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tional critics of the eighteenth century explained them.
The knowledge of psychical phenomena, as a direct
result, will have the effect of widening the conception of
thaumaturgical religious facts, in showing that they
may have a certain reality without attributing to them
a supernatural character.

William James has said that the recent study of hyp-
notic phenomena has enabled scientific men to admit of
the possibility of miraculous healing, so far as being
considered a result of suggestion. The stigmata of
hysterical patients has made it possible to accept those
of St. Francis of Assisi. And stories of " possessions "
are now credible since we have cases of demonomania.

Similarly, on studying closely the life and character
of the men who have founded or renovated certain
religious movements, it is seen that, according to Wil-
liam James, " the manifestations of the religious life
often possess a close rapport with the subliminal life.
The temperament of the nevropath appears in the
various religious biographies. It would be difficult
to enumerate the names of religious initiators without
mentioning phenomena of automatism which they mani-
fested. I do not speak of the prophets and the der-
vishes only. ... I speak of those of superior mind,
the creators of ideas. Saint Paul had visions, ecstasies.
He was gifted with the power of glossolalia, although
he attached but little importance to it. All the great
reformers, the great saints, the great heretics — Saint
Bernard, Fox, Wesley, Luther, Ignatius of Loyola —


had visions, voices, ecstasies, fiery revelations, etc."

Thus we can trace in the history of religions all the
psychic phenomena, clothed, as it were, under a religious
cloak, although preserving under this form evident
analogies to phenomena of hypnotism, cryptopsychism,
animal magnetism, telepathy, and spiritism.

Who cannot but be struck by the similarity between
ecstasis and hypnosis? We find in both of them the
same state of mono-ideism, anesthesia, transfiguration.
Does not religious faith engender, as does hypnotic sug-
gestion, visions, stigmata, seemingly miraculous cures?
And does not divine inspiration, as well as diabolical
possession, present singular similarities with the crypto-
psychic phenomena or those of the dissociation of the

William James, in speaking of the similarity of con-
version and hypnotic suggestions, says that if you place
under the influence of suggestion, as Professor Coe did,
a subject who combines in him the following three fac-
tors: (i) a profound sensibility; (2) a tendency to
automatism; (3) the capacity to submit passively to
suggestion, you may be sure that you will obtain a sud-
den conversion.

Magnetoidal facts, also, can be traced in the history
of religions. Can we not recognize them in the atti-
tudes and gestures of certain Egyptian rites, as also in
the great importance attributed by Christian liturgy
to the imposition of the hands and to the breath?

In the healing of the hemorrhoidal woman, as re-
lated in the Gospels, Jesus acts and speaks not only as
would a modern hypnotist, but also as would a profes-
sional magnetizer. In the words of St. Luke:


And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which
had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed
of any,

Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment:
and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter
and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng
thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me ?

And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive
that virtue is gone out of me.

And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came
trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him
before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and
how she was healed immediately.

And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy
faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.

The cure, according to Jesus, was therefore the effect
of two concurrent causes: on the one hand, the virtue
emanating from him; and on the other, the faith of the
patient. In other words, it was animal magnetism
(Mesmer's doctrine) and suggestion (the doctrine of
the School of Nancy).

Similarly, in the order of telepsychism, such facts
as those of thought-penetration, prevision, distant-
seeing — of which there are too many authenticated
accounts to doubt their existence indefinitely — help us
to understand the phenomena of prophetism, the gift
of tongues, etc., of which every religion is replete with

Even the singular facts observed with spiritistic
mediums of physical phenomena are to be traced in the
lives of certain religious personalities. Apparitions,


bilocations, levitation, and hauntings are facts which
belong in common to religious sciences and to psychical
sciences; and it is to be hoped that the latter may help
the former to determine their real signification.

We are not yet in a position to state that the psychical
sciences, in their present state, are capable of throwing
much light upon the essential basis of religion. The
religious idea and the religious sentiment, taken in them-
selves, seem to be independent of all these more or less
pathological phenomena. It is, we believe, in the
higher aspirations of the normal faculties of human
nature that religion has its deep and perhaps inde-
structible roots.

