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TABLE TURNING, the simplest and crudest form of communication with the subconscious self or with extraneous intelligences. As "mensa divinatoriae" tables were used for purposes of divination in antiquity. Ammianus Marcellinus describes a table with a slab, engraved with the letters of the alphabet, above which a ring was held, suspended by a thread. By swinging to certain letters messages were spelt out. Tertullian appears to be the first who knew of table communications with the unseen world.
Soon after the Rochester knockings table-turning became a veritable epidemic in America and spread from there to Europe. In 1852 afternoon invitations were extended to tea and table turning in England. Wishing to put a stop to the mania a committee of four medical men held seances and published the findings in the Medical Times and Gazette on June 11, 1853. Their conclusion was that the motion of the table was due to unconscious muscular action. A few weeks later Faraday's article was published in The Times in which the unconscious muscular action of the sitters was put forward as an experimentally demonstrated fact. The mesmerizts, however, welcomed table turning as a demonstration of odyllic force, whereas many ecclesiastics claimed to have demonstrated Satanic agency in the movements.
The usual procedure is to form a circle around the table, place hands lightly, with fingertips touching, on the leaf and, with lowered lights or in complete darkness, wait for the manifestations. If someone with psychic powers is present the table may, after a time, show signs of animation. The first such sign is a quivering motion under the sitters' hands; it keeps on increasing until the table pulsates with a mysterious energy. It was this phenomenon in his experiences with D. D. Home which induced Alexander Dumas to conceive, in a fantastic narrative, the table as an intelligence itself * The conception of a spirit entering furniture became a favorite idea with French authors afterwards.
The wooden surface appears to act as a reservoir of externalized nervous force. Hereward Carrington said of his seances with Eusapia Paladino that the table appeared to be somehow alive like the back of a dog. After the vibratory stage the table may jerk, tilt, stumble about and may eventually become entirely levitated. Apparently there is an intelligence behind these movements. If the letters of the alphabet are called over in the dark the table, by tilting, knocking on the floor, or tapping the sitter, indicates certain letters which connectedly spell out a message, often purporting to come from someone deceased. The intelligence which thus manifests has personal characteristics. In repeated sittings it is soon noticed that the skill with which the table is manipulated or the eccentricities of its behavior is indicatory of the presence of the same entity. The strange, stolid or clumsy behavior of the table immediately denotes that a new visitant is tampering with the contact. But the table may disclose much more than that. Its motions may express humor, emotion, personality. It may climb up into the sitters lap as a mark of affection, it may chase others all over the room in a hostile manner. As an additional means of expression the table may convey queer impressions by creaking. P. P. Alexander notes in his book, Spiritualism: A Narrative with a Discussion:
At a particular stage of the proceedings the table began to make strange undulatory movements, and gave out, as these proceeded, a curious accompaniment of creaking sounds. Mr. Home seemed surprised. "This is very curious," he said, "it is a phenomenon of which I have no experience hitherto." Presently my friend remarked that-movement and sound together-it reminded him of nothing he could think of except a ship in distress, with its timbers straining in a heavy sea. ... This conclusion being come to ... the table proceeded to rap out: "It is David." Instantly a lady burst into tears, and cried wildly: "Oh, that must be my poor, dear brother, David, who was lost at sea some time since."
When the table moves under contact there is an obvious possibility for the subconscious mind or a secondary personality to convey ideas by unconscious muscular pressure. This is valid both as regards the medium as the sitters. According to Myers, "the subliminal self, like the telegraphist begins its effort with full knowledge of the alphabet, but with only weak and rude command over our muscular adjustments. It is therefore a priori likely that its easiest mode of communication will be through a repetition of simple movements, so arranged as to correspond to letters of the alphabet." But Myers was inclined to attribute to the subconscious mind the movement of the table without contact as well. "If a table moves when no one is touching it, this is not obviously more likely to have been effected by my deceased grandfather than by myself. We cannot tell how I could move it; but then we cannot tell how he could move it either."
Certainly, there are experiences which bear out this possibility and show how singularly wide the range of deception may be. George E. Long, an acquaintance of Dr. Hodgson, narrates in Proceedings, Vol. IX. p. 65, a strange experience-with a chair. Through a nonprofessional young lady he received what was said to be the most convincing test of spirit return. "First the chair spelt out my name and showed a disposition to get into my lap; then it spelt out 'George, you ought to know me as I am Jim.' But I didn't, and said so. Then without my looking at the board, it spelt out 'Long Island, Jim Rowe' and 'Don't you remember I used to carry you when you were a little fellow,' or words to that effect. I had to acknowledge the truth of it and also to say that as he was an ignorant man he possibly intended 'Cary' for carry. I must own I was puzzled for the moment. To make sure of his power I asked that he count the pickets in the fence. Somehow he could not agree to this, and even the medium objected. As a last resort I asked how long he had been in the spirit land and the answer came, between thirteen and fourteen years. Now to the sequel. First it occurred to me a day or two later, that while all the incidents given were correct the name should have been given as Roe, instead of Rowe. Second I was upon Long Island this summer, and the matter coming to my mind I inquired how long Jim Roe had been dead, and was informed he died last Winter; so when I received this test so convincing to the believers the man was not dead."
Chair or table makes no difference once the available power is sufficient to manifest. The reason why a table should be used for spirit communication is that as a piece of furniture it is generally available, convenient, allows contact around it for a large number of people, its surface acts as a receptacle for the generated force and the space underneath comes very near to a cabinet, especially if it is surrounded by deep hanging table cloth. In olden days they often used a table with a hole in the middle through which materialized hands were thrust.
Eusapia Paladino insisted on a seance-table built entirely of wood. She considered soft pinewood the best to absorb vital magnetism. She allowed no metal in the construction of the table. The color of the table does not matter. Maxwell found an advantage in covering it with some white material of light texture. He also insisted that the table should possibly be fastened with wooden pegs instead of nails for mediums are sometimes extremely sensitive to metals.
With powerful mediums the movement of the table may occur at any time and disclose a tremendous force in operation. "During any meal with Mrs. Elgie Corner (Florence Cook), in one's own house," writes Gambier Bolton in Psychic Force, "and whilst she herself is engaged in eating and drinking-both of her hands being visible all the time-the heavy dining table will commence first to quiver, setting all the glasses shaking, and plates, knives, forks and spoons in motion, and then to rock and sway from side to side, occasionally going so far as to tilt up at one end or at one side; and all the time raps and tappings will be heard in the table and in many different parts of the Taking a meal with her in a public restaurant room. At is a somewhat serious matter." For similar experiences See: Movement.
Books on table turning: Baron de Guldenstubbe:
Pneumatologie positive et experimental; Du Potet: Traite Complet du Magnetisme Animal, Paris, 1856; Marquis de Mirville: Pneumatologie; Extraits de la Pneumatologie; Comte Agenor de Gasparin: Des Tables tournantes, de Surnaturel en general, et des Esprits, Paris, 1854; Comte de Szapary: Tables Tournantes, Paris, 1854; Marc Thury: Les Tables tournantes, Geneva, 1854: Chevreul: De la Baguette divinatoire, du pendule Explorateur, et des tables tournantes, Paris, 1854; Babinet: Etudes et lectures sur les sciences d'observation, Paris, 1856; Dr. Justinus Kerner: Die Somnambulen Tische, zur Geschichte und Erklarungen dieser Erscheinungen, 1853; D. Hornung: Neue Geheimnisse des Tages durch Geistes Magnetismus, Leipsic, 1857; Neueste Erfahrungen aus dem Geisterleben , 1858; Dr. E. V. Hartmann: Spiritismus; Dr. Maximilien Perty: Die Mystischen Erecheinungen der menschlichen Natur, Leipsic, 1861; The Rev. C. H. Townshead: Mesmerizm Proved True, London, 1854; H. Spicer: Facts and Fantasies, London, 1853; Pamphlets: John Prichard: A few sober words of Tabletalk about the spirits, Leamington, 1853; Rev. R. C. Morgan: An Inquiry into Table Miracles, Bath and London, 1833; Rev. F. Close: The Testers Tested or Table-moving ... not diabolical, London, 1853 Rev. R. W. Dibdin: The Theology of Table turning, Spirit Rapping, etc. 1854; Rev. N. S. Godfrey: Table Turning, the Devil's Modern Masterpiece, 1853; Rev. N. S. Godfrey: Table-moving, tested and proved to be the result of Satanic agency, London and Leeds, 1853; Anonymous: Table Turning and Table Talking considered in connection with the dictates of reason and common sense, Bath, 1853; Anonymous: Table Turning by Animal Magnetism demonstrated, London, 1853; Dr. Charles Koch: Table moving and Table-talking reduced to natural causes, Bath and London; Dr. Charles Cowen: Thoughts on Satanic Influence, or Modern Spiritualism Considered, London, 1854. Early American books and pamphlets: D.M. Dewey: History of the Strange Sounds, Rochester, 1850; E. W. Capron and H. D. Barron: Explanation and History of the Mysterious Communication with Spirits, Auburn, 1850; Burr Brothers: Knocks for Knockings, 1851; Rev. H. Mattison: Spirit Rapping Unveiled, New York, 1853; Prof. Charles G. Page: Psychomancy: Spirit Rappings and Tippings Exposed, New York, 1853; C. W. Elliott: Mysteries, or Glimpses of the Supernatural; Joel Tiffany: Spiritualism Explained; Rev. Asa Mahan Modern Mysteries Explained and Exposed, Boston, 1855 E. W. Capron: Modern Spiritualism, its facts and fanaticism, Boston, 1855.
TELEPATHY, the word was coined by F. W. H. Myers in 1882 as the outcome of his joint investigation with Gurney, Sidgwick and Prof. Barrett into the possibilities of thought transference. It was meant as a name for a fact: "a coincidence between two person's thoughts which requires a causal explanation," and it was defined as "transmission of thought independently of the recognized channels of sense." The name involved no attempt at explanation, yet it was soon construed as such and from the comparatively simple fact of experimentally demonstrated thought transference a mighty jump was made to the portentous claim that it is an agency of communication between mind and mind even when consciously no such attempt is thought of, that it is a mysterious link between conscious and subconscious minds, that it is endowed with an intelligence by which incidents either from the memory of the person present or from the memories of distant and unknown persons can be selected, in fact that telepathy is a rival of the spirit theory. This conception spread so widely that many people conceive it now as something distinct from thought-transference and claim a line of division with the following argument: in telepathy the transmitter is often unaware that he acts as an agent and the receiver does not consciously prepare himself for the reception. Telepathy cannot be made a subject of experiments while thought transference can. Thought-transference is a rudimentary faculty. Telepathy is a well-developed mode of supernormal perception and is usually brought into play by the influence of very strong emotions.
The need of differentiation is acknowledged by the old school of telepathists, too, when they speak of spontaneous and experimental telepathy. An as hardened skeptic as Frank Podmore believed that "whilst the attempt to correlate the two kinds of phenomena is perhaps legitimate, we can hardly be justified in making the spontaneous phenomena the basis of a theory of telepathy." (The Newer Spiritualism, p. 26).
Myers pointed out that telepathy as a faculty must absolutely exist in the universe if the universe contains any unembodied intelligences at all. Social life requires a method for the exchange of thought. The belief in telepathy is age old. Prayer is telepathic communion with higher beings. The basis of sympathy and antipathy may be telepathy. The monitions of approach appear to be telepathic messages. The knowledge of victory or disaster which so unexplainably spread in ancient Greece may have been telepathically acquired.
The working of telepathy is apparently demonstrated in suggestion. The case is quite clear when the hypnotisation is effected through a distance. Myers called it "telepathic hypnotism."
A good instance of audibly received telepathy is the following (Proc. S.P.R. I. p. 6.): "On September 9, 1848, at the siege of Mooltan, Major-General R-, C.B., then adjutant of his regiment, was severely wounded, and thought himself to be dying, and requested that his ring be taken off and sent to his wife. At the same, time she was in Ferozepore (150 miles distant), lying on her bed between sleeping and waking, and distinctly saw her husband being carried off the field, and heard his voice saying "Take this ring off my finger and send it to my wife."
The case was fully verified. All the names were known to the Society.
William T. Stead often received automatic writing from the living. Thinking of a lady with whom he was in such communication more than once, his hand wrote: "I am very sorry to tell you that I have had a very painful experience of which I am almost ashamed to speak. I left Haslemere at 2.27 p.m. in a second-class carriage, in which there were two ladies and one gentleman. When the train stopped at Godalming, the ladies got out, and I was left alone with the man. After the train started he left his seat and came close to me. I was alarmed, and repelled him. He refused to go away and tried to kiss me. I was furious. We had a struggle. I seized his umbrella and struck him, but it broke, and I was beginning to fear that he would master me, when the train began to slow up before arriving at Guildford Station. He got frightened, let go of me, and before the train reached the platform he jumped put and ran away. I was very much upset. But I have the umbrella."
Stead sent his secretary to the lady with a note that he was very sorry to hear what had happened and added: "Be sure and bring the man's umbrella on Wednesday." She wrote in reply: "I am very sorry you know anything about it. I had made up my mind to tell nobody. I will bring the broken umbrella, but it was my umbrella, not his."
The determination of the lady not to tell of the painful evidence apparently indicates that a telepathic message may not only be unconscious, but may directly counteract the conscious mind.
In many instances of cross -correspondence telepathy between the automatic writers would furnish sufficient explanation. When Mrs. Holland describes Mrs. Verral's surroundings and occupation an interaction between their minds is a consistent theory.
The Wave Theory
In his Presidential Address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Sir William Crookes said: "If telepathy takes place we have two physical facts-the physical change in the brain of A, the suggester, and the analogous change in the brain of B, the recipient of the suggestion. Between these two physical events there must exist a train of physical causes." He further argued that "with every fresh advance of knowledge it is shown that ether vibrations have powers and attributes abundantly equal to any demandeven to the transmission of thought."
He believed that these ether waves are of small amplitude and greater frequency than the X-rays, continually passing between human brains and arousing a similar image in the second brain to the first. Against this is that the intensity of waves diminishes with the square of distance and that the telepathic image may not only be very vivid despite the remoteness of the agent but that the picture is often modified and symbolical. A dying man may appear in normal state of health, unsuffering. "Mr. L.," quotes Myers, "dies of heart disease when in the act of lying down undressed in bed. At or about the same time Mr. N. J. S. sees Mr. L. standing beside him with a cheerful air, dressed for walking and with a cane in his hand. One does not see how a system of undulations could have transmuted the physical facts in this way."
In cases of collective reception an added difficulty is presented. Why should only a few people in a room be sensitive to the waves and other strangers outside the room not? Take the case of the crystal gazer. Why should he get a telepathic message at the time of his own choosing, when he happens to look into the crystal. How can the pictures in the crystal be sometimes seen to others if they are only produced in his brain by telepathic impact?
In The Survival of Man, 1908, Sir Oliver Lodge was of the opinion that the experimental evidence is not sufficient to substantiate the non-physical nature of thought-transference. Of its reality he had no doubt and as early as 1903 stated in an interview to the Pall Mall Magazine: "What we can take before the Royal Society, and what we can challenge the judgment of the world upon, is Telepathy."
Dr. Hereward Carrington suggests that telepathic manifestations may take place through a superconscious mind, that there may be a mentiferous ether as some writers have suggested which carries telepathic waves, and that there is a species of spiritual gravitation, uniting life, throughout the universe, as physical gravity binds together all matter.
The wave theory of telepathy has been abandoned. Professor Cazzamali of the University of Milan appears, nevertheless, to have proved that the human brain emits short waves of high frequency under the stress of emotion. In an insulated all-metal room he carried out a number of experiments inducing, by means of suggestion, an emotional crisis in his subjects., His very delicate receiving sets placed in the room registered cerebral radiations in the form of waves. They have also been recorded on photographic plates. The reports were published in the Revue Metapsychique, August, 1925, March, May and July, 1927.
Animals and Telepathy
There is evidence to prove that telepathy is not restricted to humans. The best case of telepathy from animal to man was furnished by Mr. Rider Haggard for the Journal of the S.P.R. October, 1904. Mrs. Haggard heard her husband groaning and emitting inarticulate sounds like the moaning of a wounded animal during the night of July 7, 1904. She woke him whereupon her husband told her his dream. It consisted of two distinct parts. In the first, the novelist only remembered having experienced a sense of grievous oppression, as though he were in danger of suffocation. But between the moment when he heard his wife's voice and that in which he regained full consciousness, the dream became much more vivid. "I saw good old Bob lying on his side among brushwood by water. My own personality seemed to me to be arising in some mysterious manner from the body of the dog, who lifted up his head at an unnatural angle against my face. Bob was trying to speak to me, and not being able to make himself understood by sounds, transmitted to my mind In an undefined fashion the knowledge that he was dying." The sequel of the dream is that Bob was found dead four days after, floating in the river, his skull crushed in, his legs broken. He was struck by a train on a bridge and thrown into the water. His bloodstained collar was found on the bridge in the morning after the dream.
