I might of course fill volumes with modern records of this kind and I therefore have chosen only a few witnessed by men celebrated for one reason or another and certainly not lacking in perspicuity. I now turn to one of the most remarkable of modern times. I do not know what others may think of it but it seems to me worth attention and I have chosen it because though the events described were in India and the performer was Indian the observer was European, and writes with the necessary suspension of judgment.
His name was Jacolliot. He was Chief Justice of Chandernagore, one of the portions of India which still remain French. The events took place (roughly speaking) about sixty years ago.
This man spent much of a long residence in India in looking into the question of the "occult." You may live all your life there and never come up against anything of the kind, but if you are
interested and evince sympathy and understanding along the right lines you will have plenty of food for reflection. Jacolliot seems to have been profoundly interested in comparative religion and a student of the Kabala, in which he asserts he found many resemblances with the doctrines of the Brahmins. (It must be understood that I condense but never alter.) He describes himself as no partizan but a man who records what he saw; adding:
"An ardent partizan would have been too credulous and have taken all on trust. A rabid opponent would have made it his business to disparage and discredit. I shall tell what I saw with my own eyes and shall faithfully record such explanations as I received. The facts which are simply magnetic are indisputable. As to the facts which are purely spiritual I was only able to explain those in which I participated either as actor or as spectator upon the hypothesis that I was the victim of hallucination, unless I am willing to admit that there was an occult intervention."
He prefaces his book with the quotation from the words spoken by the Brahmins on receiving a candidate for initiation:
"Learn that this is a mystery which should never be revealed to the vulgar herd, otherwise great harm may befall you."
Into his long and interesting comparisons of the teachings of Zoroaster and the Kabala with the books of the Brahmins I will not enter, except to say that he describes the Brahmin teachers of his time as holding the doctrine that these strange powers were manifestations of the powers of the Pitris--that is, the ancestral spirits, under the power of the triune Divinity known under the names of Brahma, Siva and Vishnu. He gives all the rites of initiation for the boy, the householder, and for those who pass beyond into the ascetic life which leads to the higher powers--in other words, the three degrees of initiation.
The teaching is that the ancient scriptures of India (the Vedas) contain this knowledge hidden within them as the soul is contained in the body. So, in our own Scriptures, Origen, one of the early Christian fathers traced a mystic meaning in much that we consider that he who runs may read.
I pass however to what Jacolliot actually saw and the summing up. The following pages are
quoted from him. Where the word "I" appears, Jacolliot must be understood as speaking.
I had been a resident of Pondicherry, the capital of the French possessions in the Carnatic for several years, when one morning I was informed that a faquir wanted to see me. I had left Europe without the slightest idea of the phenomena which the spiritualists attribute to their mediums. As to the Hindu faquirs I conceived them to be simple magicians yet I had heard a great deal of their marvelous skill and was anxious to see a specimen. I received him in one of the verandas. His face was thin and bony as that of an anchorite and his eyes, which seemed half dead, produced a sensation such as I once experienced when looking at the motionless orbs of a large shark. Bowing with his hands raised to his forehead he murmured:
"I greet you respectfully, sahib. May the immortals watch over your days. The guru (Master) said to me this morning, 'Go and glean at random,' and Ganesha the God of Travelers has led me to you. What do you want of me?"
"You are said to move inert bodies without contact. I wish to see."
"I have no such power. I evoke spirits who lend their aid."
"Evoke, and show me what they can do."
He resumed his squatting position on the pavement, placing his seven-knotted stick between his crossed legs.
He then asked to have my man bring seven small flower-pots full of earth, seven thin sticks of wood and seven leaves taken from any tree.
Without touching them himself he had them placed in a horizontal line about six feet from his outstretched arm. He told my servant to put a stick in each pot and impale a leaf on each. This being done the leaves dropped down to the pots.
The faquir then pronounced an invocation, stretched out his hands in the direction of the pots and stood motionless in a sort of ecstasy.
Suddenly it seemed to me that my hair was moved by a slight current of air. This was repeated several times. At the end of about a quarter of an hour, the leaves began to move slowly upward along the sticks of wood, and then as slowly to descend. I passed and repassed several times between the Hindu and the pots but there was no interruption. I asked to examine
his arrangements and he agreed without delay. I removed the leaves and sticks and emptied out the earth. I ordered fresh pots, earth and leaves, divided the bamboo stick myself into seven pieces and having thus rearranged everything placed it all at about four yards from the faquir, who looked on unconcernedly.