Let us see, however, whether we cannot find an hy-
pothesis by which the psychical sciences may give us
some useful information regarding the origin and des-
tiny of religion in humanity. It is in the realm of
spiritoidal phenomena that this hypothesis should be

In the actual state of our knowledge, those who have
tried to understand these phenomena hesitate between
two interpretations: (i) that which would explain
them by the sole faculties of the medium who operates
subconsciously; (2) that which believes they are mani-
festations of intelligences external to our world — in
other words, the animistic or cryptopsychic interpreta-
tion and the spiritistic interpretation. On the one side
are Drs. Pierre Janet, Flournoy, and Richet; on the
other side, Frederic Myers, Sidgwick, Hodgson, and
Oliver Lodge.

Up to the present time the scale has seemed to incline
in favor of the first interpretation, the only one that


might a priori be acceptable, as it is the only one in
accord with the fundamental postulates of the scientific
method. But we might well suppose that in the
course of time the second interpretation will be found
to be the right one. Were its partisans to establish
definitely and unquestionably that we are in relation
with a spirit from the Beyond, really distinct from our
own spirit and not the creation of our subconsciousness
this would undoubtedly be an immense step forward in
the solution of these problems.

There would still remain, however, many other
problems to be solved.

First of all, the identity of the spirit should be
established. Usually they give the names of deceased
persons; but are they to be believed? May they not
assume the mask of some one known to us in order to
enter into relationship with us? Many facts seem to
justify this hypothesis. Who would be so bold as to
maintain the identity of controls giving the names of
Stanton Moses, Rector, Imperator, Victor Hugo, etc.?
Often, also, they take the ideas and emotions of those
to whom they are supposed to communicate them.

And this is exactly the point in favor of the crypto-
psychic interpretation. But our reasoning is in line
with the hypothesis, where this hypothesis were aban-
doned as insufficient to give an account of certain par-
ticularities of the facts already observed. From this,
who could fail to suppose, for the explanation of cer-
tain religious facts, that there exist several cosmic in-
telligences capable of interesting themselves in the lives
of humans and of intervening, during certain epochs, in
order to direct religious evolution? Hence the mir-


acles and the revelations, which take different forms
according to their different milieux: Buddhist, Mo-
hammedan, Roman Catholic, Protestant, etc. They
would be, for instance, those unknown entities trans-
forming themselves into St. Michael and Ste. Catherine
with Joan of Arc; into the Holy Virgin with Berna-
dette, etc. One might thus reach an explanation of
certain facts belonging to the history of religion. But
this hypothesis would not in any way bring us nearer
to true religion, to the ideal religion: that which con-
sists in adoring God, praying to him in spirit and in

Let us suppose it possible to prove that it is really
the souls of the dead which come back to assure us of
their existence. What would be the consequence of
such a certainty, from the religious point of view?

Perhaps it would be the justification of the doctrine
which places the origin of all religions in the worship
of the dead, in what might be called primitive spirit-
ism, that of the savages, ancestral worship as in China,
etc. Perhaps it would mean, also, the restoration of
such beliefs and practises in our own times. Thus reli-
gious evolution would complete its circle and come back
to its starting point.

To many, in fact, spiritism forms a veritable reli-
gion. Are there not to be found in America, England,
and elsewhere, spiritualistic churches which count their
followers by the thousands? In France this movement
seems less intense and is not so widely spread. But if
a new form of religion were to appear in the midst of
present-day humanity, and were to develop sufficient
power and influence to compete seriously with existing


forms of religion, it would seem that this new religion
would spring from the very heart of spiritism.

Modern spiritism will undoubtedly differ from the
ancient in its scientific and moral character. Neverthe-
less it will be founded upon the belief of the survival
of the dead, and upon the possibility of communicating
with them by the intermediary of quasi-magical proc-

But can religion reduce itself to the sole dogma of
a future life and the immortality of the soul? Is not
the dogma of the existence of God more essential,
solely essential, as William James puts it?

The spiritistic hypothesis offers, in itself, a means to
find the very existence of God. If the spirits are in
accord in teaching us, in proving to us, such an exist-
ence, it must be the revelation of God through the
spirits. There is indeed something quite startling in
this community of belief between the living and the
dead; yet one should know what kind of God it is that
the spirits reveal, and more especially what kind of
proofs they bring us of the truth of their beliefs.
They may come back from the Beyond, but their knowl-
edge, which may be more extended than ours, is never-
theless just as relative as our own.

