O'Neill's Electronic Museum

Penn Valley California

SIR WILLIAM CROOKES ON PSYCHICAL RESEARCH.

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If born in winter, we should believe in summer as we how believe in the heats of the Carboniferous era. The motions of organic beings would be so slow to our senses as to be inferred, not seen. The sun would stand still in the sky, the moon be almost free from change, and so on. But now reverse the hypothesis, and suppose a being to get only one one-thousandth part of the sensations that we get in a given time, and consequently to live 1,000 times as long. Winters and summers will be to him like quarters of an hour. Mushrooms and the swifter-growing plants will shoot into being so rapidly as to appear instantaneous creations; annual shrubs will rise and fall from the earth like restlessly boiling water springs; the motions of animals will be as invisible as are to us the movements of bullets and cannon balls; the sun will scour through the sky like a meteor, leaving a fiery trail behind him, etc. That such imaginary cases (barring the superhuman longevity) may be realized somewhere in the animal kingdom it would be rash to deny." (James's Principles of Psychology, Vol. I, p. 639.)
And now let me specially apply this general conception of the impossibility of predicting what secrets the universe may still hold, what agencies undivined may habitually be at work around us.

Telepathy, the transmission of thought and images directly from one mind to another without the agency of the recognized organs of sense, is a conception new and strange to science. 10 judge from the comparative slowness with which the accumulated evidence of our society penetrates the scientific world, it is, I think, a conception even scientifically repulsive to many minds. We have supplied striking experimental evidence; but few have been found to repeat our experiments, We have offered good evidence in the observation of spontaneous cases, as apparitions at the moment of death and the like, but this "evidence has failed to impress the scientific world in the same way as evidence less careful and less coherent has often done before. Our evidence is not confronted and refuted; it is shirked and evaded as though there were some great a priori improbability which absolved the world of science from considering it. I at least see no a priori improbability whatever. Our alleged facts might be true in all kinds of ways without contradicting any truth already known. I will dwell now on only one possible line of explanation, not that I see any way of elucidating all the new phenomena I regard as genuine, but because it seems probable I may shed a light on some of those phenomena. All the phenomena of the universe are presumably in some way continuous; and certain facts, plucked as it were from the very heart of nature, are likely to be of use in our gradual discovery of facts which lie deeper still.

Let us, then, consider the vibrations we trace, not only in solid bodies, but in the air, and in a still more remarkable manner in the ether.

These vibrations differ in their velocity and in their frequency. That they exist, extending from one vibration to two thousand millions

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of millions vibrations per second, we have good evidence. That they subserve the purpose of conveying impressions from outside sources of whatever kind to living organisms may be fully recognized. As a starting point I will take a pendulum beating seconds in air. If I keep on doubling I will get a series of steps as follows:
Starting point. The seconds pendulum
Step 1. 2 vibrations per second
Step 2. 4 vibrations per second
Step 3. 8 vibrations per second
Step 4. 16 vibrations per second
Step 5. 32 vibrations per second
Step 6. 64 vibrations per second
Step 7. 128 vibrations per second
Step 8. 256 vibrations per second
Step 9. 512 vibrations per second
Step 10. 1024 vibrations per second
Step 15. 32768 vibrations per second
Step 20. 1,048576 vibrations per second
Step 25. 33,554432 vibrations per second
Step 30. 1073,741825 vibrations per second
Step 35. 34359,738368 vibrations per second
Step 40. 1,099511,627776 vibrations per second
Step 45. 35,184372,088832 vibrations per second
Step 50. 1125,899906,842624 vibrations per second
Step 55. 36028,707018,963968 vibrations per second
Step 56. 72057,594037,927936 vibrations per second
Step 57. 144115,188075,855872 vibrations per second
Step 58. 288220,376151,711744 vibrations per second
Step 59. 576440,752303,423488 vibrations per second
Step 60. 1,152881,504606,846976 vibrations per second
Step 61. 2,305763,009213,693952 vibrations per second
Step 62. 4,611526,018427,387904 vibrations per second
Step 63. 9,223052,036854,775808 vibrations per second

At the fifth step from unity, at 32 vibrations per second, we reach the region where atmospheric vibration reveals itself to us as sound. Here we have the lowest musical note. In the next ten steps the vibrations per second rise from 32 to 32, 768, and here, to the average human ear, the region of sound ends. But certain more highly endowed animals probably hear sounds too acute for our organs; that is, sounds which vibrate at a higher rate.

We next enter a region in which the vibrations rise rapidly, and the vibrating medium is no longer the gross atmosphere, but a highly attenuated medium, "a diviner air," called the ether. From the sixteenth to the thirty-fifth step the vibrations rise from 32,768 to 34359,738368 a second, such vibrations appearing to our means of observation as electrical rays.

We next reach a region extending from the thirty-fifth to the forty- fifth step, including from 34359,738368 to 35,184372,088832 vibrations per second. This region may be considered as unknown, because we



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