He extended his arms and five minutes had hardly elapsed when the leaves moved up and down the stick as before. Still I would not acknowledge defeat. I had seven holes bored in a plank in which I placed the sticks. The phenomena recurred as before. I repeated the experiment in twenty different ways but always with the same result. He said:
"Ask anything you will. The leaves will remain still if the leaves have nothing to say. Otherwise they will move up the sticks."
I had a set of raised brass letters and figures upon a zinc block which I used to stamp my name and numbers upon the books in the library. I thought of a friend who had died some years before and extracted the letters and numbers one by one.
As I took out the letter A, the leaves began to move to the top of the sticks and fell again. The
first letter of my friend's name. Letter by letter and figure by figure I obtained the following words:
"Albain Brunier, died at Bourg-en-Bresse. (Ain) January 3, 1856." What made my astonishment greater was that I was totally unprepared. I wanted to be alone and reflect. I dismissed the faquir and made him promise to return next day at the same hour. My excitement had disappeared but I was no nearer to a belief in the supernatural on the morrow. I repeated the phenomenon changing the spelling in my mind; dwelling strongly upon each letter. I got: "Halbin Pruniet, died," etc., but could never change the remainder. I got such changes in the name that no one would have recognized it, but never in the name of the city. Hence I concluded that I could not sufficiently isolate my mind from the correct spelling of all the words in the sentence.
[Here I think we have an interesting case of mind-reading.]
In the last sitting the faquir gave, he lowered one balance of a pair of scales with a peacock's feather while the other contained about 170 pounds. By the mere imposition of hands he
made a crown of flowers float in the air, the atmosphere was filled with vague and indistinct sounds and a shadowy hand drew luminous figures in space. At the time I considered the two latter simply as phantasmagoria. I did not even give them the benefit of a doubt nor note them. But in regard to the purely material facts I applied the severest tests.
Such were my first observations at Pondicherry. My judicial duties and special studies concerning ancient India did not give me time to continue them. From this time forward I made notes of all the material phenomena by which the faquirs seek to prove the existence of the powers they claim. I am convinced there are in nature and in man, who is a part of nature, immense forces the laws of which are yet unknown to us. I think that one day man will discover these laws, that things we now regard as dreams will appear as realities, and that we shall witness phenomena of which we have no conception. Who knows whether this force of the ego, according to the Hindus, may not be shown to be one of the greatest forces in nature?
Among ourselves have we not seen scientific societies regard the telegraph as a toy fit only
for sending messages from one room to another? In the open air the wire was not to be relied on! As I have been led to speak of my own views I will say that the conclusion I have drawn from what I have seen in India is that aside from the claptrap by which it is surrounded and of which the Hindus are very fond, there is in man a special force acting in an unknown direction and often intelligently, the laws of which require to be studied by unprejudiced and liberal-minded specialists.
I lost no opportunity of attentively observing any manifestations that bore any relation to the subject.
Leaving Chandernagore on 3rd January 1866 I arrived at Benares. I intended to remain there a couple of months. The Peishwa, a Mahratta Prince at Benares with whom I had become acquainted through the Rajah of Chandernagore, hearing of my arrival sent to offer me apartments in his magnificent seven-storied palace on the banks of the Ganges.
Here I met the most extraordinary faquir, perhaps, that I had ever encountered in India. He came from the extreme south of India and his mission was to take charge of the remains of
a rich Malabar man. The Peishwa, who was in the habit of extending hospitality to pilgrims, had found lodgings for him in a small thatched cottage upon the very banks of the river in which he had to perform his ablutions for the next three weeks in honor of the dead. His name was Govindaswami.
I had him brought to my apartment one day at noon. The room in which I received him looked out upon the terrace which in turn overlooked the Ganges. In the middle of the terrace was a water-spout which fell in a fine shower into a marble basin.
I asked him to go out upon the terrace, which was much lighter than the room and where I could better watch him.
"Do you know whether any power is developed in you when you perform? Did you ever feel any change in your brain or muscles?"
"I am but an instrument. I invoke the ancestral spirits and it is they who manifest their power."
The faquir was already in position with both hands extended towards an immense bronze vase full of water. Within five minutes it began to rock gently to and fro upon its base and to
approach the faquir gently and with a regular motion. As the distance lessened metallic sounds escaped from it as if someone had struck it with a steel rod. I asked if I could give directions. He consented at once.
