« 上一頁繼續 »
ITS HISTORY, PHENOMENA
J. ARTHUR HILL
"NEW EVIDENCES IN PSYCHICAL RESEARCH,”
\HIS book has been written in response to a sugges
tion that I should prepare a volume giving a comprehensive answer to the question: "What is Spiritualism?” A large literature of the subject exists, the library of the London Spiritualist Alliance containing about 3,000 volumes; but the aspects are many, the ramifications extensive, and there is no single work that presents a review of the whole, except Mr. Podmore's “Modern Spiritualism” (2 vols., 1902), which, besides being too bulky for any but a determined student, is now regarded by most investigators as being too negative. The progress of psychical research in the last sixteen years has raised into new credibility many narratives which, in those earlier days, a cautious mind could not even provisionally accept.
Here it is necessary or desirable that I should indicate my own position, in order that the reader may know how to discount my opinions. In debatable matters, we naturally want to know exactly where a writer stands, before we can decide how far to rely on what he says; for, though he may be perfectly honest, he may involuntarily be very unfair if he happens to have strong preferences.
I was never a materialist, for I happened to read Berkeley at an unusually early age; but I was unable to believe in an angry God who would punish for ever