reach their ears. Place the strongest medium in such isolating atmosphere as a powerful mesmerizer, familiar with the properties of the magical agent, can create around him, and no manifestations will take place until some opposing intelligence, more potential than the will-power of the mesmerizer, overcomes the latter and terminates the astral inertia.

The ancients were at no loss to discriminate between a blind force acting spontaneously and the same force when directed by an intelligence.

Plutarch, the priest of Apollo, when speaking of the oracular vapors which were but a subterranean gas, imbued with intoxicating magnetic properties, shows its nature to be dual, when he addresses it in these words: “And who art thou? without a God who creates and ripens thee; without a daemon [spirit] who, acting under the orders of God, directs and governs thee; thou canst do nothing, thou art nothing but a vain breath.” Thus without the indwelling soul or intelligence, “Psychic Force” would be also but a “vain breath.”

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