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Chapter 6
Spiritism
AS IT IS now impossible for the well informed person to doubt the reality of a wide
variety of psychic phenomena, there is an increasing demand for their rational
explanation. I propose, therefore, to take up, one after another the various types of
such phenomena, and elucidate them according to the doctrines of Hermetic Science.
Before doing this, however, it may be well to mention a few of the numerous other
ways in which mediumship plays a part in human life.
It has already been mentioned that the active always controls the passive, and that the
grade of energy transmitted by anything depends upon its refinement. A water pipe
transmits a flow of water because it has a structure suited to such transmission. A
copper wire, on the other hand, because of difference in composition and form, will
not transmit water, but is a medium for the ready transmission of electricity. A
coarse-textured man, because his nervous system and brain are coarser in structure,
transmits a grosser form of emotional and sensational energy, and consequently
enjoys a form of recreation quite repugnant to the fine-skinned, fine-haired, more
sensitive person. The finer the structure and the more highly organized it is, the finer
the quality of energy that may pass through it.
In man we find the climax of physical evolution. In his brain and nervous system
there is greater refinement and a higher organization than in any other mundane
form. As a consequence, man is able to receive and transmit more subtle energies
than lower forms of life.
Man A Microcosm
--His physical body is the product of evolution, as the many vestigial structures
present in it clearly prove. Embryology also points this out in no uncertain terms, for
the human embryo, as do all embryos, briefly recapitulates the history of its ancestry.
The life forms through which it has developed are shown in the forming child. In
addition to such a physical history, man also contains within himself the history of
his soul's evolution through lower life forms. The various traits of character, the
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impulses and desires, present in lower forms of life, are all present in man, as
psychoanalysis plainly reveals. But for the most part they have been developed,
transformed, and sublimated, into something higher and more beautiful.
Nevertheless, in man are the vestiges, both of the structures and the tendencies, of
innumerable other and lower forms of life.
It is further true, as a study of natal astrology demonstrates, that man has within
himself in miniature all that is in the heavens above. The zodiacal signs and the
planets, as well as other celestial bodies, have their correspondences within his
constitution. When they move they produce discernible changes in man. When they
form definite relations to each other, called aspects, man feels differently than he did
when such aspects were not formed, and unless he understands the source of his
impulses, he may act in response to these feelings.
Because man has within himself something corresponding to all that is below him in
the scale of evolution, and correspondences to all in the sky above, and also, it is to be
inferred, to all forms of intelligences above him in the evolutionary scale, the ancient
Hermetics called man a microcosm. This means that man may be considered a
universe in miniature.
Man A Transformer of Energy
--As a microcosm, or little universe, man is able to receive and transmit a very wide
variety of energies. In addition to the energy derived from the food he eats and the air
he breathes, he is also the medium for countless other forces.
His astral body constantly receives and transmits the energy radiated by the planets.
Even as the sun acts as a transformer for the high-frequency energies of space, so man
in his turn acts as a transformer of planetary energies. He is also a transmitter of
intellectual and spiritual energies that reach him as wave motions from regions of
greater intelligence and spirituality. The grade of intellectual and spiritual force he
transmits depends upon his mental development and soul unfoldment.
The astral energies radiated by the planets are intercepted by his astral body, being
received more freely at those points in his astral structure, as indicated by planets in
his birth-chart, that were organized by states of consciousness previous to his birth.
These astral energies are even more essential to the welfare of the astral body than is
sunlight to the welfare of the physical body. Only a portion of such energies received,
however, is utilized by the person. The balance undergoes transformation, or change
in frequency of vibration, and is again radiated, much as the sun and planets receive
energy of a more general character and giving it a special trend radiate it again.
Likewise, such spiritual and intellectual energy as man receives or generates is again
in large measure radiated. As seen by clairvoyant vision this radiation is of two
distinct and separate qualities. The more gross astral energies and thought vibrations
flow forth to remain in contact with the earth, and may be received in measure by
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lower life forms. In other words, the thoughts and feelings of man, as well as certain
other astral energies, flow about and permeate the earth, so that other life forms
coming in contact with them may receive and appropriate such of them as their
organization will permit. In the upward struggle of the seven sub-mundane degrees
of life, this force radiated by man and penetrating to the very center of the earth, is of
great assistance. It affords these degrees of life from mineral to man whatever of
intellectual energies they are capable of absorbing and utilizing. It thus hastens their
evolution through providing them with mental nutriment and the incentive to effort.
