The Subliminal Self

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The Subliminal Self. Editor Popular Science:

Dr. R. O. Mason is quoted as saying that the supra-normal vision of the subconscious self is not generally accepted for a fact, "because from the standpoint of the ordinary laws of optics acting upon physical organs, such vision is of course impossible. But within the last ten years the subject has been systematically studied as never before, and the evidence of such vision is simply overwhelming."

If these assertions are reliable, the results of the last ten years are by far the most important in science. Not a few eminent psychologists, among them Georget, have, indeed, been convinced some time ago, by the phenomena of somnambulism, that there is such "a subliminal self, or second personality, whose action is not strictly limited by the physical body." But the majority, as Dr. Mason says, have remained unconvinced. Now if hypnotism has furnished overwhelming evidence, as he claims, for the existence of such a subliminal self, the effect of such evidence is not confined to clairvoyance, which he particularly mentions, but extends to clairaudience, pseudonmeme, and all those other phenomena which have been referred to the subliminal self but generally discredited on the ground of defective evidence.

The effect of the discoveries alleged by Dr. Mason is parallel to that of Davy's proof that a single inorganic alkali was a metallic oxide. When that had been proved of potassa, no one any longer doubted it of soda, lime, or other bodies having analogous properties. Similarly, if clairvoyance of the subliminal self has been established, it will readily be acknowledged that the subliminal self has ears, olfactories, tactiles, etc., in short, that the subliminal self is a soul, with powers and organs altogether parallel to those of the body, but distinct

The chief objection to the time-honored and almost universal belief in the immortality of the soul—that which has prevented this doctrine from having any place in science, notwithstanding considerable evidence of the "test" kind, is, I apprehend, that the existence of the soul needed to be independently proved before its existence apart from the body could come into view as a legitimate hypothesis. If the existence of the soul in connection with, but independent of the body, be really proved, its immortality will present no serious difficulty. A synopsis of the valid proofs would therefore be highly interesting to many of your readers as it would be to me.

C. L. James.


  • C. L. James, “The Subliminal Self,” Popular Science News 32, no. 12 (December 1898): 280.