Yet, if our spirit can, in its subliminal expression,
enter into communication with other spirits, can it not
also feel the presence of some Greater Spirit? Can it
not have, at certain moments, the intuition of a Su-
preme Presence, the presence of the Supreme Being,
Absolute and Infinite, Source of all Truth, of all Good
and Beauty? This would appear to be the thought of
William James: "Although he may be beyond the


limits of the individual being who is en rapport with
him in religious experience, ' the Greater ' is a part of
his subconscious life within his own limits."

Even if we identify the phenomenon of religion
with a phenomenon of telepathy between God and the
soul of the believer, the religious problem remains as
tantalizing as heretofore, and its solution, quite apart
from science, is a matter of sentiment and of faith.
Every intuition is, in essence, ineffable and incommuni-
cable. Where the objective verification is lacking, it
will remain forever impossible, according to Alfred
Fouillee, to distinguish the seer from the visionary.

But whatever progress may be accomplished in the
psychical sciences, and whatever may become of the
various forms of religion which actuate humanity, for a
long time yet and perhaps always, in the heart of man
shall remain the supreme Ideal of Justice and of
Sanctity. And side by side with this will be the enig-
matic inscription found by the apostles of early Chris-
tian times, which perhaps neither time nor space will
efface: " To God Unknown."


(From La realite du monde sensible, by Jean Jaures)

As the brain is enclosed in an organic envelope, solid
and in appearance closed, the imagination has a tend-
ency to picture it as being isolated from the exterior
world. But, in reality it may be that what we call the
brain is perpetually mixed and confounded with the
world, through a subtle and constant exchange of secret

We already have seen that for the man who would
look from without upon the brain perceiving the light,
the brain would extend, physiologically speaking, to the
focus of light lost in the mysterious depths of the night.
It would be, as it were, like a comet with condensed
nucleus, its tail sweeping into space.

When we look at another human being, we send to-
ward him a ray of light from our soul, heavy with
anger, or soft with tenderness. Evidently, then, our
cerebral activity is spread into space ; it widens, yet it
loses none of its precision, none of its organization.
Those who imagine that our brain is entirely contained
in the cranium are much mistaken.

With this point of view, all the phenomena — still
obscure and imperfectly controlled — of magnetism,
distant vision, and suggestion would contribute to
give us a better idea of our brain.



If it be true, as has been affirmed by reliable experi-
menters, that the human organism is capable of de-
veloping a magnetism sufficient to lift a table from the
ground, that it is especially through the exercise of
the will that such phenomena are obtained, and that
it is unconsciously that these persons are capable of
generating a motor-force of unknown nature upon ex-
terior objects, it would be quite true also that this cere-
bral energy is capable of radiating far out of its focus.
It appears, too, that the " self " is capable of exerting
an action upon ordinary matter without having re-
course, at least consciously, to the intermediary of the
organism, which would act, then, not as an active in-
strument but as a passive conductor.

The phenomenon of second-sight has been demon-
strated without any doubt in certain hypnotic cases.
Subjects can see and read through a barrier which for
others remains opaque. Therefore the opacity of mat-
ter is but relative. And, as in the case of our imagina-
tion, that which most separates our brain from the sur-
rounding world, is the opacity of our organism. When
this opacity is removed it leaves our cerebral focus and
the universe in immediate contact.

Thus the brain can radiate and act far beyond the
limits of the human organism. It does not appear any
longer as an organ shut off and enclosed in a bony cav-
ity. We now behold, in the order of physiology even,
the individual " self " widening out and, without losing
its ordinary connections with a particular organism,
creating for itself, outside of this organism, an indefi-
nite sphere of action.

Specialists have not yet been able to control the trans-


mission of thought from one subject to another, with-
out the intermediary of speech; but this fact has been
attested by a great number of serious experimenters.
In itself it constitutes a prodigious achievement which
must be separated and distinguished absolutely from
spoken suggestion; for the latter resorts to well known
physiological and psychological processes.

When, however, a subject transmits, without the use
of speech, an idea, a thought, an impression, or a
volition to another subject, there must evidently exist a
radiation of thought into space; for two brains are
thus placed in immediate relation, through this very
radiation. Thus the precise form of our thought is
propagated through space without alteration, as are the
forms of light, color, shade. In a word, our brain is,
as it were, a focus of thought; and even as the sun fills
all the spheres which its light occupies, and it would
be futile to reduce the sun to being but a globe from
which its light emanates, so the brain's sphere where
the action of its thoughts may extend, is of an ampli-
tude unknown to us.

