Laws of Mediumship |
by C.C. Zain, Elbert Benjamine 1925
Issued under the auspices of the Brotherhood of Light
Serial No. 45, Course 1, -G
Box 1525, Los Angeles, Calif. 1925
Laws of Mediumship
by C.C. Zain, Elbert Benjamine
BEFORE discussing the weird subject of haunted houses, and the astounding discoveries recently made in regard to materializations, it will probably be best first to explain certain phenomena of more common experience. Among these, and having occurred to some member of almost every family at some time, are monitions. Monitions differ from premonitions in that while they denote a recognition of some event or condition that could not be known by the normal faculties, they do not anticipate future events.
These monitions generally occur at the time of an accident to an acquaintance, at the time of the illness of some person not present, or at the time of some absent person's death. But sometimes they occur concerning trivial matters. They occur to persons who are not generally regarded as unusually sensitive, and who, perhaps, have had no other such experience in their lives.
More commonly there are no objective phenomena. The person receiving the monition sees the image of a distant friend, or hears the friend calling him, or hears a loud knock on the wall, or has a dream in which he sees the friend dying or meeting with an accident. Later the news comes that the friend actually has died, or has had an accident. Thousands of people have had such experiences, and there is a multitude of authentic cases on record.1
Premonitions.�Premonitions, also, are of everyday experience. There are numerous authentic records2 in which, without knowing a certain person is approaching, and perhaps not having seen him for a long time, other persons will commence to talk about him, and be very much surprised when he puts in an appearance. At times someone will see the phantasm of the approaching person so plainly for a moment as to think it an objective reality, and believe he actually sees the person in the flesh, until he appears and disclaims having been in that vicinity before. Sometimes a person usually normal sees a friend enter a distant building at a certain hour of the day, which he times, and later verifies from the friend that he actually entered the building about that hour. Sometimes an acquaintance is seen talking to a stranger, at a place beyond the normal powers to discern, and later upon describing the place and the stranger, the acquaintance verifies the description as accurate. Happenings seen in dreams, also, not infrequently are found to be records of what has actually transpired, or what actually later comes to pass.
Recorded cases of this kind are so numerous that a book might easily be filled with them. They reveal that the astral body has sense organs by which it may recognize that which is happening at a distance. In the case of accident, or the death of an acquaintance, it is highly probable that there is a conscious or subconscious desire on the part of the person dying or hurt to communicate this information. The wave motions thus sent out are intercepted by the person receiving the information. In other cases it seems that the clairvoyant faculty, or other astral sense organ, has perceived the happening or condition and made the astral brain aware of it. Conditions then have been favorable for the astral brain to impress this information on the physical brain and obtain a conscious recognition of it.
Because of the difficulty experienced by the astral brain in impressing information perceived by it upon physical consciousness, it often makes use of symbols. Because of the association of thoughts, one thought, or image, suggesting another, the astral brain often finds much less resistance to presenting information in symbolic form than to presenting it as conversation or as an image of the happening. It is sometimes easier for it, for instance, to produce the sensation of smelling a strong pipe, to acquaint a person of the astral presence of someone who,-before death smoked a strong pipe, than to show a phantasm of the person, or to cause his voice to be heard. Symbolism is the easiest method, and the most common one, by which the astral brain transmits information to the everyday consciousness.
But whether it makes use of symbolism, or some more direct method of apprising the external consciousness of something, it is frequently not able to gain the recognition of the external consciousness at the time the information is first perceived. It may be hours, days, or even weeks, after the astral brain recognizes some important fact, before it finds suitable conditions�such as unusually sound sleep, or sufficient lack of alertness to facilitate some involuntary movement�for transmitting the knowledge to the physical brain.
Not all monitions, and not all premonitions are confined to subjective phenomena. Sometimes several persons present see the same vision, or hear the same knock or disturbance, and sometimes physical objects are moved with no one touching them. 3 In such cases either an astral entity, or the astral brain of some person present, uses the etheric emanations of those present to cause a movement of physical matter. Etheric energy derived from organic substance, and preferably from a living person of mediumistic temperament, so far as is now known, is an absolute requisite for the psychic production of movement without physical contact.