The other and more spiritual portion of the force radiated by man travels away from
the earth and the astral plane immediately surrounding it. There are seven
super-mundane realms of life; realms of life whose denizens have never been, and
never will be, incarnated on earth. They form a gradation in spirituality of seven steps
between man and the angel. Being too spiritual and lacking in penetrative and
initiative force for incarnation in gross matter, they depend upon man for all
knowledge of material conditions. The higher essences of man's intellectual and
spiritual endeavors may be assimilated by them and give them information that is a
requisite of their progress.
But now I must return to earth, and to matters that are susceptible of proof by the
average man.
Action of Mind At A Distance
--A very common phenomenon, and one that should be understood by everyone so
that all may avoid becoming the dupes of unscrupulous practical psychologists, is the
exercise of thought power to influence another person's thoughts and actions without
the intervention of the spoken word or any sign.
It is possible, for instance, in a public gathering, to concentrate the mind on some
person and make him turn and look at one. If the person is known to the experimenter
it will be much easier thus to influence him, for a point of contact will previously
have been established. But it is possible thus to influence a total stranger. Such
experiments which have been rigidly tested out and after coincidence has been
eliminated found actually to produce the desired effect, are very simple, but they
demonstrate in a very forcible and convenient way that the mind of one person can,
and sometimes does, influence another person at a distance.
Further, it is not uncommon for a hypnotist to direct the actions of his subject by
mental command alone. There is plenty of irrefutable evidence that this has been
successfully done.
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The various kinds of absent treatments applied by
metaphysicians, mental scientists, christian scientists, and new thought
practitioners, are practical applications of this power of one person to influence
another at a distance.
The thought of one individual sets up lines of force in astral substance which reach
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the second individual, and if the experiment is successful, sets up vibrations similar
to the thought held, in the unconscious mind or astral body of the other individual. If
the person to whom the thought is sent is one who is in the habit of controlling his
own thoughts and actions his unconscious mind will repel, and will not accept the
thought sent to it, unless it is a thought quite acceptable and perceived to be for his
welfare. But if the person has cultivated irresponsible mediumship, or is naturally
negative, the thought will enter the unconscious mind and may quite dominate it. The
thoughts and actions then will be those willed by the person sending the thought.
No person who habitually controls his own thoughts and actions need be dominated
by any other person or entity.
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The soul that has built the body about itself, under
normal circumstances is quite able to resist foreign invasion from any source. It is
aware that to turn around and look at someone who is concentrating on it in a public
meeting is not apt to prove detrimental, but it will resist detrimental mental
commands even as it would resist them if they were uttered aloud.
Power of Thought to Change
Bodily Form
--Once a thought image has been accepted, however, particularly if the image be
strong and vivid, momentous results may follow. The physical body is shaped and
moulded by the astral body. Normally this moulding is quite gradual, but when the
image in the unconscious mind is supported by an unusual amount of energy it brings
about such a radical and abrupt change in the astral form that the physical also is
drastically transformed. In proof of this, it would be an easy matter to cite numerous
instances in which persons have been instantly healed by mental or spiritual
treatment, such healing being accompanied by marked changes in the body and its
functions. Almost everyone nowadays knows of one or more such cases.
Stigmata
--But this power of the mind, acting through imagination upon the astral body, to
make radical changes in the physical, is even more dramatically exemplified in
numerous cases of stigmata. Stigmata is the receiving upon the body, through
religious devotion, wounds similar to those of which the Nazarene died on the cross.
Holes are formed in the palms of the hands and on the soles of the feet, and the side
opens as if it had been pierced by a spear. Blood actually flows from these holes, and
also often from wounds on the forehead where the Nazarene wore His crown of
thorns, being caused solely through the action of the mind.
Saint Francis of Assisi received such stigmata. Yet as he lived so long ago,
materialists put the whole matter down as a legend. But cases of stigmata also occur
at the present day, and have been thoroughly investigated by competent scientists.
The verdict is that stigmata do actually occur, and that they emit blood.
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Speaking in Strange Tongues
--Before leaving the subject of the power of one mind to influence another at a
distance, it is well worth recording that a command given in a language that the
person influenced does not understand has almost as much force as if given in his
own language. His unconscious mind, having much keener perceptions than his
objective mind, recognizes the thought behind the words, and tends to be influenced
by this thought.