It does not seem to me that all these phenomena
are studied with a sufficiently philosophical attitude of
mind, or, more exactly, metaphysical; one is occupied
only with the moral and social consequences which the
practise of suggestion entails; and it is certain that
the problem of " free-will " is again foremost, in view
of these facts.

But apart from this, these phenomena are of greater
import: they attest that there exist in man certain ex-
traordinary and unknown forces which are nil, or al-
most so, in his normal state, but which are manifested


in certain cases that we may call abnormal. There
exists in us an " unknown self " capable of exerting a
direct action upon matter, of lifting a foreign body
with an energetic will, just as if it were its own body,
of piercing by a look the opacity of walls, and of gath-
ering from afar and through space the unexpressed
thought of another " self."

We may ask whether we may not have here the
elements of a new progress in the consciousness and
the life of humanity. Why should evolution, for the
actual and normal man, have reached its ultimate term?

It would suffice to incorporate in man's normal be-
ing the prodigious forces which hypnotism places at his
disposal, for him to become a new being. He should
acquire magnetic action upon exterior objects, the deep
penetration of the look, and the immediate perception
of the thoughts of others through his own thoughts,
without losing possession of himself and with the con-
tinuity of memory which alone preserves one's in-
dividuality. It would mean that instead of keeping in
himself two distinct personalities — his normal self and
the abnormal self which hypnotism develops — he
would be able to fuse these two personalities into
one, thereby uniting their diverse potentialities.

Perhaps the universal and regulated practise of hyp-
notism, the methodical alternation of the normal and
the hypnotic states, habit and heredity, will bring about
this fusion of selves and so the creation of a new

Vainly will it be objected that these new powers
which man must assimilate manifest themselves during


states of coma or pain, and that, thus, they are repug-
nant to the healthy normal being. It is exactly here
that the human being is lacking: in those elements of
coordination and fusion between the normal state and
the new powers.

Who can say that throughout the immense evolu-
tion from amphibia to man, all progress has not been
linked with periods of crises and suffering? When the
first fish transformed its fins into wings to fly in the air,
who knows that its respiratory organs did not suffer as
a result? The unrest and anxiety which children mani-
fest at the approach of sleep are thoroughly character-
istic. The state of sleeping and that of waking are
two radically different states, and the passage from
one to the other constitutes in itself a veritable revolu-
tion. We are accustomed to it now, and are uncon-
scious of it; but the little child is not accustomed to
it, and suffers from it. Perhaps, even, it is afraid?

Little by little, we are able to assimilate ourselves
to sleep, which is, in spite of appearance, a violent
state of being, since it is the suppression of the definite
personality which we govern, to be replaced by an
obscure personality which governs itself, and which
often feeds upon monstrous sentiments and frightful

And when man shall have assimilated the potentiali-
ties of the magnetic and hypnotic states, can we not
realize how, in the current of everyday life, the human
organism may then become an accessory? No doubt it
would remain present in his consciousness, as the nee-


essary root of his individuality; but the " ego," the
" self," would be capable of moving, by direct voli-
tion, other bodies than his own.

It would no longer be, then, the exclusive soul of a
particular organism, but rather the soul of all things as
far as its action could extend. And if it could apply
itself to the whole universe, it would then become the
soul of the world.



Academie des Sciences, 20, 21
Active hypotheses, 50
Agrippa, 293
Alrutz, Sydney, 1 68-1 71
Analogical hypotheses, 72
Animal magnetism, 8, 16, 24, etc.
Auguste M. (subject), 215-217
Automatic writing, 59, 259
Automatisme psychologique, 23
Autoscopy, 235
Autosuggestion, 54, 56
Azam, Dr., 99

Babinski, Prof., 25
Bacon, 46, 57, 64, 141
Bardonnet, 150, 153, 154
Barety, Dr., 148, 167, 168
Beaunis, M. H., 187-190
Belief, importance of, 212, 221,