In all cases the controlling entity, whether it be the astral brain of some person in the flesh, or some discarnate entity, or merely a strong thought-form, does not generate the energy used. By establishing proper rapport with a source of energy it merely directs it into a given channel. It acts on much the same principle as the electrician who closes a switch that permits an electric current to flow through and set in motion ponderous machinery. The electrician need not be strong to do this, neither need the controlling entity be strong to produce startling physical manifestations of psychic phenomena. The entity needs a sufficient supply of etheric energy that has been generated through organic processes, and needs to effect a rapport with the astral substance associated with it. The etheric energy is directed by means of the astral substance associated with it, and when rapport has been established this astral substance may be controlled, if no opposing intelligence is also in rapport with it, with very little effort and in a surprisingly effective manner.
Bilocation.�Similar principles are involved in cases of bilocation. Bilocation takes place when a person appears simultaneously in two different locations. The lives of the saints, and other legendary literature, abound with mention of such cases. Authentic cases are also known at the present day. 4 The double, which appears at a distant spot and perhaps to several persons, and sometimes even moves objects, may be the astral body, or it may be a thought-form.
A thought is primarily certain rates of motion in astral substance that assume a form. Such an astral thought-form may, or may not, be vitalized with etheric energy. That thoughts are capable of communicating such motions to the ether is demonstrated through the photography of thought-forms by Dr. Baraduc of France and others. If one person thinks strongly of another, the image of the thinker will be conveyed through astral vibrations to the astral brain of the person thought of. If the person thought of is receptive, his astral brain will perceive this image of the thinker, and if he is accustomed to bring up into everyday consciousness the things he perceives in the astral�if he is sensitive�these rates of motion will be communicated to his physical brain and he will apparently see the person doing the thinking.
Another person, who is not a sensitive, may be present and perceive nothing. But if the thinker has the ability to impart strong etheric motion to the thought-form it is possible to set up such etheric oscillations that it will register as a transparent image upon the physical organs of sight of those who are not in the least psychic. The person may thus be seen distinctly by many people at a long distance from his body. But really he does not leave the physical, only projects a thought-form vitalized with etheric force. By this means he may appear simultaneously in several localities at the same time.
Astral travel�Yet only a portion of the cases of bilocation can be explained as thought-forms. In other cases, undoubtedly, the person is traveling in his astral body. The etheric emanations of a person may be sent to a distance, or may be used by the astral body to build up a visible form at a long distance from the physical body, but the etheric body, being continuously dependent upon the life processes of the physical, never leaves the close proximity of the physical form. The astral body, however, is not so restricted, and during physical life may almost entirely leave the physical body. When so absent it is connected with the physical by a very thin line of force in astral substance.
The astral body when absent from the physical may visit the homes of the dead in astral realms, may attend schools on either plane and bring back the memory of what has been seen and heard, or may visit distant physical or astral lands. Full instructions for developing the ability to do these things are presented in the MS., "How to Travel in the Astral," which is given without charge to all members of The Brotherhood of Light who pass the final examinations on ten courses of study. This astral body, being occupied by the mind and soul, when it appears at a distant place is able to carry on intelligent conversation, which a thought-form can not do. The physical body, meantime, acts in a purely mechanical and automatic manner. In order to become visible to the physical sense of sight, or to move physical objects, the astral body utilizes the etheric emanations of its own physical body, or the etheric emanations of the persons to whom it appears, or who are in the vicinity of the objects moved.
It should be understood that these etheric energies used by astral entities both in the flesh and out of the flesh to produce physical phenomena, are generated by organic life. They are emanations from the etheric counterpart. This etheric counterpart never leaves the physical replica. It is sometimes taught that an etheric "shell" may be drawn from the dead physical body and used to simulate the deceased person. I believe such teaching to be an error, and a close study of the biological processes that generate and maintain the etheric bodies of organic life leads me to conclude that the etheric body is so closely associated with, and dependent upon, the chemical processes of the physical that it never leaves its immediate vicinity.