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From this ability of the unconscious mind to recognize the import of words of a
strange language, to speaking in strange tongues, is but a step. There is no doubt now
of the ability of many persons when more or less under the control of a hypnotist or
astral entity, to talk intelligently in a language with which they are normally
unfamiliar. Such ability is reported to have been common among the saints and early
Christian fathers. By certain religious sects at the present day, talking in strange
tongues and the ability to heal by laying on of the hands is required of those who
claim to have received grace in full measure. To be sure, in many instances this
strange speech is unintelligible, but at other times it is really recognizable talk.
In these cases, as in the cases of the saints of old who often had aureoles about their
heads, appeared simultaneously in more than one locality, possessed an "odour of
sanctity," had the faculty of prophecy, suffered levitation, and were insensible to fire;
it is difficult to determine just how much of the phenomena is produced by the
activity of their own unconscious minds and how much is due to the control exercised
over them by discarnate entities. In cases of speaking in tongues at religious
conversions, I believe, from my own observations, that a high percentage in their
emotional frenzy become dominated and controlled by astral entities of some kind.
The Ouija Board
--One of the most familiar approaches to psychic phenomena is by way of the ouija
board or planchette. Particularly since the war, during which so many gallant sons
and fathers laid down their lives, has the ouija board come into vogue. Little wonder,
when the craving is so strong to again converse with loved ones from whom violently
parted.
The ouija board and planchette consist of either a flat board or a dial upon which are
printed letters, numbers, and perhaps a few useful words. There is a movable pointer
so arranged that it may easily be moved over the board in such a manner as to point to
the characters on the board or dial. This pointer is of such size that one or several
persons may rest their finger tips gently upon it.
In operating the ouija board--and the planchette works practically the same--the
most approved method is to place the board upon the laps of two persons, preferably a
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lady and a gentleman. The fingers of both are placed lightly but firmly upon the small
table which acts as a pointer, this table being on the board and permitted to move
freely over it. In a few minutes this small table commences to move; at first slowly,
and then with more speed. Thus it is able to talk by touching the letters and characters
printed on the board, and if questions are asked it will answer them.
In using the ouija board and similar appliances, the more negative and passive the
experimenters, as a rule, the more satisfactory the results. The questions may be
asked either orally or mentally and are answered with equal success.
Now, most of the motions made by man are not the result of premeditated thought,
but are directed by the unconscious mind. To be sure, we think of walking and then
walk. But walking is a very elaborate and intricate process of balancing the action of
one muscle against another. That is, the nervous system has been educated to respond
with the utmost alacrity to commands issued by the unconscious mind.
Because of the facility with which the unconscious mind can cause unconscious
muscular actions, it is easier, in the normal run of things, for the unconscious mind to
communicate intelligent thoughts through directing appropriate muscular actions
than for it to impress the thoughts directly upon the physical brain. Hence it is that the
use of unconscious muscular activity is the easiest method possible, under ordinary
circumstances, for communicating that which is in the unconscious mind to the
cognition of the physical brain. It is due to this that more people can get psychic
messages through the ouija board and such devices than through any other method.
Range of Information of the Soul
--As has been pointed out in the last chapter, the field of information accessible to
the unconscious mind is enormously greater than that open to the physical
consciousness. All that the person has ever experienced or known is stored up in the
unconscious mind. The range of the astral perceptions is infinitely greater than those
of the physical senses. It may tune in on almost any imaginable source of
information, not only on the record preserved in the astral world of all that man has
known and thought, but it may also come mentally in touch with still higher centers
of information. Therefore, the questions that the soul of a person using the ouija
board may answer intelligently are exceedingly wide in scope. And undoubtedly it is
commonly the case that a portion of the information given through the ouija board
emanates from the experimenter's unconscious mind.
While such a range of perception and such a storehouse of knowledge may be used by
the unconscious mind, it is probable, because the unconscious mind requires much
training to utilize a very extensive range, that in many cases a large part of the
information received through the ouija board comes from some discarnate entity.
This is all the more certain because the astral world about and interpenetrating the
earth is so crowded with astral entities who seem to have no objection whatever to
taking control of a negative person and manifesting through him whatever of
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intelligence, or lack of it, they possess.
Another factor influencing the veracity of psychic communications of all kinds is the
susceptibility of the unconscious mind to suggestion. It has been educated to obey the
desires of the objective mind. Therefore, if there is a strong desire for a certain type of
manifestation, and no controlling entity is present, it quite naturally endeavors of
itself to produce the phenomena. If there is a strong desire present on the part of the
experimenter to receive a message of a certain kind, or on the part of other persons
present, which it is able to perceive, it will try to deliver such a message as is wanted.
