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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/620

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Rogers in a matter-of-fact way looked for a few minutes at a postage stamp, then retired to a dark room, and gazed through the lens of the camera at the sensitive plate. The figure of the postage stamp was on his mind, and from his mind it passed out through the sensitive ether to the plate made ready to receive it. The result was a photograph of the stamp—small and a little blurred, but showing the undoubted features of the gracious Queen and the words "one penny" Thus was the bridge between psychic power and photographic sensitiveness made once for all. This connection established, there is naturally no limit to the application of the principle.

It thus becomes plain that the invisible rays of Röntgen are not light in the common sense, but akin rather to the brain emanations, or odic forces, which pass from mind to mind without the intervention of forms of gross matter as a medium, and to which gross matter in all its forms is subject.

Nor is this principle new in the philosophy of man. The wise of all ages have held that mind is sovereign over matter. Besides this general law, it has been known to our fathers that in the eye of the dying man is impressed the last scene on which he looked in life. With instruments of precision we may examine that scene, and by skillful photography we should be able to secure and fix it for all time. Whittier foreshadows the broad law on which this rests when he asks:

Do pictures of all the ages live
On Nature's infinite negative,
Whence half in sport, in malice half,
She throws at times, with shudder or laugh,
Phantom and shadow in photograph?

It may be that by means of such negatives History is able to repeat herself. It is not unlikely that among the latent powers which are conferred upon man by the possession of the astral body, are those which will enable him to read the pictures on the infinite negatives of Nature, and by that means to rescue the records of the vanished past.

Following the experiments of Prof. Rogers, other physicists have tried to photograph the psychical images as they are impressed on the retina by the force of imagination. It is evident that such images are distinct from those arising from immediate contact with reality; but their real nature is the same in essence. When Inglis Rogers was gazing at the stamp he saw only an image on the retina, and in reality it was not on the material cells of the retina itself that the image rested, but it was on the tabula rasa of the mind. It was outward from the mind itself, not from the retina, that this was projected through the sensitive and responsive ether to the sensitive plate of photography, an arrange-