At death the astral body of man usually severs its connection with the etheric body. The etheric body then has no more intelligence than the physical corpse. It is, in fact, the vitality of the physical body. After death there is still some energy radiated by the corpse until it dissolves, but as the physical body disintegrates so does the etheric body. It might furnish some energy to as astral entity if a point of contact could be established, but not nearly so potent as may be derived from a living person. Its organization is possible only so long as the cells of the body carry on their life processes, for from them it draws its energy. Until the body disintegrates it may hover over the corpse, and is often seen as a phosphorescent light. But I have every reason to believe that it cannot be disconnected from the corpse and used as a vehicle for magical work, or control a medium for the purpose of impersonation.
Etherealization.�In a seance room, and sometimes elsewhere, an astral entity�which may be either a deceased person or one yet in the flesh or a non-human intelligence�by getting in rapport with a medium's astral body may be able to utilize the etheric energy present to rarefy the atmosphere in limited areas and set the atmospheric particles in such rapid vibration as to produce a luminous effect. This luminous area may take the form of a hand or face, or even a human figure. Such a manifestation is called an etherealization.
Or the entity may set the ether to vibrating in a certain spot with the frequency of light. This light may then be moved about the room. Such lights are not infrequent at spirit seances, and are sometimes also seen elsewhere.
Spirit photographs.�From etherealization to spirit photographs is but a step. If there is a figure present luminous enough to be seen, it probably also can impress a photographic negative. In point of fact, faces of the deceased, messages written in their own handwriting and signed with their signatures, and relating things that only they could know, appear on photographic negatives even when they are invisible to the human eye. Some astral entity has succeeded in utilizing the etheric emanations of those present to set up rates of motion in the ether that impress the negative much as light would do. A photographic negative is much more sensitive to certain high light vibrations than the human eye. So while it is not uncommon for the presence photo-graphed to be seen by persons in the same room, yet it may also be photographed while invisible, to the human eye. 5
Other than human astral entities may likewise be photographed. There are myriads of magnetic elementals, nature spirits, and such creatures, so dense in their structure and so close to the earth that it takes only a moderate development of clairvoyance to see them. Fairies, pixies, and the like are not mere fables. Their power, no doubt, has often been exaggerated; for it is doubtful if they are able to in any manner affect human life and destiny except through rapport with, and at least partial control of, some human medium. Nevertheless, they exist as astral entities. As such, through rapport with a human medium, they may collect about themselves sufficient of the etheric emanations of the medium to become visible to physical eyes, and to impress a photographic negative with their pictures. 6
Inspirational speaking.�Another phase of mediumship, one of the most common in fact, is inspirational speaking. A medium takes the rostrum and goes fully or partially under control. Some astral entity may direct the speech that follows, but far more frequently the astral brain of the medium simply receives the thought emanations from the astral brains of the audience. These thoughts�which are not only the conscious opinions of the audience, but also the information contained in their astral brains �are constantly radiating their energy through the astral substance. They are received by the medium's brain and become the source of his inspiration. He gives back to the audience their ideas and opinions colored by his own.
Test readings.�In test readings also, although the medium may have a wider source of information, it is common for the information to be gathered from the minds of the clients. The medium, of course, knows nothing about the source of information. Yet when a question is asked or written, whatever information about the subject is present in the astral brain of the client is radiating energy through astral substance. The medium then tunes in, unconsciously, on these wave motions and combines the various factors so received in a manner that will give a plausible answer.
Trumpet Speaking.�Trumpet speaking is still another rather common form of mediumship. The controlling astral entity in such manifestations utilizes the etheric force present to produce motions in the atmosphere within a trumpet or megaphone that give a rate of vibration similar to that used in speaking. These compressions and rarefactions produce the same effect as some one talking. The trumpet is often picked up by invisible hands and carried about the room, talking, singing songs, and laughing. It is probable that the astral vocal chords of the medium, or of the entity, are actually placed in relation to the trumpet just as they would be in speaking through it physically. About these astral vocal chords are attracted compressed air or other atomic matter of sufficient consistency to be used to produce the effect of a physical voice speaking through the trumpet.
