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Researches In The Phenomena Of Spiritualism (1874) William Crookes

 

 

 

Researches in the Phenomena of Spiritualism (1874)

by William Crookes

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"...There are at least a hundred recorded instances of Mr. Home's rising from the ground, in the presence of as many separate persons. To reject the recorded evidence on this subject is to reject all human testimony whatever; for no fact in sacred or profane history is supported by a stronger array of proofs...."

Sir William Crookes (1832 – 1919) was an English chemist and physicist who attended the Royal College of Chemistry in London, and worked on spectroscopy. He was a pioneer of vacuum tubes, inventing the Crookes tube which was made in 1875. Late in life, he became interested in spiritualism, and became the president of the Society for Psychical Research. In 1874 he published "Researches in the Phenomena of Spiritualism."

"Researches in the Phenomena of Spiritualism", is the best work ever published to scientifically demonstrate the reality of some of the physical phenomena of Spiritualism. Professor Crookes was indefatigable in original research and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. His name was brought before the public generally in 1870, when he undertook an investigation of the physical phenomena of Spiritualism. His book on the results of those experiments was widely read at the time of its publication, but while the scientific world placed the highest value on his experiments in other lines it paid no attention to his investigations on the psychic side of nature. They were too bigoted. "Too many of these professed scientists do little besides strut around with cigar stubs in their mouths, beer in their stomachs and old, warty barnacles upon their backs." Professor Crookes is certainly the most patient experimenter of modern times, and his name can never be disassociated with Spiritualism and the Roentgen ray because his discovery was its basis.

The first part of this book contains an account of investigations of Home‘s psychic force, illustrated by the medium, causing an accordion held by one hand only to perform in a musical manner. The experiments with Home was conducted in a scientific frame of mind, and if we are to conclude that all possible precautions were taken against trickery, there is no feasible explanation of the phenomena recorded. Of course, if the apparatus had belonged to the medium there would be no difficulty; but it was otherwise—the tests were arranged by Mr. Crookes himself.

Crookes writes:

"It argues ill for the boasted freedom of opinion among scientific men, that they have so long refused to institute a scientific investigation into the existence and nature of psychic phenomena. For my own part, I too much value the pursuit of truth, and the discovery of any new fact in nature, to avoid enquiry because it appears to clash with prevailing opinions."

Crookes provides eight possible theories to explain psychic phenomena:
1.— tricks, clever mechanical arrangements
2.— mania or delusion
3.— conscious or unconscious cerebral action.
4.—The result of the spirit of the medium
5.— evil spirits or devils
6.—The actions of a separate order of invisible beings, gnomes, fairies, kobolds, elves, goblins
7.— spirits ofdeparted human beings
8.—The Psychic Force Theory


Psychic power is a branch of science as yet almost entirely unexplored, and to the neglect of it is probably to be attributed the seemingly strange fact that the existence of this nerve-force should have remained so long untested, unexamined, and almost unrecognised.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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William  Crookes

 

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