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Problems of the Future Life
and its Nature
JAMES H. HYSLOP, Ph.D., LL.D.
Secretary of the American Society for Psychical Research
681 FIFTH AVENUE
All Rights Reserved
Printed in the United States of America
OST of the material in this book is new. Two
chapters and a part of a third are reproduc
tions of previously published matter, and they are incorporated because they are so relevant to the main object of the work. But the rest of it has been suggested by the need of discussing some problems which are sequels of the scientific collection of facts with which psychic research has so long occupied itself in the effort to ascertain whether man survived bodily death or not. I have not taken the pains in this work to quote the facts which tend to prove such a claim. The material is too plentiful and voluminous, as well as complex, to take the space for it. The publications of the various Societies for Psychical Research supply the evidence in such quantity and quality that it would require a volume by itself to quote and explain its import. I assume here sufficient intelligence on the part of most people who have done critical reading to see the cogency of it and to accept the proof of survival in it, though there are associated problems not so well secured against difficulty. The trouble with most people is that, in estimating the evidence, they take with them certain preconceived ideas of what a spirit is and so adjudge the evidence accordingly.
The scientific man, however, assumes nothing about a spirit except that it is a stream of consciousness existing apart from the physical body. How it may exist, he does not inquire, until he is convinced that there is evidence of the fact of it, and then a large number of associated problems arise. I have undertaken here to discuss these connected problems and so I assume that survival has sufficient evidence for its acceptance to make a tentative effort to satisfy some curiosity about the further questions that have more interest than the purely scientific problem of the continuity of life.
At the present day there is the usual, perhaps more than the usual, passion to know whether, if a man die, he shall live again, and it takes the form of an intenser interest in the nature of the life after death than in the scientific question of the fact. This problem is discussed at some length in this work. It is not easy to satisfy inquirers on this point. Most of them suppose that, if we can communicate with the discarnate, they can easily tell us all about the transcendental world. But this is an illusion and the sooner that we learn that there is a very large problem before us in that matter the better for our intellectual sanity. It is comparatively easy to prove survival, when you have once eliminated fraud and subconscious fabrications. But it is a very different matter to determine just what we shall believe or how we shall conceive the nature of the existence beyond the grave. It will be a matter of long investigation and all that I can hope to do in this work is to suggest the considerations that must be taken into account when discussing the problem.
ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS
PRIMITIVE CONCEPTIONS OF A FUTURE LIFE
48. Heraclitus, 49. Empedocles and Democritus, 50. Pythago-
ras, 52. Plato, 53. Transmigration, 57. Aristotle, 58. Stoics,
60. Epicureans, 61. The Romans, 62. Cicero and Seneca, 63.
Marcus Aurelius, 63. Christian view, 64.
CHRISTIANITY AND PSYCHIC RESEARCH
General observations, 65. The resurrection, 68. New Testament
incidents, 71. Miracles of healing, 75. Further incidents, 76.
Meaning of “
Angel,” 78. The Temptation, 80. St. Paul, 81.
Relation to psychic research, 85. Healing, 87. Science, 89.