Apports.�The carrying of physical objects long distances through no physical agency is a more rare phase of mediumship. Objects obtained in this manner are called apports.7
The most astounding phenomena in connection with such apports that have come to my attention were those produced some years ago at seances held in Australia under the leadership of the late Mr. Stanford.
The medium was stripped and searched and taken into a room specially prepared by the investigators with the view of making deception impossible. Under such conditions antiques and other objects of considerable volume and weight, upon demand, suddenly appeared in the midst of the investigators, apparently being pilfered from countries sometimes thousands of miles distant.
To produce such an effect it is necessary not only that the astral body of the medium be able to travel to the spot where the apport is located, but also that he organize lines of etheric force from his physical body to his distant astral body. This etheric energy, then, must be used as a magnetic force to polarize the protons and electrons within the atoms of the object to be transported. The object when thus reduced to its electronic state may be moved with the speed of electricity along the lines of etheric force established by the medium. In this dematerialized state physical things would offer no resistance, no more so at least than to radio waves, and the object could be transported into a locked room as easily as anywhere else. Then when it had reached its destination, if the polarizing force were removed the object would resume its normal shape and properties.
Many years ago Zollner, professor of physical astronomy at Leipzig, experimenting with the medium, Slade, had proof of the movement of objects without contact, and also that matter could be made to pass through matter. This was set forth in his book, Transcendental Physics, now unfortunately out of print. At the present time, since it is known that the electrons of what appears to be solid matter are relatively as far apart as the planets of the solar system�there being about as much space for the particles to pass as there is in proportion to their size for the planets to pass each other�the mystery of matter passing through matter is not so great. If the force used to suspend the motion of the electrons were similar to an electric force, the electrons would not retain their original relative positions, and the form would be completely destroyed. But if the movement of the electrons can be suspended, say, by something similar to a magnetic force, then when matter has passed through matter and the magnetic force is removed, they again resume their original motions, and there appears the original object,
Materialized flowers.�It is difficult to say just what percentage of the flowers that so often suddenly appear, apparently out of space, in a seance room, are really apports and what percentage are materialized flowers. Probably the most of them have been culled from someone's garden and brought to the room by invisible agencies as apports.
On the other hand it is not impossible that flowers are at time actually materialized. This is not more wonderful than that the materialized form of Katie King should give Crookes a lock of her hair, or that the materialization Phygia should permit Richet to cut hair from her head, or that Mme. d'Esperance should allow sitters to cut off pieces of the materialized draperies surrounding her. 8
Perhaps I may here be pardoned for relating a personal experience: Many years ago some persons of my acquaintance held regular private seances at which they sometimes beheld wonderful phenomena. At one of these circles a person present wished a token from a loved one long dead. Slate writing was a common thing in the circle and slates were present. The controlling entity told the lady making the request to take off her wedding ring and lay it on the slate. This was done, and the slate kept in full sight, although given no special notice as some of those present were engaged in conversation. Presently, on taking up the slate, the lady found a beautiful golden rose painted on it. This rose, which expert jewelers pronounced gold plating, was as perfect twenty-five years later as on the day it was painted.
The discarnate person was very fond of roses. Evidently the etheric forces of the medium were directed by some astral intelligence in such a manner as to overcome the cohesion of some of the atoms of the gold ring and place them in the desired arrangement to form a rose. It was a case of precipitation in which gold was the substance used.
Materialization.�This brings us to the most wonderful of all psychic phenomena�to materialization.
The evidence for the genuineness of materializations is voluminous and quite irrefutable. As a rule they do not form instantly, but gradually condense from a white nebulous vapor about a nucleus. This white vapor, called "ectoplasm", from two words meaning "outside", and "form", is a condensation of the emanations from the medium's body. It is really an extension of the medium's astral body about which physical particles are collected in such a manner as to give it temporarily, and sometimes permanently, the properties of physical substance.