The message but reflects the desire of someone present, and may be widely at
variance with the truth. And even though some other entity is in control and trying to
give a truthful and important message, the unconscious mind, under the influence of
the desires of those present, may still have power enough to warp the message out of
all semblance to its original self. Truthful, serious messages may be expected only
when those present are serious, and above all else, desire the truth, however
discomforting it may be.
Factors Influencing Veracity of
Spirit Messages
--We now perceive that in all spirit messages there are three factors which may be
present in widely varying proportions, and which may have an influence upon the
message. There is the unconscious mind of the medium, which may be entirely
responsible for the message, or which may have almost nothing whatever to do with
it. There is the desire and combined thought force of those present acting upon the
subconscious mind of the medium. This may amount to almost nothing in some
instances, and in others may be the deciding element. Then there is the presence of
one or more astral entities, which may be intelligent or may be ignorant, which may
be impersonations and hoaxes, or may be as they represent themselves to be. They
may have but partial control of the medium and not be responsible for the message, or
they may be in complete control and the sole authors of it. The self-controlled
clairvoyant can see these entities and can feel whether or not they are genuine or are
wearing a mask of deception, but the irresponsible medium has no way of knowing
whether or not his controls are as represented.
Proof of Human Survival
--Undoubtedly those who have once lived on the earth and passed to the next realm
sometimes communicate with those yet in the flesh through such simple devices as
the ouija board. Ouija board answers usually are trivial and shallow, or but shadow
the thoughts of those present. Yet occasionally information is thus received of
astounding correctness and great value. Instances are recorded in which such
messages have saved lives, and other instances in which information was received
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known to no living person. People who have disappeared leaving no trace, drowned
without witnesses, have been able to communicate the method of their death and
direct searchers to the physical remains.
There are other cases recorded where people have been directed to dig for mineral
deposits where there were no surface indications; consequently the location could
have been known to no living person, and the mineral deposits so located have
proven of great value. These are exceptional cases, it is true, and many a poor dupe
has been sent to dig for mineral where there was none. Yet these successful cases can
not be accounted for by the theory that the knowledge was transmitted from the mind
of some living person. Undoubtedly, as I said, under certain circumstances those
physically dead communicate again with the living.
The range of power of the unconscious mind of living man is so extensive that it
taxes human ingenuity to the utmost to devise any test by which human survival
may be proved. One of the tests, recently devised, called cross-correspondences,
is meeting with considerable success. The discarnate personality, through
several widely separated mediums, gives fragments of classical quotations, or
other matters with which he was familiar when on earth, and of which the
mediums are quite ignorant. These fragmentary messages, having no meaning
separately, are directed to be sent to the Psychical Research Society, where they
are pieced together, and not only make sense, but reveal something that research
shows the person giving the message was familiar with, and would naturally use
to establish his identity. These experiments are yet in their infancy, yet even so far
as they have been carried, they seem to me to establish the survival of the human
personality beyond a reasonable doubt.
In these communications which we have been considering, the medium is more or
less under control. I shall not violently condemn the use of the ouija board. It does
imply, however, loss of control of the body and mind in small degree. In just so far as
there is success with the ouija board, precisely so much has disintegrative and
irresponsible mediumship been established. Some force other than the normal
personality has usurped the power temporarily to use a portion of the astral brain,
nervous system, and muscles. It is so much lost in the struggle to command the body
and progress in evolution. Yet a few raindrops do not make a river, nor do a few
drinks make a drunkard. Many people believe that strong liquor in moderation is
more beneficial than the reverse. They admit that excess is ruinous, but contend that
the pleasure to be derived from drinking within limits is greater than the harm done
the body by the alcohol.
Such persons could with equal logic extend their argument to the use of the ouija
board. At least it seems to be the least harmful of negative mediumistic endeavors. As
a rule the amount of control is small. And while I know of a few persons who have
gone to excess with the ouija board and landed in the psychopathic ward, as also I
know certain drunkards who once believed they could "drink or leave it alone," yet I
also know hundreds of people who have experimented with the ouija board, and even
with automatic writing, which requires a stronger extraneous control, who, from all
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appearances, are none the worse for it.
