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Thomson Jay Hudson

Acclaimed Psychic Researcher

Psychical researcher
Thomson Jay Hudson is best known for his classic work in the mental science and mental therapeutics field, The Law of Psychic Phenomena, first published in 1893.

Born Windham, Ohio, USA, February 22, 1834, and refusing his father's wish to become a minister of religion, Thomson Jay Hudson had to fund his own study of law at college. He began a law practice in Port Huron, Michigan, but, in 1860, he began a journalistic career instead; and, in 1866, unsuccessfully ran for the US Senate. From 1877 till 1880 he was Washington Correspondent for the Scripps Syndicate. In 1880 he accepted a position in the US Patent Office, and was promoted to Principal Examiner of a Scientific Division, a post he held until the publication of his remarkable book The Law of Psychic Phenomena in 1893.

He wrote and lectured on this subject until his death from heart failure in 1903.

The author of The Law of Psychic Phenomena is as fascinating as the great work itself. Dr. Hudson was truly a man of many talents, many intellectual pursuits and many accomplishments. He was a man with great talent for bringing out the very best in all those who knew him - family, friends and acquaintances. He had a great love for all life and a great love for scientific and intellectual pursuit. Logic was, for him, the password for life.

It was during the period of 1870 through 1915 that man began another of his periodic great "upsurges" of making serious inquiry into the nature of man, man's evolution, man's relationship with all nature and the actual working of man's mind. Despite living and working in this period of "giants" - Charles Darwin, Sir Oliver Lodge, Frank Podmore, Richard Bucke, Judge Troward, Max Heindl, etc., - Thomson Jay Hudson stood out because of his intellectual honesty, logic, sincerity, curiosity and ability to put into writing his great wisdom and intellect.

Truly for him the writing of The Law of Psychic Phenomena was a labor of love and a challenge to his genius. That it proved to be one of the most successful books of the past century (over 47 printings) appeared to be somewhat of a surprise to him as he had envisioned the book to be primarily of interest to scholars seeking a scientific approach to "right living and thinking." The commercial success of this book, or any of his books, never concerned him. He was only interested in "sparking" an intellectual and spiritual awakening in man. Above all else, he was concerned that man be made aware of the great evidence of the existence of power in thought and of the importance of developing a spiritual nature. Dr. Hudson was a great forerunner of modern day giants of science, psychology and theology.

Dr. Hudson was involved in so many diverse activities and intellectual pursuits that to enumerate them all would be beyond the scope of any introductory remarks. However, to really appreciate his great breadth of knowledge and intellectual curiosity, a little of his life should be known.

Even while working on his father's farm in early years, he studied natural philosophy, chemistry and logic, which were subjects far beyond the usual prescribed educational pursuits of the mid-1800's.

Later, while preparing for college, his father insisted that he study for the ministry. In this request he stubbornly refused. He stated that he could not accept much of the theological dogma that he had been given. Forced therefore to leave his father's protection and support, on his own, he pursued studies in law. He was admitted to the bar at twenty-three and practiced as an attorney and journalist in Port Huron, Ohio, until 1866 - the year he entered politics. During the years he was studying and practicing law, he was actively working with new ideas concerning both mind and matter. During an oil boom in the Lake Erie area of Canada around 1860, Hudson spent considerable time researching and exploring the oil fields themselves; and his most inventive mind developed a number of devices and processes for working in oil fields which are still used today. In all of his many careers, he used his most analytical and inventive mind. Everything he touched was affected most constructively with his ingenuity and curiosity.

He later became editor-in-chief of the Detroit Daily Union. In 1877, he became Washington correspondent of a national syndicate - a post he held until offered a position on the examining corps of the United States Patent Office in 1880. This position was a "natural" for Dr. Hudson with his inquiring and open mind and his own penchant for invention. He remained with the Patent Office for thirteen years, rising to the position of Principal Examiner and in charge of one of the scientific divisions of that office. He left that position in 1893 immediately after the publication of  The Law of Psychic Phenomena  - which overnight made Dr. Hudson famous throughout the English-speaking world. As one of his biographers has stated: "Without violence to the truth it may be said that one morning, in 1893, Dr. Hudson awoke to find himself famous throughout the English-speaking world."