The vase advanced, receded, or stood still, according to my request. At one time at my command the blows changed into a continuous roll like that of a drum, at another they had the slowness and regularity of a ticking clock.
Upon the table of the drawing-room stood a musical box. I had it brought to the terrace by my servant and I asked the force to tune the blows struck upon the vase to accompany any air on the instrument.
I wound up the box and a whirlwind of notes was the result. Quick sharp strokes accompanied the time like the baton of a conductor.
All this was done without fuss, parade or mystery upon a terrace a few yards square. The vase could hardly, when empty, have been moved by two men. It received the falling jet of water from the fountain and was used for the morning ablutions. What was the force which moved this mass?
The faquir, who had not left his place, then
rested the tips of his fingers for a short time upon the edge of the vase. It began to rock to and fro in regular time, gradually quickening its speed. But what surprised me most was to see that the water was stationary as if there were a strong pressure which prevented its regaining its equilibrium.
Three times during these oscillations the vase rose to a distance of seven to eight inches completely from the ground and when it fell to the pavement again it did so without perceptible shock. The performance lasted several hours during which I took copious and careful notes and also took the precaution of having each phenomenon repeated in a different manner. The faquir promised to return every day as long as he should remain at Benares. He was glad to have met me. I had lived for many years in the south of India and knew the beautiful language of the Tamils.
I should mention that the French in India appear to use the term faquir alike for the Hindu and Mohammedan ascetics. This man was of course a Hindu. His name indicates one who has a special reverence for the Divine in the aspect of Krishna.
He returned next day and resumed his experiments with the great vase.
He asked me to lend him a small stick. I handed him an unsharpened lead pencil. He placed it in the water and by the imposition of, his hands [upon the surface of the water] made it move in every direction like a magnet in contact with an iron bar. When he placed a finger quietly on the middle of the pencil so as not to affect its position on the water I saw it slowly sink beneath the surface until it had reached the bottom of the vase. I state the facts without further comment.
His third visit was short. At my request he consented to perform a phenomenon of levitation which I had already seen others successfully accomplish without taking any particular notice of how they did it.
Taking an ironwood cane which I had brought from Ceylon he leaned heavily on it, resting his right hand on the handle with his eyes fixed on the ground. He then uttered incantations.
Leaning upon the cane with one hand the faquir rose gradually about two feet from the ground. His legs were crossed beneath him very like a bronze statue of the Buddha.
For more than twenty minutes I tried to see how Govindaswami could thus fly in the face of all known laws of gravity. The stick gave him no visible support and there was no apparent contact between that and his body except through his right hand.
On his next visit, at night, he resumed his performances.
Taking a small bamboo stool he sat upon it with his legs crossed and arms folded on his chest. The terrace was lighted like day. At the end of a few minutes the stool began to move noiselessly along the terrace by short jerks. The Hindu was motionless. The terrace was about seven yards long and as many wide. It took about ten minutes to traverse it. The faquir's legs crossed beneath him were distant from the ground the whole height of the stool. Three vases of flowers so heavy that none but a strong man could have lifted them (and he only with an effort) stood at one end of the terrace. He touched the edge of one with his finger-tips. It began to move to and fro and left the floor. It appeared to me to be floating in the air, going from right to left at the will of the faquir. I
have always regarded this as caused by an illusion of the senses.
On his next visit--
Taking a small stand of teak which I could lift with my thumb and forefinger I placed it in the middle of the terrace and asked the faquir if he could fix it there so that it could not be moved. He imposed both hands on it for a quarter of an hour at the end of which time I approached the table and took hold of it. It would not stir from the ground. I struggled harder, with the result that the fragile leaf came off in my hand. I then took hold of the legs, which were united by a cross brace, but the result was the same. A thought then crossed my mind. Suppose, I thought, that these phenomena are produced by the faquir's charging objects with some kind of fluid and a natural force is thus developed the laws of which we do not know, the supply with which they are charged must gradually lose its efficiency unless renewed by the operator. I asked the faquir to go to the other end of the terrace, which he did. At the end of a few minutes I could handle the stool without trouble.
"The Pitris [ancestral spirits] have gone,"
said the Hindu, "because their means of earthly communication was broken. They are coming back."