The startling thing about ectoplasm is that it seems capable of assuming the form, shape, and properties, not only of any conceivable inorganic substance, but also of any conceivable living organ or organism.
Quoting from "Thirty Years of Psychical Research", by Richet:
"In any case we can, thanks to the experiments of Crawford, Ochorowicz, Mme. Bisson, and Schrenck-Notzing, form some idea of the genesis of these phenomena, and sketch out a kind of embryology. This embryo-genesis may not be identical in all cases, but in some that have been exactly observed and illustrated by photography, a kind of nebulous, gelatinous substance exudes from the medium's body and gradually is organized into a living, moving form. The ectoplasmic cloud would seem to become living substance while at the same time veils develop around it that conceal the mechanism of its condensation into living tissues" (page 491).
"I have also, like Geley, Schrenck-Notzing, and Mme. Bisson, been able to see the first lineaments of materializations as they were formed. A kind of liquid or pasty jelly emerges from the mouth or the breast of Marthe which organizes itself under degrees, acquiring the shape of a face or a limb. Under very good conditions of visibility, I have seen this paste spread on my knee, and slowly take form so as to show the rudiment of the radius, the cubitus, or metacarpal bone whose increasing pressure I could feel on my knee" (page 467).
In the experiments of Sir Wm. Crookes with the medium Home, everything witnessed took place in the light, and materializations were frequent. His experiments with the medium Florence Cook and the materialization which called itself Katie King were even more conclusive. His letter of March, 1874, says:
"I have at last obtained the absolute proof I have been seeking. On March the 2nd, during a seance at my house, Katie (the apparition), having moved among us, retired behind the curtain and a moment later called me, saying, 'Come into the cabinet and raise my medium's head.' Katie stood before me in her usual white robe and wearing her turban. I went toward the bookcase to raise Miss Cook, and Katie moved aside to let me pass. Miss Cook had slipped down, and I had the satisfaction of seeing that she was not dressed like Katie, but was wearing her usual dress of black velvet."
Crookes says further:
"Katie is six inches taller than Miss Cook; yesterday with bare feet, she was four and one-half inches taller. Her neck was bare and did not show the cicatrice that is on Miss Cook's neck. Her ears are not pierced, her complexion is very fair, and her fingers much longer than those of Miss Cook."
Richet, speaking of a seance he held with Eusapia Palidino, at which Mme. Curie was present, says:
"It seems hard to imagine a more convincing experiment, for in twenty-nine seconds the element of surprise is eliminated. In this case there was not only the materialization of a hand, but also of a ring. As all experiments demonstrate, materializations of objects, garments, and woven stuffs are simultaneous with human forms, these latter never appearing naked, but covered by veils which are at first white semi-luminous clouds which end by taking the consistence of real woven fabrics."9
Many scientific men of international reputation have experimented with numerous materializing mediums and found them genuine, as did Geley who, "after describing very precisely the variations in the gelatinous embryo-plastic mass, adds: 'I do not say merely, there was no trickery, I say, There was no possibility of trickery. Nearly all the materializations took place under my own eyes, and I have observed the whole of their genesis and development.' "10
Baron Von Schrenck-Notzing in his book, "Phenomena of Materialization", gives a critical account of his own very extensive experiments, and illustrates it with reproductions from 225 photographs of materialized forms in all their various stages of development as they exude from the medium and take human shape.
Although no further evidence is necessary to make certain the fact that materializations actually take place, still more recent experiments leave no possible loophole of uncertainty. I quote from Richet:
Plaster casts of materializations. � "Geley and I took the precaution of introducing, unknown to any other person, a small quantity of cholesterin in the bath of melted paraffin wax placed before the medium during the seance. This substance is soluble in paraffin without discoloring it, but on adding sulphuric acid it takes a deep violet-red tint; so that we could be absolutely certain that any moulds obtained should be from the paraffin provided by ourselves. We therefore had certain proof that the moulds obtained could not have been prepared in advance but must have been produced during the seance itself. Absolute certainty was thus secured.
