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Genuine Mediumship or The Invisible Powers by Swami Bhakta Vishita


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It is important that the distinction be made clearly between the use and meaning of these two terms, "abnormal" and "supernormal," respectively. The first named denotes INFERIORITY, and the latter denotes SUPERIORITY. This distinction may be more clearly apprehended by means of a concrete example, as follows:

On our own plane of existence the senses of sight and hearing, respectively, are included in the usual standard, pattern, and type of sense normality--every normal person possesses these senses in a certain general degree of power; hence, on this plane of existence, a person born blind, or deaf, is spoken of as "ABNORMAL," that is to say, such a person is DEFICIENT in regard to the sense powers.

On the contrary, let us imagine a plane of existence, in which the great majority of individuals lack the power of sight and hearing, respectively. On such a plane of existence, the occasional individual who was born possessed of the powers of sight and hearing, respectively, would be properly regarded as "SUPERNORMAL," that is to say, such a person would be SUPERIOR to the ordinary run of individuals--above them, in fact. The term "ABNORMAL" means MINUS the ordinary standard quality; and the term "SUPERNORMAL" means PLUS the ordinary standard quality. And yet both the "plus" and the "minus" would be "outside" the normal type, though there is a difference as wide as that between the two poles, in this "outsideness."

Supernormal, Not Abnormal

The above important statement concerning the distinction between the "abnormal" and "supernormal" is not made merely for the purpose of academic differentiation and classification. On the other hand, it is made because there is a most pernicious tendency on the part of the ignorant and unthinking portions of the public to regard and to classify certain high phases of occult and psychic manifestation of power as "abnormal," hence BELOW the standard; whereas, properly speaking, such manifestations of power are far ABOVE THE STANDARD, and, hence, clearly entitled to the term "supernormal."

The Prevailing Ignorance

The ignorant and unthinking attitude of certain portions of the general public toward this class of phenomena is akin to that of a community of blind and deaf persons, satisfied that their own "three sense" standard is the highest possible one attainable by living creatures and that all variation therefrom must be considered as "abnormal." In such a community there would occasionally be born certain individuals possessed of the senses of sight and hearing, in addition to the common three senses possessed by the entire community. Judging by what we know of the tendency of human nature in such cases, we are warranted in conjuring that the ordinary run of persons in such a community would revile the seeing and hearing individuals as "abnormal," and their possessors therefore to be pitied, and perhaps shunned. Only the intelligent and thoughtful members of such a community would be able to grasp the fact that these exceptional individuals were really not only not "abnormal," and inferior to type, but that they were really "supernormal," and superior to type.

Prejudice Against the Unusual.

Those to whom the above illustration may seem far-fetched, exaggerated, and unwarranted, are asked to carefully consider the ignorant and unthinking attitude which the great majority of the general public, at least at first, present toward that most wonderful display of supernormal powers, known as "occult" or "psychic," made by the few highly developed individuals of the race who are able to manifest them to some degree. These individuals are regarded as "queer," and "strange," "unnatural," and "abnormal" by their ignorant and unthinking neighbors and associates, just as the seeing and hearing exceptional individuals were likewise so regarded by their blind and deaf neighbors in the above illustration. And, here as in the illustration it is only the few intelligent and thinking individuals of the community who recognize that the departure from the standard type is in the direction of advancement and gain, rather than of retrogression and loss--a plus attribute, rather than a minus one. The illustration is startlingly true and in accordance with the facts of the case, as many thoughtful persons know only to well, and admit sadly.