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is executed, with an exactness which could not have been surpassed if the eyes had been used. There is one application of the test, however, which,-where it can be fairly made,-may be relied on as infallible. Every one who has practised “free-hand' drawing knows how difficult it is to describe any pair of curves (as the two sides of an arch) with perfect bilateral symmetry;' such symmetry being only obtainable, with any approach to exactness, by repeated touchings-up of one half or the other. Now if the hand of a drawing-medium' be under spiritual guidance, it ought to be able to delineate such curves, where they form part of the architectural or other design which the medium is directed to trace out, with exact symmetry in the first instance. Yet it was candidly admitted to us by a 'drawing-medium,' who was showing us her elevations of spiritual temples '—which were in a style that included Moorish arches and Hindoo domes, with other features of the like kind—that she was obliged to obtain the required symmetry by continually looking from one side to the other, and gradually bringing her curves into accordance, just as any merely human draughtsman would do.

There is another class of phenomena, the genuineness of which we regard as extremely well-attested, and which is continually adduced by Spiritualists as demonstrating the fallacy of all scientific explanations based on the doctrine of unconscious muscular action.' How,' we are triumphantly asked, does that doctrine account for the answers being often correct statements of facts not known either to the questioner or to any one at the table, and, in some instances, even contrary to their belief at the time?' For example, the question having been put, at one of Mr. Dibdin's séances, • How many years is it since Her Majesty came to the throne ?' the table struck a number which was subsequently found by the almanack to be the correct one, though no one present knew the date of her accession; and the question being afterwards put as to the age of the Prince of Wales, the like result was obtained. On the other hand, to the question put on the same occasion, “How many men are employed in the shop below?' the table replied by striking three and giving two gentle rises; on which the employer, who was one of the party, said“There are four men and two boys, so three is a mistake;' but he afterwards remembered that one of the young men was out of


Now, so far are we from regarding these and similar phenomena, of which a very curious variety has been communicated to us by trustworthy witnesses, from supporting the doctrine of spiritual communication, that we are prepared to show them to be no less reducible than the preceding to known scientific prin

ciples, ciples, of which they afford peculiarly interesting exemplifications. The psychologists of Germany, from the time of Leibnitz, have taught that much of our mental work is done without consciousness; but this doctrine, though systematically expounded by Sir W. Hamilton under the designation Latent Thought,' has only of late attracted the attention of physiologists. Though foreshadowed by Dr. Laycock, in his memoir of 1844 on the • Reflex Action of the Brain,' it was not expressed with sufficient clearness to obtain recognition on the part of any of those who studied that essay with the care to which its great ability entitles it. Some years afterwards, however, Dr. Carpenter was led, by considering the anatomical relation of the Cerebrum to the Sensorium or centre of consciousness, to the conclusion that ideational changes may take place in the cerebrum of which we may be at the time unconscious through a want of receptivity on the part of the sensorium, just as it is unconscious during sleep of the impressions made by visual images on the retina ; but that the results of such changes may afterwards present themselves to the consciousness as ideas, elaborated by an automatic process of which we have no cognizance. This principle of action was expounded by Dr. Carpenter under the designation • Unconscious Cerebration,' in the fourth edition of his Human Physiology,' published early in 1853,-some months before any of the phenomena developed themselves to the explanation of which we now deem it applicable, and it has been of late frequently referred to under that name. The Lectures of Sir William Hamilton not having then been published, none but his own pupils were aware that the doctrine of Unconscious Cerebration' is really the same as that which had long previously been expounded by him as “Latent Thought;' and the two designations may be regarded as based on the same fundamental principle,

-one expressing it in terms of Brain, the other in terms of Mind. It happened that just as our former article was going to press, some

were communicated to us which led us to suspect that the automatic movements are not always directed by ideas which are distinctly present to the consciousness at the moment, but that they may proceed from impressions left upon the brain by some past events,-such impressions as often vaguely flit before our thoughts in the waking state, but reproduce themselves most distinctly in dreaming, in delirium, or in those sudden memories which sometimes flash in

upon us

unbidden, why or whence we cannot tell. This,' we added, is only a hypothesis ; but it will be found to be in strict conformity with the physiological views put forth by Dr. Carpenter as to the unconscious action of the cerebrum.' Vol. 131.-No. 262.




We have been thus particular in our historical statements, because we deem it essential to prove that the doctrine of

Latent Thought,' or Unconscious Cerebration,' has not been invented to account for the phenomena in question, but that it may be legitimately applied to explain them; having previously been known and accepted both in Psychological and Physiological Science, and possessing, like that of Unconscious Muscular Action,' a firm basis in our daily and hourly experience. For, as Sir W. Hamilton has justly remarked, the infinitely greater part of our spiritual treasures lies always beyond the sphere of our consciousness, hid in the obscure recesses of the mind ;' so that, if we have ever kuown a thing, the question whether we can be said to know it at any particular time is simply whether we can readily reproduce it from the storehouse of our memory. There are some ideas which, if we may use so material an illustration, are systematically arranged in cupboards to which we have immediate access, so that we generally know exactly where to find what we want; this is the case with the knowledge that we have in constant daily use. And yet to whom has it not occurred to be unable to recollect, on the spur

