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little Ptolemaic theory. We now see that we may trust the advance of knowledge: that it is right to seek it.
"Whatever science can establish, that it has a right to establish: more than a right, it has a duty. If there be things which we are not intended to know, be assured that we shall never know them. If we refrain from examination and inquiry, for no better reason than the fanciful notion that perhaps we may
be trespassing on forbidden ground, such hesitation argues a pitiful lack of faith in the goodwill and friendliness and power of the forces that make for righteousness.” 1
And, as to the devil-theory, it certainly cannot be proved. Historically-in Christianity-it began by the Church classing the heathen gods as devils. These gods, as we have already seen (pp. 37-38), may in many instances have been human spirits, which were called daimones or elohim by some writers. And, the teaching and example of Christ being more potent for good than anything these "gods” could say or do, they were devils, comparatively speaking, whatever they were; and the Church was right in combating them. But, we repeat, is the situation the same now? These phenomena, whatever their cause, are leading people out of materialism to a position where religion becomes possible once more. As Myers said, they are proving the preamble of all religions—the existence of a spiritual world. Does it not seem that this step is in a good direction, and therefore hardly to be attributed to evil agency? Moreover, the Roman Church encourages the practice of praying to the Saints. Spiritualists are engaged in precisely this practice, when
Sir Oliver Lodge's “Man and the Universe," p. 209 (5th edition).
they ask for helpful messages or signals from friends on the other side. The difference is that these friends have not been officially canonised at Rome. But who at this date will affirm that the Roman Church has a monopoly of sainthood?
As to the spirits’ teaching, it seems to be always or practically always in line with high moral standards. In the matter of belief it is always theistic, always reverent; but not much concerned with intellectual niceties such as occupied the minds of Bishops in Church Councils. It does not debate whether the Third Person of the Trinity proceeds from both the First and the Second or from the First alone-a question which in its day split the Church in two. It is more practical; more like the teaching of Jesus Himself. Regarding spiritualistic utterances, the various controversialists “have admitted moral elevation, but
-from their various opposing points of view_have agreed in deploring theological laxity.” 1 Perhaps their right course would be to press forward in the direction which they are agreed is good, and to leave those diverging branch-lines which may be individual illusions. It can hardly be supposed that moral teaching which commands the assent of all sorts of believers can be diabolic.
Indeed the fulminations of some of the leading Catholics, like the diatribes of extremists of other clans, are self-condemned by their own violence. Says Father Bernard Vaughan: “To my thinking, one reason above others for not entering into it and practising it, for not attempting to stretch the thin veil dividing this
*Myers's “Human Personality," vol. i., p. 133.
side from that, is the fact that a scientific man like Sir Oliver Lodge should be bamboozled by spirits travesty• ing and personifying the human soul gone under. Do you know, my brethren, I have just as much right for saying that the trance communicators and controllers and spirits that come and rap out nonsense and tap balderdash and show themselves in vision I have quite as much right and reason for saying they are Satanic spirits as he for calling them human souls.” 1
It naturally occurs to one that the "right" so to pronounce can hardly be based on firsthand knowledge, since investigation is condemned as mortal sin, and the good Catholic must necessarily obtain his information at secondhand or still more remotely; and, further, the Index Expurgations no doubt bans spiritualistic literature pretty thoroughly.?
The fact is, such critics are still fighting against the advance of knowledge by the objective method, as they have fought against it from the beginning. In the physical sciences they have been routed and expelled, but in their desperate zeal for the authority of the Church they hold out against the pioneers in other regions. What they lack is faith-faith in God, who has given us implements wherewith to explore and learn about the universe in which He has placed us.
The Universe, June 8, 1917, *There is, however, a book, "The Dangers of Spiritualism" (Sands and Co.: London, 1901), by a man who investigated for himself, and apparently found that in some cases the development of mediumship caused moral deterioration. The anonymous author-whose identity is now well known-became a Catholic and naturally accepted the Church's views. His experiences must have been unusual. I have never come across anything of the kind.
To refuse is to flout Him. Ecclesiasticism is idolworship.
Then there is the objection of the mystic, who urges that the proper aim of the human spirit is the attainment of union with God, in a state which transcends Time and most of the other conditions of our present life, and is therefore hardly expressible or comprehensible to us now. Accordingly, the mystic has little interest in Spiritualism and psychical research, except as regards their usefulness in disproving materialism and thus opening the way to a rational religion. He looks on the kind of after-death life described by Spiritualists as an intermediate state, an astral plane, perhaps somewhat of an improvement on the present one, but not at all a place to linger in. Indeed he often objects to any psychical investigation, because it is a misdirection of energy, a using up of force over external trivialities when we might be pressing upwards to the Divine by the inner way.
There is some truth in all this, and to many good people it appeals with fully constraining power. Accordingly they follow their consciences in the matter, and are right in so doing. To others, however, who rest equally on the same fundamental basis of intuition, it seems that this very thoroughgoing mysticism is a little one-sided. While believing, as indeed all Spiritualists believe, that the next stage is not our abiding home and that we shall progress to states incomprehensible to us now, it nevertheless seems to us that each of these stages will have its lessons to teach, and that the right thing is to take them as they come. The mystic hopes for a sort of short cut to ineffable bliss; but his expectation seems premature. He will probably have much to learn before he gets there. Our ideas of values are much changed since the days when the stifler of Reason thought that he did God service. We now regard Reason as a divine gift, equally with other powers; to be exercised in learning about this very wonderful universe in which its Fashioner, our Father, has placed us. The intellectual virtues, as Myers said, are now necessary to salvation. Knowledge is good, as well as Love. Indeed love to our fellows can best be manifested through knowledge; improvement in the conditions of life-not material conditions only—has come about through applied science. And what a widening of the mind, what an enlargement of our conception of the universe, have been achieved, say, since Newton! Think of the means of locomotion and communication! Until the beginning of the present century we could travel no faster than Julier Cæsar did, and messages had to be carried. Now we fly, and the ether carries our messages at speeds which render the most distant points on the earth's surface only so to speak next door. It is not merely the utility of the thing that appeals; it is the widening of our conceptions from provincialism to cosmopolitanism. A Race consciousness is awaking. The individualism of the solitary savage, improving to a tribal and then national conscience, is merging into the higher perception that we are members of one family; the Brotherhood of Man appears. To this end applied science has been the chief contributor. We cannot think of distant people until we know of their existence; we cannot feel any brotherliness towards