The Spiritual Delusion/1.2.4
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4. In its fallacious mental philosophy.
The genuine spiritist recognizes no such thing as genius. “Spirit-power” is claimed for every act done, word spoken, or emotion felt. Every invention with which the world has been blessed is the result of ideas impressed on the mind by unseen beings. Every poet, from Shakspeare and Burns down to the trance-medium, is only a vehicle for inspiration from “the invisibles.” All our orators, from the most eloquent statesman, whose burning’ words have kindled into a flame the souls of a whole nation, even to the itinerant spiritist lecturer that charms the gaping crowd, are but puppets in the hands of those who hold the wires on the unseen side of life. Our very dreams are revelations of the higher life, and have been carefully studied and their significance tabulated by a distinguished spiritist, in a “Book of Dreams,” and advertised in spirital papers.
Even those who are entirely unaware of the presence of “intellectual guides” are as certainly under their influence as any of the well-known media. The editor of the principal journal of this modern “spiritual philosophy” (assisted by the jacketless Franklin) recently assured me that, by long experience in inspired writings, he could instantly detect the extent of inspirational control in any article sent to him for publication, and he had frequently noticed in my contributions convincing evidence of a high degree of “inspirational control.” Hence the reader may view these pages as the work of some paradoxical “spirit” that has not as yet progressed to the possession of a ten-acre lot in the higher “spheres,” but is awaiting, on the sandy plain of the lower region, the necessary inflation for an upward course.
J. M. Peebles, “the Spiritual Pilgrim,” for many years one of the editorial corps of the Banner of Light, asserts, in his “Seers of the Ages,” that every act performed by the “psychologist” upon his subjects can only be explained by being viewed as the influence of the denizens of the other world. The well-known phenomena of Impressions transmitted from one mind to another, loosely classed together under the term clairvoyance, are universally regarded by spiritists as test-manifestations, and media relate that while under the control of the “influence” using their organism for the time being, their own spirit is traveling in other places, often in Europe, or other far-distant lands.
Disembodied spirits have been accredited with inspiring the mind of Edgar A. Poe when he was with us, but the brighter light of this newer philosophy shows us that the vinous stimulants were only the agencies employed for harmonizing his mind into the condition of “passive receptivity” necessary for catching the “music of the spheres.” Thus we become mere “spouts,” to use A. J. Davis’s appropriate word, through which the inspiration of others is poured. If indeed Poe was incapable of any original mental power, but was a mere automatic distributer of ideas injected into his mind, we might well wonder how he could now, in his jacketless condition, be able to do nearly, if not quite, as well through the physical organisms of others, as admirers of his recent poetical communications believe.
The laws of mind are only to be studied and understood in the light of mediumship. Genius is a plant indigenous to the higher latitudes of the “spheres,” whither all forms of life are tending, for all animate and inanimate forms have their indwelling spirital entity,—a “sublimated” body which still lives on in the other life. Immortality is not more peculiar to man than to the pig or the tree.
- “Pig, bullock, goose, must have their goblins too.
- Else ours would have to go without their dinners:
- If that starvation doctrine were but true,
- How hard the fate of gormandizing sinners!”
Spiritism, though claiming to be as yet but a child in years, is really an old friend of extremely antiquated appearance, being as old as human ignorance. When it is critically examined, we discern it to be strutting in borrowed clothing and betraying, by its confusion of thought, more affiliation with the rude polytheistic conceptions of ancient Greece, Rome, and Persia than with the analytic mental philosophy of our day, and hence, notwithstanding its high pretensions, unphilosophical and gross in its teachings.