Wise Spiritual Intelligences Use
Impression
--Of this, however, I am quite positive; truly wise spiritual intelligences do not make
a practice of communicating through a person under control. In dire necessity, on
some rare occasion, they may do so, but only because no other avenue is available
and the message must be given.
Wise spiritual intelligences, when they are permitted to do so, give their messages by
impression. Aware of the disintegrative effect upon the medium of controlling him,
they refuse to exercise such control. They merely talk forcefully to the astral
counterpart of the person they wish to impress. The astral body is not controlled, but
has full knowledge of what is being said and who is saying it. It is a matter of
conversation, not always one sided, even as two people ordinarily talk on meeting.
This communication, which is given by an astral person--a disembodied person--to
the astral counterpart of a person still in the flesh, rises from the unconscious mind
into the region of objective consciousness. It may seem, if the person is not
accustomed to receiving such impressions, but a vague realization that a certain thing
is a fact. If the person receiving the message is a little more advanced in psychic
matters, it may rise into objective consciousness as a series of complete and precise
sentences, but with no very clear knowledge of the source from which derived. But if
the receiver has practiced to develop the ability, he may be as fully aware of who is
talking and what is being said as if he were talking to a friend in the flesh.
A great deal of information, and I am sorry to say misinformation also, is given by
those of the inner planes to those on the outer plane who delve into occult matters,
without the recipient being aware of the source from which his impressions come. He
merely feels that something is true, or all at once some information flashes into his
mind. I speak of misinformation advisedly, for those who pass to the next plane of
life do not immediately become all wise. Until educated away from them, which may
be a very long time for one who on earth was very set in his ideas, they still hold to the
same beliefs and habits of thought that they held on earth. They may be quite as much
in error, and quite as dogmatic about it, as anyone in the world. Only those who keep
an open mind and endeavor to learn the unprejudiced truth make rapid progress on
the inner planes toward a better understanding of truth than those on earth. And these,
invariably, when they find a seeker who is worthy, endeavor to impress him with a
knowledge of truth as they have found it. Hence the oft repeated slogan in occult
circles that whenever the neophyte is ready, behold, the master appears. But a master
teaches, admonishes, and advises his chosen pupil, the same as he would do if he
were a spirit in the flesh. No true master places his neophyte, or anyone else, under
control.
It is always a joy to the scholarly men of earth to find someone with a desire to
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emulate them in the acquirement of knowledge. As I know from observation and
experience, those who master difficult branches of learning are ever eager to help the
younger student who aspires to acquaint himself in the same branch. And when they
find a pupil who shows considerable ability they go to great pains to help him over
the difficult parts of the road.
This is quite as true of wise spiritual intelligences. They are always eager to find a
pupil who is worthy of instruction. Yet they are not desirous of shouldering all his
responsibilities in life, or of advising him on every trivial matter. Each soul should
cultivate his individuality and learn to decide his own issues whenever possible. But
wise spiritual beings are ever ready to advise us if we indicate by our efforts and
aspirations that we are striving to help ourselves. This they do through impression.
Automatic Writing
--Next to the ouija board in popularity is automatic writing. The medium sits at a
table with a sheet of paper before him. He grasps a pencil in his hand and places his
hand in the position of one writing. He then becomes passive and awaits results.
When the controlling entity has succeeded in establishing rapport with the
sitter--which really consists of organizing such lines of force between its astral form
and the astral form of the sitter that it can communicate its own motions to the form of
the subject--the hand begins to write through no volitional effort of the medium, and
usually the medium is ignorant of what is being written.
Rapport
--Before going further I should explain more about rapport. Both those in the flesh
and those out of the flesh can raise and lower their vibrations temporarily to a certain
extent, much as the strings of a musical instrument can be changed in tension. To
communicate rates of motion from one entity to another requires only that some of
the vibrations of their astral bodies have similar frequencies. This forms a point of
contact through which the more active can inject its rates of motion if the frequencies
are made synchronous--that is, vibrate in unison, the crest of a wave motion in one
corresponding in point of time to the crest of a wave motion in the other.
Synchronism is easy when one of the entities becomes passive.
The active entity, once a point of contact is established, injects more and more of its
rates of motion into the astral body of the medium. The vibrations of the medium are
thus raised or lowered until they very largely vibrate in unison to those of the
controlling entity. The entity then has complete control and the medium is powerless.