William J. Long, in his How Animals Talk produces many instances In evidence of a telepathic faculty in animals. He noticed for instance that if a mother she-wolf cannot head off a cub which rushes away because of the distance which he has already put between himself and her, she simply stops quiet, lifts her head high and looks steadily at the running cub. He will suddenly waver, halt, whirl and speed back to the pack. The famous case of the Elberfeld horses also furnished good evidence that telepathy may operate between animals and the human mind. Edmund Selous in Thought Transference in Birds records many curious observations on the subject from bird life.
Telepathy versus Survival
Obviously telepathy as a fact is of tremendous importance. But those who tried to find in it an all-inclusive solution of supernormal manifestations faced very great difficulties. If a telepathic message is followed by motor movements ' for instance, the automatic announcement of the death of somebody in writing the question is who executes the movements: the subconscious self or the agent himself who sends the message? The similar uncertainty applies if the reception of a telepathic message is accompanied by telekinetic movements.
An attempt was made to explain all apparitions as telepathic hallucinations. Frank Podmore was the greatest exponent of this theory. He was the author of the first book which, published in 1894, under the title: Apparitions and Thought Transference, dealt with the accumulated evidence for telepathy.
Myers was the first to admit the insufficiency of telepathy as an explanation of apparitions. Being forced to concede that collective perception of phantasmal appearances militates for something objective, he worked out a theory of psychical invasion, the creation of a phantasmogenetic center in the percipient's surroundings (See: Apparitions). The theory is a halfway house between telepathy and disembodied spirits and its real value is that it covers many freakish phantasmal manifestations for which no satisfactory solution has yet been offered.
The problem whether telepathy should not be admitted both from the living and the dead forced itself on the attention with an ever-increasing moment.
Apparitions of the dying are on the borderland between telepathy with the living and telepathy with the dead. A similar borderland phenomenon which lacks all the conditions for the evidence of telepathy is visions of the dead appearing to the dying.
The strain of the telepathic theory was growing with instances which made, on one hand the acquisition of certain knowledge by telepathic process wildly improbable but were, on the other hand, easily understood on the basis of the survival theory. The question that awaited answer was not only how certain information could have been acquired but also why should it be associated with definite personalities or be disclosed in a personified form.
In Proceedings, Vol. XCVI. Mr. S. G. Soal reports that in a seance with Mrs. Blanche Cooper a voice came through, claimed to be his deceased brother and as a proof of identity told him that a year before in a playhut at home he had buried a lead disc which, if he will dig there now, he will probably find. Mr. Soal satisfied himself that none of the surviving acquaintances of his brother knew of the incident, dug and found the disc. Nevertheless, he argues that this might have been a case of telepathic transmission in his brother's earth life, the knowledge having remained latent in his own subconscious mind. If yet another man had figured in the telepathic chain we would have an instance of the so-called telepathy a' trois which was first advanced by Andrew Lang in his discussion of the case of Mrs. Piper. (Proc. Vol. XV., pp. 48-51).
Mr. Hugh Browne's book The Holy Truth contains the story of two drowned Australian youths, the author's sons. One of them, in a communication through George Spriggs, told the detailed story of their fatal pleasure cruise and added that his brother's body had been mutilated of an arm by a great shark. This information could not have been telepathically conveyed by anybody living, except by the shark, yet it was found to be true. The shark was caught two days later, and a man testified to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Australia that he himself cut the shark open and found an arm, part of a waistcoat and a watch which identified the dead youth. The watch had stopped at the exact hour indicated by the communicators as that in which they were engulfed by the sea.
There are many cases on record in which missing wills, the whereabouts of which was not known to anyone living, have been found through what alleged to be spirit communication. There are others in which the supposition of the latent information, subconsciously received, must be stretched over ages and successive generations. Such is the case of the finding of Edgar Chapel, Glastonbury Abbey, as narrated in Mr. Bligh Bond's The Gate of Remembrance. The abbey was in ruins, every trace of the Chapel was lost, very little was known as to its location and precise dimensions. Nevertheless, in automatic writing series of communications came through, giving the most precise measurement. When excavations were undertaken in 1908, a year after the receipt of the communications, every statement was verified and the chapel was found.
The personal element puts insurmountable obstacles in the way of telepathic explanation in the following case recorded by Bozzano in notes on the July 14, 1928, sitting at Millesimo Castle. An unknown voice, in Genoese dialect, addresses Gino Gibelli, one of the presents: ' I am Stefano's father. You must tell my son that I insist on his giving the message to Maria with which I entrusted him. He has not carried out my request in the slightest degree.' Signor Gibelli explained that a month before he had been present in Genoa. The father communicated with the son and charged him with a message to his mother. Very probably the young man had not dared to carry out this request. Gibelli stated that he had completely forgotten this incident, it had nothing to do with him personally nor did it interest him in the slightest degree. He was not thinking of Stefano's father, whom he did not know in life, and was unaware of the fact that the request which the father had made to his son had not been carried out.
The technical side of communication also disproves telepathy as the means of the medium for gaining knowledge. Telepathy has no allowance for false or confused information, it does not explain the loss of the idea of time, nor the individual style of the different communicators, i.e., the Biblical manner of Imperator, his haughtiness, Pelham's impatience, etc. Names are often inaccurately spelt, giving for instance Margaret instead of Maggie. Telepathy cannot reveal coming events, nor can it explain how children who if recently dead ask for their toys and act childishly, behave years after as grown ups, though no such memory is retained in any living mind.
On the telepathic theory the medium has to be endowed with the potency of omniscience. If such a faculty exists it is apparently not meant for this life as it is latent and only emerges on the rare occasions of mediumistic seances. But if we admit faculties for another life then the position is immediately simplified. There is no need for the supposition of omniscience if a telepathic message may originate as well from the dead as from the living. Once the admission is made one would well understand the futility of the "brain wave" theory. A discarnate spirit has no physical brain. The message must come from the spirit and not from the percipient. But if it may come from the spirit as an agent it may be received by the spirit of the medium as a percipient and transmitted from the spirit to the brain. The meager results of thought-transference experiments against the tremendous scope of telepathy may be explained by the limitations of the brain as a receiver. These limitations are especially demonstrated in the case of possession when clearly an external mind is impressing the medium's brain by direct contact. The lack of adaptation to the ideation of the controlling mind often results in confusion and incoherence in the utterance.
The real insufficiency of the telepathic explanation has been amply demonstrated by hundreds of strange cross-correspondences and book tests and newspaper tests.
The post-mortem letters, many of which are preserved by the S.P.R., and wait for opening until after a communication revealing their contents, comes through a medium after the writer's death, show as yet no complete success and it is doubtful whether this evidence will ever be conclusive in view of the fact that in one instance the content of the letter was revealed, apparently as a result of telepathic operation, by the medium while the writer was yet alive. The telepathist may always argue that the contents of the letter were subconsciously transferred into another brain while the writer was preparing it.
The "Hannah Wild" case is a well-known failure. Mrs. Blodgett, the sister of the deceased, obtained communications through Mrs. Piper which purported to come from Hannah Wild. The communicator, however, could not explain the words in a letter which she left behind and which no one understood. The idea of these post-mortem letters was originated by Myers. As a proof of survival, cross-correspondences are far more conclusive as the part messages coming through several mediums are by themselves nonsensical and they could only be explained away by the supposition of a tremendous conspiracy between several subconscious minds for the purposes of deceit. In the newspaper tests recorded by-the Rev. Drayton Thomas such a subconscious conspiracy will have to be stretched to the utmost as at the time when the contents of a certain column in the next day's paper was indicated neither the editor nor the compositor could tell what particular text would occupy the column in question.
The Arguments of Prof. Hyslop
The original confusion in the ideas which assigned telepathy a rival importance to the spirit theory was, according to Prof. Hyslop---due to the word "transmission," in the first definition of telepathy. He prefers to define it as "a coincidence excluding normal perception, between the thoughts of two minds." It was the word transmission which gave telepathy the implication that "it is a process exclusively between living people and not permitting the intervention of the dead, if the discarnate exist and can act on the living." Hyslop's definition permits the employment of the term to describe the action of discarnate as well as incarnate minds. Hyslop was certainly right in saying: "We are not entitled to assume the larger meaning of telepathy to be a fact because we are not sure of its limitations. Here is where we have been negligent of the maxims of scientific methods and the legitimate formation of convictions."
"Mediumistic phenomena," he writes in Contact with the Other World, "too often suggest the action of spirits, to be cited as direct evidence for telepathy. The possibility of spirits and the fact that an incident is appropriate to illustrate the personal identity of a deceased person forbids using it as positive evidence for telepathy. One can only insist that one theory is as good as the other to account for the facts."
For selective telepathy "no evidence has been adduced ... and I do not see how it would be possible to adduce such evidence. Every extension of the term beyond coincidences between the mental states of two persons is wholly without warrant. The introduction of the assumption that this coincidence is due to a direct transmission from one living mind to another has never been justified, and as there is no known process whatever associated with the coincidences we are permitted to use the term only in a descriptive, not in an explanatory sense."
". . . There is no scientific evidence for any of the following conceptions of it (1) Telepathy as a process of selecting from the contents of the subconscious of any person in the presence of the percipient; (2) Telepathy as a process of selecting from the contents of the mind of some distant person by the percipient and constructing these acquired facts into a complete simulation of a given personality; (3) Telepathy as a process of selecting memories from any living people to impersonate the dead; (4) Telepathy as implying the transmission of the thoughts of all living people to all others individually, with the selection of the necessary facts for impersonation from the present sitter; (5) Telepathy as involving a direct process between agent and percipient; (6) Telepathy as explanatory in any sense whatever, implying any known cause."
"The failures in experiments to read the present active states of the agent and the inability to verify any thoughts outside those states, in the opinion of science is so finite that its very existence is doubted, while the extended hypothesis requires us to believe in its infinity without evidence."
"As a name for facts, with suspended judgment regarding explanation, it is tolerable, but there can be no doubt that spirits explain certain facts, while telepathy explains nothing. At least as a hypothesis, therefore, the spiritistic theory has the priority and the burden of proof rests upon the telepathic theory."
Dr. Hodgson similarly concluded in his second Piper report: "having tried the hypothesis of telepathy from the living for several years, and the spirit hypothesis also for several years, I have no hesitation in affirming with the most absolute assurance that the spirit hypothesis is justified by its fruits, and the other hypothesis is not."
Telepathy-The Result of Spirit Agency?
Hyslop was not averse to the possibility that spirits may furnish the explanation of telepathy between the living. He says that Myers saw this implication at the very outset of the investigations into telepathy. He quotes on this point that in the reported experiments of Miss Miles and Miss Ramsden (Proc., Vol. XXI, pp. 60-93) in long-distance telepathy only part of the story was told. Miss Miles was an all-round psychic and in her correspondence with Prof. Hyslop she disclosed that she could always tell when her telepathy was successful by the raps that she heard. She persisted in thinking of the object which Miss Ramsden was to perceive until she heard raps. Raps are not telepathic phenomena and carry an entirely different suggestion. Further, Hyslop says that in communications through Mrs. Smead, Podmore purported to come through and said that telepathy was always a message carried by spirits and that they could do it instantly. Had Mrs. Smead known Podmore such a contradiction could not have been expected as Podmore always pressed telepathy between the living to the exclusion of spirits. Myers also made a curious allusion through Mrs. Chenoweth, saying as regards telepathy "it all depended on the carrier." When Hyslop asked for explanation the answer was that "Telepathy was always a message carried by the spirits." A still more interesting and elaborate statement is to be found in communications purporting to come from the spirit of Mrs. Verrall: "I said yesterday that I would write more about the telepathic theory as I now understand it. I am not sure of the passage of thought through space as I was once, and I had begun to question the method by which thought was transferred to brains before I came here, but you will recall that I had some striking instances of what seemed telepathy tapping a reservoir of thought direct, and the necessity for an intervening spirit was uncalled for; but there were other instances when the message was transposed or translated and the interposition of another mind was unquestionably true. I tried many experiments and I think you must know about them. I will say that I found more people involved in my work than I had known and there seemed more reason to believe that I was operated upon than that I operated, in other words, the automatic writing was less mine than I had supposed."
The dividing line between clairvoyance and telepathy is vague. The telepathic message may take the form of visual or auditory sensation. If the content indicates future events clairvoyance should be suspected at work. Past events may be both telepathic communications and the result of psychometric reading.
A constructive and evidential historic resume of past experiments in telepathy is given by Dr. W. Franklin Prince in an appendix to the sixteenth bulletin of the Boston S.P.R., published under the title: The Sinclair Experiments Demonstrating Telepathy.
THOUGHTFORMS, their existence is definitely claimed by occult science and there is interesting evidence to consider it an important experimental problem of psychical research. The alternative which Sir William Barrett suggested that the operator may so stimulate the mind of the subject that he is able to see the thought-shape, in the former's mind, is not very far from what Sinnett claims in the Occult World: "An adept is able to project into and materialize in the visible world the forms that his imagination has constructed out of inert cosmic matter in the visible world. He does not create anything new, but only utilizes and manipulates materials which Nature has in store around him."
Prof. Hyslop in his Psychical Research and Resurrection quotes a curious communication from a private source. The communicator while commenting on the peculiarities of his spiritual life stated that he "sometimes saw, for instance, a man reading a book, but when he approached to talk with him he found it was only a thought." Prof. Hyslop, however, does not agree with the thought-form theory and suggests that the instance is a case of veridical, or subjective hallucination in the spiritual life. James T. Fields in a lecture on Fiction and its eminent authors, said: "Dickens was at one time so taken possession of by the characters of whom he was writing that they followed him everywhere and would never let him be alone for a moment. He told me that when he was writing The Old Curiosity Shop the creatures of his imagination haunted him so that they would neither let him sleep or eat in peace." G. H. Lewes wrote in the Fortnightly Review: "Dickens once declared to me that every word he said by his characters was distinctly heard by him."
Vincent Turvey writes in The Beginnings of Seership of a discussion that took place between him and a man of the Christian Evidence Society on psychic matters. The man insisted that Turvey's psychic gifts were from the devil and prayed that the devils should leave him. "On lying down in the afternoon in order to rest and meditate, I suddenly saw three or four devils in the room-typical orthodox fiends. Men with goats' legs, cloven hoofs, little horns just over their ears, curly hair like a negro's 'wool,' tails and clawlike hands. In color they were entirely brown, like ordinary brown paper. I candidly profess that I was a bit shaken ... I pulled myself together and rose into the higher state of consciousness. In this state I was able to see not only their fronts, but also their backs. To my utter astonishment they were all hollow at the back, like embossed leather, or the ordinary papier mache mask. Then my guardians caused me to make a sign, say a word, or think a sentence -what I do not know; but directly it was done or said, these forms disintegrated or dissolved and vanished."
Thoughtforms are often perceived in the hypnotic state. Dr. Lindsay Johnson, the celebrated English ophthalmic surgeon, described in the May 21, 1921, issue of Light an experiment of Professor Koenig, of Berlin, in a Paris hospital at which he assisted. A peasant woman was hypnotized. She was suggested to see an imaginary picture on a plain sheet of paper. She saw it perfectly. Twenty identical sheets of paper were taken, a picture was suggested for each and a record was kept of the pictures and tiny identification marks on the back of each sheet. Dr. Johnson added five more sheets, shuffled them and handed them back one after the other to the subject. She described the suggested picture in every case, but saw nothing on Dr. Johnson's sheets.
Dr. Naum Kotic, of Wiesbaden, made similar experiments with a 14-years-old girl, Sophie, and drew the following inference: "Thought is a radiant energy. This energy has physical and psychic properties. It may be called psycho-physical. Originating in the brain, it passes to the extremities of the body. It is transmitted through air with some difficulty, more easily through a metallic conductor and can be fixed on paper." (Richet, Thirty Years of Psychical Research, p. 191).
It is interesting to compare Prof. Koenig's and Dr. Kotik's experiments with the experience of Warcollier. One evening, partially waking, he saw a large quadrangular corded package in a yellow packing paper on a chair. He inquired what was the package. There was no package on the chair, but it had been there some time before as described. If a package can impress a chair it is no more improbable that thoughts may similarly impress a sheet of paper.
