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Professor Huskins

By Lettie M. Cummings

[Illustration: Logo]





Whose love and profound interest in my work was an inspiration and encouragement



"Here is a complication I know not how to solve and unravel. Three different persons in equally quiescent condition, and equally good 'subjects,' are placed in a comatose state by the same operator, who leaves them unbiased by his personal opinions, thinking to obtain in the mesmerized condition, (with their material bodies completely subjugated and inactive,) truth, upon a subject that man in his normal state cannot positively ascertain nor agree upon. Each of these 'subjects' gives a different opinion, and as all can be argued with more or less fluency, there are, seemingly, reasonable points in all. How can the discrepancies be reconciled? That is the question.

"I have thought the subject over seriously ever since the experiment, and the only way I can see is to mesmerize other persons, until two are found who do agree. It is a scientific problem of which we need an explanation.

"There must be a law of uniformity governing the Universe; otherwise such perfect order would not exist. But who can determine what that law is?

"I cannot understand the cause of so much variance in the answers. If I had held any preconceived ideas upon the subject, it would be different entirely, as I would then know my personal opinion upon it had colored the minds of my subjects. In such a case, however, there would be uniformity of opinion and avowal, while now there is almost utter variance.

"There seems to be logical reasoning on the part of each of them, but it is impossible to reconcile their statements. One says practically the opposite of the other. Which is right? Are any of them right, and what is the cause of this diversity of opinion? I confess I am as much interested in the cause of their disagreement as in the question itself.

"I believe myself to be a true student of life; that is, a person desirous of obtaining and mastering a true knowledge of the exact laws of existence, and hold myself aloof from all such preconceived plans of my own brain's concoction as may prejudice me, looking always for reasons and facts which teach me methods better than I know.

"My soul sickens at the word 'consistency.' Some of my colleagues seem to regard consistency as the essence of wisdom, but I cannot understand it that way. To me, consistency implies a clinging to old ideas and customs, and is therefore a symbol of negativeness instead of progression. I want to advance: to grow in wisdom and knowledge, though that advancement means the abandonment of every past idea, however choice and excellent that idea may have seemed, either at the time of its acceptance or now.

"A true student aspires to gain truth however much it may wound his past thoughts, and I can only regard life as a school of experience, wherein what to day we consider precious, may tomorrow become valueless. There is where I differ from my colleagues. I am willing to admit that two of them at least are far beyond me in technical knowledge, but it seems to me the further they advance in technical knowledge, the less pliable and elastic are their ideas.

"Somehow, I cannot comprehend advancement or progression without change, 'change,' of course, means the adoption of new ideas. If I believe the same as when a mere child, how can I have gained in wisdom? I cannot rid myself of the idea that consistency, that is, always believing what you used to believe, instead of being the essence of wisdom, is rather a pronounced indication of ignorance.

"Everything, so far as I am able to distinguish facts from that (to me) inestimable book, Nature, tells me to continually search for and demand new complications and expressions of types of life... Continue reading book >>

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