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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/142

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138
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

"From shore to shore across the Atlantic Ocean runs a metallic cable. By means of electric batteries, magnets and sparks, a message is conveyed from one end of this to the other. Messages have been sent so many times that the most sceptical can not doubt the fact. By such means a wanderer in any part of the world may be found and called home, or if need be, sent still further on. Most of us have seen this done and all have heard of it. Because it has grown familiar it seems real to us, and its mystery is dissipated. But why use the metallic cable at all? What occult power lurks in metal? Why must we work always on the material plane? Why not use the air? And indeed the air has been used and with wonderful success. But let us not stop here. Why not use the invisible ether, along which so many forms of energy are propagated? Why not use the boundless sympathy of life? In Europe there is a large species of snail which runs up and down the cabbages feeding on their leaves and is very fond of its mate. It too has been used in telegraphy. Leave your sweetheart in Italy when you come back home but leave her with a large piece of cardboard and take another like it for yourself. On each of these write a number of sentences of sentiment and affection—quotations from the poets, the finest possible to your literary taste, Browning, Tennyson, Wordsworth, or the latest topical song—any of these will do. Then take for yourself one of a devoted pair of snails, leaving the other with her. At an agreed moment (standard time, making allowances for differences of longitude) place your snail upon the card and she will do the same with hers. Your snail will creep to any sentiment you choose as you direct it. Hers is left free in its movements, but it will follow the same course that its mate has chosen. Thus the sweetest messages can be sent across the ocean. The last word of the snail in America, 'All's well,' or 'Non ti scordar di me,' can be made to echo sweetly on a far-off shore. This is the Parasilinic Telegraph, no invention of mine, but the actual work of an ingenious 'psychic adept.'

"But why use the snails? Surely their cold slimy bodies are not more forceful than the throbbing heart and eager brain of man. Surely they are not more sensitive than his astral form. Let the snails go. They belong to the crude beginning of astral science. You have only to sit in your room alone in darkness, and by intense thought and irresistible volition you may set the whole ether of the world in palpitation with your dreams and desires.

"To your thought the 'sensitive' you love will respond. Her astral brain will register your ether throbs. 'It is my wish': that is enough for her. But you can do more than that, if we may trust the records. Your own astral body may be sent across the ocean on the tremulous ether and it will appear to her in her dreams or as part of her realities. While the absence of this body may be a slight inconvenience to you,