Dr. Baraduc informed the Academie de Medecine in May, 1896, that he succeeded in photographing thought. He experimented with many people. The subjects placed their hands on a photographic plate in the dark room and were asked to think intently of the object they wished to impress upon the plate. Many curious markings were obtained, some of them representing the features of persons and the outline of things.
Dr. Baraduc also contended that thought photography is possible from a distance. He quotes the case of Dr. Istrati who promised M. Hasdeu, a friend of his, to appear on a photographic plate at Bucarest, on August 4, 1893, while he slept in Campana. The distance is 300 kilometers. Dr. Istrati willed, before closing his eyes, that his image should impress the plate with which his friend went to bed. The result was achieved. The plate showed a luminous spot in the midst of which the profile of a man could be traced.
Commandant Darget, of Tours, obtained several good thought photographs. His procedure is to gaze attentively at a simple object for a few moments in order to engrave it firmly on the mind, then go into the dark room and (1) place a photographic plate with the glass side against the forehead for a quarter of an hour, mentally picturing the object decided upon and strongly desiring to make an impression on the plate; (2) Place the hand on a plate (or hold the plate in the hand) for a quarter of an hour, operating as before; (3) Put the plate into a developing bath, placing the fingers of one hand on the edge of the plate for ten minutes. There should always be the desire to imprint on the plate the picture of the object which is very strongly thought of. (Joire: Psychical and Supernormal Phenomena p. 380).
An interesting case is quoted by James Coates from the November, 1895 issue of the Amateur Photographer. W. Inglis Rogers, the experimenter, gazed for a minute at a postage stamp and then went into the dark room and gazed at a sensitive plate for twenty minutes. When the plate was developed two images of postage stamps were plainly visible.
Dr. T. Fukurai, Professor of Kohyassan University, carried out important experiments with Mrs. Ikuko Nagao. If the medium concentrated on Japanese alphabetical symbols they were found printed on photographic plates.
Dr. W. F. Prince reported in the Journal A.S.P.R., April, 1925, the case of the Japanese artist Mikaye. Microscopic symbols were projected by some capillary action from the tip of his brush filled with fluid pigment. The artist simply held the brush downwards whilst he made a mental image of the intended symbol to a large scale.
In his researches with Mlle. Tomczyk Dr. Ochorowicz was deeply puzzled to find that in several of his radiographs the medium's ring appeared on the finger of her etheric hand. This seemed to indicate to him: (1) That there is a kind of link between the organism and the object it wears; (2) That the occult notion that material objects have an astral body is not limited to living bodies. The ring, however, did not always appear on the radiographs. Dr. Ochorowicz tried to find out whether objects frequently worn by the sensitive were more easily produced on the plate than others. He chose a thimble which she rarely used. The medium suggested that he should himself retain the thimble on the finger of his left hand, holding her with his right hand. "Perhaps," she added, "the thimble will pass from your body on to my finger." The experiment appeared absurd, but he was willing. He took a plate from his box, marked it, and laid it on the medium's knees. She was seated on his right; with -his right hand he held up her left hand about sixteen inches above the plate, the thimble being on the middle finger of his left hand, which he kept behind his left knee. A red lamp was burning at a distance of about three feet. After a minute had elapsed the medium said that she felt a sort of tingling in the direction of her forearm, where their hands met. She exclaimed: "Oh, how strange. Something is being placed on the tip of my finger ... I do not know if it is the thimble; I feel something keeps pressing the end of my finger." When the plate was developed it showed the hand of the medium, and on the middle finger was what he called, jokingly, "the soul of her thimble." Dr. Ochorowicz asked in some bewilderment: was the image a double of the thimble, or was it a photograph of the idea of the thimble? A close examination of the photograph and comparison with the thimble showed-that the two corresponded exactly, the one "was a true copy of the other, precise in details and in dimension." This exactness supports the idea of a direct impression from some object rather than a thought-image merely. The finger supporting the thimble is the palest of all the fingers, probably, as Dr. Ochorowicz suggests, because the light by which the radiograph was taken, proceeds from it. He leaned to the conclusion that an etheric hand wearing an etheric thimble produced the image, and that mental desire gave the direction to the light which was necessary in order to make the details of the thimble visible on the plate. When, however, he proceeded to test his conclusion a strange thing happened. Unknown to the medium he held in his left hand an Austrian five-crown piece. Presently she exclaimed: I see behind you a white round object ... it is the moon." "At the same instant," writes Dr. Ochorowicz, "I saw a faint but distinct light pass near my left hand, which held the coin; it was not round, nor a flash, it was like a little meteor, like a thin ray, lighting up the space round my hand on the side away from the medium." When the plate was developed it showed an image of a full moon." The moon floats on the background of a less luminous cloud, and is of a rather different form from that in the preceding experiments." He considered it evident that this time a photograph of thought was obtained though the experiment renders probable the existence of a quasi-physical intermediary as the image represents rather the medium's conception of something which existed outside her mind. The image of the moon was once obtained previous to this experiment. On the night of September 7th, 1911, the medium was much impressed by the superb sight of the starry heavens, and particularly by the full moon, which she looked at for some time with admiration. On the following day instead of the little hand, which was desired, a full moon appeared on the plate against a background of white cloud. The cinematograph representations of the eclipse of the moon on April 17th, 1912, show the image of the moon slightly flattened in the direction of the axis of rotation. This characteristic appears in the radiograph of September 7th. The impression was double and it looks as if the cloud had not been duplicated.
In that case the moon alone must have moved. How can we conceiveasks Dr. Ochorowicz---of this apparent movement of a mental image?
Many of the psychic extras obtained by spirit photographers may be the thoughts of the sitters. Carrington's curious experiences with Mrs. Deane certainly point into this direction. The experiments of Frederick Bligh Bond, with the same medium, one is tempted to say, are tantamount to proofs. He prepared a diagram of four squares by three and made, in one of the twelve squares, a cross of two diagonal lines and drew a small circle over the crossed lines. Having deposited this diagram with the Principal of the British College for Psychic Science he went to meet Mrs. Deane, drew upon a blackboard a similar diagram and asked for a perfect circle over the center of the two, intersecting lines. The camera was filled by him and he did the development himself, Mrs. Deane simply placing her hand during the exposures on the camera top.
The first plate showed the diagram alone, the second a sort of localized fog over the square in question, the third a circular spot of intense blackness, exactly over the intersection. In a second trial Bligh Bond hung upon the, wall of the studio a small picture frame and asked that an image, the exact character of which he did not specify, might be recorded on the space within the frame. The idea was to preclude any successful pre-exposure of a plate for the purpose of fraud. He obtained a cloud of small size which on the first two plates was not quite rightly centered, but was well within the center of the third plate. Mr. Warrick, a manufacturing chemist, repeated the experiments but used no camera, only sheets of paper which he had specially sensitized. By impressing upon Mrs. Deane the exact nature of the image he wanted, and placing the paper beneath Mrs. Deane's hands or feet, he obtained circles, squares, triangles, or images more complex, i.e., a three-legged stool. Bligh Bond believes that his part in the success was dependent upon a power of mental visualization which, as a professional architect and designer of geometric forms he had special opportunities to cultivate.
THOUGHT-READING, thought transference from the reverse aspect. The agent attempts to picture the content of the subject's mind instead of impressing it with his own idea. The higher forms of thought reading are covered by telepathy.
In the religious revivals of the Cevennes thought reading was one of the minor but very practical miracles. It was used for the detection of spies who frequently attended the meetings of the proscribed devotees.
Robert Baxter recorded that when he was possessed by the tongues in speaking to the Irvingite congregations he often could meet the unspoken thoughts of his hearers. Trance controls often show an ability to read the sitters' thoughts.
Thought reading may be achieved by sympathy or by positive perception of the ideas existing in another mind. Musical strings furnish an analogy to the first. A note struck on one will be taken up and echoed by the other. That the analogy may apply to men is shown in cases of panic when the sense of fear is communicated to surrounding people who may be ignorant of the original cause of the terror. "If the Darwinian theory be true," writes Serjeant Cox, "there must have been a time when man had no articulate speech. For intercommunication with his kind he must have then possessed some other faculty than language. Most probably that was what the intercourse of animals is, and the abnormal cases of thought reading that occur among ourselves may be possibly the survival of a faculty which has now almost vanished, because it has gradually fallen into disuse."
THOUGHT-TRANSFERENCE was baptised telepathy by the S.P.R. in 1882, but its discovery is not due to its godfathers. Paracelsus wrote: "By the magic power of the will a person on this side of the ocean may make a person on the other side hear what is said on this side ... the ethereal body of a man may 'know what another man thinks at a distance of 100 miles or more." Swedenborg clearly stated that spiritual or sympathetic states of consciousness conquer time and space. The state of rapport discovered by the mesmerizts demonstrated transference of thoughts and emotions. The mechanism was sought. in a magnetic fluid. Somnambulic or hypnotic trance induced from a distance clearly showed direct action between mind and mind. Many experiments in thought transference were recorded in Germany in the beginning years of the last century. The best series was published by Dr. Van Ghert, Secretary of the Royal Mineralogical Society at Jena in the Archive far den Thierischen Magnetismus and by H. M. Weserman, Government Assessor and Chief Inspector of Roads at Dusseldorf in his Der Magnetismus und die allgemeine Weltsprache, Creveld, 1822. Professor Barrett read a paper on the subject before the British Association in 1876. Barrett, Gurney and Myers concluded in 1881 their first report upon thought-transference: "The possibility must not be overlooked that further advances along the lines indicated may, and we believe, will necessitate a modification of that general view of the relation of mind to matter to which modern science has long been gravitating." In an extensive series of experiments in Liverpool in 1883-84 conducted by Mr. Malcolm Guthrie and Mr. James Birchall with Miss Ralph and Miss Edwards impressions of objects, sensations of taste and pain were successfully transmitted. Sir Oliver Lodge participated in some of these experiments and initiated some original ones at a later period. Mrs. Henry Sidgwick's and Prof. Sidgwick's experiments in 1889-90 were classic. In thousands of trials a high percentage of success was registered in transferring simple images. The increase of distance, however, had a marked effect on the results. According to Podmore only Dr. Gilbert's and Professor Janet's experiments with Leonie at Havre in 1885 and 1886 can compare in competence, care and precision of the results with these. In the latter case the effect aimed at was the induction of hypnotic sleep. Clarissa Miles and Miss Gwendolen Ramsden experimented through an intervening distance of 20-300 miles in transferring complex images and obtaining cross -correspondence of thought-transference. The results were carefully noted down and in many cases an impressive agreement was found between the impressions of the two parties. Lombroso found 12 neuropaths in 20 subjects who registered success in thought-transference experiments. In some cases transmission was facilitated by alcoholic drinks or coffee stimulating the nerve centers. He assigned great importance to the hysterical state and expressed the opinion that the disequilibrium, even if transitory, of sensibility in hysterical persons is an essential condition for the production of the phenomena, in that they imply a greater accumulation of nervous energy in certain points of the cortex of the brain, and a diminution in others. He does not, however, exclude the possible influence of other causes and holds, in alluding to transmission of thought in the dying, that the greater accumulation of energy in the cortex during the period just before death may be due to ptomaines which become lodged in it. In reviewing this theory Dr. Guiseppe Venzano declares (Annals of Psychic Science, January, 1906) that the causes of the accumulation of greater energy in the centers of intelligence must be manifold and diverse, and that disequilibrium of sensibility does not constitute more than, at the most, one among these many causes. His conclusions are: (1) Mediumship favors the development of the phenomenon of transmission of thought; (2) In mediumistic seances the thought formulated by the agent may be carried out even by material actions absolutely independent both of the medium and of the experimenters; (3) Under special circumstances thought may be transmitted to the medium in a seance even at a considerable distance-from a person outside the seance (telepathy); (4) The unconscious transmission of thought is possible.
In Proceedings, Vol. XXIX, Mrs. Verrall reviews 504 previous experiments in thought transference. Proceedings, Vol. XXIV, 1924, contains Mrs. Henry Sidgwick's report on further experiments of Prof. Gilbert Murray which she considers "perhaps the, most important ever brought to the notice of the Society both on account of their frequently brilliant success and on account of the eminence of the experimenter." The percipient of these experiments was Prof. Murray himself. Out of 236 experiments he registered twenty-eight successes in eighty-one, thirty-six in 102, fourteen in thirty, six in eighteen and one in five instances.
On February 16, 1927, V. J. Woolley, research officer of the S.P.R., arranged interesting experiments through wireless. He and the agents were in the society's office, with no means of communication with anyone outside it. Sir Oliver Lodge sat in the broadcasting office at the microphone and directed the wireless listeners to record any impressions they were able to form of the objects willed. They were shown three minutes each with an interval of two minutes. The only information given to the listeners was that No. 1 and No. 4 were playing cards of unusual design and No. 2 a picture. It was a Japanese print: a skull with a bird on top, No. 3 was a bunch of three sprays of white lilac, No. 5 Woolley himself wearing a bowler hat and a grotesque mask. The agents remained in the society's premises through the night without access to a telephone. The morning mail brought in 24,659 answers. According to Woolley's summary in Proceedings, Vol. XXXVIII, the card test gave no evidence Of telepathic transmission but the answers disclose the peculiarity of a strong tendency to choose an ace, especially the ace of spades and that there is a marked preference for odd-numbered cards as against even-numbered ones. Of the third object five listeners gave a skull as the description of the picture, one adding the interesting detail that it represented a skull in a garden, and a sixth noted a human, head. Of these SIX records no less than three gave flowers for No. 3. Of the last object of the test five answers gave the impression of Mr. Woolley, 146 of someone present, 236 of someone dressed up or in masquerading, 73 of masks or faces, 202 of hats, and 499 of feeling of amusement.
Woolley, however, believes that these numbers in themselves are of little importance as there is no definite chance of expectation with which to compare them. The number of double successes was very small. There does seem to be an indication of a supernormal faculty," says Woolley, "on the part of a few of those who took part, though their successes: are swamped by the very large mass of failures on the part of others." The latter part of the conclusion may be objected to as there is nothing to prove that the sensitivity to telepathic impressions is a faculty latent in all of us. The first attempt to link thought-transference with wireless was staged in Chicago some years previous to the S.P.R. experiment by Dr. Gardner Murphy, at that time Hodgson Fellow at Harvard, the next jointly by him and J. Malcolm Bird in Newark. Murphy did not publish a complete record. The Newark tests were reported in the Scientific American, June, 1924.
Interesting results have been obtained by cross-correspondence in thought-transference. The principle is that two people at a stated time think of something, write it down and post it to find out whether their thoughts corresponded.
The conditions as summed up by Prof. Richet for successful experiments in transferring drawings or cards are: (1) The agent must be absolutely motionless and have his back turned to the percipient. (2) The choice of the number, the card, of the drawing must be made by pure chance. (3) No result, whether success or failure, should be told to the percipient before the end of the sitting. (4) Not more than twenty trials should be made on any one day. (5) All results, whatever they may be should be stated in full. (6) The percipient must be unable to see anything, directly or indirectly; it is best that his eyes should be bandaged and his back turned.
It was found that the success of thought-transmission depends upon the moods and health of the experimenters. It requires concentration on the part of the transmitter and passivity of mind on the part of the recipient. It proved helpful if the agent tried to visualize the picture which he wished to convey. It was best to keep an object before the eye and think of it while trying to transmit its image.
Sir Oliver Lodge observed that the transference of drawings is much more distinct when tactual contact is maintained between the agent and the percipient.
He discovered as early as 1883 that when two agents are acting each contributes to the effect and the result is due to both combined. He put down between two agents a double opaque sheet of thick paper with a square drawn on one side and a St. Andrew's cross on the other. Each agent looked on one side without any notion what was on the other. The percipient declared that "the thing won't keep still ... I seem to see things moving about ... First I see a thing up there and then one down there." Finally the percipient drew a square and drew a cross inside from corner to corner, saying afterwards "I don't know what made me put it inside."
Sir Oliver Lodge also attempted to find out what is really transmitted, the idea, or name of the object or the visual impressions. He found that the transmission of irregular drawings was very difficult and that in some cases the idea or name, and not the visual impression at all, was the thing transferred.
The chemical engineer Warcollier made an interesting table of the comparative facility in transmission. He found the percentage of color transmission 70 per cent., of attitudes 55, drawings 45, objects 38, ideas 37, mental images 10, words and figures 10 per cent.
Dr. Kotik found that the percentage of successes increased when the agent and percipient were linked by a wire.
The objection of skeptics against the reality of thought transference is twofold: chance and natural parallelism of kindred minds. The stage demonstrations of thought transference are explained by a secret code. This is undoubtedly so. Sometimes, however, more may be discovered. Mrs. Zancig, for instance, was found by Mr. Hewat McKenzie in the experiments of the British College for Psychic Research to possess a marked gift of clairvoyance to the degree of reading passages in closed books.
