The importance of considering science and not theology or philosophy as the source from which conclusions in regard to the immortality of the soul must come was emphasized by Dr. James Hervey Hyslop in his address before the open meeting of the Graduate Schools Society at Phillips Brooks House last evening. Dr. Hyslop was introduced by Dr. Elwood Worcester of Emmanuel Church, Boston, as one of the greatest, if not the greatest of living authorities on psychical research today. Professor Kirsopp Lake presided at the meeting.
Dr. Hyslop began with a recital of several of his own personal experiences which finally led him to devote himself to the task of determining whether there is something more in the worold than matter and its functions. In this connection he made reference to Professor Royce, as the best type of psychical research worker, in that he sought unceasingly for facts without hindering the search by untimely attempts to explain the facts obtained.
After a brief survey of the history of the philosophic theories out of which the present form of psychical research has grown, Dr. Hyslop stated thus the question before the psychical research worker today: "Can we find consciousness disassociated from physical organism?" Professor Royce indicated in several of his reports between 1885 and 1887 that from the mass of evidence before him, in his connection with the Society of Psychical Research, that the spirit appears in the form of apparitions after death.
Public Too Credulous.
Although the endeavors of research workers have been hindered to a great extent by the credulity of the public in accepting the results of guess-work, fraud and chance coincidence through mediums, a great deal has been done through such mediums as Mrs. Piper, who was first discovered by Professor William James and others of equal importance. The various records of psychic phenomena which Dr. Hyslop set before the meeting revealed in a most interesting manner the basis for his belief that streams of consciousness survive the body. "I believe," said the noted psychologist in concluding, "that you cannot prove the existence of God without proving immortality of the soul." After his address Professor Hyslop answered all questions which anyone wished to ask.