"During the seance the medium's hands were held firmly by Geley and myself on the right hand, and on the left, so that he could not liberate either hand. A first mould was obtained of a child's hand, then a second of both hands, right and left; a third time of a child's foot. The creases in the skin and the veins were visible on the plaster casts made from the moulds.
"By reason of the narrowness at the wrist these moulds could not be obtained from living hands, for the whole hand would have to be withdrawn through the narrow opening at the wrist. Professional modellers secure their results by threads attached to the hands, which are pulled through the plaster. In the moulds here considered there was nothing of the sort; they were produced by a materialization followed by a dematerialization, for this latter was necessary to disengage the hand from the paraffin 'glove'.
"These experiments, which we intend to resume on account of their importance, afford an absolute proof of a materialization followed by a dematerialization, for even if the medium had the means to produce the result by a normal process, he could not have made use of them. We defy the most skillful modellers to obtain such moulds, without using the plan of two segments separated by a thread and afterwards united.
"We therefore affirm that there was a materialization and a dematerialization of an ectoplasmic or fluidic hand, and we think that this is the first time ' that such rigorous conditions of experiment have been imposed."
I may add that the experiments were continued, and casts of folded hands were obtained. Reproductions from photographs of some of these casts are given in the "Scientific American", for November, 1923.
It remains but to be said, in regard to the nature of the materializations, that once formed there is a circulation of the blood, warmth, perspiration, and the other functions exhibited by ordinary flesh and blood, as well as intelligent action. Small pieces of skin left behind when a form dematerialized has been found under the microscope to differ not in the least from ordinary human cuticle. A full formed materialization is actual human flesh and blood as long as it lasts.
Tn regard to the method by which materialization is accomplished, I believe in all cases the form condenses about a projection of the medium's astral body. The atmosphere contains all the elements of which the body is composed in minute states of subdivision. Such particles, no doubt, may be utilized to assist in building up the materializing form. But recent experiments go to show that in some instances, at least, the material is drawn from the medium's body. Mediums have been weighed before a materialization has taken place, and then again while there was a materialized form present. A comparison of the weights indicates that substance is subtracted from the medium's body. The materialized form, in such instances, approximates in weight the amount lost by the medium. Further, in some instances weighing shows that others present at the seance also lose weight during the manifestation, indicating that they likewise furnish substance for the materializing form.
It appears, then, in those cases in which the materialization is quite bulky, that commonly flesh and blood from those present, chiefly from the medium, is dematerialized, and then gradually materialized about an extension of the medium's astral body. This projection of the medium's astral body may assume any shape, and the materialization will conform to it in contour and texture. When dematerialization takes place the flesh and blood extracted from those present is returned to the original owners.
Not only at seances, but also where there are hauntings, a peculiar cool draught, a draught that gives the impression of rapid evaporation rather than of moving air, is commonly felt just before there are physical manifestations. Such a draught is really the sensation felt when etheric energy is drawn from the person to supply it for the manifestation. In the case of materializations this etheric energy is used to dematerialize physical substance and with it build up a different form. So far as investigations have gone it would seem that all materializations are composed of substance that has not been created at the moment, but that has been drawn from some other already existing matter.
When a complete personality materializes, the astral body of the medium is almost wholly absent and occupying the materialized form. Even as when a person travels in the astral body, only a slight line, of communication may connect the astral form and the physical body. Should this line be severed, death ensues. Therefore, it is quite dangerous to the medium to unexpectedly grab a materialized form, and quite dangerous to a pereon out of the physical body in sleep to rudely awaken him. In either case the shock if severe enough may sever the astral thread connecting the two bodies, or at least cause severe injury to the nervous system.
Hauntings.�A different order of phenomena from any so far considered are hauntings.11 Hauntings, while of numerous kinds, may roughly be classified in four categories. There are hauntings that only occur in association with some particular person or some particular type of person. There are other hauntings which are not associated with some person or particular type of person, but are associated with some particular locality. Both these phases of hauntings sometimes are obviously associated in some manner with a person who has died or been killed. Both phases, likewise, sometimes occur under such circumstances as to show no association with a dead person, and, indeed, to make such association extremely unlikely.
