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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

PSYCHICAL RESEARCH.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Coincident with the announcement on Monday morning of the recent gift to the University of ten thousand dollars, donated to encourage psychical research, there appeared in the New York Sun a long account of the communications which Professor Hyslop, a prominent member of the Society for Psychical Research, claims to have had from the late Professor William James. To the layman the account is fantastic and puzzling: the story of how Professor Hyslop, through the medium of a fifteen-year old boy, held conversations on several different occasions with the "spirit" of Professor James, which proved to the former's satisfaction the fulfillment of a promise made by Professor James to give him some "sign" from the "spirit world." The public has often been fooled by false mediums, by tricks of legerdemain which cause tables to tip for no other cause than the laws of physics, and by quacks who delude the ignorant and curious because it is an easy means of income for them; consequently the public, once bitten, is twice shy; it is interested in, but not receptive to new ideas which appear in earnest and apparently quite sincere investigation and experiment on this subject. The acceptance of this gift means that Harvard continues to take her enlightened stand in her policy of progressive investigation, a policy which has recently given her such tangible results in the field of medicine. And the gift itself makes possible effective study in a mysterious and fascinating field.

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