Now, I wish to impress upon the minds of those of my readers who have a strong sympathy for the spiritistic teachings that I recognize the validity and genuineness of much of the phenomena of spiritism—I know these things to be true, for that matter; it is not a matter of mere belief on my part. But I also know that much of the so-called spiritistic phenomena is possible without the aid of “spirits,” but by, the employment of the psychic astral forces and powers as stated in these lessons. I see no reason for any honest investigator of spiritism to be offended at such statements, for it does not take away from the wonder of the phenomena; and does not discredit the motives and power of the mediums. We must search for truth wherever it is to be found; and we must not seek to dodge the results of our investigations. There is too much wonderful phenomena in spiritism to begrudge the explanation that the occultist offers for certain of its phases.
While I am on the subject of materialization however, I would direct the attention of the student to my little book entitled “The Astral World,” in which I have explained briefly the phenomena of those planes of the astral in which dwell the cast-off shells of souls which have moved on to the higher planes of the great astral world. I have there shown that many astral shells or shades, or other astral semi-entities may be materialized, and thus mistaken for the “spirits” of departed friends. I have also explained in the same little book how there are certain powerful thought-forms which may be mistaken for spirit materializations. I have also shown how many a honest medium is really a good clairvoyant, and by reading the records of the astral light is able to give information which seems to come from the departed soul. All of these things should be familiar to the earnest investigator of spiritism, in order that he may be able to classify the phenomena which he witnesses, and to avoid error and disappointment.
In this connection, before passing on to the consideration of other phases of psychic phenomena, I would say that one of the best mediums known to the modern Western world—a medium who has been consulted by eminent men, university professors, psychologists, and others—and whose revelations regarding past, present and future astounded careful and intelligent men of international reputation—this medium at the height of her professional success made a public announcement that she felt compelled, from conscientious motives, to assert that she had come to the conclusion that her message came not from departed “spirits” but rather from some unknown realm of being, brought hither by the exercise of some faculty inherent in her and developed to a high power in her for some reason, which power seem to manifest more effectively when she shut off her ordinary physical faculties and functioned on a plane higher than them. I think that the student of the present lessons will be able to point out the nature of the phenomena manifested by this medium, and also the source of her power. If not, I shall feel disappointed at my work of instruction.