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the alternative, if, as, must

As to modern ghosts, from the neurotic Fox sisters down to our day, what did they ever teach and what have they ever said or done to give us an exalted ideal of another life? Must we not rather agree with Flournoy who said in substance that modern spiritualism is calculated to make him hope that death is an eternal sleep or annihilation for both ourselves and our friends if the alternative is to lead the puny, trivial, puttering life of the seance or the psychic research ghosts ?

ex G. Stanley Hall, “Spooks and Telepathy” in Appleton’s Magazine 12:6 (December 1908) : 677-683 (683) : link
same : link (UC copy, one of several via hathitrust)

22 October 2022