“Perhaps, among the whole body of spiritualist writers of our day, not one is held in higher esteem for character, education, sincerity, and ability, than Epes Sargent, of Boston, Massachusetts. His monograph entitled The Proof Palpable of Immortality, deservedly occupies a high rank among works upon the subject.
With every disposition to be charitable and apologetic for mediums and their phenomena, Mr. Sargent is still compelled to use the following language: “The power of spirits to reproduce simulacra of persons who have passed from earth-life, suggests the question – How far can we be assured of the identity of any spirit, let the tests be what they may? We have not yet arrived at that stage of enlightenment that would enable us to reply confidently to this inquiry….There is much that is yet a puzzle in the language and action of this class of materialized spirits.”
As to the intellectual calibre of most of the spirits which lurk behind the physical phenomena, Mr. Sargent will unquestionably be accepted as a most competent judge, and he says, “the great majority, as in this world, are of the unintellectual sort.”
If it is a fair question, we would like to ask why they should be so lacking in intelligence, if they are human spirits? Either intelligent human spirits cannot materialize, or, the spirits that do materialize have not human intelligence, and, therefore, by Mr. Sargent’s own showing, they may just as well be “elementary” spirits, who have ceased to be human altogether, or those demons, which, according to the Persian Magi and Plato, hold a middle rank between gods and disembodied men.”
H. P. Blavatsky