Localities that are haunted independent of the presence of a person of mediumistic temperament, and which indicate the influence of a dead person, usually are places where death has taken place under great stress of mind. More rarely the place haunted is a locality where the deceased long resided previous to death.
The intense emotion, or mental attitude, chains the astral body to the particular spot, which has become permeated with the etheric emanations of the person during life. These etheric emanations, with which rapport has never been completely severed, enable the entity to exercise considerable physical force. Doors may be opened, physical objects moved, or some tragic event may be performed in pantomime. When a person goes to sleep after working unusually hard at some routine employment he often repeats the work over and over again in his dreams. A ghost, such as I have mentioned, because something has been impressed strongly on his emotions, for a very similar reason repeats some act over and over again. He has not freed himself from a strain to his mentality. He is said to be earthbound.
Other ghosts appear only in the presence of persons of mediumistic temperament upon whose etheric emanations they draw for force enough to make their presence known. They, likewise, may be earthbound human beings, not yet freed from some intense emotion. They may be attached to the locality of death, to the place where they resided before death, or occasionally can manifest themselves at other places through being able to use the etheric emanations of a person to whom they are attached.
As a rule a ghost possesses almost no intelligence, because it is wholly under the control of and dominated by the idea that binds it to earth. It is like a hypnotized person who has been put to sleep and told to do some one thing over and over. The hypnotic subject does this, and pays no attention to anything else, being quite oblivious to the presence, and questions of others. Ghosts of this class are deceased human beings under the influence of powerful auto-suggestion.
If they can be induced to talk they may be convinced of the error of their ways and go about their business in the astral world and cease to burden the earth with their presence. But it is like trying to argue with a subject in the deep hypnotic state Usually they can perceive only the idea that dominates them. If the idea is to perform some physical task, such as returning stolen money or giving some information, as soon as this is accomplished they haunt no more and pass into other regions on the astral plane.
Differing from the above in that they show no association with a person who has died are the so-called poltergeist phenomena.
Noises, uproars, the throwing of sticks and stones by unseen hands, the opening and closing of doors by invisible agency, the movement of furniture and breaking of crockery without physical contact, and other phenomena of a trivial or mischievous character are rather more numerous than most people suppose. This class of phenomena is usually due to non-human astral entities called elementals.
In far the more numerous cases of this kind the phenomena take place only in the presence of a certain person, who is often an adolescent boy or girl.
Mischievous astral entities are able to get in rapport with such persons of unusual mediumistic tendencies and use their etheric emanations to manifest physical violence. In some instances it is also quite possible that the astral counterpart of the mediumistic individual has a part in directing the phenomena. When the mediumistic individual departs from the vicinity, in these cases, either the phenomena follow the medium, or cease.
In still more rare instances these poltergeist phenomena take place in certain localities irrespective of how many persons are present, and irrespective of any person being in the immediate vicinity. If people take notice of the phenomena, or of a human ghost, etheric energy sometimes is drawn from them to strengthen the manifestation, their thoughts establishing a line of communication for the transfer of energy. Such phenomena are made possible through the etheric emanations of people's thoughts being made use of by elementals. These thought-forms may converge at certain places due to a variety of causes. A building so haunted, or one haunted by a human ghost, when torn down usually destroys the condition of rapport, and there being no adequate supply of etheric energy to draw upon, the phenomena cease.
Fake mediums.�Let us now return to the subject of mediums.
It should be understood that a demonstration of mediumistic power requires the expenditure of energy. The medium himself radiates a limited supply of etheric energy, and the other persons present also a limited amount. Enough energy is only occasionally available to make a thrilling demonstration. But the public, ignoring this fact, demands that the medium repeat the phenomena every time*" he is asked. This is just as sensible as to ask an athlete who has established a world record as a foot racer to repeat his best work on all occasions.