Rapport is established when the vibrations of one entity vibrate in unison with those
of another entity. Rapport does not imply control, for two persons may be in rapport
and neither exercise control of the other. Rapport merely facilitates the exchange of
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energy, and may be the result of similar rates of energy present due to similar
thoughts and similar planetary influences at birth, or it may be produced artificially
by raising or lowering the vibrations. Rapport is very important and valuable, but in
the case of negative mediumship it is a principle used by the controlling entity for
obtaining control of the medium. Once control is gained, the more thorough the
rapport the fuller the control.
The astral world is so crowded with entities of different grades and kinds that a call
sent out by a medium for a control is quite sure to be answered by something. It may
even be answered by the deceased personality who is supposed to be in control. But
however the message may be communicated through an irresponsible medium;
whether by the ouija board, automatic writing, table tipping, the control of the
medium's vocal organs, or in some other fashion; in addition to the probability of
some entity exercising control of the medium's body, there is also a possibility that
the message emanates from, or at least is colored by, the unconscious mind of the
medium or the thoughts, conscious and subconscious, of those present.
In automatic writing the controlling entity, after establishing rapport with the
medium, is able to direct the arm and hand in writing whatever it may desire.
Table-Tipping
--In table-tipping
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unconscious muscular contractions, such as are used in ouija
board communications and automatic writing, are made use of to start with, but there
soon develops an additional factor. Those present sit in a circle about a small table,
placing their finger tips lightly upon it. Soon the table begins to vibrate distinctly, and
when this vibration reaches a certain tension the table begins to move about in a more
or less intelligent manner.
It is truly wonderful what power of expression can manifest through a small wooden
table. It often moves toward one of the sitters and actually caresses him, or it may
manifest enmity through violent gyrations. Someone present asks the table if the
control is a certain person long dead, and when the right name is mentioned the table
pounds violently on the floor. It answers questions by pounding on the floor or
rocking violently to express an affirmative, and slows almost to a stop to express a
negative reply. It also communicates by a prearranged code, tapping on the floor, or
moving in a certain manner to make itself understood.
The additional factors, of which I made mention, are the electromagnetic emanations
of those present, which are used by the control to set the table vibrating and to assist
in its movements. The control, through its rapport, or close association with the astral
form of the medium, is able to communicate motions set up by it in astral substance to
these electromagnetic forces drawn from the sitters. This electromagnetic force may
then be directed through the table and its motions imparted to the physical substance
of the table.
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The use of electromagnetic energy drawn from organic substance, and in the case of
table-tipping drawn from the medium and others present, seems to be an absolute
requisite for the exerting of physical force by a discarnate entity. Another rule, while
perhaps not absolute, yet at least of common observance, is that the more physical
force exerted by a discarnate entity the less intelligence it manifests. Clairvoyants
and seers of all ages claim that strong physical manifestations of psychic force are
nearly always produced by entities low in intelligence, chiefly elementals, but who
possess much strength in the lower astral currents. It is truly surprising how many
mediums who do healing or produce physical phenomena claim American Indians as
controls. They hold that the Indians are closer to the earth and consequently have
more power to give strong physical manifestations.
In table-tipping the particles of the table become so charged with energy as to give
the impression of being alive. Anyone who has had experience with genuine
table-tipping could not be deceived as to whether or not there is a strong psychic
influence present, for there is a peculiar vibration in the wood that may be distinctly
felt before, and as, the table begins to move. Not infrequently, also, the table is
levitated completely from the floor, or continues to rock, while no fingers are closer
than several inches above it, and on occasions it moves entirely across the room with
no one touching it.
Levitation
--This brings us to the subject of levitation.
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The movement of light objects, and also
the movement of heavy objects, at a distance from the medium, sometimes at a great
distance, and without physical contact of any kind, has been thoroughly established
by men of international scientific reputation. Chairs, tables, and many other objects,
including sometimes the medium, are lifted into the air and suspended there without
visible means of support.
The late Mr. W. J. Crawford, D.Sc., lecturer in engineering at the Municipal
Technical Institute, Belfast, by a great number of experiments, established, through
placing the medium on a weighing machine, that it is customary for the medium to
gain in weight as much as the object lifted; also, that when an object is made heavier
than normal, the medium, though at a distance, loses in weight the amount gained by
the object. This leads to the conclusion that there is an invisible astral and
electromagnetic connection between the medium and the object acted upon. The
controlling entity extends the medium's astral body, and this becomes the moulding
power by which electromagnetic emanations present are used as energy to lift the
distant object or to hold it down. It is as if an invisible and extremely elastic arm
reached out from the medium to act upon the physical object.
