If the fact can be established that a person may know another's thoughts without that other being aware of it, then you have a starting point to reason from. Then it will be seen that man is double or has two identities, one seen by the natural eye, and the other seen by the intelligence which is not confined to any sense or organ. I call the last the spiritual or scientific man. The difficulty of establishing the fact of a personal identity outside and apart from the natural man lies in the fact that error sees no science in anything, for when error sees science, it is not error. So when the spiritual man knows himself, he is not the same man as before but another. This makes him one real man and another in remembrance. And when the child grows to manhood, the man sees himself as a child in remembrance but attaches his life to it. So it is with man's existence.
Man's life is eternal and is a part of God or wisdom but cannot be seen by the eye of man, for that sees the medium and only the medium. We call the medium ourselves, yet there is no more wisdom in ourselves as a medium than there is in a galvanic battery or any other material. Yet destroy the medium and you destroy all communication with each other as far as the natural man's intelligence goes. To illustrate. Suppose two blind mutes are sitting in the same room. The natural man would reason that their distance from each other was just as far as their bodies were apart, not having any idea of a sympathy that is mingling, because ignorance is the sight and the eyes are the medium of his wisdom. But the scientific man sees that although these two blind mutes are like two stumps to the natural man, yet there emanates from each an atmosphere which mingles together and of which the natural man knows not, and all it wants is a medium to communicate it to each other. Here is where man stands towards himself. The natural man, or skeptic, is the man who has never been developed at all. So he thinks he knows himself as he appears. He is as certain of what he cannot see as of what he can see, for his opinion is as true as sight, and whatever he believes, no matter how absurd, to him it is true. He denies everything that he cannot see, and when he sees it, he never investigates but gives his opinion, and to him, his opinion is true. In such a man there is the seed or child of wisdom confined in the prison of this earthly man, struggling like all other science to be delivered from this body of error. From the prison of such an error I have been laboring for twenty years to free myself, and the discoveries I have made I will give to those who are within the sound of my spiritual voice and can see with spiritual eyes through the clouds that there exists something besides his opinion or belief. I will write in the form of a dialogue that it may be seen how far I am from the world and what I know.
You may call yourself A, and I will call myself B. (B) Will you admit that we can communicate our thoughts to each other by language? (A) Yes. (B) Will you admit that I can think of Boston without your knowing it? (A) Yes. (B) Will you admit that I can communicate the fact to you by language? (A) Yes. (B) Then we have established the fact that we can think independent of each other? (A) Yes, I admit that. (B) You also admit that we can by language convey our thoughts by language to each other. (A) Yes. (B) Will you admit that you know what I am thinking of without language? (A) No. Do you? (B) That depends on circumstances. (A) What kind of circumstances? (B) I will tell you. Sensation is not ideas but is merely a shock, like that of a galvanic battery, and rouses the person, but there is no language in that. (A) I can't understand. (B) I will try to illustrate what I mean. Suppose I had never seen nor heard of a steamboat and you had seen one. You could think of one, could you not? (A) Yes. (B) Could I? (A) I suppose not. (B) Could not your thoughts affect me? (A) That is what I want you to prove. (B) I will do so. You know you had a pain in one of your knees. (A) Yes. (B) Did I not tell you of it? (A) Yes. (B) Do you doubt that I told you the truth? (A) No. (B) Then you must affect me without language? (A) Yes, for I never told you. (B) Yes you did, or I never should have known that it came from you. (A) What way did I tell you? (B) Precisely as though you spoke it. (A) I do not understand. (B) I know you do not, and I will try to make it clearer. Sensation is not intelligence to a person till it is associated with some medium. For instance, I never saw or heard of the steamboat, so of course I could not make one in my mind and if I did, I should not know for I have no language to express it. But you have seen one and have language to explain. Your language excites my mind and you create the boat and attach my senses to a steamboat. So when you speak of one again, you convey to me the language. (A) You do not make it plain. (B) You know I told you that you had a pain in your knee. (A) Yes, you said so. (B) You deny this? (A) No, but I don't exactly understand how you know it. (B) I thought so. (A) Won't you make it clearer? (B) I will try. If you had been alone you would have had the pain, you don't doubt that. Then I did not make the pain. (A) I do not know that I gave you the pain. (B) Suppose you had no pain. Could I have felt it? (A) No, but that doesn't satisfy me that you might not have a pain in your knee. (B) Well, what will satisfy you? (A) You see Mr. G. coming along. If you will tell him how he feels without his saying anything to you, then I will believe. (B) Well, call him in and I will try.
Mr. G. enters and says, I am sick and want you to tell me how I feel. I sit down and tell him how he feels and what he thinks and even tell him what he has been doing, etc., and Mr. G. acknowledges that I have told his feelings better than he could. Then A says, I will admit that you can tell a person's feelings, without their telling you. (B) Will you tell me how much you really understand? (A) I understand that you can tell the feelings of another. (B) How do you know? (A) Because I know that you told me my feelings. (B) Could you not be deceived? (A) Not in what you told me. But you might have guessed and if you did you are good at guessing. (B) Then the real fact of my telling your feelings is a belief in what I said? (A) Yes. (B) Could you have any stronger proof? (A) I don't know as I could, but more proof would strengthen my belief. (B) Have you any positive proof that might not be changed? (A) No, for it may be all guesswork and deception. (B) What would be positive proof? (A) I do not know. I have seen enough and if I have been deceived, I should be deceived all the more. (B) That is so. I can tell you that if you knew one thing then you would have the proof. (A) What is that? (B) If you knew you could tell my feelings, then you would have the proof in yourself. (A) Yes. (B) You will now admit that I tell your feelings? (A) Yes, but I cannot see how you do it. (B) Then your wisdom is based on what I say. (A) Yes, for I have no better proof than your opinion. (B) Then to you my opinion is knowledge, but to me it is wisdom and here is the difference between knowledge and wisdom: knowledge is based on a belief in what we do not know without a doubt, and wisdom is the science of the thing we speak of. So I think now I have shown the difference between yourself and me. (A) Yes, I think I can see that what you know is wisdom and what I think I know is an opinion, so that my knowledge contained no wisdom. (B) I want you to go with me to the Spirit-rapping mediums to convince you that all the knowledge comes from man's wisdom. (A) I do not believe in the spirits at all. (B) Why not? Do you believe it all a humbug? (A) Yes. (B) Don't you believe that there is another world beyond this? (A) I do not want to discuss that question now. Wait till another time. Finis. They agree to go to see the spirits tomorrow.