Excerpt from Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 14: Section "B" Of the American Institute for Scientific Research In discussing the problem of survival before public audiences I find that there is a most important illusion that infects both the layman and the scientific man. This illusion embodies itself in more than one form. Sometimes it is a complaint that the facts are so trivial and at others it is that we give no conception of what the future life is. Or they may accuse us of not giving them any new truth or any truths that have any value. All of these demands or objections are based on Illusions and no intelligent person would make them It is all the more surprising that the so-called scientific man should make them, because we might suppose that he had an intelligent conception of the problem. But the fact is that the average scientific man is quite as ignorant as the layman of the problem, or if not ignorant, he is guilty of equivocation and prevarication about it. He may take his choice between these alternatives. All the forms of this illusion have the same meaning. The layman and the sol-disant scientific man, when he complains of triviality, when he complains that we present no new or valuable truth, or conception of the next life, is demanding that we tell him the nature, place, form, mode, manner and conditions of life in a transcendental world. The futility and irrationality of such a demand, until its existence has been proved, ought to be an axiom for every intelligent man. This can easily be shown. What should we have thought of Queen Isabella if she had refused to give Columbus ships to discover America until he had shown her what the nature and contour of the western continent were, or whether there was gold there. The existence of the continent was the first condition of ascertaining its form and nature. The first problem of Columbus was the existence of a western world, not its nature. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.