He imposed his hands above an immense copper platter inlaid with silver and almost instantly came such a rapid and violent succession of blows and knocks that it might have been taken for hailstones on a metal roof, and I thought I saw a succession of phosphorescent lights pass to and fro across the platter in every direction.
Among the Peishwa's possessions was a small harmoniflute. With a small cord tied round the square forming a portion of the bellows I hung it from one of the iron bars of the terrace so it swung about two feet from the ground. I asked the faquir if he could make it play without touching it. He seized the cord by which it was hung and stood motionless. Soon the harmoniflute began to be gently stirred, the bellows to contract and expand and it emitted sounds perfectly plain and distinct.
"Cannot you get a tune?"
"I will evoke the spirit of one of the old pagoda musicians."
The instrument first played a series of notes;
it then bravely attacked one of the most popular Malabar airs. He stood perfectly still. He merely held the cord by which he communicated with the harmoniflute.
I kneeled down to see the various movements of the instrument and I saw, unless misled by illusion, the up and down motion of the keys.
He brought with him a small bag of sand, emptied it on the floor and leveled it with his hand. He asked me to sit opposite with paper and pencil. I gave him the handle of a penholder which he placed on the sand.
"I am about to evoke the Pitris. When you see the object you have just given me stand upright, one end only in contact with the ground, trace on the paper any figures you please and you will see a copy on the sand." He then extended his hands and repeated the formula of evocation.
The wooden rod rose gradually, and at the same moment I moved my pencil, tracing the strangest figures at random. The piece of wood imitated every motion and I saw my figures appear successively in the sand, when I stopped the penholder stopped, when I went on it followed me.
Wishing to know if he could see from his position the movements of my pencil I left the table and placing myself in a similar position to his, satisfied myself that it was impossible for him to see what I was doing.
Having leveled the sand again he said:
"Think of a word in Sanskrit."
He extended his hands as before. The magic pencil began to move and wrote the word:
"Purusha" (The Heavenly Generator).
That was the word I had thought of.
"Think of a phrase."
The pencil wrote in Sanskrit:
"Vishnu sleeps upon Mount Aikonta."
"Can the spirit give me the 243rd shloka of the book of Manu?" I asked.
The pencil wrote before my eyes (in Sanskrit): "The man, the end of all whose actions is virtue, all of whose sins are erased by acts of piety and sacrifice, reaches the heavenly mansions radiant with light and clothed with a spiritual form."
As a last experiment, placing my hands on a closed book containing extracts from Vedic hymns I asked for the first word of the fifth line of the twenty-first page. The answer written was:
"Devadatta." (Given by a God.)
Comparing, it was correct.
"Will you now put a mental question?" said the faquir. I moved my head and the following was written on the sand:
I had asked: "Who is our common mother?"
I have no explanation or statement to make with regard to these facts. I only describe what I saw and assert that the circumstances are accurately described. Materially speaking I do not think any fraud could have been committed.
As he was about to leave me to go to his breakfast he stopped in the embrasure of the door leading from the terrace to the outside stairs and crossing his arms upon his chest lifted himself up gradually without any apparent support (in the air) to the height of about ten to twelve inches. I could determine the distance exactly. Behind his back was a silk hanging striped in gold and white bands of equal width. His feet were on a level with the sixth band. I had seized my chronometer: the entire time from the moment when he began to rise until he touched the ground again was more than eight
minutes. I asked him if he could repeat this when he pleased.
"The faquir," he answered emphatically, "can lift himself as high as the clouds."
[Again Jacolliot gives a most interesting account of rapid growth.]
Among the claims advanced by the faquirs is that they can directly influence the growth of plants. I had already seen this done a number of times but regarded it as a successful fraud. On his arrival I told him what I intended.
"I am entirely at your service."
"May I choose the earth, the vessel, and the seed which you are to make grow?" I asked.
"The vessel and the seed, yes. The earth must be taken from a nest of carias."
These little ants, who build for shelter small hills, are very common in India and there was no difficulty. I told my servant to bring me a flower-pot and differing seeds. I took them and dismissed him. To the faquir I handed the flower-pot filled with a whitish earth which must have been saturated with that milky fluid which the ants secrete and deposit upon their building earth. I chose at random a pawpaw seed and
asked him to allow me to mark it. I made a slight cut in its outer skin, and gave it to him with a few yards of mosquito cloth. [This of course is a kind of muslin.]
"I shall soon sleep the sleep of the spirits. You must promise you will neither touch me nor the pot."