TOUCHES. Tactual sensations represent an allied phenomenon to the movement of objects. They are always intentional as the movement of objects is characterised by perfect localisation. Sitters are never hit by accident however swift the motion may be, and the touch is always meant for the one who receives it.
While the objects by which the sitters are touched may be well recognized, in psychic contacts the case is different as there is no apparent material means for their production. If it is by ectoplasmic rods that the touches are produced they may cause an immense variety of sensations according to the manipulation of this mysterious creative substance. There is no doubt as to the reality of the tactual sensation as it is often announced in advance and, in case it is effected by psychic lights or luminous structures, is visible to others. The effect may be as though coming from a soft object, like a rubber ball or an animal's paw sometimes half solid, from feathers, gloves, fur, powderpuff, cobwebs, flowers, fingers, etc. ... The touch itself may be sharp, soft, dry, wet, clammy, cold. It may be a tap, a caress, a stroke, a slap, a kick, a prick, a push, a punch, a kiss. The invisible operator may pull or rumple your hair, he may rub your legs and search your pockets. None of your extremities are safe from him. He works with an extreme rapidity and accuracy.
In old ghost stories psychic touches are full of dramatic elements. Hands of flame are said to have left a fiery mark, an indelible impression behind.
In 1905, in the Annales des Sciences Psychiques, Prof. Richet translated a Latin chronicle of the year 1656 dealing with phenomena which occurred around a young girl, called Regina Fischerin of Presbourg, Hungary. The chronicle, which is still part of the records of the Venerable Chapter in the Archbishopric of Pest, narrates the apparitions of Jean Clement, a man of Presbourg, who led an evil life and contains the following dramatic passages:
"Therefore, fearing that she might be the victim of an illusion, Regina asked of the spirit, if it were truly a spirit, to touch her with its finger. Immediately it touched her right arm and she felt the contact instantly. There appeared immediately a blister, giving her the same sensation of pain as though it had been a burn; moreover, fully to attest the phenomenon, the blister remained upon the skin a long time, and all the servants of the house saw it. Thereafter, desirous to be sure that this was not the work of an evil spirit, Regina demanded as proof that the visitor was a good spirit to make the sign of the cross. "Here then," said the phantom "what you ask!" At once a flaming cross appeared outside the cloak which enveloped the figure, and with this it burned deeply the hand of the young girl, leaving thereon a branded cross which everyone could see."
"But the young woman, seeking still further proof, asked another sign. She showed some letters which the Bishop of Smyrne had sent, letters in which the Bishop had asked a number of questions which Regina could not answer, and asked for information. The spirit answered that it did not know how to read these letters. None the less it said it would try to give her satisfaction; but on taking these letters with the thumb and forefinger and second finger of its hand (the hand evidently being a hand of flame) the three fingers passed through the paper of the letters, as though they had been in contact with a flame."
A little later this spirit of Jean Clement recalled with remorse a crime which he had committed during his life, declaring that the money which had been secured from this crime was not all spent (this proved afterwards to be true); that part of it had been used for his subsistence, another part had been otherwise spent, but that some still remained and that this should be restored from the possessions which he had left.
"Regina demanded yet other proofs. Surely the proof of the cross burned on her hand and on her mantle was sufficiently strong, but it did not suffice for the young woman, who, in order to be absolutely sure that the strange visitant was truly a good spirit, insisted that it should make the same Sign of the Cross on a piece of money. The spirit obeyed, took a coin, threw it on the ground, and snatching a piece of cloth from the girl's hands, threw this upon the coin; then, taking Regina's hand violently in his grasp, scorching her deeply as before, burned thereon through the hand and the linen cloth upon the coin the character of a triple cross. "Here is a further sign," said he, and launched forth a flame with so much force that it reached to the heart of the young woman, while another jet of flame crossed the entire room and struck the opposite wall. Whereupon Regina fell unconscious.
"Her sister, who was present, saw and heard all that passed, and a few minutes later the servants came in and were able to see with their own eyes the scorch of the flame upon the linen material, and also upon the coin. Thereafter, many other persons visited the place and were permitted not only to see but also to touch the scorchmarks on the girl's mantle, on the linen material, and on the coin, and also the letters which had been burned through at three places by the spirit's fiery fingers."
"This affair seems extraordinary to us; firstly because a cross and an exact form of the hand have been marked in every detail; secondly, because this brand of burning did not extend beyond the limits of the marks, though, upon linen material, fire has a tendency to spread. Finally, the right hand which was thus branded in on flesh and cloth, was an exact replica of the right hand of Clement, just as though he had been operating by his own dead physical hand. And the proof of this is that, during life, the tip phalange of Clement's forefinger had been amputated by a surgeon for a disease which was then known as "Worms" and the absence of the finger-tip is clearly indicated upon the branded hand."
Ancient chronicles contain many similar accounts. In 1908 and 1910 Mrs. Zingarapoli, a Naples lawyer, published a dozen such cases in Luce e Ombra. One was recorded from the XVII century and the brands or scorch marks of the hands of fire are still to be seen at the Convent St. Claire at Todi. The exhibits in Father V. Jouet's Other World Museum at Rome comprise photographic records of the marks. In another instance in the XVIII century the scene of which was the convent of the Franciscan nuns of Saint Anne at Foligno in 1853 the spirit left an imprint as if by an iron hand heated red-hot on the door and on the grave being re-opened the dead hand was found to fit the scorch marks to perfection.
T. M. Jarvis, in Accredited Ghost Stories, a book published in 1823, narrates the story of Lady Beresford. Lord Tyrone, with whom she made a death compact, appeared to her after his decease and on being asked to leave an indelible mark of his presence the apparition seized Lady Beresford's hand and left a mark of burn on her wrist. Throughout her life Lady Beresford wore a dark ribbon to conceal the mark, After her death Lady Netty Cobb, an intimate friend, took off the ribbon and found the burn.
A burn in the shape of a finger from the touch of a spectre is recorded in Dr. Justinus Kerner's Eine Erscheinung aus dent Nachtgebiete der Natur, Stuttgart, 1836.
In Howitt's History of the Supernatural, a story is quoted of an apparition to the grandfather and father of a fellow student of Jung-Stilling. It says in part: "Yet there were circumstances which made the father and son believe that he was far from this purification, for fire streamed from every finger when he became angry at their resistance to his wishes. Still more, when he touched the Bible it smoked, and the marks of his thumb and finger shrivelled up the leather of the binding where he held it, and also the paper where he pointed out the place in the hymn, "From guilt of blood deliver me," was black and singed. The Bible with these marks is preserved in the family, and many creditable persons have seen it and may still see it." Howitt adds: "The fiery touch of the spirit which induced the father and son believe it a bad one, modern spiritualists can testify to belong to many spirits. How often have we seen fire streaming even from the finger of a medium? How often have spirits, before shaking hands with you, desired you, at Mr. Home's, to lay your handkerchief over your hand first? How often have you felt the touch of spirit fingers prick as from the sparks of electricity? "
In the mediumship of Stainton Moses we have two instances of somewhat similar character. According to his note dated April 18, 1874, a psychic light touched his fingers with the result that the skin was broken up and the joint swollen. Mrs. Speer says in her account in Light that a spirit of low order was responsible for the injury.
In the second instance, W.B., a friend of Stainton Moses figures; he committed suicide. His portrait appeared on a plate on May 16, 1876, when S.M. sat for spirit photography. On May 20 in the night S.M. woke up and saw the spirit trying to reach him and struggling with two other spirits. He was inspired with horror and repulsion. The spirit got nearer and stretched out his hand. S.M. did not remember any more. In the morning he found on his forehead an oblong dull red mark in the exact place where his friend wounded himself. The mark was a red discoloration and ' faded in two to three days.
Frank Podmore, in Proceedings, Vol. X., p. 204, quotes a similar case. Miss M.P. slept with her sister and was awakened in the night with a jump with a horrible feeling that there was someone in the room. An icy hand pressed against her face. The next moment her sister cried out and complained of a violent burn on her cheek. "The gas having been turned up higher, we saw, on one side of her face, a very vivid red mark, which rapidly took the form of a hand, with fingers open."
E. Bozzano in analysing this and many similar cases in The Seer, 1931, under the title Spirit Hands of Flame, calls attention to the fact that the elder sister felt an icy sensation and a minute later, apparently by the same hand, her sister was burned. He asks whether the opposed sensation felt by the two percipients may not be explained by "a rapid change in the ectoplasmic condensation of the phantom hand resulting from a sudden modification of the vibratory tonality. This vibratory tonality, under certain circumstances, seems to be very much more intense either on living or inanimate matter, and as a result, like fire, it would destroy living animal or vegetable tissue."
In a seance with Heinrich MeIzer, the Dresden apport medium as reported in the June, 1906, issue of Pie Unbersinnliche Welt, a plant was apported. The sitter at the very same instant that he received the plant felt the sensation of burning on the thumb. When the light was switched on the mark of a burn was clearly seen and a blister formed immediately.
In isolated instances the marks of burning are replaced by marks of blood.
Emma Hardinge in her Modern American Spiritualism vouches for the following occurrences in the family of a well-known merchant of San Francisco in a seance with the eldest daughter, a handsome girl of eighteen about whom very scandalous reports were rife among the neighbors: "Instantly, and while every eye was fixed upon her, she sank back in her chair in a swoon and there, in the broad glare of the sunlight, appeared on her face, which the moment before was perfectly white and colorless, a large patch of wet, reeking blood, one of her cheeks being marked exactly as if struck with a bloody hand. On approaching the swooning figure, a second patch appeared on the other cheek; and as she stretched out her hand as if to ward off an invisible foe, another wet and reeking stain instantaneously became manifest on its palm. The ladies present procured a washbowl and removed the stains from the young woman's face and hand; but though they replaced her in the chair, restored her to consciousness and never for one moment lost sight of her, nor suffered a single movement to escape them, this terrible phenomena was repeated five times in less than an hour." The house in which this occurred was haunted and the scene of frightful disturbances at night. The younger children always insisted that these frightful marks were made "by a Spanish girl" who followed their sister about. She had her throat cut. Another apparition who helped to make the marks was their mother whom they represented as reproaching her daughter with an infamous life. The quality of the fluid was several times analysed and always found to be human blood. The phenomena lasted for many months. Finally the police interfered and the circles were stopped.
TRANCE, a condition of apparent sleep or unconsciousness, with marked physiological characteristics, in which the body of the subject is liable to possession. The true nature of trance is unknown. Much can be learned from subjective experiences.
D. D. Home testified before the Dialectical Committee as follows: "I feel for two or three minutes in a dreamy state, then I become quite dizzy, and then I lose all consciousness. When I awake I find my feet and limbs cold, and it is difficult to restore the circulation. When told of what has taken place during the trance it is quite unpleasant to me, and I ask those present not to tell me at once when I awake. I myself doubt what they tell me."
Lord Adare, speaking of Home's trance state, said:
The change which takes place in him is very striking; he becomes, as it were, a being of higher type. There is a union of sweetness, tenderness and earnestness in his voice and manner which is very attractive."
Stainton Moses added these observations: "By degrees Mr. Home's hands and arms began to twitch and move involuntarily. I should say that he has been partly paralysed, drags one of his legs, moves with difficulty, stoops and can endure very little physical exertion. As he passed into the trance state he drew power from the circle by extending his arms to them and mesmerizing himself. All these acts are involuntary. He gradually passed into the trance state, and rose from the table, erect and a different man from what he was. He walked firmly, dashed out his arms and legs with great power and passed round to Mr. Crookes. He mesmerized him, and appeared to draw power from him."
Eglinton said of his experiences "I seemed to be no longer of this earth. A most ecstatic feeling came over me, and I presently passed into trance."
"I feel a cold shivering," stated Mrs. Mellon, "a sensation as of water running down my back, noise in my cars, and a feeling as if I were sinking down into the earth; then I lose consciousness."
"I feel," said Mrs. Piper, "as if something were passing over my brain, making it numb; a sensation similar to that experienced when I was etherised, only the unpleasant odor of the ether is absent. I feel a little cold, too, not very, just a little, as if a cold breeze passed over me, and people and objects become smaller until they finally disappear; then, I know nothing more until I wake up, when the first thing I am conscious of is a bright, a very bright light, and then darkness, such darkness. My hands and arms begin to tingle just as one's foot tingles after it has been 'asleep,' and I see, as if from a great distance, objects and people in the room; but they are very small and very black."
It is interesting to note that when the Seeress of Prevorst awoke from trance she also said that the persons around her looked so thick and heavy that she could not imagine how they could move.
On awakening from trance Mrs. Piper often pronounced names and fragments of sentences which appeared to have been the last impressions on her brain. After that she resumed the conversation at the point where it was broken off before she fell into trance. These trances had three distinct stages; Subliminal I. in which the medium was partly conscious of her surroundings, but saw things distorted and grotesque, Subliminal II. in which she was possessed by spirits and lost contact with the material world and Subliminal III. deep trance in which the loss of consciousness was complete, the body became anaesthetic and automatic writing commenced.
Describing the development in Mrs. Piper's trances, Sir Oliver Lodge writes in The Survival of Man: "In the old days the going into trance seemed rather a painful process, or at least a process involving muscular effort; there was some, amount of contortion of the face and sometimes a slight tearing of the hair; and the same actions accompanied the return of consciousness. Now the trance seems nothing, more than an exceptionally heavy sleep, entered into without effort-a sleep with the superficial appearance of that induced by chloroform; and the return to consciousness, though slow and for a time accompanied by confusion, is easy and natural ... For half an hour or so after the trance had disappeared the medium continues slightly dazed and only partly herself . . A record was also made of the remarks of Mrs. Piper during the period of awaking from trance ... part of them nearly always consisted of expressions of admiration for the state of experience she was leaving, and of repulsion-almost disgust-at the commonplace terrestrial surroundings in which she found herself. Even a bright day was described as dingy or dark, and the sitter was stared at in an unrecognizing way, and described as a full and ugly person, or sometimes as a negro." It is important to quote from among the mumbled remarks during her return to consciousness "I came in on a cord, a silver cord." Before she became conscious she heard a snap, sometimes two. They were physiological experiences. She said: sounds like wheels clicking together and then snaps."
Prof. James found Mrs. Piper's lips and tongue insensible to pain while she was in trance. Dr. Hodgson later confirmed this by placing a spoonful of salt in Mrs. Piper's mouth. He also applied strong ammonia to the nostrils. Drastic experiments were also tried. Prof. James made a small incision in Mrs. Piper's left wrist. During trance the wound did not bleed and no notice was taken of the action. It bled freely afterwards and the medium bore the scar for her life. In England Prof. Lodge pushed a needle suddenly into her hand. At another time Prof. Richet inserted a feather up her nostril. Harsh experiments in 1909 resulted in a badly blistered swollen tongue which caused the medium inconvenience for several days, while another test resulted in numbness and partial paralysis of the right arm for some time afterwards.
The trance of Eusapia Paladino is described by Lombroso thus: "At the beginning of the trance her voice is hoarse and all the secretions-sweat, tears, even the menstrual secretion-are increased. Hyperaesthesia is succeeded by anaesthesia. Reflex movement of the pupils and tendons are lacking. Respiratory movement grows less frequent, passing from 18 inspirations to 15-12 a minute ' heartbeats increase from 70-90-120. The hands are seized with jerkings and tremors. The joints of the feet and the hands take on movement of flexure or extension, and every little while become rigid. The passing from this stage to that of active somnambulism is marked by yawns, sobs, perspirations on the forehead, passing of insensible perspiration through the skin of the hands, strange physiognomic expressions. Now she seems a prey to a kind of anger, expressed by imperious commands and sarcastic and critical phrases, and now to a state of voluptuous erotic ecstasy. She becomes pale, turns her eyes upward and her sight inward and exhibits many of the gestures that are frequent in hysterical fits. Towards the end of the trance when the more important phenomena occur she falls into true convulsions and cries like a woman who is lying-in, or else falls into a profound sleep while from the aperture of the parietal bone in her head there exhales a warm fluid or vapor, sensible to the touch. After the seance she is overcome by morbid sensitiveness, hyperaesthesy, photophoby and often by hallucinations and delirium (during which she asks to be watched from harm) and by serious disturbances of the digestion, followed by vomiting if she has eaten before the seance; finally by true paresis of the legs, on account of which it is necessary for her to be carried and to be undressed by others. These disturbances are much aggravated if she is exposed to unexpected light."
"MY eyes ache a good deal after a seance," said Mrs. Mellon, "and generally my lower limbs are thin, sometimes very thin, and usually I feel a pain in the left side."
