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Full text of "Scientific Papers - Vi"

652                                          PRESIDENTIAL  ADDRESS                                       [443
is a more fundamental objection. Specific information is, and can only be, conveyed in this manner by means of a code. People seem to forget that all speaking and writing depend upon a code, and that even the voluntary or involuntary indications of feeling by facial expression or gestures involve something of the same nature. It will hardly be argued that telepathy acts by means of the usual code of common language, as written or spoken.
The conclusion that I draw is that no pains should be spared to establish the reality of telepathy on such sure ground that it must be generally admitted by all serious inquirers. It is quite natural that those who have already reached this position should be more interested in the question of communications from the dead. To my mind telepathy with the dead would present comparatively little difficulty when it is admitted as regards the living. If the apparatus of the senses is not used in one case, why should it be needed in the other ?
I do not underrate the difficulties of the investigation. Very special conditions must be satisfied if we are to be independent of the good faith of the persons primarily concerned. The performance of the Zanzigs may be recalled. When there could be no question of confederates, answers respecting objects suddenly exhibited were given with such amazing rapidity that secret codes seemed almost excluded. But when a party, in which I was included, attempted to get a repetition under stricter conditions, there was an almost entire failure. Our requirement was simply that the husband should not speak after he had seen the object that was to be described by the wife. But I must add the inevitable qualification. Towards the end of the evening cards were correctly told several times, when we were unable to detect anything that could serve as audible signals.
I have dwelt upon the difficulties besetting the acceptance of telepathy, biit I fully recognize that a strong case has been made out for it. I hope that more members of the Society will experiment in this direction. It is work that can be done at home, at odd times, and without the help of mediums, professional or other. Some very interesting experiences of this kind have been recorded by a former President, Prof. Gilbert Murray. With perhaps an excess of caution, he abstained from formulating conclusions that must have seemed to most readers to follow from the facts detailed. I trust we may hear still more from him.
It is hardly necessary to emphasize that in evaluating evidence it is quality rather than quantity with which we are concerned. No one can doubt the existence of apparently trustworthy reports of many occult phenomena. For this there must be a reason, and our object is to find it. But whatever it may be, whether reality of the phenomena, or the stupidity or carelessness or worse of the narrators, a larger sweep is sure to add to the material. However, we may hope that such additions will occasionally affordation, one might expect husbands and wives with their heads within two or three feet of one another to share their dreams habitually. But there +-5, where /u, is the cosine of the angle between the secondary (or scattered) ray and the backward direction of the incident ray. W. F. S.]spheres are easily demonstrated.