He then planted the seed in the earth, now like liquid mud, thrusting his seven-knotted stick into a corner of the vessel, using it as a prop to hold up the piece of muslin. He sat down upon the floor, stretched both hands horizontally above him and fell into a deep cataleptic sleep.
At first I could not tell whether his sleep was real, but when at the end of half an hour he had not stirred I was forced to believe no man was able except in that condition to hold both his arms stretched horizontally before him. An hour passed by. He looked like a bronze statue of evocation.
At first I took my place opposite him but that soon became unendurable. His eyes seemed half dead but full of magnetic influences. Without losing sight of him I took a seat at the end of the
terrace. I had been waiting for a couple of hours when a low sigh startled me.
He made signs for me to approach. Removing the muslin that hid the pot he pointed to a young stalk of pawpaw fresh and green and nearly eight inches high. He thrust his fingers into the ground and carefully taking up the plant he showed me upon one of the two cuticles still adhering to the roots the cut I had made two hours before.
Was it the same seed and the same cut? I noticed no substitution. He had not left the terrace. I had not lost sight of him. He could not conceal a plant in his clothes for he was almost entirely naked, and could not have told in advance that I should choose a pawpaw seed among thirty different kinds my servant had brought. He said:
"If I had continued my evocations longer the pawpaw tree would have borne flowers in eight days and fruit in fifteen."
Bearing in mind the accounts of Huc the missionary [already quoted] and what I had myself witnessed in the Carnatic I said there were other performers who could accomplish this in two hours.
"You are mistaken. In the manifestations you speak of there is an apport of fruit trees by the spirits. What I have just shown you is really spontaneous vegetation, but the pure fluid under the direction of the Pitris was never able to produce the three phases of germination, flowering, and fruiting in one day."
There is one fact I should not omit which may be of service. There are a multitude of kitchen plants which, put at dawn into moist soil and exposed to the influence of a sun which does wonders, appear above the ground by noon and at the close of day are nearly half an inch high, on the other hand I am bound to say at least fifteen days are necessary for the germination of a pawpaw seed.
The next sitting was devoted to apparitions.
He was entirely naked when he came in and his seven-knotted stick was fastened to a lock of his long hair.
"Nothing unholy," he said, "should come in contact with the body of the evocator."
My bedroom was on a level with the terrace. I set apart both for our experiment, and carefully shut and fastened all outside doors. In the center of each was a coco-oil lamp protected
by a glass shade diffusing a light sufficiently intense to enable anyone to read the smallest type in the remotest corner. There was a small copper furnace with burning coals, on which are burned from time to time a few pinches of perfumed powder. He placed one in the center of the terrace, by its side a copper platter filled with fragrant powder, took his seat on the floor with his arms folded across his chest and commenced a long incantation. This done he remained in the same position motionless, his left hand on his heart, his right leaning on the seven-knotted stick.
I thought he would drop into a cataleptic sleep, but no. From time to time he pressed his hand against his forehead. I experienced a sudden shock. A slight phosphorescent cloud formed, from which semblances of hands seemed to come and go with great rapidity. In a few minutes they lost their vaporous appearance and resembled human hands. Some became as it were more material; others more luminous. I counted sixteen.
When I asked if I could touch them, one breaking away from the rest flew toward me and pressed my hand. It was small, supple and
moist, like the hand of a young woman. It threw a rosebud at my feet and vanished.
For nearly two hours a scene ensued calculated to set my head in a whirl. A hand brushed my face or fanned it with a fan. It would scatter a shower of flowers or trace in the air characters of fire; words which vanished as the last letter was written. Some of these were so striking that I wrote them down hastily. (They were in Sanskrit.)
"I have clothed myself with a fluidic body."
"You will attain bliss when you lay aside this transitory body."
Meanwhile flashes of lightning seemed to dart about. Gradually the hands disappeared; we found a garland of those yellow flowers with penetrating perfume [marigolds] which the Hindus use in all their ceremonies.
I offer no explanation. I relate. The doors of both rooms were closed. I had the keys in my pocket and the faquir had not changed his position. To these succeeded two others.
A cloud hovered near the little brazier, which at the Hindu's request I had fed. It assumed the human form of an old Brahmin priest kneeling; the sign of Vishnu on his forehead, girdled with
the triple cord. He seemed to pray. He took a pinch of perfumed powder and threw it on the coals. It emitted a thick smoke; when it dispersed I noticed the specter less than six feet distant. It held out its hands; I took them in my own and found them warm and human. "Are you," I asked, "a former inhabitant of the earth?" The word "Yes" (Am) appeared and disappeared in letters of fire on his bosom.
