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A Great Scientist's Theory

Let us begin with that great master of modern science, Sir William
Crookes, the inventor of the celebrated "Crookes' Tubes," without which
the discovery of the X-Ray and Radio-Activity would have been
impossible. Several years ago, this eminent scientist, addressing the
Royal Society, at Bristol, England,--a gathering made up of
distinguished scientists from all over the world, most of the members
being extremely sceptical concerning occult phenomena--said to the
brilliant gathering: "Were I now introducing for the first time these
inquiries in the world of science, I should choose a starting point
different from that of old (where we formerly began). It would be well
to begin with Telepathy; with that fundamental law, as I believe it to
be, that thoughts and images may be transferred from one mind to another
without the agency of the recognized organs of sense--that knowledge may
enter the human mind without being communicated in any hitherto known or
recognized ways. * * * If Telepathy takes place we have two physical
facts, viz., (a) the physical change in the brain of A, the transmitter,
and the analogous physical change in the brain of B, the recipient of
the transmitted impression. Between these two physical events there must
exist a train of physical causes. * * * It is unscientific to call in
the aid of mysterious agencies, when with every fresh advance in
knowledge it is shown that ether vibrations have powers and attributes
abundantly able to meet any demand--even the transmission of thought.

"It is supposed by some physiologists that the essential cells of nerves
do not actually touch, but are separated by a narrow gap which widens in
sleep while it narrows almost to extinction during mental activity.
device which led to the discovery of wireless telegraphy] AS TO SUGGEST
A FURTHER ANALOGY. The structure of brain and nerve being similar, it is
conceivable that there may be present masses of such nerve coherers in
the brain, whose special function it may be to receive impulses brought
from without, through the connecting sequence of ether waves of
appropriate order of magnitude. Roentgen has familiarized us with an
order of vibrations of extreme minuteness as compared with the smallest
waves with which we have hitherto been acquainted; and there is no
reason to suppose that we have here reached the limit of frequency. It
is known that the action of thought is accompanied by certain molecular
movements in the brain, and here we have physical vibrations capable
from their extreme minuteness of acting direct upon individual
molecules, while their rapidity approaches that of internal and external
movements of the atoms themselves. A formidable range of phenomena must
be scientifically sifted before we effectually grasp a faculty so
strange, so bewildering, and for ages so inscrutable, as the direct
action of mind upon mind."

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