Other experiments indicate that it is quite common where objects are lifted or moved
by invisible forces, for each of the persons present, some more and some less, to
contribute to the moving force. Each person in the circle may gain something in
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weight when a heavy object like an oak table or a piano is lifted from the floor by an
invisible force. The controlling entity is able not only to use the electromagnetic
emanations of the medium, but also to use extensions from the astral bodies and the
electromagnetic energies of every person present, in more or less degree, in the
lifting of material objects. If a sudden shock disturbs the medium, the object will drop
to the floor, because the communicating lines of force between the medium and the
object have been broken.
It would be stating more than has been proved, and more than is probable, to say that
objects are only levitated by pressure exerted by an extension of the medium's astral
and electromagnetic bodies. In certain cases of hauntings, which will be discussed in
the next chapter, objects apparently move when there is no human medium near, and
irrespective of whether or not there are witnesses. It is not uncommon for pictures to
be violently thrown from the wall, clocks to stop, raps, knocks, and other physical
manifestations to take place at the moment of death of a relative in a distant land.
7
The dying person may act through the astral body and electromagnetic emanations of
some person in the house where the manifestations take place, may use the
electromagnetic emanations drawn from his own body, or in rarer instances there
may be electromagnetic energy associated with the physical substance of the
environment that is available. It seems that it is not always essential for the
production of physical phenomena to have a human being to draw upon, but such
human is at least present in by far the majority of cases. Certainly, in all cases, there is
present an available supply of electromagnetic energy that has been associated with
organic life.
If we bear in mind the way in which an extension of a medium's astral body is able to
act as a lever to lift objects at a distance, we at once see how an extension of the
medium's astral body, which is able to assume any desired form, may hold the
medium to the floor. In this way, certain mediums are able to increase their weight at
will, although of course, being in a trance state, they know nothing about how the
effect is produced.
Spirit Rappings
--We also now are able to perceive how spirit raps
8
and knocks are produced. These
noises in the home of the Fox sisters were the commencement of modern
spiritualism. They may occur on a table, on the walls, on the ceiling, or apparently
even from the air overhead. When the raps seem to come from a wall or solid object,
the wall or object vibrates as if it had received a blow. An invisible projection from
the medium sufficiently strong to lift a chair or table, it seems to me, should
experience little difficulty in striking a blow that can be heard, or in producing
condensation and sudden expansion of the air in limited areas to produce an
explosive effect. But in all these cases the noises are, as I believe, produced through
electromagnetic motions organized by astral lines of force from the medium, to such
a consistency as to be able to communicate motion to physical substance.
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Slate Writing
--Slate writing and direct writing
9
are doubtless produced by extensions of the
medium's astral body being used by the controlling entity to establish lines of
electromagnetic energy sufficiently strong to write messages with a pencil. Slate
writing is usually accomplished by placing a bit of slate pencil between two slates,
that have been washed clean, locking the slates together, and giving them to the
medium or to some person present to hold. In a few minutes the noise of writing is
heard on the inside of the slates, and after a rap is given by the entity as a signal that
the work is finished, the slates are opened and found to contain a message signed by
some deceased person.
Other writing is produced on blank sheets of paper on which have been placed bits of
lead pencil.
Precipitation
--Still another phase of writing is known as precipitation. Cases are on record where
blank sheets of paper have been covered with writing, voluminous MSS. containing
information unknown to the medium, being so received in a short time. Beautiful
pictures also sometimes appear on slates or upon paper in the same manner.
The rapidity with which such writing and such pictures are produced leads to the
belief that the controlling entity is able to visualize clearly a whole picture, or a whole
page of writing, and to transfer bits of pencil, or the various pigments, to the slate or
page almost at once. That matter may be made to pass through matter was first
demonstrated by Prof. Zollner and set forth in his book, "Transcendental Physics."
The experiments with materializations, to be discussed in the next chapter, indicate
that dematerialization of matter sometimes takes place. The bits of pencil used in
precipitated writings, and the pigments used in precipitated pictures, may be
materialized from non-material substance, or they may be produced by collecting the
minute particles of all substances that exist in the air. But more likely they are derived
from existing pencils and pigments and are transported to the place where
precipitated in a dematerialized state, to assume the normal physical form again
when precipitated as writing or as a picture.
In these cases also, the controlling entity undoubtedly uses the astral body and
electromagnetic emanations of the medium. It uses them to build such lines of force
as will collect and precipitate the proper materials in the form it has visualized.