Myers distinguished between three successive stages in trance. In the first stage the subliminal (subconscious) self obtains control. In the next stage the incarnate spirit, whether or not maintaining control of the whole body, makes excursions into or holds telepathic intercourse with the spiritual world. In the third stage the body of the medium is controlled by another discarnate spirit.
The first stage is well illustrated by the case of the Rev. C. B. Sanders whose trance personality has always called itself by the name of "X Y Z" and claimed to represent the incarnate spirit of Mr. Sanders exercising his higher faculties. He spoke of the normal Mr. Sanders as his casket but showed no evidence of direct communication with discarnate spirits.
The Italian Salvioli noticed for the first time that in trance the flow of blood to the brain is greater than in the waking hours, consequently there is a greater psychical activity and an increase in muscular excitability.
Professor Flournoy frequently found complete "allochiry," a confusion between the right and left side, with Mlle. Helene Smith. She would, in trance, consistently look for her pocket on the left side instead of on the right. If one of her fingers was pricked or pinched behind a screen it was the corresponding finger on the other hand which was agitated. Allochiry is one of the stigmata of hysteria.
Lombroso called attention to the fact that Eusapia Paladino who was usually left handed in sittings, became right handed in one seance and Morselli himself became left handed. This confirms Dr. Audenino's hypothesis of transitory left handedness in the abnormal state, and the transference to the sitters of the anomalies of the medium. The left-handedness seems to indicate the increased participation of the right lobe of the brain in mediumistic states.
Prof. Morselli measured the left-handedness of Eusapia in dynamometric figures. He found, after a seance, a diminution of six kilograms for the right and fourteen for the left hand. The spirits of Mrs. Piper always communicated on the left side. The trance, as a rule, begins with hissing intakes of breath and ends with deep expirations. There is a suggestion in it to the Yoga system of breathing. "Like the fakirs," wrote Morselli, "when they wish to enter into trance, Eusapia begins to slacken her rate of breathing." Swedenborg believed that his powers were connected with a system of respiration. He said that in communing with the spirits he hardly breathed for half an hour at a time.
I have tried to simulate the deep and rapid breathing of Rudi in the trance state, writes Harry Price in Rudi Schneider. "This breathing has been likened to a steam engine, a tyre being pumped up, etc. Taking off my collar and tie and with my watch in my hand, I found that in six and a quarter minutes I was exhausted and could not continue. I have known Rudi continue this hard breathing, interspersed with spasms and the usual clonic movements, for seventy-five minutes without cessation. And this while being held and in a most uncomfortable position, while, of course, I was quite free."
Trances do not always come at pleasure and occasionally appear when not desired. At Cambridge, at Myers' request, Mrs. Piper looked into a crystal before going to bed. She saw nothing but looked exhausted next morning and said that she thought that she had been entranced during the night. The next time when she went into a trance Phinuit said that he came and called but no one answered. Mrs. Piper's trances generally lasted about an hour. On one occasion, in Sir Oliver Lodge's experience, it only lasted for about a minute.
The trance as a rule is continuous. In Mrs. J. H. Conant's mediumship much discomfort was caused at an earlier stage by the medium's return to consciousness as soon as the control left. She had to be entranced again for the next communicator. Each change took about ten minutes. In the case of Rudi Schneider the trance was similarly intermittent but the same entity, Olga, remained in control.
To be roused from trance by a materialized spirit is exceptional. Katie King roused Florence Cook when the time of her farewell arrived and a tearful scene was witnessed between the two. Florence Marryat, who was present at this scene, described a similar experience with Miss Showers. "The spirit "Peter" proceeded to rouse Rosie by shaking her and calling her by name, holding me by one hand as he did so. As Miss Showers yawned and woke up from her trance, the hand slipped from mine, and "Peter" evaporated. When she sat up I said to her gently "I am here, Peter had brought me in and was sitting on the mattress by my side till just this moment." "Ha, ha!" laughed his voice close to my ear, "and I'm still here, my dears, though you can't see me.""
Monck was once similarly awakened by the common consent of the materialized spirit and the sitters.
The medium brings back no remembrance of what has passed in the trance. To all intents and purposes he is an entirely different being while in that state. His physiological functions totally differ from the normal ones. Florence Marryat writes that Bessie Williams ate like a sparrow, and of the simplest things. "Dewdrop" (her guide), on the other hand, liked indigestible food, and devoured it freely, yet the medium never felt any inconvenience from it.
The limbs of Mary Jane, the servant girl of Dr. Larkin, of Wrentham, Mass., were, in the years about 1846, under the influence of a rough sailor, thrown out of joint in several directions in a moment and without pain. Dr. Larkin was often obliged to call in the aid of his professional brethren and two or three strong assistants to replace them. On one occasion the knees and wrists of the girl were thrown out of joint twice in a single day. These painful feats were always accompanied by loud laughter and hoarse profane jokes.
On the testimony of S. W. Turner, of Cleveland, the Spiritual Telegraph reported in December, 1847, the peculiar adventure of a medium called William Hume who, in trance, and under the control of Capt. Kidd, threw himself into the lake to recover a ring and was brought out of the water, still in trance, after swimming for 15 to 20 minutes, without any injury to his health.
The first operation on a subject in mesmeric trance was performed in France in April, 1829, by M. Cloquet on Mme. Plantin, a 64-years-old woman who suffered from an ulcerated cancer in the right breast. The operation lasted 10-12 minutes. The pulse and breathing remained unchanged. The patient was not awakened until two days later. The case was reported to the Section of Surgery of the Academy.
In 1836 Dr. Hamard invited a member of the Academy, M. Oudet, to extract a tooth from a somnambulic patient. The operation was a success.
In England the first operation in mesmeric trance took place in 1842 at Welbew, in Nottinghamshire, on James Wombell, whose leg was amputated above the knee. W. Topham, a London barrister, was the mesmerizt, and the operation was performed by Squire Ward, M.R.C.S.
Esdaile's Mesmerizm in India contains a great number of similar records.
There is one instance on record in the mediumship of F. L. H. Willis, who later acquired a medical degree and became Professor of Materia Medica in New York when not the patient, but the operator was in trance. Controlled by the spirit of Dr. Mason, Willis successfully performed a difficult operation on a lady.
Apart from Swedenborg's case the first conversation with spirits of the departed through the instrumentality of trance was recorded in May, 1778, by the Societe Exegetique Philantropique, of Stockholm. The forty-year-old wife of the gardener, Lindquist, was controlled in trance by her own infant daughter and another young child of the town and gave accounts both of their earth lives and their existence in the spirit world.
The somnambulic state in mesmerizm was the discovery of Puysegur. Mesmer himself was aware of something unknown in the magnetic sleep and warned against its deepening. The use of animal magnetism was primarily for healing power. The possibility of intercourse with spirits was shied at. It cropped up as early as 1878 in Tardy de Montravel's writings but he denied it. Kaleph Ben-Nathan admitted it in 1793 but he contended that those spirits with which the somnambule holds intercourse are spirits of an inferior order and the magnetists practice sorcery and divination. Bertrand records the exclamation of his young somnambule: "There are no spirits, they are stories, yet I see them, the proof is perfect." Deleuze conceded in 1818 that the phenomena of clairvoyance establish the spirituality of the soul, but he did not consider spirit intercourse proven by the phenomena of somnambulic trance. In later years, however, under the effect of Dr. G. P. Billot's experiments, he appears to have changed his belief. Billot's somnambules were mediums in the present-day sense. The spirits who possessed them proclaimed themselves to be their guardian angels and produced physical phenomena as well. Cahagnet recorded fully developed trance communications through Adele Maginot. Previous to his appearance an-official acknowledgment of trance took place in 1831 when an investigating commission of the Royal Academy of Medicine reported on the phenomena of animal magnetism and found the phenomena genuine and the state of somnambulism, though rare, well authenticated.
In Germany the theory of spiritual intercourse in trance took a quicker hold on the imagination of magnetizers. Jung-Stilling founded the school with the theory of the psychic body and its elements, the luminiferous ether. Fraulein Auguste Muller, of Carlsruhe, appears to be the first somnambule whose spirit , communications and other phenomena were carefully recorded, Fraulein Romer the second. She was the first planetary traveler, making clairvoyant excursions to the moon. The most stirring account, however, of the intercourse with the spirit world was published in 1826 by Dr. Justinus Kerner. It was the story of the Seeress of Prevorst.
For the difference between mediumistic and hypnotic trance, See: Hypnotism.
TRANSFIGURATION, metamorphic power of the medium to assume bodily characteristics of deceased people for their representation. The phenomenon is well illustrated by the account of the Rev. Will. J. Erwood in The National Spiritualist, of Chicago, of a seance with Mrs. Bullock in 1931. In light, which showed every movement of the medium, he has seen more than fifty faces in an hour and a half. "It was," he writes, "' as though the medium's face were of plastic material being rapidly molded from one form to another by some master worker in plastics. Oriental faces, Indians, calm, dignified, serious, spiritual, in short, almost every type of face was depicted during this most unusual seance. One of the most striking was the impersonation of a paralyzed girl whom I had known in the States. The medium's entire body, as well as face, was twisted out of all semblance of its normal state, to depict the condition of this victim of paralysis."
Dennis Bradley, in The Wisdom of the Gods, describes a case with Mrs. Scales: "Gradually the whole of the expression of the medium's face changed completely. It was a transformation. Whilst the outline remained, the eyes and the expression became beautiful ... At first it was only with very great difficulty that the first few words were articulated. It was as if they were produced with considerable effort. Within a little while, however, the power strengthened considerably, and the spirit of my sister was able to assume complete control. It was my sister. It was her spirit, using the organism of another physical body, and speaking to me in her own voice."
Dr. J. Maxwell vouches for the following case of transfiguration in sleep, narrated by one of his colleagues in the magistracy: "On January 1, 1903, my father began to feel the first attacks of the painful disease from which he died after six months of terrible suffering ... I watched him as he slept, and was not long in noticing that his physiognomy gradually assumed an aspect which was not his own. I finally observed that his face bore a striking resemblance to that of my mother. It was as though the mask of her face was placed over his own. My father had had no eyebrows for a long time, and I noticed above his closed eyes the very marked black eyebrows which my mother had retained to the last. The eyelids, the nose, the mouth, were those of my mother ... My father wore his moustache and a pointed, but rather short beard. This beard and moustache, which I saw, helped, contrary to what might have been expected, in forming the features of my mother. The appearance lasted for ten or twelve minutes; then it gradually disappeared, and my father resumed his habitual physiognomy. Five minutes later he awoke, and I immediately asked him if he had not been dreaming, especially about his wife. He answered in the negative." The phenomenon was witnessed by a woman servant who came into the room while it lasted. She was told: "Jeanne, look at Monsieur sleeping!" She cried out, "Oh, how he resembles poor Madame. It is striking, it is quite extraordinary!"
In the experiences of Allan Kardec there is an extraordinary case of a young girl of 15 whose metamorphic power extended to the duplication of the stature, mass and weight of deceased persons, especially of her brother, as well. Of another metamorphic medium, Mme. Krooke, Allan Kardec records that she saw one evening her own face changed. She observed a thick black beard and by it her son-in-law recognized his dead father. A little after her face changed into that of an old woman with white hair. She preserved her consciousness in the meantime, yet felt through her entire body a prickling like that of a galvanic battery.
No such miracles are recorded in modem experience. It is usually in materialization seances that transfiguration is witnessed. It means grave risks for the medium. During the experiments at the British College of Psychic Science with Miss Ada Besinnet in 1921 light was flashed on a face which was illuminated by a spirit lamp. It was seen that the medium was leaning over the table and illuminated her own face with a light held in her hand. The light quickly vanished. So did the white drapery which enveloped her head. She was in trance and complained of great pain in the solar plexus when awakened. For three days she was shaken with muscular contractions.
There are many past experiences on record of the entire disappearance of the medium during materialization. In such cases the entire bodily substance of the medium appears to have been withdrawn for the purpose of building up phantom bodies. Such occurrences are also spoken of as transfigurations. Col. H. S. Olcott and Dr. J. N. Newbrough experienced it with Mrs. Elizabeth Compton. While phantoms were parading in front of the sitters before the cabinet she vanished from the chair into which she was tied in such a way that the least effort to liberate herself would have given her away. Not only her body was missed, but the fastenings, threads, wax-ends, seals, nails as well. Yet something must have been left in the chair for Col. Olcott when he was allowed to go in was expressly forbidden to touch the chair. Where was the medium? According to Col. Olcott and Dr. Newbrough she must have been transfigured into the phantom bodies. Frail girls, six foot Indian warriors, whose weight varied between 50 and 150 lbs., were seen to emerge from the cabinet. Many of the phantoms were recognized as departed relatives and divulged intimate knowledge of the lives of their relations. If they were seized, and they were sometimes, they resolved into Mrs. Compton whom such an ordeal always rendered ill.
Aksakof had a similar experience with Mme. d'Esperance in 1890 at a seance in Gothenburg. While the phantom, Yolande, was outside the cabinet he slipped his arm through the curtains and felt for the medium's chair. He found it empty. At the same time his hand was flung aside. At the very moment Yolande retired into the cabinet, the seance came to an abrupt end, the medium was discovered on her chair in her red dress (Yolande was in white) and asked for water. Through automatic writing Aksakof, who did not tell his part in the sudden disturbance, was told by Walter, Mme. dEsperance's control, that if the contribution of the circle is insufficient there may not be enough left of the medium to be visible, a clairvoyant may still see the body, but in reality there may not be much more in her place than her organs of sense.
In such cases a simple touch may do the medium serious injury. When Aksakof asked what would happen if in such a case he should pull the band of cloth which encircles the medium's waist whether it would not cut her body in two he was answered in the affirmative. Mme. d'Esperance summed up her only sensations in this sentence: I felt as if I were empty inside."
For other instances in which the medium's body disappeared, See: Ectoplasm.
TRANSPORTATION of human bodies through closed doors and over a distance is a comparatively rare but fairly well authenticated occurrence. It is a composite phenomenon between levitation and apports, and according to the testimony of the Bible by no means new in human experience. We find in Ezekiel XI, 1: "Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the East gate of the Lord's house which looketh eastward." Elijah, walking with Elisha, was carried away by a whirlwind. Habakkuk was carried from Judea to Babylon to bring food to Daniel in the lion's den, then carried back to Judea through the air. In the Acts of the Apostles the warders of St. Peter's prison testify: "The prison house we found shut in all safety, and the keepers standing before the doors; but when we opened we found no man within." St. Philip baptized the Ethiopian: "And when they were come up out of the water, the spirit of the Lord caught away Philip that the eunuch saw him no more . . .
But Philip was found at Azotus." The distance between Gaza, the scene of the baptism, and Azotus was thirty miles.
In the history of modern spiritualism we meet with the phenomenon at an early age. "From as good testimony as I have of any fact that I can accept without personal knowledge," stated the Rev. J. B. Ferguson, of the Davenport Brothers, "I believe that these young men have been raised into the air to the ceilings of rooms, and have been transported a distance of miles by the same force and intelligence, or intelligent force, that has for eleven years worked in their presence so many marvels."
In England accounts of transportation were published in the spiritualistic press between 1871-74 of Mrs. Guppy, of Williams and Herne (Spiritual Magazine, July, 1871), of Miss -Lottie Fowler (The Spiritualist, March 15, 1872) and of Dr. Monck (Spiritual Magazine, 1875), the latter having made an aerial journey from Bristol to Swindon.
Mr. Thomas Blyton writes of his reminiscences in Light, April 11, 1931: "I was present on one occasion at a private home seance at Hackney in London, when without warning or preparation, in total darkness, Mr. Frank Herne was suddenly placed in the midst of the sitters; and after recovering from our surprise and resuming the seance, Mr. Herne's overcoat, hat and umbrella were dropped on the table. John King, speaking in the direct voice, explained that his band of spirit people had found an unexpected opportunity to transport Mr. Herne from where he had been with friends, witnessing a theatrical play that evening; on his appearance at Hackney he was in a semi-conscious condition."
Very little evidential value can be attached to the episode in Catherine Berry's Experiences in Spiritualism according to which, at the studio of Mr. Hudson, the spirit photographer, between the hours of 2 and 5 p.m., in the presence of Mr. Herne and herself "Mr. Williams was seen to descend from the roof of the studio; he fell on the ground very gently. I do not think he was hurt, but sadly frightened. The spirit 'John King' was rather vexed with him for not obeying a summons to come into the studio, and told Mr. Williams that this putting him through the roof bodily was done as a punishment, and he hoped it would teach him not to disobey in the future. We all went immediately to see if there was an opening in the roof, but there was none, and the boards had all the appearance of not having been disturbed."
