“In a recent philosophical work, The Unseen World, while showing that from the very definition of the terms, matter and spirit, the existence of spirit cannot be demonstrated to the senses, and that thus no theory is amenable to scientific tests, he deals a severe blow at his colleagues in the following lines:
The testimony in such a case”, he says, “must, under the conditions of the present life, be forever inaccessible. It lies wholly outside the range of experience. However abundant it may be, we cannot expect to meet it. And, accordingly, our failure to produce it does not raise even the slightest presumption against our theory.
When conceived in this way, the belief in the future life is without scientific support, but at the same time it is placed beyond the need of the scientific support and the range of scientific criticism. It is a belief which no imaginable future advance of physical discovery can any way impugn.
It is a belief which is in no sense irrational, and which may be logically entertained without in the least affecting our scientific habit of mind, or influencing our scientific conclusions.”
“If now”, he adds, “men of science will accept the position that spirit is not matter, nor governed by the laws of matter, and refrain from speculations concerning it restricted by their knowledge of material things, they will withdraw what is to men of religion, at present, their principal cause of irritation.”
But they will do no such thing. They feel incensed at the brave, loyal, and highly commendable surrender of such superior men as Wallace, and refuse to accept even the prudent and restrictive policy of Mr. Crookes.
No other claim is advanced for a hearing of the opinions contained in the present work than that they are based upon many years’ study of both ancient magic and its modern form, Spiritualism.
The former, even now, when phenomena of the same nature have become so familiar to all, is commonly set down as clever jugglery. The latter, when overwhelming evidence precludes the possibility of truthfully declaring it charlatanry, is denominated an universal hallucination.”
H. P. Blavatsky