of the moment, a name or a phrase that is generally most familiar to him, just as he often fails to remember where he laid his spectacles, or his pencil-case, only five minutes before? There are other ideas, again, which we know we have got put away somewhere, but cannot find without looking for them; as, when we meet an acquaintance whom we have not seen for a long time, and recognise his face without being able to recall his name; or when we go to a foreign country, the language of which we have once thoroughly mastered, and find ourselves in the first instance unable either to speak or to understand it. In all these cases, the lost ideas are pretty certain either to be found, if we look for them, by putting in action that associative train of thought which we term Recollection, or to turn up, spontaneously and unexpectedly, when the effort to recollect has proved a failure and we have abandoned the search as hopeless. There is other knowledge, again, which we are not conscious either of possessing or of ever having possessed, as in the conjugal experience familiar to most of us, in which a husband assures the wife of his bosom (the converse case being perhaps hardly less frequent) that she never did tell him of some occurrence which he should most certainly have remembered if she had; and yet he may be brought to recollect, days or weeks afterwards, by the accidental shining-in of a light upon some dark corner of his chamber of imagery,' that he communication was really made, but was put away without any account being taken of it at the time. It is, we believe, the general creed of metaphysicians that no idea once fully apprehended by the mind ever permanently drops out of it; while physiologists are no less strong in the conviction that every mental act records itself in some change in the brain, which may lead to its reproduction before the consciousness at any distance of time, though it has shown no sign whatever of its existence during the interval. Thus an old man, who had left Wales in early boyhood, who had passed his whole life as servant to different members of the same English family, and who had so completely forgotten his native tongue that he was unable either to speak or to understand it when he received the visits of his compatriots, began to talk Welsh fluently in the delirium of fever, after he was seventy, losing all recollection of the language on his recovery.

And there are well authenticated cases in which, under the momentary apprehension of drowning or of some other form of sudden death, incidents of early life, which had long been blotted out of the conscious memory, have been reproduced, as in a picture, with extraordinary vividness.

Now, whatever may be the nature of the operations by which these lost traces are recovered, it is certain that, being equally removed from our Will and our Consciousness, they must be entirely automatic, or, so to speak, mechanical. And it is quite in accordance with the general analogy of the automatic actions of the other nervous centres, that the automatic actions of the cerebrum, even when they lie beneath the sphere of consciousness, should express themselves in muscular movements; and that tables and planchettes should thus reveal facts, which, once known, had long been forgotten, or should give answers which are in opposition to the questioner's belief at the time, but are found, on subsequent enquiry, to be true. The first case which suggested to us this application of the doctrine of Unconscious Cerebration' occurred to an eminent literary man, in whose veracity we have the fullest confidence. The spirit of a friend, whose decease had taken place some months previously, having announced itself in the usual way, and the question having been put— When did I last see you in life?' the answer given was inconsistent with the recollection of the interrogator. But on his subsequently talking over the matter with his family, it was brought to his remembrance that he had seen his deceased friend on the occasion mentioned, and had spoken of it to them at the time, although he had afterwards quite forgotten the circumstance.

The most singular illustration we have met with, however, of this form of cerebral activity is narrated in a lecture delivered in

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the Store-street Music Hall, about a month after the appearance of our former article, and apparently in reply to it, by the Rev. R. W. Dibdin, M.A. This lecture is remarkable for the singular mixture it displays of honest candour and benighted prejudice; while its author's implicit confidence in his own conclusions is in amusing contrast with his indiscriminate repudiation of the opposing results of scientific investigation. Like the two clerical seers of Bath, Mr. Dibdin regarded Table-talking as the result of Satanic agency; but he dissented from their supposition* That the spirits of departed men and women are really the parties who answer to their questions. I incline,' he says, rather to believe—though of course I would speak with modesty upon so difficult a subject, upon which no man is warranted to dogmatise—that devils alone are the agents in these cases; and, being lying spirits, it is quite credible that, for purposes of their own, they might assume the names of departed men and women.' But after narrating his own experience, which so closely corresponds with that of the Revs. Gillson and Godfrey as to render it needless for us to cite it, he gives the following account of the experience of a friend whose views were directly opposed to his own, and we think our readers will agree with us that his narrative bears on the face of it a strong impress of genuineness :

'He said, when we went into the room, “I have heard strange things about this Table-turning; but I have raised a good spirit; all the others have been evil ones." “Oh, indeed,” I said, “who is that?” “Edward Young, the poet, the author of 'Night Thoughts." And he gave me his experience. He said he was going to write a book, conjointly with a friend; and, if I mistake not, he told me it was to be under the direction of Edward Young. When the spirit came he asked him what was his name. “ Edward Young" was the reply. “Are you the poet ?" "Yes.” “ If you are, repeat a line of your poems." He repeated, “Man was not made to question, but adore." “Is that in your Night Thoughts'?" "No." “ Where is it, then?” The reply was, “ J O B.” That they could make nothing of. They did not know what he meant by “ Job,” not being very familiar with his poems. The next day this gentleman bought a copy of Young's poems, and at the end of the Night Thoughts' he found a paraphrase of Job, and the last line of that paraphrase is “ Man was not made to question, but adore.” He was naturally very much astonished at such a thing as that.'

Some little time afterwards, however, Mr. Dibdin saw his friend again, and learned from him that he had come to believe that it was all a delusion.' • I think,' he said, 'you do it yourself unconsciously.' Among other reasons which he

gave was this: that a certain word having been written in each of four envelopes, and one of these having been laid on the table, the


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