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Extrasensory Perception
--The discovery of Pluto, the inner-plane planet and the planet of statistics and mass
production, early in 1930, was immediately followed by the application of
experimental methods and statistics to the investigation of telepathy, clairvoyance
and precognition by a dozen universities, encouraged by the work of Dr. J. B. Rhine
at Duke University. The university scientists now group these and allied faculties of
the soul under the one term, extra-sensory perception, usually designated merely as
ESP.
Dr. Rhine published his monograph, "Extra-Sensory Perception," in 1934; Stuart
and Pratt published, "Handbook for Testing Extra-Sensory Perception," and Rhine
published, "New Frontiers of the Mind," in 1937; and in 1940 Rhine, Pratt,
Greenwood, Smith and Stuart collaborated in publishing, "Extra-Sensory Perception
After Sixty Years." The painstaking work of these men, and that of other university
experimenters, not only conclusively prove that man possesses ability to gain
information by telepathy and clairvoyance, but that almost as easily it is possible to
gain information of the future, termed by them precognition.
Also coincident with the discovery of Pluto, university scientists began to accept,
and use in teaching physics, Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity. This acceptance
is now practically universal.
Relativity holds that time and velocity are always interrelated, that physical
velocities cannot exceed that of light, that anything moving with the velocity of light
no longer possesses length, has infinite mass, and for it time has come to a standstill.
Yet in the region where the soul chiefly functions, on the inner plane, or astral world,
velocities are greater than those of light, and there consequently is a different order of
gravitation, a different order of distance, and a different order of time.
This slower time of the inner plane enables us in a logical manner to account for both
postcognition and precognition: Seeing something as it existed at some particular
instance in the past or as it will probably appear at some particular instant in the
future; which the university scientists prove man sometimes actually does. When we
move our consciousness to the inner plane--the realm in which life normally
functions after physical death--where velocities are greater than those of light, an
infinite number of events can be condensed into one moment of this stand-still time
and we are able to see backward and forward along the time-flow of external life and
observe or have in one moment, experiences which in the rapid time of external life
would occupy days, months or even years.
Relativity also makes clear why the inner-plane high-velocity, slow-time region
cannot exchange energies with the low-velocity, fast-time region of outer-plane
existence directly, but that all contact between the two must be made through
Boundary-Line electromagnetic energies which have approximately the velocity of
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light. The various relations of inner-plane existence and outer-plane existence are set
forth in full detail in Course 4, Ancient Masonry, Chapters 9, 11 and 13, Course 11,
Divination and Character Reading, Chapter 1, and Course 20, The Next Life.
Seance Rooms
--Now, before closing this chapter, as I have repeatedly referred to irresponsible
mediums and their seances, I should perhaps give a certain warning to the less
experienced about seance rooms. Every person should, it seems to me, avail himself,
if the opportunity arises, of seeing some genuine psychic phenomena. People of a
scientific turn of mind and positive makeup can investigate mediums with impunity.
Persons less positive readily become influenced by astral entities if they attend
seances, it is particularly true if they attend developing circles.
It is quite common for the entities controlling the medium to use the astral and
electromagnetic energies of the medium to crush any resistance offered to their
control of other persons present. They also use these energies to form a point of
contact with persons present, following them home and endeavoring to make the
contact permanent and take full control. If such a person is mediumistic or sensitive,
the astral entities may gain a power of influence, even though the person is unaware
of it. Such a person, if no more serious influence is experienced, gets the seance habit,
and runs to a medium for advice on every trivial occasion. He becomes a seance
addict. The seance room, while it serves a useful scientific purpose, is not without its
dangers.
Notes
1. Death and Its Mystery, by Flammarion, Chapter V.
2. Explicit instructions for protecting oneself from the mental influence of another
are given in Course 9 Mental Alchemy, Chapter 7.
3. Death and Its Mystery, by Flammarion, Chapter V.
4. Ibid.
5. For authentic examples see Thirty Years of Psychical Research, by Richet, p. 401.
6. Abundant authentic instances of levitation are given in Thirty Years of Psychical
Research, by
Richet, p. 421.
7. For authentic instances see At The Moment of Death, by Flammarion, Chapter IX.
8. For authentic instances see Thirty Years of Psychical Research, by Richet, p. 443.
9. For authentic instances see Thirty Years of Psychical Research, by Richet, p. 448.