"Will you leave me something as a token?"
He broke the triple cord, gave it to me and faded away. I supposed the séance was over and was going to raise the movable curtains which shaded the terrace, for the heat was suffocating. Suddenly I heard a strange tune. I saw the phantom of a musician gliding along the wall. He held a harmoniflute, which appeared impossible, as the Peishwa had sent for his the day before. When he had made the circuit of my room and the terrace he disappeared and I found the instrument where he had vanished. It was actually the Rajah's harmoniflute.
Govindaswami then rose. He was covered with perspiration and seemed exhausted. He accepted my presents, made the parting salaam and disappeared. I threw myself on a hammock
for a few hours' rest. When I woke and remembered, it seemed a dream. Yet there was the harmoniflute. The floor of the terrace was still strewn with flowers, the garland lay on the divan and the notes I had written had not vanished.
Jacolliot in an interesting passage gives the conditions in which the true yogins operate. These should be noted. They are as follows:
They are accompanied by no assistant or confederate.
They are completely naked save for a small piece of linen about as large as the hand.
They are acquainted with none of the apparatus our European jugglers need.
They have nothing in their possession but a small wand of seven knots of young bamboo as big as the handle of a penholder, which they hold in the right hand, and a small whistle about three inches long which they fasten to one of the locks of their long straight hair, for, having no clothes, they must otherwise hold it.
They operate as the person they visit desires, either sitting or standing or on the marble,
granite or stucco pavement of the veranda or the bare ground.
When they need a subject for magnetic or somnambulistic phenomena they take any of the servants you may choose, or a European if he is willing to serve.
If they need any article such as a musical instrument, a cane, a paper, a pencil, etc., they will ask you to furnish it.
They will repeat any experiments in your presence as many times as you require and will submit to any test.
They never ask any pay, merely accepting as alms for their temple whatever you choose to offer.
I have traveled in every direction for many years and can truthfully state that I have never seen a single faquir who was not willing to comply with these conditions.
Jacolliot is no believer himself in spiritualism in the ordinary sense of the word. It is true that many of the performers claim, as above, that these supernormal feats are done by "spirit force" which they some of them, as above, interpret
as the power of the Pitris, the ancestral spirits. Jacolliot, however, writes:
I will say what I mean by the words "spirit force." I mean the alliance between the intellect and the spiritual in order to act upon inanimate objects, without predetermining in any way the cause which sets this force in motion.
The supreme cause of all phenomena according to the Brahmins is the pure akasha fluid which is diffused through nature and puts animate and inanimate beings in communication with each other. Heat, electricity, all the forces of nature are but modes of action and states of this fluid. The being who possesses an excess of it acquires a proportionate power over animate beings not so highly favored and over inanimate beings. Spirits themselves are sensible to this influence.
According to some Brahmins akasha is the moving thought of the Universal Soul directing all souls, who would be in constant communication with each other if the gross envelope of the body did not in a measure prevent. Thus the more the soul disentangles itself from the body by contemplation the more sensible it becomes.
to this Universal fluid by which all beings, visible or invisible are united. I confine myself to the rôle of an interpreter and nothing more.
So writes Jacolliot. He adds:
As to the last class of cases (apparitions and the production of material objects) I should have omitted them altogether from the present work, as shunning scientific investigation if (remembering that all religions with Christianity at their head included such phenomena in their mysteries and miracles) I had not thought it would be at least a matter of historical curiosity to set forth the nature of these singular practices--in common use in India at the present day--which are so well adapted to influence the popular mind and which formed the basis of all the ancient superstitions.
It will be observed that Jacolliot is very cautious in his manner of statement and rightly so. He calls however for investigation and I believe he would have done so more loudly had he lived in the present day and seen the advance of science along lines which would have appeared to him equally miraculous with those which the faquir developed before him in the palace of the
[paragraph continues] Peishwa in Benares. I recommend all to read his book "Occult Science in India," the first and longer part of which is devoted to examining the resemblances between supernormal beliefs in various parts of the world. All must draw their own conclusions but I think myself justified in describing him as a believer in the existence of some powerful and universal force which can be used by certain people and in certain conditions to produce results which the uninstructed would describe as "miraculous."