257, 271
Bergson, Prof., 43
Berillon, 14, 91
Bernard, Claude, 21, 46, 48, 49,

S3, 64, 67, 68, 228
Bernheim, Dr., 8, 12, 33, 110-114,

133, 143, 147
Biactinic force, 26, 60, etc.
Biactinism, 8, 26, etc.
Binet, Dr., 210
Biomagnetic action, 158
Boirac Method, 88, 165
Braid, 115, 129, 147, 165
Branly, 21
Buckley, Major, 240, 241

Cagliostro, 258
Camisards of Cevennes, 99
Campanella, 294
Catalepsy, 95

Charcot, 8, 12, 92, 94, 95, 211
Chevreul, 28
Clairvoyance, 28, 61, etc.

psychological, 187
Coe, Prof., 302
Communication of emotions, 183

of movement, 184

of thought, 27, 28, etc.
Comte, Auguste, 5, 13
Convulsionaries of St. Medard,

Cours theoretique et pratique de

Braidisme, 125
Credulity, state of, 103
Crocq, Dr., 83, 116, 117
Crookes, William, 12, 36, 44, 97,

Cross-correspondences, 286
Cryptopsychism, 24, 25, etc.
Crystal gazing, 59, 258
Cumberlandism, 190
Curie, Pierre, 21
Cuvier, 177

Deleuze, 44, 144, 155
Descartes, 36, 153, 154, 229, 267
Dissociation of the personality,

23. 59
Divining-rod, cause of movement

of, 28, 258




Dreams of a Spirit Seer, 278
Duchatel, Edmond, 28, 283
Dufay, Dr., 242-247
Dumontpallier, 12
Dupond, Madame, case of, 268-

Du Potet, 44, 144, 155
Du Prel, Carl, 297
Durand de Gros, 8, 14, 56, 79,

108, 124, 125
Durville, Gaston, 84

Emden Prize, Fanny, 20
Emotional diapsychism, 183
Esprits el mediums, 23, 268-270,

Eusapia Palladino, see Palladino
Experimental Method, 21, 41, etc.

reasoning, 67
Exteriorization of the sensitive-
ness, 24, 214-218, 237

Faria, Abbe, 33
Fascination, state of, 103
Flournoy, Prof., 12, 20, 39, 264,

268-270, 273, 305
Fouillee, Alfred, 122, 308

Galvani, 17

Gasparin, Count de, 264

Geley, Gustave, 37, 39, 255

Gibert, Dr., 191-198

Girault, Dr., 242-245

Grasset, 20

Gregory, William, 12, 44, 176,

178, 180, 183, 201, 207-209,

Grove, Mrs. (medium), 285
Gustave P. (subject), 198, 217-


Hericourt, M. J., 198
Herteville, Madame, case of, 278,

Hodgson, Dr. Richard, 275, 305
Home, D. D., 16
Human Personality, 276, 282
Husson, Dr., 44
Hyloscopy, 15, 24, etc.
Hypnoidal phenomena, 23, 34, etc.
Hypnoscope, 83
Hypnotism, 8, 23, etc.
Hypotaxy, 108, 124, 129

Idea-forces, law of, 122
Illusion, 47, 70, 73, 74
Inert hypotheses, 50
Inductive hypotheses, 72
Intellectual diapsychism, 181, 186
Intermittent subjects, 127
Introduction a I'etude experimen-
tale de la medicine, 53

James, William, 12, 275, 301, 302,

307, 308

Janet, Dr. Pierre, 12, 23, 59, 100,

168, 177, 191-198, 272, 296,

Jaures, Jean, 309
Jean B., case of, 248-253
Jean M. (subject), 217
Joire, Paul, 12
Jussieu, Antoine-Laurent de, 44,


Kant, 278
Kernig, 93
Kircher, Father, 117

Lafontaine, Charles, 44, 81
Lajoie, Dr., 116



La Magie science naturelle, 291

La realite du monde sensible, 309

Lasegue, 93

Laverdant, case of, 125, 128, 141

Lecons d'anatomie, 177

Le diagnostic de la suggestibilite,

Leibnitz, 151
Leonie (Madame B.), 177, I 9 1 ~

Lethargy, 56, 95, etc.
Letters to a Candid Inquirer on

Animal Magnetism, 176, 178
L'homme et I'intelligence, 77, 82
Liebeault, Dr., 8, 33, 131, 133, 144,

Liegeois, Dr., 33
Lodge, Sir Oliver, 12, 44, 275-288,

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