Dr. Hudson spent the remainder of his life in pursuing his study into the "true nature of man" with particular emphasis on the extra-sensory powers of man as manifested through psychic phenomena. He wrote a number of other outstanding books dealing with this subject prior to his death in 1903. Dr. Hudson received an LL.D. degree from St. John's College and a Ph.D. from Ewing College.

Any reference to Dr. Hudson's work should concern his objectives. He was adamant about why psychic phenomena should be of interest to man. To use his own words:

"Jesus, who was master of the science of the soul, drew the line, on strictly scientific principles when he proclaimed the law that belief - faith - was the essential prerequisite to the attainment of immortal life. Faith, in the sense in which Jesus employed the term means much more than belief, although the latter is included in the term. Faith in the psychic sense and that is the sense in which Jesus employed it, is conscious potentiality. It is a power; it is the power of the soul. All psychic phenomena demonstrate that proposition. Without it there can be no psychic phenomena beyond the exercise of the purely animal instinct. It is the creature of suggestion. Suggestion alone awakens it into existence, suggestion can utterly destroy it. Inasmuch as no suggestion of the possibility of immortal life can be conveyed through the embryotic soul of the brute, the conscious potentiality requisite to the sustentation of independent existence does not exist; and it obviously cannot exist in other than an intelligent being. And this remark, according to the philosophy of Jesus, applies to all the brute creation, whether it is embodied in the form of animals or of man."

This statement underlies his objective - to make man aware of his spiritual potential, of awakening this important faculty of man. He believed, and reiterated time after time, that the only reason to study the psychic aspects of man was to better comprehend the importance of developing the "spirit faculty" that exists within every man. Hudson was able to let the creative force within him free itself; and because of that, all of us who are privileged to read his works are much the richer.

Several other passages from Dr. Hudson's work give us further evidence of the great wisdom, creative ability and understanding that this unique individual had. He wrote; "....the subjective mind is constantly amenable to control by suggestion. (This is not true of the objective mind as he says in another passage.) ....The objective mind is merely the function of the physical brain. The subjective mind is a distinct entity possessing independent powers and functions, having a mental organization of its own, and capable of sustaining an existence independently of the body. The subjective mind of man is synonymous with the soul of man."

How far ahead of his day - even of today - was Dr. Hudson! He was a pioneer in such fields as psychology, philosophy, biology, metaphysics and even in some areas of chemistry and physics. Dr. Hudson was writing of the power of mental conditioning fifty years before Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and others popularized the concept of "mind power." Fifty years ago, Dr. Hudson was discussing ideas that have now become proven scientific facts in many areas of medicine, biology, physiology and psychology. Even so, he was able to effectively communicate to those of "his time", and his writing is just as effectively communicated to us today.

No one could really do an adequate job of "introducing" this man and his work. One has to read what Dr. Hudson wrote, digest it and relate it to subsequent events and newly discovered "facts" in order to comprehend the ability, creativeness and uniqueness of this man and his work. The more we become exposed to his work the greater will be the understanding that man has of man

Hudson's theory

Thomson Jay Hudson began observing hypnotism shows and noticed similarities between hypnosis subjects and the trances of spiritualist mediums. His idea was that any contact with "spirits" was in fact contact with the medium's or the subject's own subconscious. Anything else could be explained by telepathy, which he defined as contact between two or more subconsciouses.

Hudson postulated that his theory could explain all forms of spiritualism, and had a period of popularity until the carnage of the First World War caused a fresh interest in spiritualism again as psychic mediums emerged to meet the demands of grieving relatives.

Hudson's work, although unrefuted, and thought by some to be a "bust" of spiritualism, remained almost forgotten until recently when his theory was found to explain some of the theories of Rupert Sheldrake. In 1998, the electronic voice phenomena, that Hudson could have known nothing about, which had hitherto defied explanation, was found to follow Hudson's laws. Paranormal investigators are beginning to look again at his works.

Hudson's three laws

1. Man has two minds: the objective mind (conscious) and the subjective mind (subconscious).

2. The subjective mind is constantly amenable to control by suggestion.

3. The subjective mind is incapable of inductive reasoning.


The Law of Psychic Phenomena (1893)

Scientific Demonstration of Future Life (1895)

Divine Pedigree of Man (1899)

The Law of Mental Medicine (1903)

Evolution of the Soul and Other Essays (1906) (Published posthumously)

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The Law of Psychic Phenomena

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The Law of Psychic Phenomena

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