Mrs. Guppy's transportation is the best corroborated early case. It occurred on June 3, 1871. There were ten witnesses; two mediums; Williams and Herne and eight sitters. It was a sequel to Herne's previous transportation to Mrs. Guppy's house. In answer to a facetiously expressed wish of a sitter in a moment of time Mrs. Guppy was bodily carried from her home in Highbury (North London) to the house of Williams at 61, Lamb's Conduit Street, a distance of over three miles. The case was the occasion of much drollery in the daily Press. The Echo printed the only serious report. The story was summed up, on the basis of the sitters' written testimony, by Dr. Abraham Wallace in Light, 1918, p. 259, as follows Neither door nor window could have been opened without the admission of light. After various phenomena usual in dark seances had taken place someone asked Katie King, one of the controls, to bring something. Another member of the circle observed, in a joking sort of way, "I wish you would bring Mrs. Guppy." Upon which a third remarked: "Good gracious, I hope not, she is one of the biggest women in London." Katie's voice at once said "I will, I will, I will." Then John's voice was heard to exclaim, "Keep still, can't you?" In an instant somebody called out: "Good God, there is something on my head" simultaneously with a heavy bump on the table and one or two screams. A match was struck and there was Mrs. Guppy on the table with the whole of the sitters seated round it closely packed together as they sat at the commencement. Mrs. Guppy appeared to be in a trance, and was perfectly motionless. Great fears were entertained that the shock would be injurious to her. She had one arm over her eyes, and was arrayed in a loose morning gown with a pair of bedroom slippers on, and in a more or less decollete condition. When telling me the story, Mrs. Volkman very naturally said how much she disliked having been brought in such a state into the presence of strangers. There was a pen in one hand, which was down by her side. From the first mention of bringing her to the time she was on the table three minutes did not elapse."
After Mrs. Guppy had shaken off the effect of the shock the seance was continued with her presence. During this her boots, hat and clothes arrived from her home, also a lot of flowers. Both Herne and Williams were levitated and disappeared in turns.
The seance over, Mr. Harrison, editor of The Spiritualist, with three of the sitters offered to escort Mrs. Guppy to her home. Then their inquiries convinced them that Mrs. Guppy was really sitting in the room with Miss Neyland, her companion, at the time that one of them wished her to be brought. Her husband also bore testimony to the fact that his wife, shortly before her disappearance had been up to the billiard room where he was playing with a friend. This visitor corroborated his statement.
Regarding this visit of inquiry Frank Podmore in Modern Spiritualism (Vol. II, p. 259) adds: "They there learnt from Miss Neyland, a friend of Mrs. Guppy's, who had come out as a medium under her auspices, that an hour or two previously she had been sitting with Mrs. Guppy near the fire making up accounts when suddenly looking up she found that her companion had disappeared, leaving a slight haze near the ceiling."
The report of the marvelous phenomenon gave rise to repetitions.
In one case the authenticity of which is difficult to establish, the subject of transportation was a sitter in Mrs. Guppy's house. His name was Henderson. The seance was held on November 2, 1873, with ten sitters. Suddenly it was discovered that Henderson broke the chain and disappeared. The doors and windows of the room were locked. About the same moment of his disappearance he was discovered at a distance of a mile and a half in the backyard of the house of his friend. Mr. Stoke. Nine people noticed his sudden arrival. The night was wet. His boots and clothes were almost dry.
There is one transportation case recorded in the history of Eglinton's mediumship. It occurred on March 16, 1878, at Mrs. Makdougall Gregory's house. Two other mediums, Arthur Colman and J. W. Fletcher were present with five sitters. One of the sitters suggested that Colman should be taken through the ceiling. Almost immediately Eglinton disappeared. The noise of a violent bump was heard and Eglinton was found in the room above on the floor in a trance.
Several miraculous cases were put on record in the first years of the present century. The story of one is told in Volume IX of the Annals of Psychic Science. The place was San Jose, Costa Rica, the date between 1907-9, the persons concerned the children of Senor Buenaventura Corrales. The oldest child, Ophelia, was 18. There were two younger sisters and a brother. Separate and together the children frequently vanished from the seance room, found themselves in the garden and returned to their great delight, in the same mysterious manner. To quote from the account of Dr. Alberto Brenes, Professor at the Law Academy:
"A few minutes passed in absolute silence. Suddenly we heard knocks coming from the pavilion; we turned up the gas and found the children were no longer there. The doors were examined and found to be completely closed. Two persons were deputed to look for the children. When the door of the room was opened they were found standing in a row, talking and laughing at what had taken place.
"They said that they had been brought there, one by one; first little Flora, then Berta, and finally Miguel -their respective ages being seven, twelve and ten years.
"We then asked them how they had been carried and they replied that they had felt a pressure under the arms, then they were lifted up in the air and placed where they were found, but they could not tell us anything more.
"The two investigators than asked the spirits to repeat the translation in the reverse direction; they recommended the children to remain silent where they were, and locking the door, returned to the seance room to give an account of what had happened.
"We resumed the seance after taking the necessary precautions of locking the doors. Then ' Ruiz ' came and after recommending all to keep up their spirits, said in a clear and energetic voice: ' Let the children come.' Immediately one of them called out: ' We are here.' The light was turned up and the three children appeared in a line in the same order in which they had been previously found. On this occasion all three had been transported at the same time."
Dr. Joseph Lapponi, medical officer to Popes Leo XVII and Pius X, records in his lpnotismo e Spiritismo, Roma, 1906, the case of the Pansini boys, Alfred and Paul, 10 and 8 years old respectively. They experienced mysterious transportation in a half an hour from Ruvo to Molfetta. Another time, at 12.30 p.m., they disappeared from Ruvo and at 1 o'clock found themselves on a boat at sea near Barletta, making towards Trinitapoli. Once they disappeared from the square of Ruvo and found themselves, ten minutes later, before their uncle's, Jerome Maggiore's house in Trani. Several other mysterious flights took place to Gios, Biseglie, Mariotta and Terlizzi. Once they disappeared in Bishop Berardi's presence while he was discussing these phenomena with their mother. The windows and doors were closed.
In another volume, Spedizione e Spiriti, the same author tells of the flying brothers of Bari who could transfer themselves over a distance of 45 kilometers in 15 minutes.
Henry Llewellyn had a series of sittings with F. F. Craddock at Burslem, Staffs. The medium sat in a corner of the room from which a door led into a cellar beneath. The cellar door was completely covered with a curtain tacked round the opening, so that any disturbance there would have been at once detected. The curtains were drawn over the medium. Some time later, on looking in, the medium was discovered in a cataleptic state suspended horizontally across the top of the curtained corner of the room, with his feet and head just lodged on each end of about two inches of boarding. The curtain was opened so that all present could see the wonderful sight for themselves, and then closed, hoping that the medium would be put safely on the floor again. Hearing no movement for some time the curtain was opened again, when to the consternation of the experimenters it was found that Mr. Craddock was gone, the cellar door, with its curtain, being undisturbed. Shortly afterwards they heard someone moving about in the next room, and when the door of that room was unlocked, the medium walked out of it with his hands still tied behind him. On another occasion Mr. Craddock was found to be missing and was discovered in the bedroom directly over the place in which they were sitting. (Gambier Bolton: Psychic Force).
A summary of Willi Reichel's experiences with CI. V. Miller, the Californian materialization medium, as given in Psychische Studien, January- February 1906, says: "Betsy," the principal control of Mr. Miller, called Herr Reichel first into the cabinet in order that he might assure himself of the presence of the medium asleep. He examined all again and considers it impossible that the medium could have quitted the cabinet in a normal way; in front of the curtains were seated the 27 persons who formed the circle on that evening, and the windows looked out on a much frequented street. The weather, moreover, was very windy and wet, and it would have been impossible, he says, to open a window without causing a current of air to be felt at once. After about four minutes "Betsy" told him to go with three other persons to the first floor and Mr. Miller's housekeeper gave them the keys. They found the medium breathing heavily on a chair; they brought him back into the seance room, where he awoke, remembering nothing."
Dr. Franz Hartmann, the well-known occultist, employs the term "Magical metathesis." In the July, 1906, Occult Review, he quotes the case of Dr. Z., of Florence, a friend of his, who was transported from Livorns to Florence (100 kilometers) in fifteen minutes and deposited in a closed room with a bump.
Stepping into the realm of magic the book of Harry de Windt, Overland to America, may be mentioned for an ancient transportation case in which a medicine man, while he was closely watching him, disappeared from a tent and was found in an unconscious condition in a tent half a mile distant.
Of modern mediums Miss Ada Besinnet is said to have been several times the subject of transportation. But there is no evidential record of the feat. Reporting on Franek Kluski, Prof. Pawlovski wrote: "The most extraordinary case related to me by the members of the circle is that of Mr. Kluski having been fetched by the apparitions, or disappearing from the sealed and locked seance room. The astonished sitters found him in a rather distant room of the apartment quietly sleeping on a couch. I report the case upon the responsibility of my friends, whom I have no reason to distrust." (Psychic Science, 1925, p. 214).
Prof. Haraldur Nielsson says in an account of his experiences with Indride Indridason, the Icelandic medium: "We have had on several occasions the experience of matter being brought through matter, and one evening the medium herself was taken through the wall into a room which was locked and in darkness. This sounds incredible, but many things occur in the presence of physical mediums which must seem absurd to men who have not themselves investigated them. But they are nevertheless true." (Light, Nov. 1, 1919).
In Psychic Research, March, 1930, an account is published by Harry Price and Miss H. Kohn, of the Poltergeist persecution of an Indian boy, Damodar Ketkar, of Poona, India. According to the notes of Miss Kohn, who is a lecturer in languages at the governmental Deccan College, Poonah (Bombay University), the following transportation case occurred in April, 1928, during the most violent period of the manifestations: "At 9.45 a.m. on April 23, my sister says in a letter, the elder boy (his brother, Ramkrishna Bapat) ' suddenly materialized' in front of me in your doorway like a rubber ball. He looked bright but amazed, and said ' I have just come from Karjat.' He didn't come through any door." My sister describes the posture of the boy as having been most remarkable. When she looked up from her letter-writing she saw him bending forward; both his arms were hanging away, from his sides, and the hands hanging limphis feet were not touching the floor, as she saw a distinct space between his feet and the threshold. It was precisely the posture of a person who has been gripped round the waist and carried, and therefore makes no effort but is gently dropped at his destination."
This account is unique as in no other cases was the actual arrival of the transported man seen.
Two accounts of transportation are to be found in the amazing case of Carlo Mirabelli, the South American medium. On the basis of the original Portuguese documents E. J. Dingwall in Psychic Research, July, 1930, mentions as one of his startling phenomena "the transportation of the medium from the railway station at Luz (Sao Paolo) to the town of S. Vincente, a distance of some 90 kilometers. The report states that at the time the medium was at the station at Luz in company with a number of people and was intending to travel to Santos. Shortly before the train started he suddenly disappeared to the astonishment of everybody, his presence in S. Vincente being ascertained fifteen minutes later by telephone, it being proved that he was met in the town exactly two minutes after his disappearance." "On one occasion when the medium had been secured in his armchair by means of various ligatures he vanished utterly from his position, the doors and windows remaining both locked and firmly secured. Five sitters remained in the seance room whilst the rest went in search of the missing man. He was soon discovered in a side room lying in an easy chair and singing to himself."
The best authenticated recent case was the transportation of the Marquis Centurione Scotto, at Millesimo Castle, on July 29, 1928. The following is a summary of Ernesto Bozzano's report, attested by ten participants, as published in Luce e Ombra, September-October, 1928: During the course of the sitting Marquis Centurione Scotto, the medium, exclaimed in a frightened voice: "I can no longer feel my legs" The gramophone was stopped. An interval of death-like silence followed. The medium was addressed, without answer, then felt for. His place was empty. They turned on the red light. The doors were still securely locked with the key on the inside but the medium had disappeared. All the rooms of the castle were searched without result. Two and a half hours passed when it occurred to the sitters to ask Mrs. Gwendolyn Kelley Hack to try and get into communication, through automatic writing, with her spirit guide, "Imperator." After several attempts in which at first only so much was told that "Do not be anxious, we are watching and guarding" and that the "medium is asleep," correct information came through: "Go to the right, then outside. Wall and Gate. He is lying-hay-hay-on soft place." The communication was signed by the cross of Imperator. The place indicated a granary in the stable yard. The great entrance door was locked, the key was not in the lock. They ran back to fetch it and entering found a small door which had been previously overlooked. This door was also locked, the key being in the keyhole on the outside. They opened it with the greatest caution. On a heap of hay and oats the medium was comfortably lying, immersed in profound sleep. When he first regained consciousness and found himself lying in the stable he feared that he had gone out of his mind and burst into tears."
The authenticity of the phenomenon was unexpectedly confirmed by a message from New York from the spirit guide, Bert Everitt, who, when manifesting in one of Valiantine's sittings, referred to the Millesimo experiments and stated "that he had helped Cristo d'Angelo to carry out the phenomenon of the transport of the medium into the granary." This was received a whole month before a report of the case had been published in Italy or elsewhere.
The Marquis himself described his impressions as follows: "At this instant I could not feel my legs any more, having the impression of going into trance. I asked Fabienne for her hand, which I took willingly to reassure myself. After having taken the hand I felt something descending over my brain and my face -and I felt myself light ... light . . . light ... but of such lightness ... I felt myself as if fainting and I ... Then I recall nothing more. Nothing, nothing."
VIBRATIONS of sound play a mysterious part in the production of psychic phenomena. In the form of lively conversation, singing or music they are always asked for by the invisible operators. "We can walk on the vibrations made by your laughing," said Walter, the control of Margery. He claimed to get more than half of the energy used in the production of the phenomena from the gramophone vibrations but the only explanation he gave was that as they come off the machine they are converted into another and more useful form of energy.
Music as the means to induce the trance state is found on record as far back as Biblical times. Elisha says "But now bring me a minstrel; and it came to pass when the minstrel played that the hand of the Lord came upon him." It is said that Caruso was able to shatter a crystal glass by singing a high note upon it. Soldiers have to break step when they cross a bridge. According to Dr. Taraknath Das, quoted by G. K. Hack in Modern Psychic Mysteries at Millesimo Castle, the following curious history is handed down in India: "It is well known that the great Indian musician ' Tan Sen ' in the court of Emperor Akbar the Great, used to sing a special music, known as ' Dupak Rag' which produced lightning effect. In performing for the Emperor the musician had to sit by a lake. The singer had to jump into this artificial lake to save himself from being burned and suffering from electric shock. The lightning effect was caused by the vibrations of the music."
VISION, ocular and inner. Ocular vision is the perception of material objects in accordance with optical laws from a definite point in space. The same definition applies to peripheral vision: to those rare cases when the sense of sight is transposed and the subject sees with his elbows, forehead, etc. Inner vision is independent of space, objective existence and optical laws. The simplest type of inner vision is presented by memory images, waking dreams, and imagination images. The latter type may attain such an intensity as to emerge spontaneously and reach the pitch of hallucination. Hallucination is the widest extent of inner vision. Dreams represent the primary type. They are hallucinations of low intensity. Generally, hallucinations appear to conform to all factors of ocular vision: space, optical laws, objectivity. The images appear externalized in space. Indeed, objectivity in some cases of hallucinations may be more than an appearance as a camera may register an apparition when outwardly nothing is visible and perforce the vision must have taken place internally. A still stronger proof of objectivity is furnished by cases of veridical visions in which the perception is afterwards found to be a true visual representation of incidents taking place at a distance. On the other hand no objectivity is discoverable in degenerative hallucinations, in the dogs and snakes of the drunkard, the scarlet fire of the epileptic, the visions of the insane. Inner vision may be developed empirically in a crystal and afford fruitful study for the determination of what elements are externalized from the subconscious mind of the scryer and of discarnate intelligences.
Another classification of visions is: spontaneous and induced. See: Apparitions.
VOICES, supernormal, objective, and subjective. The latter is covered by clairaudience. The former is on the borderline of apparitions. "And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? ... And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man." Acts, IX., 4, 7.
According to Eusebius a spirit voice was heard by the crowds at the martyrdom of Bishop Polycarp: "Be brave, Oh Polycarp." St. Francis, praying in a little ruinous church, heard a voice from the painted wooden crucifix, before which he knelt: "Francis, seest thou not that my house is being destroyed? Go, therefore, and repair it for me."
Joan of Arc was started on her mission by voices. "A very bright cloud appeared to her and out of the cloud came a voice." The sentence of death was based on her monetary voices. She heard them first at 13 years of age. They came mainly when she was awake, but also roused her sometimes from sleep. They were not always intelligible. She believed in them implicitly. The predictions of the voices were mainly fulfilled: the siege of Orleans was raised, Charles VII was crowned at Rheims and she was wounded.
