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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 50.djvu/234

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the forces which, should bring about that movement upon which growth depends. The economist of the past generation still holds his ground, and our best hope lies in the fuller acceptance of his ideas. The economist, however, must feel, if he is to animate multitudes and inspire legislatures, that he, too, has a religion. Beneath the calmness of his analysis must be felt the throb of humanity. Slow in any case must be the secular progress of any branch of the human family; but if we take our stand upon facts, if our eyes are open to distinguish illusions from truth, if we are animated by the single purpose of subordinating our investigations and our actions to the lifting up of the standard of living, we may possess our souls in patience, waiting upon the promise of the future.

 

POSSESSION AND MEDIUMSHIP.
By Prof. WILLIAM ROMAINE NEWBOLD.

ALL the phenomena of which I have been treating in my past papers can be grouped under the three conceptions of suggestibility, automatism, and subconscious mental states. Suggestibility, in its narrowest sense, denotes an increased tendency on the part of certain mental states to work out their own proper results, without interference from other states, and especially without interference from that innermost essence of our sense of self which we call our will. It applies, therefore, primarily to states existing within the range of the individual's consciousness. The suggestible individual, when he can remember or describe his condition, usually feels his will or self in abeyance, and describes himself as the victim of a power which he can not resist. His body obeys commands which he himself is unwilling to obey; ideas and beliefs possess his consciousness which he himself is unable to expel, even though he recognizes their absurdity; hallucinations of all the senses obtrude themselves upon him, or portions of his conscious realm are withdrawn from him in a manner which he can not but ascribe to the workings of some force foreign to himself. When this sense of opposition is lacking, it is because the suggestion meets with no opposition on the part of his accredited beliefs and instincts, and thus merely augments the stream of his normal consciousness without his discovering its extraneous origin.

Suggested hallucinations and ideas do not differ in any respect from spontaneous hallucinations and automatic ideas, save that the source of the former is apparent and that of the latter is not. In the fields of sensation and ideation, therefore, the conceptions of suggestibility and automatism practically coincide. The case