Certain conditions are necessary for the athlete to establish a record, and certain conditions are necessary for a medium to do his best work. If, because a medium cannot under different circumstances and at different times repeat his performance, we assert his claims are false, we also should demand that a world champion runner be able to make his record again any time we suggest, without going into training, without spiked shoes, and on the pavement or in the mud. As a matter of fact, an athlete is seldom able to reach his record more than once. Likewise, if a medium once produces genuine phenomena, about which there can be no doubt because all possibility of trickery has been guarded, against, this establishes the phenomena as real.
It has been objected by some that the condition of darkness imposed at some seances is merely to facilitate fraud. Yet the same criticism might be leveled at radio operators. Radio messages do not carry so well in sunlight as in darkness, and strange to say some radio operators claim that moonlight is beneficial to radio work. They say that a message will carry farther from east to west when the full moon has just risen than at any other time. Yet why admit that a noonday sun interferes with radio and not admit that it may interfere with psychic phenomena?
It is related of the famed discover of photography that in order to bring his invention before the public he desired to take a photograph of a famous court beauty. He diligently explained the condition that was necessary: that he could only take the picture by sunlight. As the lady knew she appeared to better advantage by the false light of the evening ball-room, she insisted her picture be taken by lamplight. As the inventor could not take the photograph as demanded, he was laughed out of court, and his discovery called a hoax. All the evidence goes to show that it takes more energy to produce physical manifestations of psychic phenomena in the light than it does in the dark.
To be sure, it is probable that any good medium will perpetrate frauds under given circumstances. We might almost say that in negative mediumship unless the medium is sufficiently under control to be quite unaware of what he is doing the results are not of the best.
A hypnotized subject tries to do whatever he is told, and even though he is going through a lot of nonsense, believes he is performing as he is told to do. If he is told to smoke a cigar, and no cigar is at hand, he will proceed to smoke a stick, and if he has no match, goes through the motion of lighting one, and is unconscious of the fact that he is not strictly carrying out his orders.
Of course there is no excuse for mediums who premeditate fraud. But once a medium is in the trance state he is no more responsible for his actions than is a hypnotized subject. If those present demand a certain type of phenomena, this suggestion takes hold of the mind, and he tries to produce � them. He may be able to produce genuine phenomena, just as the hypnotized subject would actually smoke a cigar if one were present. But if genuine phenomena are not forthcoming, the suggestion to produce them has the effect of causing him to simulate them to the best of his ability. For this he is nowise responsible, for one of the essential conditions of this kind of mediumship is that the medium must be unconscious of and irresponsible for his actions while under control. If fraud takes place, which is not prepared for in advance by the medium, the only ones at fault are the experimenters, whose duty it is to make fraud impossible.
Even in clairaudience, clairvoyance, psychometry, telepathy, and prevision, the irresponsible medium only hears, sees, feels, thinks, or has cognizance of, what is imparted to him by his control. Everything is second hand, and depends for its veracity upon both the integrity and the ability of the controlling entity. On the other hand, the person who develops these faculties by the integrative method is not dependent upon another for information. He uses his astral sense organs as he does his physical sense organs. He controls himself and his faculties. This is the difference between disintegrative mediumship and mastership.
1. Many authentic cases of monitions are given in Thirty Years of Psychical Research, by Richet, Ch. VI; and in At the Moment of Death, by Flammarion, Ch. VI.
2. For authentic cases see Death and Its Mystery, by Flammarion, Ch. IX.
4. Thirty Years of Psychical Research, by Richet, p. 156; and Death and Its Mystery, by Flammarion, p. 125.
5. For authentic examples of spirit photography see The Case For Spirit Photography, by A. Conan Doyle.
6. For authentic photographs of fairies see The Coming of the Fairies, by A. Conan Doyle.
7. For authentic instances of objects carried without physical contact see Haunted Houses, by Flammarion, Ch. IX.
8. Thirty Years of Psychical Research, by Richet, p. 476.
9. Ibid., p. 407
10. Ibid., p. 525
11. For numerous authentic cases of hauntings see Haunted Houses, by Flammarion.