Hudson, Thomson Jay (1834–1903)
American author and lecturer who attained prominence by
an ingenious anti-Spiritualist theory expounded in his books.
He was born on February 22, 1834, in Windham, Ohio. He attended
public schools in Windham and later studied law. He
was admitted to the bar at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1857 and practiced
for a time in Michigan before entering a journalistic career,
culminating in the editorship of the Detroit Evening News.
In 1880 he left journalism to enter the U.S. Patent Office, becoming
principal examiner. In 1893 he resigned and devoted
his time to the study of experimental psychology. Hudson was
awarded an honorary LL.D. by St. John’s College, Annapolis,
in 1896.
The essence of his special theory of psychic phenomena, developed
from studies in hypnotism, was that man has within
him two distinct minds the objective, with which he carries on
his practical daily life; and the subjective, which is dormant but
is infallible as a record, registering every single impression of
life. The objective mind is capable of both inductive and deductive
reasoning, the subjective mind of deductive only, according
to Hudson’s theory.
The change of death is survival in another state of consciousness,
with which, however, communication is impossible.
Any attempt is simply playing the fool with the subjective mind,
which presents reflections of the experimenter’s complete life
record and lures him on to believe that he is communicating
with his departed friends, Hudson said.
The Law of Psychic Phenomena (1893), in which this theory is
expounded, became very popular and made a deep impression.
It was followed by Scientific Demonstration of the Future Life
(1896), Divine Pedigree of Man (1900), Law of Mental Medicine
(1903), and Evolution of the Soul and Other Essays (1904).
Hudson’s theories attained an even greater popularity after
they were picked up by Thomas Troward and became the basis
of his famous Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science (1909).
Troward fed the notion of two minds into New Thought, where
it was eventually picked up by Ernest Holmes and became the
basic insight upon which Religious Science was based.
Hudson died in Detroit on May 26, 1903. Admiral Usborne
Moore writes in Glimpses of the Next State (1911) that through
Mrs. Georgie, a young dramatist of Rochester who wrote automatically
in mirror writing, he received manifestations of Hudson’s
spirit. Details of his life, unknown to both of them, were
given, and he communicated through different mediums in
Detroit and Chicago, carrying as a test messages of the admiral
from one medium to another and describing his activities to
Hudson, Thomson Jay. Divine Pedigree of Man. Chicago A.
C. McClure, 1900.
———. Evolution of the Soul and Other Essays. Chicago A. C.
McClure, 1904.
———. The Law of Psychic Phenomena. London G. P. Putnam;
Chicago A. C. McClurg, 1893. Reprint, New York Samuel
Weiser, 1969.
———. Scientific Demonstration of the Future Life. Chicago A.
C. McClure, 1896.
Melton, J. Gordon. New Thought A Reader. Santa Barbara,
Calif. Institute for the Study of American Religion, 1990.