The writer has endeavoured to be fair, and trusts that, relatively speaking, he has succeeded.
To his mind the most plausible theory is that our savage ancestors were subject to great mental confusion ; that they did not distinguish between dreams and waking ; that their conditions of life and scanty supplies of food were favourable to trances and hallucinations ; and that they practised a kind of elementary hypnotism. From all this would arise a set of unfounded beliefs. These beliefs, like myths and customs, would endure among the peasant classes. The folk would inherit the traditions as to what hallucinatory phenomena they might expect, and, as a result of self-suggestion and of expectant attention, these phenomena theywould actually behold. This would account forthe continuity of phenomena, which again are fraudulently imitated by mediums.

 

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Cock Lane and Common Sense A Lang 1894

$2.99Price