George Fox says in his Journal "When my troubles and torments were great, when all my hopes in men were gone so that I had nothing outwardly to help me, nor could I tell what to do, then, O then, I heard a voice which said: 'There is one, even Jesus Christ, that can speak to thy condition.' When I heard it my heart did leap for joy."
Dr. Edwin Ash, in Faith and Suggestion, describes the case of Dorothy Kerin, who after a long illness, on the point of death, suddenly heard a voice say "Dorothy." She woke up, saw the bed enveloped in light, a beautiful woman holding an Annunciation lily in her hand, saying "Dorothy, you are quite well," putting the stress on "quite." She became instantly well. (Dorothy Kerin: The Living Touch).
WATSEKA WONDER, The, one of the most remarkable cases of continued spirit control. The story as detailed in a pamphlet by Dr. E. W. Stevens (The Watseka Wonder) is briefly this: In 1865, at the age of 19, a girl, called Mary Roff, died in Watseka in raving mania. Thirteen years later another Watseka girl, Lurancy Vennum, almost a stranger to the Roff family, became similarly afflicted. Dr. Stevens diagnosed her case as an obsession. In the hypnotic state, Lurancy Vennum confirmed the diagnosis. Dr. Stevens suggested that she should try to induce a good spirit to control her. She answered that several spirits were about who would be willing. "There is one who was called Mary Roff." The father of Mary Roff was present. He approved of the idea. So Mary Roff was asked to control Lurancy Vennum. She did so. On February 1, 1878, she possessed Lurancy's body and remained in possession for sixteen weeks in an almost unbroken continuity. As soon as she appeared she behaved like Mary Roff in her life. She did not know Lurancy's parents, went home, recognized every old object in the house, the friends she knew and continued where she left off over thirteen years before. She exhibited supernormal faculties during this time, gave proofs of clairvoyance, made predictions, had out-of-body experiences in trance and described her astral' journeys on her return to consciousness. On May 2 1, 1878, she took leave in tears from her parents and all of her friends, fell into trance and awoke as Lurancy Vennum. The new Lurancy was mentally and physically re-established but seems to have been watched over for a -time by Mary Roff. She even came back occasionally in trance. Three and a half years later
Lurancy Vennum married and when her first baby came Mary Roff put her into trance to save her the pains of child-birth.
It should be added that Mary Roff never appeared to anyone at Watseka, except through the body of Lurancy. She never materialized independently.
Dr. Hodgson investigated the case on behalf of the American S.P.R. and concluded: "I have no doubt that the incidents occurred substantially as described in the narrative by Dr. Stevens, and in my view the only other interpretation of the case-besides the spiritistic-that seems at all plausible, is that which has been put forward as the alternative to the spiritistic theory to account for the trance communications of Mrs. Piper, and similar cases, viz., secondary personality with supernormal powers. It would be difficult to disprove this hypothesis in the case of the Watseka Wonder, owing to the comparative meagerness of the record and the probable abundance of ' suggestion ' in the environment, and any conclusion that we may reach would probably be determined largely by our convictions concerning other cases. My personal opinion is that the ' Watseka Wonder ' case belongs in the main manifestations to the spiritistic category."
The case was also verified in all its details by Col. J. Bundy, editor of the Religio-Philosophical Journal of Chicago, whom Myers described as a "well-known, skilful and scrupulously honest investigator."
WILL, to prove the mooted question that it is a dynamic energy many attempts have been made in the past. The earliest experimental apparatus was constructed by M. E. Savary d'Odiardy. An investigation of the instrument by the S.P.R. (Proceedings, Vol. VIII., p. 249) negatived the results.
The most modern instrument was designed by Dr. Sydney Alrutz, of the University of Upsala. He called it "Volometer" or "Will Board." It is a small board resting on knife-edged pegs. The longer and heavier end is supported by means of a string attached to a letter scale and holds the board in horizontal position. In this position the scale registers a pressure of five ounces. If the short end is depressed, the long end rises and the letter scale shows a decrease of weight. The task put before the subjects of Dr. Alrutz's experiments was to fix their attention on the long end and will its depression. In a number of cases 40-100 grams of pressure was thus obtained. Among those who made the experiments were many members of the Sixth Psychological Congress at Geneva in August, 1909. Professor Flournoy wrote after his own test: "I was able to prove conclusively, after three trials, and under conditions precluding all possibility of fraud or illusion, that the will of these ladies, concentrated upon a certain material object, with a desire to produce a movement in it, ended by producing this movement as if by means of a fluid or an invisible force obeying their mental command." The result cannot be questioned. One may wonder, however, whether some of the old mesmerists would not attribute the success to the mesmeric fluid instead of the direct action of the will. Spiritualists would also conclude that ectoplasmic emanation in an incipient stage is responsible for the result. The experiences with Eusapia Paladino certainly bear out this possibility. She could move a stool by placing her hand above it and make it follow her over the floor. She could even transfer this power to somebody else by placing her hand over the shoulder. As long as her hand was kept there the stool obeyed a stranger as well. Similar power was noticed by Dr. Ochorowitz in Mlle. Stanislawa Tomczyk. Eusapia Paladino was wont to say that she could move objects if her will was sufficiently "solid."
WINDS, breezes, currents of air, cooling of temperature, is a well-observed seance room phenomenon. We do not know the means by which the effects are brought about and it is an open speculation whether they serve a direct purpose or are by-products only. Certain it is that such thermic manifestations are a great convenience both for the sitters and the medium who sometimes suffer excessively from perspiration. It is difficult to allot the part which the organism of the sitters and of the medium plays in the phenomenon. Sometimes the source is plainly the medium. The spouting fountain of air of which Lombroso writes in his account of seances with Eusapia Paladino issued from a depression on the medium's forehead. This depression was due to an accident in childhood. Carrington noticed that after a good seance the breeze was strong, after a poor one it was altogether lacking. Yet the breeze is not an after-seance effect. It usually precedes and heralds strong physical phenomena. Mrs. Sanders of New York feels so unnaturally cold during her seances that she envelopes herself in many coverings and shawls to counteract the effect. The chilly feeling with which apparitions are accompanied may, for ought we know, be the result of a sudden drop in the temperature. All those who saw the apparition of a wooden cross in Haunted B. House felt unnaturally cold.
Walter, the control of Margery, said that the cold breezes and the drop in temperature is the, result of some psychic emanation from the sitters' brains. This emanation may be more or less profuse and it may affect the thermometer before being actually used for the phenomena. Walter found immense pleasure in using the thermometer as an indicator of the physical conditions confronting him. He said that he looked at it, if it was steady, he used Margery alone, if it was going down he used the sitters' brains as well. If he used Margery alone no cold breezes or drop in temperature was produced.
Walter's statement contains nothing new. The control of D. D. Home said more than half a century before him: "It is through your brains that the atmosphere we make use of is thrown off."
It is curious to note that at a still earlier age the phenomenon was a great puzzle to Swedenborg. He writes in his Spiritual Diary: "A spirit is compared to the wind (John iii. 8); hence it is that spirits have come to me both now ' and very frequently before, with wind, which I felt in the face; yea, it also moved the flame of the candle, and likewise papers; the wind was cold, and indeed most frequently when I raised my right arm, which I wondered at, the cause of which I do not yet know."
The same experience has been recorded with almost all physical mediums. Lord Adare, in a seance with D. D. Home, heard the sound of a great wind. "We also felt the wind strongly," he writes, "the moaning, rushing sound was the most weird thing I ever heard."
Crookes writes in Researches into the Phenomena of Spiritualism: "These movements, and indeed, I may say the same of every kind of phenomenon, are generally preceded by a peculiar cold air, sometimes amounting to a decided wind. I have had sheets of paper blown about by it, and a thermometer lowered several degrees. On some occasions I have not detected any actual movement of the air, but the cold has been so intense that I could only compare it to that felt when the hand has been within a few inches of frozen mercury."
In the experiments at the Castle of Millesimo with Marquis Centurione Scotto, Ernesto Bozzano recorded: "On the evening of July 7, 1928, the heat was very oppressive. We happened to mention this disadvantage. Almost immediately blasts of unusually strong, icy air, were felt by all of us. There was a continual change in the direction from which these air currents came; sometimes they descended from the ceiling, then we felt them in front of us, or at our sides, or blowing from behind us; sometimes they were like small whirlwinds. It felt as though several electric fans were working in the center, outside and above the circle."
In the next seance the phenomena was repeated and perfected: "Almost immediately we felt strong blasts of icy air which rapidly increased in force, giving one the impression of a powerful supernormal electric fan which periodically wafted its pleasant, cooling currents of air over the sitters... These currents were so strong that our hair waved in the wind, and men's coats, and the lace on the ladies' dresses were blown about."
Ernesto Bozzano adds that not the slightest sound accompanied the production of this phenomenon. The breezes sometimes brought down the temperature of the seance room by as much as 20 degrees.
Prof. Henslow describes the sensations of the sitters of Dr. Hooper of Birmingham as of that of "an intensely cold dew or mist, as though a vapor of methylated spirit were floating about the room.". . While apports were being produced "the sitters felt as if they were sitting up to their knees in cold water."
Harry Price established a definite connection between the telekinetic phenomena and the drop of temperature. In his experiments with Stella C. at the National Laboratory of Psychical Research he noticed a maximum drop of 20.5 degrees Fahrenheit. At the close of the seance the temperature was again normal. But often the drop in the temperature of the room was permanent. The medium's temperature was always higher at the end of the sitting but she herself always complained of feeling cold. The rapidity of her pulse beats was always accompanied in the trance by a pronounced coldness in the extremities.
In the Margery seances a maximum-and-minimum thermometer was employed to measure the temperature. In one case the initial temperature dropped from 68 to 42, a difference of 26 degrees. After the breezes had been blowing for a while Margery often complained of feeling as though cobwebs were on her face.
General experience as regards the nature of the cold breezes is curiously contradicted in an address of Robert King (Light, April 25, 1903). He says that the peculiar cold air of the seance room is not a wind, "it does not move things. I have watched pieces of paper placed on the table when these cold airs have been playing around. If a wind of that intensity had been blowing the paper would have been moved, so I rather incline to the opinion that this phenomenon is due to a difference in pressure caused by abstraction of etheric matter from the sitters."
XENOGLOSSIS, speaking in tongues unknown to the medium. According to certain classifications the term should cover writing in tongues and glossolalia should be employed for speaking them; but others, like Ernesto Bozzano, reserve the term for speaking nonexistent pseudo -languages. Professor Richet uses xenoglossis inclusively.
Speaking in an unknown language is a far more impressive phenomenon than writing in it. Subconscious visual memory may account for occasional reproduction of foreign sentences but the explanation becomes more difficult if the problem of intonation is superadded as it necessitates an auditive memory, the subconscious retention of fragments of strange languages actually heard somewhere sometime.
H. Freeborn in Temporary Reminiscences of a Long Forgotten Language (Journal S.P.R., October, 1902, p. 279) quotes the instance of an old lady who, seized with delirium in the course of pneumonia, began to speak an unknown tongue, Hindustani, which she had neither spoken nor heard since she was brought to England at the age of four years. This is, however, about the only instance which successfully explains the gift of tongues by normal mental resources. The case is not very strong, as the language was known at an early age and the story itself is not sufficiently authenticated. Considering the frequency of the gift of languages with modern mediums it should have been expected that if the explanation were correct many similar instances would have been unearthed. Even then the complication which the direct voice introduces would have to be grappled with. Few people go so far as to suggest that subconscious memory can be externalized in an auditive form. Besides there are cases in which the assumption that an archaic language of a remote country have been heard, spoken and intelligently registered on the medium's brain presents unsurmountable difficulties.
The paramount question, therefore, is what is the evidence for xenoglossis. Speaking historically, in mediaeval times the speaking in foreign languages was one of the four principal signs of the presence of a demon. The belief was bound to have its subconscious effect. The Ursuline Nuns of Loudon, who-according to their earliest historian (La Veritable Histoire des Diables de Loudun, par un Temoin, a Poitiers, 1634)-spoke Latin, Greek, Turkish, Spanish and in a Red Indian tongue, confessed to have been obsessed by the devil. In later religious revivals the outbreak was a sign of celestial inspiration. The recitals of the refugees from the Cevennes (Le Theatre Sacre des Cevennes, London, 1707) contain numerous accounts of the gift among unlettered Camisard grown-ups and also of suckling babes who spoke French in the purest diction. The phenomenon was noticed among the Convulsionairies of St. Medard in 1730 and we have very interesting accounts of how the gift descended on the congregation of Edward Irving in 1831. Robert Baxter in his Narrative of Facts Characterising the Super-natural Manifestations in Members of Mr. Irving's Congregation, London, 1833, left behind a very interesting narrative of his own experiences: ". . . The power of the Spirit was so great upon me that I was obliged to call out, as in agony, for pardon and forgiveness and for strength to bear a faithful testimony. In these cryings I was, however, at the time conscious of a power of utterance carrying me beyond the natural expression of my feelings ... for the space of more than ten minutes I was, as it were, paralysed under a shaking of my limbs, my knees rapping one against the other, and no expression except a sort of convulsive sigh. During this period I had no other consciousness than this bodily emotion, and an inexpressible constraint upon my mind, which although it left me composed and sensible of all I was doing, yet prevented my utterance and gave no distinct impression, beyond a desire to pray for the knowledge of the Lord's will. This increased so much that I was led to fall on my knees and cry in a loud voice ' Speak, Lord, for thy servant hearest ' and this I repeated many times, until the same power of the Spirit which I had before felt, came upon me, and I was made to cry out with great vehemence, both of tone and action, that the coming of the Lord should be declared, and the messengers of the Lord should bear it forth upon the mountains and upon the hills, and tell it to the winds, that all the earth should hear it and tremble before the Lord."
The utterances often began in an unknown tongue and then passed into English. One witness described it thus: "The tongue invariably preceded, which at first I did not comprehend, because it burst forth with an astonishing and terrible crash, so suddenly and in such short sentences that I seldom recovered from the shock before the English commenced."
The phrases were mostly taken from the Scriptures and repeated again and again. The actual words of the tongues were not recorded. Baxter believed them to be a jargon of sounds. The fact, however, was that the possessed spoke with extraordinary fluency in those languages, too, with which they were but imperfectly acquainted. The utterances were grandiose both in manner and diction.
In a pamphlet, Drei Tage in Gros Almerode (Three Days in Great Almerode) J. Busching, a theological student of Leipzig, writes of ten cases of xenoglossis at a religious revival in 1907 at Almerode, a small town in Hesse. The phenomena began with a hissing or peculiar gnashing sound. These sounds were caused by the subject, not wishing to disturb the order of service by interrupting a prayer already commenced, exerting himself to repress the inward impulse acting on his organs of speech. But all that had to come came, and the momentarily repressed glossolalies only burst forth with increased vigor. The "interpretation of tongues" does not always occur even when it is prayed for. When it occurs the speakers may either see the translation written before them, or hear it inwardly, or perceive directly the meaning of the foreign words. It is interesting to note that F. W. H. Myers did not believe in the phenomenon. He said that he only knew of a few instances when a few words, fragments of a language, got through the medium, some Italian and Hawaiian words in Mrs. Piper's utterances and a few Kaffir and Chinese words through Miss Browne. "We have no modern case, no case later than the half-mythical Miracles of the Cevennes, where such utterance has proved to be other than gibberish."
Apparently Myers rules out many interesting early casts, among them the testimony of judge Edmonds. His daughter, Miss Laura Edmonds, was the first medium in modern spiritualism with the gift of tongues. Foreign sitters could converse through her with spirits in their native language, whether it be a country as remote as Greece or Poland. Judge Edmonds writes in a letter dated October 27, 1857: "One evening when some 12 or 15 persons were in my parlor, Mr. E. D. Green, an artist of this city, was shown in, accompanied by a gentleman whom he introduced as Mr. Evangelides, of Greece. He spoke broken English, but Greek fluently. Ere long, a spirit spoke to him through Laura, in English, and said so many things to him that he identified him as a friend who had died at his house a few years before but of whom none of us had ever heard. Occasionally, through Laura, the spirit would speak a word or a sentence in Greek, until Mr. E. inquired if he could be understood if he spoke in Greek. The residue of the conversation, for more than an hour, was, on his part, entirely in Greek, and on hers sometimes in Greek and sometimes in English. At times Laura would not understand what was the idea conveyed, either by her or him. At other times she would understand him, though he spoke in Greek, and herself when uttering Greek words. . ."
