THE SUBLIMINAL SELF.
While the previous pages of this work were in the press, I received and read a very interesting and able Book, entitled, “Telepathy and the Subliminal Self, or an account of recent investigations regarding Hypnotism, Automatism, Dreams, Phantoms, and related phenomena,” by R. OSGOOD MASON, A.M., Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. MASON, on the whole, may be said to follow HARTMANN, since he places Thaumaturgy, or working what have been considered as wonders, miracles, and the deeds of spiritualists, on the evolutionary or material basis. He is also far less superstitious or prone to seek the miraculous and mysterious for its own sake, than his predecessors in occulta, and limits his beliefs to proofs sustained by good authority. He recognizes a second, or what he calls a subliminal Self, the Spirit of our Soul, acting independently of Waking Conscious Judgment, a mysterious alter ego, which has marvelous power.
This second or inner self I have also through this work of mine recognized as a reality, though it is, like the self-conscious soul, rather an aggregate than a distinct unity. Thus we may for convenience sake speak of the Memory, when there are in fact millions of memories, since every image stored away in the brain is one, and the faculty of revising them for the use of the waking soul, is certainly apart from the action of bringing them into play in dreams. In fact if we regard the action of all known faculties, we might assume with the Egyptians that man had not merely eight distinct souls, but eighty, or even a countless number. And as the ancients, knowing very little about mental action, classed it all as one soul, so we may call that which is partially investigated and mysterious, a second or inner “soul,” spirit, or subliminal self—that is to say provisionally, till more familiar with its nature and relations.
DR. MASON, to his credit be it said, has not accepted for Gospel, as certain French writers have done, the tricks of self-confessed humbugs. He has only given us the cream of the most strictly attested cases, as related by French scientists and people of unquestioned veracity. And yet admitting that in every instance the witness sincerely believed that he or she spoke the truth, the aggregate is so far from confirming the tales told, that consideration and comparison would induce very grave doubt. Thus, who could have been more sincere, purely honest or pious than JUSTINUS KERNER, whom I knew personally, SWEDENBORG, ESCHENMAYER and all of their school? Yet how utterly irreconciliable are all their revelations!