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Questions Answered Extempore by Miss Emma Hardinge 1866



March 19th, 1866


Question 1


IT is alleged by most mediums that there are times when a suspension of the medium power occurs; will you explain the law which governs mediumship in this particular?




IT is alleged by some naturalists that electricity is essential to the growth of the vegetable world, and that in the spring time when the processes of growth are most active, that the demand for this life element is great, and no surplus exists to produce storms of thunder and lightning. Pursuing this train of reasoning still further, it is added, that in the fall of the year when the processes of growth are ended, and those of decay in the vegetable world have supervened, the surplus of the unappropriated charge of electric life in the atmosphere is manifested in the form of the numerous thunderstorms so prevalent in the season of autumn. The same law that pervades the universe and manifests itself wherever electrical phenomena are displayed, attaches also to the human form, though with less definite periodicity. There is no existence throughout the realm of nature so apparently uncertain as the human form, because (being a compendium of all the forces in nature), it is subject to a greater variety of influences. Nevertheless, the laws that affect it are the same as those of the whole realm of nature. It is in the absence of a surplus amount of the electrical force, that medium power is ever suspended, it is when there is an excess of this force that medium power is in operation. Those persons who possess by nature great excess of electrical force are never subject to the total suspension of mediumistic power, however much the degree of that force may vary. There is a variety but never a total loss of it, and it is healthful to practice mediumship, from the fact that if such an excess is permitted to accumulate, it would manifest itself in the wild, erratic, and constant tendency to movement, that is always observed in the young of all creatures in whom there is a vast charge of what we call vaguely “the life principle” - but what should more correctly be termed electrical force. In the young of all creatures who are largely supplied with this force, nature wisely disposes of the surplus by an amount of involuntary activity that would wear out the set form of the adult. In conditions of suffering and disease also, you will find that persons who have manifested no medium power while enjoying the full play of health, are frequently the subjects of clairvoyance and mesmeric phenomena, such as trance, vision, dreams, somnambulism, and other phases of spiritualistic and mediumistic power. Why is



this? Not because the abnormal condition of disease is absolutely more favourable to mediumistic development than the normal state of health, but because the life principle which should be concentrated and distributed equally throughout the system is too rapidly parted with, from the very face of disease, and because the system has not a sufficiently concentrative force to retain it. As it is this life principle which forms the force or power which constitutes mediumship, the state of disease which gives off this force in excess, is of course favourable though not essential to mediumship. Now, all the varieties which appear in mediumistic powers result from changes in the organism and the action of physical laws producing varieties of physical states. The same varieties may be produced by changes in the atmosphere, the surroundings, or even the diet, mental state, associations, or physical conditions of the medium? We can lay down no precise analysis of conditions favourable or otherwise for mediumistic phenomena, from the fact that everything which affects the medium, affects the power, and change is the genius of life and temperament. Nevertheless we may define generally favourable conditions, classify and group temperaments, and in the varieties of groups, we find one class who never lose even temporarily their mediumship, although its force varies; another who only manifest it in conditions of physical suffering, yet another class who only exhibit it at special times and under special conditions of atmosphere and surroundings. There is a science in the production of all mediumistic manifestations, the study of which can alone render the erratic nature of the phenomena comprehensible. We should be happy to enlarge upon this subject should further questions be demanded in reference to it.


Question 2 - March 19th, 1866