"One day my daughter and niece came into my library and began a conversation with me in Spanish, one speaking a part of a sentence and the other the residue. They were influenced, as I found, by a spirit of a person whom I had known when in Central America, and reference was made to many things which had occurred to me there, of which I knew they were as ignorant as they were of Spanish... Laura has spoken to me in Indian, in the Chippewa and Monomonie tongues. I knew the language, because I had been two years in the Indian country."
According to Emma Hardinge's Modern American Spiritualism, the gift was demonstrated, besides Miss Edmonds, at an early period by Miss Jenny Keyes who sang in trance in Italian and Spanish, and by Mrs. Shepherd, Mrs. Gilbert Sweet, Miss Inman,
Mrs. Tucker, Miss Susan Hoyt, A. D. Ruggles and several others whose names she was not permitted to make public. They frequently spoke in Spanish, Danish, Italian, Hebrew, Greek, Malay, Chinese and Indian. In 1859 nineteen people testified in the Banner of Light to 34 cases of persons who occasionally spoke or wrote in tongues. Prof. Mapes and Governor Tallmadge bore witness to numerous instances in which uneducated mediums conversed with poor. strangers in the streets in various foreign languages.
A Mr. Lowenthal testified in England before the Dialectical Society: "I am frequently made to speak the language of another nation. I believe it to be an Indian language. My mouth utters sounds that I do not understand and which have no meaning to me. I think it is the language of some North American tribe. It is a soliloquy, and I get an impression on the brain, an idea that it means so and so. A voice articulate, but not audible conveys a meaning to me. I have been among the Indians a great deal, and it sounds to, me like their language."
Archdeacon Colley wrote of having heard the "Mahedi," a materialized Egyptian of Dr. Monck, who, knew no English, speak in that language under the control of Monck's regular guide, "Samuel." This is the only instance on record where a materialized individual is used as an automatic instrument by another spirit.
The Italian Alfredo Pansini, who, with his brother Paolo, was the subject of remarkable bodily transportation by mediumistic power, spoke in a sort of hypnotic trance, at the age of seven, French, Latin and Greek, and recited in a wonderful manner several cantos of the Divina , Commedia. On one occasion he spoke successively in twelve different voices.
Dr. van Eeden records in Proceedings, S.P.R. Vol. XVII. a Dutch conversation with a deceased friend through Mrs. Thompson. "During a few minutes . . . I felt absolutely as if I were speaking to my friend myself. I spoke Dutch and got immediate and correct answers. The expression of satisfaction and gratification in face and gesture, when we seemed to understand one another was too vivid to be acted. Quite unexpected Dutch words were pronounced, details were given which were far from my mind, some of which, as that about my father's uncle in a former sitting, I had never known, and found to be true only on inquiry afterwards."
Many eminent German orientalists have testified that Therese Neumann when she lives through the Passion of Christ speaks in ancient Aramaic. The weakness of the case is that the phrases which she uses exist in print with translations in modern languages. But then otherwise the language could not be proved.
The New York Evening Post reported on November lot 1930, the case of a little four-year-old girl at Warsaw, Marie Skotnicki who, though her parents only speak Polish, developed the extraordinary habit of talking to herself in a foreign tongue which no one about her could understand but which has later been pronounced to be pure Gaelic. It is interesting to add that her great grandfather came from 'the Island of Lewis in the Scottish Hebrides.
In The Two Worlds, March 31, 1933, Dr. F. H. Wood writes of Rosemary and Lady Nona, her ancient Egyptian control: "The fact is now established beyond disproof that over 140 Egyptian word-phrases which were in common use when the great Temple of Luxor in Egypt was built, have been spoken fluently through an English girl who normally knows nothing about the ancient tongue." Mr. Howard Hulme of Brighton, the translator of the Egyptian phrases, after a preliminary test by post which resulted in an unexpected but correct Egyptian answer, has also heard Lady Nona speak. After an amazing dialogue in the dead tongue of the pyramid builders, "Nona cleared up many points of pronunciation, gave her own earthname and explained the full meaning of some of her previous language tests."
There is apparently no special difficulty of speaking in a foreign tongue through direct voice mediumship. If the explanation of the spirit communicators that an artificial larynx is built up out of ectoplasm in space, outside the medium's body, is to be accepted, the brain and vocal organs of the medium are almost entirely ruled out. Almost, because there are indications that the ectoplasmic matter for this artificial larynx is drawn from the oral cavity and may not be always adaptable to unusual inflections. John King, in direct voice, speaks English. Through Eusapia Paladino, he could only speak Italian. But there is very little ground for generalization. The strangeness of inflection did not prevent Mrs. Wriedt's direct voices from speaking in many unknown tongues, and no stranger inflection could be imagined than the Archaic Chinese which the voice of "Confucius" used in speaking through George Valiantine to Dr. Neville Whymant, the renowned Oriental scholar. He heard fourteen languages spoken in twelve seances, and the strangest of all was the speech which came to him in fluent classical Chinese Greetings, 0 son of learning, and reader of strange books," and gave a complete new reading of poems and of the Analects of Confucius over which learned scholars have differed for centuries. Dr. Whymant's little book: Psychic Adventures in New York, is the, most convincing record of the gift of tongues in the present age.
Spirit Languages-The Primeval Tongue.
The gift is not restricted to languages known to the sitters or known at all. Possibly such unknown tongues are pure gibberish or attempts at a subconscious creation of a new language.
Professor William James quotes in Proceedings of the S.P.R. Vol. XII., the experiences of Mr. Albert Le Baron (pseudonym), an American journalist in a spiritualist camp. He spoke automatically in an unknown tongue, fragments of which were written down by himself, others spoken into a phonograph in the presence of Professor James and Dr. Hodgson. The following is a specimen: Te rumete tau. llee lete leele luto scele. Impe re scele lee luto. Onko keere scete tere lute. Ombo te scele to bere te kure. Sinte lute sinte Kuru. Orumo imbo impe rute scelete. Singe, singe, singe eru. Imba, Imba, Imba.
The translation was furnished by the medium himself: 199 The old word! I love the old word of the heavens! The love of the heavens is emperor. The love of the darkness is slavery. The heavens are wise, the heavens are true, the heavens are sure. The love of the earth is past. The King now rules in the heavens."
Governor Tallmadge has seen a lady translating the Old Testament into hieroglyphics which were said to be the original language in which it was written.
Some of the spirit languages were so condensed that-as Frank Podmore quotes-the phrase Ki-e-lou-cou-ze-ta required no less than 45 words to furnish an adequate translation in English.
The primeval language and the Martian languages present the most interesting problems. The primeval language or nature language was described as the inner language of the soul, the universal tongue of men before the Fall of which Hebrew is a corrupted form. In origin it is the language of the angels of which Swedenborg writes in The True Christian Religion as follows:
"There is a universal language, proper to all angels and spirits, which has nothing in common with any language spoken in the world. Every man, after death, uses this language, for it is implanted in every one from creation; and therefore throughout the whole spiritual world all can understand one another. I have frequently heard this language and, having compared it with languages in the world, have found that it has not the slightest resemblance to any of them. It differs from them in this fundamental respect, that every letter of every word has a particular meaning."
Further in Heaven and Hell Swedenborg says
"Writing in the inmost heaven consists of various inflected and circumflected forms, and the inflections and circumflections are according to the form of heaven. By these the angels express the arcana of their wisdom, many of which cannot be uttered by words; and, what is wonderful, the angels are skilled in such writing without being taught, for it is implanted in them like their speech ... and therefore this writing is heavenly writing, which is not taught, but inherent, because all extensions of the thoughts and affections of the angels, and thus all communication of their intelligence and wisdom, proceeds according to the form of heaven, and hence their writing also flows into that form. I have been told that the most ancient people on this earth wrote in the same manner before the invention of letters, and that it was transferred into the letters of the Hebrew language which in ancient times were all inflected. Not one of them had the square form in use at this day; and hence it is that the very dots, iotas and minutest parts of the word contain heavenly arcana and things Divine."
The first record of the existence of such a language we find in Dr. Dee's experiments. The second, leaving Swedenborg, in the visions of the Seeress of Prevorst, confirmed by another somnambule of Heinrich Werner a few years later.
In Dr. Dee's notes the invocation of the spirits is given in the primeval language. It is accompanied by a word for word translation. The properties of this ancient tongue which Adam employed and the angels speak are singular. To quote: "Every letter signifieth the member of the substance whereof it speaketh every word signifieth the quiddity of the substance ... signifying substantially the thing that is spoken of in the center of his Creator, whereby even as the mind of man moveth at an ordered speech, and is easily persuaded in things that are true, so are the creatures of God stirred up in themselves, when they hear the words wherewithal they were nursed and brought forth ... the creatures of God understand you not. You are not of their Cities: you are become enemies, because you are separated from Him that governeth the City, by ignorance. . . . Men in his Creation, being made innocent was also authorised and made partaker of the Power and Spirit of God, whereby he did know all things under his Creation, and spoke of them properly, naming them as they were."
In plain language this means that the original speech bore an organic relation to the outer world, that each name expressed the properties of the thing spoken of and that the utterances of that name had a compelling power over that creature.
In The Seeress of Prevorst Justinus Kerner writes: In her sleep-waking state, Mrs. H. frequently spoke in a language unknown to us, which seemed to bear some resemblance to the Eastern tongues. She said that this language was the one which Jacob spoke, and that it was natural to her and to all men. It was very sonorous., and as she was perfectly consistent in her use of it, those who were much about her gradually grew to understand it. She said, by it only could she fully express her innermost feelings; and that, when she had to express these in German, she was obliged first to translate them from this language. It was not from her head, but from her epigastric region that it proceeded. She knew nothing of it when she was awake. The names of things in this language, she told us, expressed their properties and quality. Philologists discovered in it a resemblance to the Coptic Arabic and Hebrew: for example, the word 'Elschaddai,' which she often used for God, signifies, in Hebrew, the self-sufficient, or all-powerful. The word 'dalmachan' appears to be Arabic, and 'Bianachli signifies in Hebrew: I am sighing, or in sighs."
"Here follow a few of the words of this inner language, and their interpretations: ' Handacadi, ) physician; 'alentana,' lady; 'chlann,' glass; 'schmado,' moon; 'nohin.' no; 'mochiane,' nightingale; 'bianna fina,' many colored flowers; 'moy,' how; C toi,' what; 'optini poga,' thou must sleep mo Ii arato,' I rest, etc."
"The written characters of this language were always connected with numbers. She said that words with numbers had a much deeper and more comprehensive signification than without. She often said, in her sleep-waking state, that the ghosts spoke this language; for although spirits could read the thoughts, the soul, to which this language belonged, took it with it when it went above; because the soul formed an ethereal body for the spirit."
Some pages further Kerner says (( With respect to the inner language, the Seherin (Seeress) said, that one word of it frequently expressed more than whole lines of ordinary language; and that, after death, in one single symbol or character of it, man would read his whole life. It is constantly observed that persons in a sleep-walking state, and those who are deep in the inner-life, find it impossible to express what they feel in ordinary language. Another somnambule used often to say to me, when she could not express herself Can no one speak to me in the language of nature?
"The Seherin observed by Mayers said, that to man, in the magnetic state, all nature was disclosed, spiritual and material; but that there were certain things which could not be well expressed in words, and thus arose apparent inconsistencies and errors. In the archives of animal magnetism, an example is given of this peculiar speech; the resemblance of which to the eastern languages doubtless arises from its being a remnant of the early language of mankind. Thus, sleep-walkers cannot easily recall the names of persons and things, and they cast away all conventionalities of speech. Mayers' Seherin says, that as the eyes and ears of man are deteriorated by the fall, so he has lost in a great degree the language of his sensations; but it still exists in us, and would be found, more or less, if sought for. Every sensation or perception has its proper figure or sign and this we can no longer express."
"In order to describe these perceptions, Mrs. H. constructed figures which she called ' her sun sphere,' ' her life sphere ' and so forth."
"Many instances proved how perfect her memory for this inner language was. On bringing her the lithograph of what she had written a year before, she objected that there was a dot too much over one of the signs; and on referring to the copy which I had by me, I found she was right. She had no copy herself."
Werner in Die Schutzgeister oder Merkwurdige Blicke Zweier Seherinen in die Geister Welt, Stuttgart and Tubingen, 1839, gives a dissertation on the inner language traces of which he finds in the babbling of children and says that in rare states of exaltation the inner spirit can recover the lost vocabulary. The confirmation of R. D. Werner's somnambule of the revelations of the Seeress of Prevorst has no evidential value as it cannot be supposed that she was unacquainted with Werner's very popular book.
With the advent of Modern Spiritualism the idea of the primeval tongue faded out. Nor did spirit languages hold out for long. Mrs. Newton Crosland is about the last of its recorders in England. In Light in the Valley, 1857, she writes:
"Three years ago a young lady, a medium whom I shall designate The Rose was taught by spirits, directly communicating with her, three spirit languages; that is to say, she was taught the meaning of certain characters and inflections, which are quite distinct, so far as I have been able to ascertain, from any known languages ancient or modern. . .. Introduced last autumn to another medium, a young lady whom we have been instructed to call Comfort, The Rose discovered that her new acquaintance wrote by spirit power the first-taught of these mystic languages. ... Subsequently five other mediums, all personally known to me, have developed as writers of the first spirit language; and one of them, an author of repute and M.A. of the University of Oxford, has also on two or three occasions written in the second of the spirit languages, the characters of which seem mainly composed of dots."
The universal language of Swedenborg, if we are to trust the revelations of Mrs. Crosland, developed dialects. Unfortunately the sample of spirit writing in Light in the Valley is the plainest scribble and no evidence whatever is introduced as to how the identity, if any, was established among the strange ornaments of spiral and shell forms, with dots and scroll like ciphers which adorn the spirit drawing illustrations.
The Language of the Red Planet.
Of the Martian language the first revelation and translation was given by Mlle. Helene Smith. The exhaustive analysis of Professor Flournoy, however, clearly proved that the originator of this language modelled it after French and that this marvel of subconscious activity cannot be ascribed to extra-terrene sources. In the third Martian language, that of Dr. Mansfield Robinson, Oom ga wa na wa, is supposed to mean God is all in all. In 1928 it was sent as a message to Mars by Dr. Robinson in wireless. He listened in vain for a reply.
To Helene Smith, the original producer of the Martian tongue we owe linguistic records of an UltraMartian, an Uranian and a Lunarian romance. According to Prof. Fournoy they were efforts of her subconscious to overcome the deficiencies of the Martian achievement and defy an earthly explanation.
The Uranian tongue was a very musical one. But no translation was given while Prof. Flournoy had an opportunity of investigation.
Of the Lunarian language no sample came into Prof. Flournoy's possession. All these inter-stellar languages were accompanied by alphabetical scripts except the Uranian the writing of which was ideographic, its curious hieroglyphs expressing words and not letters.
Writing in Tongues.
To return from inter-stellar space, writing in tongues is comparatively a frequent phenomenon; it is needless to dwell on it too long.
According to Dr. Hodgson "the chief difficulty, apparently, in getting another language written by the hand is that strange words tend to be written phonetically unless they are thought out slowly letter by letter."
Eglinton produced messages in a seance with Gladstone in Spanish, French and Greek in direct writing. He did not know Spanish and Greek. An apparition at a seance with Mme. d'Esperance, calling herself Nepenthes, wrote in classic Greek in Prof. L.'s notebook: "I am Nepenthes, thy friend. When thy soul is oppressed by overmuch pain, call on me, Nepenthes, and I will speedily come to assuage thy trouble."
In Prof. Richet's experience Mrs. X. (Mrs. Laura Finch) a young woman of thirty, "wrote long sentences in Greek, with some errors, that clearly show mental vision of one or more Greek books. After much research ... I was able to discover the book from which Mrs. X. had drawn most of the long Greek sentences that she had written in my presence. The book is not to be found in Paris except in the National Library-the Greco-French and Franco-Greek dictionary by Byzantios and Coromelas. As it is a dictionary of modern Greek, it is not in use in any school." Prof. Richet further says that Mrs. X. wrote some twenty lines of Greek with about eight per cent of small errors, that she was looking into space as if she were copying from the text of a language unknown to her of which she saw the characters without knowing their meaning, that Mme. X. knows no Greek at all and could not understand the sentences that appeared before her mental vision.
Several recent examples of the gift are to be found in Florizel v. Reuter's two books: Psychic Experiences of a Musician and The Consoling Angel. The Chinese cross correspondences of Margery furnish especially striking instances.
Dr. George B. Cutten, President of Colgate University, published in 1927 a comprehensive book on Speaking with Tongues. Another valuable monograph on the subject is Ernesto Bozzano's Polyglot Mediumship, 1932.